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Escaping myself

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"oh shit man, alternian slam poets did know how to spit some sick fires. i'm gonna need some medicine for all these bad ass burns. not that i wouldn't look hella sick with some of these epic rap battle wounds but damn.", I took that as a cue to run from the group who for some pan-dead reason decided that Alpha Beta dream bubble bonding needed to happen over the shit storm that is Kanaya attempting to teach Dave the "finer points" of the Alternian art.

There's so many of us in a confined space that there's barely any room to fucking move without practically slamming into a ranting troll. I said this was a bad idea but no one fucking listens. I'll never know how my grubfuck of an ancestor keeps teleporting over to anyone who says anything rude, let alone finds the energy to do it. Just as I'm almost out of the door I feel a hand on my shoulder. Fuuucckk. I turn to see that it's attached to Nepeta, a doomed timeline Nepeta but Nepeta nonetheless. It's so easy to get them confused that sometimes I get upset because I'm talking to my dead Friend ... but at the same time not talking to my dead friend.

":33 Hey Karkitty what are you up to! *ac asks while tilting her head questioningly*",

OK it's not that I don't like Nepeta to be honest she's better then a lot of the nook stains in this idiotic cluster fuck of a situation but, i really don't want this delay. Nepeta was never a bad friend. i've honestly thought about trying for a red-rom with her before but, I think Equius is a good match for her in the pale department and i don't think i could keep her happy in red. She's so bright, happy and nice; I'm just not good enough for that. i don't really want to talk with a dead time line Nepeta. i mean, i know it doesn't matter but i'd rather talk to the one from the alpha timeline. OK so enough talking about that. Sorry got sidetracked there i know you're reading my thoughts on this or whatever so i'll try to speed this up. Just be glad I'm not Kankri.

"KARKAT IS SICK OF DAVE AND THE REST OF THESE ASSHOLES THROWING ALL THIS SHIT THEY CALL RAP OR SPEECH FROM THEIR PROTEIN CHUTES AND INTO EACH OTHERS FACES LIKE THE FUCKASSES THEY ARE. THIS IS GETTING ANNOYING AND KARKAT WOULD BE PRACTICALLY SHITTING RAINBOWS OF FUCKING HAPPINESS IF HE COULD BE ABLE TO DO NOTHING MORE THAN TO LEAVE THIS HELL HOLE BEFORE HE SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTS OUT OF ALL THE PURE UNADULTERATED STUPID FUCKER CONTAINED IN THIS SMALL SPACE. *CG SAYS AS HE ATTEMPTS TO ABSCOND*",

Nepeta smiles for a second as she looks around and looks like she's going to comment about the fun she's having or some equally stupid shit but then her eyes fall on Terezi and Gamzee. i'm shocked when her blank eyes go hard and narrow with blood-lust. I'm no Nepeta expert but I know that's not normal. I get the urge to find one of the dead Equius to shoosh pap her.

After what seems like an unbearable amount of time she tears her eyes away and looks back at me with a sad look. Oh. Hell. No. Just no. i get it. OK Gamzee broke up with me and Terezi and i weren't meant to be. i get that now. It hurts but i get it. i don't really have that many strong connections with people and i never had because of my blood and the constant threat of being culled for it. All my best friends are dead. Everyone else is either the cause of my problems or is in a relationship i shouldn't bother them right now. i have no one to talk to and it's getting bad.

i understand Nepeta is angry for my sake but i don't want this. I'll be OK ... i think. i mean i. OK i really do need someone to talk to but i'll outlast it on my own like i always have. Nepeta must see what i'm thinking by my expression because a look of understanding then dread crosses her face. No i don't want to do this now, not with a random dead timeline version of my recently dead friend, in a room full of trolls and humans who i barely know apparently.

She opens her mouth to ask and i pray to whatever twisted beings that rank higher than me or whatever to spare me. Then like the blessed four wheel car thing the humans use in an almighty crash. i hear it, the one excuse i can use to abscond like the coward i am. i hear Dave's next shitty rap screech into my ears like the screaming of a million wigglers being culled by all the fucking horror terrors in the vale as slowly as possible while Kankri lectures and scrapes his claws down a human school chalkboard. Quickly before she can utter a syllable i say

"OH GOG IF I HAVE TO DEAL WITH ANY MORE OF THIS THINK PAN ROTTING BULLSHIT HE CALLS RAP I'M GOING TO RIP OFF HIS HORRIFYING HUMAN BULGE AND STRANGLE HIM WITH IT BEFORE TAKING OUT HIS TALK BOX TO CURSE MY PLATONIC ENEMIES WITH HIS VOICE UNTIL THEY VOLUNTARILY RIP OFF THEIR LIMBS AND ASK ME TO BEAT THEM WITH THEIR OWN ARMS."

Then i race to the door faster than Kankri can teleport and finally i'm free. i look back to see if i'm being followed. i'm not. Nepeta got caught in the curse of Kankri somehow (funny I've never liked him before this.) and no one else noticed my light speed abscond. i move out the door and sigh in relief. Oh hell yes this is good. It'll be a while before we get out of this dream bubble now all i have to do is avoid Nepeta and i'll be fine. Heh like that's ever that easy for me.

i slowly walk around for a bit. My stupid think pan wanders and i end up in the memory of Gamzee's and my break up. No this is not what i want. Oh gog how stupid can my past self be to be thinking about this here. Gamzee's words beat me down way harder than his clubs ever had or even could and i fall to the ground as he calls me useless and tells me that i'll never be good enough and so many things that i already know are true. i hold my tears back for as long as i can because i refuse to let him ever see me cry again even if this isn't the real him. i concentrate on the first memory i can think of one that has no one i know in it. My neighborhood. Suddenly i'm on worm grass just after the sun went down and i can't hold it in anymore and start to cry. Maybe i should be my own kismesis if i keep torturing myself like this. It takes a while before i calm down. i try not to think of anything but my neighborhood and keep it together.

i never want to go back to that again. Fuck that. My blood pusher feels like it's trying to rip itself out of my chest column with the way it hurts. i'm sick of this whole walk before i start but i take a walk through the place anyway. i kind of wander what i'm trying to escape when this place is a reflection of part of my mind. i'm sure Rose would have a fucking mental breakdown of happiness if i ever told her about all this. Well that and if she would stop ingesting that human soporific liquid long enough to listen. She's much easier to get along with when she's on it however which makes me a little less reluctant to speak to her outside of an acquaintance format. I'm so pathetic. i wish I knew where i went wrong with Gamzee. i know what we had wasn't the healthiest of relationships but even with the fact that he was never really there for me and the thing with Terezi and even with the things he said i still miss him. Even before we made it official we were closer as moirails then we were after.

i miss the way we used to be. i wish i had been of at least some use. Maybe if i had been there for him he wouldn't have gone on rampage like he did. i could have prevented so much pain and death if i would have just paid more attention to everyone. i hate myself, past, present, and future me are all idiots and horrible excuses for a life form.
SLAM

What in the bulge-licking fuck is that? Without really thinking i run toward the sound. About halfway there i realize how fucking stupid that is. The only people here are dead or in a dream i was worried for nothing. It's not like we could die again in here. Well unless English decides to get off his fat ass and stop fondling with his bulge or whatever and finish us off. i am curious though so might as well take a look, maybe it will get my mind off this.

I walk over the bridge and see someone on the ground. Well if he's not passed out then the stupid ass is sniffing the dirt or some shit. Honestly it wouldn't surprise me with some of these nook-sniffers. He's not moving so I'm going to assume he's out like a light. What you think I can't use human phrases? You're fucking wrong. Anyway I don't think I've seen this one before but based on all the bright fucking yellow I'm going to bet it's Sollux's ancestor.

Come to think of it this one is the only one I haven't met. I've heard about him though. Apparently he was a lot like Sollux before something happened that forced his think pan to do an awesome impression of a scrambled squawk beast egg. No one seems to know what happened to him. They think his ex / kinda, maybe still moirail knows but the dude sewed his mouth shut and doesn't want to talk about it. I don't think those two things are connected but you never know. No one really seems to like this one much now or try to understand him and his matesprit doesn't really talk about him. (Which is kind of a, as Strider would say, 'dick move') He's probably the most pitiful sob story in this gog damn game.

I know better than to try to wake a sleeping troll even if it's just to check up on him and sate my curiosity. Instead of doing something stupid I wait for him to wake up. I don't have to wait long before he stirs and sits up. The visor on his helmet is like Sollux's glasses. That's gotta be some weird color trait right? i feel kinda bad for him already with how the others talk about him. I'm going to try not to be such an asshat, "HEY GET UP BULGE SUCKER YOU OK?" not the best but it had a little less annoyance and anger then my voice normally holds.

"WH47H 7HH3 FUCK. FUCK Y0U, Y0U BULG3 L1K3R!!??!!! M07HH3R FUCK3R 1'LL FUCKING CULL YOU!!!!", Ha OK that was kinda funny. I think I like this one. "JUST TRYING TO SEE IF YOUR OK NOOK STAIN NO NEED TO DO A FLIP OFF THE HANDLE.", he looks down at his lap where he's sitting and I crouch to eye level with him. I'm not really even angry at him or anything, weird for me I know. He just looks like he's ashamed with himself for something, "ii'm 50rry", He's almost like a really ramped up version of Sollux because fuck if that flip wasn't fast and extreme. I don't know why I find this so amusing but I do. "I'M KARKAT. WHO ARE YOU?" I have my normal tone back and gog does he look snarky again as soon as I say that, "II'M Mii7HUNA Y0U H0RN F0ND13R G0 5UCK 4 BU1G3." aannnnnnd he's back. No really how do the others not like this little shit again? And what's with the Captor family having names they can't pronounce?

I vaguely wonder if I knock his teeth out he would be able to say his name like Sollux could. Not that I could or, would even if it did work. Knocking out Sollux's teeth was an accident. Everyone knows bad things happen on stairs. I look him over again. He seems OK. He obviously injured himself on that for wheeled board contraption a lot. It's like the one Terezi's ancestor uses. At least he's wearing a helmet if this happens as often as it seems. He sends me a, "WH4T TH3 FUCK AR3 Y0U L0OKIN6 4T STH0P CH3K1NG M3 0UT." reaction picture he drew himself. "I'M NOT CHECKING YOU OUT FUCKWAD I WAS MAKING SURE YOU WEREN'T BLEEDING AND STAINING THE NICE MEMORY GRASS OR WHATEVER THE FUCK THIS SHIT IS.", I don't have to wait for a reaction "5UCK 1TH UP Y0UR 533DFL4P 4ND 5M00K 1T Y0U 455 MUNCH3R.", for the first time ever I'm tempted to send a reaction pic ... ever. I take time to draw one as Mituna looks on questioningly. First I draw with my left hand then right trying to make it better. As Mituna waits I swear I hear a slight buzzing noise from him.

When I'm satisfied I hand him my simple, "THIS", reaction pic with a small drawing of me like I'm pointing towards his words. His jaw drops for a moment before he looks up at me. "WH4TH THH3 FUCK???!!!???!", then like he just remembered something he starts going through his pockets frantically. I stand awkwardly as he tries to find whatever it is. Eventually after lots of failed attempts and, him actually falling over once and, rolling around while still trying to find whatever it is while making little struggle noises like he's in a strife with his own damn pockets, and me trying not to laugh, he finds it and holds it up with a proud look on his face. It's a fucking, "Y0U 4C7U4LLY D353RV3 7HHI5", big ass gold star sticker. He actually wrote the words on. No really how do they not like him he's entertaining as fuck I'm almost at a loss for words. It's not that its relay astounding but come on who does that? Answer: Mituna fucking Captor that's who.

I draw him a little pic of me bowing with the caption, "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, YOU UNBELIEVABLY IDIOTIC WASTES OF LIFE FORCE. I HOPE YOU ALL GET CRUSHED BY A METEOR ... OH WAIT TOO SOON?", and hand it over. He laughs and draws something quickly before handing it back. He drew a fucking meteor coming down on the crowd of random trolls I'm bowing to. I send him another copy of the, "this", pic as I laugh. It's wrong and we all miss our homes but it's still funny. We trade reaction pics and sometimes gifs or little comic strips for a while sometimes he spaces out a Little or a lot and has to erase something he did or, goes back to his depressed "1'm 50rry", moods again. Sometimes he mutters something as we draw, sometimes he's quiet. Sometimes if you look hard enough, you can see these tiny moments of clarity that weren't there before. One or two times his pictures show something disturbing and weirdly detailed like he's trying to tell me what happened to him but, after he shows them he looks at them like he's stumped by what's in his hand and goes back to normal. I feel like I'm collecting clues on what happened to him in these moments and save the pictures to try and peace it together. Maybe if I know I can help. As this happens we talk and trade insults while laughing. All in all it's kind of fun actually. I haven't laughed in so long that it almost hurts, and I actually feel myself smile a little.

It's been awhile I guess but we hadn't been interrupted yet. Like there was no noise from anyone else at all. So when I feel a hand on my shoulder I almost flip the hell out. My smile is gone now and I turn around quickly with my sickles out before I realize it's Kanaya. When I see her I calm down. Behind me I hear Mituna whisper loudly (on accident I'm sure), "817hCH N33D5 TO L3RN N07h T0 5N33K UP 0N P30PL3!!!!!!!!!", I can't help it, I laugh a little and try to hide it by covering my mouth. I have to say this one has to be my favorite ancestor. Well I mean there are only a few of them I can stand really so he doesn't have much competition other than Meenah. When I see Sollux again I'm going to have to congratulate him on his ancestor's being much more tolerable than the others.

Kanaya's eyes are wide as she looks between us. I think it's probably been the first time she's ever been called a name on that scale. She's normally the most sane and polite troll for miles. Now I feel kind of bad for laughing. Apparently Mituna feels that way 2 (I made a 2 pun. This is stupid.) Because he says his little, "1'm 50rry", at the same time I say mine. I widen my eyes a bit. Since when did I start saying sorry? I don't say that stuff often especially not for things I didn't do. Kanaya's eyes are even wider now. She looks frozen for a while. She just stands there. After a while I see Mituna walk over and poke her with a stick.... Where the hell did he get that? She snaps back to reality and says, "Sorry About That I Was Just Surprised. I Think I'm Going To Go Sit Down Now.", Was it really that shocking? She continues, "I Just Wanted To Tell You The Meeting's Over.", and then she walks away with a bit of jade on her cheeks. What was she embarrassed about?

Somewhere in the distance I hear a girl's voice I think it's Mituna's matesprit calling for him. He turns around and starts to run toward her yelling his greeting. I sigh and start to walk toward where Kanaya went. Next thing I know I'm on the ground being hugged by an older, taller, slightly heavier, yellow blooded troll. I laugh once more at how awkward this is and hug him back a little. Then he's off me waving goodbye and running off to his matesprit.

I stand up and take time to control my blush and push it down. I'm still not all that use to touch. When I'm calm I walk back to the room everyone was in. On the way there the scenery starts to ripple out of place. I'm waking up now. Just as I make it to the door I wake up completely. Next time I blink I'm in my respiteblock covered in snuggle plains on my human bed thing. It's definitely not as comfortable as my recuperacoon. Even if I did still have one I'd probably have sacrificed all my sopor to Gamzee... and just like that i'm depressed again. Dream bubbles always numb pain and bring about a weird awareness that wasn't there before the ancestors say it's healing but i doubt it.

God i wish i still had Gamzee. i wish i had anyone. i wish i wasn't so stupid. Why didn't i listen? Why didn't i do something? i lift my sleeve to stare at the scars. It's been awhile. i haven't done this since before the game. Gog i'm so weak. i quite before. As soon as the game started i stopped. i flinch when i get through the skin. It still hurts. It's fine i deserve it.

This is the least i deserve. i bandage myself up. i've gotten good at that over the sweeps. Enough of that you don't want to hear my pitiful rants and to be honest neither do i.
Maybe i should just make a rom-com pile in my room so i can be the sad piece of shit i am in a more respectable and singular place and not spraying my disgusting feelings all over the fucking doomed meteor. i get up and grab my portable husk top. Well, might as well get out and get some food.

Chapter Text

I Am Trying To Be As Polite As Possible To My Matesprit's Brother But After About Two Hours I've Hit My Limit. I Must Admit My Thoughts Were Elsewhere For Most Of The Time. I Had Mentioned Alternian Slam Poetry To Dave In The Past As A Simple Passing Remark. He And My Lovely Rose Had Decided That It Would Be "Wonderful" For Me To Teach Him The Finer Points Of The Art. It Is Not An Activity That I Actually Wanted To Participate In, However, With My New Found Matespritship, Disappointing My Heart Was Something I Do Not Wish To Do. Despite The Fact She Is Now Almost Constantly Consuming The 'Alcohol' My Feelings For Her Are Still A Bright Fluorescent Red. Her Addiction However, Is Extremely Worrying. The Incident With Gamzee Is Still Fresh In My Mind And The Mere Thought Of Soporifics Leaves Me With A Foul Taste In My Mouth.

I Believe That The Stress Of Her Mother And Older Brother’s Deaths Along With The Thought Of Being Our Leader, As Was Spoken About On The Day Of Her Arrival On Our Meteor, Has Driven Her To This Point. After All From The Research I Have Done On These 'Families' She Was Most Likely As, If Not More, Connected Emotionally To This Group Then We Were To Our Lussi And That Is Saying A Lot In Most Cases.

Although Rose And Dave Are Currently Supposed To Be In Charge I Can Not Help But Think Of Karkat When I Think Of The Word Leader And How Although Not Physically Strong He Acted Like A Pillar Of Strength For All Of Us And Sometimes (Although He Will Never Admit It) The Humans. He Brought All Of Us Together And Offered A Hand Or Ear When No one Else Cared To. He Went Through Loss As Great As Anyone Else And Was Still Able To Put Up With It And Do The Things That Needed Done Even Despite His Obvious Self Hatred. Don't Get Me Wrong I Think Rose Would Be An Excellent Leader But It Seems That In This Time Of Grief She Needs A Moment To Stand Down And Breathe. Time Which I Know All Too Well (From Observing Karkat During Our Session) Does Not Happen When You Are The Leader.

I've Been Noticing That Parts Of The Group Have Drifted Further And Further Apart. We Are No Longer The Semi-Well Organized Machine That Karkat Tended To And Forced To Work Through Sheer Will And Determination, Even Though The Deaths Of Most Of The Members. Even When We Were All Scattered By This He Managed To Pull Us Back Together. In fact With The Knowledge On What We Know Now, We Were Technically The Only Group To Actually Touch Victory Out Of Four Or More Sessions. We Made It To The End. We Created Another Universe. Yes We Screwed Up Parts Of It, But We Did Something Amazing. We Made It. Technically We Beat The Game. The Only Thing Was Another Session Interfered And We Were Unable To Claim Our Prize. Only After Our New World Was Taken From Us And There was Little To No Hope To Be Seen Did The Pieces Begin To Work Against The Goal And That’s When The Deaths Started. There Were No More Second Chances.

We Have Done Something Stupid By Taking Two Pieces That Could Have Filled Up The Space That Was Now Empty And Jamming Them Into A Spot Where We Had Someone Who Had Done So Well And Been So Efficient Previously And Then Placing Said Efficient Piece Into An Area Where He Can Not Mesh Well. We Did Not Even Give The Humans Time To Acclimate To The Group Before They Took Over And Assumed It Would Be The Same As Their Session. We Were All Wrong.

I Don't Think Anyone Else Could Have Done What Karkat Did.

Speaking Of Karkat, Towards The End Of The First Half An Hour I Look Out Of The Corner Of My Eye To See Him Speaking To A Nepeta. He Looks Kind of Cornered Which Is Odd For Him. Dave Starts His Next ... Let Us Call It 'Attempt' And Karkat Grimaces, Says Something To Nepeta And Absconds At A Rate I'm Sure Would Have Given Strider, Even With His Flash Step, A Case Of Whiplash. Oh How I Wish I Could Do The Same And Just Go.

But For Karkat To Make Such An Expression.... Perhaps I Should Check Up On Him. We Haven't Spoken In Quite Some Time. When I Can No Longer Stand Anymore Of Dave's Attempts, I Smile In The Most Polite Way I Can At The Time And Say "Dave I Think We Have Made Progress-", It’s Not Polite To Lie. "Maybe Some Other Time We Could Continue This", He Nods Happily And Says Something I Don't Care To Listen To. I Turn To Rose To See That She Appears To Have Passed Out. I Don't Know What To Do With Myself In These Situations. My Poor Rose. I Wish I Could Help More But I Am Unaware Of How To Do So. She Is My Flush And So I Will Stay By Her Side In That Way But This, This Is Not Something I Can Handle Right now. It Pains Me To See Her Like This. Dave Nods At Me And Walks To Stand Next To Rose. I Realize In That Instant That He Understands. He Will Look After Her For Now. I Abscond To Regroup My Thoughts.

When I Manage To Wade Through The Vast Amounts Of People Both Dead And Alive I Slow My Pace To A Walk. I Remember The Look In Karkat's Eyes Earlier. I Did Say I Would Check On Him But With Being In Such A Large Dream Bubble I Do Not Know Where To Begin The Search. As I Look Around I See The Beautiful Mystic Forest That Is Terezi's Memory's. I See The Odd Wizard-Filled Home That My Matesprit Once Inhabited And The Rolling Plains Just Before The Vivid, Strong, And Slightly Worrying Cliff Next To Tavros's Memory Hive. I Walk Through Big And Brightly Colored Lands And Smile At The Atmosphere

When I Come To A Dimly Lit And Uncomfortably Sad Feeling Corridor that Looks To Be Part Of Our Meteor, I Should Not Be Surprised. A Lot Has Happened And Much Worse Things Probably reside Here In These Bubbles. I Should Not Be Does Not Mean That I Am Not. The Fact That The Hall Is In Such Detail Though Is Astounding As Well. I Race From That As Quickly As I Can. When I'm Calm And The Feelings From The Area Are No Longer Touching Me I Slow To A Stop Once More.

In The Distance I See Something Odd. It's Something So Rare, So Almost Impossible That I Am Forced To Stare At The Sight. Even After What Feels Like An Excessively Long Time Of Focusing And Trying To Mentally Disprove The Possibility I'm Stunned To See It. Karkat, Our Fearless Leader, Our Little Troll Ball Of Hate And Verbally Violent Rage, Like A Living Representation Of The Emotion, Is Laughing. I see The Evidence, From Here I See The Entire Upper Halve Of His Frame Move In What Seems To Be Uproarious Laughter. After I Feel I've Spent Far Too Much Time Watching I Focus And Begin To See In Greater Detail What Is Going On.

He Is Speaking And Passing What Looks Like Drawings Back And Forth With Sollux's Ancestor Mituna. I Walk Closer. What Am I Doing? I'm Just So Shocked That I Never Really Thought Of A Reason For My Approach. Well I Know Karkat Seemed Uncomfortable With The Gathering Earlier And I Wanted To Check On Him, But I Don't Want To Ruin What’s Happening. I'll Just Tell Him That The Group Has Let Out.

Now That I Have A Clear Goal In Mind I Walk Even Closer. I Wasn't Paying Proper Attention And I Am Reminded Of That When I Feel Karkat’s Sickles Positioned Around My Arm In The Same Way That I've Seen Him Dismember Imps. Both Of Our Eyes Widen When We Realize What Happened And Karkat Immediately Withdrawals. That Was Idiotic Of Me; I Should Know To Announce My Presence Before Touching Someone Like That. Despite The Fact That It’s Been Awhile Since We Had To Fight It Hasn't Been Long Enough To Break Sweeps Worth Of Self Conditioning. He Will Think Nothing Of It But I Keep It In Mind As A Warning.

I Hear Sollux's Ancestor Whisper "817hCH N33D5 TO L3RN N07h T0 5N33K UP 0N P30PL3!!!!!!!!!" Well That Was Direct. I Can't Help Myself When I Blink A Few Times. Karkat and Sollux's Ancestor Both Look Ashamed Of What they've Said. Not That I'm Mind Really I've Heard Much Worse. They Both Pose An Apology at the same time.

What I See Next Defies Almost All Forms Of Previous Logic. Karkat Smiles. Oh My Isn't He Adorable. It Seems As Though His Entire Face Lights Up. He Quickly Covers It But That Bright Smile Will Stay Burnt In My Memory For As Long As I Can Keep It.

Please Excuse Me For My Attitude Towards Karkat But I Have Always Had An Odd Respect For Him.

The Next Thing I Know I'm Being Poked By A Stick. Where Would Mituna Even Come Across Such An Idea? I Jolt When I Realize I Must Have Been Staring For A Bit Too Long And I Feel My Color Slowly Spread on My Cheeks, "Sorry About That I Was Just Surprised. I Think I'm Going To Go Sit Down Now. I Just Wanted To Tell You The Meetings Over.", Now That I Have Said My Part I Abscond As Quickly As Possible Without Looking Like I Was Embarrassed Even Though I Am. It's Not Polite To Lie.

I Make My Way Back To The Main Room That My Rose And Her Ecto-Sibling Are Currently Housed In. When I Arrive Dave Simply Gives A Small Nod That Means He Is Handing This Back To Me And Uses His Flash Step To Seemingly Disappear. Rose Seems To Be Unconscious Still. I Sit Next To Her And As Gently As A Can I Run My Fingers Through Her Hair. I Am Rewarded By My Mate’s Gentle Smile As She Continues To Sleep. I Wish I Could Fix Everything. I Fear I Can't. I Continue This As I let My Mind Wonder. When The Room Starts To Visually Ripple My Rose Finally Opens Her Eyes And Lets Me See Her Beautiful Smile.

I Return Her Lovely Gesture As I Thread Our Fingers Together As If Connecting The Strongest Of Stitches. Our Eyes Connect As She Gently Tightens Her Hold. I Look Into My Matesprit's Eyes And See Her. Finally See Her Again For The First Time In Almost A Human Year. I See The Strength And Clarity That I Fell Into Such A deep Red Love For At Practically The First Sentence Of Her Flowing Walk Through. I Remember The Beautiful Mind And Spirit That I Loved So Much That Despite Our Obvious Misconceptions And Differences Nothing Could Stop. For The First Time In A Long Time I Feel Whole Looking Into Her Eyes.

Then I Wake Up Alone.

I Drop To The Floor And Curl Into A Ball. I Feel Like My World Crumbled Around Me. Like The Floor Flew Out From Under My Feet Letting Me Drop Into A Never Ending Dark Pit Where All I Know Is Despair. I Truly Wish That Awareness Was Real But I Know, I Know That When She Wakes It Will Be Without The Awareness Brought On By The Dream Bubbles. It Will Be In Whatever Area She Wondered To After She Had Far Too Much Soporific. She Will Wake With A Headache And The Emotional Pain That Drove Her To The Bottles In The First Place And Will Again Soon, If Not Latter This Wake Cycle.

No. No. I Will Not Allow Myself This, My Rose Is In Pain And I Will Be Strong For Her. I Shake Myself And Wipe The Tears. I Stand. This I Will Do. First Step. I Will Visit The Nutrition Block.

I Swiftly Change And Make My Way To The Desired Area. I Had Long Ago Spoken To Porrim, My Ancestor... However Odd That Is To Think, About Eating Food Now That I Am A Rainbow Drinker. It Turns Out That Regular Food Can Supplement Our Diet. And With The Lack Of Shall We Say 'Food Options' It Would Be Best To Continue Eating Regularly.

When I Arrive I See Our Grumpy Leader Himself In The Middle Of Alchemizing Something. He Seems A Bit Off Now And His Smell Is A Bit Off As Well. The Scent Is Slightly Familiar So I Do Not Think To Question It. This Time I Make Sure To Announce My Presence. I Increase The Weight Of My Steps And Walk To His Side Just As He Finishes With The Code For What Appears To Be Some Form Of Moobeast Stew. To Be Honest That Looks Delicious. I Wonder How He Found The Code For That? "Hello Karkat.", "HEY KANAYA.", "I Was Wondering How You Made That" To His Credit He Only Huffs For A Moment. He Then Places His Bowl On The Table And Turning Back To The Alchemiter To Begin Punching In Another Code.

"UNLIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THIS USELESS EXCUSE FOR AN EXISTENCE WHEN I GOT INTO THE GAME AND REALIZED I COULD MAKE ANYTHING I STARTED TO WRITE DOWN CODES FOR THINGS THAT COULD BE USEFUL. YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE THE HOOFBEAST SHIT I HAD TO DEAL WITH THE MODUS I HAD AT THE TIME. LET ME JUST TELL YOU IT WAS FUCKING AWFUL. SO AWFUL I'M NOT EVEN GOING TO GIVE IT A PROPER FUCKING RANT." I Nod Dutifully Before He Continues.

"FOOD WAS OF TOP PRIORITY SO I CAPTCHALOGUED ALL THE INGREDIENTS AND FOODSTUFFS I HAD AND WROTE THE CODES DOWN. THEN MY WEAPONS AND A SPARE OF PRACTICALLY EVERYONE ELSE'S WHEN THEY LEFT THEM OUT SO IF THEY BROKE WE WOULD HAVE THOSE." To Be Honest I’m Quite Impressed. I Hear Him Whisper, "I only wish I had thought to get the code for sopor." No He Can't Possibly Think That Was His Fault Right? I Frown But He Simply Continues.

"I KEPT ADDING WHATEVER I COULD TO THE LIST. EVEN THINGS FROM THE HUMAN WORLD WHENEVER I COULD MANAGE TO PAUSE THE VIDEO IN TIME TO SEE THE CODES. ABOUT A MONTH AGO I GOT BORED SO I STARTED TO ALCHEMIZE RANDOM FOODS AND FOUND OUT ON A STROKE OF LUCK-" Most Likely Meaning An Accident, "THAT IF YOU ENTER ONE CODE AFTER ANOTHER TOGETHER WITHOUT ENTERING THEY GET COOKED TOGETHER.", He Finishes Imputing What Has To Be the Longest Code I've Ever Seen, By Memory, And Places It Down None To Gently In Front Of Me Before Starting His Meal. I Stare Wide Eyed For A Moment Before I Realized That Yes Our Grumpy Leader Had In Fact Made The Food For Me.

"WELL ARE YOU GOING TO TRY IT? IT TOOK A WHILE TO FIGURE OUT THE AMOUNTS OF WHAT TO PUT IN THERE. SO TELL ME IF IT'S BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD MISS-GLOWS-A-LOT.", That Is The Closest I've Ever Heard Kar Come To An Endearing Nickname So It Only Takes A Moment To Steel My Nerves To Try It. After all Just Because It Looks Good Does Not Mean It Is. Kar Watches As I Lift The Spoon To My Mouth. I Let The Flavor Wash Over My Tongue And...

I Embarrassingly Let Out An Almost Sexual Moan. Holly Troll Jegus Was That Good. I Hear Karkat Snicker, "I GUESS IT WAS GOOD THEN??" I Blink At Him For A Moment Then Back To The Stew Then Repeat. I Nod He’s About To Speak Again But I Think I Stun Him When I Lunge For My Bowl And Devour The Rest In What Has To Be One Of The Most Unrefined Moment Of My Life But It Was Absolutely The Best Thing I Had Ever Tasted. I Couldn't Help It. When I'm Done I look Over At Him Once Again. After I Wipe My Face His Jaw Closes With An Audible Snap And He Eyes Me With Suspicion And Slowly Places His Bowl At The Farthest Possible Point Away From Me. I Feel Jade Rush To Every Inch Of My Face.

Karkat Then Gets Up And Goes Back To The Alchemiter. Perhaps He Forgot A Drink? For A Moment I Can't Help But To Stare Longingly At Karkat’s Bowl. When Kar Returns To The Table He Places Two Bowls Down In Front Of Me. "IT WOULD PROBABLY DO ROSE SOME GOOD TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY HAS NUTRITIONAL VALUE IN HER SYSTEM." Even Kar Knows Not To Make Fun Of Someone’s Matesprit When They Are Around. Even Though I Doubt I would Mind His Brand Of Insults. Being That They Are Not Only Kind Of Entertaining But I've Learned That They Are A Form Of Self Defense, To Keep Those He Cares For Away Or Trying To Get Them To See What They’re Doing Wrong. If Anything He Treats Those He Does Not Like With Silence Or Grudging Respect At Least Out Loud. I'm Sure It’s Almost The Complete Opposite Of How He Is On The Inside. You Can Tell Through His Eyes.

He Has Been Toning Down The Insults On Us Recently So As Not To Offend Me Which Honestly... Offends Me. He Is Correct Though She Does Need Food. I Have Not Been Thinking About That... I Should Have But I Did Not. "Thank You Kar." I Pick Up The Delicious Food And Set Out To See If Rose Made It To Her Room. I Hope She Is OK. I Feel Bad For Not Staying To Speak Longer But The Food Would Get Cold And That Would Almost Be A Crime.

On The Way I Keep A Sort Of Proverbial Ear Out For Any Honking Or Movement In The Vents. If I See The Clown I Will Kill Him. In My Opinion Karkat Should Have Let Me Finish Him. I Understand That Kar Has Far Too Much Compassion For One Of Our Race. Possibly Because Of His Background. I Myself However Have No Such Problem. I Am A Lipstick Toting Strong Young Troll That Has Had Far More Than Enough Of His Shit. He Murdered Two Of Our Own In Cold Blood, He Broke Kar's Heart By Using Him For His Pale Feelings, He Is In A, If I Am Reading The Signs Correctly, Abusive Spades Relationship With One Of The Few Of Us Who Are Left, And He Had Stolen And According To Vriska Desecrated The Bodies By Combining The Sprites. If I Find Him I Will Unleash A Hell That Would Put His So-Called Dark Carnival To Shame Like The Wrigglier It Is. It May Be Hard To Kill A Clown But It Is Harder To Kill The Dead.

I Know I Should Speak Of These Plans But It Is A Risk I Will Take. Karkat Has Been Subjected To Too Much For Me To Trouble Him With It Especially Because He Was The One To Save Him. And Terezi, I Neither Have Or Will Ever Feel Anything But Platonic Towards Her But I Do Borderline Hate Her. I Was Nothing But Neutral Towards Her After All We Had Never Really Spoken Before The Game Other Than Through Vriska. Admittedly This Was Because I Was A Bit Jealous Of How Close They Were During That Time. But once I Met Her In Person I had Wished I Had Not. She Is Just As Bad As Vriska And Yet She Pretends To Be Better As If Should She Have Had Vriska's Powers She Wouldn't Have Done The Same.

Yes She Wanted To Be A Legislacerator And Stand For Justice But Even In Play Her Interrogations Are Barbaric I Can Not See Anything Good Coming Out Of That. We Have So Few People Left And She Managed To Damage The Feelings of And/Or Disappoint Every Last Member. So All And All I Will Care Little Of Her Despair Or Anger When I Kill Her Kismesis. Do Not Act Like That Reader I Am An Alternian. We Are Not As Gentle As The Beforus Trolls And Definitely Not The Humans. We Are Literally The Society That Meenah Wanted To Have. Those Of My Color Were Meant To Kill Wrigglers Who Are Born Disabled, Weak Or Mutated And Send The Others Off To a Society That Encourages Murder And Mutilation. I Have A Limit For Compassion And Patience Just As All Other Members Of Our Race. I Am Not A Saint. No One Was.

For All Of Those Who Are Left I Will Be Strong. For Now I Will Be As Good As I Can And Help As Much As I Can. For Now Though I Will Focus On My Rose. And Gog Have Mercy On Anyone Who Hurts The Few Of Us That Remain, Because I Will Not.

Chapter Text

One of many things i’ve learned about the dream bubbles is that time there is fucking weird. It's weird in ways not even Dave or Aradia know how to explain. Like how we can all go to sleep and be dragged in at different times but we all appear in the dream bubbles at the same time. We all can leave the dream bubbles at the same time but wake up at entirely different times, and not all of us are pulled in even if we are sleeping at the same time. i’m normally the first one out of the things so i don't even bother listening for the others on this walk.

Normally i would keep an ear out for Gamzee or Terezi so i could avoid them at all costs but right now there is no point, they should both be asleep still. Things are... i don't know how to say what i feel about them right now. i know i should have done better. i was a terrible moirail and i couldn't even figure out what i felt for Terezi. i don't think i could face either of them right now and I think Gamzee might be even more unstable now. i mean he’s acting more ... "withdrawn", might be the word? i miss the way we were before. But of course dumb-ass past me didn't appreciate what he had.

The sting of my cut is the reminder i needed. i’m weak. i’ll try harder. Maybe i can still be helpful to someone.

When i get to the alchemiter i take some time to clear my mind. No use lingering on it right now even though i probably will. After a second of thinking i decide to make Moobeast stew. i’ve been fucking around with the code for a while and i finally got it to taste decent. i found out I could cook food in it by accident, Not that i would ever tell anyone that. i had decided not to tell anyone about the cooking thing until i knew it wasn't poisonous or some shit. i’m still alive so i guess it’s good. Just as i'm finishing the code i smell fabric and the faint scent of blood coming down the hall towards the nutrition block. Kanaya. i learned from Strider, and don't tell anyone i said i learned anything from him or i’ll never live it down, that our noses are more sensitive than a human's. In dream bubbles though most of our senses are cut off. Which is creepy as fuck. i think it let's Terezi smell and hear but that's it ... anyway

As she got closer she increased the weight of her footsteps so i knew she was coming. It’s not needed here but it is appreciated. She stops at my side "Hello Karkat." i hope she can't smell my blood. She is a rainbow drinker now after all. When i turn to put my stew on the table i take a glance at Kanaya. i immediately realize something is wrong. Her normally carefully constructed appearance is slightly off. Her skirt is wrinkled, her hair has a few stands out of place from where they fall normally and her lipstick seems to be paler today. As if she hadn't reapplied it. This must be about Rose. i turn back and answer her questions about how i made the stew while making her a bowl. She needs to eat and there’s no way we can give her enough blood to keep her full. i just hope she likes it.

i think i trail off in part of my rant when i’m more interested in fixing the stew (it needs a bit more salt) because Kanaya starts to frown at me. Stupid past me for letting my mind wonder. i continue on from what i think i left off until the food is ready and put it down in front of her. She stares at it like it's the plague. Is she even going to try it?

"WELL ARE YOU GOING TO TRY IT? IT TOOK A WHILE TO FIGURE OUT THE AMOUNTS OF WHAT TO PUT IN THERE. SO TELL ME IF IT'S BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD MISS-GLOWS-A-LOT", i can't tell if she's rising to the challenge or if she’s happy with the nickname but she begins to lift the spoon to her mouth. When she finally takes a taste she moans... actually MOANS and slouches in her seat. Well i guess that answers my question.

i can't help but be a smart ass "I GUESS IT WAS GOOD THEN??" Her eyes fly between me and the food and back again. Then she does something that stuns me. She literally lunges at the food. i honestly can't believe what I'm seeing. She demolishes the stew in record time and practically licks the bowl clean. i mean this is Kan right? What the fuck is going on? i can't help but feel like she'll be after mine next. i move my food as far away as possible while still being on the table. She's still eyeing my bowl. i get up slowly and walk back to the Alchemiter. i'll make her more just in case ... that was kinda terrifying. i start entering the code for another bowl then rethink it and make two instead. Rose probably needs food as well. She seems to not hold food down well because of the soporific drink she practically fucking chugs. i honestly wonder if she even considers it might be hurting Kan to see her that way.

When i'm done i set two bowls of 'freshly made' stew down in front of Kanaya. "IT WOULD PROBABLY DO ROSE SOME GOOD TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY HAS NUTRITIONAL VALUE IN HER SYSTEM.", i was tempted to throw a few insults in there but i know better than to poke at someone’s matesprit. You just don't do that shit. i mean normally i would at least make some remarks but i actually respect Kan. i don't want to actually make her mad. Kan is possibly the one completely reliable and sane person on the meteor. She is the strongest person i know.

She looks taken aback for a moment. No one really brings food to attention here so she must not have thought of it. "Thank You Kar" she sounds so sincere it’s almost painful. She immediately picks up the food and rushes off to help her heart.

Alone again. Not like that's not fucking normal. Back on Alternia i couldn't really be around others. i mean when there’s an actual chance that you could start the day on a nice trip to the store or whatever and end up being tortured and killed for blushing or getting so much as a paper cut you learn that being alone and paranoid is necessary.

If anyone found out what i am then i would have been culled or worse. There were some close calls. i’m lucky i had Crabdad or i would have ended up with a lot worse than horrible memories and scars. Some things are worse than death. With the things that people do to each other i really don't want to see what they would do to my worthless ass, especially considering they see me as lower than the mud an animal walks in.

i had gotten used to the thought that i would be alone until the empire culled me. If i had managed to get a quadramate or even a close friend that accepted what i am they would've been culled just for knowing me. i always thought rom-coms were as close as i could ever get to something like that safely.

The game no matter how horrible gave me the first chance for a future i’ve ever had. A chance that didn't end in death. Sometimes i just end up staring at the ceiling thinking about how i might live to be 10 sweeps old. i can't even wrap my mind around any longer than that. Three sweeps feels like such a long time when you've had to fight and hide everyday of your life just to make it from one day to the next. For the first time i could let someone else close. i finally got a chance and the one relationship i’ve had i ruined.

i feel my cut sting and realize i was clenching my fists. i sit down and start to eat. By the time i’m done i’ve made a mental list of things to alchemize for the day. Mayor could probably use more cans and chalk, i’ll make a few bottles of Faygo and stick them in the vent for Gamzee, extra red chalk for Terezi, some apple juice for Strider, some more fabric for Kanaya, i’m pretty sure she's making a pile out of it so it has to be soft, some string for Rose, some random ass junk and food so all the mentioned idiots can eat. i clean my bowl and start up the codes.

When i’m done i’m up to my bulge in shit i have to deliver or put away and i almost fall over. OK time to get this over with. i put the food away and deposit the Faygo as fast as possible. i stack the rest of the stuff and pick up the stack of random shit. i wish we could captchalogue more than one thing in a card. i call tinkerbullshit on that one i mean out off all the shit the game has made happen it can’t fucking improve our modus format. This whole "game" is an asshole.

i pick up the stack and wobble for a few seconds before i gain my footing. "h3h3h3" oh shit I know that drunken laugh anywhere. i’m gone. So far gone. i rush out the door opposite the hall her voice is coming down. i don't want to deal with this right now. i abscond at top speed somehow keeping the stacks balance. That was way to close.

i breathe a sigh of relief. i put everything down in an attempt to catch my breath. i should have been out of there faster. i’m glad i didn't have to face her yet. i mean i don't think i could handle it.

i start walking down the hall. Oh gog that was so not OK. i haven't spoken to Terezi since i found out about the fact she's in a kismesis with Gamzee. i-i just can't. What do you say to a girl you thought you were in pity with (and thought she pitied you to) who got into a bad relationship with a boy you know you love. It's complicated. i don't know what to say to either of them.

i’ve been trying to avoid them. It hurts to even think of them. i wish it wasn't like this. i miss them so much. They were my best friends. They were the only ones i ever let in close. Maybe they will give me a second chance. i fucked up so bad before maybe i don't deserve it.

No, No, No i’m not going into this right now, i’m not. i’m going to stop this where it is. i can handle this. i always handle it. No one needs to be dragged into my mess. Not even you. i mean how the hell do you even keep reading my melodramatic bullshit? If it were me reading this hoof beast crap i would have stopped and changed to a nice rom-com in like the first chapter or whatever. i mean i’m over here going fucking shithive-maggots crazy and you’re probably sick of it by now.

i pick back up the pile of alchemized shit again and start to make my way around to deposit all of it. Can town is first because cans and chalk seem like they would be light right? Wrong. Together they are the heaviest pieces of shit in the pile. i drop off the Mayor's building material and he just smiles and waves. When I turn around he touches my shoulder lightly. He’s motioning to me to stop for a bit. OK i might be the most mature fucker on this hunk of waist but i don't hate can town or the Mayor. That and when the Mayor asks you to play personally it's literally fucking impossible to resist.

We spend a bit of time rearranging the town and setting up building projects before i announce that it's time i get going to deliver more things and the mayor nods before doing something odd. He looks over at me and then picks up all the red chalk and purple two and dumps them in the jail (in separate cells might I add) and looks back at me with what I assume is a comforting look. I'm overcome for a minute. I'd hate to agree with Strider on anything but the Mayor is cool as fuck and he's just pure awesome. He offers his fist and I bump it gently. I know he's nice to everyone but still.

When I pick up the stuff this time I make my way out and head over to Rose's room because hers is closest. I hope I'm not disturbing anything. When I get to the door I knock lightly and leave both Kan and Rose's things by the door. My next trip is to Strider's door. I hear the light thump of bass that's probably way louder in the room but I don't wait to find out. The only one who knows I do these runs is the Mayor and I doubt he would tell anyone. This is the least i could do to help the group. They have their own problems and i try to help in any way i can. i know it probably doesn't really do anything though.

i start walking to my block after depositing the apple juice by Striders door. Striders 'Room' is right down the hall from the nutrition block so all he has to do is go down the hall to eat. He's such a lazy Fuckass that it's gone beyond being ridiculous. That being said he's not as bad as he used to be i guess, that or i’m going insane. Either way i think i’m OK with it. i hear a slight shuffling in front of me. What the fuck.

HOLY SHIT. The vent gate's in front of me flies out of the wall and crashes into the other side of the hall. i freeze. Gamzee. i see his legs start out of the vent. i can't move. Gamzee propels himself out and i see the look on his face. He's smiling like he used to. i feel a rush of emotion hit me like a wall.

It's stupid i know but maybe, maybe if he can still look like that, maybe he can go back maybe i can save him, maybe i can be of use. i can be worth it. i can help him. i can make things better. i need someone. He said he would be here. i need him.

He starts to walk toward the nutrition block at a slow lazy pace.

i want to reach out. i need to say something. i'm still frozen.

He's walking closer.

Gamzee

He’s so close

Please Gamzee let's go back to how we were. i’ll be better this time.

He bumps into my side.

Please Gamzee.

He keeps going.

"PLEASE."

He's still walking.

i reach for him.

Gamzee please.

"GAMZEE"

He's almost gone.

Please Gamzee please

"I NEED YOU"

He doesn't look back.

He's leaving. Stop him Karkat. Convince him to stay. Ask for another chance.

Beg him. DO SOMETHING

i fall down to my knees arm still outstretched

"PLEASE DON'T GO"

He's gone.

He never even hesitated.

Chapter Text

i curl into myself and stare at my hand. i feel my tears slipping down my face but i don't care. He's gone. He never even spared a glance. i know he heard me but, it was like i wasn't there. Like to him i didn't have the right to exist. Maybe he was right.

i try to hold myself together as well as i can. i pull my hair to try and stop the shaking. i try to quiet my sobs. i bend into myself as tightly as i can. If i make myself as small as possible maybe the game will take pity on me and let me die. i want to cry. i want to scream. i want to explode. i want to be everywhere and cease existing at the same time.

i-i just want to stay like this because i'll break if i move. i stay like this for i don't even know how long. i beg myself to forget. i beg myself to move on but nothing seems to work. i want to crawl into a dark little corner i can call my own and wait for death.

In school feeding they spoke about this. It's common for this to happen, the physical pain that matches the emotional pain. Each troll only trusts completely up to five people at a time. Those people are the ones who are supposed to have your back. They are supposed to watch over you and keep you happy, healthy, stable and grounded. These are the people you fight for and would toss their life away to save you from the world or, from yourself. These are the people your life is not complete without. Something i thought i could never have.

This is our body and mind's way of telling us not to fuck up again. Never be so trusting. "How could you let someone this far in when they will only stab you in the back?" It hurts so much. However bad you fucked up tends to be as bad as it hurts. For it to feel like this there is no other way to say it. i let him in. i bared my very being. i tried so hard. Gods did i try. He felt nothing. He never had any intention of helping me. i'm such a fool. i should have never gotten so attached. i feel so empty. i feel so much, and all i'm doing is sitting in the middle of this damn hall.

No. No. If i stay here someone will notice me. i know there have been people trying to comfort me but, i don't want to bother them. i'll be fine. i have always been fine. i don't need anyone and i never have. They don't need me. i pick myself up and start to slowly make my way to my block. i lean on the wall for support because i feel like i'm going to collapse. Every few seconds i have to stop and take deep breaths now, so that i can let the horrendous pain in my chest area recede enough to move.

i sound like a teenage girl in one of the humans weird rom-coms. People break up. People who have been friends for almost their entire life can stop being friends without warning. Right? Why am i making this a big deal? Why does it hurt so much? Why am i so upset this happened, when i was meant to be alone anyway?

i feel so much that i feel numb. i-i don't want to feel like this. This is so stupid. Everyone else has problems and they get over it. Gamzee seems perfectly OK now. He seems happy pretending like i don't exist.

i just hurt.

When I get there i lie down on the stupid bed thing the humans got us to use.

i lay flat on my back and stare at the ceiling. Why can't i just have something good? Why do i always fuck up?

Oh. Wait i forgot. i am a mistake. i am something that shouldn't have been. The fucking multiverse and everyone in it hates me including myself. My birth was just a cruel joke. i shouldn't have been allowed to exist.

My eyes are drawn to the cut from earlier. Not again for today. It had been so long. i feel ashamed. My reason for stopping was so i could try to help the others in the game. Ha. You see how that worked. My group of twelve friends is down to four. i couldn't lead. i shouldn't have tried. i can't even stop doing this. Gog i'm weak. i am in enough pain as it is i can hold out for now.

i decided long ago that i wasn't going to just lay down and accept the fate i was given on Alternia. i decided i wouldn't drag anyone down with me. i was going to go down fighting. i was going to survive by fang and claw if i had to. i would hide and live until i couldn't hold on anymore. i was going to do it alone so no one was killed because they "helped the mutant". i would live until i was cornered either by the government or my mind. But i was going to die on my own terms. i knew that every day was just another chance to die and i always thought that either i would be my own end or the government would be.

i'm here and for the first time i'm not in imminent danger and i spend my time sulking like a wriggler. That thought didn't help me either... for obvious reasons.
i just kind of lay there. The numb feeling won't leave me alone. i fall asleep.

When i wake up the feeling is still there and so is the pain. It won't go away. i think it might be getting stronger. i just lay there trying not to think or move much until i fall asleep again.

Then i repeat the process.

A few times.

After a while i still can't find the will to move so, i just keep doing what i was doing.

—————————————————————————

i aim for sleep now.

The numb feeling still wouldn't leave me alone even now. i don't have anywhere to be. i'll stay here until i can feel normal again. i will wait it out. i will be fine.

i go back to sleep. i've only really gotten up to go to the hygiene block. The others must be happy. i haven't even opened my husktop since before i got into that dream bubble.

i'm sure they're glad for a few hours of peace.

i feel a hand on my shoulder i don't panic the way i normally would. i'm ok with lying here. i hear the person that touched me talking. i don't know what was said or who said it. I fall asleep again.

i-i think something is really wrong.

i think something's wrong with me.

Chapter Text

I Gently Knock On My Matesprit’s Door. I Know She Is Noise And Light Sensitive After Waking Up From The Soporific Drink Stupor. I Hear A Faint Call Of My Name From Inside The Room.

When I Slowly Open The Door The Darkness Of The Room Comes Of No Shock. I Take A Moment To Appreciate The Fact That Trolls Have Superior Night Vision. I See My Disheveled Love Sitting In What Could Be In No Other Way Described (Strictly For Lack Of Trying) As A Large Heap Of Snuggle Plains. Far Too Many To Be Comfortable, Even On Her Large Sleeping Platform.

I Attempt A Smile And Move Across The Room To Her. I Hold Out The Bowl Of Delicious Soup As I Sit. "Good Night Darling!" I Say In A Quiet Voice. Attempting To Not Aggravate Her Most Likely Glaring Headache.

She Lets Out A Small Grunt In Conformation. "Good morning love.” She Barely Gets The Words Out Before Another Groan Forces It's Way Out. She Raises To Sit And Looks Blearily Around Her Respiteblock. "Karkat Has Managed To Make An Excellent Moobeast Stew If You Are Interested In Partaking?” She Nods To The Affirmative And I Hand Her Portion To Her Carefully. As She Tries It I Watch For Her Reaction. I Was Right To Wait. Her Eyes Widen And She Practically Gulps The First Half Of Her Bowl Down In Just Three Large Takes. After The First Reaction Of Pure Delight Her Pace Slows. She Does However Manage To Murmur Praise Around The Food As She Does So. I Nod In Complete Agreement. It Is Delicious. Afterwards However We Eat In Silence. I Appear To Have Been Overly Confident. What Do I Say To Her? I Have Never Been Accused Of Possessing A limited Vocabulary Or Of Being Inarticulate, But For Once I Simply Do Not Have The Words To Phrase What I Want.

I Want To Tell Her How Red I Am For Her. I Want To Tell Her That I Will Always Be Here For Her. I Want To Tell Her That It's Ok To Be In Pain. I Want To Tell Her That Seeing Her Like She Has Been Is Torturing Me. I Long To Tell Her How I Miss Her. How I Want To Help. How I Wish She Would Find Other Ways To Grieve. How I Don't Want Her To Hurt Anymore. How I Would Fight Every Horrorterror In Existence And Die Again And Again Until I Win Just To See Her Smile Happily Again.

But For Some Reason The Words Never Come To Me. We Just Sit In This Horrible silence. She Finishes Her Bowl And Begins To Fidget. She Appears To Be In A Similar Flotation Device And I Almost Feel Bad That This Fact Calms Me.

When I Finish My Meal Rose Puts Her Bowl On Mine For Easy Transport. It Seems As Though No Progress Will Be Made On This Front Today. I Don't Want To Just Leave So I Put The Bowls Down And Began Awkwardly Gazing Around At My Matesprit’s Block Looking For Any Reason To Stay Even A Moment Longer With My Love.

A Short Time Later I Hear A Gentle Knock On The Door. Rose Asks Softly "Can you get that love?"

I Nod, Happy For The Distraction And To Have Been Given My Reason. I Walk To The Door Slowly. When I Open It I See No One. I'm About To Shut The Door Back When I See A Small Pile. I Bend And Retrieve It. I Look Through The Miniature Pile In Wonder.

I See Long Strings Of Jade, Black, And The Lovely Purple Of My Mates Eyes And Text. The String Perfect For Her Knitting. Then The Rest Of The Mound Is Made Of Fabric That Is Once Again In Our Colors And Is Accompanied By My Favorite Shade Of Red. The Fabric Ranged In Texture, Thickness And Size. Perfect For The Pile I Am In The Process Of Creating In My Block.

It Is Not Abnormal To Find These Little Gifts At Random, Rarely Are They By Our Doors But The Presents Have Never Been Joint Gifted.

"Rose The Gifts Have Come Again!" She Winces A Bit At My Accidental Raise In Volume, But Her Excitement Is Still Visible. "Really???”, She Moves To Stand A Bit too Fast In Joy And Then Almost Falls Back Onto The Overly Fluffed Bed Before Catching Her Balance. "What did I get???”, I Smile At Her Happiness. Thank You Random Gift Giver For At The Least Momentarily Showing Me My Light!

"It Seems Our Gift Giver Has Blessed Us Both With Its Presents At The Same Time!”, I Show Off The Collection That Was Deposited In Her Doorway.

She Lightly Grabs The String And Holds It Just In Front Of Her For Inspection, "This is of nice quality! ... I have a plan for what I want to do with this!”, I Nod And Stare At The Fabric Longingly Thinking Of Where To Put Each Piece In My Growing Pile.

I Blush "These Will Go Well In My Pile!", Rose Nods Dutifully. She's Never Really Understood The Notion Of Trolls Piles But She Does know They Are Important To Our Mental Health.The Trick To Making The Perfect Pile Is To Find The Right Balance Between Hard Sharp Edges And Soft And Squishy Things.

Suddenly The Words For Just One Thing Strike Me. "Rose.", She Looks Up From Her Yarn At Me. "I've Missed Your Smile.", That One Thing As Basic, As It Seems, Meant So Much More. We Talk Comfortably Until It's Time For Me To Move Back To My Block. What A Dumb Thought It Was Earlier To Think I Needed A Reason To Speak To My Love! We Share A Tender Kiss Before I Take My Leave. I Am Proud, Because No Matter How Small An Achievement It Is, This Marks one night without a soporific drink in hand!
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It Has Been Three Days Since The Random Gift Was Given. It Has Been Three Days That Rose Has Not Taken A Drop Of Soporific. In These Three Days Rose And I Have Enjoyed Each Other’s Company And I feel The Need To Thank The Highest Powers For Every Second That I Receive This Gift. We Sit And Whisper Of All The Things In The Darkness, We Talk Happily As She Knits. I Have Had Rose Back For Three Days, And She Makes All That's Happened Feel Worth It. She Makes Me Feel Complete Again.

Every Now And Again I See My Mate Look Longingly At The Bottles. I See Her Eyes Drift And I Feel A Form Of Harsh Pain In My Blood Pusher. I Attempt To Assure Her That It's Better Here. That She's Better Here. That I'll Be Here With Her. But To My Dismay The Eyes That Bring Me Such Joy Continue To Wonder Back. She Believes I Don't Notice. I Pretend I Don't Know.
____________________________________

It Has Been One Week And Two Days Since My Mate Had Her Last Drop Of Soporific And I Am Proud Far Beyond Words. Things Have Gotten Much Better. Things Have Been Almost Eerily Quiet However, And I Find That A Bit Concerning. Dave Has Decided To Join Us Today As Rose Puts The Final Touches On The Blanket She Began Knitting. She Says It's For Us To Share And I Can Not Contain My Blush. I Feel Happy...

But Something Feels To Be Missing. Something Feels Terribly Off "So I haven't seen the others In a while. you'd think we would run into each other more often when we live on the same chunk of space rock but no, It's like we're on Christopher Columbus's journey to India. we’re on the same journey but never able to talk to people on the other ships. If Only he had been able to have one of those can and string phone type things he could have called up one of his bros on the other ships and they have been all, "oh shit man we're going the wrong fucking way", and Columbus would’ve been all, "Nah fuck that man were doing our own shit", because the dude was a bad ass. we're like that.", Dave Suddenly Announces As Rose And I Were Having A Light Talk About The Differences In Fauna On Our Respective Worlds.

Rose And I Sit In Silence For A Minute. I Try To Look At Her For Clues As To Where This Came From But She Seems Even More Perplexed Than I Am. "Dave I'm your ecto sister and as such, I am the one people normally go to figure out what you meant, but .... no I can think of no better phrasing than, what the fuck?", I'm Glad I'm Not The Only One Who Has No Idea What Is Going On.

He Shrugs, "I don't know man. I'm getting bored, no offense to you ladies but I need some outside interactions and my options are murder crazy psycho clown, blind ex who recently broke my tinny, tinny feelings, not that after this conversation I will ever admit that I have them. nope a Striders soul is so full of irony, manly and cool that the feels have no place. the irony takes up the whole damn place and when the feels knock like "please sir we're homeless and my wife's pregnant and were going to have a baby do you have a room we could use for the night?", irony and manly are all fuck no. go find a barn or some-", "Dave, despite the fact that I’m almost impressed you snuck so many into that nonsense please get back on the original topic.", Rose Cuts In. Dave Nods And Continues Where He Left Off. "Or I could talk to our resident grumpy asshole who hates everyone for no reason."

I Feel My Jaw Clench. How Dare He. "Karkat Doesn't Hate Anyone But Himself, Sadly Not For Lack Of Trying. I Realize You Don't Like Cultural Exchange For Some Reason, But He Has Been Through A Lot In His Life. Just Because We Don't Let It Affect How He Is Treated Now Doesn't Mean That A Lifetime Of Having To Hide Your Existence, Fighting For Life, Pushing People Away, Being Hunted And Suffering The Extreme Casteism Of Our Society Will Simply Disappear From His Memory. Even A Large Number Of Our Group Would Have Probably Culled Him If He So Much As Scraped A Knee And Showed His Blood Color. Karkat Uses Anger As A Defense Mechanism So That He Won't Be Culled Or Worse. I In Fact, Find His Brand Of Insults Endearing Because None Of Them Are Meant To Hurt But To Simply Push Others Away Or In Helpful Ways No One Seems To See."

I See Both Dave And Rose Blink For A Few Moments. Blood Cast Has Been An Extremely Sensitive Topic Since Most Of Our Party Was Culled In A Single Day By Our High-Blooded Members. That Being Said We Have Tried To Avoid It As Much As Possible. I Realize That The Humans Had No Way Of Knowing The Extent Of The Cast Situation But I Will Not Stand For That Type Of Treatment.

Even Rose Seems To Deflate A Bit. Dave Seems To Cower Before Speaking “...well it’s not like I'd even be able to get to talk to him, he’s not been around for like a week and won't answer his pesterchum."

"What?", That. That Cannot Be Right. We Have All Been Practically Living Next To The Alchemiter That Would Mean He Hasn't Eaten For A Week And Not Answering His Trollian? No He Would Never Do Something Like That. He Always Responds Promptly Dave Must Be Exaggerating.

"dude i haven't seen or heard from him in a week. i've been trying to get him to answer but i'm getting nothing."

Oh No.

I Am Down Several Halls Before I Have A Chance To Think. There Is Something Seriously Wrong. Karkat Always Makes Sure To Answer Trollian In Case Of Emergency. Even Before The Game He Was Always The First To Respond To Everything And Every Incident. Even If It Was Something Stupid He Always Answered No Matter What. Even If It Put Him In Extreme Danger He. Would. Always. Answer. It Got To The Point Where Everyone Would Use It As A Form Of Outlet, Eventually Even Eridan Felt Bad For Taking Advantage Of The Constant Responses.

Something Is Most Definitely Wrong. I Run Down Hallways And Race Around Turns At Top Speed. I Only Pause Momentarily As I Reach The Door Marked With His Symbol. I Knock And Call His Name. I Wait Impatiently For Several Seconds Receiving No Reply, I Then Bust In The Door Harshly.

I'm Not Ready For What Greets Me. Karkat Is Shaking Hard Enough To Rock The Entirety Of His Far Too Thin And Small Huddled Figure. His Skin Has Paled To A Sickly Almost White Color. His Shirt Sleeve Has Raised Enough To Show The Skins Obviously Self Induced Markings And A Seemingly New Bandage. His Eyes Seem To Be Attempting To Focus On Me But Are Failing Miserably. He Does Not Move Even As I Race To His Side. His Eyes Do Not Focus Even As I Touch His Arm.

Oh Gog He’s Cold. Low Bloods Aren't Meant To Be Cold. Karkat's Body Heat Normally Warms To The Bone With Just One Touch But He's Freezing.

This Is Wrong. This Is Horribly Wrong.

I Need To Get His Body Heat Back Up. I Wrap My Arms Around Him And Pick Him Up And To My Terror He Falls Completely Limp, My Blood pusher Refreezes In My Chest And I Practically Scream. I Quickly Check His Pulse And Sigh In Relief. What Do I Do? What Am I Supposed To Do? Wait The Humans Are Warm Blooded And Rose Said She Knows Basic Medical Things But That Is More Than I Know. I Was Only Trained In Small Medical Things To Help The Wrigglers After The Trails If It Is Not Extreme Cases. Not Something Like This.

With That In Mind I Race Back Through The Halls Until I'm Back In The Nutrition Block.

As I Burst In Panting With A Very Unconscious Karkat In My Arms. Rose Rushes Over To Me Worriedly. "He’s Too Cold How Do You Treat Cold Humans?” Please, I Beg Of All Things In The Universe, Let Her Know How To Handle This. "Dave.", She Yells Out In A Panicked Voice. Immediately He's At Her Side. When He Realizes What's Happening His Already Light Skin Pales. Rose Tries To Place Her Hand On Karkat's Skin To Check His Temperature But Immediately Pulls Away In Shock. "He's like ice. Dave I need you to get Karkat some room temperature water to drink and run a hot bath please.” Dave Is Gone Within A split Second Without So Much As A Blur Left Behind. Rose Continues "We need to get him under some blankets and out of his shirt and pants. His clothes are as cold as he is.", I Nod Feeling The Evidence On My Arms And Chest. Rose Moves To The Couch And Begins Gathering Blankets As I Begin To Get The Cold Garments Off.

"What happened Kanaya?", "I Found Him Like This In His Room. I'm Not Sure Of The Cause But I Have A Guess." I Hear Rose Make An Affirmative Noise. And Dave Reappears At The Moment We Get The Covers Over Kar. "We need to know what's wrong to treat him love.” I Nod And She Grabs My Hands As Dave Sits Kar Up And Makes Him Drink.

"I Believe It's An Internalized Function. It’s... Difficult To Describe. Trolls Are A Violent And Paranoid Race And Although We Have Friends We Don't Really Trust These Friends Completely. There Are Only Four People A Troll Trusts With Their Life And Secrets. Without These Four, Trolls Have No Real Outlet For Emotions So... We Can Go Insane. These Trolls Are Quadramates. We Would Gladly Accept Torture For Them If The Alternative Was Them Feeling Pain.", "So Karkat Is Shutting Down Because He Doesn't Have The Proper Quadrants Filled?” Rose Asks With Wide Eyes.

"No It's... The Thing That's Worse Than Having Quadrants Unfilled Is Accepting The Wrong Person. Normally This Wouldn't Be A Problem. There Would Be A Mutual Split. In This Case However Karkat Was In A Moirallegiance That Should Have Never Been."

"hold that thought..." Dave Disappears For A Moment And Then Reappears In The Next, "the bath should be ready by the time we get there.", I Nod In Response To Dave And Pick Up Karkat Before Making My Way To The Abolition Block. With Rose And Dave Following Close Behind.

"The Body Sets Up A Sort Of Punishment For Putting It In This Type Of Danger And In This Case... In This Case There Was A Lot Of Danger. The More Emotional Attachment To A Person Before ... I Suppose The Human Term Is Breaking Up, And The More Danger Letting That Person So Close To You, The More The Body Tries To Make You Realize You Fucked Up. It Does This By Causing pain and physical Problems For The Affected. Most Of The Time It's Not This Extreme. Normally There Would Be Less Danger And The Person Wouldn't Have Been So In Need Of Someone. Normally The Troll Would Be Forced To Hide Away And Take Care Of Themselves But Apparently Kar Wasn't Doing That In The First Place."

Rose Nods "So this has the potential to go away with care and attending to the symptoms as they appear.", "Yes There Is Little Else We Can Do.", Dave Picks This Moment To Chime In "what do you mean it should have never happened?"

I Sigh "Karkat Had Always Seemed To Have Been Content And Well, Stable, Emotionally Strong.... At Least On The Outside..."

I Take The Moment To Look At The Scars On His Arms As We Set Him Down In The Abolition. The Most Recent Cut Stands Out Horribly Now That The Bandage Is Off. It's Like A Stark Reminder Of Exactly How Wrong About That I Was. I Never Would Have Guessed Our Stronghold Of A Leader Was Simply A House Of Cards To Himself. I Never Would Have Imagined The One Who Kept Us Strong To Not Being Able To Do The Same For Himself.

"I Should Have Realized What Was Happening. With The Things Karkat Has Had To Live With His Entire Life It's Upsetting That We Didn't Realize He Needed Help. Gamzee Was Far From Stable Even Before His Mind Snapped. I Knew Their Relationship Was Mildly Abusive On The Fact That Gamzee Never Kept His Part And I Suspected Possible Physical Violence But I Thought It Was Simply Karkat Being Hurt While Trying To Keep Him Calm. They Have Been Apart For Weeks Now And Whatever Caused This Had To Be Recent. I’m Willing To Bet It Was Some Form Of Confrontation."

Dave And Rose Both Sit In Silence With Me As They Adjust To The Idea.

We Spend The Night Attempting To Help And Hoping Silently, And At Times Loudly, That Kar Would Wake And Return To Health. Even With This It Takes Almost Four Days Of Constant Care And Monitoring For Him To Rise. I'm So Thoroughly Thankful When He Opens His Eyes Again That I Almost Miss The Small And Sad Sounding Voice From The One I Thought Could Do Anything.

"Kanaya", His Voice Is So Small Without His Quirk And Anger. "I'm Sorry", Sadness Rises Inside Me. Why Does He Think This Is His Fault? Then I Understand. I Understand How Hard This Must Have Been. How Much Pain This Must Have Caused. I Feel My Chest Tighten. I Suddenly Get What The Odd Feeling I've Had When It Came To Karkat Is. I Suppress The Gasp That Rises At The Shear Realization.

I Have Never Even In My Wildest Dreams Imagined That I Would Ever Have Pale Feelings This Strong.

Chapter Text

My eyes snap open. Where am i? i’m not in pain and that's almost enough for me not to care. i wonder through darkness i don't know why but i feel like i should keep moving. i feel almost dizzy from just walking. i feel so ... off, so tired. Nothing feels right. Everything seems so out of focus.

Color starts to erupt around me and, soon i find myself in a bright landscape. When i look around i finally realize where this is. Beforeus. i’m in a dream bubble, i wonder slowly until i find a pond. i walk over and look into it, after all there’s fuckall else to do. i don't really look at myself much. To be honest i kinda hate the way i look.

i know it's dumb because all of us look so similar to our ancestors.... No really, there are only a few differences between us. Like they’re all taller and have a bit less muscle. It's weird because i don't really mind the way Kankri looks. Kankri looks normal. He's not too short like me. He's not too thin like me. He probably hasn’t got these damn scars ether... Well I guess I can say he's got one thing going for him.

i kind of stare for a while. Maybe Kankri would look like me if he was hatched on Alternia. i wouldn't wish my life on anyone let alone someone as weirdly breakable as Kankri. None of the things he rants about even seem like they were that huge an issue on Beforeus. He would have been at least relevant on our planet. He would have been Killed immediately but, still relevant.

i guess he acted differently as Signless. None of the Beforus trolls seem to remember anything more than the basic outline of their lives as our ancestors.

i focus on my reflection again for a moment and practically do a flying leap off the handle.

My eyes are clouded. Not the pure white of the dead but, not the sharp color that the bubbles enhance to show life. What the fuck is going on? Am i dying? i mean, i’m not shocked at the thought, but it's odd to see.

My eyes color’s back in and then out again. i don't feel any changes.

i'm starting to feel stupid about looking at myself like this. It wouldn't make me feel better.

My reflection distorts oddly and i scramble away.

")(A )(A )(A )(A!!! you should have seen your face Shouty!!!", Meenah practically screeches as she raises the rest of the way out of the water. She grabs her sides and falls on land to roll around and giggle.

Oh thank gog. i thought this was going to turn into a horror story or something. When i catch my breath i sigh, "OH HEY MEENAH. THANKS FOR STOPPING MY BLOOD PUSHER FOR A FEW BEATS I THOUGHT I MIGHT ACTUALLY BE OK FOR A FEW SECONDS.", that's as good as i can get right now. i’m so damn tired. i’m too tired to think. i’m not even upset. i'm just.... i ... odd... i feel odd.

When Meenah looks up, her laughing stops immediately. Before i can blink or ask if she's OK, she's so close it's ridiculous. She’s got her cold hands on my jaw examining my face. "Are you OK Nubs or are you one of us now?” Her normal smile is long gone and she looks genuinely upset.

How do i respond to that? i guess being here for good isn't exactly something to joke about. i look as far down as her grip will allow, "I-I DON'T KNOW MEENAH. I’M-I’M NOT REALLY IN A GOOD PLACE OUT THERE RIGHT NOW.", She let's go of my jaw and takes a small step back.

"I'm not your Diamond but .... I hope you're OK Shouty." i can't really suppress the shudder that runs threw me at the word Diamond. When she seems to realize my reaction her eyes turn sharp, Her fins pick up and her gills flutter angrily. To be honest i’m a little terrified.

Meenah may not look to tough but she's a fuchsia blood. She could rip me apart with one hand if she wanted to.

"WHAT DID THAT FUCKING CLOWN DO?? I SWEAR DO GOG I'LL FUCKING FILET HIM. I'LL CUT HIM INTO SUCH TINY PIECES A FUCKING MINNOW COULD EAT HIM.” Few fish puns. No quark. She's really angry. It takes me a second to realize that it's not me she's angry at. What should i say? Should i stop her? There's no way i could actually stop either of them if they get in a fight. i’m nowhere near that strong.

"IT'S FINE MEENAH. IT WAS MY FAULT. I REALLY SHOULD HAVE-", before i can finish she practically launches at me "Guppy nuf-fin was your fault... Don't ya even think for a second it was.” Befourians must have been big on hugging because this is weird. i've been hugged so often lately.

"HE DIDN'T ATTACK ME OR ANYTHING ... HE JUST.... IT WAS A BAD SPLIT MEEMAH.... IT HURTS SO BAD OUT THERE.", Meenah nods but doesn't let go. "He's still a fucking whale.” what? i know this is supposed to be a serious time or whatever but, she said that in the same way you tell someone there ex is a dumb ass.

"OK WHAT IS IT WITH HIGHBLOODS AND WHALES? I MEAN ERIDAN USED TO HUNT THEM AND FEFERI WOULD CRINGE WHATEVER THEY CAME UP.", Meenah pulls back to arms length. She's holding my arms with a horrified look on her face.

"What? OK LIST-EN )(-ER-E. Whales are the spawn of all evil don't ever forget that. They are huge and creepy and disgusting and oh gog just, you don't want to know."

"MEENAH... I HOPE YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING RIDICULOUS YOU SOUND.", She drops her hands off me "You-you have no idea Shouty. No idea.”

Ok then. Once she stops muttering some things to the effect of "boy doesn't have a shell of a clue A-boat the fucking wave munching algae floaters." She seems to snap out of it after a while.

OK ... i'm going to just ... accept that i guess.

Meenah freezes "hold on... I'll get Aranea! She's our session’s healer! Maybe she can do something.” Then she's gone. OK then. "H3Y! H4Y! K4RK47H!" Heh figures i'm most popular when i’m almost dead. i turn around to see Mituna coming over the ledge of a hill... that wasn't there before. Dream bubbles are fucking weird. "HEY MITUNA.”

"H0W5 5h17h?” oh here's that question again. "IT'S OK I GUESS. HOW'S SHIT ON YOUR END?” he responds by sending me a gif of some troll getting hit by a four wheeled device, Getting up and walking away. Yep that sounds about right.

He looks proud "1 G07H 7HH47H 0N3 FR0M KUL0Z3!!!” i nod and start in on our new tradition of sending reaction pics. We spend a while trading them back and forth talking about whatever comes to mind. It's so calm here, i'm almost in shock really. It feels safe. The pain is gone. It's weird that people actually try to talk to me if they see me.

i don't know if i'm going to have to stay or not. Somehow that doesn't bother me. i mean it's not like someone out there is going to really care if i'm gone. It's not like I've ever even taken care of myself really. Not the way i should have at least.

i see Mituna look up at my eyes every now and again like he's checking on me. Sometimes he makes little sad noises that i take as a sign my eyes have faded out again.

After a while i see Meenah coming back with Vriska's ancestor. Mituna sees them at about the same time. "WH47H THH3 FUCK 4R3 Y0U B1THCHS D00001NGG H3R3???” Meenah and Aranea both frown. OK really? That offended them?? They know he's messed up and, apparently has no filter. Why are they mad at something like that? i know i've said way worse before. He's actually pretty awesome. Whatever.

"MEENAH WANTED TO SEE IF ARNEA'S POWERS COULD HELP ME.", Mituna switch's and looks down, "0h, 1'm 50rry.” the girls walk over. "IT'S FINE.” Gog everything feels so off. i'm losing track of things every now and then. i feel like i'm only getting part of what's going on around me.

It takes a while for me to realize they were all talking. When i start to pay attention again Aranea is frowning and i'm in what looks like her power i guess.

i can't tell what they're saying but i notice when Meenah and Mituna both storm off in different directions.

i fall asleep.

When i wake up Aranea is sitting in front of me and she looks exhausted. "You've 8een in a coma for a while now.", but i just fell asleep that's not possible, "WHAT?" She nods "it took a lot to heal you.” i think for a second, "OH.... THANK YOU.", she plays with the bottom of her dress awkwardly for a second. "I don't think I could have saved you if someone wasn't helping you on the outsi-", "Someone was helping me??” She looks up angrily, "Yes. Don't seem so surprised.” With that snap in response she walks off. What does that mean?

Why would someone help me out there? i don't even know why they helped me here. Why would they waste so much time?

It's not like i could be any help. We have four God's, a rainbow drinker, a mind player whose power is technically to split possibilities in half: Either do or don't. i mean with her power, granted she would have to stop playing with it and try to use her powers the right way, would literally make it impossible to lose in the alpha timeline. And a high blood that could probably kill the Condesce if he really tried. What could i really do? i've been useless. So useless.

The landscape starts to ripple again. i'm waking up.

When i open my eyes again i'm in a different block then when i went to sleep... or into a coma i guess. It takes a moment but the pain slams into me so hard i lose my breath and spasm a bit. It's better than last time but it started slowly before, this just hit me.

i feel so weak. i don't think i could move if i needed to.

i calm slowly with deep breaths. i'm weirdly warm for being on this cold hunk of rock. i look down blearily and see i'm covered in snuggle plains. It takes mean embarrassingly long time to figure out there's someone else in the room. Kanaya's sitting next to me in a chair next to the... bed i'm on. She's reading one of the books she and Rose found in the library. Was she the one who found me? She must have been.

She saw me like that. It must have been bad. Aranea said someone else was helping from out here so.... Oh gog. She shouldn't have had to do this. She should have been spending time with her matesprit. They had things they should have been working on instead of taking care of me.

Gog i’m so stupid. This-this wasn't right. i shouldn't have let it get that bad. i hate me. Not past or future or the me right fucking now, i just hate myself in general. All of me. No one should have to put up with this.

i don't really have the energy for this but I need to apologize "Kanaya...” She didn't hear me. "Kanaya” She looks over with wide eyes "i'm sorry.” i can't hold onto this much longer. As she walks closer i fall asleep.

When i wake up the pain is pretty much gone. i hear typing off to the side and realize Kanaya’s still here. i need to leave. i’m not going to take up more of Kan’s time. i sit up as quickly as i dare with what's happened. The snuggle plains slide off and i feel the cold air attack my chest. i can’t help the startled noise i make at the sudden temperature change. Where is my shirt? i look under the coverings to be sure and sigh in relief that i’m still wearing pants, different pants but still pants. i hear Kan clear her thought, "Karkat You Are Still In Need Of Rest, Lay Back Down" i don't know how she can sound so gentle and scary at the same time.

i know that wasn't a request that was a command. i lay back reluctantly. She places the snuggle plains back around my chest carefully and then sits back down. i feel warmth surround me again "You Have Been Out For Quite A Long Time, Well Over Two Weeks From When We Were In The Dream Bubbles. It Has Been Almost A Full Night Since You Were Awake However Briefly. We Have Been Attempting To Keep Your Temperature Up From What It Was When I Found You.", OK that was actually a lot. i process one thing at a time. Kanaya was the one who found me. She probably saw my scars. That’s not OK. She's probably lost whatever little respect for me she had. i feel the depression coming in again. i really respect Kan i hadn't wanted to disappoint her.

It's been two weeks? Gog she's been watching over me for two weeks. She shouldn't have needed to do that. It feels like it’s been, maybe two hours from my perspective.

...

Wait she said 'We'. Who else would have....

i flinch when i realize she probably means Rose. Oh gog i really did fuck up, didn't i? What can i do to make this better? What they have is new and they were already on thin ice. They need time to fix their relationship. i’m not going to sit here and use up her time.

"KANAYA I’M FUCKING FINE NOW. LET ME GO, I DON'T WANT MAKE YOU WASTE ANY MORE OF YOUR TIME.", Kans on me in a second. "Karkat Vantas Stop Saying That Right Now! You Are Not, Nor Have You Ever Been, A Waste Of Time. Now You Will Stop Saying That Nonsense And Concentrate On Getting Better. Until You Are Better I Will Watch Over You And Make Sure Your Condition Doesn't Worsen", No she doesn't get it. "KAN I’M FINE LET ME GO. I’M SURE YOU HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN BEING HERE.” She has others that need her.

She has a use she shouldn't be here. i feel myself start to panic for some reason.

"Karkat I Can Guarantee You That There Is No Greater Priority Than Your Health Right Now.” No "KANAYA I AM FINE. YOU SHOULD BE WITH ROSE.", "Karkat Rose And I Are Doing Fine. I Can Tell You Are Still In Pain, You May Not Agree But You Need To Be Looked After Until We Can Be Sure You Will Remain Healthy.", "KANAYA YOU NEED TO LEAVE-", "Why Are You So Set Against Letting Me Help You? Yo-", "WHY ARE YOU SO SET ON HELPING A USELESS FUCKING MUTANT? I CAN’T EVEN STAND MYSELF KANAYA. STOP IT. JUST G-"

--SLAP!!!--

My cheek stings. My head’s now turned to look at the wall instead of at Kan. There's a weight in my lap. i stare at the wall and wonder what just happened.

Kanaya smacked me.

Oh.

I look out of the corner of my eyes. Kan is sitting on her knees on my lap. Her hand is still extended. i turn my head slowly to look at her completely. Her head is tilted down in anger. We sit in silence for a while.

"Karkat Vantas." she whispers, pauses; then continues stronger. "Karkat Vantas. Karkat Vantas. Karkat Vantas" She looks up at me and stares into my eyes "Karkat Vantas Is A Red Blood-" I flinch but I can't bring myself to break eye contact. "Karkat Vantas Has Been Oppressed And Beaten And Told He would never be worth anything. He's Been Told He Can Never Have Or Keep Anything. He Has Been Forced To Hide. Taught by The World That He Should Hate Himself. Made To Think Everything's His Fault."

She takes a hard breath in.

"Karkat Vantas Made Eleven Friends From All Classes And Places Around The World. He Became A Leader. He Led And Supported All His Friends Through A Hellish Game Where The Rules Of Life And Death And Even Time Were Completely Different. He Led These Friends And Kept Them Together Even As He Was Falling Apart. He Led People Who Were Told They Would Have Everything And Were Everything, And Those Who Were Told They Would Have Little. He Kept Them Strong. We Caused The Game To Fail Somehow And The Friends Started Sending Each other To Their End. But Despite All This He Remained And Was Still Trying To Help. Even As A Few Friends Tried To Break Him He Managed To Continue On. He Met Four New Friends From Somewhere Completely Different And Was The Same For Them Even Though He Will Never Admit It. He Helped Us Find A New Way To Continue On. Karkat Vantas Proved Everyone Wrong. Everyone. He Had Raised Above All Of That.",

She takes another hard breath in,

"That Is Who Karkat Vantas Is."

Her shoulders are shaking.

"You Are Karkat Vantas. You May Be A Red Blood. But You Are Not A Mutant Because Other Than How You View Yourself There Is Nothing Wrong With You. You Are Far From Worthless. You Have Always Been Here For Everyone.... You Have Been Strong For Everyone Else And Let Yourself Waste Away. Please For Once Let Someone Be Strong For You. Let Me Be Here For You Like How You Have Been Here For Us."

A jade tear slides down her cheek.

"Please Don't Go Yet."

How does someone so big in everything look so small? i wipe her face and put my arms around her as slowly and gently as possible. Something in the back of my head is screaming that she doesn't mean it. That she'll pull away. When i’m about halfway there she rushes forward and buries her face against my shoulder. She wraps her arms around me tightly. i shoosh at her gently and pap her back as i nuzzle into her hair. i was so dumb. So dumb not to realize what i was feeling before. i've pitied her this whole time. i feel so pale for the girl in my arms that not even white is a good enough comparison. i feel so light. So much better. My chest stopped hurting.

Please don't let this be a joke.

Please.

Let this be real.

Chapter Text

I Sob Into His Shoulder As He Holds Me. His Gentle Words And Movements Calm Me. I Can't Believe He Thinks So Low Of Himself. Why Did It Turn Out This Way? Why Did Someone So Good Get Hurt So Much? What Did He Ever Do To Anyone? Even Now He’s Comforting Me When I should Be The One Helping Him.

Every Time I Shift He Stiffens Around Me As If He's Waiting For Me To Get Mad Or Pull Away. He Doubts Me And I Don't Blame Him. He's Scared. He Thinks This Is Some Form Of Cruel Joke On Him, But He Still Holds Me Like I'll Shatter In His Arms If He Holds To Hard Or Like I'll Attack If He Looks Away. I Need To Prove That I Am Not Joking. This Isn't Funny. I Don't Want To Hurt Him. I'll Prove It To Him No Matter How Long It Takes That I Care. That He’s Not Alone As Long As I'm Here. That It’s Better Here. That It’s Worth It. I Feel Karkat Slowly Relax Around Me. He's Falling Asleep Due To Exhaustion. I Wait Until He's Fully Asleep To Pull Away.

I Lay Him Down To Rest Fully On The Bed and Flinch When I See That His Arms Are Uncovered. In The Time That The Three Of Us (Rose, Dave And I) Have Been Nursing Karkat To Health I Have Grown To Hate Those Scars. I Cover His Arms With The Heated Snuggle Plains As Gently As Possible. I Know I Can Do Nothing To Help These. He Will Have These Scars As Reminders Of His Pain For The Rest Of His Life. Reminders Of Things That Have Happened. I See Why he Wore Those Clothes No Matter The Weather Now.

To Him This Was Just Another Thing To Hide. Just Another Knife Chipping Away At Him. What’s One More When There Are Already So Many? This Was An Outlet For Pain. This Was A Way To Deal With Everything. This Was Wrong. He Should Have Never Been Put Through This. I Know He Has Been Strong. He’s So Strong To Have Lasted, To Have Lived, To Have Done So Much, But All This Has Been Slowly Breaking Him From The Beginning. He Has Always Needed Help. He Just Never Let Us See That, And We Were Almost Too Late.

Someone Should Have Been There For Him Like He Was There For Us. Instead We Were All So Wrapped Up In Ourselves, We Never Spared Him A Thought. I Should Have Noticed. I Should Have Helped. Gog Knows No One Else Did.

I Sit Down And Let Everything Sink In. Karkat Has Just Been Awake For The First Time In Days Apologized And Fell Asleep Again. Then This Happens As Soon As He Wakes Up Again. I-I Am So Entirely Pale For Him That It’s Almost Ridiculous And I Feel Like It's Culling Me To See Him Like This. I Don't Know If He Feels The Same Or Even If He Would Let Himself Allow Me To Get Close To Him, Because Of What Has Happened With Gamzee.

I Need To Sort All Of This Out. I Need To Notify Rose Of.... Well Everything. I Pull My Husktop Into My Lap And Reopen Trollian. I Scan The List Of Grayed Out Names That Used To Be So Full Of Color. I Scroll Through The List Until I Find My Loves Troll Handle And Open A New Chat Window.

GA: Are You Awake Love?
TT: Yes dear, I am.

Oh. I-I Felt So Confident In This Before. I Am Not Quite Sure How To Begin This. How Will I Tell Her About My Pale Intentions Toward Karkat? She Has Said In The Past That She Is Not Against The Idea Of Me Having Other Quadrants Filled But... To Be Honest With The Way Her People React In Films And Books I Am Afraid That She Will Eventually Retract That Notion.

GA: I Do Not Mean To Interrupt If You Are Doing Something Of Importance.

It Is Almost Wrong That I Hope She Is Busy So That I May Git Myself Together.

TT: Nothing of importance I was just leaving can town.

As Karkat Would Say 'FUCK' OK..... I Should ... Report Karkat’s Current Condition First. Right

GA: I Am Both Happy And Concerned To Report That Karkat Was Awake For A Few Minutes Once Again However He Went Back To sleep.
TT: I'm glad. The fact he woke up means he is recovering. I believe his body still needs rest. Sleep will be a good friend during recovery.
TT: I wish I was better at psychoanalysis. I believe my abilities in the field to be inadequate to be completely accurate and helpful in this situation. I am afraid I am out of my depth.

I Am So Relieved That Karkat Is Doing Better That I Almost Sink Completely Into My Chair, Posture Be Damned. I Am Sadly Ridiculously Happy That My Mate Will Keep Out Of My Potential Moirrail’s Head. I Realize That She Would Mean No Harm But, I Feel An Extreme Protectiveness Coming On. I Honestly Don't Think I would Be OK With My Mate Taking On Such A Very Pale Role With Karkat. This Is, I Suppose, The Best Chance To Speak On My Pale Quadrant Before I Can Get Anymore... Possessive Of Either Of The Two.

GA: Rose I Have Realized Something About Myself Recently And Would Like To Offer An Explanation And Ask Your Opinion And Permission as well.
TT: You have my full attention love.
GA: Well You See
GA: After Everything That Has Happened I Am Ashamed To Say It Took Me So Long To Realize That I Have Had Extremely Strong Pale Feelings Towards Karkat.
GA: I Am Aware That You Had Stated You Would Not Mind Me Finding Other Quadramates, But I Would Still Like Your Opinion And Wish To Know If You Would Be Completely Comfortable With Me Pale Courting Karkat.
GA: To Be Clear I Would Try Not To Rush Karkat Into A relationship With Me Due To His Recent Horrible Betrayal And Pain In That Quadrant. I Do Feel He Needs Help And I Am So Pale I Am Beyond White For Him. So I Would Very Much Like To Help In His Healing Process As Much As Possible Even If My Feelings Are Not Returned.
GA: I Also
GA: Made A Sort Of
GA: Extremely Blatant Pale Advance Without Thinking Of The Possible Repercussions.
GA: He Was Refusing Help And He Said Something Awful About Himself And I Could Not Stop Myself And Might Have Jeopardized My Chances Already.

Please Don't Let Her Be Mad. Please Let Her Say Yes. It Feels Like Years Before I Receive An Answer. Please Let Her Be Completely Honest.

TT: I have no problem with you entering a moirallegiance with Karkat. I am actually extraordinarily happy with your choice to ask me and your decision to pursue him.

Oh Thank Gog.

TT: To be direct you could say that "I ship it.", Also I do not believe You have jeopardized your future relationship with Karkat.
TT: Not to be critical but you did leave the door open when you were in the middle of your ""Risque" feeling’s jam". I saw nothing that I'd assume would hinder your chances.

How Embarrassing. My Face Is Most Likely Completely Jade. I Am Happy That She Will Support Our Relationship Though.

GA: That Is Both Extremely Embarrassing And A Comfort. Thank You. You Have No Idea How You've Put My Mind At Ease.
TT: Just as a precaution would you go over the pale quadrant with me once more.
TT: I would rather not accidentally intrude on your relationship; I wish to know the boundaries between us.

That's reasonable.

(Please Skip Ahead To The Next Parenthesis If You Have Previously Encountered A Base Explanation Of Pale Relationships. It Could Be Boring To Hear It Again.)

GA: Of Course Love. The Pale Quadrant Is Represented By A Diamond. It Is A non Concupiscent Quadrant Meaning That There Is No Sexual Attraction Between The Two. There Is No Sexual Action To Be Taken At All.
GA: There Is However Physical Contact In The Form Of Cuddling And Pale Kisses. There Is Also The Obvious Addition Of Shoosh Paps And Public Hugs. An Acceptable Pale Date Is What’s Called A Feelings Jam. A Feelings Jam Is A Relaxing Time Where In The Palemates Can Talk About Recent Events And Stresses And Work Through Problems In A Non-Harmful Way Within A Private Setting. These Mostly Occur In Piles.

This Is So Lewd. I Need To Dial This Back A Bit. Already Thinking Of Being In A Pile With Karkat.

GA: I Am Sorry To Have Gotten So Far Ahead Of Myself. That Was Inappropriate.
TT: You have not offended me love.
GA: Alright. The Basic Idea Is That Palemates Watch Over One Another And Keep The Other Sane, Stable, Healthy And Happy. Palemates Act As A Sort Of Confidant And Platonic Soul Mate.

(Explanation Complete.)

TT: Alright so we can continue on with our relationship with how it's been? No changes?
GA: Correct. There Are No Necessary Changes To Be Made To Our Relationship. As Long As No Quadrants Try To Monopolize The Others Time And The Relationships Stay Safe And Happy Quadrants Rarely Ever Even Converse On The Topic Of Such Things.
GG: I Will Say That Diamonds Will At Times Act Somewhat Pale Or Ashen Towards The Others Quadramates If They Are In Trouble Or If The Relationship Is Harming Their Mutual love.
TT: I see. So Karkat will most likely tell me if there is something wrong or help if I need it.
GG: Yes, But This Will only Come If It Affects Me. Expect Karkat To Watch After You More And At Least Attempt To Converse With You More Often.
TT: This actually sounds pleasant.
TT: I will be around shortly to check on Karkat’s health.
GG: Thank You Love.

I Shut My Computer And Put It To The Side.

Now With That Off Of My Metaphorical shoulders I Lean Back And Sigh. My Eyes slowly Slide Shut And I Drift Off. My Love For Rose Is The Most Vibrant Fluorescent Red. My Feelings For Karkat Are The Brightest Of Whites. I Will Be Here For Them Until The End. No Matter What.

--------

"Dave I know you are worried no matter how you try to hide it.", I see Dave shake his head slightly. For once being quiet. Whenever there's a chance to check on our sick group member Dave is normally at the visitors heels. Karkat has been in an unconscious state for about two weeks. Kanaya had mentioned that he was semi conscious when she found him in the horrible state he was in. She had mentioned over chat that he had been awake for the first time since that day for a short time earlier.

Dave is more concerned than he'll ever let on. I'm not sure if it’s because since the "Ouija board of cock incident” they have gotten at least a little closer or because he relates to his fellow knight in some way, but they've been getting along a lot better.

"I'm not pretending that i don't care Rose. i mean the guy almost died. i know we weren't all too close but i'm not heartless.” Dave Snaps. "Dave I never said you were heartless. I'm just saying that it’s OK to talk about it if it's bothering you.", Dave sighs "look Rose i'll admit i'm concerned. i was an ass and now i feel bad about it. i'm taking care of it OK. i'm going to figure it out. it isn't something i need help with. it’s not something i wanna talk about.” I sigh "Dave I-", "no Rose i don't want to talk. now let’s go", He leads the way out of the room with a charge.

Neither Dave nor I knew Karkat well at all before this. I believe Dave had the most contact with him from the time we arrived. I had just thought he was an asshole and left it at that. Truth be told now that we know more, it's difficult to think that the small broken troll we have taken turns caring for is the same one that supported us through angry gray walls of screaming text.

He seemed angry and annoyed and.... well... fine on his own ... strong. He gave off an air that he thought we were lower than him, that we were annoying and he thought he didn't need friends. He thought the opposite and he did need help.

His act was just a way to save himself. I should have known it wasn't true. I let his mask lead me away from him in the same way everyone else did. Now when I look back it's hard to understand why I was ever angry or unhappy with him. He always helped us get where we needed to go and answered when no one else did. We didn't know him for long but he was always there after we met. He even began checking on us regularly when we got to the meteor to make sure we were OK. He acted as if he was just bored but we all knew that wasn't the reason. We ignored it. What good is psychoanalysis when it's completely wrong? I should have seen this. I should have seen the signs. Maybe I just didn't want to see.

Now here we are walking to the room he's been in for a week after almost dying. Kanaya, Dave and I have been taking shifts to make sure his health improves. So far there has not been a shift that one of the three didn't come in for a status update. I think we're all trying to fix this. We are all trying to say we’re sorry. We’re all trying to fix our mistakes. We won't make this mistake again.

When we are about to round the last corner of the long hall I decide that it doesn't matter if Dave admits he's worried or not. Karkat needs friends and Dave is willing to take that position. I'm glad.

As we get close I hear Kanaya talking. There is a pause and then Karkat’s voice can be heard. Our breath and steps hitch in sync. Then my love’s voice drifts out and we move closer again now exited at the possibility that he could be awake at this very moment. When we’re almost there the voices have picked up volume and clarity. When we reach the door we see them in a full yelling match.

"Why Are You So Set Against Letting Me Help You? Yo-", "WHY ARE YOU SO SET ON HELPING A USELESS FUCKING MUTANT? I CAN’T EVEN STAND MYSELF KANAYA. STOP IT. JUST G-"

--SLAP!!!--

There is a deafening silence as we all stand in shock. Karkat's face is now turned towards the opposite wall. I restrain Dave from moving forward and stop his attempt to pry my matesprit away from Karkat.

When Karkat looks up at her she starts to speak, at first quietly and then with force. We watch as the scene progresses. Her emotions, anger, sadness, hurt, fear, apology, and care, all flowing from her words as she speaks. She tells him who he is. She tells him what he's done. She BEGS for him to understand and accept what he desperately needs. She shows everything. By the time she's done she's in tears. I see Karkat slowly move to hold her, to help her. She dives forward to accept.

I can't believe what I just saw. Dave has calmed in my hold and I let him go. This seems so personal, so intimate that it feels awkward to stand here now. They haven't realized our presents here so I pull myself and Dave away before we are noticed and interrupt this moment.

I knew Kanaya felt strongly for Karkat as a friend but I had no idea it could be like this. She was always protective of him. She often spoke of him fondly. She at times called him her best friend. This should have been obvious to me. This must be what they spoke about when that talked about moirallegiance. It was something beyond friendship. Something beyond family. It was in no way sexual but so completely intimate that it felt wrong to intrude by even seeing it. I need to find out more on the topic to be sure.

Now I know why it hurt Karkat so much to lose a moirail even if it was never meant to be. Moirrail’s are like two half's of a whole. What happened with Gamzee was wrong. Horribly wrong.

But from what I've seen. What Kanaya and Karkat had in that moment was right. They need each other. If I have anything to say about it they will be together. This is the best path.

Dave and I part without a word when we reach the main room. He seems more at ease now then he has been since this whole thing began. He seems to be in deep thought. I roam around quietly to think myself.

I hear the chime of my pesterchum go off as I leave can town and open it quickly. Kanaya has messaged me. I frown at the thought that she didn't think I would approve of her and Karkat. We sort it out relatively quickly and end the conversation.

It's time to check on my Heart’s soon to be Diamond for real this time.

Chapter Text

My dream was soft. Not like the normal day terrors I have. My normal dreams are sharp blades and endless horror but even as I wake I can’t help but remember in awe the pale hues and soft edges of that dream. The warmth of the dream seems to chase me when I wake up. I sit up again and try to find Kanaya with my eyes. It looks like she fell asleep in the chair.

I don't know how to feel about what happened but with how clear my mind is right now even I'm not such a dumb ass as to pass up the opportunity to think about this in peace. Kan said... a lot of things. Most of the things she said I'm not sure how to handle. She... she thinks I did well. I don't understand that. In the game, we're down to half our members. I should have never even tried to be in charge I'm a red blood even thinking that I could lead was a fucking stupid idea. I don't know what to think about any of this. Kan said I was wrong. She said I did well. Why would she think any of that? I’m not worth her effort but she refuses to leave.This has to be some form of cruel joke right? Even if she thinks that whatever that was is right there's no way. She needs someone better then what I can give her.

I’ve been told my entire life that I'm not worth the air I breathe and that I don't have the right to exist and then she says all these things and now I'm confused. I want something like what she was talking about. I want to be looked at. To be seen. To be told I'm worth something. I want to be taken care of and take care of someone in return. I want all the stupid, impossible, horrible, terrifying shit that is the mockery of emotion that are in my rom-coms. I want to be happy but I don't deserve it. Even if she's not joking she deserves more than me. More than I could ever be.

She talks like me surviving the odds was a good thing. I don't think that she understands that even waking up the next day was a disappointment. Kan is an amazing person and a good friend. It's hard to discount her words but. Like I... I want to believe her. I want to but it will only destroy what’s left of me. I feel like I’ve spent my entire life on the middle of a frozen ocean and the ice is cracking all around me as I try to find stable ground and everyone was stabbing and punching the ice trying to get me to fall through. Somehow I feel like one more push and I’d go under, even after I’ve been trying so hard to stay above the water even as my feet start to sink. I can't just accept this no matter how much I want this to be real. I don't know what to do.

"Ahem"

I look up to see Rose in the doorway looking amused for some reason. Oh that's not embarrassing at all her walking in on me staring weirdly at her mate. I can’t help but kind of sink into myself a bit under her gaze. Best to start with an apology. "SORRY." she frowns. "What are you sorry for?” what? How is she not mad? "EVERYTHING I GUESS.", Rose sighs as if I had done something wrong. What did I do? "Karkat you don't need to apologize. You were in need of help. I would like to think myself the human expert on trolls and I’m not sure what trolls usually do in these situations, but humans help when they see someone in need. None of this was your fault so I see no reason for you to apologize." I want to argue but if I start it might wake Kanaya so I just look down.

"Well I am here to check on your condition.” she steps forward at an even stride but seems to hesitate when she nears me, "To make sure your OK I need to take your temperature and check your breathing as well as your pulse. I am not too familiar with the differing blood temperature or heart rates. Can I have permission to touch you? I realized you don't like physical contact.” Oh. Well that's OK I guess. I mean contact has always been rare after all Crabdad’s pincers weren't exactly the safest or most comforting things. I mean Crabdad is... was the best and he gives ... gave... the most awesome hugs but he was more of a stoically clicking at you to tell you were doing well type of lusus. I’m more used to fighting trolls and imps than just being around people. I mean before the game I was attacked or ignored by everyone. I got caught a few times and like I said I have the scars to prove it. I can handle some touching like pats on the shoulder or short hugs in dream bubbles where everything is more.... Numb I guess, but contact that's not meant to hurt is.... Weird and kind of terrifying.

I nod "I... YES OK." she moves slowly and steadily towards me I almost gasp as her hand touches my shoulder. I restrain myself from reacting any further. Rose frowns "What is your normal body temperature?" hmm I remember this because I had to do it for school feeding and I had to fake my temperature and bring it down some degrees so I could fake being around Aradia’s color...

"YOUR AMERICAN RIGHT? .... THE CONVERSION IS WEIRD FROM OURS TO FAHRENHEIT.... ABOUT.... 110 DEGREES.” She nods and puts this weird thing to my skin. "Touch thermometer.” She explains "Well you’re at 96 degrees. We still need to bring it up almost 14. You should remain in the heated blankets for now.” to be honest I’m really fucking comfortable right now. I wonder if I could make a heated version of my sweater. After all I think the least horrible thing about being so low on the hemospectrum it that it’s always so fucking cold... and that's the best thing. If I could knock off that problem I would only have oh ...10,000,000 things to worry about.

"WHERE DID YOU FIND THE CODE FOR THAT?” Rose seems to brighten a bit, "Kanaya mentioned the way you made the soup and we started playing with it a bit. Dave found out that it also works on objects and he managed to combine some codes for this and the heated blanket!” Oh, I never even thought of that. "OH. THAT'S COOL.” She takes the thermometer away and says "OK now I need to check your heart rate. I know you’re alive but I think your heart might have been affected. May I test your wrist please?”

"ALL SEVEN PULSE POINTS ARE THE SAME." That was a big hint but she stares at me for a second. I just ... my wrist.... just please pick somewhere else "Given your culture I had assumed that you would feel most comfortable with this pulse point", I OK that's true. I can’t even imagine thinking I would be comfortable with her hand near my neck or the other ones. I unbury my arm and look down at my lap as I present it to her. I don't want to see her expression. It’s Rose so I know it won't be much but.... I know how it looks. I don't want to see the disgust on her face. I know she’s not dumb enough to think it was any stupid excuse I could give her which is why I didn't even try to explain to Kan.

My arm is cold outside of the blankets. It makes it harder to pretend that this isn't happening. I wince when her fingers touch the upper part of my wrist. I’m overcome with panic for a moment. I have been trying everything I can think of to calm down since she brought this up. I force my mind to wonder. I just want to huddle in the middle of the bed in a pile of pillows and movie cases and cover myself in these awesome heated snuggle plains that I apparently need to thank Dave for. Wait Kan said Dave was helping two that means he saw them two... maybe I should avoid everybody for a while. Rose's hand leaves my wrist and I bury it in the snuggle plains again without looking. Her touch was feather light and almost nonexistent but I still feel as if her touch was branding irons instead. I know without a doubt I could never have handled it without her careful warnings. I don't look at Rose and there's a pause before she continues. "Do you know your normal pulse?” I nod, "120 BEATS PER MINUTE.” one more thing I had to find out how to hide.

"OK your heart rate is average then, everything seems to be OK....” Will she say something? "I'm sorry for how I had treated you before." Wait what? "WHAT?" "I feel like I could have been better to at the least socialize with you." I scoff a bit "THIS ISN'T YOUR FAULT ROSE. IT’S NOT LIKE YOU’RE THE ONE WHO DID THIS. THERE ISN'T A REASON TO APOLOGIZE. I-I SHOULD BE THANKING YOU FOR YOUR HELP AND WASTING SO MUCH TIME ON ME, YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE NEEDED TO. I'M SORRY." Rose seems to take in a sharp breath before she continues "Karkat I'm going to tell you upfront that Dave and I had accidentally walked in on what happened when you had woke up last-" My head snaps up to look at her, I’d been avoiding looking up at her but that was a shock My face must be completely red right now. Gog that's embarrassing. Thankfully her expression was still carefully the controlled one I’m used to...

She continues "and I would have thought that you would at least realize that we didn't mind looking out for you. Like I said you were in need of help. You have done so much for us that it’s ridiculous, for you to even think we wouldn't at least help you when you needed it. I would like to think that are friends Karkat. This is what friends do for one another. Now I'm sure you’re hungry. What would you like?", That... OK ... she's changing the subject. I'll ... "A FEW SLICES OF GRUB LOAF... PLEASE", Rose frowns "Karkat you can eat anything you want and you chose toast?” I blink "TOAST, WAY TO BRING IN THE HIGHBLOOD VERNACULAR. YES 'TOAST' WOULD BE GOOD RIGHT NOW", She’s being weird. It’s not like I’ve ever eaten much. I mean I’ve always been on a low blood budget and store or hunting trips almost always ended in disaster so I think the most I’ve ever eaten has been a bowl of stew a day if lucky. i've always been ok with that.

"Karkat in my time speaking to Kanaya I've found that trolls need more food than a few pieces of toast to remain healthy.", "I DON'T EAT MUCH AND I'M NOT HUNGRY. TOAST IS FINE.", "You aren't only eating toast Karkat. What else do you want.” I can't help the growl that starts up in frustration. "I WILL BE FINE. YOU'RE NOT MY MOIRAIL SO STOP IT.", Dave's smooth voice cuts through this from seemingly nowhere. "why is it i always seem to come in during an argument?” We both look over. "Rose how about you make Karkitty a complete breakfast since he just woke up. that way he can still have his toast and everyone stays happy.” Rose runs off before I can say anything. I stare at Dave and try to ignore how extraordinarily auspistice like that was and how fucked that was quadrant wise.

When Rose passes him completely he walks over and sits on the bed facing away. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING FUCKASS?", "i'm sitting here.” what the fuck, "I GET THAT BUT WHY?” Dave shrugs. "just because i can.", this is.... I don't get it. He normally isn't like this. Did I make him mad? Is this what their weird passive aggressive shit feels like? Time passes in silence ... and no that wasn't a pun, Dave didn't walk past, it was literally just us sitting there awkwardly. I'm not used to this quiet from Dave. Hell I’m used to Dave being the only one that's stubborn enough to keep up with me or call me out no matter what I rant about. For some reason Dave never just leaves. He never just stops. Now he’s not even making a sound.

I fidget in my seat for a few seconds. Maybe he is mad. I realize with a start that I don't want him to be mad at me. I took up so much time and Rose said he went through the trouble of making these awesome blankets and stuff. Rose and Kan got mad when I said I was sorry. What should I say? "I... THANKS FOR...... I'M SORRY-I", Dave seems to straighten a little his back going stiff for moment then he lets out this weird half scoff half laugh noise and throws his head back with such force that he’s now laying with his head on my legs, and the rest of his top half is on the bed but his feet are still on the floor. "WHAT THE FUCK?” Dave laughs, "just trying to get comfortable.” the asshole then get this ... fucking snuggles in. "DAVE. GET THE FUCK OFF ME." I try to move him but the fuckass is like a fucking boulder. I blame me not being able to move him on all the fucking Doritos he eats so much of, I'm surprised it’s not what flows through his veins instead of blood.

"nope i'm really comfortable right now.” Oh Gog he's started with this. I can never think when he gets like this and it always end up with something dumb, "DAVE MY LEGS ARE NOT A RESTING PLACE FOR YOUR HEAD. UGH YOUR HEAVY AS FUCK.", Dave throws his arms over his head, "No can do man my arms have turned to jelly and my legs are broken. Now I’m going to need a huge piece of toast and I can fulfill my destiny as jelly. I’m no longer the knight of time I’m now the knight of toast.” I growl, "I DON'T SEE WHAT THAT SHIT YOU PUT ON GRUB LOAF HAS TO DO WITH ANYTHING AND YOUR LEGS ARE NOT BROKEN YOU STEAMING PILE OF HOOFBEAST SHIT. GET OFF YOU’RE FUCKING CRUSHING ME.", Dave manages to look somehow expressionless and fake bashful at the same time. "such language Karkitty I'm about to swoon all up in this bitch. come on carkitty i'm over here waiting to be swept of my feet and carried over the threshold?", "WHAT THE FUCK DAVE, DID YOU JUST SAY MY NAME WITH A 'C'? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? IS THAT ONE OF YOUR STUPID HUMAN MATING THINGS?", "yep, you pick me up bridal style and carry me off into the sunset.", "THE ONLY PLACE I’D CARRY YOU BRIDAL STYLE IS TO A CLIFF SO I CAN THROW YOU OFF IT.", "awww how sweet you remembered i love to fly."

"GOG DAMMIT DAVE GET THE HELL OFF ME." Dave has the nerve to shuffle so he’s taking up even more space on my legs, "no can do. i'm in it for the long haul now. i'm totally going to become one with the blankets.” I move to push him away but there's no moving him. "NO. DON'T! I ACTUALLY LIKE THESE BLANKETS!" Did I seriously just use a shout poll? "oh? then i'll be sure to get my human germs all over it.", I reach my arm back give him a hard shove. "Move." Dave grabs my arm in defense and I freeze. My arm. He’s touching my arm. I still don't have my sweater. My arm is bare. He is touching my cuts. He can see my cuts. He can feel my skin. He knows my blood color. I panic and start to hyperventilate. I didn't think he would touch my arm. I feel my panic come back stronger than before. He's going to hate me now. My mind supply's me with images of Dave turning and killing me and I let out an accidental wimpier of horror and pain. I don't know why that hurts so much. Dave let’s go of my arm and I see a look of panic on his face. I draw my arm back to me and hide under the blankets as fast as I can. I curl into a ball as my panic doubles. I hear someone talking but I’m far too gone to tell what they’re saying.

I'm fine. I’ll get through it. I always have. I’ll be ok.

I feel a little more weight around me. I realize it increases a few times. Slowly the weight’s presence calms my breathing a bit and I become more aware of what’s going on. There are now more snuggle plains on me than before. I hear it like a rhythmic hum then it strengthens to a murmur as I calm. Slowly I realize that it’s Kanaya. Kanaya is talking to me in an even tone. "Karkat It Will Be OK. It Will Be OK I Promise.", repeated over and over as if it’s a chant. Now I realize I’ve been shaking. Kan’s words wash over me and I hold on to them as well as I can. My shaking stops after a while and I relax a little. The tide of words stops and I stiffen again. "Karkat May I Join You?” oh ..... I-I don't think that's a good idea. "NO", Kan lets out a sad sound. I hate that sound as soon as I hear it. Kan shouldn't be sad. "JUST PLEASE KEEP TALKING I-I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO SEE ME RIGHT NOW.", I feel Kan move close to my side and for some reason I can't even begin it say how comforting that is. She starts to talk. It’s all a random blur of words this time. Words that really are just meant for the noise but comfort me anyway.

Slowly I feel like I’ve regained my footing. It’s like for once someone is holding their arms out to guide me to solid ground. I feel like she's too far away. I reach my hand out for where hers is gently placed beside her, slowly. When my hand reaches hers I pull it back under the blankets to me. I can’t stop the happy noise I make when I curl around it. I’m acting like a wriggler but at this point I don't give a fuck. You can say whatever you want about me being dramatic or whatever reader but for once I don't feel alone. For once as I’m in contact with someone my mind didn't switch to the thought of her killing me. For once I feel safe. I feel protected. For now I’m willing to admit that I really, really want this. I want to feel better. I want to let myself sink into this, but there is still a doubt. A doubt I wish desperately that I could destroy.

Silently I beg, I beg to any being who would listen, that the hand I’m holding doesn't turn into the last fist it takes to break the ice I'm on.

Chapter Text

I Wake To Karkat's Sharp Voice, "I WILL BE FINE. YOUR NOT MY MOIRAIL SO STOP.", My Eyes Fly Open. My Pan Races Through The Possibilities Of What's Going On. Anything from Karkat Ranting At Me Thinking I Am Asleep Or Gamzee Attacking. When I See My Mate In Front Of Him I Blink And Quickly Pretend To Still Be Asleep. I Am Not Sure What To Do Now. My Mind And Heart Know That They Wouldn't Dare Hurt One Another But My Protectiveness Is Begging Me To Rip Them Both Apart For Threatening One Another And My Position In their quadrants. I Am Still Half Asleep And Not Thinking. I Need To Find Out What's Going On Before Anything Else. Neither Are Interested In Being Quadranted Together So Karkat's Claim, I Now Realize, Is More To Force Her Back Then For Actual Warning.

I Hear Dave's Voice Cut Through The Room, "Why is it I always seem to come in during an argument?", I Make No Move To Announce Im Awake. It's Better To See How This Will Turn Out. Both Karkat And Rose Look Over. "Rose how about you make Karkitty a complete breakfast since he just woke up. That way he can still have his toast and everyone stays happy.", Rose Races off As Karkat Stares At Dave.

When Rose Passes Dave He Walks To Kar And Sits On The Bed Facing Away. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING FUCKASS?", Karkat Asks With What I Feel Is Mostly Genuine Curiosity, "I'm sitting here.", Well That Is A Bit Of A Rude Answer. "I GET THAT BUT WHY?", Dave Shrugs. "Just because I can.", For Once Dave Stays Silent. I See Karkat Shift As If Extraordinarily Uncomfortable. After A short Time Of Silence That Only Seems To Upset Kar He Speaks. "I... THANKS FOR ...... I'M SORRY-I", Dave's Back Straightens For Moment. What Is He Planning. Dave Lets Out A Laugh And Seems To Fall Back So That He's Now Laying With His Head On Karkat's legs. "WHAT THE FUCK?", Dave Laughs Again, "Just trying to get comfortable.", He Then... Snuggles In... I'm Fine With This. Why Would I Be Jealous? It's Not Polite To Lie. "DAVE. GET THE FUCK OFF ME.", I Feel Relieved That Kar Isn't Simply Letting Dave Get Away With These Pale Tinted Shenanigans. Kar Tries To Move Him But Dave Will Not Be Moved.

"Nope I'm really comfortable right now.", Oh... Oh Now I Understand. I Almost Let Out A Giggle At The Slight Red Flirting. Neither Of Them Seem To Realize That It's Happening... How Cute, "DAVE MY LEGS ARE NOT A RESTING PLACE FOR YOUR HEAD. UGH YOUR HEAVY AS FUCK.", Dave Throws His Arms Over His Head, "No can do man, my arms have turned to jelly and my legs are broken. Now I'm going to need a huge piece of toast and I can fulfill my destiny as jelly. I'm no longer the knight of time Im the knight of toast.", Kar Growls Lightly. I Doubt Either Of Them realize that Growl Was More Playful Than Mad. Simply Adorable. "I DON'T SEE WHAT THAT SHIT YOU PUT ON GRUB LOAF HAS TO DO WITH ANYTHING AND YOUR LEGS ARE NOT BROKEN YOU STEAMING PILE OF HOOFBEAST SHIT. GET OFF YOUR FUCKING CRUSHING ME.", Dave Turns Toward Karkat.

Kars Face Turns A shade More Red And I Stifle My Urge To Lift An Amused Eyebrow. This Must Be Why Kar Didn't immediately Carve Dave Apart With His Claws. He Has A Adorable Flushcruch On My Mates Sibling. The Only One Other Than Dave And Myself Who Could Touch Him Would Probably Be Rose. He Would Leave Her Alone On Instinct.

"Such language Karkitty I'm about to swoon all up in this bitch. Come on carkitty I'm over here waiting to be swept of my feet and carried over the threshold?", "WHAT THE FUCK DAVE, DID YOU JUST SAY MY NAME WITH A 'C'? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? IS THAT ONE OF YOUR STUPID HUMAN MATING THINGS?", "Yep, you pick me up bridal style and carry me off into the sunset.", "THE ONLY PLACE IN CARRY YOU BRIDAL STYLE IS TO A CLIFF SO I CAN THROW YOU OFF IT.", "Awww how sweet you remembered I love to fly.",

"GOG DAMMIT DAVE GET THE HELL OFF ME." Dave Shuffles To Take More Space On Kars Legs And Suddenly I Feel Like I'm Intruding. The Position They Are In Is Somewhat ... Suggestive, "No can do. I'm in it for the long haul now. I'm totally going to become one with the blankets.", Karkat Tries To Push Him Away, "NO. DON'T! I ACTUALLY LIKE THESE BLANKETS!" Oh Yes I Had Almost Forgot About The Heated Blankets. He Must Be Very Comfortable In Them. My Blood Is Of A Lower Temperature So It's Rare For Me To Be Cold But That's Probably Not The Case For Kar. "Oh? Then I'll be sure to get my human germs all over it.", Karkat Races Forward For A Better Push. "MOVE!"

Dave grabs Kars Arm In Defiance And The Room Seems To Still. Kar Releases This Horrible Noise. I Feel My Bloodpusher Squeeze In My Chest. He Needs Me. He's Hurt. Dave Panics And Releases Karkat immediately. I Am Across the Room Before I even Notice I Am Moving. Karkat Burrows Under The Snuggleplains For Some Form Of Security In The Warmth. The Next Few Moments Are A Blur But The Next Thing I know I Have Covered Karkat In More Blankets. I Hear Myself Offering Reassurances That I No Longer Know If They Are More For Kar Or Myself After A Time.

Seeing My Pale Love Like This Is Physically Painful. This Should Not Be. I Will Fix This. I Have To Fix This. Karkat Calms Slowly. I Don't Think I Can Handle Not Holding Him Anymore Every Instinct Inside Me Is Screaming. 'Protect, Hold, Care, Help, Check, WHY AREN'T YOU HELPING?' I Control My Voice "Karkat May I Join You?", Please Let Me Help You. Please Let Me Help You. Please Let Me Help You. "NO", I Let Out A Sob That I Mean To Keep In.

"JUST PLEASE KEEP TALKING I-I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO SEE ME RIGHT NOW.", Karkat Begs. I Feel Some Of My Pain Subside. A Way To Help. I Jump On It With Enthusiasm Moving As Close As I Can. I Talk And Talk About Random Things. I Don't Know Even A Fifth Of What I Was Saying But It Calms And Stops Karkats Shaking So I Don't Give A Scurrybeasts Ass At This Point. I Could Be Telling Embarrassing Stories From My Grubhood And I Would Be Happy Just To Be Helping.

I Feel Karkat Move I Look Down As I Feel Something Touch My Hand. Karkat Takes My Hand Fully And Pulls It With Him Under The Snuggleplains. I Feel My Blood Pusher Race He's Accepting Me. He Is Letting Me Help. I Don't Skip A Beat In My Speech Even As I Feel Him Curl Around My Hand That Is Now Placed Gently On His Chest. I Was Forced To Change Positions As He Moved My Arm But I Am Comfortable Laying With Him.

Slowly His Shaking Stops. I Rant On And Relax As He Calms. I Stop When I Feel Him Shift. He Pulls The Plains Up So There's A Small Space Just Wide Enough To See Out Of. "Kanaya?", I Shift So That I Am Laying To See His Face While He Still Has My Hand, "Hmmm?", "THANK YOU KAN.", My Blood Pusher Skips Several Beats. He Is Not Pushing Me Away. "It's Not A Problem Kar.", After That We Lay In Comfortable Silence For Awhile.

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There Is A Knock At The Door. "Yes?", I Hear Someone Shuffling Behind It, "Kanaya I have food for Karkat." My Rose Calls Out, "Then Please Come In.", She Enters And Places The Food Down On The Bed Next To Me. It Appears To Be A Large Tray Of Various Edibles. Karkat Moves Slowly To A Sitting Position And Eyes Rose As If Wondering If She Was Going To Attack. Then His Gaze Switched To The Food And He Eyes It As If It Insulted Him To His Core. Then He Grabs A Piece Of Bare Grub Loaf And Eats It In A Somehow Defiant Manner While Staring At Rose.

Rose Simply Huffs And Walks Away. "Would You Mind Telling Me What That Was About?", Kar Huffs Around The Toast."SHE ASKED ME WHAT I WANTED TO EAT. I SAID I WANTED GRUB LOAF AND SHE STARTED ARGUING WITH ME LIKE ID KICKED HER YOUNG MEOWBEAST ON HER WRIGGLING DAY. I THINK SHE HAS SOMETHING AGAINST GRUB LOAF.", I Laugh, "I doubt That's What It's About.",

He Sighs, "I HAVEN'T EVER EATEN THIS MUCH. I'M GOOD WITH A BOWL OF STEW A DAY I CAN'T EAT THIS MUCH JUNK.", I Nod I Would Hate To Say It But He's Correct. This Is Actually A Kind Of common Thing For Trolls Of A Lower Blood Color. To Remain Healthy Requires A Lot Of Food But, Because Of Shortage Of Money Or An Abundance Of Danger It's Common For Lower Bloods To Ration Meals Like That.

Karkat Most likely Had To At Times And Starved Himself At Others Because Of His Self Harm Tendencies. Its Commonly Known That If You Increase The Amount Of Food You Intake Suddenly It Makes You Vomit All That You've Eaten Because It's No Longer Natural For Your Body. I Understand His Unwillingness To Eat All Of This Large Plate. I Do Not Agree However, With Him Using This To Justify Continuing This Way And Harming Himself.

"I Understand-", Kar Looks Relieved, "However I Think It Would Be Best To Begin Fixing Your Eating Habits.", Before He Can Protest I Continue, "I'm Not Asking That You Eat All Of This. Simply A Bit More Each Day Until Your Up To Healthy Eating Habits Will suffice.", He Stares At Me For A Moment Then Nods, "ALRIGHT.", I Eat Some Of The Food On The Plate As He Picks At His Toast Slowly. He Finished His Toast And Falls Back With A Content Noise, Obviously Full. I Blink A Bit In Minor Horror. If He Was Full After So Little Food This Will Likely Be A Long And Difficult Process. Suddenly It Strikes Me. "How Did You Eat That Whole Bowl Of Stew?", Kar Blinks "WELL I ATE MOST Of IT AND CLEANED UP THE REST.", What Is He Saying He Washed The Rest Of It Down The Drain? That's Awful. "That's Such A Waist."

We Tried To Make More Like It But It Was Never Near Anywhere As Delectable. "Why Would You Throw That Away?", I May Have Sounded A Bit Frantic But It Was Once Again The Best Thing I Have Ever Tasted. He Shrugs "WE DON'T HAVE A COOLING UNIT. IT WOULD HAVE GONE BAD ANYWAY.", Oh. Oh No This Will Not Happen Again. Grist Is Bound To Run Out Eventually. Wasting Food Is ... Not Ideal. Comfortable Silence Fills The Room After A While He Lets Out A Tired Yawn.

I Pull Up My Husktop And Troll Dave About The Tragedy As Kar Lays Down Curling On The Bed Next To Me Like A Contented meowbeast. Once Again The Word Adorable Comes To Mind. Dave Answers Shortly After.

GA: Dave There Is An Issue That Needs To Be Fixed Eminently.

TG: Is he OK

Oh Yes I Suppose He Would Be Concerned. I Should Have Realized That Opening Would Be Worrying.

GA: Yes He Is Alright. He Is Not used To Contact. He Has Been Hiding Much Of Himself For So Long It Is Very Much A Part Of Him. When You Touched His Scares Everything Piled Up In His Mind And Forced Him To Panic.
GA: I Believe Because Of His Past And Preconceived Notions He Believed You Would Ether Reject Him Or Harm Him.
GA: I Do Not Think It Was Because It Was You. If It Was Anyone Else He Probably Would Have Severely Injured Them.
TG: Oh
TG: So he's OK
GA: Yes. He Is Fine Now. His Eating Habits Are Concerning Though. Trolls Need To Eat A Certain Amount To Stay Healthy. Karkat Consumes Not Even A Third The Daily Amount Needed.
GA: If His Intake Is Suddenly Spiked Though It Will Cause Him To Become Sick Anyway. He Needs A Slow Change.
TG: OK
GA: That's Why I Would Like You To See If You Can Make A Cooling Box.
TG: Oh You Mean A Refrigerator
GA: Yes
TG: OK I'm on it

Well That Was Easy. I Look Over To See That Karkat Is Asleep. He Looks So Calm. I Smile This Is Nice. I Troll Rose Next.

GA: My Love My I Speak To You?
TT: Of Course.
GA: I Know You Are Concerned With Karkat's Eating Habits. You Are Correct It Is Unhealthy.
TT: How will we go about improving this?
GA: Would You Mind Terribly If I Pasted This Answer From A Conversation With Dave?
TT: I Am Sure I Will Be Fine Love.
GA: GA:His Eating Habits Are Concerning Though. Trolls Need To Eat A Certain Amount To Stay Healthy. Karkat Consumes Not Even A Third The Daily Amount Needed.
GA: GA: If His Intake Is Suddenly Spiked Though It Will Cause Him To Become Sick Anyway. He Needs A Slow Change.
GA: I Have Discussed This With Karkat And Dave And We Will Slowly Increase His Daily Intake So That He Will Eventually Be Up To A Healthy Diet.
TT: I see.

Oh I Had Almost Forgotten Karkats Behavior Over The Food. I Should Clear This Up.

GA: Karkat's Attitude Earlier Was Most Likely Because He Thought You Were Trying To Get Him To Eat More Than He Could.
TT: So he thought I was in some way trying to get back at him for not eating well?
GA: In A Way, Yes
TT: Then I suppose it is understandable.
TT: Dave had told me of karkat's earlier episode. Is he all right now?
GA: Yes He Is Fine. I Did Find Something Very Interesting Though.
TT: Oh really?
GA: Yes Before The Incident Earlier I Woke Up To Find Them Gently Red Flirting Without Realizing It.
GA: If I May Be So Bold I Would Like To Announce, That In Your Words "I ship it."
TT: My This is an interesting development.
GA: I Found That It Was Rather Adorable Actually.
TT: I agree they would be cute together.
TT: On to my pale OTP however. I Suppose There Is Some Progress?
GA: Sadly Not Much Progress. I Do However Know That He Is Comfortable With The Idea At The Least.
TT: Well that's good.
TT: Perhaps I can give you advice as a seer?
GA: Please Do.
TT: Romance his pants off.

My Blush Will Not Leave. Perhaps I Should Explain moirallegiance Again?

GA: Rose Pale Is Not A Sexual Quadrant.
TT: Yes love I am aware. Its an earth figure of speech.

OH

GA: What Do You Mean?
TT: I mean be romantic. it's no secret Karkat loves that type of thing.

That Could Work.

GA: I Will Try. Thank You For The Advice.
TT: Not a problem love.

We Say Goodbye And Close The Windows. OK So ... Romance. OK Karkat Vantas Prepare To Be Properly Romanced ... As Soon As I Think Of How.

Chapter Text

After a while i'm finally calm enough to think. Kan stayed with me. She helped me. She stayed this whole time and talked me through it. I hate that it makes me ridiculously happy. I'm not convinced this won't blow up in my face but... I want to be happy. (I wonder if this is what it feels like to be calmed. ... it's a troll thing.) I don't want to be like that again. I take Kans hand and move it closer to me from where I had let it loose. I really want to see her right now. I want to be sure. I want this to be right.

I make a little peek hole out of my hiding spot. Gog it's warm .... it's so nice. She looks back at me through the hole. "Kanaya?", Is it OK to Talk? "Hmmm?", I just want to say, "THANK YOU KAN.", She always seems to look so deep into my eyes. It's like she actually sees me. "It's Not A Problem Kar.", And for once I feel like someone means it.

We sit in comfortable silence for a while. I didn't know I could feel this at ease. Its weird. Not bad but weird. I tense up when there is a knock on the door. "Yes?", Kan asks. She seems cautious to. I hear someone shuffling behind the door, "Kanaya I have food for Karkat." Rose says from behind the door, "Then Please Come In.", this again. When Rose sets down the food i almost gag. how in the hell does she expect me to eat all that? There's no fucking way. I am not getting sick just because this bitch is stubborn.I even told her I don't eat much.

Back on Alternia i could list off reasons all day on why i rarely ate. It was dangerous to go get food. It was risky to hunt. i didn't have much money and couldn't afford it. Crabdad was fed regularly and leaving felt selfish. i hate myself and don't deserve food. The reasons go on and on really. I stopped eating as much as i should when i was young right after the first time I was ..... attacked.

....

... i don't want to talk about it.

i'm not in a good mood anymore at the moment. When i see Rose look at me as if expecting, some form of thank you. No if that's how she's going to act i won't. i grab a slice of toast and bite into it with a force that is meant to send her a FUCK YOU as i stare at her. i'm not going to be sick just because she wants me to be. She huffs and walks off. Well now i'm torn between doing an internal happy dance at winning this battle or feeling like an ass because I was rude to Kan's Mate. Kan didn't rip my thought out yet so i guess she's not to mad though.

"Would You Mind Telling Me What That Was About?", i huff around the toast a bit but decide to explain anyway. "SHE ASKED ME WHAT I WANTED TO EAT. I SAID I WANTED GRUB LOAF AND SHE STARTED ARGUING WITH ME LIKE ID KICKED HER YOUNG MEOWBEAST ON HER WRIGGLING DAY. I THINK SHE HAS SOMETHING AGAINST GRUB LOAF.", Kan laughs and i feel warmth spread through me at the sound, "I doubt That's What It's About.",

OK so it wasn't like that EXACTLY... Might as well tell her. i hope she won't be as disgusted with me as i think she will be, "I HAVEN'T EVER EATEN THIS MUCH. LIKE I'M GOOD WITH A BOWL OF STEW A DAY I CAN'T EAT THIS MUCH JUNK.", She nods and i tense,

"I Understand-", Oh thank Gog, "However I Think It Would Be Best To Begin Fixing Your Eating Habits.", No i.... but food is... i just... i'm about to say no but she doesn't let me start, "I'm not asking That You Eat All Of This. Simply A Bit More Each Day Until Your Up To Healthy Eating Habits Will suffice.", i stare for A few seconds. i -i Think i can do that.... i mean i've been trying to get my strength up to help the others in the game right? OK i'll try to do it. I nod, "ALRIGHT.", I eat The toast slowly. gog so much toast.

Kan eats from the plate two as we make light barely mentionable small talk. Gog this is embarrassing and weirdly ... Pale. I'm blushing. I know that It seems like a small Gesture but It's so fucking nice I'm about to cry my ugly red all over the place. She's actually worried about me. She could be anywhere but she's here. I never had anything like this before.

After a while of picking at it I finish my toast. This is all so nice. I fall back and land on the heated snuggle plains. I can't stop myself from making a small content noise. Gog I'm so full. I can't help but hope this never ends I mean I'm warm, comfortable, with a full stomach and Kans company. For once I feel completely safe. She probably Doesn't even know that this is the best I've probably ever felt. Kan asks a question that drawls me out of my thoughts for a second,

"How Did You Eat That Whole Bowl Of Stew?", I blink "WELL I, ATE MOST Of IT AND CLEANED UP THE REST.", Well that was odd timing. "That's Such A Waist.", I almost laugh she must have really liked the stew.

"Why Would You Throw That Away?", I Shrug. Isn't that what you do with food you can't keep? "WE DON'T HAVE A COOLING UNIT. IT WOULD HAVE GONE BAD ANYWAY."

She looks troubled for a second and pulls up her husktop. I'm getting tired again so I stretch and curl up beside Kan In the comfortable silence.

Sleep takes me quickly. I'm happy to report that once again the pale colors and soft edges are back as I dream.

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It's been a week and two days since I had my panic attack. Kan is still monitoring the amount of food I eat and making sure I push to eat a little more each time. She Says soon we are going to split my meals and try for three small portions a day and increase it from there. They won't really leave me alone and no matter how much it annoys me I'm grateful for it to. Kan Helps eat the rest of most of my meals and I would be lying if I said it's not the greatest thing ever. Dave and Rose also take their turns as my guards or whatever.

Oddly enough I'm actually starting to enjoy the conversations I have with Rose. She and Kan are so red for each other that it's disgustingly adorable to see them dance around the topic of telling each other. I think they both know though.

Rose apologized for the misunderstanding in what we've started calling 'THE GREAT TOAST INCIDENT', and after that she's been much easier to talk to but, if she Makes me see Kans sad expression when she looks in the direction of the 'alcohol' one more time we are going to have some serious words.

We mostly talk about the difference between romances and language in our cultures but, when I complained about the lack of Reading materials on earth she took it upon herself to teach me how to read and speak in french. She says that she took classes back on earth. In return I'm teaching her some of our body language and some different dialects that were spoken in my neighborhood. Language barrier is both a positive and a negative when you're like me. It helps to listen in on things you shouldn't know for danger and still be able to pretend you don't know what's going on.

She and Kan also Have started bringing Dave up in conversation a lot, sometimes even at weird times I don't know what they're after so I just try to sway the conversation back to the last topic. When It's Dave's Turn to take his watch things are almost like they were before. He's annoying but .... I guess I'm getting used to it. He's always a really ... close up person. Like if he's near you he's always ... close to you. He doesn't seem to like standing an acceptable distance away and I'm starting to not mind. It's just weird to me I mean, I have never been all to used to touch or people being in my personal space. Bad things always seemed to happen when people were less than a certain distance away.

Now Dave can come in close and I don't even think about it unless he touches me. Normally it's on accident but it's still weird. He likes to as Rose says "Roughhouse". I don't really get the appeal but I understand it a bit better now. He does this thing two. This thing I didn't notice before that when he's talking to you it's like his whole body is aimed at you. He actually turns his whole face to look at you and even his toes point at you. I know it's weird but the attention is ... nice. When I figured it out I made a little game out of it and would stand on the other side of Dave compared to Rose, when we all spoke just to see if I could give him whiplash or something. Rose and Kan eventually caught on and Rose got in on the game as well. It was fun.

Dave has started being weirdly careful though he doesn't touch my arms anymore and if he does it's vary gentle and He makes sure I know he will in advance. To be honest It's getting on my nerves. Dave shouldn't be worried about that. Dave seems hesitant now and that's not a word that should ever be in the same fucking building as Dave let alone the same Sentence.

He has taken up sitting with his back against mine though. He's warm so that's nice to. We just sit and talk about random things or we don't talk at all. Dave will randomly use the position to try and squish me but whatever.

Dave eats with me when I manage to convince Kan to Take Rose on a date. Its pretty peaceful right now. there's such a weird air about everything. I'm safe and happy for once, but I know it's just a matter of time before everything catches up to us. I've been saying nice a lot but I don't know another word for what this feeling is like.

"Hay, Kanaya and Rose said They wanted to see you and I should bring you there so I'm gonna be your chiefer without the top hat and with arguably a better suit.", That's weird Kan rarely ever lets me out of the room. I think she's worried about me running into Gamzee .....

"SHUT THE FUCK UP DAVE. LETS JUST GET GOING OR WHATEVER YOU ASSHAT.", Dave laughs "I really have to thank Rose for recommending some of those websites to you. I'm loving some if the new slash old insults.", "OH FUCK YOU DAVE.", "You haven't even asked me out to dinner yet. You sir have damaged my maidenly sensibilities.", I scoff, "WITH HOW OFTEN YOU EAT WITH ME I'D THINK THAT I WOULDN'T NEED TO ASK.", Dave laughs "Oh my god dude sometimes I love your Freudian slips. Like seriously dude, can't get enough. Their like full sentences and not even words.",What did I say?.... oh .... that's..... I'm.... "YOU SAID ROSE AND KAN WANTED TO SEE ME?", He nods, "Real smooth change in subject by the way." , "SHUT UP DAVE.",

"So you're not calling me Strider anymore. Guess I have Climbed up to the top rungs of the friendship echeladder?", Is he trying to make this walk as awkward as possible? "DAVE HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO ASK YOU TO SHUT UP BEFORE IT SINKS INTO YOUR THINKPAN?", "Oh so now you're asking me to do things instead of ordering me? I'm shocked.", he never gives me time to think in these conversations. I always end up saying whatever I think of first and that's never a good thing.

"I DON'T ALWAYS ORDER PEOPLE AROUND. I ORDER PEOPLE AROUND WHEN THEY ARE BEING FUCKASSES AND DOING THINGS THEY'LL REGRET.", "Oh so I'm not being a fuckass. Coming from you that's flattering.", "IT'S NOT MEANT TO BE FLATTERING. STOP IT.", "So NOW I'm being a fuckass?.", "YES NOW SHUT UP.", oh there's the door, "And why am I a fuckass again? What does that even mean?", "IT MEANS FOR YOU TO BACK THE FUCK OFF BECAUSE I LIKE YOU AND I DON'T WANT TO GET HURT!",......... FUCK. i told you. this never works out well. i run through the door as fast as i can. Kan and Rose are on the couch. I quickly sit down and hope they don't ask.

"Karkat where is Dave? I told him to escort you.", Gog damn it Rose. "OH. HE'S OUTSIDE THE DOOR.", Rose nods and continues as if nothing has happened. It turns out that they wanted me here for our next french listen.

Chapter Text

This Meeting Had A Bit Of An Alternate Purpose. Rose And I Had Planned Something Special For This Occasion. It Had Taken Some Heavy Reassurance On My Darling Rose's Part To Convince Me That This Will Be The Correct Course Of Action But, Now I Believe I Just Might Be Able To Do This.

Maybe.

"Rose. I Think I Have Changed My Mind. Perhaps This Is Not The Best Course Of Action.", She Sighs Out Her Exasperation In A Long Gust Of Air Before Taking My Hand And Saying, "Kanaya. we have been over this quite a few times and, you yourself had told me not to let you back out of this. Today is the day.", I Nod And Gather My Strength. Today Is The Day.

The Door Busts Open And Karkat Practically Dives For The Spot Next To Me. He Looks A Bit Frantic. What Happened? Rose Questions Dave's Whereabouts And His Response Gives No Hints. There Will Be Time To Dig Later. The Lesson Starts As Planned. When Karkat Had Spoke About The Lack Of Literature On Earth Rose Had Taken It Upon Herself To Expand Our Reading Options By Teaching Us French. Karkat Seems To Retain New Languages At A Surprisingly Fast Rate And I Often Find He Has Sprung Far Ahead Of Me. When Our Lesson Ends Karkat Begins To Explain A Trolls Threat Posture And The Slight Change Of Tone That Often Accompanies It To Rose. I Watch As He Gives The Basic Outline And Then Expands On The Subject Until Rose Actually Tries And Succeeds In Using Our Body Language And Tone.

Trolls Use Different Tones To Imply Feeling, Emotion, And Intent. By Just The Hum We Use When We Speak We Can Gather About As Much Information As Humans Do In An Entire Conversation. Human Speech Is Often Frustrating Or Misinterpreted Because Of That. When Karkat Began Teaching Rose I Had Honestly Thought It Would Be A Much More Difficult Processes Considering Some Of Our Noises Are Not Natural To Humans. All Seems Well So Far. I Feel No Need To Bore You With The Details of The Lessons So I Will Skip Ahead A Bit.

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"OK ROSE. I THINK THAT'S ALL WE SHOULD COVER TODAY. YOUR MEDIOCRE THINK SPONGE MIGHT EXPLODE IF WE GO ON MUCH LONGER.", It Hasn't Been Long Since He Has Started To Insult Those Around Him Again. Now However It's Taken As More Of A Sine Of Health Then Anything Else So Rose Just Smiles, "Mediocre or not I agree that this should be it for today. I'll be off now.", And Exits The Room.

I Take A Deep Breath. Today Is The Day. "Karkat, Fallow Me Please.", He Nods And We Begin Our Walk. This Will Be Either A Huge Step Forward Or A Huge leap Backwards. As We Make The First Turn Kar Gives Me A Curious Look. I Would Do The Same After All We Are Now Going In The Exact Opposite Direction Then His Room.

To Be Honest It's Not His Room We Have Been Keeping Him In. I Know It Seems Extreme But It Would Be A Big Mistake To Leave Him Alone Right Now. We Decided To Give Him A New Surrounding And Take Him Out Of His Normal Environment To Keep His Thoughts Off Things. Sometimes You Need A Change.

No Troll In Their Right Mind Would Allow Anyone To Do All That We Have Without An Extreme Level Of Trust. To Allow Me To Lead Him Anywhere At All Without Asking Where Is In Itself An Act Of Trust. The Fact That This Procession Hasn't Been Met With Kar's Usual Level Of Doubt Makes Me A Bit More Confident In What's About To Happen. When We Reach The Correct Door I Take In Another Breath And Hold It. Now Or Never.

I Open The Door And Walk In Careful To Make Sure Karkat can't see the Work I Spent the Past Few Days On. I Walk In First To Make Sure There's No Chance Kar Will Feel Trapped. I Take Care To Stand Away So To Show In Full Exactly What's Going On And....

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The whole lesson i keep thinking about what just happened and i can't believe past me would be such a fucking idiot. What was i thinking? Oh wait i wasn't fucking thinking because of that raping, fake cool, not ironic douchebag wouldn't L-... OK so it's my fault. i just. i don't know. At least i said it in a way that was vague. i mean he'll probably think it's about being his friend or something .... right? Who am i kidding my luck fucking sucks when it comes to this shit. i could say something weird and ridiculous that i would never say like 'Terezi will never be able to see again' and the next thing i know "it's 4 m3ric4l! I can s33." it would happen just for the universe to fucking spit on me. Not that that would happen.

OK i have to stop thinking about this. Dave is pretty dense so he probably didn't Realize. On with the show right?

Roses lesson went well. She picks up on things quickly and it's worth it to see Kans proud face when Rose gets something right. It's been cool to practice French with Kan. She keeps getting progressively more twitchy as the lesson wears on so i call it eventually for her sake when Rose starts to notice. Rose Strides (ha) out of the room and Kan asked me to follow her. i hope she's OK she doesn't normally do things like this. She's acting a bit odd. i cast her a look when we go the wrong way. What is this about?

There's no way i would have trusted anyone else like this. Just to lead me somewhere. i'm a little weirded out, to be honest, that i DON'T think of all that she could have been leading me into. Kan pauses at this random door and takes a breath before opening it and stepping in. i follow and see....

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sorry to break in yall but i think it's my turn and by "sorry" i mean not because i have some shit to say. now let me pick a good place on the timeline to start this shit. this is the only time i'll ever say this. fuck being linear i have some shit to work out and, you're already strapped into this roller coaster so all i have to do is be the fly as fuck ride operator who yells check and sends you on your way while you sit there like "i signed up for the beast what the fuck is this." and i'm like "hell yeah longest wooden roller coaster ever bumpy as shit but so fun you forget your bruises" as i send you off into parts unknown. i feel the need to make a smuppet dong joke but i dont think id be able to forgive myself.

Chapter Text

i know you guys want to get back to your regularly scheduled program or whatever but i'm hijacking this train like i'm a bandit in the old west and the train has a lode of gold that is worth more than the Louisiana purchase. which didn't really cost the u.s. much back then but you get the point. i'm gonna do that and try to remember to capitalize shit... naw fuck that who has time for that shit? You guys know i don't. fuck the shift bar like it's way the fuck over there .... nope not doing it. i'll try not to rant as much two, before i used to do it to Annoy people and practice for my rap seasons. now that i'm on a meteor with people who do it normally or act like it's a contest on who could have the most annoying or freaky speech pattern known to the universe frogs ... oh Gog i'm starting to sound like Karkat.. i don't do the rant thing much if I'm not talking so you should be good.. anyway its become more of a gaucherie. i kinda can't stop myself anymore. when i talk it just kinda happens.

gaucherie: lack of social grace, sensitivity, or acuteness; awkwardness;crudness; tactlessness / an act, movement, etc., that is socially graceless, awkward, or tactless.

Rose isn't the only one to read the dictionary thank you very much. i just don't like explaining what i mean or over complicating things so why should i show it? speaking of complicated things. what the fuck just happened. Karkat said he liked me. i mean that's what he meant right? When the fuck did that start? Did I miss something? and then he ran, what the hell am i supposed to do with that? I mean i don't even know how i feel about it, i wasn't exactly like repulsed by the idea. i'm still not. i'm not buried so deep in the no homo closet that I'm in a foreign land with mythical creatures and shit. i know Bro was at least bi so it's not like the closet was ever even really built to begin with. Do i like Karkat? why would he like me? when the hell did that start? OK lets think this over, when was the first time i really interacted with Karkat... Or at least the first time not over chat.

ouija board of cock incident.

right.

OK so ..... that happened 13 days 5 Hours 10 minutes and 59.45286 seconds after we arrived on the meteor. we arrived 3 days 4 hours and 26.932657 seconds into the linear time line from the point that the game started. the suplex happened at 16 days 9 hours 14 minutes and 23 seconds (surprisingly even. i love when things happen directly as the second changes. it's cool as fuck.) into the game. OK i need to cut back on that crap for you guys. got it. OK so what happened.... I'm so much better at remembering times then events.

what lead up to the suplex?

it shouldn't be this hard to remember.

OK fuck it. i'm Going back. way back. we're doing this shit. we're making it happen. time to break back out the timetables. i take a minute to anchor myself to the meteor (and not this position in space like i normally do) and i travel back. as soon as the world stops spinning and i regain my bearings i try to find my target from my spot near the ceiling... no one ever looks up. it's not long before i start to remember what's going on. Oh that's what started it. Kitkat and his stupid shipping charts. talking about valocating or some shit with Rez. now that i think about it, it would have been helpful to know the quadrant shit before i got into a relationship with her. i mean i didn't give a shit but she obviously did. if i would have known that the murder clown thing was going to be a thing, hell even possible it might not have ended so badly. but even now after all the shit i went through the whole valocating thing doesn't sound like a thing i would do.

not that i really get it in the first place. like it just sounds like we would be trading her around and that's against damn near everything i believe in. i guess that's not really what it is though? Kar doesn't seem like the type to be into that either. i remember being furious at him for even thinking i would go along with that and it freaked me out about alien things. Kar walks forward and starts making his grid thing. i freeze when i see myself carelessly touch him like that, as past me try's to grab the pen. (OK it's official it's way better to say past me in this situation kitkat gets all of the mad props on that one.) Karkat freezes and i have to hold back from tackling past me to the ground to get him away.

What the fuck came over me back then? that... that was not OK. i mean sure i didn't know how big a problem Kar had with touching but really i'm practically wound completely around him. anyone would have a problem with that. Kar must have really hid how freaked out he was i mean holy shit. LOOK at how fucking tense he Is. Past me is a dumb ass for not realizing that. i mean what part of me isn't touching him? this turned really awkward and horrible really fast. i watch as past me tries to yank the pen out of his hand and he clutches it for dear life as past me is fucking yelling in his ear. Kar seems to run on autopilot for about a second yelling back in protest. then the weirdest thing happens.

it's like something in Karkat clicked and his face turns from, "please don't kill me", to, "OH you're not hurting me.", and finally, "no you ass this is my pen you can't have it.". His responses change to insults and then confused remarks and back as we fight over the pen. Every now and then he seems to hesitate like I'm going to suddenly snap and hurt him. It's like he's pushing his boundaries to see if I'm a danger to him. now i realize what's happening. i can pinpoint the exact moment this became a game that i didn't know i was playing at the time.

then he gets a hold of my cape and God his face was priceless. he seems so proud to find something that bothered me. adorable. damn i was so touchy about my cape back then. i almost laugh out loud as the cute little fucker gets more and more tangled in it. how the fuck did he even do that? he's so tangled that it's acting like a net. that's when the suplex happens. i wince when Kar comes down hard. that must have hurt i mean he's hella thin. no padding on bone ya know? he looks dazed for a second and then scared and then it's like he's OK again and then straight to pissed off just before Rez barges into the room. Oh shit Rez might find me. i really can't risk dooming the timeline like that.

i skip back to my present before she has a chance to smell me.

OK Let's think back. that ended up fun but Kinda weird. didn't he say i was basically black flirting with him at one point? we started to talk more after that. after all there's nothing better than a suplex to break the Ice right? that's what i thought. nothing. OK lets see. the first thing i can think of is that that suplex had to hurt but he didn't say anything. i can't help but feel horrible about it now. was he ok? i have the urge to check his head for a bump that should have long since healed. nope not gonna be a creeper. and i've got this weird protective thing going i guess.

alright that's how we first got to being on talking terms. i can't get over how carelessly i touched him though. and how he reacted. what made that time the day of toast incident different? i need to check.

OK lets go. i skip back without a thought. When the world stops spinning i see my past self standing in the doorway. OK here we go take out your notes kiddos. when i look over at Kar i almost laugh again. from the look on Karkat's face i apparently did something so fucked up quadrant wise that he might be considering supaku simply for seeing it. i watch as past me walks over and sits on the edge of the bed facing away. Kar looks uncomfortable "WHAT ARE YOU DOING FUCKASS?", "I'm sitting here.", damn i'm an asshole. conversation hits a lull after a few seconds. i know i was stumped right here. I was looking for something to say. i was always a dick to Kar and it bothers me that even when i had started talking to him on a normal basis, i didn't see anything wrong.

there's no apology that's good enough for what happened. i mean kar's a bro and i was way to into myself to notice. i wanted to say something, fuck, anything to get him to feel better. but i couldn't think of anything. i just really really want him to be OK. i want to keep him safe from everything. he's been through enough. i watch the odd conflicted look on my face. yep past me that about sums it up. god I'm glad Kar didn't see that.

speaking of Kar, he's twitching now. i'm not normally anywhere close to quiet. Kar probably thinks he did something wrong. after a few more seconds of silence where neither of us know what to say Kar can't stand it anymore, "I... THANKS FOR ...... I'M SORRY-I", I see myself react like i feel. past me sits up straighter thinking we did well when he thanked us and then he panics like i remember because Kar is blaming himself. that's not a thing that should happen. it's not his fault. i remember before, i sat looking away because i didn't want to see him look at me and blame me for not seeing what was in front of me. i know he wouldn't have but that didn't mean i didn't think i deserved to be yelled at for it. i would have been OK with it if he was mad at me for it but i can't handle hearing him sound so defeated.

i remember how bad i wanted to see his face then. I wanted to be sure he was OK. i needed to get his mind off of it. I couldn't wait i felt like i might have died if i waited. i see past me fall onto his lower legs and spared out like he's trying to take up as much of the bed as he can with a relieved laugh when i see Kars face. Then i see kar go through the same thing as earlier. it only takes a second and i didn't notice back then but Kars face once again changes swiftly "please don't kill me", to, "OH you're not hurting me.", and when i continue to move to cover more of his legs his expression changes to, "no. you get off my legs. i'm not a toy!". Kar starts to protest but I'm much more concentrated on keeping that defeated tone away then anything that remotely resembles his protests.

i have to bite my hand to stop from awwing at him when he realizes i'm not mad and shows his relieved face. we argue back and forth. i can't get over how expressive Kar's being. it's like i had made it past a wall, or seven, and now he's not even bothering to hide his expression. it's adorable. How did i not see it? why didn't i look up? why didn't I pay attention? i see past me slowly climbing up Karkats short frame while Kar blushes and growls lightly. god this looks so suggestive when you're seeing it from the outside. i was so close to him. i'm not normally such a touchy person. just ... wow.

then Kar brings up the blankets in conversation and i brace myself for what comes next, "MOVE!", then i watch as if in slow motion as past me reaches up to stop his arm carelessly. the room freezes. this time Past me notice's as Kars expression changes. unlike the Ouija board of cock incident. past Dave doesn't continue practically snuggling him. this time past me doesn't keep snarking at him. this time there's no form of reassurance. their is no continuing on. i froze and Kar saw that something changed and i wasn't reacting the same way. he thought something had changed. i touched his scars and he thought i was rejecting him for it. he grew up in a world where rejection meant death and he thought i was rejecting him.

Kar made this terrible broken noise and both... times of me panicked. Kan practically threw me out of the way to get to Kar. i left quickly.

OK now i know why that happened. i don't feel much better for it. i didn't expect to feel that way the second time. OK so all and all i guess the only thing to ask is do i like Karkat? am i even gay? alright we already started this up i'm not stopping until i know the answers. i'm not going to hurt him again. i need to know how to react next time i see him. OK i'm going to jump around until i have some answers. that sounds good right?

OK one of our first big interactions. let's go ...... 32 days 5 hours and 18 minutes (flat. it's an even number!) after the suplex. that was like our 5th meeting that had actual conversation after the Ouija board of cock incident. it was way before the toast incident though. Yes on to the third night of "don't be an ass time" with Karkat. it had started with me making fun of his books and branched out from mutual snarking with him to him reading them to me to playing video games with him and then listening to music together and junk. OK then is good. grammar pertaining to time travel is difficult.

i rev up the time tables and start reversing good got it now lets g-HOLY SHIT. oh good i didn't lift my hand the way i was supposed to. oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, this like never happens. never. i mean it barely missed by a millimeter but, time travel is an exact science. it's about 2 minutes before when i was supposed to be hear. that's not OK oh my god. OK... OK it doesn't look like Kars in the room. why is Kar not in the room please tell me that i didn't fuck up the timeline. no. nothing feels off. were good. ... OK so where is Kar?

i here a door open to the side. oh he was in the bathroom. i look over ....oh ....oh he was in the shower and.... OK never mind me wondering about if I'm attracted to guys or not because DAMN. i mean i didn't really look at his bod when his life was in danger. but now... like holy shit. muscles are nice. i like those. Jesus. he's not scowling he looks neutral if anything but i mean wow! in terms of structure he doesn't look human, that's for sure. i mean they don't have babies so the no nipple thing probably should have been a given. he has these notches on his sides that are kinda like deep scars and i really want to touch them. when the hell did i become the type of person who said stuff like that?

his stomach is way too thin and it's worrying. how do you have muscles and be that dangerously thin at the same time it's odd and alarming and still attractive in a way that i know would make him seem sexier if he was healthy and filled out more. my eyes travel around him without my permission. his arms are thin and scared but he carries a sort of odd unnoticed grace about him. i've never seen him fight but i bet he could kick ass. he seems built for speed and grace and despite the state he's in it defiantly shows. he has no hair anywhere but the top of his head and to be honest i only realize that when i'm looking for a happy trail. my eyes continue down and... well he's wearing pants.... yep i can't believe I'm about to say it but yeah i'm disappointed to. i hate myself a little for it but i am.

i watch as Kar wonders to the other side of the room to get a shirt. (noooooooo). he sits down on his bed without putting it on. (wooooooooooo) he stares at his cuts for what seems like the most heartbreaking few seconds in the world. i just ....i need to help. i feel the need to fly down and wrap him up and stop him from hurting. then i noticed a big discolored bruise on his back. my mind cycles through things that could have happened before i realize what it was probably from. anger floods me.

if i see that clown again i will kill him, well if Kanaya doesn't get there first.

he puts his sweater on and seems to look around for something to do. that's when past me knocks on the door. "Karkat.... KARKAT it's me.", Kar gets up and opens the door. Past me doesn't wait for invitation and pushes into the room without a thought. "ok Karkitty, what's on the agenda for today?", Kar looks confused for about half a second before he goes back to scowling "AGENDA? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?", past me just shakes his head, "No man what are we doing today?", Kar scoffs, "WHEN DID IT BECOME MY JOB TO ENTERTAIN YOU? I COULD HAVE SWORN MY TITLE WAS KNIGHT NOT JESTER. BUT I MUST HAVE BEEN MISTAKEN. APPARENTLY I'M NOT THE KNIGHT OF BLOOD. WHAT THE FUCK DID I THINK I WAS THE LEADER? OH WAIT I AM THE LEADER. IT'S NOT MY JOB TO ENTERTAIN YOU STRIDER.", i just noticed he never actually said he wouldn't. Past me says, "But, it is your job to keep me busy. before i go crazy.", Kar flinches but fixes himself and seems to think about it. "TO BE HONEST I WAS JUST GOING TO READ TODAY".

past me throws himself onto the bed "Read me a story.", when i said that i didn't mean for it to be serious. i meant to sound like a kid asking his parent to read for him but, Kar picks up a seemingly random book and flips through it quickly before sitting down on the other side of the bed. i guess Kar wouldn't get the 'i was joking around about being childish' thing after all they were raised by big monster creatures so it probably wouldn't be the first thought. Kar says, "THIS ONE IS AN INVASION STORY. IT'S GOT SOME LIGHT PALE AND RED OVERTONES BUT NOTHING ALL TO INAPPROPRIATE. SO HOW ABOUT THIS ONE?", past me is obviously taken aback, "OK that would be ... cool.", i see Past me come up close and angled himself so he's looking over Kars shoulder. Kar looks uncomfortable but starts reading anyway.

after a while Past me gets into the book and stops paying as much attention to Kar. Kar seems to settle down after a while two and starts getting into the book despite his new me shaped blanket. he actually smiles during a part of it. SMILES. God he's so cute when he's happy. i practically melt when He settles against me... past me. how do i not realize that? OK i think it's time to go.

so.... me liking Kar is definitely a thing. the thingyest thing. more of a thing then all the things before it. like people who have never even thought of it before are suddenly like OH that IS a thing. hell i bet even Lord English knows it's a thing. that's a weird thought. bastard probably ships us. yeah right like that would ever happen... and i am the most calm ever. like so calm. because you know the two people who are the worst at relationships left alive like each other, hows that going to go wrong. no there's no possible way something bad will happen with that right? Oh god.

i don't know when Kar started to like me and ... well. i don't need to know. Whatever it was that started it i'm glad it did. i'm not doing this again. these time jumps are dangerous and stupid. to tell you the truth i only told you about the eventful time jumps, i did a few to get to when i found out what i needed to each time. people say they would love to go back and see what they went through again, but to actually do it is different. it wears you out. you take in every detail and it's nice but terrifying in ways i can't describe. i just. i think it's a time player thing. i knew it would feel like that but, i needed to know. i'm not going to... to let this pass without knowing.

OK there's one more thing i need to find out. I know i shouldn't but ... this is the one chance i'll have to find out. after this no more time hoping. no more of this crap. it was weird to do this in the first place but, i needed to do it so i could figure this out. so i could find out things that could have taken way too long before to find out. what I'm about to do is selfish. its dumb. i could wait. this isn't time sensitive like everything else was. this isn't something i have to know before i .... before i die.

before the game i didn't think like that. but now i've seen and been through so much death that it's something i think about all the time. and time. time is a part of me now. i flow through it more then live in it. it's part of my code now. we're all different now and i think i might be scared of what we'll be even if we win the game. will i have this thing that's so much a part of me taken away? i am a knight of time. i am one of two Daves. i mean what will happen to Davesprite? death is part of me to. almost as much as time is. will i be without that big part of myself? if things change will i have just a blank space where that is now. we're racing into uncertainty even bigger than we are now. at least we pretty much know what we're doing now. what if we win and everything is taken from us and we have to start from scratch? or worse what if we go back to what happened before. what if it's like it never happened.

i couldn't handle that. i couldn't handle not having Kar around or being near Rose and Kanaya or the mayor. or going back to school after being in a place where every second is a battle for survival that I've probably lost and went back to fix hundreds of times before. i don't think i can look at Bro the same way. i can't imagine sitting in class around so many people. god it's hard to imagine so many people even existed now.... i meant to believe not imagine. it was a thing at one point i swear. god what if the trolls go back to their murder-verse. Kar was slated for death even back then. he's just starting to accept himself and... those scars. i can't even think of how bad it would be for him. and the other trolls. they all changed so much they would break if they went back and Kars already so fucking fragile.

that's one of the reasons i want to go back even though i should wait. i should wait until he tells me. i should wait until the topic comes up. but now i know. i know what i did wrong and i can't do it again. i know what will happen if he tells me. ill get so mad i'll freeze. ill freeze like i did and he'll think I'm rejecting him and that's not what I'm going to do. i don't want to make him feel like that again. but if i go back it'll be a mistake. i'll be so mad i'll do something i'll regret. i need to ... i need to ask people first. i need to make sure.

i can't ask Kar. that's a horrible idea. no the ones i need to ask are Rose and Kan first. definitely Kan first. but Kan is probably with Rose so maybe i'll ask them at the same time? ok plan made. then i yawn. OK i can wait till tomorrow to do this. time travel and tired don't mix.

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after i wake up and get my normal crap done i decide it's time to Ask Kan. i find kan with rose in the common room. ... they left Kar alone? why? "both of you are out here?". Rose says, "Yes Kanaya and i have been-", i cut her off, "OK so before you go on i have to ask you something important. i want to get your permission for something.", i was looking at Kan so she replies, "What Would You Like To Ask?", OK I'm going to be straight forward with this. ... yes, "OK so Kar told me he liked me, so i did some time jumps that I'm not entirely proud of to find out if i feel the same and i do. and i did some other ones to see why he reacted the way he did to me and i figured it out. and yep i like guys two and .... OK bottom line is i want to know before it comes up in conversation or so i can avoid hurting him. i want to .... possibly go back and find out... just at one of the points.... what Gamzee did to him????",

Rose had been smiling from the point that i said i liked Kar back but after i said my plan she was frowning, "Dave, I don't think that's a good ide-", "Take Me With You.", i don't think my head has ever snapped to someone so fast. "What???", OK i didn't expect that question to be in stereo. apparently Rose was freaked out two. Kanaya sighs "Karkat Won't Ever Tell Me About It. He Doesn't Want Me To Kill Gamzee. I Want To Know What Happened So That I Can Help Him Through It Even If He Doesn't Want Me To.", well this will be different, Rose practically stutter's "Kanaya you can't be seriously considering this?", Kan pauses to think of how to word her response "Rose I Need To Know. I Need To Know So I Can Help Him. I need To Break This Barrier. This Is Not An Opportunity To Pass Up Lightly. If Dave Goes So Do I.". Rose deflates, "Don't kill him", OK. odd but OK.

Chapter Text

Kan set up a pile. Oh Gog. i... i. What do i say. This ... This is a pale proposal. This is ..... Oh Gog what do i .... i push back a wave of panic. What do i do. The pain from before flashes through me so hard i almost flinch. years of hiding weakness help to hide pain. That flash was just a reminder, 'Don't fuck up.', Yes i want to take care of Kan. Yes i want to help her. Yes i get that i need help now but, ... what if it doesn't work? What if it was a joke? What if it turns out like ... turns out like Gamzee? i slump defensively at the thought.

i-i can't handle that again. The pain throbs in my chest and doesn't seem to leave. i'm so pale for Kan that it doesn't feel possible. if i lost her it would kill me. it would be so much worse then what happened before. But if this is real... if this is real then i wouldn't be able it forgive myself for passing it up. i need to know her intentions. i need to know if this is real. ... Please let it be real. When i get the courage to speak again i can't even force my quark to come out.

i almost finch again at the sound of my own voice, "Kan i-i... if this is a joke it's not funny... Kan i really couldn't handle this if you just want a one time thing. please please explain.", Kan Looks startled for some reason and after a moment she says, "I Do Not Want This To Be A One Time Thing Karkat. I Promise You. I Don't Want To Hurt You.".

i force myself myself to look into her eyes. i search her for any form of lie. i try to see anything. All i see is Sincerity with a bit of fear. i don't want her to be afraid but... I'm terrified. i need to know. Her expression never wavers. This ... This is more than Gamzee ever did for me but... Do i really want to risk this?

If i do this and it's real i won't go back. i don't think i could. What Kans offering might seem like just a talk to you but, to trolls it's a big deal. The first time you enter a pile with someone it tells you if you are at least slightly compatible. It's Not even just that though. We... Connect. Biologically it's a way to help your quadramate. It's a gentle telepathic nudge that tells you about the person. It's the beginning point of a Pale Romance. The first time you join someone in a pile is supposed to be when you set boundaries and try to find the best way to help one another. It's supposed to concrete the rest of your relationship. Make it deeper, set boundaries that can't be past or the relationship terminates itself.

I've never done this before. Gamzee didn't want to and ... OK he refused to and.... i felt enough for him that i-i let it slide... or... because i didn't want him to get angry again, like he did the first time i brought it up...

But, Kan is willing to do this... she went through the trouble... she wanted... wants me to be comfortable. Please don't let this be a lie. Her expression doesn't change so i move forward a little. I keep expecting her to laugh in my face. To Take It All Back but, She Doesn't. I hold her gaze and she never even wavers. She in fact has started to look determined. About what i'm not sure. She makes no moves. She just waits. Please, Please don't let this be a joke. I gain Confidence Just Steps Away. with the lingering thought i can't seem to kill 'maybe.'

i take the last step forward and nervously sit down in the pile. I shuffle into it a bit. Suddenly Kans scent hits me. it's more defined than before. it's like .... fabric and blood but also ... just a touch of roses sent and something dry and fresh that reminds me of daylight and desert flowers. The scent is relaxing and i can't help but sigh without meaning to. That's embarrassing. i'm so comfortable right now it's almost frightening. Kan moves to follow slowly and as she sits the pain in my stomach disappears and the connection that shouldn't be possible if she didn't mean it slams into me.

I feel her on a different level. I feel the calmness, intensity, and strength of the moon. I feel her worry and care and the feeling almost kills me to know that yes she does return my feelings. she's won't leave at least not just yet. I feel how much she cares so strongly that it's startling. This feels so right, so right i have to stop myself from crying. This is what it's supposed to feel like. This is how it's meant to be. It's so different. So perfect that I can't even begin to describe how i feel anymore.

But that's not all. on closer look I feel her pain as well and i almost cry for an entirely different reason. Her pain is ... it feels like fabric that has been worn thin. Stressed at the edges and close to having holes. I feel like i need to reinforce her. i want to help strengthen this beautiful person. Even if i brake. even if there is nothing left of me i will. i promise i will.

I feel her intent as well. I feel her care and want. I feel her intent to stay. To stay by my side. Her want to help me. I open my eyes that had drifted shut and turn towards her. When she looks at me I feel myself smile. I can't really help it. Kanaya smiled back and asks "Karkat I Know That This Isn't The Best Proposal But ... Would You Please Be My Moirail?", the first thing I think is just the word yes. i'd love to. but before I can say the words that i desperately want to, panic floods me from seemingly nowhere. my vision starts to fade to black and i curl into myself. I feel the tips of my fingers go numb with lack of oxygen and panic. i feels like it's been hours but was probably only a small amount of time. my minds flooded with reasons and thoughts. i feel trapped and

"YOUR A USELESS MOTHERFUCKING MUTANT. You thought you could lead? HA ha HA ha YOU'RE A MOTHERFUCKING BLASPHEMOUS PEACE OF SHIT. you got your friends killed. IT'S ONLY A MATTER TO TIME BEFORE YOU KILL THE REST OF US OFF. you should do us all a favor and kill yourself. THEN MAYBE YOU'LL BE OF SOME MOTHERFUCKING USE. ha HA ha I FUCKING DOUBT IT."

PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP PLEASE STOP please...

i already know

please just ... no more.

"Can You Tell Me What's Wrong? How Can I Help?", Kanaya's voice cuts through the darkness and i see her hands extended in front of me. i try to grab hold but i feel like somethings holding me back. i feel her hand on my face and whatever it was fades away. I shake my head and words that i don't even fucking want to say come out. Not that i don't agree.

"KANAYA I I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. KAN I DON'T-I JUST.", i look at her through my hair. i feel like I'm falling apart. i want to thank her for what she's already done. i want to get that sad look from her face. i want to be held. She hugs me, i relax a bit, "Karkat You Are Good Enough For Me. I Am So pale For You That I Can Hardly Stand Myself.", i shake my head a bit, "Talk To Me Karkat Please." I want to but i can't. I'm calming down fast but, i don't even know how i did it before. i'm sorry Kan I'm sorry. i have to be freaking you out. but it was right I'm not good enough for you. you'll end up hurt. i couldn't stand it if you got hurt. "I'm Fine. It's Alright. It'll Be OK." she says, "Shhhhhhhhhhh" she shooshes me and i feel... better.

"KAN I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU.", Kan shakes her head, "Karkat I'm So Pale For You It's Almost Painful. If Anything I Don't Deserve You. Kar I Want To Prove Myself To You. I Know You're Hurt And It Won't Be Easy But I Relay Want To Be Here For You.", i know i feel it... i just... i rest against her a bit., "I WANT THIS TO WORK KAN", her head finds a place on my shoulder, "Then Let It.".

I'm OK now. "I'M SORRY KAN.. I WANT TO BUT .... I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THAT WAS. I-I DO WANT THIS. I WANT THIS TO WORK KAN. I REALLY DO", She rubs my back. This whole thing is so inappropriate. "Karkat. I Would Like To State Terms Pleas." my blood pusher is so loud. So loud. "I .... YOU GO FIRST.", This is embarrassing. This is a big deal. Kan nods.

"Alright,... Please Come To Me Whenever You Need Me, As Long As It's Possible To Do So.", That's.... I can see why... I think I can Do That, "ALRIGHT.", She pauses before continuing, "Please Never Hurt Me Or, My Rose On Purpose, Unless Some Mind Control Shenanigans Are In Play.", obviously. I would never do that. "AGREED.", She Continues, "Please If Possible Tell Me The Truth, Unless You Need To Lie To Save The Timeline Or Protect Myself, Rose, Dave, John, Davesprite, Jade, Or Your Own Live.", I do a lot of things but, i don't lie unless It's to survive. I don't see the point in it. I've had to hide and defend for so long that I know lying is the easiest way to get caught. "YES."

"Please Take Care Of Me." "ALRIGHT.", "And Never Deny Yourself Of Me Unless It's My Choice. If You Want Me Ask If I'm Available And Try To Make Contact. Don't Hide Yourself Away.", That's much harder. What if she's doing something? What if-"I Will Never Be To Indisposed Or Busy For You If You Need Me. I Promise. ", I... OK, "YES.". "I Believe That Is All At This Time.", Something clicks together. The words we said weren't just words anymore. They were vows. They Were Connections. They were promises and reassurances.

I don't know how to describe change. I wish I could but... It's like an extreme fence was put around the things she said no to. They were already things i wouldn't have done in any timeline. Fuck I would have fought sixty horrorterrors if it would have kept me from doing them, but now it's like the idea of doing them is ninety times as disgusting as it was before.

"Now Please Tell Me Your Terms.", I hesitate for a moment. "Karkat... I Want You To Be Comfortable Around Me. I Promise It Will Be Fine.", Alright..... but, "WHAT DO I SAY? I DON'T WANT TO HURT YOU.", She paps me gently, "Whatever You Want.", OK ..."TELL ME IF I DO SOMETHING THAT HURTS YOU.", she nods, "Alright.", "BE AS HONEST AS POSSIBLE." she nods, "Yes", i hesitate and she gives me a reassuring squeeze and a pap. "PLEASE... PLEASE DON'T HURT THE HUMANS OR I.. UNLESS SOME FUCKED UP MIND CONTROL SHENANIGANS AND SITUATIONS IN WHICH YOU OR OUR QUADRAMATES WOULD END UP IN HARM.",I won't ask her to hold back if Rose is in danger. She nods. "Yes.", "DON'T HIT ME OR USE YOUR POWERS ON ME ON PURPOSE. PLEASE TALK TO ME AT LEAST ONCE IN AWHILE. PLEASE TRY AND HELP ME. PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU. PLEASE DON'T BE RECKLESS AND GET HURT. PLEASE STOP ME IF I DO SOMETHING STUPID. PLEASE KEEP YOUR PROMISES.", when i started i couldn't stop. i'm freaking out. "Agreed.", I feel the click again and suddenly it's like All The doubts were erased.

She wouldn't do It. She Promised. She hugs me harder and lets me calm down resting against her. We relax in silence. Even a week ago I normally wouldn't have felt comfortable enough to be within a foot of someone for a extended time unless in a dreambubble. Now I'm here lying in my moirail’s arms. We fall asleep like that. I dream of Having Lunch With everyone. I Dream that my friends are alive and no one hates each other. I dream that Kanaya sits by my side next to Rose while Dave sits on my other side. I dream that Sollux and i snark at one another from across the table and Jade gently Reprimands us to stop. I dream that Mituna is better and chats animatedly at his matesprit. i dream that Meenah Jokes and laughs with everyone. I dream and for once there is no blood. I dream and for once there is no death, no pain, no horror, or doom, or sadness. For once everyone is happy. I sleep in my moirail's arms and for once I actually rest. I know the dreams not real but, i'm happy to have it.

I know that the dreams not but, This This is real.

Chapter Text

I Watch Nervously As He Takes In His Surroundings. This Is By Far The Most Blatantly Obscene Thing I Have Ever Done. This Is Also The Most Sweepingly Romantic Thing I Could Think Of.

I Have Spent The Past Several Sleep Cycles Awake Preparing The Room For This Exact Moment. The Pile I Had Been Building In My Room Has Been Painstakingly Deconstructed Only To Be Rebuilt, Bigger And Better, In The Center Of This Room. The 'Blanket' That Rose Knitted For This occasion Is Placed At The Forefront In Front Of The Pile. The Blanket Is Flush And Pale Themed Featuring A Jade Background, With My Roses Beautiful Color On Hearts And Karkat's (My Favorite Shade Of) Red On Diamonds. There Are Cloths Hanging From The Ceiling And The Lights Are Dim And Appealing.

But It All Boils Down To A Pale Proposal That I Could Be Very, Very, Far Out Of Line In Making. I Am Literally Asking For Kar To Join Me In The Pile. This Type Of Jump Is ... Unheard Of And Unorthodox. For Someone Like Karkat That Has Repressed Himself To Such A Degree And Lived In Such... Well Necessary Denial Of His Own Basic Emotional And Physical Needs, This Lack Of Subtlety Could Be Frightening. The One Previous Emotional Outlet Had Turned Into A Horrible, Horrible, Experience That Almost Cost Him His Life.

He Has Been Injured To An Extent That In All Reality This Step Should Have Been A Sweep From Now At Least. Time Is Of The Essence Now Though. There Is The Lingering Scent Of Death And There Are No Second Chances Now. We Have Had To Fight For Our Lives For So Long That Waiting Is No Longer An Option. No One Is Willing To Waste Even A Moment Of The Fleeting Time That Remains. Even Dave Seems To Be Attempting To Make The Most Of It. I Will Not Miss The Chance I Have Now.

I Watch As Karkat Takes In His Surroundings With Wide Eyes Before Freezing. I Wait Nervously For A Reaction. Kar Seems To Panic For A Moment Before I See Some Of The Light Drain From Him. He Seems To Deflate and Says In A Quiet Voice, "Kan i-i if this is a joke it’s not funny. Kan i really couldn't handle this if you just want a onetime thing. Please, please explain.", I Feel Myself Crumble. He Sounds So Sad. So Horribly Defeated. So Afraid. He's Putting Just As Much Out On The Line As I Am If Not More. Gog I Didn't Even Think About The Possibility of A One Day Pile. I Would Never Do That To Him. I Want To Help Him I Want To Bandage Him I Want Hold Him Up So That He Can Heal. I Don't Want To Leave Him Alone Like He Was Ever Again. "I Do Not Want This To Be A One Time Thing. I Promise You Karkat I Don't Want To Hurt You.".

He Looks Into My Eyes As If Attempting To Find Any Form Of Deceit. I Steel Myself To His Piercing Gaze And Hope For A Favorable Verdict. After A While Karkat moves Forward And Pauses Still Holding My Gaze. He Searches Me Again Before Moving Another Step. He Is Making Sure That I’m Not Retracting My Statement. He's Trying To Find Any Deception' A Bit Of A Lie, That Would Tell Him To Back Off. This Situation Requires As Much Caution As Possible.

Contrary To The Resident Humans Beliefs Pale Relationships Are About More Than Patting Each Other On The Back And Saying, "It’s OK", Pale Relations Are About Much More. There Are complexities And Challenges. Things That Karkat Had Forced Himself To Skip Before Must Be Respected Now. This Possess Is As Much Instinct As Knowledge. Kar Showing Such Trust To Even This Point Has Steel Plated And Reinforced My Resolve. I Don't Want To Harm Him. And If We Had Time I Would Use Sweeps To Woo Him. If We Had Time I Would Peruse Him From The First Step To The Last. Please. Please. I Need Him To Know That.

Karkat Takes The Last Step Forward And Gently Sits In The Pile. I Follow Slowly. My Heart Clenches when He Begins To Settle In. His Reaction Will Mean Everything. Trolls Have A Deeply Ingrained Shelter Instinct. This Instinct basically Forces Us To Be On Constant Guard Until With An Established Quadramate Or In A Space That Allows Us To Burrow Or Simply Sit In The Correct Material To Be At Peace. You Physically Can't Stay In A Pile With Someone You Don't Like. Your Body Simply Wouldn't Let You. You Gain A Sort Of Connection To The Person You're With, The Only Acceptation Is ... Like In Gamzee's Case If ... If Plan On Using The Person And You Know You Can Manipulate Them. Even In That Case Though You Aren’t Comfortable. This Is A Lot Harder To Know But ... Because Gamzee Was Leaving Piles Everywhere It Made It Much Easier To Lie And Abuse.

I Give Him Time To Adjust Into The Pile. There Is No Rush. To Be Comfortable In Someone else’s Pile Especially When In A Clear Proposal Has Been Placed, It Means You’re Comfortable Around Them. Piles Give Off The Scent, Feel, And Intent Of The Trolls Who Have Been In It.. Trolls Will Subconsciously React To The Pile With How They Feel For The Person. My Pile Obviously Smells And Feels Like Me. Like My Hive Did. I Watch Nervously Waiting For A Sine.

When He's Done Shifting He Lets Out A Relaxed Sigh And His Eyes Widen Marginally A Moment After Upon Realizing What He Had Just Done. Yes!!!!!! So Many Shout Poles!!!!!!!!!! He Trusts Me! He's Comfortable! Yes! First Few Steps Are Complete! I Feel Like I’m Flying! I Still Need To Be Cautious For Karkat's Sake But, I Can't Help But Smile Happily As I Sit Down Next To Him. I Take In His Scent And Am Feel Myself Relax Into The Pillows. It Is Like. How Do I Describe... He Smells Of Metal. Not Like The Iron Of Blood But Like Steal From Sweeps Of Practice With His Weapons. Metal, Well Read Books And Something Both Slightly Sweet Somehow A Touch Bitter.

I Feel His Intent And Hesitation To Trust And Desire To Protect And Help Flood Around Me. His Feel Is ... Soft Things And Hard And Sharp Edges Just Like The Pile. I Feel His Fear And Pain But Also, I Feel His Warmth, Not Physical Warmth But Just... Care, compassion, Want To Help, Concern. It Surrounds Me With Such Strength That My Breath Slows And I Almost Drift Off To Sleep. This.... This Is Right. But His Hesitation Comes Through Almost As Clear. I Then Feel Something Else Upon Closer Examination. It Feels Of Broken Glass Ready To Cut And Damage But, Pointed Inwards. This Is Where He's Hurt. I Almost Cry For Him. This Is Horrible This Shouldn't Have Happened. It’s Like He Had Been Slowly Torn Apart From The Beginning Of His Life And Then Someone Dug A Hand In And Started Ripping Pieces Away.

Karkat Has Sunk Further Into The pile and Has Turned To Me. I Turn As Well And He Sends Me A Small Smile That Sends My Bloodpusher Reeling. How Can Someone So Hurt Have So Much Strength? He Has Given Me A Chance And Come Horrorterrors Or Annihilation I Will Make Good On It. I Smile Back And For A Moment And He Looks So Proud That He Could Make Me Smile. He's Ridiculously Adorable. I won’t Let Anyone Hurt Him Again. "Karkat I Know That This Isn't The Best Proposal But ... Would You Please Be My Moirail?", He starts to confirm but suddenly Curls In On Himself And I Feel something horrifying Overtake him. He's Going Into Another Panic. I Am At His Side In An Instant. "Can You Tell Me What’s Wrong? How Can I Help?"

He's Shaking. I Hold His Cheek. He Slowly Returns From Whatever Was Happening. He shakes His Head, "KANAYA I I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. KAN I DON'T-I JUST.", He Is Looking At Me Through His Hair And I Feel His Consent To Hold Him On A Deep Level, I Brush The Hair Out Of His Eyes And hug him, he relaxes a bit. "Karkat You Are Good Enough For Me. I Am So pale For You That I Can Hardly Stand Myself.", He Shakes His Head A Bit, "Talk To Me Karkat. Please.”, He Wants To But He Can't. Under The Haze Of Panic I Feel Concern. He's Concerned About Me. His Panic Is Partly Because He's Worried About Me But, What I Find Disturbing Is That There Is Something Else, Some Dark Thing That Seems To Be Pushing Me Away. I Need To Calm Him, "I'm Fine. It's Alright. It'll Be Ok." I Take A Risk. "shhhhhhhhhhh" I Whispered and gently shoosh him. He Calms. Good. I Feel … Whatever That Was Leaving. Good.

"KAN I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU.", I Shake My Head, "Karkat I’m So Pale For You It's Almost Painful. If Anything I Don't Deserve You. Kar I Want To Prove Myself To You. I Know You're Hurt And It won’t Be Easy But, I Really Want To Be Here For You.", Karkat Seems To Take That In And Nods. He Lets Himself Rest Against Me. "I WANT THIS TO WORK KAN.", I Place My Head On His Shoulder, "Then Let It.".

After A While He Speaks. "I'M SORRY KAN.. I WANT TO BUT .... I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THAT WAS. I-I DO WANT THIS. I WANT THIS TO WORK KAN. I REALLY DO", I Rub His Back Gently. In Attempt To Keep This Calm. This whole thing is so inappropriate. I Need To Help Him And The Only Way To Do That Is To State Permissions. Permissions Are A Big Part Of Troll Culture. It’s A Form Of... Well... Reassurance That We Wouldn't End Badly. I’m Not An Expert On It But, I Know It Is Supposed To Be Done. Other Then It Must Be Done On A Regular Basis Do To Health And Safety Reasons. This Is The Time To Ask. I Don’t Want Him To Be Alone Ever Again. "Karkat. I Would Like To State Terms Pleas." His Blush Is Extremely Prominent. He Is Embarrassed. "I .... YOU GO FIRST.", This is embarrassing. I Pause And Take Time To Think. Soon Words Are Pouring From Me Without My Intention.

"Alright,... Please Come To Me Whenever You Need Me, As Long As It's Possible To Do So.", "ALRIGHT.", I pause But, Let Myself Continue, "Please Never Hurt Me Or, My Rose On Purpose, Unless Some Mind Control Shenanigans Are In Play.", Obviously He Would Never Do That, "AGREED.", "Please If Possible Tell Me The Truth, Unless You Need To Lie To Save The Timeline Or Protect Myself, Rose, Dave, John, Davesprite, Jade, Or Your Own Life.", he doesn't even need to think before he says, "YES."

"Please Take Care Of Me." "ALRIGHT.", "And Never Deny Yourself Of Me Unless It's My Choice. If You Want Me Ask If I'm Available And Try To Make Contact. Don't Hide Yourself Away.", I Feel His Uncertainty And Cut His Thoughts Short Before He Can Dwell. "I Will Never Be To Indisposed Or Busy For You If You Need Me. I Promise.", I... OK, "YES.". "I Believe That Is All At This Time.", Something Clicks Together. The Words We Said Weren't Just Words Anymore. They Were More Like Steel Cables Now. I Knew He Wouldn't Have Before But Now It’s Like It’s Not Even A Possibility In Other Timelines.

"Now Please Tell Me Your Terms.", He Hesitates For A Moment. "Karkat... I Want You To Be Comfortable Around Me. I Promise It Will Be Fine.", "WHAT DO I SAY? I DON'T WANT TO HURT YOU.", I Pap Him gently, "Whatever You Want.", He Nods Lightly, "TELL ME IF I DO SOMETHING THAT HURTS YOU.", I Will. He’s Starting With Difficult Ones I See. I Would Have Told Him Before But What If It Could Hurt Him? The Shear Worry Makes Me Pause. If He Hurt Me It Would Hurt Him. I Wouldn't Let Him Be Hurt. I Nod, "Alright."

"BE AS HONEST AS POSSIBLE." I Hate Lying So I Nod Without A Thought, "Yes", He Hesitates And I Give Him A reassuring Squeeze And A Pap. "PLEASE... PLEASE DON'T HURT THE HUMANS OR I... UNLESS SOME FUCKED UP MIND CONTROL SHENANIGANS AND SITUATIONS IN WHICH YOU OR OUR QUADRAMATES WOULD END UP IN HARM.", I Nod. "Yes.", "DON'T HIT ME OR USE YOUR POWERS ON ME ON PURPOSE. PLEASE TALK TO ME AT LEAST ONCE IN AWHILE. PLEASE TRY AND HELP ME. PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU. PLEASE DON'T BE RECKLESS AND GET HURT. PLEASE STOP ME IF I DO SOMETHING STUPID. PLEASE KEEP YOUR PROMISES.", He’s Panicking Again. He Shouldn't Have Felt The Need To Say That. That Wasn't As Much About Me As A Plea To Not Do What Has Been Done To Him Already. I Hate That Clown. I Will Kill Him I Swear It. "Agreed.", I feel the click again and suddenly I Almost Throw Up At The Thought Of Doing Any Of Those Things.

I Hug Him Harder And Let Him Calm Down. I rest My Head Against Him. We Relax In Silence. We Have Made So Much Progress. Now I'm here lying in my Moirail's Arms. I Smile As We Fall Asleep. I Dream Of Happy Times. I Dream Of Beautiful Smiles And Joyous Laughter. I Dream Of Karkat And Dave Sharing The Same Type Of Glances That Rose And I Indulge In. I Dream Of Holding My Mates Hand In My Own Wile Kar Holds My Other. I Dream Of Daylight And Desert. I Dream That The Others Are But A House Away.

The Dream Is Not Real Of Course. In The Future It May Be Though.

__________

When I Wake Karkat Is Just Opening His Eyes As Well. He Wipes His Eyes Blurrily And Mumbles, “G’NIGHT KAN.”, Adorable. I Take Time To Stretch And Reply “Good Night!”, This Is Wonderful. The Giddy Feeling From Waking Up Next To My New Moirail Gives Me A Rare Playful Feeling And I Whisper Into The Comfortable Silence, “… So About Dave?”, Karkats Face Turns Red And He Eminently Hides In The Cushions. I Swoop In And Tickle Him.

He Curls Around Me Laughing So Hard That His Halfhearted Protests Have Just Turned Into Wacky Flailing. I Stop After I feel He Has Been Sufficiently Tickled Into Telling The Truth. I Rather Enjoy Being Able To Be This Open. Finally When He gains His Breath Back He Says, “OK, OK. SO I HAVE A BIT OF A FLUSH CRUSH. IT’S NOT LIKE IT’LL GO ANYWHERE. I MEAN DAVE'S JUST … I DON’T THINK IT WOULD WORK.”, He Admits With A Sad Sigh.

“I See No Reason Why it Wouldn't Work Karkat.”, He Searches For The Words. ”I … DAVE'S A GOOD GUY… I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING FOR HIM TO BE INTERESTED IN.”, I Feel The Wave Of Emotion Under His Words. It's Like … wistful Acceptance. I Hate It. He Feels He’s Not Good Enough. He Is Wrong. “I Think Dave Seems To Like You.”, He Sighs Again. “I DOUBT THAT KAN. AND I MAY HAVE RUINED ANY CHANCE I HAD AT THAT ALREADY.”, This is News. “Please Explain.”, Karat Covers His Face Again And I Resist The Urge To Tickle Him Back Out Once Again. “I MAY HAVE SAID I LIKED HIM AND RAN AWAY.”, Oh This Is Quite The Development.

“I Believe That Means You Did Not Give Him A Chance To Respond. His Response Could Have Been Favorable”, Kar Shakes His Head Again. “NO I DOUBT THAT KAN AND EVEN IF HE DID IT PROBABLY WOULDN'T END WELL. I'M NOT MEANT TO HAVE ANYONE KAN. I'M SO LUCKY I HAVE YOU. I'M HAPPY WITH THAT.”, And He Believes It. He Honestly Believes No One Can Love Him. He Believes That The Fact I Do Is Some Form Of Fluke Accident.

I Hate This But Reassurance Will Take Time. I Can’t Just Tell Him That It’ll Be Alright. I Can’t Push His Relations With Others. The Bond May Be Formed But It Is Still As New As Can Be. I Won’t Push Him Away Or Towards Someone. I Won’t Push Him At All. Not With So Much Damage. For Now Things Need To Progress At A Natural Level. For Karkat To Be Able To Be Whole For The First Time In Probably His Life. He Needs Time And Care He Never Allowed Himself Before. That He Was Never Allowed To Have Before.

I Don’t Know Dave’s Feelings So I Cannot Answer For That. I Will Not Encourage Something That Could End Badly. I Will Not Take Chances Yet.

At Least I’ll Be Here For Him. I Hug Him Tightly Again. We Stay For AWHile Until We Decide To Move. I Lead Kar Back To His Room And He Assures Me That It Will Be Fine To Leave And Go Speak To My Matesprit.

I Let Him Relax In His Newer Room And Go To See Rose. I Can’t Help But Smile On The Way To The Living Area. I Feel So Happy That It Seems Ridiculous. “So, how did everything go?”, Rose Asks Upon Seeing Me. She Seems Weary. Neither Of Us Knew For Sure If Yesterday’s Proposal Would Have Turned Out Alright. I Would Have Never Guessed That It Would Have Turned Out As Well As It Did At All. I Had Hoped That Kar Would Have Been Ok In The Pile With Me But, To Have Already Accepted Terms… This Is Amazing.

“It Went Well. I Am Proud To Report That I Now Have Filled My Diamond Quadrant.”, Rose Smiles And I Can Barely Stop Myself From Jumping Up And Down In Happiness. “I’m happy to hear that!”, Rose’s Excitement Is Thinly veiled. “Perhaps You Could Help Me With Something Love?”, Hmmm I Feel I Know Where This Is Going. “Oh Really? What could I Be Of Assistance With?”, If This Will Go How I Think It Will Then Karkat Will Be Jealous Of The Cliché That I Am About To Say. “Is there any way that … you could give me some example of how your date went? I would like to include pale romance in my next book.”, Yes!!!! “Although It’s Flattering, A GentileTroll Does Not Pile And Tell.”, Yes Reference Secure!

I Laugh Even As Rose Looks On Confusedly. The Next Thing I Know Dave Is In The Room Looking Frantic And Worried, "both of you are out here?". Rose Answers Him, "Yes Kanaya and I have been-", Dave Cuts Her Off, "OK so before you go on i have to ask you something important. i want to get your permission for something.", He Was Looking at Me So I Reply , "What Would You Like To Ask?", He Fidgets Before Speaking , "OK so Kar told me he liked me, so i did some time jumps that I'm not entirely proud of to find out if i feel the same and i do. and i did some other ones to see why he reacted the way he did to me and i figured it out. and yep i like guys two and .... OK bottom line is i want to know before it comes up in conversation or so i can avoid hurting him. i want to .... possibly go back and find out... just at one of the points.... what Gamzee did to him????",

Rose And I Had Been Smiling From The Point That Dave Said He Liked Karkat Back But After He Said He Was Planning To Go Back I Was Shocked. What Am I Supposed To Say? I’m Glad He Came To Us First But… It Seems Like An Invasion Of Privacy. But At The Same Time… Rose Speaks Up In Outrage, "Dave, I don't think that's a good ide-", "Take Me With You.", I Don't Think I Have Ever Seen Someone’s Head Snap In A Direction So Fast. "What???", Both Dave And Rose Ask. I Sigh, "Karkat Won't Ever Tell Me About It. He Doesn't Want Me To Kill Gamzee. I Want To Know What Happened So That I Can Help Him Through It. Even If He Doesn't Want Me To.", This Is Rude But I Keep Remembering The Pieces That Are Missing. The Horrible Darkness And Pain. I Will Not Let That Continue To Eat Him. I Won’t Let Him Be Hurt. If I Can Know Now I Can Help Later . I Will Help. I Don’t Care If It’s a Step Back In Our Relationship If It’s A Step Forward For Karkat. I Wasn't Joking. Rose stutter's "Kanaya you can't be seriously considering this?", I Have To Phrase This So She Knows. This Is Needed. I Take My Time To Think Of Something To Say, "Rose I Need To Know. I Need To Know So I Can Help Him. I need To Break This Barrier. This Is Not An Opportunity To Pass Up Lightly. If Dave Goes So Do I.". Rose deflates, "Don't kill him", I Nod. “As Long As it Will Be A Problem If I Do then I Won’t.”.

Dave Nods. Rose Gives Us A Long Look. “I will not tell Karkat of this indiscretion but I will be at his side for now. Until You Get Back. Don’t make me regret this . Karkat needs both of you. Don’t do anything stupid.”, She Hugs Both Of Us And Quietly Leaves The Room. We Stand In Silence For A While. We Know What That Means. There’s A possibility That We Could Doom The Timeline With These Shenanigans. We Could Go Back And Die In The Past And Rose And Kar Could Be Left Alone Waiting For Our Return With The Murderous Psychopath That Is Gamzee And Terezi Until The Timeline Kills Them In A Horrible Scary Blaze Of Alternating Color.

We Can’t Change Anything That Happens. We Have To Be Spectators. We Have To be careful. We Can’t Be Caught We Can’t Be Hurt Or Herd. It Has To Be As If We Never Went Back. No One Can Even Suspect.

Dave Speaks First, “I haven’t ever gone back with anyone else before. When we go back we’ll need to be silent. We’re going to be near the ceiling so don’t freak out when you don’t feel the floor. I have a extra pair of I shades for you so you won't have to talk.”, I Nod Again And Quickly Put Them On When Their Offered. Quiet Rains Again. The Mood In The Room Is Still And Suffocating. The Feeling Of Death Is Close. So Close I Can Taste It. I Live In Death, I Am Death, But The Fear And Pain Is No Different. “I have to hold you up so you don’t fall.”, I Don’t Move. “Kanaya are you sure?”, … “Yes. This Needs To Be Done.”.

Dave Comes Up To Me And Says, “I need my arms for this part so hold on.”, He Gets His Timetables Out And I Hold On To Him So I Won’t Fall. “You ready?”, “I Don’t Know If I Ever Will Be.” I Feel Him Nod And Then The World Starts To Spin. I Feel Time And Space Folding Around Me. It’s Dizzying And Disturbing And Sickening But I Feel My Power Lash Out Onto The Space Around Me. My Power Brings Me back To Focus. Dave Has Managed To Turn Me Around Mid-Air So I Can See What’s Going On. We’re In A Dark Part Of The Meteor. I Pull Up The Chat On The Glasses,

GA: Why Are We Here?
TG: This is where I feel them in the timeline in 2.5461 seconds after you read this.

The Door Opens And Karkat Walks In, Closely Followed By A Vary Alert Gamzee. We Pay Careful Attention, “GAMZEE HAVE YOU BEEN EATING? I LEFT SOME FAYGO IN THE VENT NEXT TO THE COMMON ROOM FOR YOU.”, “yeah I got the fucking elixir you sent me.” Kar Nods. “GOOD, BUT HAVE YOU EATEN? THE LAST THING WE NEED IS FOR YOU TO PASS OUT AND GET YOURSELF HURT.”, Gamzee takes A Step Towards Kar. “HA ha HA the fucking mutant thinks i’m weak. I’M NOT WEAK MOTHERFUCKER.”, He Takes A Step Forward Again But, Kar Stands His Ground And Remains Relaxed. “THAT’S NOT WHAT I FUCKING THINK GAMZEE. YOU KNOW THAT. I JUST WANT YOU TO BE HEALTHY.”, “I’M THE MOTHERFUCKING MESSIAHS I CAN’T GET SICK. You ignorant piece of shit.”, He Takes A Step Closer So He Is Looming Over Karkat. His Position And Tone Speak murder. Karkat Hasn't Moved And Hasn't Lost Ground. He’s Not Showing Fear. Dave Tightens His Grip On Me. Something's About To Happen. “COME ON GAMZEE. WE'VE BEEN TALKING FOR A FEW HOURS. IF YOU’RE HUNGRY TELL ME AND I’LL GET YOU SOMETHING TO EA-” SLAM.

What? It Takes Me Barely A Second To Find Them Again. When I Do My Stomach Drops And I have To Restrain Myself From Hissing. That Bastard Is Hurting My Moirail I Want To Tear Him Apart. Gamzee Grabbed Him By The Throat And Slammed Him Into The Wall He Hasn’t Let His Grip Go. “YOU MOTHERFUCKING MUTANT. never tell me what to do lowblood. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXIST.”, Karkat Struggles For Air And Paps Gamzee’s Hand To Try To Calm Him Into Releasing Him. Gamzee Increases The Pressure On Kars Neck. I Want To Kill Him. He Is Hurting My Palemate And I Will Kill Him. Daves Arms Tighten More Holding Us Both Back. I Can’t Make A Sound. One Sound And We Doom The Timeline.

“ha HA ha YOU WEAK MOTHERFUCKER NO WONDER WHY SO MANY OF US ARE DEAD.”, I Clench My Fists As Some Of The light Drains From Kars Eyes. “no i won’t kill you yet. YOU’D LIKE THAT TOO MUCH.”, He Let’s Karkat Crash To The Floor. Kar Gasps And Rubs His Throat. “ha HA ha I COULD USE YOUR BLOOD TO PAINT THE WALLS, AT LEAST SOMETHING GOOD WOULD COME OF YOU.”, He Crouches Down And Holds Kar’s Face, “don’t act like you think I don’t motherfucking know. I MOTHERFUCKING KNOW. ha HA ha YOU WERE TRYING TO DO US ALL A FAVOR.” Gamzee Grabs Kars Wrist And Digs His Claws In. Kar Flinches And Says. “I HAVEN’T DONE THAT SINCE THE GAME STARTED.”, “you should have kept going, it matches the rest of you. UGLY AND USELESS.”, Kar Flinches And Gamzee Stands Back Up.

“the only other living things on the meteor don’t even care if you’re alive. WE WOULD BE BETTER OFF IF YOU WERE DEAD.”, Kar Whimpers. I Bite My Hand And Dave’s Grip Is Almost Crushing. If We Stop This It Will Kill Kar. It Wouldn’t Help. We Can’t Help. We Can’t Help. We Can’t Help And It’s Killing Me. He’s In Pain. He Needs Me. He Needs Me And I Can’t Help. Blood Swamps My Vision And I’m Angry Enough That I Almost Don’t Care That We Would All Die. All My Instincts Are Screaming For Vengeance And To Be By Kars Side. To Help Him.

Gamzee Kicks Him. “you know what’s going to be fun? WHEN I SLAUGHTER ALL THE FUCKING LOWBLOODS ON THE METEOR AND MAKE YOU WATCH. “, I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. Words Flash Into View and They Pull Me Away Almost Immediately

TG: i'm going to kill him.

No We Can’t. I Bury My Claws Into His Arm.

GA: We can't yet. Only if you get to him before me.

I’m To Mad To Waist Time On Punctuation And quirk. Gamzee Smiles Maniacally. “when I hang that bitch on her own fucking strings. WHEN I HUNT THEM DOWN. when i impale them with their own motherfucking weapons. HA ha HA welcome them all to the motherfucking dark carnival. YOU FUCKING NEED ME. i’m the only one who will ever put up with you.”, Karkat Sits Up And looks Like He’s About To Say Something. Gamzee Cuts Him Off With A Sharp Kick To The Spine. There’s A Sickening Crack And Karkat Crumples And Holds His Ribs. I Almost Bit Through My Lip To Stop Myself From Yelling And Dave Holds Me Back. Karkat Screams And Holds His Head. Dave Freezes. Chucklevoodoo That Son Of A Bitch Used Chucklevoodoo On Karkat. I Remember the Darkness I Felt Suddenly When Kar Went Into A Panic. It Was The Residual Of This. That Fucking ASS-WHOLE Was Trying To Tear Apart His Mind.

The Only Thing That Stops Me Is How Tense Dave Has Become. I Look Behind Me To Check On Him …. I Have Never Seen Such AN Expression Of Shear Platonic Hatred. His Eyes Are Trained On Gamzee As If Analyzing And Waiting For A Week Point To Exploit To Begin Torture. I Look Back To See Gamzee Give Karkat An Appraising Look. It’s Time To Leave. I Begin To Type That To Dave. Before I’m Done Though Gamzee Starts To Talk Again. “YOU’RE A MISTAKE. a cosmic joke. ONE IM GETTING BORED WITH ALREADY.”, And Then He Just Leaves. Gamzee Just leaves Him There. Bleeding And Broken. Whatever I Do Will Never Be Enough Punishment. I Send Dave The Message And We Leave.

We Appear Back In The Common Room. I Collapse As Soon As Dave Lets Me Free. Oh God. Karkat. Is He Al-No Rose Is With Him He Is … A Little Better. Tears Flood My Vision. I Couldn't Do Anything. I Couldn't Do Anything. I Couldn't Do Anything. I Couldn't Do Anything. I Hate This. I-BANG- I Look Over To Dave And See That Dave Has Punched A Hole Into The Wall. His Hand Is Bleeding But That Doesn't Stop Him. He Slices The Table In Half And Smashes A Nearby Vent Cover Until It’s Completely Inoperable. Then He Stops And Stands There For A Second Before He Starts To Shake. “Dave. A-”, “Go check on Karkat.”, I Shake My Head “Dave Don’t Kill Gamzee. Don’t Look For Him Alone. He Has Unlocked Chucklevoodoo. It Won’t Do To Just-”, “fuck. I get that kan. I’m not going to. I just. I need to be alone to blow off some steam or I’m going to do something we’re both going to regret.”, I Nod “Alright.”, It Must Have Hurt Him. He’s So Red For Kar And To See What Happened When it’s Not Even Official. He Can’t Even Walk Up And Act How A Mate Should In This Case. At Least I Know I Can Help. Gog. I Need To Go See Them. My Mates.. I Just …. What Do I Do?

Chapter Text

there's a weird silence after Rose leaves. the first thing that pops into mind that could end it is a warning, “I haven’t ever gone back with anyone else before. When we go back we’ll need to be silent. We’re going to be near the ceiling so don’t freak out when you don’t feel the floor. I have a extra pair of I shades for you so you won’t have to talk.”, she nods and takes the extra shades when i hold them out. the mood in the room is horrible so i continue after a while, “I have to hold you up so you don’t fall.”, she doesn't move. i can see why she wouldn't want to do this. this is a big no no in the trust department. like a “shoot the asshole who dared enter the restricted area” size no in the trust department. the trust po-po are gonna be on us faster and harder than jack size no no. this could be to much but it needs to be done... i think. “Kanaya are you sure?”, she nods, “Yes. This Needs To Be Done.”. alright.

i walk up and say, “I need my arms for this part so hold on.”, before getting my Timetables out, she complies and i give her one last chance to back out, “You ready?”, “I Don’t Know If I Ever Will Be.” i nod. that’s as close to a yes as i think i can say two. i feel my power surround us and bring us through without a hitch. she seems disoriented but i flip her around so we both can see. i see a notification from Kan flash in the corner of my vision and pull up the chat.

GA: Why Are We Here?

TG: This is where I feel them in the timeline in 2.5461 seconds after you read this.

in just the right time the door opens and both Karkat and Gamzee walk in, “GAMZEE HAVE YOU BEEN EATING? I LEFT SOME FAYGO IN THE VENT NEXT TO THE COMMON ROOM FOR YOU.”, Kar looks genuinely concerned, “yeah I got the fucking elixir you sent me.” Gamzee seems weirdly alert and uncaring, “GOOD, BUT HAVE YOU EATEN? THE LAST THING WE NEED IS FOR YOU TO PASS OUT AND GET YOURSELF HURT.”, something in Gamzee's expression changes and he looks a bit more like demented killer then board clown, “HA ha HA the fucking mutant thinks i’m weak. I’M NOT WEAK MOTHERFUCKER.”, where did this even come from. he just snapped if that’s what he did before no wonder everyone was freaking out. Gamzee steps up into Kars space but Kar holds himself back from reacting. it's like he was to used to the change to be frightened of it.

or worse it could be he knows something bad will happen if he shows reaction. “THAT’S NOT WHAT I FUCKING THINK GAMZEE. YOU KNOW THAT. I JUST WANT YOU TO BE HEALTHY.”, “I’M THE MOTHERFUCKING MESSIAHS I CAN’T GET SICK. You ignorant piece of shit.”, Gamzee takes up even more of Kars personal space so he's standing over him. He gives of the impression of a tightly wound string about to brake. Kar is refusing to move he's keeping his ground. i feel proud of him for standing up for himself and showing no fear but, i can feel something bad about to happen. i tighten my grip on Kan as a way to hold both of us back, “COME ON GAMZEE. WE'VE BEEN TALKING FOR A FEW HOURS. IF YOU’RE HUNGRY TELL ME AND I’LL GET YOU SOMETHING TO EA-”,

I'LL FUCKING KILL THAT BASTARD. Gamzee has him by the throat and slams him into the wall. He Hasn’t Let His Grip Go. that was a fast move that Kar had little to no Chance avoiding. why would anyone do that to someone. that's not even fighting, THAT SON OF A BITCH IS TOYING WITH HIM. he's trying to make it clear he could end him whenever he wants. “YOU MOTHERFUCKING MUTANT. never tell me what to do lowblood. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXIST.”, Karkat struggles to breath and pats Gamzee’s hand Trying to calm him into letting go of him. the fucker just holds on tighter.

i want to destroy him i want to show him what it feels like to be ripped apart i want to make that clown bastard feel every last death i had to go through just to watch him hurt. I've never been so angry in my life, he's hurting Karkat. i know i can't help. I Can’t Make A Sound. One Sound And We Doom The Time line. i know better then anyone other than maybe Davesprite, that i can't let that happen. i feel my arms tighten around Kan to a point that i'm sure if she were a human i would have broken her ribs. i don't mean two and i feel bad but i can't even force myself to stop. for once i'm grateful for how tough trolls are.

“ha HA ha YOU WEAK MOTHERFUCKER NO WONDER WHY SO MANY OF US ARE DEAD.”, Kars a knight he already blames himself just like i would and like i do. this bastard was just trying to break him. it's not Kars fault. he continues, “no i won’t kill you yet. YOU’D LIKE THAT TOO MUCH.”, he let’s Karkat hit the floor. Kar gasps trying to breath and rubs his throat. “ha HA ha I COULD USE YOUR BLOOD TO PAINT THE WALLS, AT LEAST SOMETHING GOOD WOULD COME OF YOU.”, he crouches down and holds Kar’s face and i flinch. he's using nice gestures as threats. Kar was never ok with touch. he probably associates touch with pain already and then the asshole dose this. “don’t act like you think I don’t motherfucking know. I MOTHERFUCKING KNOW. ha HA ha YOU WERE TRYING TO DO US ALL A FAVOR.” Gamzee grabs on to Kars wrist and digs his claws in. by the way Kar flinches he must have broken skin through his selves. Gamzees talking about the cuts.

Kar says. “I HAVEN’T DONE THAT SINCE THE GAME STARTED.”, i'm proud he's still not giving in. he needs to resist. don’t let him take what he wants. i'm also proud of him for lasting through his session without cutting, without help but, i'm even angrier at Gamzee for making him relapse, “you should have kept going, it matches the rest of you. UGLY AND USELESS.”, OH FUCK NO. Kar flinches like he got hit and Gamzee takes that as submission and stands back up to full height over Kar.

“the only other living things on the meteor don’t even care if you’re alive. WE WOULD BE BETTER OFF IF YOU WERE DEAD.”, Kar whimpers. I Grip even harder before i realize it. i try to calm myself because Kan isn't the one i want to hurt. i want to stop this but if we stop it the timeline will kill Kar. it wouldn’t help. we can’t help. We Can’t. He needs us and we can’t help. i’m angry enough that i almost don’t care that we would all die. It would be the best reason for a dead Dave yet. all parts of me are screaming for action, for me to help, and to save Kar. to help him.

Gamzee kicks him. “you know what’s going to be fun? WHEN I SLAUGHTER ALL THE FUCKING LOWBLOODS ON THE METEOR AND MAKE YOU WATCH. “, I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. I Can’t Help. that’s it fuck this timeline. i message Kan to let her know I’m going to kill us.

TG: i'm going to kill him.

she buries her claws into my arm and shakes her head.

GA: We can't yet. Only if you get to him before me.

that calms me down a little. ok she knows what’s up. Gamzee smiles manically and i brace myself. “when I hang that bitch on her own fucking strings. WHEN I HUNT THEM DOWN. when i impale them with their own motherfucking weapons. HA ha HA welcome them all to the motherfucking dark carnival. YOU FUCKING NEED ME. i’m the only one who will ever put up with you.”, Karkat sits up and looks like he’s about to say something.

Gamzee cuts him off with a sharp kick to the spine. there’s a sickening crack and Karkat crumples and holds his ribs. Kanaya starts trying to rip out of my hold and i have to hold her back. luckily the distraction is enough to keep me from fucking destroying him. then Karkat screams and holds his head. i freeze. chucklevoodoo Rose told me about that shit. It's ... i can’t even find the words to say how pissed i am. i can find the words for just about anything in some round about 'what the fuck' way but... this.... this is sick. why would anyone ever do this?

the things i think in that moment will never see the light of day. i feel grimdark whispers in the back of my mind but i don't give a shit. i think of things that make even the things Rose calls on that control grimdark sink further into the void to get away.

the appraising look he gives Kar only makes it worse. “YOU’RE A MISTAKE. a cosmic joke. ONE IM GETTING BORED WITH ALREADY.”, then he just leaves. Kar is on the floor bleeding and broken and the bastard just leaves. my dark thoughts don't. whatever i think about Would never be enough. i see Kan’s message saying we should leave. we do.

i think Kan collapses as soon as i let go but i wasn't paying attention. i couldn't do anything. i couldn't do anything. i couldn't do anything. i couldn't do anything. i hate this. i can't believe this. i can't just go up to Kar and start trying to help. i can't just start to act differently. we know how that works. p.s it fucking doesn't. i'm pissed off and i can't do anything.

i've never been this angry. when Bro died it was shocked horror and adrenalin and then sadness and i'm not ashamed to say it was also 'fear'. i'm so angry that even grimdark refuses to get near me. my thoughts are everywhere and i feel like i need to destroy something. when i can’t stand it anymore i end up punching the wall. my fist goes straight through and despite the fact my knuckles are bleeding i don't feel much better. i get out my sword and slice a table in half. then i find myself punching a vent into submission. god what am i even doing? i try to stand the fuck down because really what did those objects do to me? i just can't get it out of my mind. Kar’s face in so much pain. That bastard’s face when he hit him. Kar just lying there broken. i feel my palms start to bleed around where my nails are dug into them and i'm shaking. Bro would be pissed.

“Dave. A-”, oh no you don't get to ask if i'm ok. no no no no no not happening. you go talk to Kar and be around him like you should. help him. all i can manage to say through the anger is “Go check on Karkat.”, i swear to god if he's hurt their will be hell to pay. i know Rose is with him now but... but i don't care i don't want him to be alone anymore. “Dave Don’t Kill Gamzee. Don’t Look For Him Alone. He Has Unlocked Chucklevoodoo. It Won’t Do To Just-”, I KNOW THAT OK. STOP. “fuck. I get that Kan. I’m not going to. I just. I need to be alone to blow off some steam or I’m going to do something we’re both going to regret.”, She nods this time. “Alright.”, she walks off to go check on him. I’m so jealous that she can it hurts. i can't just go up and hug him. i can't tell him i'll protect him. i can't do what i want to do. i hate this. i walk to my room and try to calm down. i brake a few things in the process and it doesn't help. for a while everything’s a angry blur.

eventually i end up in Kars room. i don't know why. i don't know how. i don't even know when i got there but i end up there. i fall asleep next to his bed.

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"Dave?", that’s Rose's voice. "Dave... wake up.", i open my eyes and realize I’m in Kars room still. Rose is sitting next to me. "Dave.... i-", i sit up. i can't handle this right now, I really just can’t, "nope i don't want to talk about it Rose. i really don't i know i’m messed up right now but, i really don't need your physiologist sh-", i feel pressure all around me and it takes me a minute to realize that I’m being hugged. i hug her back. i put my chin on her shoulder in a move that shouldn't be possible with the height difference but I guess is ok with the way we’re sitting, and we sit there for a while just like that. ok this Is different. not exactly what I was expecting but ok. i relax. “Are you ok?”, i laugh, “getting there.”, she nods against me.

this is nice. sometimes it’s hard to remember that Rose is actually my family member. i mean we didn't know we were related before the game but, on some level we were always like arguing siblings. i always imagined that this would be what it would be like to have a sister. i mean it was just me and Bro from when I came down until the game. it’s times like this that I’m like, ‘oh I do have a sister‘ and that we aren't just internet buddies. the first time the thought really hit home was just before we went god tier. it was terrifying and i didn't want her to die but, i didn't want to be alone, and i was so glad that my sister was with me. not just that it was Rose but my sister, if that makes any sense.

she may get on my nerves but she is my sister. i probably won’t be winning any awards either. This hole being siblings and actually acting like it, thing is new and weird and really rare but it is nice. “So you and Karkat?”, I sigh. you know what why not. let’s plunge into the deep end of the feels pool so hard that we make a dent in the bottom and the lifeguard has to come and save us. ok. “yep.”, hay don’t even look at me like that. did I say i'd be any fucking good at this? that’s right I didn't. she laughs “When are you going to tell him?”, oh god how am I gonna even do that?

“don know.”, she nods, “Maybe you can ask Kanaya for some tips?”, I frown a bit, “what if that’s some weird alien taboo. oh god do I have to ask her permission to go out with her palemate?”, that could end bad. She laughs, “You finally said palemate! Looks like you're getting used to the troll romance thing, and at this point I think you would be green lighted. ”, I grown a bit. yep some of the terms are catching, i heard Kan say the word love the other day, so it's not like it's just me. “ok i’ll be honest: with the things i’ve seen with the pale department I can’t say I think they're a terrible idea anymore. I mean having a relationship like Kar and Kan’s doesn't seem like a bad thing, but I’m still not ok with the black romance thing I mean how can hating each other be a good thing?”, Rose hums for a measure in a continuous f# as she moves away so she can use hand gestures.

“I think it’s just that they use the word differently. From how Kanaya describes it I think it’s not what we think of when we say hate. She says it's meant to be like…. If you have someone you compete with. Or mess with. She said that originally it was for the drones because they would get killed if they didn't give them something so they had to have it. It was like you chose someone you could be attracted to and wouldn't kill you. She said it was like …. You know your boundaries with that person and you try to make them better or realize their place or knocking the others ego dawn a peg. She said it wasn't originally romantic but, it turned into that once people knew the others limits and they found out that it could help with heat cycles.”, my eyes widen. oh god what type of story is this turning into?

"wait wait wait. heat? as in ..... HEAT... like the animal thing?", Rose laughs, "Yes Dave, heat as in heat.", she must have seen the expression on my face because she says, "Apparently they only start the first one between the ninth and tenth sweep so it's relatively far away.", ok. then she smirks, "But they can have sex if they chose at any time.", oh i see what she's trying to do. well she's not going to get it. i'm not going be embarrassed thinking about it. i mean i'm not going to think about Karkat... naked.... in bed.... under m-FUCK! GOD DAMN YOU ROSE. and fuck her snickering like a snarky old lady.

then a thought hits me. "if it helps with heat couldn't they just go to their red mate?", Rose Shakes her head' "Apparently the heat doesn't happen at the same set time for them unlike in our animals and it takes a while to recover." oh OH. i'm not going to tell you all the things i was thinking here because ..... WOW. and you don't need to know. Rose Smiles, "So how do you plan on wooing the resident romance expert?", shit, what do i do? i look around and the first thing i see is the cover of the movie "Hitch" with a, in my opinion overly confident, troll will smith. "i'm going to hate me.", "Dave, I don't think....", she looks over to see what i'm staring at, "Oh That.... that is a great idea.".

Chapter Text

I Walk Down The Halls At A Moderate Pace. I Want To Run To Them But I Need To Think On What’s To Happen. I Know That I Can Not, Under Any Circumstance, Let Karkat Know About What We Witnessed. I Won’t Lie If He Asks But, That Doesn't Mean I Have To Even Hint About It. I Hate Hiding The Truth. It's Not Polite To Lie And I Feel Horrible For Even Being This Close To Telling One But, If I Tell Him He Will Pull Away From Me Again. I Can't Help Him If He Pulls Away Completely.

I Simply Have To Act Like Nothing Happened And Try To Help Without Letting On. I Want To Hug My Moirail. I Will Never Be In That Position Again. I Will Never Just Watch Him Be Harmed Again. And Dave.... I Can't Even Begin To Imagine What That Feels Like. Just Thinking Of Not Being Able To Hold Karkat After That Makes My Skin Crawl And My Anger Flair. I'll Hold Him For Both Of Us Until Dave Gets The Privilege Himself. I Hope It's Soon Kar Could Use The Help. I Want To Hold My Rose As Well. I Want To Be Sure That They Are OK. With That In Mind I Walk With Determination To Kars New Room. I Know That They Are OK But I can't Help But Think Of What Could Be As I Walk Down The Dim Halls. I Am Eternally Grateful That My Rose Decided To Keep Karkats Company In Our Absence. I Don't Want Any Of Us To Be Alone Right Now. The Only Reason I Felt Confident In Letting Dave Be Alone Is Because Of The Look On His Face. He Needs Some Time Alone To Calm Down.

As The Walk Drags On My Mind Supply’s Me With Images Of The Scene That Could Await Me. My Mind Gives The Image Of The Loves Of My Life Torn Limb From Limb. Bludgeoned To Death. Hung. Impaled. I'm Racing Down The Halls Now. I See That Look In Gamzee's Eyes. I Am No Longer Sure If The Images Are All In My Mind Or Not. With All The Things I've Seen Since The Game Started I Can't Tell Anymore. Please Let Them Be OK. Please Let Them Be OK. I've Never Felt So Alone. I Turn The Last Corner And Race To The Door. Just As My Hand Reaches The Handle I Hear My Rose Laugh. And I Feel Myself Relax. I Listen To The Sounds Of My Loved Ones Playing A Game As I Hold The Door Handle Not Willing To Turn It Just Yet. "Yes I assume it could be a bit of an odd concept but, I assure you that at a time that Was how things were run. It wasn't as bad as it was in the past but, even in our time it was still prevalent.", I Hear Karkat Grumble, "BUT WHY WOULD YOU LIMIT HALF YOUR POPULATION TO SOMETHING LIKE THAT? THAT'S SO TACTICALLY IDIOTIC THAT IT'S A WONDER YOUR SPECIES SURVIVED.", I Turn And Put My Back Against The Door And Let Myself Slide Down.

The Conversation Fades From My Attention But I Listen To The Wonderful Sound Of The Voices I Even For A Moment Wasn't Sure I Would Ever Hear Again. I Cover My Face With My Hand And stifle A Small Burst Of Hysteric Laughter. They Are OK. I Let The Feeling Sink In. I'm So Lucky To Have Them. I Want To Be In There. I Stand. I Almost Forget To Fix My Appearance Before I Enter. No Reason To Worry Either Of Them.

I Reapply My Lipstick And smooth My Skirt Into Acceptable Position. I Fix My Hair And Wipe The Tear From My Eyes That I Apparently Let Loose Without Knowing. Then I Open The Door Slowly. Two Sets Of Eyes Fly To Me As I Walk In. Rose Speaks "Kanaya I was just playing a game of old maid with Karkat. It had led to a discussion of why the game is titled as such and we just breached the topic of sexism through history.", Oh. I See. I Nod And Make My Way Over To Them.

After A Moment I Make My Way To Rose And Give Her A Long Hug. Then I Redirect My Attention To Karkat And I Hug Him As Well. He Relaxes After A Moment And I’m Overjoyed That They Are Ok. After A While I Move To Sit In A Place Almost Between Them And Completing The Triangle. They Are Within Reach And I Am Content In That For Now.

We Spend The Rest Of The Day Talking And Eating The Various Foods We Had Placed Around The Room When We First All Agreed To Help Karkat Eat Regularly. We All Fall Asleep On The Bed Late That Night.

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When I Wake I Am In Daylight. I Jump To My Feet In Worry Before I Realize That This Appears To Be Beforeus, I Am In A Dream Bubble. All Right. I Move In Hopes Of Finding Someone To Talk To. I Walk Through Colorful Terrain and Soon I Am Greeted With Roses Smile, "Oh good we've found one another.", I Nod. Her Smile Fades After A Moment And She Asks, "So What Happened?", Yes This Is Probably The Best Time To Talk About The Subject. Kar Might Be With Us Physically In The Real World But He Isn't Here Right Now But Where Do I Start. I Should Inform Her Of The Happenings With Dave But She Will Need To Know Something About It First.

I Reply With The First Thing I Can Think To Say, "It Was Horrible.", She Slumps A Bit. I Continue After A Moment. "Dave Was So Enraged That The Conman Room Now Has The Look Of The Victim Of A Horror Movie", She Takes That In For A Moment. "Dave was angry enough to start destroying things?", I Nod. "Gamzee ... Had Apparently Unlocked His Chucklevoodoo And Thought That Karkat Would Serve As The Perfect Target.", Roses Eyes Go Wide But I Continue On, "And The Things That That Bastard Did-I-I Just-", Rose Puts Her Arms Around Me. "I'm Sorry I Don't Think I Can Go Into Greater Detail Right Now.", I Receive A Nod And Am Released.

") ( -EY!", I Look Over To Find Meenah Walking Towards Us. "Is shouty OK?", What How Would She.... Oh The Last Dream Bubble We Passed Was Weeks Ago When Karkat Had Yet To Wake Up. He Had Told Me Of The Experience A Few Days Later. They Must Have Been Worried. "He Is Doing Considerably Better.", Meenah Seems To Visibly Relax.

“Oh thank cod... has that fucking asshole been around him since? ", "No. And I Won’t Let Him Near Karkat Again.", Meenah Pauses Before Saying, "You sound Weird... What happened... Did he hurt shouty again? I'll fucking crawl from this bubble somehow and destroy him. I'LL FIND A WAY. NO'FIN IS GONNA FUCKING STOP ME. I Let Myself Get Calmed Last Time For Karkat But I Will Kill Him.", I Don't Know If It's How It Was Said Or If It Was Just That It Needed To Be Said Or Even If It Was Some Odd Fuchsia Command Trait But I Told Her. I Told Her What Happened. I Told Her Everything. From The Moment Kar First Woke Up, To Our New Pure White Romance to, the Time Travel, And Even The Tints Of Red Between Karkat And Dave. Rose Chimed In Every Now And Again And Eventually I Was Done And We Were In Silence. This Has Been A Lot To Process I’m Sure.

Boom.

What Tree There Is No Tree There Is Only Chunks Of Splintered Wood And Meenah's Fist. It Truly Is Easy To Forget Exactly What The HighBloods Are Capable Of. Meenah Shouts Incoherently In Anger But Gathers Herself Quickly. Then She Seems To Back Up And Breath. She Rounds On Me But Somehow I Am Not Afraid. "If you hurt him or let anyone else hurt him I swear to you, you won’t make it to your next breath, and if you do you will wish you hadn't.", That's Not A Threat It's A Promise. "And I'll Gladly Accept It.", And I Mean It. She Stares Me Down But I Don't Care. I Will Help Karkat. She Finally Looks Away. "I'm gonna go tell the others he's OK.", She Runs Of With Her Braids Flying Around In The Wind Like Always.

Rose Looks At Me With A Raised Brow, "If I'm not mistaken that was an that was an aggression stance. May I ask why?", What It Was Just A.... Oh Right We Hadn't Gotten To That Lesson Yet. "I'm Sorry. That Was Just A Warning Display. To Be Honest I Hope To Receive More.", Rose's Head Tilts Minisculely To Indicate Her Attention. "A Warning Display Is Kind of Like A Challenge. Friends Or Quadramates Or Even Those Jealous Of The Person For The Quadrant Use It. It's A Way Of Defending Someone. She Was Basically Making It Extremely Clear That If I Hurt Karkat, Or Let Him Be Hurt Or If I Am Unsuitable For His Quadrants That She Would Rip Me Limb From Limb In The Most Painful Way Possible And If I Can't Help Him She Will Step Into My Spot.", Rose Looks A Bit Shaken At the Thought.

"So she was telling you to back out of your moirallegiance?", I Take A Moment To Think Of How To Phrase It. "It Was More That She Was Testing To See If I Was Worthy. If You Can't Stand Strong In Front Of A Display You Can't Stand Strong In Front Of Danger. It’s Not Every Day That A Fuchsia Gives A Threat Display. She Is A Good Friend. I’m Not Sure Even Fefari Would Do That And She's known Kar For Years." Rose Frowns, "Aren't You Worried About It?", No, "I Don't Need To Be. I Don't Intend To Fail Or Hurt Him And Now I Know That Even If The Worst Happens He Will Have Someone.", Rose Nods. Then Her Eyes Widen Again Almost Comically, "Will Dave and I have to expect such Threats?", Well..... "Possibly but it is doubtful. Karkat Won’t Give You A Threat Because He Is In A Quadrant That Would Do Such Things Anyway. Just Without Warning And I Won’t Give One To Dave For The Same Reason But You Might Expect Something Like It From Vriska And Tavros Possibly A Few Others Like Porrim. As Long As You Stand Your Ground You Will Be Fine.", Rose Nods. I Don't Even Hint At The Influx Likely To Happen To Dave And I.

I Was Never As Close To Everyone As Karkat. I Was Awake In The Days Not The Nights. I Only Really Spoke To The Others On The Odd occasion That One Of Them Was Up Longer Than Normal. That By No Means Means That I Was Not Friends With Everyone But, Karkat Was The Only One Who Went Out Of His Way To Speak With Everyone. For Example Fefari And Equius Spoke Maybe Twice Before The Game. They Had Drastically Different Visions Of The World And Little Else To Talk About. Sollux Would Rarely Speak To Tavros Even In Memos. And I’m Relatively Sure Terezi Never Even Spoke To Eradin. Despite Everything Karkat Was The Most Social Of Us All And Still, Like I Said We All Leaned On Him For Support But, Until Now, He Has Been Standing On His Own.

Rose And I Talk Lightly Until The Scenery Begins To Ripple And Fade Allowing Us To Drift Off Into Actual Restful Sleep.

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When We Wake Up I Find That Karkat Is Still Asleep. He May Be In The Last Stages Of Recovery From The Split But He Is Nowhere Near As Healthy As He Could Be. He Still Needs Rest To Recover. "Kanaya.", Rose Must Have Woken Up At The Same Time. Rose And I Had Fallen Asleep In Our Chairs And Kar Seems To Have Fallen Asleep Sitting Against The Headboard. I Make An Affirmative Noise To Let Her Know I Am In Fact Listening. "I am going to go check on Dave. If he was as angry as you said I should probably make sure he's ok.", I Nod, "Be Careful On Your Way.", She Leaves After A Short But Sweet Kiss. I Move Karkat Into A Better Sleeping Position And Lay Down Next To Him. I'm So Glad He's OK. I Drift Off To Sleep. Again.

This Time When I Wake Kar Is Sitting Up And Watching A Rom-com. When He Notices That I'm Awake He Pulls The Ear Buds (Dave Made Them) Out And Closes His Computer. I'm Startled When I'm Met With A Mildly Accusing Look. What Did I Do? Did I Kick Him In My Sleep? Is He OK. I Sit Up And Karkat Continues To Look At Me Like I Have Done Something Wrong. The Room Is Silent And Eventually I Can't Take It Any More. "What Did I Do?", Karkat Sighs. Not Angry, Not Sad, Not Even Frustrated But.... Worried And Upset With Himself. I Flinch. "KANAYA", "Yes Kar?", His Shoulders Sink. I Feel Like This Could Constitute As Torture For The Way His Expression Pains Me, "HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU ATE?", I Blink And Try To Sink Into Myself A Bit. This... This Is Not A Conversation I Think I Will Ever Be Ready For. "I Ate With You Last Night.", He Sees Right Through My Petty Attempt. It Was More Of A Last Ditch Effort. "KAN. I KNOW YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN.", His Expression Reads A Loud And Clear 'I'M NOT GOING TO LET YOU FUCKING BACK AWAY FROM THIS. DON'T GIVE ME THAT SHIT.'.

"About Three Pedigrees.", I Had Been Drinking From Rose While Karkat Was Out And Then I Couldn't Do It Anymore. I Have Been Ignoring The Hunger For A While Now. Kars Expression Is Pained. "KAN YOU CAN'T DO THAT. DON'T DO WHAT I DID.", He Isn't Getting It, "No It's Not Like That. It's L-", "LIKE AN ADDICTION. YOU WANT TO STOP BUT YOU CAN'T BECAUSE YOU NEED IT. YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE DISAPPOINTING PEOPLE EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW YOU NEED IT. EVEN THOUGH YOU MIGHT BE HURTING OTHERS. YOU'RE DISGUSTED WITH YOURSELF AND YOU WANT TO STOP. YOUR TRYING TO SEE HOW LONG YOU CAN LAST.", He Rolls Up His Sleeves And Bares His scars.

"KAN I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HAVE AN ADDICTION. I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO DENY YOURSELF. I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO FEEL LIKE YOU'RE A BURDEN OR THAT YOU'RE HURTING OTHERS. I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO STOP. I MAY NOT HAVE GONE THROUGH EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE BUT I WAS AND AM CLOSE.", His Voice Is Strained As He Looks At His Arms, "I STOPPED EATING KAN. I STARTED HURTING MYSELF. I KNOW THE PULL YOU FEEL. THE PAIN. THE NEED. SOMETHING CLOSE AT LEAST TO YOUR HUNGER. YOU WERE WHINING IN YOUR SLEEP KAN. YOU ACTUALLY NEED IT. NOT-NOT LIKE ME", He Clinches His Fists And Looks Back Into My Eyes, "WE CAN LEARN ABOUT HOW TO HANDLE YOUR NEEDS. YOU KNOW WHEN IT'S A PROBLEM. PLEASE GOG DON'T DO WHAT I DID. DON'T DO THIS TO YOURSELF.", I Hear The Pain In His Voice And I Realize How Hard This Must Be, "I CAN HELP. WE CAN LEARN. YOU WON'T HURT ME. PLEASE DON'T DO THIS.", I Nod.

I Hug Him. "But Doesn't It Hurt?", Kar Shakes His Head. "NO. IT'S FINE. I TOLD YOU I WOULD TELL YOU IF YOU HURT ME.", Oh. That’s Correct. He Looks Rather Unimpressed That I Had Even Nearly Forgotten One Of Our Permissions. I Would Be Unhappy As Well In His Position.

I Am Still Wary. It Is Not A Pain I Can Describe To You. The Need To Take Something As Important As Blood From Someone To Stay Alive. Karkat Huffed Moving Slightly Away. "KAN. WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS. I KNOW IT'S DIFFICULT. I MEAN REALLY FUCKING DIFFICULT BUT, THIS ISN'T SOMETHING THAT WILL GO AWAY. THIS IS SOMETHING YOU NEED. REMEMBER WHEN YOU ASKED ME NOT TO GO?", How Could I Forget? "Yes.", "DON'T LEAVE ME ALONE AFTER SOMETHING LIKE THAT", My Eyes Widen. Gog I... I Never Really Realized What This Meant. I'm An Idiot. I Know Kar Worries About Me But I Never Thought He Was As Worried About Me As I Am For Him. Moirallegiance Is About Being Equal. It's About Being There For Each Other. It Doesn't Go Only One Way. I Had Been Trying To Forget So I Didn't Have To Deal With It. Karkat Sees My Struggles. He Always Has. He Always Helped In Small Ways. Now That He Is Able To Do More I Was Denying Him.

I Hug Him Again. "I'm Sorry.", he Puts His Arms Around Me And Puts His Head On My Shoulder. He Trusts Me So Much. His Neck Is Right There. That’s When I Realize... I'm Starving But I'm Not Even Tempted. Maybe I'm Not Such A Monster As I Thought. At Least It Didn't Ruin This. "DON'T BE. I KNOW HOW MUCH TROUBLE YOU HAVE WITH ME. I MEAN I'M A FU-" I Squeeze Him A Bit. Just A Reminder To Stop That Nonsense. He Pauses, "RIGHT... SORRY.... KAN. WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS.", Yes We Can. By The end Of The Wake Cycle We Have Made A Plan To Get Us Both Back To Health. By the End Of The Night I Had Eaten For The First Time In Weeks. It Is An Addiction. Not In The Same Way But It Is A Problem. One That Kar And I Will Find A Way To Handle Together. This could Have Broken Us But We Came Out Of It Stronger. Just Like We Have Every Other Time. The Difference Is This Time We're Not Alone. Now I Know. I Was Looking At Things As If Out Of Focus. Blurring The Parts I Should Have Seen. Now I See What I Wasn't Letting Myself Before. It's a Wonderful View. And All I Really Needed Was A Better Focus

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I feel better. Better than I can even remember. Kan agreed to eat what she needs and I've been working on how much I eat. I feel a lot better and that probably means something horrible is about to happen. It's making me really fucking nervous. Good things don't last long for me. I've Been Aloud To Walk Around More. I started to visit the Mayor regularly. He was ridiculously worried about me but had decided it would be a bad idea to leave can town behind. The citizens of-FUCK IT I can't even take that seriously. i wish i could but they are fucking CANS. I mean what the fuck? But i mean the mayor's still cool so i'm not gonna say no to spending some time there.

i haven't seen Dave Since i fucking shouted that i like him into his face. I've been trying to ignore that he's not here but.... i don't know i just thought he would be better than that. i assumed if he hated me now or thought i was gross at least he would come out and tell me to my face. who am i kidding he probably can't even force himself to look at me. i know i would avoid the person in this situation. i still haven't gotten the courage to talk to Terezi. She's one of my best friends and She does mean a lot to me even if our relationship will never be the same. i don't think i can see her like i did. i don't have the same feelings for her as before. i don't want her in black and definitely not in red. Kan is the best moirail anyone could ever ask for so that thought didn't even cross my mind. It doesn't matter it's just weird. Before i wanted Terezi in any quadrant i could but, now, now the thought of us being anything more then friends is really kind of gross.

That doesn't mean i don't miss her. she's been a big part of my life. i'm starting to get worried. i know it's none of my business. i really know that but with what happened between me and Gamzee i can't help but wonder if it could be worse for her. i mean i was in the pale quadrant with him she's all the way in black. Gog I hope she's OK. i haven't Ran into Gamzee ether. i don't know what to say about that.

When i Wandered around i end up in sollux's room sometimes. i'm not a complete dumbass i know sol and i used to flirt all the time. It was embarrassing and at the time i wanted nothing more than for the world to open and for me to get dragged down to the underworld where my poor flirting and choice in quadrants belong. Sol Is Or, was my best friend. i miss him and the next time i see him, if i see him, i'm going to punch him in the face so hard that if he still had his teeth he wouldn't anymore, for flying off and leaving us. it seems like everyone tries to avoid me at some point. Kan's staying though. i'm still worried about fucking what we have up. She says i won't but... it's still hard to believe.

i turn around a corner and hear a groan. i freeze. Well Speak of the legislacerator and she shall appear out of fucking thin air like a bad magician's hat trick on muscle enhancers. i debate with myself for a while. Should i do this. i don't hear Gamzee but that doesn't mean he's not there. Gamzee can be silent if he wants to be. i make up my mind. i Look around the corner hoping that he isn't there. When i see Terezi alone i step into the room. i sigh. Well why not. Damn near everyone has an Addiction of some form on this metier so fuck why not five of six. At least i hope Dave doesn't have an addiction. God we must be the worst apocalypse survivors ever. "ALRIGHT LET'S GET YOU UP.", She just groans incoherently. She's in no position to move. High off Her mind on sugar, surrounded by empty Faygo, covered in drool and snot, next to a puddle of her own vomit, with her old FLARP cape twisted around her.

i walk forward past the bottles of Faygo and avoid the puke. i try to pick her up by the arm and she pulls back for a moment in her out of it state of mind. i try again and i manage to finally put her on my back. "COME ON TEREZI. LET'S GET YOU CLEANED UP.", She won't remember this in the evening. She groans again and snuggles into my back. This is how we have always been. Me seeking her out after she got hurt. Me being there for her. she's always getting herself into some type of trouble and I'm always here to bail her out. But it doesn't go both ways. i don't mind. She Was one of my first friends.

All my friends have something about them that make them important to me. Terezi is the type of person that always needs someone to lean on. She's strong and vengeful, she can think of a million ways to make the world better, She can handle herself in the worst of times but, the moment when the danger stops, the moment she gets her goals accomplished, the walls come crashing down around her. When i think about it she and a few others are what i would imagine having a human sibling is like. i mean i have seen movies but i can't be sure.

When we get to the hygiene block i put her on the floor next to the load gapper and wet down an absorbent plain. i clean her up carefully and untie her cape. i'll wash it later and put it in front of her door. I don't see any marks that aren't normal for a black-rom. Good. i pick her up again. She Mumbles, "nks..l3s", i sigh again. "YOUR A MESS", She snorts. i carry her into her room and put her on her 'bed'. She fell asleep halfway there. i write her a note and make my way around the metier to get her some pills for her headache before coming back. i put them and a glass of water by her bed. Close enough that she has to see it when she wakes up but far enough that she can't knock it over before or during her sleep. i brush her hair out of her face and leave the room. ill talk to her when she's up for it.

i go and wash her cape and leave that by her door. while i'm leaving stuff i might as well make a round right? So i set off to alchemize some more random shit again. when i get there i stand in front of the alchemiter for a while trying to think of what people would want. No faygo this time. i make a metric fuckton of stew for Kan and Rose who had both commented on it when they thought they were being sly. i make another fuckton of apple foods and drinks for Dave with surprisingly minimal experimentation. i try to make some new flavors of tab for the mayor. Gog only knows if the little guy drinks anything else. Might as well give him something new to drink so. To be honest it will help us all if there's something new in can town. i think about it for a bit and decide to make a lot of grub loaf. The stew could use it and.... well grub loaf.....

I make a scalemate for Terezi and some extra red chalk. I make a better sash for the mayor along with the normal Cans and chalk. Then I make more chalk because why the fuck not. No you know what if i'm going to be helping the mayor with can town I'm not going to use the same few colors all the time.

I spend way, WAY more time than necessary making way, WAY more colors than necessary. I make the exact colors for all of my friends and then I make all the colors I remember from all of our worlds and the dream bubbles. Eventually I decide that i'm wasting way to much fucking time having fun alchemizing shit like i'm new to the game. What the fuck is wrong with me?

I alchemize some new string for Rose in the dimensions she needed and some fabric for Kan as well as some drawing material because she said she wanted some way to sketch out her designs without using the books in the library. When i'm done I look over the pile of random shit. OK. This is going to need two trips. I put the food away first like every time. Now that everyone thinks of food more I can make things that will spoil faster so I don't really have a choice. OK I pick up the scalemates and the huge fucking mass amount of stuff for Can town. I still end up having to captchalogue some of the stuff. I mean what the fuck. I hate clearing space in my sylladex.

I Wobble all the way to can town and when i set the pile down Mayor seems overjoyed to an unhealthy extent. i end up involved in a new ceremony to replace the Mayoral sash and an extensive remodel of the growing can town. Upon voicing concern for the more troubled members of the society and the new incoming members being in similar positions as the larger officials of the meteor a rehab clinic was made in both attempts to help the public and force Rose into a larger civic duty. Before I leave after plenty of ranting and several taste tests I decide it's time to go. When i'm about to leave i turn around and put my hand on the mayor's shoulder when he looks over i exchange the purple chalk in the jail for Gamzee's shade and take Terezi's chalk out of jail and place it in the rehab building. The Mayor's eyes widen but then he nods and smiles.

i leave the room and head back to pick up the rest of the assortment of crap after putting The scalemate on top of Terezi's cape next to her door where I always leave things. This time the pile is a lot smaller and there's no need to pull any sylladex shenanigans. I go to Dave's room first and am supervised to not hear the almost constant beat of the bass. i was about to knock to see if he's OK but i stop with my hand just above the door. i'm not going to force him to talk to me if he doesn't want to. i just put his apple stuff down and start to walk in the direction of Rose's room. i put the string in it's place by her door and move on towards Kan's Room.

When i get there i put down the fabric and pages. Before i can stand all the way back up i hear a noise behind me. Oh gog who "Karkat What Are You Doing?", Damn i've been found out. ummmmm ..... CODE BLUE. CODE BLUE. ABORT MISSION. ABORT MISSION. "UMMMM.", What the fuuuuuuuuck oh my Gog now i know why i wasn't a time player. i would go back in time and strangle myself. that is it i would be done. shortest life in the game ever. i turn to see both rose and Kan standing there. Kan looks around me to see what i was doing and then blinks "You were leaving....", she jumps and points at me, "You're The Random Gift Giver!!!!", Oh no i didn't want people to know.

The next thing i know i'm on the floor with a very happy Kan on me. "Thank You Thank You Thank You. You Have No Idea How Happy You Have Made Me. It Has Been Such A Nice Surprise.", well i didn't expect that, "Why Would You Not Tell Us?" Well i ... "I WANTED YOU ALL TO BE HAPPY. I DIDN'T WANT YOU GUYS TO THANK ME I JUST WANTED TO DO SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.", Kanaya smiles and tries to snuggle into me on the floor. She's making happy noises and i really shouldn't be so damn proud that i made her happy. it wasn't even a big deal. Out of all the ways that she could react. I'm happy it was this way "ahmmmmm." Rose clears her throat to remind us she was here, " Thank you Karkat." Today has been a good day.

Chapter Text

yeah i know it's time don't rush me. i am the knight of time you think i wouldn't know? OK but, no really, i have like a few minutes and im gonna study this shit like a test that if i don't pass i'm going to have to repeat the grade and Bro would kick my ass. i think back on all i've done to prepare for this moment. i'm so fucking ready. SO READY. When i Turn the corner i see Karkat talking to Rose and Kanaya, oh fuck NOT READY. NOT READY. CODE RED. CODE RED. turn around captain we are getting the fuck out of here.

just as i'm about to turn around i see Kanaya move forward and wrap her arms around his waist from behind. it stops me in my tracks. Kar was letting her touch him. i mean why not? their moirails but just... i haven't talked to him since he confessed to me.... fuck he probably thinks i hate him. I still feel the need to hold him and make sure he's OK. i want to be there for him. i want to be able to hug him. i want to take care of him, but i don't want to be his moirail. I want him to be mine. i want to have him and protect him and i hate to say it but on some level i want him to do the same for me. I want Kar as a matesprit.

i've been trying to learn about troll culture. Kanaya and Rose have been helping me. i've done my research. i feel like i might explode again and i can't do that. i want to be there. it's definitely time. i take a step forward but then hesitate. what if i end up hurting him? what if i'm not good enough for him. i stand frozen for 5.7432106 seconds. i should go back. if i leave now i can practice what i'm gonna say. i start to back up but then Kan looks over at me. her eyes sharp and protective and i feel like she's picking me apart with more precision then Rose could ever even pretend she had. i'm not an idiot. i know what's happening. we're after the same thing after all. we want to protect Kar at all costs. she's measuring me. she said she wouldn't say anything as long as i was good for him. she doesn't know what i'll do.

she has a right to be nervous. she has every right to take her trust back. if i thought she wasn't good for Kar i would do the same thing. i might like Kanaya and i respect her enough to trust her while she has two of the most important people in my life quadrented with her but, if she hurt them i would rip her apart. she knows it. she would do the same with me. i know that. i don't know if she wants me to back off and come back when i'm more prepared or if she wants me to try but, in the end that has nothing to do with my decision. i make my decision the moment Karkat looks over. he looks happy in Kans arms, he's hesitant but trusting with her. his eyes are wide and brighter then i have ever seen them. when he looks over and notices me his shoulders fall a and my heart brakes. he's waiting for me to berate him. he's waiting for anger. i'm a fucking idiot. why did i even think of walking away.

fuck this indecisiveness. I have been doing research for weeks and i'm not going to let him think it's his fault. he shouldn't feel bad because he likes me. i feel like shit because i made him regret it. i won't let this happen ever again. i take my first step forward. time to put all my new found knowledge to the test. i haven't made myself sit through all those stupid rom-coms just to break his heart and let us both down. it's time.

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Ever since Kan and Rose found out that I was the one leaving things for them they've been thanking me. I know it's stupid but, it's ridiculous how proud it makes me. I was able to do something for someone. I was actually making them happy! It's the first time I've ever felt like I've done something good. I was actually able to help and make someone happy! Kan was so happy and proud and it's amazing and really fucking weird. I haven't been proud of anything for a really long time. I've been disgusted with myself for so long that it feels weird to even think I could feel this way. I don't deserve the praise but, I did something good! I made them smile! I've felt like I've been floating in a daze for a while now because just WOW.

When I turn to talk to Rose, Kan puts her arms around my chest. I sink into her hold. Gog I never thought that I could be this comfortable with someone. it's weird how I feel like I can put my guard when i'm around Kan. I don't know what to think of it. I mean we were raised in a society that it was more weird if that you didn't kill someone by the time your five sweeps then bad that you did. That being said I don't think we can let our guards down all the way unless in a pile... speaking of that Kan and I should go on a pale date soon. it's been a while. this time I want to be the one to sweep her off her feet. Wow I never thought I would be able to think that.

I see something move out of the corner of my eyes. When I look over I see Dave. Oh... he must be trying to get to the food. He doesn't want to see me. i was the one that messed up, i'm the one who made him uncomfortable. i'm the one who should leave. i don't want to face him right now.... if ever. i know i'm an idiot i mean who just blurts out their feelings like that? i don't want to get yelled at. i know i deserve so much but i-i don't want to face that right now. Just as i'm about to turn around Dave asks "Karkat will you watch a movie with me?".

Wait what? i.... what? My think pan kinda freezes. What does that mean? What do i do? i'm confused? Are we going to pretend that it never happened? Is he going to yell at me in private? i mean i-OK i should get this over with. If i'm going to be rejected then i might as well get it over with so Dave doesn't have to try to avoid me anymore and we can go back to being strangers or whatever. "ok", GOG FUCKING DAMN MY VOICE. Nope not turning around not looking at anyone. Not fucking doing it. i'm not weak i will not show weakness.

i start the walk to the one of the 'common rooms' trying to calm myself. i'll be fine. it's not like.. it's not like last time. When i finally get there i turn to Dave again. He looks upset. That's... i hate this. Why couldn't i fucking think before i spoke? i hate thinking he might be upset. i wanna hug him but he's not mine and... what the fuck am i doing thinking of this? i'm being an idiot. i need to stop or i'm never going to get over it. i sit down and wait for whatever is going on to happen.

Dave just stares at me for a moment before putting a disk in the player and sitting down. He's close to me and there's a part of me that loves it and the rest of me is freaking out. i'm so focused on Dave and trying not to look at him that it takes me a few seconds to realize that the movie that's playing is one of my favorites. i'm not going to go over the title right now because after having watched a few human films i realized that it was true, our movie titles were long enough to choke Feferi's lusus. i don't think there is a human equivalent to it either. How did Dave.... i look over at him and kinda do a double take. i mean Dave said he doesn't like these types of movies why would he choose one to watch with me?

He looks so focused on the movie. i guess he does like some of them? Where did he even find out about this one? After a few more minutes of me just being confused and to nervous to ask i turn my attention to the movie. i know this film line for line. The character 'Dirons" gets sucked into the computer. He lives in the internet for several sweeps getting more and more frustrated until he stumbles on someone who believes his story and tries to help him get out. After that they work together to achieve there goals getting more and more attached until they decide that because he can't get out, Remuse would join him. they end up in a beautiful matespritship that death can't touch even with the blood cast difference they hold. it's so good. i enjoy this movie so much its ridiculous.

Before i know it i'm quoting along with Dirons as he talks to Remuse gently about the harsh treatment he gets for being a rust blood. To be honest i almost forgot Dave was there. when the thought crosses my mind i shut up and look over. Oh fucking Gog damn it he's staring at me. i sink back into the couch. ahhhhh i'm so confused what the fuck is going on? OK no you know what fuck this. i've never backed down before. i've felt awkward and settled for a tie but, i have never backed down from anyone and now it's like it's all i seem to fucking do. i broke down and it's like i can't seem to regain my footing. No i'm not fucking doing this anymore. i've always met things head on even if i didn't like it, even when it would killed me, even it it was probably going to kill me.

i've hid things so i didn't die. i've done a lot of hiding from the world, but if i'm provoked the I don't show weakness. Weakness means death, my blood is weakness. My blood is bad. i am weak. but like hell i'm just going to let anyone else prove it without a fight. i have lived through to much to back down anymore. i've lived through fights, attacks and abuse. Like hell i'm going to back down to this. it'll hurt like hell but i don't fucking care. "WHAT DO YOU FUCKING WANT ME TO SAY DAVE? I'M SORRY. I SHOULDN'T HAVE SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE WAY I FEEL BUT, YOUR A FUCKING COWARD. YOU NEVER EVEN SAID ANYTHING. YOU'VE BEEN AVOIDING ME. I KNOW I RAN AWAY BUT... But you... YOU COULD HAVE JUST SAID NO.", i was ready for a rant but i fucking can't right now. i lost it halfway through. i'm upset. i'm mad at him and i still don't want to make him upset. i'm mad at myself. i'm mad that he still hasn't said a goddamn word to me. i can't even look at him. i hate this.

i sit there for a second. Why am i even waiting? No i should be leaving. "i know.", What? "i know i'm a coward. i could have said something. i should have said something... at first it was because i didn't know what i was feeling. when i figured it out i didn't know what to do. i'm not good at the whole talking about feelings crap.", I snort. That was a huge understatement. That's like saying The Condesce has SOME political power. Hint: She literally pointed once and we went and destroyed 5 planets with living species just so she could have a cool view of a star from her fucking MOVING spaceship just because she was board. We lost like 25,000 trolls because she was board. Heh. SOME political power. Dave just looks at me for a second before saying, "i know... but, i just.... i know you have every right to hate me but... will you give me a chance?", What? "A CHANCE FOR WHAT?", Dave scrunches up his nose in what i assume was a thinking expression.

"forty minutes into the movie in which the blue blooded protagonist receives a confession from a hansom Greenblood but discounts it immediately only to find out after a montage of introspection that he does have pity for the Greenblood. the Blueblood begins to try and court his red interest and spends the rest of the film trying to obtain the matespritship he had previously denied. the Green blood eventually comes to agree, and they live the rest of there life's fighting or the glory of the empire until death. includes several explicit pale encounters, three instances of red foreplay, 4 montages of hilarious instances of failed courting and one minor blackrom encounter"", That one's a good one two. Oh... Wait.... is...... but..... he's saying he want's to try a matespritship?

"DAVE IF YOU'RE MESSING WITH ME I SWEAR-", Dave shakes his head "i promise this is for real.", Wait how did he know about that movie? "DAVE HOW DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT MOVIE?", Dave blushes. Honest to Gog blushes. It's barely visible under his stupid shades but it's there. "i may have... watched a lot of your rom-coms so i could figure out something that i could do to tell you I was sorry and to convince you to try go out with me.", i blink. i'm the one blushing now. He watched rom-coms even though he said before he didn't like them?... "YOU WATCHED MY ROM-COMS?", Dave fidgets a bit before he answers, "ummm sorry about that. i wasn't trying to mess with your stuff. i just-", To be honest I don't even hear the rest of the sentence after that. That's really, really romantic, and adorable. Like holy shit.

"YOU'RE REALLY WILLING TO TRY?", Dave nods, "yes i want to try. i know i like you now. will you give me a chance to prove myself?", my cheeks are burning. "YES I'LL TRY." Dave smiles. "we don't need to do anything yet. we're going to watch this movie and soon I'm going to sweep you off your feet so well you'll be swooning for years.", i laugh "I DOUBT THAT. YOU COULDN'T WOO ME IF I WAS IN HEAT.", Dave Laughs this time. The sound is grate. We restart and Watch from the beginning of the movie and then another movie and then one more. We end up holding hands. We never get closer than that but, we feel a lot closer.

We're not how we used to be but i'm comfortable. I feel happy that he's here now. I'm glad I have him back.

------------

we have some light conversations and snark at each other during the movies. out of all the movies i watched these are some of the one's i liked. it doesn't really matter because Kar agreed. i know it's not going to be easy. like i said before i'm like the most romantically challenged person and, i'm going to be going out with the one person who both needs to be romanced and who is the fucking EXPERT on romance. a form of romance i only know from watching his movies and asking my sisters girlfriend. i keep freaking out about that every now and then.

It's going to take a lot of time to get used to this and we haven't even done anything. Neither of us are really to used to physical contact. strifieng with Bro was awesome but i grew up knowing i was missing some of what other kids had. i know Kar grew up without anything at all and it didn't get any easier. i want to reach over and hold him but we need to take it slow. i'm not joking when i say i want to be with him. this is something that we need to take time with. i'd love to just jump in but i think it would freak us both out. the last thing i want to do is drive Kar away. when i look over from the movie i see him sitting there smiling, comfortable, happy. with me. i can't help but think it's the best thing ever.

i want to hold him. he quotes along with the movie and i practically snap in half with how fucking kawaii he is. i Reach out and put my hand on his. Kars face goes extremely red but he doesn't pull his hand away from me. this will work out. all we need is a little Patience.

Chapter Text

I'm not saying i'm fixed. Or that any of us are. I Mean Fuck. Apparently the game never pics any one who might not be messed up in the pan so bad that the horrorterrors probably wright weird ass sonnets about them to play, i mean look at us. There isn't a single fucking being sentient or not that has ever somehow managed to gain two 'brain cells' to rub together that would pick us for this game. We're all shit-spiting idiots we have been abused, neglected, manipulated, outcast, disabled, damaged, degraded and addicted. But you know what? Fuck that. We're all types of fucked up but. WE. ARE. SURVIVORS. WE GOT HERE. WE MADE IT. We have a lot left to do and I'm not going to stop until it's done. None of us are going to willingly give up again. We have to win.

I know that. I'm getting healthy. Being healthy will help. Its a weird concept. I've never cared before but now... now. Now it's a goal. I told Kan I would be in this with her. I can't give up. i get the urge to cut at least once a day but, i don't. i lasted so long without relapse before. It has always been hard to ignore that... need... in the back of my mind. it's always been hard to eat. To think of myself as worthy of food. Now that I have Kan it's a lot easier to refocus then before. It's a lot easier to stop myself from giving in and skipping meals or cutting. Its not as hard to believe i deserve to be alive when Kan keeps saying I am. I feel like I can be OK despite the dull throb that seems to never go away. It's like a pull on your consciousness. It could be on the edge of your mind or trampling over it like a fucking circus act but it's always there. It's all about not giving in. not giving what and who hurt you the satisfaction, they would get from seeing you so low, even it that person is yourself. I am so fucking lucky that I have Kan. Kan is doing so much to help me. i only hope i'm doing well with this. i can't even think of a way that i could describe how fucking awesome Kan is. She's doing so well. She's getting so much better. i'm so proud of her.

There's always that little voice in my head that comes with the addiction that says, "It's only a matter of time before she and the others realize they can't stand you.", i hate it but.... it might be right. i don't know anymore. i mean i'm bound to do something terribly wrong eventually. None of us seem to have excellent track records with Romance. i don't know about the humans but all of us stumbled through our relationships so ass backwards i'm surprised more of us didn't fall off cliffs. Well i mean Tavros was pushed in a way but i'm still counting it.

Speaking of relationships, Dave and I are going to be going out now. We're giving it a try. That's more then i had hoped for. i like Dave but, it's still hard to imagine that anyone could ever find anything they like about me let alone think i was in someway (mentally or physically) attractive enough to go out with. Dave is gorgeous even at worst and it's unbelievable that he would even have a passing thought that i might be date-able. i mean he can be annoying and shit but, beneath all the tinkerbullshit he calls rap he's smart and funny and caring. i'm not going to lie when i narrow down his looks to a single word, that word is 'DAMN'. Maybe i just have some weird alien thing? Who the fuck knows. It was yesterday that we watched movies together. It's so weird that i started the event thinking i was going to get yelled at or hurt and ended up holding his hand. (Not that i mind. Hand holding is nice. Really nice.)

I wanna tell Kan about what happened now that I'm not as tired. I want to Check on Kan and update her on everything. oh oH OH! I can make this into a pale date! OK! I've wanted to ask Kan out on a date for a wile. I decide To ask her in person. .... I should ask if she's available to talk first. I don't want to distract her from Rose if there in the middle of something. Hmmm I'll ask her on a real date. I'll get stuff together, i can make her favorite food, it'll be awsome. Ok im going to set up a date. I get on trollian.

CG: CAN I TALK TO YOU IN PERSON. IT'S NOT TIME SENSITIVE SO NO NEED TO FREAK OUT.

GA: Are You Alright?

I don't want to give away that i want to ask her out so i think about how to reply and say,

CG: I'M OK KAN. I JUST WANTED TO TALK ABOUT WHAT WE SHOULD PUT ON ROSE'S CURRICULUM.

Yessssss two featherbeasts with one rock.

GA: Rose And I Are Currently In The Library. You Are Welcome To Join Us.

CG: ALRIGHT ILL BE UP IN A FEW.

I change my coarse from walking aimlessly (so I could think and because i'm board sitting still in my room.) to the direction of the library. Kan and I have been together for a wile now and although everything feels well .... good, Natural, right, we haven't been on a date yet. I don't mind really but, I want to.... I don't know prove myself. She made the first move now i want to prove i feel the same. Troll relationships are built on being equals. Not necessarily equal in blood color but equal as in.... mentality and deed i think that's a good way to put it. Kan is an Amazing person and she's way to good for me. I'm a terrible person for even hoping that she doesn't relies that so i can keep dreaming. So i can help her. So i can get her to realize how awesome she is.

OK because I'm sure you don't want me to narrate it, i've decided that during the walk i'm going to give you the run down on quadrants to distract myself from all the horrid things that could go wrong in our date. Our first date. i mean what if i do something to make her decide i'm not worth it and..... OK nope. Distraction. So get ready to get schoolfed on quadrants wigglers.

like i told you, All of our relationships are about being equal. Matesperitship is about knowing knowing the person can and will protect you but you want to protect them. it's about making the other happy and healthy and satisfied in all ways because they are good enough for you or, you think they are too good for you and they don't know it, and you both care.

Moirallegiance is about getting the other realize how good they really are. Making the other better so they can show their full potential. Its about getting someone realize how good they can be and that they deserve to be your equal if not better. It's someone you look up two that you want to help with their problems.

Kismesissitude is about knowing the person is equal and striving to be better then them or putting them in their place. it's about either making someone push back against you or knocking down the persons ego enough to force them to realize they are on the same level with you. That's why switches between red and black happen sometimes.

Its all about opinions. Auspistice happens when the blackmates get desperate and stop paying as strict attention to boundaries. They need to prove their equals or better to the point they don't care if they have to force the person to see it. That's when an Auspistice happens. a third party comes in and realigns the other two and makes them realize that they aren't that far apart from one another. This can happen with a red pair two. Or just about anyone. It's just rare.

There we go. You now know more about quadrants then all your friends or whatever. Your fucking welcome.

OK so thinking of a way to phrase emotions and opinions is difficult. i've never really been able to do it so that the others completely understand. i'm pretty sure you probably don't either do you? i wish it was easier to describe this. OK so it also took a long time for me to think of even an explanation that basic. By the time i'm done im at the door to the library. I knock on the door and hear a light "Come in.", i open the door to see them sitting next to each other on the couch. They are angled toward each other ever so slightly and acting like they 'definitely were not' flirting a second ago.

Adorable.

"You Are Aware That This Is A Public Space And Therefore Do Not Have Any Need To Knock Correct? I Had Invited You In.", Hah, She's chastising me for thinking i'm not welcome. i wonder if she realizes Rose might want some warning if i walk in while they're having sloppy makeouts. The last time i fallowed that advise was amusing but not exactly what i want. "THE LAST TIME I WALKED IN ON THE TWO OF YOU MAKING OUT ROSE WAS EMBARRASSED FOR THREE DAYS AFTER. I DECIDED I WOULD KNOCK TO GIVE SOME WARNING IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR RED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.", Kan looks over at Rose questioningly and Rose's face changes several shades. It's difficult to get used to the red blood on humans.

Rose seems to sputter in a way i've never seen before. It's weird to think about a redmate being embarrassed by showing red feelings in front of a palemate. its definitely a thing for Rose, one i don't get but, i think it's a human thing. Human Rom-coms do feature public kissing so i don't think its a big deal for them. Normally in troll culture when someone refuses to show intentions in front of another quadramate it's a sine they don't think the person is right for them or they are not serious about the relationship. That or think the other persons quadramate isn't a good match. i don't think that's what Rose is doing. The way she talks about it seems she's happy with us.

Kanaya Is Still questioning it though. i mean if it is a human thing it's better to know now then for her to be mad at Dave for it later. It isn't something i really liked at first but i started to think of it as a human thing and moved on. There is still a part of me worried about what it means for Kan and i though so i make no effort to save Rose form explaining. i want to hear it two.

"Why... Are You Uncomfortable With Kar Knowing We Are Red For Each Other?", Rose flails frantically for a wile for something to say. It's kind of interesting to see someone as put together as Rose lose her calm. "That's not.... it's a public display of affection!", We stair at her dumbly. "No It's Not In Public, It's In Front Of My Moirail.", Kanaya says slowly. It's not like they were flashing bulge to the empire. "OK now i'm confused. On earth you don't show any affection larger then words and hand holding In front of anyone other then family and even then anything but a kiss is off limits.", What? But we're pale. It's not like i give a maggot blistering shit about what they do with their concupiscent time let alone their concupiscent parts. And like i said I've seen public kissing in their movies.

Kanaya Kinda Raises a eyebrow. "We Don't Like To Either But Karkat Is My Moirail. He Has Absolutely No Care For What We Do With Our More Flushed Times." I nod. Well said. "But it's... it's awkward that anyone is seeing it no matter who. Humans just don't DO that.", Kanaya looks at me, "And I Thought You Were Repressed.", Well for trolls i am. i'll admit that. Rose deflates a little, "I am not repressed i just.... i just..... it's weird.... ... ... Wait if it's normal to be OK with watching your palemate make out then how far dose that go?", Oh so now we get to be the one's weirded out by alien culture this time. "WELL IT'S NOT LIKE PALE MATES WATCH EACH OTHER DO THINGS. IT'S JUST... OK LET'S PUT IT LIKE THIS. PALE MEANS NO PHYSICAL ATTRACTION ONCE SO EVER. YOUR BOTH PRETTY OR WHATEVER BUT THAT'S A DISGUSTING THOUGHT. IT'S MORE LIKE "I KNOW YOU LIKE EACH OTHER SO I KNOW IT HAPPENS WHY THE FUCK SHOULD I CARE." IT'S MORE LIKE I'M COMPLETELY UNINTERESTED. I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT WHAT YOU TWO DO OR WHERE YOU DO IT AS LONG AS YOUR HAPPY TOGETHER.", Kan nods.

Rose looks bemused "So in other words you would treat it as if it's like we were just talking.", well, "YES BUT I WOULDN'T INTERRUPT.", Kan nods again. Rose blinks Kanaya quickly says "I Believe That The Way That Humans View Their Physical Relations Is Like We View Our Pale Relations", Oh. That's a little easier to understand. No one should see anything truly pale but the one your pale for. i get it now.

"OH!", Rose seems to almost visibly file this information away in her mind. It may seem easy to live with aliens but there are always weird cultural hangups like these. Just little things that are different that, in practice are actually really fucking big hangups. OK so point is it isn't our fault. "Oh! Perhaps We Should Change The Subject.", We both agree becase really im sure this has been uncomfortable for everyone involved, "Oh Karkat! You Said You Wanted To Discuss Rose's Curriculum?", i nod. "YEP. ROSE YOU'VE FINISHED THE THREAT POSTURE LESSONS." i pause. "YOU GOT THE LESSON DOWN PRETTY FAST. I THINK THE REASON MIGHT HAVE BEEN BECASE WE ALL KNEW THAT YOUR PROBABLY GOING TO NEED IT. THE REST IF THE LESSONS AREN'T THINGS YOU'RE GOING TO REALLY NEED SO, I THINK YOU SHOULD CHOSE WHAT TO LEARN NEXT IF YOU WANT TO KEEP GOING.", Rose sighs, "I am not sure... From the alternian books I've been reading they say things about playful posture. It seems mostly platonic and a good thing to know with you two.", That could come in handy, "GOOD CHOICE.".

We spend the next few minuets going over a lesson plan before Rose starts to yawn. We let her go with a promise to continue in three days time. After Rose walks away i finally ask, "KAN?", "Yes?", OK here we go,"I WAS WONDERING IF YOU WOULD WANT TO GO ON A DATE WITH ME.", the look on Kans face looks is really, really pleased and happy. "Of Course! I Would Like That Vary Much!", oh thank Gog. "HOW DOSE TWO DAYS FROM NOW SOUND? I WANT TO GET EVERYTHING READY.", she nods happily. "You Do Not Have To Do Anything Big Karkat We Will Have Many Chances To Have Even Better Dates.", She knows I've been freaking myself out about not doing enough. Not that I've let anyone know. The part that makes me blush though is the 'Many More Chances'. She wants to stay with me. I shuld probably not be so shocked still but the doubt is still hanging on. It's like everyday that dark voice in my head that says 'she won't ever mean it' is going away little by little. Kans Smile is replacing it. I Don't think it's possible to be anymore happy then i am right now.

Even with what she said I still want it to be an awesome date. I want Kan to be happy with me. I want Kan to not have anything to worry about for the day. I am going to make it happen. "I KNOW BUT ... I WANT IT TO BE SPECIAL. IT'S OUR FIRST DATE KAN.", She smiles, "Of Course It Will Be Special. I Will Be With My Palemate.", I blush harder if possible, "WELL MISS-GLOWS-A-LOT YOUR JUST GOING TO HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE AWESOME DATE I HAVE PLANED." She nods fake seriously and then laughs. Her posture turns playful. Yep Rose defiantly needs to learn this. "Well Now That You Mention It I Think I Will Just Have To Get Used To The Idea That You Spoil Me.", Heh, "YOUR GOG-DAMN RIGHT YOU WILL.", She puts her hand on her forehead and fake swoons into my chest.

I laugh and pull her up so her head can rest on my shoulder. She pokes my side and I let out an embarrassing chirp but, she just laughs again and snuggles into me harder. Gog what did I do to deserve someone so perfect? I sink into her a bit and just relax. After a wile Kanaya speaks up "It's Getting Late. I Will Let You Start Your Preparations", I nod but even with what was said it takes us a wile to gather the motivation to even look like we want to brake away from each others arms. When we do finally part It's With hushed reassurances that we will see each other in two days.

I love this.

OK now I should at least start getting ready. The first thing I do is I claim a room near the one that Kan's pile has been moved to. OK So ...... how do I Start. I want to have a few things set by the end of the night. The only real question is how to go about it. I want a pile in here but.... i don't even have one set up. and all the stuff i would use to make one is in my old room. i don't know if i'm ready to go back but.... OK i know it's dumb but.... i just don't know if i should. It's only a room it's not like it did anything to me. i have some good memories of just relaxing and hanging out with Dave in it but, really it's like .... i don't know a lot has changed. OK I'm not going to let a room get me down. It's a room. It's MY OLD ROOM. I don't need to make this into a big deal when it's not.

I make my way down the halls toward my old room and this feeling of darkness starts to build up. This is so dumb I shulden't be afraid of a damn room. i Shouldn't be afraid to go there. it's a room. it's just a room. it's just a .... i cant do this. i'm leaning against the wall for support already. i hate this. Why am i this weak? My husktop dings in my sylladex. Distractions yes.

TG: sup

i end up sinking to the floor. Why am i so scared?

CG: I NEED YOU

TG: where are you?

Chapter Text

yesterday was awesome. pure awesome. i'm not even sure i could put it into words. i was forgiven for being an idiot and now i can hug Kar and it's not weird. at least not as weird. i'm not used to getting affection. i mean Bro wasn't really the hugging type. he was a strife till you pass out kind of dude. I said before i didn't really interact with many others so there wasn't really a huge number of people i could hang on. thinking back on it i hung on Kar a lot... like A. LOT. and it wasn't ever really uncomfortable. i was always trying to find some reason to hang out with him even though i hadn't realized it. the only reason i told Kan i didn't know him the day we found him like he was .... was because i was being an asshole. i had thought he was ignoring me, but really we didn't know each other well. I tracked him down a lot so i could have someone to talk to. i had been messing with him way more then usual because i was frustrated with Rose's drinking and was being an ass hole to everyone. i should have been there for him. he was always there for me.

looking back there were a lot of sines but i had never bothered to look for them. i hung on Kar damn near constantly and not even once did i see that fucking panicked look before it was way too late and i had already messed up. i mean i didn't hang on him all the time but i'll admit that i really did get up into his personal space way more then i probably should have. it was like normally i have boundaries but with Karkat they never set in. i'm used to the only person to get close to me being Bro, and that always came with the edge of a sword or a creepy puppet. and i just walked up on him without a second thought. i mean the Ouija board of cock incident was one of the first times we even really spoke. thinking back it should have been really obvious that i liked him if i'm that willing to get into his personal space.

id love to freak out and be all over him and stuff but now that everything's happened acting like i did before would have a completely different meaning. i mean look at us. We're both broken. teasing like that was kind of OK with no meaning. .... OK so it might have been a dick move but, i didn't know that at the time. i mean looking back at all the time jumps i did. i was just kind of always in his personal space and yes i've been a lot more into closeness on the meteor then i ever was before but still. seeing what i was doing in the past was like a hard shot of truth. i mean half the stuff i saw looked like we were already in a relationship with how close we were.

i mean i was damn near asleep on his shoulder a couple times. thinking back it was always like i was weirdly comfortable around him. maybe that was just something we were both ignoring. i wish i hadn't. if i had been more aware of everything i could have stopped what happened. i want to rip that clown apart. i want to destroy him. when i was with Kan i just went to a time where Kar was missing had figured that he was with Gamzee and anchored us to a place around them. it wasn't that i knew if it was a good or bad time. i don't know if that's the worst or the best or the average that Kar went through. Once was more than enough even if it was just once.

i wish i could have helped more. i should have been there for him. that wasn't to Long ago. i might have felt better if that was before i was here but it wasn't. i won't let that son of a bitch touch him again. not now that i can help him. not now that i know. now i can make sure he's OK. now i can help him. now i can protect him. i need him. it's so dumb. what have we been through that would make me feel like i would fall apart without him? holding his hand yesterday was like the best thing that's ever happened. it was a small gesture but it was so reassuring that it made me feel raw and happy. it was like we were finally ok. we may have just watched some of his less shitty rom-coms and sat on the couch holding hands but i have never felt so good.

i've been trying to write a rap but they all started involving hand holding and date activity's a few hours ago. (i might have saved a couple particularly sappy lines so i could play something for my matesprit... matesprit... i still can't get over that!!!!!!) i think i should tell Rose. i want to yell about how awesome this is but there's only like 5 other people on the meteor so it's not like that would be all to difficult. i wonder if i yell into the vents loud enough would it give the clown a headache? i'll try it later.

TG: hay, hay Rose big news.

TG: like the size of your mom's metaphorical dick big.

TT: Oh? That does seem a bit exaggerated.

TG: i know it seems like no point could be that huge but it's a thing.

TT: I highly doubt That. Our mother was rather metaphorically large apparently.

TG: damn right she was.

TG: anyway news: Kar has forgiven me and we're now in a slow going matespritship.

TG: youre the first one i graced with this information. like a fucking angel swooping down from heaven to give you some of the best goddamn gifts in your life. your welcome.

TT: i'm glad you are happy. Although i believe you should leave most of the swooping to Davesprite.

TG: nah man can't let him have all of it. i mean what's the use of flying when there's no swooping involved?

TT: I'm sure we could find some use.

TG: you keep your boring ass swoopless flights to yourself Rose. i'll swoop all i want to.

TT: I'm sure.

TT: But, yes I am happy for you Dave.

TG: shame though, our family lines are about to end. granted in one hell of a bang. extra terrestrial makeouts are totally the way to end the line with a bang.

TT: I'll agree on that but perhaps our other dimensions counterparts will be able to continue on the track that we both flew from at astonishing speeds.

TG: while swooping?

TT: While swooping.

awesome

oh what if Kar didn't want me to tell people? that's not good. ummm.

TG: hay Rose can you not tell Kanaya and pretend you don't know.

TT: Why?

TG: i didn't ask Kar if we could tell anyone. if he's waiting to do a big reveal i just fucked it up.

TT: Alright. i doubt he would mind though.

TG: thanks Rose

TT: Not a problem dear brother.

i get out of the chat window. now that i'm feeling all sappy and shit there's no way i'm going to be able to concentrate on writing any more beats that aren't in the tune of my heart..... HOLY FUCK I USED TO BE COOL. I SWEAR AT ONE POINT I USED TO NOT BE THIS FUCKING SAPPY..... whatever i'm lucky. i mean my hot alien boyfriend likes sappy so wooo i'll never get sent to the couch. speaking of boyfriends/mates i pull up his window ready to ask about his day because i'm feeling in so deep and why not?

TG: sup

CG: I NEED YOU

what? whats wrong? a million things fly through my mind.

TG: where are you

CG: I'M NEAR MY OLD ROOM.

fuck what's he doing around there? is he OK? oh god. i'm flying through the halls in seconds faster than i could ever flashstep without a thought. he needs me.

i check down a few halls that he could have gone in and when i finally see him he's curled into himself on the floor tugging at his hair helplessly with wide eyes. he's hyperventilating. i rush to him, "Karkat? Karkat i'm here.", i bend down and i'm about to start wrapping him in my arms when i feel a chill run up my spine. fear. why am i afraid? i have nothing to be scared of but.... OH FUCK NO. I'LL KILL THAT SON OF A BITCH. i turn hiding Kar's hunched and small body behind me. i search the walls with my eyes until i find it. there's a fucking vent. anger courses through me and i feel my entire being is screaming 'HE'S HURTING KARKAT. HE'S HURTING YOUR BOYFRIEND. YOUR MATE. KILL HIM. PROTECT YOUR MATE. KILL THE FUCKER THAT'S HURTING HIM' over and over until all i hear is KILL PROTECT KILL PROTECT. my head is pounding from just being near what he's throwing at Kar.

i see him move from the vent. just a blur of purple. he's too fast. it's like fighting against Bro but this is worse. This is life and death. this isn't friendly training strifes. he's out to kill. i try to stop him. i try to at least hit his arm as he speeds past me straight for Kar. no no No NO NO. i see him stand in front of Karkat. i'm to far away. i can't get there in time. Gamzee lifts a club. i rush forward. the club comes down. a sickening crunch. red. so much red. no. please god NO. i beg everything in the multiverse to make it stop. this can't be real. he can't be gone. no no this this isn't right somethings wrong. i focus i have to stop this. i have to fix this. i have to-the vent. the vent is closed. the vent was never opened. he never moved. i saw it but it didn't happen. he was trying to make me think Kar was him he was trying to make me kill Kar. he never moved. he never moved. HE'S STILL IN THE VENT.

i flashstep to the vent and stab .

the dark presence in the back of my mind is gone. i was able to break through the illusion. I stabbed the fucker. There's not enough blood on my sword for it to have been a good hit. it's not good enough. i must have just made him lose concentration. i pull my sword back so i could stab forward again. I change angle and try again. i hear him hiss. there's not enough purple on my blade. HE'S NOT DEAD. 'KILL KILL KILL KILL' i hear him moving in the vents. hes getting away. he's getting away. he's I WON'T FUCKING LET HIM. i slice through the wall but the fucker is fast. he's used to the vents. i'm not. he manages to just barely get away. i'm about to dive into the wall after him and fight him where i can see him. fuck terrain advantages I WILL KILL HIM IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO.

"Dave?", Karkat. i freeze. i can't leave him like this. i turn back around after one more good slice into the now cut open and partly exposed vent. he can't hide forever. i come back down the hall to where Karkat is balled up against the wall. i stop in front of him. is it OK to touch him? what if i scare him more? I'm afraid to hurt him. I shift where i stand trying to think of what to do. "Dave?", Kar starts to rock back and forth a bit and berries his face further into his arms. "i'm here Kar.", he sobs and stills like i'm a predator. NO. please no. i can't just watch as he suffers. i fall to my knees and try to move his head so he can see me as gently as possible. he resists. "look at me Karkat. look at me.", when our eyes meat i realize that Kar is so scared he barely recognized it was me. he's trying to be quiet. he's trying to hide.

i pull his legs down from his face so he's forced out of his ball. i try to cover him as much as i can. i hold him to me as close as i can. as close as possible. "it's me. i'm here. i won't let anything hurt you. i won't let you get hurt. i'm here. i'm right here.", i move us down a bit so i can have a better grasp on him. i have a hand on the back of his head keeping him from the touching the floor. my other arm is curled around his back pulling him as close to my chest as i can. i'm practically laying on him like a blanket with my cape covering both of us. i put my forehead on his and watch as his eyes slowly focus. i hold eye contact and his breath starts to slow. he's OK. he'll be OK. i stair into his eyes.

i can't stand the thought of him being anywhere but in my arms right now. 'PROTECT PROTECT PROTECT', my heart is pounding. i love him. i can't stand that he was hurt. i'm practically using my body as a shield from an enemy that isn't here and doesn't only use physical attacks. i'll feel stupid later but, i can't not do this right now. he keeps repeating my name and the way he says it is somewhere between a plea, a prayer and a reassurance. and i find myself repeating, "i'm here. i'm here, i'm here.", i say his name between and over time he tries to get closer.

this all happened so fast. he could be ripped away from me so fast. i hate this feeling. slowly he calms down and eventually falls asleep. i don't move. i'm not moving until i know what happened and why Kar is in this part of the meteor... until i know he's OK enough that i can at least tell the others. Kar needs Kan and i right now. my minds moving way too fast to sleep. i wouldn't want to any way. Kar wakes up 2 hours 23 minutes and 15 seconds on the dot later.

"Dave?", i run my fingers through his hair, "i'm here.", he wiggles enough to get his arms free and puts them around me under my cape. "i'm sorry for bothering you.", i don't think he remembers what happened. "it's alright Kar. are you OK?", please let him be OK, "it was stupid. i'm sorry you had to come all the way here. i must have passed out or something.", he forgot? he needed me he shouldn't feel bad about asking me for help with anything. i need to talk to Kanaya before i tell him what happened... if we tell him what happened. i don't know much about chucklevoodoo what if his mind is trying to block it out? if i bring it to attention it will hurt him?

"what happened? are you OK?", Kar holds me tighter, "i had-" he clears his throat, "I ASKED KAN ON A DATE TWO DAYS FROM NOW AND I WAS GOING TO SET UP A PILE AND SOME STUFF BUT ALL THE SHIT I WANTED TO USE IN MY PILE IS IN MY OLD ROOM. SO I WAS GOING TO GO GET EVERYTHING AND... AND I JUST STARTED FEELING SCARED. IT'S DUMB IT'S JUST A ROOM. AND IT GOT REALLY BAD. I COULDN'T MOVE. YOU MESSAGED ME AND... I'M SORRY TO SCARE YOU.", so the fucker just started trying to break Kar without being provoked? Kar hadn't even known he was there. i want to kill that bastard but, right now Kar needs me. "it's not your fault. it's OK. you needed me. if you ever need me just ask and i'll be there as soon as i can. it's OK. i don't care how small the situation is don't hesitate to get me. i want to be here for you.", he lets out a shaky shuttery nod and squeezes me closer to him. he wasn't scared of the room he was scared because of Gamzee. and even if it was just the room if he's scared i want to be there to protect him.

after a few minutes we're both calm. "hay Kar?", he grunts a little, "do you think you would feel better about it if i went with you to the room and helped you carry your stuff", Kar looks up from his place in my arms and just...god... he looks so vulnerable... so hopeful... so afraid i'd leave him... his eyes are freaking huge like he's surprised i would even think of staying with him. "REALLY?", i would never leave him like this. damn he's adorable. "well obviously.", his cheeks start to turn red and he looks down trying to hide his face. nowhere for him to hide when we're this close though. awkward-Kar-Cute-Kat mode engaged apparently. "WELL THEN WE SHOULD GET UP.", it takes me a overly long amount of time to convince myself to move away. when i do move away i can't convince myself to do it any faster then turtle speed. he must find it really awkward but for me it's ... he's alive. he's safe. i still have him. he's not as hurt as i thought. i got here in time.

i keep as close as possible. i will not let anyone else close to him right now. not even Kan. Kan could help him but i don't think i could let anyone touch him right now. i don't know if it's the game or being around the more animistic trolls that's making me feel like this. it's almost terrifying but, i'm glad i feel it. i'm glad i know. it's like it helped me when the rest of me is frozen. like time and death it's me. Kar is still here because i had it. bro had always told me to fight with everything including my instincts. for the rest of the night i stick within 2 feet of Kar. we go to his room and he walks around and grabs things. i keep him calm and we talk lightly. we head to a room Kar claimed as his pile room and i approve of it after i check it for vents. i help him set up his pile even though he fixes and repositions everything i put down. we joke and laugh. he's OK. he's OK. he's OK. we fall asleep next to the pile after covering the walls. to lazy and tired to even get into it. Piles are a big thing for trolls anyway. Rose said to never get in one unless asked. not there yet. that's OK though. Not yet. we'll get there, but not yet.

Chapter Text

Karkat Has Been Alchemizing Various Food Stuffs Since We Found Out That He Was The Mysterious Present Giver. I'm Always Extremely Appreciative Of This. Kar Has Honestly Been Doing This For Much Longer. Food Alchemization Was Originally Delegated Between All Of The Trolls On The Meteor. Karkat Made Sure Of It. It Was Hard To Hold A Grudge Against The One Who Made One Of Your Favorite Foods For You. Come To Think Of It I Think That Was Also Most Likely Karkats Doing As Well. After All I'm Almost Sure Now Vriska Was Not Aware Of My Favorite Drink, Despite It Having Appeared In My Area During Vriska's Day To Alchemize A Few Times. It Was Hard Not To Recognize That Fights Ended Rather Quickly If There Was Public Tension. Really It Should Have Been Obvious From The Beginning That It Was Karkat Helping Us All Get Along. H Poked, Prodded, And Distracted Until We All Fit Together Almost Seamlessly. When That Didn't Work He Directed His Mostly Random Or Almost Conversational Yelling at us. He Forcefully Changed Our Focus. I Think That Was One Of The Reasons He Was Insistent About Us Trolling The Humans.

He Worked Hard To Keep Us All Together. Fighting For His Life And Paranoia Have Sharpened Kar's Observational Skills. I've Learned That Karkat Has An Extremely Excellent Memory, I Would Dare To Say Photographic If Not More. He Used All His Knowledge On Us To Persuade Us Into Functioning As A Team. He Helped Us Survive For So Long That It Was Natural To Let Things Pass Without A Thought. He's Still Trying To Help Us Like Always. Even When He Was Breaking He Has Always Helped Us. I Think About That Quite A Lot When There Is Little Else To Think Of. I Think About How Strong He Is Even When He's Been So Destroyed For So Long. He Deserves The Best And Always Gets The Worst. It Makes Me Want To Destroy Everything That Has Hurt Him And Scream For Eternity Until The Universe And All That's In It Realizes That He Deserves So Much Better. Until He Realizes It two.

I Sincerely Hope I Am Wrong About Karkat Having A Photographic Memory. I Don't Know If I Could Handle It If I Was Correct. It Sounds Helpful Yes But... Remembering Everything That We've Been Through. Remembering In Detail Every Bit Of Propaganda That The Empire Spread That Was A Constant reminder Of Exactly How Much The World Was Out To Get Him. Every Taunt That Went Too Far. Every Threat. Every Last Physical Hit. Every Countless Hour He Spent Awake Hating Himself. Every Cut And Bruise That Sent Him Into Panic That Someone May See. Every Thing That Gamzee Did To Him. Everything He Did To Himself. Every Last Death That He Blames Himself For. Everything Laid Out As And As Easily Remembered As What Happened Moments Ago.

I'm Not Foolish Enough To Think That He Doesn't Remember Everything. I'm Definitely Not Stupid Enough To Think That He Doesn't Remember At Least As Much As I Do. Even That Amount Is A Startling Thought. I Know Karkat Remembers More And It Kills Me. We Don't Talk About The Past Here. We Leave What's Happened Alone. If We Deal With It Now We Will Fall Apart. It's An Unspoken Rule Of Survival: Deal With Things When You're Safe. None Of Us Think That We Are Safe. We All Know How Fast Life Can End. I Pity Karkat Far Whiter Than White. I Pity Rose Far Redder Than The Color It Can Described. I Am Glad For Dave And His Red For Karkat. For The Time I Am Happy To Be Alive. I Am Happy To Be Here. There Have Been Times That That Was Not True But Now It Is. For Now I Sit Back And Drink My Desert Sun Tea That I Am Well Aware I Only Ever Mentioned One Time, A Long Time Ago To Karkat And Purposely Do Not Question It As Rose Sits Against My Side.

Tomorrow Is My Date With Karkat! To Say I Am Excited Would Be AN Extreme Understatement. I've Been Happily Waiting All Day But... What If I Do Something Wrong. I Just- "Kanaya. It is going to be OK. I know you're nervous but I have full confidence that your date will be wonderful. Trust me If you and Karkat could show an alien race the basics of moirallegiance just by watching you both interact then I am sure you'r relationship can survive a date.", I blush and sputter. "Well Yes But...", "Kanaya i have all the faith in the multiverse that you will have a amazing time with your palemate.", that's... "Thank You Rose. I Know It's Just This Is A Large Step Forward.", Rose Frowns. Did I Say Something? Oh No Does She Think I'm Favoring Pale? I Should Have Done More? I'm A Terrible Mate. I. I Need To Apologize, "I'm Sorry Rose. ", Rose's Frown Deepens, "Sorry for what?", Oh. Um. Then What's Wrong? "For Upsetting You?", Rose Shakes Her Head. "You didn't upset me.", I Am Confused. "May I Ask What Is The Mater?".

"It's just that... our first date.", I Wait For Her To Continue, "I was so drunk it must have been terrible for you.", What? "Rose That... I Will Admit That You Drinking Was Well... Not Good To Put It Lightly. But, Our First Date Was Fine.", She Looks At Me With A Expression I Have Heard Described As 'Deadpan', "Kanaya... I was so drunk i couldn't remember your name, i giggled at inappropriate times, stumbled when walking and, almost fell down the stairs.", Well... Yes. "I Agree That In A More Traditional Sense In A It Was A Bit Of A Mess.", Rose Hunches And Puts Her Face Against The Tabletop, "I was horrible in any sense Kanaya. Don't stand up for it, it was bad. I barely remember our first kiss. I'm sure it was the flavor of some mix of horrid alcohol. First dates are supposed to be the start of something new and beautiful. I ruined that for both of us.", Oh. "Rose It Was Our First Date And You Were Going Through A Lot. I Understand First Dates Are Not Meant To Be Perfect. They Are A Benchmark for improvement.",

Rose stands And Runs Her Hands Over Her Face Using Them Like A Shield. Frustration Leeks Into Her Voice, "You shouldn't have to understand. You are allowed to be angry Kanaya. I was terrible to you. Dates are a starting point but With the way I was... I shouldn't have let it start like that.", Why Would I Be Angry? I Was And Have Been Flattered To Even Be Considered By Rose. It's Fine She Could Have Done Much Worse Than That And I Would Still Feel The Same Way. Rose Is Shaking Now. What Have I Done. "But I'm Am Not Angry. I Know That It Was Difficult For You. I Should Have Been There For Yo-", "No that wasn't your fault. especially back then. You deserve More Then That. More Than What I Gave You By A Long Shot. Kanaya I'm so sorry.". But... "Rose I'm Not-", "BUT I AM KANAYA... I'm mad at myself.", I Rush Forward And Hold Her. I Embrace Her As Tightly As I Can. What Else Can I Do? She Is My Mate. There Is Little I Can Do. My Instincts Yell Protect but, from What? I Don't Know How To Make Her Feel Better.

I Hold Her Until She Is Calm. "If It Helps We can Pretend Our Next Date Is Our First.", she laughs, "Like fifty first dates or like a do over?", "A Do Over... I Think We Both Need To Take A Break From Watching Kar's Movies.". Rose Nods. She Steps Away From Me Smiling, "Well then Miss Maryam I would you like to go on a date with me this Saturday at around oh eight o'clock .", She Bows Offering Her Hand Like I've Seen The Princes Do In Human Movies, It's Quite Charming And Despite Myself I Can't Help But Blush And Except Her Hand. My Posture Switching To Playful With The Mood. Yes She Does Need To Know It. "Why Miss Lalonde! I'm All Aflutter! I Would Love To Be Whisked Away By Such A Beauty! I Accept Your Proposal And Await This Date With Bated Breath!". I Take Her Hand And My Breath Dose Stop As She Raises My Hand And Kisses My Knuckles Sweetly. "Well then, I must leave you now to prepare for my date with an extraordinarily gorgeous alien creature. Farewell~!", I Call Out A "Farewell.", She Does A Beautiful Sweeping Glide Out Of The Room.

Once I Calm Down I Sit And Continue To Sip My Tea again. I Am Glad This Happened. Rose And I Have Not Gotten Too Far In Our Relationship Sadly. I Pity Her Like No Other But, Our Relationship Has Been Unstable Thus Far. I Couldn't Bare To Think That I Might Be Taking Something In The Wrong Way Or Not Making Her Happy When She Was Like That. Beyond Kisses Nothing Has Been Shared Because I Couldn't Bare To Think I Might Be Taking Advantage Of Her Even If She Was Rather Persistent While Drunk. When Rose Is Drunk We Are Not Equal And That Hurts. When Rose Is Drunk She Is Many Things But Herself Is Not One Of Them. It Was Like She Had Hidden Herself From Me. I Know That Wasn't What Was Going On But... It Hurts. She Needed Something I Couldn't Give Her. I Hoped That It Had Been Helping But Now I Know That It Was Not. I've Felt Horrible About It For A Long Time. I've Been Red For Every Part Of Her And Hoping I Could Acutely See Her Again For So Long Instead Of Being With Her Was Killing Me. She Is Finally Back Now. We Are Trying To Make Up For Lost Time. We Can't Get Time Back Though. But This Will Be A Good Start.

Now I Can Help Her At Least A Little More. It Wasn't Something I Thought I Could Do Before Because What Was I To Her Really? Now I Know. Now I Can Be Confident And Help As Much As I Can. I Can't Wait!

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it's Late In The Wake Cycle When Mt Trollion Chimes In My Sylladex I Uncaptchalogue It and Find That Dave Was Messaging Me.

TG: Kanaya are you on?

GA: Yes Dave Is There Something Wrong?

TG: alright so i need to start this with everything is OK

GA: I Am Glad To Hear You Have Worked It Out With Karkat

Ridiculously Glade In Fact

TG: 1) thank you 2) not what i was talking about.

What? Did Something Happen?

GA: What Happened

TG: OK let me finish because we need to figure this out before we rush in and make this worse. like no rushing. This situation is moderately controlled.

TG: like not like fort Knox military extreme controlled. like I still need your help but not like to the point where you need to be here now.

TG: but we need to talk about it now because like it's bad. and i'm even resisting a rant for this Kanaya. you have no idea how tempted i was to bring this rant into like area 51 and it would have been hilarious because aliens and shit.

TG: point is i'm not doing that right now.

TG: and i need you to not freak out until i'm done.

He Is Doing A Poor Job Of Keeping Me From Panic. What The Hell Is Going On. He's Stalling. I Hear myself Growl.

GA: Tell Me Whats Going On Right Now Dave. Right Now.

TG: right now got it. OK so i'm going to say what i know and you have to promise not do a pirouette of the handle until i'm done OK.

GA: Dave Tell Me What's Going on

TG: promise me

GA: I Promise You I Will Wait to Do Any Spinning Until The Appropriate Time.

TG: OK good

TG: so um

GA: DAVE

TG: right so yesterday i was kicking back and relaxing when i decided to ask Karkat about his day because my brain was reaching epic levels of sap.

TG: like so much sap.

TG: like you could have thrown me against the wall and i would have stuck to the wall.

TG: and then people would pass by like damn that dude is so sappy. and i would just like slowly slide down the wall and shit until i hit the ground. and before you yell at me you have no idea how much restraint it took not to say "love goop"... long rant style.

I'm one second from strangling my two way Quadricorner.

GA: DAVE This Is Not Funny.

TG: OK so i pestered him and he said he needed me so i dropped what i was doing like it was burning me and flew to him as fast as i could.

TG: he was curled up against the wall and shaking and scared. and i tried to figure out why but he was two freaked out to answer and i figured out that there was a vent around and knew it was the clown fuck that was doing it and he used is voodoo shit to make me think i saw him kill Kar and i saw through it and stabbed the fucker because he was still in the vent.

WHAT? I Growl Again. I Can't Even Begin To Tell You How Angry I Am.

GA: Did You Kill Him?

TG: the son of a bitch got away. he never got out of the vents but i got a few good shots in. i would have gone after him if kar was OK but i needed to help him.

Good I Won't Have To Kill Kar's matesprit. Mates Are Meant To Protect. If He Would Have Left Kar Alone When He Was Venerable I Would Have Ended Him. If I Was There It Would Have Been Different. On The Other Hand I Will Kill Gamzee. Just Wait. It's Just A Matter Of Time.

GA: You Did The Right Thing.

TG: i know. i couldn't leave him alone like that. i kinda freaked out. i don't know. i just kinda couldn't let him go.

Yes. I Am Well Aware Of How Protective Instincts Work.

TG: It Kind Of Terrified Me.

Perhaps He Isn't Though.

GA: It Is Alright Dave. These Instincts Are Natural When The One You Pity Is In Danger Or Hurt. It Is A Matespirt's Job And Instinct To Protect And Separate From Danger. We Tend To Huddle And Shield One Another Or Freak Out. Protective Instincts Are Important And Honestly I Am Happy That You Have Them. I Know I Can Trust You Around Karkat.

TG: that

TG: that's actually a really big relief

TG: oh thank god

TG: i mean cool.

GA: Being That You Are Experiencing Protective Urges I Will Hazard A Guess That You Are Talking To Me Means That Karkat Is Currently Both OK And Asleep.

TG: how did

Perhaps We Should Have Dave Join In On Roses Lessons.

TG: OK never mind you know this stuff better than i do but, yes that is basically what's going on.

Good.

TG: the only thing is Kar doesn't seem to remember what happened.

GA: That Is Not Surprising. Karkat Was Abused Using Chucklevoodoo It Is Entirely Possible That He Is Either Blocking The Memory Out Or That His Mind Was Attempting To Rationalize It As A Simple Panic Attack. Or He May Think He Passed Out And Was Having A Day Terror.

TG: he was so scared

GA: And You Saved Him. Dave You Did Well. You Got There In Time. I Know Karkat And I Know You Know Him As Well. We Can Fix What's Wrong. It Will Take Time But We Can Do It. You Stopped What Was Going On.

TG: are you sure?

GA: Yes. We Need To Watch Karkat And Make Sure He's OK. What Was He Doing At The Time Of The Attack?

TG: Kar was on his way to his old room to get some stuff for your date. and no i'm not telling what. when he "just started getting scared". should we explain what happened?

Unprovoked. I Won't Tell You What I Think Of Gamzee Anymore. I Am More Than Mad. I Won't Let This Affect Kar More Than It Has.

GA: No Karkat's Responses To Threats Are Extremely Unpredictable. He Would Either Draw Away From Us Or He Would Try To Confront Gamzee Head On. Either Way Would Be Horrid. We Can't Tell Him Until Most Of The Danger Is Gone. He Knows On Some Level What Happened Even If Not Well. He Will Avoid Gamzee Subconsciously Unless We Bring It Up.

TG: OK so no talking about it got it.

Good I Know I Will Not Have To Worry About Kar For Now. Dave's Watching Over Him. That's... Oh I Am Not Going To Pass This Opportunity Up. I Simply Can't

GA: So Kar Is Asleep?

TG: yes why?

GA: And You're With Him?

TG: well yeah.

GA: And Where Is He Currently?

TG: on his bed in his new room why?

GA: And You're Just Sitting On The Other Side Of The Room.

TG: no i'm next to him. i still don't feel comfortable with being more than two feet away from him right now so i'm on the bed.

GA: Right. You Know.... We Trolls Tend To Name Things After The Way We Use Them Right?

TG: yes

Oh This Is Almost Too Easy

GA: for example.... our name for a human bed is quite different.

TG: like what sleeping plank. no you guys slept in the pod things.

TG: ummm pile holders.

TG: Squishy Useless Things?

Oh This Will Be Fun.

GA: Concupiscent Platforms.

I Sign Out Quickly And Recaptchalogue My Husktop Snickering To Myself As I Receive A Virtual Flood Of What I Know Are The Outraged And Scandalized Ramblings Of A Vary Flustered Knight Of Time. Oh Yes. I Feel I Have Done Well. I Have Two Dates Coming Up With The Two People I Care For Most In The World. I Have My Worries But For Now I Need To Put Them Aside. I Need To Be Calm And Have Fun For My Dates. Gamzee Will Stay Dormant For Now So That He Can Go Wherever He Goes And Get Us Off His Back For Now. I Need To Process This But I Can't Do It Now. I'll Have The Best First Dates That I Can And Not Drag The Others Down. Then I Think It's Time For A Bit Of Clown Hunting.

Chapter Text

I Hear A Knock On The Door. I Smooth My Skirt And Fix My Hair Quickly For The Tenth And Final Time Today. I Had Been Making Various Outfits Out Of Boredom And Urge To Practice. What I Am wearing Currently Is Much Like My Normal Attire However My Shirt Is Longer From My Waist, My Sleeves Are Shorter And More Comfortable And My Skirt Is A Bit More Flowing To Allow More Movement. I Want To Be Comfortable Today. I Am Getting Of Topic Forgive Me I Am A Bit Nervous. I Walk Over To The Door And Grip The Handle This Will Be My First Actual Pale Date. I'm A Bit Terrified.

As Soon As I Open The Door I See Karkat Waiting Patiently For Me. I Feel The Tension Drain From Me. "READY FOR A NIGHT OUT?", What Does That Mean? There Are Not Exactly Many Places To Go, "Night Out?", He Smiles And I Practically Melt. His Smiles Still Come As A Rare Treat. He Always Seems So Shy When It Comes To Expressing Positive Emotion. He Acts Like His Happiness Can Be Taken Away At Any Time And, With All That He Has Endured It Isn't Like He Is Not Justified In Thinking That Way. To See That He's Letting Himself Be Happy Like This Is Amazing. "YES A NIGHT OUT. NOW ARE YOU READY?", He Offers His Arm In An Exaggerated Motion. "Of Course!", I Take Great Pleasure In Taking His Arm And Letting Him Begin To Lead Me To Our Destination. "May I Ask About The Evening's itinerary?", Karkat Shakes His Head, "NO YOU FUCKING MAY NOT MISS-GLOWS-A-LOT IT'S A SECRET. ", He Emphasizes With A Finger Over His Lips And A Tiny Shoosh. I Blush.

Karkat Is Dressed Up Slightly Now That I Am Paying More Attention. His Hair Is Less Of A Mess And His Turtleneck Is Made Of Softer Material Than The Others. Pale Date Clothing Is Traditionally Something That Is Extremely Comfortable But Still Easy To Fight In In Case Of Danger. Perhaps I Can Make Karkat Some Clothing In The Future? I Wonder What Else He Would Like To wear? For Now I Put The Thought Away Into The Back Of My Mind And Enjoy The Softer Material. Karkat Stops Walking And I Pull Myself The Rest Of The Way From My Rambling Thoughts. I Look Around And Gasp. When I Wasn't Paying Attention We Had Somehow Managed To Get Outside Rather Far From The Lab Building. The Thing That Had Me In Awe Though Was That In Front Of Me Was A Huge Beautiful Garden With A Picnic Set Up In Front Of It.

"How Is This Possible?", Karkat Shrugs, "THAT'S WHAT I SAID WHEN I FOUND IT ABOUT A WEEK AFTER ROSE AND DAVE GOT HERE. I FIGURED THAT WITH ALL THE CRAZY SHIT THAT GOES ON IN THE GAME THAT I'D NEVER FUCKING KNOW AND GOT OVER IT. I VISITED A FEW TIMES JUST TO MAKE SURE THERE WEREN'T LIKE GIANT FUCKING MONSTERS AND SHIT THAT WOULD POP UP OR SOME SHIT LIKE THAT. NOTHING EVER COMES HERE THOUGH AND I'VE CHECKED IT SO I KNOW IT'S NOT DANGEROUS.", "This Is Incredible.", He Nods. "DO YOU WANT TO TAKE A LOOK BEFORE THE PICNIC?", Oh God Yes, "Yes Please, I Have Missed My Garden.".

We Take Our Time Walking Thru The Garden As I Point Out Each recognizable Type Of Flora And Admittedly Talk Quite A Bit More Then I Feel I Should Have Considering How Silently Karkat Was Listening. The Plants Were From All Parts Of Alterania And About Half Of Them Were From Earth When I Pointed Out A Second Time How This Shouldn't Be Possible Karkat Scoffed, "WE ARE THE LAST OF FOUR TROLLS ALIVE, WE LIVE WITH TWO GODS, WE'VE BOTH DIED AND COME BACK TO LIFE, YOU'R A RAINBOW DRINKER, FEFERI DIED BEFORE US, AND I'M NOT DEAD YET DESPITE ALL OF THAT AND THE THING YOU QUESTION IS THE GARDEN?", That Does Sound A Bit Ridiculous When Looked At It Like That.

Karkat Frowns, "I DON'T KNOW. I CHECKED IT OUT LIKE I SAID. FROM WHAT I CAN TELL IT FORMED IN A CRATER AND THE PLANTS GET WATER FROM UNDERGROUND. I'M ALMOST SURE THAT THIS WAS JUST THE GAME'S WAY OF SAYING "FUCKERS, YOU COULD NEVER HOPE TO UNDERSTAND ME" AND THEN TELLING US TO SUCK IT'S BULGE IF WE TRY. ", That Sounds About Right. I Nod. As We Go To Sit Down On The Picnic Blanket Karkat Stops, "KAN YOU HAVE A DAISY PETAL ON YOUR SHOE.", I Look Down And Remove The Petal... How Did He Remember That? "Karkat How Did You Remember What The Petal Looked Like?",' Karkat Shrugs, "I DON'T KNOW. I HAVE A GOOD MEMORY I GUESS. I MEAN IT'S NOT LIKE I CAN REMEMBER EVERYTHING BUT I GET DETAILS PRETTY EASILY.", I'm Not Sure How To Feel About This. It Might Just Be Like He Says And He Simply Has A Good Memory But That In Itself Could Be Horrible. I Sit Back And Thank Everything That He Doesn't Have Some Odd Perfect Recall Ability.

I Sit Down And Kar Pulls Out Some Food. A Container Of Stew, My Tea, Some Sandwiches And A Few Pieces Of Candy. "This Is Wonderful Karkat! Thank you!", He Blushes, "IT'S NOT A PROBLEM.", We Talk Lightly And We Both Eat Although Karkat Is Still Not Up To Full Health He Does Eat A Bit More Than He Did Before. Just As He Promised. A Little More Each Day Until He Is Up To A Healthy Amount. We Talk And Laugh Lightly For A While. When We Decide We're Done Kar Cleans Up A Bit And He Offers His Arm Again. "ON TO PART TWO OF THE DATE ARE YOU READY?", I Move And Take His Arm Again. "Of Course.", We Begin The Walk Back Inside And I Find Myself Sad To Be Leaving The Small Garden Paradise. I Must Have Been Rather Out Of It To Not Notice That We Were So Far From The Laboratory.

"How Did You Find The Garden?", Karkat Seems To Think About It For A Moment. "WHEN I WAS WITH GAMZEE I THOUGHT ABOUT LEAVING THE LABS AND JUST STAYING AWAY. COMING BACK WHEN WE GOT TO THE NEXT SESSION. JUST TO GET AWAY FROM EVERYTHING FOR A WHILE. I LOOKED AROUND THE METEOR FOR A GOOD ENOUGH PLACE TO BE BUT, I ALWAYS ENDED UP COMING BACK.", I See. "It's Good That You Ended Up Coming Back ", Karkat Blinks, "WHY?", Can He Seriously Not Think Of A Reason? "Because Now You're Here With Me.", He Blushes And Tries To Hide It. Well I Won't Let Him. I Poke His Side And He Makes A Cute Little Squeak Noise And Practically Flails Around Before He Regains Himself And Eyes Me With Great Suspicion. I Can Not Help But Grin At Him. He Is Still So Unused To Touch That Unless It's Offered Or Expected It Makes Him Either Freeze Or Flail. Note This Reaction Has Lessened As Has The Frequency Of His Panic Attacks But It Is Still Something That We Need To Work On. For Now I Will Admit To Thinking Some Of The Non-negative Reactions Are Hilarious.

"WE'RE HERE KAN.". I Look Away From His Still Red Tinted Face And See That We're A Door From My Pile Room. I'm Blushing At The Thought That Of Being In A Pile Again "Karkat Not To Be Rude But I Think You Missed The Door.", He lets Out A Puff Of Air And Replies With A Curt, "YES I KNOW THAT NOW OPEN THE DOOR KAN.", I Open The Door And Have To Pause In Shock To Take In What's In Front Of Me. Karkat Has Set Up A Pile In The Room But That's Not All. He Has Covered Up The Floor With Various Pieces Of Fabric To Make The Floor Softer. There Is A Small Jar In The Center Of The Room That Is Glowing Softly And Makes Up For The Otherwise Darkness That Would Come With The Lights Being Off. The Room Is Relatively Barren But Extremely Beautiful. Karkats Scent Is Everywhere In This Room And Dave's Scent Lingers In The Corners Telling Me That He Never Left Karkat Alone And Had Helped To Set Up The Room. I Mentally Thank Dave Once Again For Protecting Him. "This Is Beautiful.", I Move Into The Room. To Be Honest I Am Embarrassed To Say I Would Love To Just Run And Dive Into The Pile And Happily Wait For My Palemate. It's A Odd And Rather Lewd Thought That Has My Cheeks Warm. I Can't Stand The Thought Of Waiting So I do Go To The Pile But At A Much More Respectable Pace.

Karkat Follows Behind Me Practically Bursting With nervous Energy. He Must Be Worried About How I'll Feel In His Pile. I Sit Down In The Pile And Feel Myself Relax Again. I'm So Comfortable Right Now It's Ridiculous. His Scent Is Wonderful And The Pile Is Just Right. Karkat Smiles At Me Reaction And Sits Down Next To Me Before Practically Burrowing Into The Books, Movie Cases, And Blankets That Make Up His Pile. I Immediately Feel The Sharp Softness And Warmth That I've Come To Know Karkat By. I Laugh As His Body Seemingly Disappears In The Mix Of Harsh Angles And Fluff. He Reemerges A Second Later With A Big Blanket And Covers Us Both. I Shuffle Until I'm On My Side Facing Him And He Dose The Same. "IS IT OK?", He's Still Worried About It?, "I Am Currently Ridiculously Comfortable.", He Makes A Pleased Noise And Relaxes Further.

After A Moment Of Comfortable Silence Kar Asks "HOW ARE THINGS?", We See Each other Quite Often There Is Little That The Other Wouldn't Know But, I Do Have Some Exciting News. "Rose Has Asked Me For A Date!!!!", Karkat Smiles. "I'M GLAD THE TWO OF YOU ARE STILL GOING STRONG. NOT THAT YOU WEREN'T ADORABLE PINING AFTER HER BUT IT'S BETTER THAT YOU'RE TOGETHER.", I Nod Happily. "Thank You.", Karkat Makes A Face And Says Vary Quietly, "Are the two of you doing better?", He Is Afraid To Ask About. It Can Be A Worrying Thing When PaleMates Ask About The Others Red-Rom. It's Not Normal But It Is A Sine That The Palemate Is Concerned About Something And Is Bringing It Up Before Action Is Taken. He Is Telling Me I Will Have A Chance To Correct What's Going On Or He Will Step In If It Ever Happens Again. I Understand What He's Saying No Matter How Carefully He Said It. He Is Talking About Roses Drinking. He Knows It Was Hurting Me And Is Prepared To Take Action If The Situation Ever Goes Out Of My Control Again. "Yes Rose Has Stopped Drinking And Has Apologized For Her Behavior. In fact Rose Asked Me On A Date Tomorrow To Make Up For Our First Date. As A Second Chance. A Better Start.", He Nods. "THAT SOUNDS GOOD.", That Was Not An All Clear But, It Was A Reassurance That If It Is Bad He Will Step In. He Drew A Clear Line On What He Would Allow And What He Wouldn't.

With The Equal Roles Of Palemates I Had Never Considered This. Kar Is Just As Protective Of Me As I Am Of Him He Just Has Fewer opportunities Or Reasons To Express It. Me Trying To Excuse Rose For Her Drinking Would Work Nearly As Well As If He Would Ask Me Not To Be Angry At Gamzee. The Situations Aren't Equal And He's Not Treating It As If It Is But That Doesn't Mean It Isn't A Problem. "Agreed.", Karkat Changes The Topic. "ON ANOTHER NOTE DAVE AND I HAVE DECIDED TO TRY A MATESPRITSHIP." He Is Attempting To Announce This As If It's Small Topic Of Little Importance But I Can Sense The Pride And Joy Hiding In The Statement. He Is Trying Not To Get His Hopes Up And It's Sad That He Thinks That Way. I Need To Show Him That I Believe This Will Last. It Shouldn't Be A Problem Because I Do Think It Will. It Will Be A Shame If I Have To Use My Chainsaw On A Human But, If Dave Hurts Karkat I Have No Problem In Doing So. I Smile. "That's Good! I Am Happy For You!", He Smiles Back Even As He Tries To Hide It. "So How Is Your Red So Far?", His Eyes Go Wide And His Whole Face Turns Red Before He Burris Face And Sinks Quickly Into The Pile As If Willing It To Swallow Him. Oh Look Even The Slight Bit Of The Back Of His Neck I Can See Is Red.

I Would Normally Force Him Out Of Hiding And Make Him Tell Me But Now I Think I Should Be Patient. I Wait For Him To Come Out. After A Time He Turns His Head Just Enough To See Me From The Corner Of His Eye. "THE DAY DAVE ASKED ME TO WATCH A MOVIE WITH HIM WE WATCHED SOME OF MY FAVORITE ROM-COMS AND HE SAID HE WAS SORRY FOR THE WAY HE WAS BEING.", "And Then What Happened?", He Turns His Head Away Again. "HE ASKED ME TO ME MATES AND I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND HIM THE WAY HE SAID IT AND THEN HE SAID THE TITLE OF ONE OF MY MOVIES THAT FIT AND I SAID WE WOULD TRY. THEN WE SPENT THE REST OF THE NIGHT WATCHING MY MOVIES AND HOLDING HANDS.", Cute, "That Sounds Adorable!". Karkat Put His Hands Over His Face Even Though I Can't See Him, "IT WAS! HE HAD WATCHED MY MOVIES EVEN THOUGH HE THOUGHT THEY WERE BAD! AND THEN THE OTHER DAY I WAS ON MY WAY TO GET SUPPLIES FROM MY OLD ROOM AND A HAD A REALLY BAD PANIC ATTACK. WHEN I WOKE UP HE WAS HOLDING ME PROTECTIVELY AND JUST-" He Makes An Unrecognizable Sound Akin To A Keyboard Smash. I Think I'll Name The Sound 'The Keyboard Smash Of Embarrassment.'

"I'm Happy He Was There For You.", He Nods Without Removing His Hands. "HE STUCK AROUND FOR THE REST OF THE WAKE CYCLE AND MADE SURE I WAS OK. HE EVEN HELPED ME MOVE THINGS HERE!", I Accidentally Make The Noise One Makes When Seeing A Particularly Cute Baby MeowBeast. The Small Portion Of Kar's Face That Shows When He Looks Out Of The Corner Of His Eye Again Looks Completely Unamused Before Looking Away Again. "He Took The Time To Do All This I'm Sure That His Feelings Are Genuine And That Things Will Work Out.". He Shows Half Of His Face This Time, "YOU REALLY THINK SO.", I Nod And He Almost Launches At Me To Cuddle. I Open My Arms And Hold Him Close. "I JUST- I DON'T WANT EITHER OF US TO GET HURT BY THIS. WHAT IF I DO SOMETHING WRONG?", I Shake My Head "You Won't.", He Squeezes Me, "But what if i do?". I Sigh. I Understand Why But I Don't Like That He Thinks Like This. "Then I'll Still Be Here.", he curls Into Me Further And Finally After A While Relaxes. I Won't Be Going Anywhere And The Faster He Learns That The Better.

"THANK'S KANAYA.", "No Need To Thank Me.". He Nods. This Is moirallegiance. This Is Playful And Worried And Stressful And The Lightest Thing Ever. Now That My Worries About Rose Have Been Drawn Out And Confronted I Feel Light. I Feel Reassured. I Feel Happy And Emotionally Raw In The Best Way. And I Can Feel That Kar Is This Way Two. After Some More Conversation And Playful Banter We Fall Asleep Wrapped Together In The Pile. I Dream Of Safety And Happiness. I Dream Of Fun And Light hearted Chatter. I Dream Of Peace And Worryless Joy.

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When I Wake Up Karkat Is Still Asleep In My Arms. In His Sleep He Is Smiling. I Enjoy This Cuddly Side Of Him. On Close Examination I Feel Better Then I Have For A Long Time. The Raw Feeling Is Dulled And I Know I Am Much Better Than I Was. Karkat Wakes Up Not Long After I Do. "G'EVENING KAN!!", Kar Says With A Sleep Slurred Voice. "Good Evening", Kar Laughs, "YOU NEED TO GO GET READY FOR YOUR RED DATE.", It Comes Out As A Yon. But I Nod Happily and After A Long Hug I Begin The Walk To My Room So I Can Change For My Red Date.

Chapter Text

The Day So Far Has Been Excellent. My Date With Karkat Was Excellent! I Never Expected It To Go So Well. I Feel So Relaxed That Nothing Short Of Gamzee Could Rile Me. We Had Even Slept In Late. With How Good I Feel And Karkat's Reassurances I Have A Much More Optimistic Outlook On The Way My Date With Rose Will Go. I Don't Think I Could Raise The Tension In My Body To Be Nervous About It. I Find Myself Humming Happily As I Walk To My Room. When I Arrive I Spare A Glance At My Clock And Decide I Have Plenty Of Time To Get Ready. First On The List Is Daily Hygiene I Don't Want To Be Gross Around Rose. I Continue To Hum A Nameless Tune In The Shower.

When I Exit The hygiene block The Thought Crosses My Mind That I Don't Know What Outfit To Choose, I Move Through My Wardrobe Disapprovingly And Tisk To Myself. Pale Date Attire Is Meant To Be Comfortable And Soft. It's Meant To Be Open And Inviting However, Red Date Clothing Is Meant To Be Appealing And Showy. While Pale Date Outfits Are Mostly Only The Colors Of The Palemates To State A More Open And Accepting Mood, Red Dates Clothing Is Your Palemates Color, Your Color, And Your Red Mates Color As A Show Of Pure claim. It's A Much More Aggressive Statement. Even If Rose Doesn't Get The Significance Of Me wearing these Colors I’d Like The Statement To Be Displayed. When I Finally Settle On An Outfit And Finish With The Rest Of My Appearance I Look Into The Mirror To Check If I Should Make Any Last Minute Adjustments To My Dress.

I Have Painted My Claws In A Polish That Matches Karkat’s Red. My Symbol Is On The Upper Right Of The Chest Of My Black Dress. I Have Applied My Jade Lipstick. I Fidget With The Sash That Is Rose's Color Tied Around My Middle. I Have Come To Enjoy Wearing A Sash As Both A Grim Reminder That I Am In fact Dead And As A Bandage For A Wound That Has Long Since Healed And Left Nothing But A Scar. I Admit To Having A Rather Morbid Fascination With The Accessory. When I Look In The Mirror I Have The Urge To Change My Clothing... I Almost Fall Down In My Laughter. I Was Complaining About Not Knowing What To Wear? Do I Really I Feel So Good That That Is My Only Concern? I Can't Stand It Anymore And I Do Fall Over In Laughter. The Threat Of Death Has Rarely Ever Been So Close But I Feel More At Ease Then I Ever Have. I Feel At Ease Enough To Be Thinking This Way?

For Once I Feel Like One Of The Girls In A Movie And I Can Actually Enjoy It. I Feel Tears Slip Through My Eyes As I Laugh. After Everything We Have Been Through I Can Act Like This? If There Was Ever Proof That We Aren't Too Broken To Be Happy This Is It. Here I Am Preparing For My Second Date In Just As Many Nights. Here I Am On A Death Ridden Chunk Of Rock Hurdling Through Space And I'm Laughing Hysterically In Happiness To The Point Of Tears.

When I Hear A Knock On The Door I Don't Even Think Before Rushing To It. I Open The Door And See Rose She Looks Extremely Confused But, I Suppose I Would Be As well. I Try To Gather Myself But End Up In Another Bout Of Laughter. "Kanaya? May I ask what is going on?", Her Expression Is A Mix Of Concern, Laughter, And Slight Annoyance. When I Finally Manage To Answer I Say, "I Just Spent Over An Hour Deciding What To Wear!", Rose Seems To Understand As Her Eyes Widen, "I Did Two...", Rose Starts To Laugh As well Although Quietly At First She Eventually Begins To Understand And Soon Were Both Leaning On One Another For support Panting To Regain Our Breath.

I Place My Head On Her Shoulder Until We're Both Able To Regain Our Composure. When We Move Back I Can't Help Myself But To Examine The Outfit She Had Taken An Hour To Pick. She Is In A Lovely Black Dress With Her Normal Sash. The Sleeves Of Her Dress Are A Jade Lace. I Feel Every Part Of Myself Scream Happily At The Fact My Matesprit Is Showing Off My Color. I Feel Like She's Proud Of Me! I Know She Probably Doesn't Know What It Means To Me But, It Makes Me Even Happier. While I Was Looking At Rose She Was Apparently Looking At Me, "You look stunning!” The Note Of Awe In Her Voice Doesn't Escape Me. My Face Must Be The Color Of My Sign.

"You Look Lovely Yourself!” Oh I Am Glad I Have A Better Filter Then Karkat. I Was Honestly Thinking Of Saying, 'You Look Lovely In My Color', Far Too Inappropriate. Perhaps These Slips Are Contagious? That Would Be Most Unfortunate. Rose Smiles Happily. Maybe Acting Like A Normal Person For Once Wouldn't Be All Too Bad. Perhaps Just For Now We Can Afford To Relax And Regroup. For Now I Decide That It Will Be Ok. "What Did You Have Planned For Today Before We Went Off Schedule?", Rose Makes A Small Noise Of Acknowledgement, "Well I would have to admit that the laughter was not planned, luckily however this date has not been derailed just yet. As for our date activity's ... It's a secret. ", Did They Plan This? My Quadramates Have Both Been Excessively Sneaky When It Comes To Date Plans. Rose Offers Her Hand And Asks, "Are you ready?” I Take It Without Hesitation, "Of Course.” Our Hands Never Separate As She Gently Leads Me Down Several Hallways.

"So how did your pale date go?” A Smile Finds Its Way Along My Face. "It Was Perfect!!! Karkat Took Me To A Odd And Impossible Garden Outside And Then When We Came Back In I Find That Karkat Made His Own Pile So He And I Could Retire To It After The Date!", She Nods But Then A Questioning Look Comes Across Her Face. What Is That Look For? "What's Wrong?” She Shakes Her Head A Bit Before Asking, "I don't understand why another pile is necessary. Did yours only suit one need?” More Strange Cultural Hang Ups I See. Well This Is More Of A Basic Thing So It Is Relatively Easy To Explain At least.

"Piles Are The Place A Troll Feels Most Relaxed Out Of Anywhere It's A Part Of Our Instincts. Every Troll Should Have A Pile So When Alone They Can De-Stress As Much As Possible And Feel Safe. The Habit Of Making Piles Should Come Naturally And Being Without One Is Horrible For Us Mentally. It Means We Constantly Have Our Guard Up. Making Multiple Piles Has A purpose As Well. This Purpose Is Sharing A Pile. Piles Are Only Shared With Quadramates And, In The Worst Case Scenario Close Friends. If You’re In A Pile With Someone You Don’t Trust And Feel For Your Instincts Go Into Extreme Overdrive And To Put It Mildly You Freak Out.", I Let Her Nod Before I Continue.

"Building A Pile That Is Meant For Two People Means That You Are Both Comfortable With The Person And You Want To Accept Them. Not Only That But It Comes As A Comfort To Me Right Now Being That Karkat Has Said That He Hasn't Had A Pile For A Long Time. It Means He Has A Place To Calm Down If Something Happens To Me Or I Am Not Available. The Feeling Of Such A Gesture Is Difficult To Explain Any Further But It Is Definitely A Heart Warming Experience!", Rose Seems Worried, "Does this mean he was in danger without one?", I Would Love To Say No But... "Well, Yes It Is Damaging But Now It Should Be Fine.", She Seems To Stop In Her Tracks A Moment Later, "Do You Think I Should Make A Pile?” I Laugh. "The Answer To That Question Is And Will Always Be "Yes Always.". I Don't Know If It Will Have The Same Effect On You But It Could Be Nice To Find Out.", "It sounds interesting I think I'll try latter.". Good.

I Notice That We Have Reached Our Destination When Rose Comes To A Stop. She Opens A Door And Leads Me Inside. The First Thing I Notice Is The Table Clearly Set For Two In The Center Of The Room, The Room Has An Elegant Style And Comfortable Looking Chairs. Then I Look Up. The Ceiling Is Glass And Rose Has Placed Several Little Glowing Star Lights On The Roof Of The Room. That Must Have Taken A Lot Of Time With Both The Alchemiter And Just Trying To Find This Room From The Outside. I Apparently Have A Type. And That Type Must Be People With A Flair For Extreme Romance. Karkat Was Expected But This Is A Surprise. "This Is Beautiful!” Rose Pushes A Strand Of Her Hair Behind Her Ear And Smiles. I'm Struck Once Again With How Incredibly Beautiful She Is.

I Remember When I First Read Her Walk through I Had Pictured Her As A Beautiful Troll And An Ideal Fighter. I Had Made Her A Sort Of Idol In My Head. I Was Disappointed When I First Saw Her Not For The Fact That She Was Worse Than What I Had Expected But Because She Went From A Personal Idol I Could Relate To And Had A Chance With, To Someone I Thought Would Never Even Consider Me. I Had Stupidly Lashed Out. Eventually We Settled Comfortably As We Are But There Are Times I Still Can't Understand How She Could Have Even Considered Me.

"Thank you!", She Says And Leads Me To The Table Before Pulling Out My Chair. I Take My Seat And Wait For Her To Cross To Hers And Sit Down. She Decaptchalogues Two Plates Of The Human Food Spaghetti And Places One In Front Of Me And Then Does The Same With Two Glasses Of Water. I Smile Up At Her Happily. "I hope you like it. I made it myself. The stove was not an easy thing to figure out how to alchemize.” And Now Home Cooked Food! I Can't Describe My Level Of Delight. She Took The Time To Make Food Herself!

We Both Take Our First Bite. "This Is Delicious!” Human Food Can Be A Bit Weird (With It's Only Partially Understandable The Lack Of Certain Meats Due To Not Eating Their Young) But Some Of The Things That I Never Thought Of Eating Actually Taste Wonderful. "Thank you.” She Makes A Happy Noise And We Continue Eating As We Speak. "Have You Gotten Word That My Moirail And Your Brother Have Begun A As They Say "Slow Moving Matespritship", That In My Opinion Could Withstand Moving A Bit Faster With How Strong It Already Seems To Be.".

Rose's Back Becomes Straight And I Realize That She's Paying Close Attention. "Dave had told me of the beginning of their relationship in a fit of, what I was shocked to realize was not a false bravado or, even a hint of irony. He seemed to be both truly proud and happy. I am however truly very interested in this talk about the strength of the relationship. Dave has not sent any updates from that point. What has happened that could warrant that thought?” Her Eyes Are Bright. It Is Time For The Only Gossip That Has Appeared In The Past Year On The meteor. I Pull My Chair Closer To Her At The Same Time As She Moves Closer To Me And I End Up Right Next To Her As We Lean In And Talk Happily About The Developments Of Someone Else’s Relationship.

Rose Listens With Anger At What Gamzee Did And Happiness At Dave's Response To The Situation And Practically Squealing At The Cuteness That Is The Relationship Of The Only Other Red Couple On This Rock.

"Who do you think will crack first and kiss the other?” Rose Asks With A Hint Of Mischief Sparkling in her Eyes. I Adopt A Thinking Pose And Put Some Serious Thought into it. "This Is A Hard Question To Answer Miss Lalonde. Personally I Would Say That It Is A Toss Up At the Moment. Karkat Is Surly And Likely To Try And Shut Dave Up With Kisses Or, He Will Be In A Mood And Kiss Him Because He's Feeling Brave. On The Other Hand Dave Is Bold And Not Known For Patience, Also Karkat Is Adorable And I Can Imagine Dave Getting Flustered By It And Simply Kissing Him Because Of That.", Rose Hums A Note Of Acknowledgment, "Personally, I would pick Dave for the second reason.", True. We Eat In Comfortable Silence For A Time As I Occasionally Look Up To The 'Sky' To See The 'Stars'.

About Halfway Through Our Meal Rose Stops Eating And Turns To Face Me Fully. "Kanaya. I want to thank you for this. I know I have been selfish with the way I was acting before. I should have been better to you... Better to everyone but, especially You. You have been so patient even with everything I put you through. I'm Sorry. And Thank you for this... For everything so far.", I Sigh When Will She Understand. "Rose... I Knew You Were And Still Are Having Trouble. I Am Not Going To Think Bad Of You For Trying To Deal With It Even If Your Methods Were ... How They Were. Rose I'm So Red For You That The Color Can't Even Fully Describe It. You Have No Need To Apologize For Trying To Be Happy Even Though I Wish That You Would Realize You Could Be Happier With Me.", Her Eyes Go Wide. "I-I know that now. I am happy with you.", "I Know Rose. And You Best Stay After All, Now That I Have You I Wouldn't Let Anyone Else Even Try To Have Me Red.", Rose's Eyes Shine "Well Then I Think I'll Have To Stick Around So I Can sweep You Off Your Feet Forever Won't I. I Promise To Be There For You For As Long As I Live." She Takes My hand And Kisses It Leaving A Black Lipstick Print On My Hand. She Blushes Looking At It "I'm sorry I didn't realize it would come of on-" She Stops When I Pull Out My Lipstick And Start Reapplying It.

Her Attention Is Completely On Me. I Quickly Lean Into Her Space And Kiss Her Cheek. "And Now We're Even.", Her Blush Darkens, "Such an act deserves some retaliation.”, She Leans Forward And Kisses My Forehead. I Make A Disgruntled Noise And Move To Do The Same As She Moves Away Laughing Lightly. This Turns Into A Game. The Best Type Of Game. A Game That Leads To Sloppy Make Outs With My Mate. By the End Of The Night We Are Both Covered In The Visual Reminders Of Kisses That Have Left A Visual Claim That No One Would Dare Challenge Even If We Weren't Some Of The Few Left Alive. Even After We Part Ways And I Lay In Bed I Can’t Help But Feel So Happy I Could Burst. I Dream Of My Beautiful Heart And Wonderful Diamond.

Chapter Text

4lr1ght! H4y 1t's r4d to t4lk to you!!! 1 m34n wr1te h4, h4, wh4t3v3s. Tun4 w4s go1ng to but w3ll... 1t c4n g3t 4 l1ttl3 h4rd for h1m to focus. H3 tr1ed but 4ft3r... 4nyw4y, 1'm just go1ng to t3ll you wh4t h3 h4d down b3for3 h3 fl1ped 4nd 3r4s3d 1t. H3 h4d b33n tr1ng for so long to wr1ght 1t 1t'd be 4 w4st3 not to put som3 of 1t up r1ght? 1 don't r3m3mb3r 1t word for word(or much of 1t 4t 4ll) but , 1'm gunn4 put 4s much as 1 can th1nk of in 1t 4nd hop3 1t's clos3. 1'm not 3v3n go1ng to try 4nd ton3 down my qu1rk (Not 4s 3asy 4s you th1nk).

OK wh3r3 to p1ck th1s up... w3ll.. 1 know h3 w4s h3ll4 stoked th4t he m4de fr1nds w1th KK's d3c3nd3nt 'KK th3 young3r l3ss t4lk3y'. 1ve t4lk3d to 4 f3w d34d v3rs1ons of h1m 4 f3w t1m3s 4nd th3 l1v3 on3 tw1c3 4nd h3 s33ms pr3tty w1ck3d. Tun4 w4s h3ll4 torn up ov3r 1t wh3n h3 4lmost d13d. Poor l1ttl3 dud3. Th3y shuld4 n3v3r l3t th4t g3t so f4r. Kurloz h4d to sp3nd 4 lot of t1m3 g3tt1ng my Tun4 to ch1ll. Kurloz 1s so p1ssed 4t G4mz33 th4t h3 c4n't st4nd 1t. F1rst h3 k1lls M3ul1n th3 m1n14tur3 4nd Th3n h3 hurt K4rk4t. 1 f33l l1ke 1f th3y m33t 4g41n 1t's go1ng to b3 4 h3ll of a show down. From wh4t th3y s4y K4rk4t w4s m3ss3d up so bad he d1dn't s33 any r3ason3 p3opl3 would w4nt to h3lp h1m. Tuna w4s so p1ssed off h3 st4yed 4ngry for d4ys. Norm4ly s3nc3 th3.... th1ng... 4ny st4b1l1ty 1s 4 4w3som3 thought but, not th4t w4y.

Tun4 do3sn't g3t 4long w3ll w1th m4ny p3opl3 so K4rk4t should b3 prot3cted 4t 4ll costs. Our r34sons m1ght not b3 th3 s4me but th3 oth3rs th1nk so two. T3r3z1 h4s som3 3xpl41n1ng to do n3xt t1m3 1 s33 h3r. Sh3 n33ds to st4rt f4cing h3r probl3ms. 1t alr3dy got w4y to out of h4nd 4nd K4k4t got hurt, No on3 of my color 1s 4low3d to hurt 4 V4nt4s or l3t th3m g3t hurt. 1t's not 4 th1ng 1'm gunn4 just l3t h4ppen. 1'll adm1t K4rk4t got 1t 3x4ctly r1ght wh3n h3 s41d th4y w3r3 l1k3 s1bl1ngs. 1t's th3 s4m3 w4y w1th K4nkr1 4nd m3. K4nkr1 dos3nt g3t 1t. W3 wouldn't work out. 1 w1sh h3 would r34l1z3 1t too. Sp34k1ng of K4nkr1.... 1'm pr3tty sur3 wh3n h3 found out wh4t h4pp3n3d... L3t's jut s4y 1 h4v3n't s33n much th4t could b3 sc4ry3r th3n 4 V4nt4s 1n 4tt4ck mod3. 3v3n Porr1m w4s fr3ak3d out. G4mz33 h4s now3r3 to h1de now. Not 3v3n 1n d3ath. No on3 c4n f1nd h1m but 1t's onl3y 4 m4tt3r of t1me b3for3 w3 do.

Sorry bros 1 said 1 w4s go1ng to t3ll you wh4t M1tun4 h4d down but 1 got w4y s1detr4ckt3d M1tun4 us3d to l4ugh wh3n 1 got off topic b3for3. 3v3ry now and th3n 1n on3 of h1s good t1mes h3 still do3s. 4nyw4y th4t's wh4t 1'm go1ng to do just w1th 4 lot l3ss curs1ng 4nd stuff. Tun4 th1nks K4rkat 1s h3lla r4d. H3 was sup3r stok3d to f1nd som3on3 h3 could ch1ll w1th 3sp3ci4lly w1th th3 f4ct th4t h1s m1n1 h1m 1s M14 ... sorry "M.I.A. missing in action.", My sp33ch c4n b3 4 h4ssl3 som3t1m3s... 1 th1nk h3 m1ght b3 s4d h3 h4ssn't r34lly m3t th3 l1v1ng (or 4s l1v1ng 4s h3 c4n b3 r1ght now) v3rs1on of h1m. M1tun4 s33ms pr3tty proud of Sollux. Tun4 p4ys clos3r att3nt1on wh3n3ver th3 l1ttl dud3 1s m3nt1on3d. 1t's so r4d to s33 h1m focus on mor3 th3n just m3 and Kurloz. For 4 long t1me w3 w3r3 4ll h3 would pay att3nt1on two h3 would 3v3n b3 to f4r out 1n spac3 wh3n he w4s skat3bourd1ng to the po1nt h3 would bit3 som3 s3r1ous d1rt. H3's g3tt1ng b3tter now though.

Tun4 n3v3r r34lly got 4long w1th P4ych3ck (M33n4h) so 1t's w4y w3ird to s33 th3m 4ngry 4bout th3 s4m3 th1ngs. 1 m3an p4ych3ck try's to be cool w1th h1m now wh1ch 1s w4y r4d of h3r. Sh3's try1ng to b3 p4t13nt 4nd not get off3nd3d w1tch h4s m4d3 h3r on3 of my f4vor1t3 p3opl3 1n 4 long t1me. Not m4ny of th3 oth3rs 3ven try to t4lk to h1m now. Kurloz and 1 h4v3 h4d to b34t Cronus of w1th a st1ch more t1mes th3n 1 w4nt to count but p3opl3 norm4ly st4y cl34r of h1m. s33ing h1m r3minds us of wh4t h3 w4s l1k3 b3for3.

H3 w4s d4rk 4nd gru3som3 1n how he spok3 t4lk1ng 4bout d34th th4t h3 knew w4s com1ng. H3 w4s 4lso 4 sup3r r4d p3rson who w4s good 4t 3v3ryth1ng. H3 m4y b3 rud3 4nd d4rk but h3 4lw4ys h3lped m3 wh3n 1 n33d3d h1m.Who told m3 he lov3d m3 4s m4ny t1mes 4s h3 could 4ll th3 t1m3. H3 st1ll t3lls m3 3v3n now. H3 h4s 4lways b33n th3r3 for m3 wh3n 1 w4s hurt or sc4r3d. Now h3 is hurt. Now h3 1s sc4r3d. Most of th3 oth3rs c4n't 3v3n look 4t h1m now b3c4s3 th3y r3m1nd3d 4nd f33l bad. 1 r3m3mb3r two. 1 r3m3mb3r how 1t w4s. 1t hurts to w4tch h1m hurt. 1t hurts so much, but 1 r3fuse to look 4w4y. 1t's st1ll h1m. 1t's st1ll my M1tun4 1n th3r3. H3 1s st1ll h3r3 no m4tt3r how much th3 others want to pr3t3nd. H3's st1ll my M1tun4. Th1s t1me 1t's my turn to b3 th3 t34chr3, 1t's my turn to t3ll h1m how much 1 lov3 h1m 3v3ry ch4nc3 1 g3t unt1l h3's blush1ng y3llow, 4nd wh3n h3 g3t's b4ck to norm4l th3n good. no m4tt3r wh4t 1'll b3 h3r3 for h1m. No m4tt3r wh4t.

1'm sorry. 1 got w4y off top1c. 1... 1 don't th1nk 1 c4n do th1s 4nymor3. Tun4 w1ll b3 worr13d 1f h3 s33's m3 cry1ng. 1-1 n33d to go ch3ck on Tun4 now.

Sorry. Th4t w4s so not R4d of m3. Just pr3t3nd th1s n3v3r h4p3n3d, 3v3ryon3 3ls3 s33ms good 4t 1t.

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Somewhere on the meteor a timer counts down the seconds. The password Decrypter attached to the timer now shows two letters: GA

Chapter Text

It's been awhile since my date with Kan. A lot of things have been going right lately. Our relationship has been going really well! No matter how weird that is to say Kanaya has been doing so much better. I know I haven't really talked about it much ...because it's nothing I would tell anyone about without permission, but it really seems like everyone on the meteor is getting better! Kanaya is eating when she gets hungry and she's drinking blood when she needs it. She doesn't seem to think she's a monster anymore and I couldn't be happier about that if I tried. Ecstatic is not a word I ever thought I would use to describe my feelings on anything without being a sarcastic asshole. I say that just so you know how odd it is to say this but, "I'm so fucking ecstatic about it. It's crazy".

Rose seems to have stopped drinking as far as I can tell and it's been so good for both Rose and Kanaya that even a stranger could tell they're happy around each other now. If you know them you'd know that that's insane. Everyone on the meteor seems to be known for being hard to read in one way or another so I mean the normally stoic couple being visibly happy together is so ... well it's fucking adorable. I don't say that about a lot of things, but it is. Rose seems much more healthy and happy. I mean I'm not a happy Lalonde expert but she seems better. I don't know how I thought she was easier to talk to when drunk. I'm glad I get to see this side of her. When she's like this she is a good match for Kanaya I'm so happy that she found someone who is actually good for her. At least like this. I can honestly say that she has become a good friend of mine.

And.... Well... Dave has been more than amazing! He and I have been going at perfect speed. I'd love to sit here and pretend that we would both be ok with rushing in but that would be such a hardcore lie that it feels disgusting. Neither of us is used to physical contact. I know I've said it before but before the game, for both of us touch meant we were being attacked. Dave insists that he knew he was safe with Bro but he still panics sometimes with unexpected touches. No one goes out of their way to do so but Dave tends to miss small human social cues that according to Rose would warrant touch so when she goes to touch his arm or something he freaks out momentarily. It's not such a problem for Kan and me but it is worrying. Dave is better at taking troll cues and considering he is human it seems like a potential problem. He is also so used to being on guard at all times that he is almost as tense as I am and I really want to help him get rid of some of the muscle knots he has in his shoulders. He really needs a moirail. Rose seems like a bad idea... maybe John or, if it doesn't bring bad memories maybe "kid bro", as he puts it. I'm going to bring it up at some point.

Like I said everyone is getting better even Dave and I. We have moved on from hand holding to falling asleep in each other's arms watching movies in just a few months. Progression is slow but the comfort is totally worth it. I don't even question all the small touches anymore. I feel comfortable around Dave. I'm not going into any more detail right now. Kan pokes and tickles me and stuff... I'm getting more used to that two. I think between the both of them maybe I'll be ok with touch eventually. I'm so ridiculously lucky to have them. We all have our problems but I feel like we might be able to get better now. I feel like maybe somehow we can actually be happy for once.

Then there is Terezi and Gamzee. i... Well i'm done with Gamzee. i can't do it anymore. I felt so much for him and he.... i. No, I'm not going there right now. I'm never going there again if I can help it.... Anyway.

Terezi is still the same if not worse. I don't know what to do about it. I want to help but she's not my palemate and I don't want her to be. I just want her to be happy. I don't care who does it but I want her to be safe and happy. She is anything but that right now. It's gotten to the point that I've seen her passed out and Faygo drunk more times than I've seen her sober in the past sweep. That has to stop. I always end up picking her up and cleaning her off before depositing her in her bed. She mumbles along with what I say and laughs like she knows what's going on but I just don't know. I wish I could find her when she's sober but i think she's avoiding everyone. She hasn't even been to cantown in a long time. Maybe I should check and see if I can find something that can help in human movies. Humans go out of their way to help people they aren't in a relationship with without making it weird, so maybe I'll at least get an idea.

I'm worried about her. I'm worried about everyone. I said we might be able to be happy. Did I jinx it? I hope not. I really, really want to be right just this once. I want everyone to be happy. I am so sick of everyone being in pain. I just want things to go right for once. Just this one time. Please.

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The counter continues to race towards zero.

Chapter Text

this isn't the first time we've done this. Kanaya gave Rose and I a long lecture about chucklevoodoo and what it can do. It's some scary shit. apparently it messes with your mind by way of allowing the user to create and manipulate fear. that means he can sense, change, or alter our fear until we’re either not scared at all or, so scared were hallucinating and breaking down. shit is bad. apparently it can have long term consequences that we’re not sure if Karkat has. chucklevoodoo was apparently a hella effective torture and interrogation method the Condesce used. people that were able to use it were rare and only had purple blood. that's why they were given special treatment and allowed to live while being potentially harmful to the empire. i honestly don't give a fuck about their jobs in the troll world or whatever but, it does show how fucking dangerous the asshole is.

anyway like i said this isn't the first time we've done this. we’re getting ready for another hunt for Gamzee. we always make sure someone is with Karkat and we don't risk splitting up. the Mayor is on high alert and knows to tell us if Gamzee gets anywhere close to him today Rose and he are guarding Kar. We don't know much about the Mayor's fighting skills (if he has any) or else we might leave him to look after Kar and take Rose. we decided not to let Kar know that we're going after Gamzee because despite everything there’s no fucking way Kar would consent to more blood being spilled. neither of us are willing to even think of asking Terezi. she's made her choice to check out and with all that’s going on i doubt she would help even if Kar’s life was on the line.

i thought she was cool before but.... let's just say i'm pissed off. i could have understood her thing with Gamzee if she would have talked about it with me. she hurt Karkat with that shit to and i know i didn't care much about it back then but that was a dick move. even if we could find her she would be drunk off her ass. even if we found her, and she wasn't drunk off her ass, she probably wouldn't care. and even if we found her, she wasn't drunk off her ass and cared she would probably use it as blackrom fuel. even if we found her, she was sober, she cared and thought it wasn't blackrom fuel she wouldn't agree with killing her kismesis.

i still don't like the thought of the darker 'romance' shit but for trolls it's a thing. i don't know what else to say about that. i mean i'm not happy with her but it kinda sucks that the troll that lead me through most of the game is like this. we had fun and then we had a shitty time being a couple but, that doesn't mean we can't still be friends. that is if she would show her face. it's ridiculous. i'm not the only one who misses her. the mayor and Karkat are both torn up about it.

Kan and i have been stalking the halls as silently as possible. one noise at the wrong time will alert our target if he doesn't already know where we are. it's frustrating in all the worst ways. to say it's pissing me off would be the biggest understatement that has ever been. We comb the halls and inspect the vents for recent use without going in. we can’t afford to be cornered on his home turf. we can't afford to be caught looking for him alone when he may be looking for us. it's nerve wracking to know we could be cornered at any time but i guess that's what Kar had to go through.

we check damn near everywhere that there’s a vent but there's not so much as a muted shuffle noise that might lead us to him. we enter the relatively safe vent-less common room after another unsuccessful hunt. i can't fucking take this. he did too much to just let it go. i can't fucking stand this. my friends are in danger. my sister is in danger. my mate is in danger and i can’t even fucking see it. Kanaya is growling lowly and i feel like if i was a troll i would be to. like i said this isn't the first time. the first time we did this i wrecked the common room and sliced open two more vents. Kanaya was surprisingly just as bad... she chainsawed off several vent shafts that lead to the centers of a few rooms and used her bare hands and pure strength to bend the things until there was no way Gamzee would ever use them again.

sometimes i forget how strong Kan is. i mean girl can chainsaw practically anything in half. she has some serious upper body strength even for a troll. i know i wouldn't want to mess with her. i haven't been going into the dream bubbles in a while. not that it matters. "hey we should head back. it's my movie night with Karkat tonight.", Kan turns back to me, "I Agree It Is Time... I Just Wish We Had Something To Show For It.", i sigh. "i do too but i'm not sure were ever going to at this rate.". we head back to Karkat's room and split at the door. i go inside while Kan waits for Rose outside of the door where the Mayor has stationed himself. (i give him a fist bump as i pass. The Mayor is awesome and i have to give him credit for putting up with my shit when i need to talk it out. he's an awesome listener.) it wouldn't be good to let Kar know what's going on. it's become a pattern search to destroy and come back empty handed and stressed.

when i walk in i hear Rose and Kar talking books. "I WOULDN'T READ THAT PIECE OF OVERLY HYPED FECES AGAIN IF I WAS PAID ANY AMOUNT OF GRIST.” Karkat has gone back to ranting but it's different than before. now that he is doing better he mainly rants about things that are actually worth it. it's fun to listen to and i'm glad i get to hear it. Rose answers, "So I take it Sarsan Maltor was not the creative genius that the Alternian internet makes her out to be?", Karkat throws his hands up in exasperation, "WHATEVER MADE YOU THINK THAT SHE WAS SHOULD BE ERASED FROM EXISTENCE AND HAVE THEIR NAME’S SHIT ON FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY. SO NO, I DON'T RECOMMEND ANYTHING SHE WRITES. IF I WAS TO RECOMMEND ANYONE LIKE THAT IT WOULD BE ENIENO HOSTEN. HE'S AT LEAST FUCKING GOOD.". god i love this little shit. I walk the rest of the way in and nod at Rose. she tips her head in response.

"Well I did see one of his story's in Kanaya's collection. I admit I want to give it a try. I'll ask if I can barrow it. Perhaps we can trade notes next time?” Kar agrees enthusiastically and Rose leaves to talk to Kanaya about the hunt and to lift a book. she's a literary kleptomaniac i swear. any paper that enters a 10 foot area of her seems to just disappear. she even stole a few sweet bro and hella jeff panels i had been working on off my desk. when i got them back there were all types of lavender-ish or whatever notes in the margins about how it would be awesome if i took the religion and sexuality jokes even further. the notes may or may not have inspired me to try some snarky spin off that was titled "sweet sarah and hella sue", who were the much more raunchy and politically provocative sisters of jeff and bro featuring a lot of stereotype destroying and random switches between my best art and my worst. the panels she had written on becoming the announcement for the spin off. we colab on it but the plan is to cut it short after about 16 full length comics on a cliffhanger without any explanation. strictly for the irony.

anyway after she leaves i sit down on the couch next to Karkat, "so what are we watching today?", Karkat has been watching more human movies recently and i have to admit it's awesome. don't get me wrong i have learned that some of his rom-coms are pretty damn good like the movie "the sweetest thing" was probably the funniest shit i have ever seen. i almost died laughing at the "to big to fit in here" song like what the fuck was that. Kar and i both practically passed out by the end of the song. and believe it or not the troll version was even better. needless to say i'm hyped for whatever he wants to watch this time. i don't think it can top that though.

"TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL LOOKS FUNNY.", wait... "what isn't that a horror movie?" Kar does a move that looks like the lovechild of a shrug and a nod on sugar. "IT'S A HORROR MOVIE PARODY AND A ROM-COM. WHERE CAN IT GO WRONG? PLUS THE DESCRIPTION IS FUNNY." oh, "Sounds good.” i take off my shades like i've been doing a lot around Kar. i'm a lot more comfortable around him and now it feels natural . it doesn't hurt anything that it makes him smile.

after he puts the movie in he comes over and just sits on my lap. we always end up like this during movies, now anyway, but to start a movie already holding him? hell yes. i wrap my arms around him and put my chin on the spot between his horns. i'm always careful not to touch them. i don't know how it feels and if it hurts him i would rather not. this is so nice. i don't feel any of the stress from earlier. now i just feel Kar pressed up against me and i love it. even with everything that's happened i think i would do it all again

Chapter Text

I feel kinda good today. That's weird to say but I do. I don't know what else to say about it. I hear a knock on my door. "WHO IS IT?", "It's me Karkat I was wondering if I could speak to you about a few things?", "SURE WHY THE FUCK NOT." Rose opens the door and steps in with her normal amount of grace. "WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT?" Rose fidgets for a bit "I was wondering... Please stop me if this is an inappropriate question but Kanaya was speaking about how piles are good for a troll’s mental health and I decided to try making one." "ALRIGHT AND?" She fidgets again "Can you explain how to make a pile and what it should to feel like?” That's an odd question. Piles are natural. I guess in their species it is weird... to be honest I've been wondering if humans would react the same way as we do. I mean not to overstate things but eventually I would like to pile with Dave..... When we're ready for it.

"UM... OK LET'S START WITH.... OK MAKING A PILE IS...” God how do you explain this? "PILES ARE MADE OF THINGS YOU LIKE. IT DEPENDS ON THE PERSON BUT SOME PEOPLE LIKE PILES SOFT AND SOME LIKE PILES THAT CAN SPLIT SKIN AND LEAVE BRUISES. NO ONE LIKES A PILE THAT'S JUST SOFT OR JUST FABRIC IT'S JUST NOT PERSONAL ENOUGH AND PILLOWS JUST DON'T HAVE ENOUGH SUPPORT." SHE NODS. "Is it arranged in any specific way?", "NO. A PILE IS MADE TO BE COMFORTING SO IT'S WHATEVER YOU FEEL LIKE. AS FOR FEELING DID YOU MEAN PHYSICAL OR OTHERWISE?", "Otherwise." I nod.

"WELL IT'S ... HARD TO EXPLAIN. IT'S COMFORTABLE AND FEELS SAFE. IT'S LIKE .... FOR A WHILE YOU DON'T HAVE TO THINK OF ANYTHING AND CAN JUST RELAX SURROUNDED BY ALL YOUR FAVORITE THINGS. IT'S LIKE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. I'M NOT SURE HOW ELSE TO EXPLAIN IT." She nods. "Is it immediate?" Hmmm "WELL SOMETIMES IT TAKES A SECOND TO SINK IN. IT'S NORMALLY PRETTY FAST. I MEAN IT DOESN'T FIX PROBLEMS BUT IT DOES MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER AND A LOT LESS STRESSED." She seems to think about it for a minute. "That seems nice. I guess it's worth a shot.” Obviously who doesn't like piles? Sick trash that's who. I mean ..... OH GOG what if the humans don't like piles? That's horrible, toughs poor fools. I mean it would be better to know that now instead of if I try to pile with Dave (far far in the future..... maybe....) "UM WOULD YOU MIND MAYBE TELLING ME IF IT'S DIFFERENT FOR HUMANS WHEN YOU TRY?" she stares at me for a moment too long. I think she realized why I want to know. "I wouldn't mind." Good.

There’s an awkward silence for a while. I hate awkward silence. "SO IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE YOU WANTED TO TALK ABOUT OR ARE WE JUST GOING TO TRY AND CHOKE OURSELVES IN OUR COLLECTIVE AWKWARDNESS FOR AWHILE." Rose snickers "Well I had figured that since I am Dave's last remaining semi-biological family member I have the divine right to give you what is known on earth as a shovel speech." What? "WHY WOULD I NEED TO HEAR ABOUT DIGGING IMPLEMENTS?" She laughs. "That's not what it's about.", "THEN WHY WOULD IT BE NAMED AFTER A TOOL USED TO DIG THINGS?", This is dumb. "The simple answer is because if you hurt what’s left of my family in any way I’ll be using one to dig your grave."

... I'm sure that would have been intimidating for someone on earth but I'm not from there. I've heard worse threats for breathing near a high blood before. I don't think she understands how ineffective that would be even if it was intimidating. "ROSE I DON'T THINK YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT BEING IN A QUADRANT MEANS IF THAT'S A CONCERN YOU HAVE.", "Why would it not be?” She really doesn't get it. "OK... IT'S..." Why am I embarrassed by this? "OK YOU REMEMBER HOW TROLLS ONLY HAVE A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PEOPLE THEY TRUST?" She answers with a sound of agreement. "AND YOU REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO ME?" She makes another affirmative gesture.

"WELL THAT'S... IT'S... THAT'S THE POWER A QUADRAMATE HAS OVER ANOTHER IN A WAY. TROLLS DON'T JUST BREAK UP. IF THERE IS A PROBLEM WE TALK IT OUT. WE DON'T GET IN RELATIONSHIPS UNLESS WE INTEND FOR THEM TO LAST. WE TRY TO FIX IT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS. WE TRUST THEM TO BE THERE FOR US. IN YOUR WORLD IT PROBABLY WAS NOWHERE NEAR THE SAME BUT IN OUR VIOLENT WORLD LETTING SOMEONE CLOSE ENOUGH TO STAB YOU IN THE BACK IS A BIG DEAL. WE DON'T HAVE FAMILY, OUR LUSI LEAVES WHEN WE'RE OLD ENOUGH AND WE HAVE NO ONE TO TURN TO LIKE YOU GUYS DO." Rose's eyes turn huge and alarmed.

"DAVE AND I... WE'RE NOT JUST TRYING THE QUADRANT ANYMORE AND TROLLS WELL, WE SPLIT MUTUALLY OR WE'RE HURT. IF I DIDN'T INTEND TO BE WITH DAVE FOR AS LONG AS OUR EXISTENCE ALLOWS I WOULD HAVE NEVER ACCEPTED WHEN HE ASKED. IF ANYTHING KAN AND I KNOW HUMANS WORK DIFFERENTLY AND WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT YOU GETTING TIRED OF US AND JUST... GOING. IN ALL REALITY IF ANYTHING HAPPENED LIKE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING IT WOULD BE DAVE WHO BROKE ME. AND IT WOULDN'T BE FIGURATIVELY.", "So you’re both putting yourselves in a dangerous position.” i would rather not think about it but "YES."

"In your rom-coms trolls break up all the time.", "FLIPPING ISN'T BREAKING UP IT'S CHANGING QUADRANTS AND THAT ONLY REALLY HAPPENS IF EITHER THEY CAN VALOCATE OR IF THEY’RE JUST TRYING THE QUADRANTS. NEITHER OF US INTENDS TO FLIP WITH YOU GUYS AND... WELL I HOPE DAVE KNOWS WE'RE A THING. WE'RE NOT JUST TRYING TO FIND A PLACE ANYMORE.” Rose looks startled and gives a little "oh".

We lapse back into awkward silence again. After a while I catch her trying to pinch one of MY BOOKS and we continue talking about that for a while. Dave walks in during one of my rants and Rose leaves us. I hope she doesn't tell Dave what was said. We decide to watch the movie I've been eyeing for awhile. When I turn back around from putting the DVD in Dave has his shades off. I love it when he takes them off. I'm so ridiculously happy he feels good enough with me that he's comfortable taking them off around me. I smile at him happily. My good mood is back. I walk over and sit on his lap. God he's comfortable. I love being in his arms. We just sat and watched the movie with occasional rants from both of us and cuddle. When the movie ends I'm giggling still as the credits roll.

I walk Dave to the door like he insists I do since he ranted about it the first time we did this. It's like a move. It's like a movie and I feel brave and comfortable. When he opens the door I get an idea and I'm in just the right mood to do it "night Kark-"

He had to stop talking because...

Well...

I kissed him.

On the lips.

And then he kissed back.

It took a while for us to get air back in our lungs after we were done. Then I whisper "Good morning Dave." And shut the door before sliding down it and burying my burning face in my arms. I just kissed my Mate. I just kissed my Mate. I just kissed my Mate. I squeal and let out a noise I will never admit to. I'm so glad I was feeling brave.

Chapter Text

Have you ever felt like your world just tilted to the side? Such an odd question. I remember having read those words somewhere. It feels like it was a long time ago. It's difficult to look back on the past and not feel the difference between who you once were and who you are now. Most people don't look back for all that long. Most people see their childhood and they say "oh look how I've grown." or "I was so dumb back then." or some other derogatory thing about how they were compared to what they are now. That's because they see something in the way they are that is better than the way they were.

I don't. I am a seer and to see accurately what's ahead and guide myself and others in a safe way is my role. The only thing is that you can lead no one forward safely without knowing what's behind. Every power comes with a price. My power is to see what I can do to achieve the best outcome. I don't see what others need to do just what I should say or do that will push them into the right direction. That Is also my price. That means I will always wonder what I could have done before I learned to use my power. Or worse knowing what I should have done. I should have told my mother I loved her. Like every child should. I should have been more open to what Dave and the others were saying.

I should have questioned Jade more and been much more concerned that she was always so cagey on the subject of her family. I should have at the least figured out that she lived alone on an island with no one else but her dog. I should have been better to Dave and actually listened to him when he asked for an ear instead of handing out diagnosis like I knew what I was doing. I should have beveled my mother was doing things to help me. I should have been happy that on any given day I could take a walk and meet a stranger. I should have talked about my problems. Knowing that leaves an empty space in my chest.

I didn't do any of that. At all. Not one time. There were so many times I could have done something even when I got into the game. I didn't. I didn't even try to use my power until I was pressured to. Everyone else used theirs as soon as they found out what they were. I wasted time. I never even said goodbye.

When I look back before the game though. I don't see myself as stupid. I don't think "This is how I was." I think "This is when I had a chance.", a chance to do so much. A chance to change so much. I could have done all the things I said I didn't do. And I'm sure there is a version of me somewhere who did do it all. I personally don't see how I've changed. What is really different? I feel like I have aged but not grown. I feel like instead of learning and moving my life has paused and I just sit and wait.

Maybe it's from going through our session; no matter how short a time that was, and then having such a long span of relatively peaceful days spent looking over my back and yet I'm still shocked when something goes wrong. The few good things I could honestly say have come from what happened would be meeting the others. I haven't lost all of my family yet. I still have Dave. Dave being my brother was a definitively unexpected and comfortable revelation. I still have family.

Emotionally stunted and difficult to read family, but still family. Even after our world was destroyed and while we were going sure we were going to die Dave never left my side. I couldn't have asked for a better brother.

Then there Is Kanaya. Kanaya with a beautiful mind. Kanaya with a wit sharper than her chainsaw and a beautiful way about her that feels like create and destroy in equal parts. She is the most beautiful creature both physically and mentally that I have or will ever have the pleasure of interacting with. When I am with Kanaya I am happy. I love her. I wish I knew the words to say how much I love her. I wish I had the courage to tell her. There is so much to say but no way to say it. For now I can take pride in the fact that she is mine and I am hers. I know that I'm keeping her at arm's length because I can't even say this one thing but, I've never said it before and she deserves at least that much but... something is holding me back. It just doesn't feel right.

I have no appropriate term for what Karkat is to me. He is both my brother's and lover's quadramate. Kanaya says a term that trolls use for it is quadricorner. Meaning that someone it taking up another quadrant from someone your quadrented to. Dave says he likes the term brother in law. I can practically see the irony rolling off the title so I vow to steer rather far away from it. Karkat has become a good friend. A good friend that is concerned over everyone and mother hens so hard that if I had the motivation for it I would have found the name of several things I could diagnose him with. I value him as the being he is to the point that I trust him not only to protect my family but be a part of it.

Even with all this I still feel like I am suspended in time and space and damn near all the other classes I don't control with no way out. It's not dark, it's not numb but, it's neutral and that, that is something I simply can't stand. I know logically that I have changed. I'm older. I'm a god. I'm in love. I have a closer family. I have so many differences. But I feel like instead of progressing I have balanced out. I feel like I'm moving sideways instead of foreword. I am done with the empty space in my chest. I'm done with knowing. I'm done thinking and feeling. I'm done with seeing. I wish for so much that I know I can't change and, as soon I'm done with my bottle I wish I had another. Oh well at least this wish will come true. Now for once I can't wait for the world to tip sideways.

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HA ha Ha ha JUST A FEW MORE PLACES ON THIS WICKED TIME PEACE. just a few more letters and then its time. TIME FOR THE MOTHERFUCKING MIRTHFUL MESSIAHS WHO ARE ME AND ALSO ME TO COME OUT AND SHOW THESE HEATHENS THE WAY OF THE MOTHERFUCKING DARK CARNIVAL. honk. HONK. honk. MOTHERFUCKERS.

Chapter Text

No. No I Do Not Want To Do This Right Now.

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I Am Sorry About That. That Was Not Your Fault. I-I Am Just... Rose Has Begun Drinking Again. At First I Thought It Might Have Been Just The Day. I Had Believed That Maybe She Was Just Upset That Day. I Had Spoken To Her And Stayed With Her And Made Sure She Was OK But... I Was Grossly Mistaken. She Did Not Drink The Following Day And I Had Assumed I Was Correct. She Was Her Normal Self For The Most Part. She Seemed Distracted But I Tried Desperately Not To Notice. I Wanted To Believe That She Was Back Again For Good. There Was Another Week Of Peace And Happiness.

The End Of That Week Was Marked The Beginning Of Two Long Weeks Of Drinking On And Off. I Don't Understand. She Was Drinking One Day And Not The Next. Then The Cycle Repeated. I Was Dizzy With Emotion That I Can Not Describe Accurately. It Was Like She Was Spinning In Circles To Decide If She Wanted A Terrible Escape Or... Or Me. And Everyone Else. And Herself. I Hate Thinking Like This. I Hate Being Bitter At My Mate For Something That I Know Is A Problem. Something I Know Is Hurting Her. I Just. She Is My Mate. My Job Is To Protect Her. We All Have Our Own Escapes But ... I'm Being Selfish. We All Had Our Problems With Ourselves I Don't Blame Her But. This Whole Situation Is Well... Distressing. I Feel Like The World’s Worst Mate. She Is Upset And Unsatisfied And I Couldn't Convince Her To Stay. To Stay Herself. To Stay With Us. To... Stay With Me. Don't Get Me Wrong She Hasn't Called Off Our Red Thank God But Perhaps I Will Never Be Able Make Her Happy.

My Job Is To Keep Her Happy And Satisfied. And I Can't Seem To Do So. We Have All Tried To Escape. We Have All Damaged Ourselves Somehow In Attempt To Feel Better. I Have No Right To Be Upset With Anyone For Such Things. But We Were... We Were All Doing So Well. This Is A Painful Horrible Truth. At Anytime The World Can Start Crashing Down Again. I Still Feel Shame Of My Condition Every Second Of The Day. I Still Feel Like A Monster When I Get Hungry. I Feel Myself Thinning And I Imagine That I'm Hurting People. Seeing Blood Means There Is Something Wrong. It Is Bad. Blood Means Pain And Death And I Drink It. I Drink The Life Of Others. I...

I Need To Stop This. Karkat Has Been Wonderful With Helping Me With This. He Is The Best moirail One Could Ever Ask For. My Lust For Blood Is Well... It's Both An Addiction And A Disorder. I Crave It Almost To The Point Of Insanity But I Refuse It To The Point Of Harm. I Don't Want To Hurt My Friends. On The Other Hand I Would Drain Gamzee Dry Without Feeling Remorse. Everything About The Clown Disgusts Me But My Wish For Blood Without Consequence Or Guilt of Harming A Friend Is More Than Tempting. The Thought That I Would Stoop To Such Lows Is A Painful Realization. We All Seem To Have Something Like This. There Are Days That Karkat Looks At Food Like It Has Betrayed Him And I Need To Remind Him To Eat Or Beg Until He Does. There Are Days That I Walk Into His Room To See Him Staring At His Cuts As If Struggling To Keep Himself Still And Not Add A New Mark Willing Himself To Submission. There Are Days When Dave Retreats Entirely Into Himself And Refuses Any Touch That He Didn't Start Himself. Karkat Is Helping Him Work Through It But I Can See How Touch Is A Problem For Both Of Them. They Each Have An Understanding With Each Other About It That I Wish They Didn't Need.

We Are All Working On Being Better. If I Were Honest I Am Glad That John And Jade Are On A Ship Instead Of Here With Us. They Have Their Own Problems I'm Sure But I Don't Think We Could Have Made Even This Much Progress With Them Here. Dave Has Admitted To Being Worried About What The Three Of Them Including Davesprite Would Think Of Him And His Relation With Karkat. Karkat Tried To Pretend That He Was Not Upset At The Possibility That They Might Not Be Accepted. He Also Tried To Pretend It Didn't Hurt Him To Think Dave Might Be Ashamed Of Him For His Gender. Dave Felt Horrible When He Noticed How Kar Reacted And Began Trying Imminently To Reassure Him But The Thought Was There And The Damage Was Done. They Are Working Through It. They Are Still Getting Closer But There Is Still A Potential Problem. Both Are Getting Better Slowly. We Were All Getting Better.

When Rose Was Still Going Back And Forth Between Giving In And Returning I Naively Held On To Hope. I Should Have Known. I Should Have Done More To Help. I Am Still At A Loss Again. I Don't Know How To Help. I Want To Help. I Need To Help And I Am left Without A Clue On What To Do. I Watch Over Her And Clean Her Up When She Needs It But I Know I Need To Do More And I Have No Idea What To Do. I Am Extraordinarily Frustrated.

I Hate This. I Hate What Is Going On.

Without Karkat I Am Sure I Would Have Broken Down And Never Gotten Back Up. Roses Relapse Has Caused Us All To Doubt Our Efforts To Get Better. Being Around Someone Who Gave Up After Seeming To Be Almost Completely Cured Makes It Harder To Believe You've Made Progress. He Is Much Less Than Pleased With This Development But As He Said He Would He Is Giving Us A Chance To Fix It Before He Steps In And Forces The Issue. He Is Trying To Research How To Handle Human Alcohol Dependency And Let Lose That Rose Is Not The Only Person To Needs It. No Matter How I Feel About His Continued Association With Terezi He Has Explained It And I Will Not Stop Him. Especially If It Gives More Information On How To Help Rose. We Tasted Happiness And It Will Be Difficult To Get It Back But We Are Willing To Work On It. Karkat Also Continues To Remind Me That Red Works Both Ways And I Am Not The Only One To Blame. We Are Supposed To Be Equal.

For Now Rose's Progress Has Stalled And I Keep Telling Her It Will Get Better. I Keep Saying How Much I Care. I Want To Tell Her Everything I Feel And Think And Hope But... She's Always Too Far Gone To Hear. In The End Perhaps All Of What I'm Trying To Say Isn't Getting Through. Maybe What I'm Saying Loses Meaning When She Is Like This And Maybe Words Are Just Words.

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I wish these kids could understand me. The game doesn't seem to translate my language. Dave or red text as I called him at first has been attempting to understand me but in all reality the one who is closest to learning how I communicate is Karkat. I'll admit going from two languages that are mainly vocal to a language that is more physical is difficult. My throat hurts even thinking of talking that much. Karkat seems excessively good at using body language to speak and I appreciate it more than he will ever know. The only thing is it's difficult to get across specific details and statements.

I've had to watch quietly on the sidelines for so much of this trip because of it. I am war veteran. I was a leader. I lead troops into battle. I watched helplessly as thousands died. I escaped only to wander a desert wasteland for years. If anyone knows what these kids are going through with that it is me. I understand. People think I'm nice here which is hilarious but in reality these kids need a stable force in their lives. I'm not in the best position to do it but I'm fucking trying to be here for them.

Life on the meteor was always a bit off. The kids didn't react to being without guiding figures in the way I thought they would. There was no big ongoing parent-less celebration. When I got here I thought to get food I could just steal the ice cream I thought they would have made but no. Instead there were more bare cupboards than anything back then. Karkat was the one who alchemized things for everyone. He made trips alone to give people things and cheer people up. I played with Dave and Terezi back then. Back when Karkat used to keep his distance from everyone but the purple freak. Dave, Terezi and I would play for hours and never get bored.

Then Dave's sister Rose started drinking. I rarely ever saw the other members of the meteor. They would stop by and chat or play for a while. When Rose started drinking things became strained. It was like a marker for the bad times to start. All the dark harmful secrets that people tried to keep hidden came to light. The first thing was Terezi began coming around less and less. I never saw Dave and Terezi's relationship as anything but playful. I knew it wouldn't have lasted long but for them to end like that... well that sucked. From what I understand the fact that she wasn't in pain after that meant she never really considered it a long term thing. Dave was upset about it and that's as far into it as I'm willing to go. When Karkat found out about it, it was even worse he was practically torn in two and to be honest I can't blame the guy after everything. I tried to comfort him however I could but that's not saying much when you can't fucking tell the person that it'll end up alright.

Dave was the only one to come see me for a while before he dragged Kar out for something other than his rounds around the building. Dave is fun to hang out with but when you can't talk to someone it gets a little lonely even if you are playing together. I was happy to have the two's company even if they just ranted at each other until one of them said something embarrassing. It was always fun to watch. They both have odd habits and twitches that come from fighting for a long time. I've met people like that before. I didn't know what to think at first when two thirteen year-old boys had the same look in there eyes as battle hardened and damaged men. They always tended to get in each other’s space although Karkat seemed more wary of touch then Dave. I promised myself that while I know I can't do much for them I'm going to do as much as I can.

It was just how it was before. Kanaya would chase after Rose who was a sloshed mess by "sundown" and Dave would drag Karkat away from whatever he was doing at the time to hangout. I don't want to know what Terezi and the clown were doing. That was until Gamzee Completely destroyed his moirralliegiance and with Karkat. From what Kanaya said it took a while for the break to set in with Karkat because they hadn't done anything to truly bond them and the bond had tried to set itself. Apparently Karkat was lucky that was the case because if it wasn't he would probably not have made it through. After that things seemed to come into view that no one knew how to handle.

Rose has her drinking issue; Kanaya and Karkat both have eating disorders of some form. Karkat is paranoid and touch starved and so is Dave. Karkat has a history of self harm, Terezi has also taken up drinking and clown things and the purple asshole is a monster. They have all seen friends and family be slaughtered in front of them. None of them are alright but they are getting better.

I think that if Rose was going to relapse this is the time. The time when things can be fixed still. It's better now than when it can't be saved if she brings someone else down with her. Everyone seems to be getting better still although at a slower rate. I mean I'm not exactly a portrait of mental health either. I wish I knew how to help them more than just make small gestures of friendship.

That all lead to this though, building on a new wing of the public library in Cantown as Karkat and Dave flirt and laugh and kiss gently As they rebuild Club Irony For the tenth time. I don't mind though that's what can town is for. I started Cantown as a way to get my mind off things and think of the way I wanted it to be. I wanted Cantown to be as peaceful as possible and with something for everyone so everyone is happy and there's no reason for hurt. I wanted a little place that I could pretend all the others I had lead into battle survived and were happy. Now it's not just mine. Now it's these kids two. I know for now it might be an impossible dream but ... I want cantown to be real.

I just want a town, a place that everyone can be happy and together. I want my town to be real so much that sometimes I forget that for now it's just play and start thinking about ways that it could work. It’s wishful thinking but I do live with gods and a vampire so why not. Even if it doesn’t come true. Even if something happens we'll always have memories of this town no matter how small or fake. We’re happy.

Chapter Text

"DAVE?" he nods his head without moving it from my shoulder and makes an 'umhmm' noise. "DON'T FALL ASLEEP YET WE HAVE SOME THINGS WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT.". He tightens his arms around me and I'm tempted to just keep curled around him and fall asleep like we have so many times. Oh god I'm so ridiculously comfortable. Strider should come with a fucking warning "WARNING extremely comfortable, snuggling with this asshole will cause permanent laziness to the point of being completely ok with just wasting away in his arms. You have been warned it will ruin you. On the plus side you will be completely content in your waste of space status th-". Oh my god no Dave is laughing. I said all that out loud. My face is burning with how fucking red it is. I hide in the crook of his neck so he doesn't see me and I don't have to move away.

Dave pulls at me lightly trying to move me so he can see my face. Nope not gonna happen. I am now a cling beast refusing to give up my branch. I have calmed this spot as mine. I already know what he's going to say if he sees me blushing and I refuse. I feel him moving. What is he doing? i'm about an inch off the couch when i realize what’s happening and let go falling down on the soft surface of the couch with a yelp. "CHEATER FLYING ISN'T ALLOWED!", he's floating about five inches above me now. He cups my face. "sorry but i don’t see the cuddle rules written down anywhere and how can i resist when you’re this cute. it would be a shame to not see this.". I think if my face wants to get any more red it will have to start absorbing the color form other things. "I WILL HAVE THEM WRITTEN IN EXCRUCIATING DETAIL AND POSTED ON YOUR DOOR TOMORROW.". Dave’s eyes widen and I hear a whispered, fleeting "yeessss irony" before we both laugh.

"i'll read those rules so hard. i'll even get Rose and Kan to study them with me. we can have group classes. you can be my kawaii sensei that makes my heart go doki doki and keep me after class for some practical application and i can totes brake the sacred law of snuggle and go for a smooth ass grab.", "I'M GOING TO PRETEND THAT THE LAST HALF OF THAT MADE SENSE AND MOVE ON. DAVE WE REALLY DO NEED TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING." he smiles and floats down to the couch to sit and pulls me to sit on his lap again. I move onto his lap and huff crossing my arms. "ok Darlin' what do you want to talk about?" I suppress my smile for the term of endearment. It's hard to do but I manage.

"OK SO I HAVE BEEN WATCHING SOME MOVIES AND READING BOOKS ABOUT HOW TO DEAL WITH ADDICTION AND I WANT TO STAGE AN INTERVENTION.", Dave frowns but doesn't do anything else. I give him a second to process what I said. He finally seems to think of something to say "i think for something like that to work on Rose we would have to do it like supper clinically or some shit. i don't think we could pull that off.". I nod happy that he's not just brushing this off or something. Time for further explanation. "THAT'S WHY I THINK WE SHOULD STUDY HOW TO DO IT AND START WITH SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE EASIER TO WORK WITH." Dave sighs "are we talking about Terezi?" This time I nod.

"but doesn’t that mean like not taking it out of focus?" yes but I fail to see how that is going to be difficult? He must see it in my expression because he continues. "a lot of shit has changed Kar. she's been out of the loop for a long time. We're together and if we're going to present as a united front that's going to come up in conversation when she wonders when the hell that happened, or when you got happier, or your fucked up thing with IT ended. we’re going to have to pretend that almost nothing has changed so that the topic doesn't wander. because you and i both know she'll use damn near anything to get away from the conversation. it's going to be difficult." oh. I hadn't thought about that.

"I JUST..... I WANT HER TO BE HAPPY DAVE. I CAN'T STAND SEEING EITHER OF THEM LIKE THIS." we already talked about how we felt for Terezi. And I can't stand seeing Rose like this. I know it’s hurting Kan and that hurts me. They need to get better. Not even for me I need them to get better for them and for everyone. I miss them. We both do. “if pretending is what we need to do to help then we will but let's just make sure first.", Dave rubs my arms and it takes a while for us both to calm down and slip back into how we were before.

"YOU DO KNOW I NEVER SAID BUT TOUCHES WERE AGAINST THE RULES RIGHT?" I hear a sharp breath in and see his eyes widen "oh fuck yes" Haha!

Chapter Text

i walk into the room yawning. i left my shades in my room knowing the possibility of coming across anyone i didn't want to see was slim to none after all i don't need them around Kar. i look around and see Kar sleeping on the couch. "hey Babe?" i cross the room and try to gently shake him awake by his shoulder. "it's time to get up Darling' we were going to have story time today remember?" Kar grumbles and shifts. "Kaaaaarrrkaaaaaaaat~ Babe it's story time!" his arm comes out and grabs me by the shirt and i think he's going to half heartedly push me away like he normally does when he's tired and trying to get some extra sleep but, instead he pulls me down. the next thing i know i'm on top of him. and we're making out. it takes me a while but when i can finally find it in me to think of anything other than Karkat we're both panting hard. i know i'm smiling like i just won a rap battle with Obama.... it was a weird dream ok. cool but weird. here i am laying on my sleepy boyfriend after a hot make out session. God I love him. i burry my face in his neck and give it a kiss.

"HEY DAVE?" i nod against his neck. how did i survive this long without this? i'm almost sure all the world's problems could be solved with snuggling. like damn. "I JUST..." i wait for him to gather himself. "I JUST WANT TO SAY I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU.", there have been a lot of conversations like this. i know we said that our lives could end at any time. i know it's probably annoying for you to keep hearing it after all this time but it hasn't changed. we're close to the new session the danger is even closer now. Kar has been taking the opportunity to tell me he loves me as many times as he can. i know he's doing it for a lot of reasons. he's afraid of what's going to happen. on bad days he still worries about if Kan and i really love him. he wants me to be careful. he doesn't want to lose me. he wants me to know he's still happy but, most of all he loves me. even with all the emotions that are coming threw at the same time i understand. i understand and i feel the same way. the fact that Kar understands and feels the same way... well i'm not ashamed to say if i was a bird i would be preening. (i wonder if Davesprite would be if he was in this situation.... the thought of someone else holding Karkat like this even if they are like me, makes me tighten my arms around him possessively. let's not think of that.) i feel the same way. i just hold him and say "i love you two Kar.".

Kar makes sure both Kan and i know how he feels. we both love it. i feel we all have ways of saying things like that now. for example now that we're both so close to Kar, Kan and i have been interacting a lot more and we have this little mutual you're a good person and you're close to my loved one so i respect you and like you as a friend nod thing that is both ironic and really awesome. i feel like the protagonist in an action film (film instead of movie because it sounds more refined and anything with Kan should be) every time. I have to say Kan is a lot cooler than i ever gave her credit for. i'm not Kan's moirail but i try to be as helpful as i can. Kar always looks so happy that we're getting along. i'm happy that Rose has Kan. i don't think i could have ever found anyone better for her in any of the universes she's a cool person. on the other hand as a friend i feel bad that Kan has to deal with Rose like this. Kan tells Rose and Kar she loves them every day now. Kan pretends it doesn't hurt that Rose can't say it back. even if Rose did what would it really mean when she won't remember it 20 minutes later?

don't get me wrong none of us really have room to talk. we all have our problems but it's like she just fucking gave up fighting and let the addiction win. i'm upset but i'm not going to be mad at her i'm mad at the situation. i'm mad that we all got like this. the only thing i'm really happy about with this is weirdly the fact that we were given a chance to deal with our problems. i mean Davesprite probably isn't getting this chance. he doesn't have Kar or Kan or Rose. i'm lucky. he has Jade and John but i don't think they would ever force him to deal with his problems. he's another Dave, a longer lived Dave. one that is more reverent to the alpha timeline then the other Daves but not me. (It makes me wonder if all the other Daves would have made it if i hadn't have messed up so bad) i don't like to think about it.

i feel Kar smile "I'LL READ TO YOU AFTER I WAKE UP." i laugh "sounds like a deal." i snuggle into Kar and listen to his breathing even out. i smile and decide that today we deserve a lazy day. i fall into a peaceful sleep warped around my snoozing boyfriend.

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Waking up is a lot harder than it used to be. I haven't had a day terror for a long time and now that i'm not waking up screaming it's almost too comfortable to think of getting up. The best dreams though are the ones I have when Kanaya and Dave are around. I know it sounds cheesy as fuck but it's true. Even once i woke up it was hard to convince myself to move let alone wake up the warm blanket that is my mate. Boyfriend? Partner? I still don't know the word to use but I love him whatever it is. Fuck I need to stop this I was about to use one of Dave's rants to talk about how corny I am. Something about being put in the microwave and being served during a movie. It's gone. I'm glad I stopped myself.

The universe couldn't fucking handle it. If I had executed a DAVE RANT I'm sure the game would have realized this was a doomed timeline and taken the opportunity to rightfully dispose of my useless carcass by way of spontaneous explosion do to the horror i caused sending small fleshy chunks out for the horrorterrors in the deepest darkest corner of the vale to enjoy as a light snack before gobbling up the timeline itself. I am doing my duty as alpha Karkat to not engage in any Dave-like shenanigans. Karkat Vantas wins leader of the fucking sweep award. Everyone else go the fuck home. There balance has been restored. YOU'RE. FUCKING. WELCOME.

I'm not going to bore you with the details of story time but I will tell you that the Alternian version of "The Princess Bride" is so much better. After we finish our third chapter we decide to call it quits. And decided to just sit for now. It's been awhile since we had our first talk about having an intervention with Terezi. We went over it down to a fine point. We've done as much studying as we can. We need to put it into action as soon as possible after all with Rose out and Dave unsure. We have no clue when this trip will be over but it feels close. We don't have long. I just have to tell Dave and we need to nail down the last few details. Now where to start? Ok nope I'm gonna just do it. Future Karkat is just gonna have to deal with it if it goes wrong. Ok.... Here we go...

"DAVE." he looks over from his laptop "WE NEED TO START PLANNING THE INTERVENTION. I THINK IT'S GETTING CLOSE TO TIME." Dave closes his laptop and faces me. I look into his eyes. Even after all this time I still feel happy that he trusts me enough to be the only one to see him without his shades. "i honestly have no clue how we're going to do this. i mean we can't even find her on a good day and she's craftier than two-hundred and twenty-seven seven year olds on sugar in a hobby lobby with no supervision there is no way we can corral her into a corner enough for the normal way people did this." I tilt my head a bit in question before deciding I don't care enough for an explanation on what the fuck half of that meant, I got the main idea though. I straighten myself out and nod. "I DON'T THINK SHE WOULD FALL FOR THAT EITHER AND I DON'T THINK WE'RE GOING TO FIND HER IF WE WENT LOOKING FOR HER IF THAT MAKES ANY SENSE.". Dave nods "true so how are we even going to do this, like guerrilla warfare tag and run fly by the seat of our pants whenever we see her wherever we see her type of thing?" Well that's about what I had planned so far.

Dave looks shocked "fuck really?" I nod "ok so what are we going to do with how we act?" Right we still need to decide what we're going to let her in on. We need to keep her focused on her problems and not everything that happened while she was.... away. "I DON'T THINK WE COULD HIDE MUCH ABOUT US IF WE FOUND HER TOGETHER SO IF WE RUN INTO HER WHILE TOGETHER AND SHE ASKS THEN WE ANSWER AND DIRECT HER BACK THE WAY WE WANT HER AS HARD AS POSSIBLE.", "Right so stone wall her if she gets off topic." that phrase takes me a second to decipher. It's to block as if a stone wall was in the way right? Ok I got that. "RIGHT. BUT IF WE SEE HER AND WE'RE NOT WITH EACH OTHER WE SHOULD USE THE HOLLOW COMMUNICATORS AND JUST NOT OFFER UP ANY INFO SHE DOESN'T ASK FOR. I DON'T THINK SHE WOULD RUN IF CONFRONTED SHE NEVER HAS BEFORE." his posture relaxes. "ok that's settled." god what do we even do now? I mean I didn't expect us to like go out and look for her immediately but that was awkward and now i kinda don't know what to do with my hands.

Do others have this problem or am I like the most awkward being to ever come into existence? What do I do if i hug him would it be weird? Does he want to say something else? Did i mess up? is he going to be mad. Oh god please don't be ... Oh Dave's hugging me again. I can handle that. I snuggle in happily. "you were thinking too much again." he always knows how to shut it down. I nod against him. I love this. I love how we are now. I only wish it didn't take so much to get to this point. I am happy. I haven't been able to say that honestly for most of my life but now I can. I have two quadrants filled and my quadramates are so spectacular and beautiful that I can't imagine losing one of them. I will fight to the death for them if it means them not being hurt. They can't die. It won't happen. I won't let it. Not while I'm alive.

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D4MN MY TH1NK P4N HURTS! 1 H34R K4RK4T 4ND D4V3 MUMBL1NG 4ND TRY TO G3T UP. OH TH3Y W3RN'T MUMBL1NG 1 COULDN'T H34R B3C4S3 1'M W41R1NG MY C4P3. I T4K3 4 SN1FF. OH GOG NOT 4 GOOD 1D3A. MY C4P3 SM3LLS L1K3 R3D BUT 4LSO L1K3 SW34T 4ND VOM1T. 1 TRY3D TO K33P 1T OFF BUT 1 D1DN'T DO 4 V4RY GOOD JOB ON TH4T 4PP4R3NTLY. WH3N 1 OP3N MY 3Y3S 1 R3GR3T 1T. 1T'S TO BR1GHT. 1 H4T3 TH1S. 1 W4S 1N D4RKN3SS FOR Y34RS. 1 L3RN3D TO G3T THR3W 1T. 1T BROUGHT M3 CLOS3R TO MOM. 1 THR3W TH4T 4W4Y. 1 THR3W 3V3RYTH1NG 4W4Y.

1 N33D TO STOP TH1NK1NG 4BOUT TH4T NOW. 1 H4V3 TH1NGS 1 N33D TO B3 DO1NG... L1K3 3XPL41N1NG HOW TH3 FUCK 1 C4N S33 4SS K4R PUT 1T. 1 T3LL K4R 4ND FLO4T1NG H34D D4V3... 1 M34N HOLLOGR4M D4V3 (WOW 1 MUST ST1LL B3 SUG4R BUZZED) ABOUT MY STUP1D D3S1S1ON TO L3T VR1SK4'S 4NC3STOR F1X M3. W3LL TO B3 TRUTHFUL 4BOUT 1T 1 JUST NODDED DUMBLY 4S 1 THOUGHT 4BOUT HOW MUCH SH3 LOOKED L1KE VR1SK4 4ND D1DN'T P4Y 4TT3NTION TO WH4T 1 AGR33D W1TH. 1 H4DN'T SM3LL3D VR1SK4 1N SO LONG. 1 TH1NK SH3 1S 4VO1D1NG M3. NOT TH4T 1 BL4M3 H3R 4FT3R... TH4T W4S 4 L13 1 COULDN'T T3LL 3V3N 1F SH3 W4S 4VOID1NG M3 BEC4SE 1 W4S 4VO1D1NG H3R. 1 L3FT WH3N SH3 W4S 4ROUND. 1 COULDN'T ST4ND TO SM3LL H3R 4FT3R 1...

1 D1DN'T KNOW WH4T 1 W4S DO1NG WH3N 1 4GR33D TO H4V3 MY S1GHT B4CK. W3LL 1 M34N 1 KN3W BUT... WELL S33ING 1S 4N 4DVANTAGE 4ND... NO 1 W4SN'T TH1NK1NG. 1 SHOULD H4V3 KNOWN B3TT3R. 1'V3 B33N 4 FL4RP3R FOR SW33PS. 1 SHOULD KNOW TO CH3CK 4ND DUBBL3 CH3CK 4ND TR1PPLE CH3CK 4DV4NT3G3S 4ND D1S4DV4NT3G3S OF 3V3RY MOV3. 1'V3 L13D AND M4N1PUL4T3D AND B33N L13D TO 4ND B33N M4N1PUL4T3D ENOUGH TH4T 1 SHOULD H4V3 SM3LL3D 1T COM1NG. 1 SHOULD H4V3. 4ND NOW 1 C4N'T 3V3N LOOK H3R 1N TH3 3Y3.

VR1SK4 4ND 1 W3RE JUDG3 JURY 4ND 3X1CUT1ON3R. W3 W3R3 B4D. TH3 WORST TH3R3 COULD B3. W3 W3R3 TH3 TOP OF TH3 L1N3. TH3 ON3S OTH3RS F34R3D. SC4RY3R TH3N OUR H1GH BLOOD FR13NDS. W3 D3S1M4T3D OU4 OPPON3NTS. W3 W3R3 SCORG3 S1ST3RS. W3 W3R3 FR13NDS. TH3N 1... NOW LOOK WH3R3 W3 AR3. NOW LOOK 4T M3. COV3R3D IN DRY3D F4YGO, SCA1RD TO BR4K3 UP W1TH MY BL4CKROM B3C4S3 H3'S WORC3 TH3N M3, AVOID1NG EYE CONT4CT W1TH TWO MOR3 P3OPL3 I HURT FOR 3V3N L3SS R34SON. 1 COULDN'T 3V3N GET UP THE NERVE TO T4LK TO TH3M. 1 KNOW 1 HURT K4RK4T. 1 KNOW H3 KNOWS WH4T'S B33N GO1NG ON. HE'S NOT STUP1D. H3 H3LP3D M3 3V3N 4FT3R 3V3RYTH1NG 1 D1D. 1 KNOW H3 UND3RST4NDS 3V3N 1F H3 D1DN'T GO THR3W 1T. 1 KNOW D4V3S H3R3 BUT W1TH 3V3RYTHING H3 D3SRV3S TO H3R3 1T TWO.

SO 1 TELL THEM. K4R UND3RST4NDS MOR3 TH3N D4V3 BUT 1 3XP3CTED TH4T. D4V3 ST4YS MOSTLY SIL3NT AND 3V3N THOUGH 1 W1SH HE WOULD T4LK I UND3RSTAND. K4R CONFRONTS M3 4ND I D3C1DE TO JUST L3T 1T 4LL OUT. I T3LL H1M AS MUCH 4S 1 TH1NK 1 C4N. H3 JUST T3LLS M3 TH4T 1T'S OK 1N H1S OWN K4RK4T W4Y. BUT 1T'S NOT. 1T'S R34LLY NOT.

ONC3 1 ST4RT 1 C4NT STOP 4ND 1 S4Y SOM3TH1NG TH4T M4K3S K4R THINK 1T W4S G4MZ33S F4ULT WH3N 1T W4SN'T. 1 JUST F3LT L1K3 1 W4SN'T GOOD 3NOUGH SO 1 D1DN'T TH1NK OF TH3 CONS OF R3PAIR1NG MY 3Y3S. K4R S4YS H3 L3FT G4MZ33. GOOD FOR H1M. TH3N K4R S4YS G4MZEE W1LL L34V3 M3 WH3N W3 G3T TO TH3 N3W S3SS1ON. 1 DON'T KNOW WHY BUT 1T S3NDS M3 1NTO P4N1C MOD3. 1 ST4RT TO SOB. WH4T 1F H3 DOS3 L3AV3 M3? 1-1 DON'T SM3LL 4 N3G4TIVE 1N 1T BUT I 4M T3RRORF13D. 1 T3LL K4R BUT H3 LOOKS ODD WH3N 1 S4Y 1T SO 1 QUICKLY CH4NG3 TH3 SUBJ3CT. TH4NKFULLY TH3Y 4R3 3ASILY D1STRACT3D. K4RK4T 3NDS UP THROW1NG A CH41R. K4R D1RECTS US B4CK THOUGH. K4R S33MS 4DIM3NT 4BOUT M3 NOT DR1NKING F4YGO SO 1 AGREE. K4R 1S 1N NO W4Y GO1NG TO L3T ANYTH1NG 1N TH3 CONV3RS4TION SL1D3 THOUGH. 1 S33 HOW H3 K33PS G3TT1NG CLOS3R TO D4V3 WH3N 3V3R 1 S4Y G4MZ33'S N4M3 BUT 1 DON'T 4SK. 1 H4V3 NO R1GHT TO 4SK.

K4RK4T S4YS 4 LOT OF TH1NGS BUT L1K3 4LW4YS 1T BO1L3S DOWN TO "IT'S OK TEREZI YOU DID FINE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. I'M NOT ANGRY. I'LL BE HERE FOR YOU LIKE I ALWAYS AM. THE UNIVERSE IS WEIRD. LET ME DO THE SELF HATE STUFF THAT'S MY THING." L1K3 1T 4LW4YS DOS3. H3 4LW4YS M4K3S M3 F33L B3T3R. H3 SHOULDN'T H4V3 TO. BUT H3 DOS3. 1F IVE L34RN3D 4NYTH1NG WH3N 1T COM3S TO K4RK4T 1TS TH4T ONC3 YOU ST4RT T4LK1NG TO H1M YOU DON'T STOP. 1'M 4BOUT TO 3XPL41N MOR3 WH3N TH3 SP34K3R CR4B P1NCH3S M3 (WH3N H3 N4M3S TH1NGS STUFF LIK3 TH4T HOW C4N YOU NOT TH1NK H3S 4DOR4BLE? 1 M34N R34LY.). H3'S R1GHT THOUGH 1 N33D TO ST4RT F4C31NG TH1NGS. 1 H4V3 4 LOT OF TH1NK1NG TO DO.

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it's time. THE TIMER IS ALMOST MOTHERFUCKING DONE. just a few more wicked tick's on this motherfucking clock. JUST A FEW MORE LETTERS IN THIS MOTHERFUCKING CODE. a few more tocks. AND THE DARK CARNIVAL IS ABOUT TO BEGIN. tick. TOCK. motherfuckers. WHEN THE CLOCK STOPS I'LL HAVE ALL THE FUCKING PAINT THOUSE PISSBLOODED SCUM CAN GIVE. it's time to get to the top so i can rain down on them and show them. SHOW THEM HOW DARK THE CARNAVAL REALLY IS. tick. TOCK. tick. TOCK. it won't be long now. I FUCKING FEEL IT. i can't wait. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE LITE DRAIN FROM THERE BLASPHEMIES EYES. honk. HONK. mother fucking honk. THE FUN IS ABOUT TO BEGIN.

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Things With Rose Have Become... Tense... At Least On My Part. Rose Was Sober Yesterday For The First Time In Weeks. She Has Had Her On And Off Moments But I Always Try To Help. I Attempt To Be There But As Of Late She Seems To Be Pushing Me Away. I Don't Understand. I Would Hate To Phrase The Following Statement In This Way But I Can Think Of No Other Way To Say It: Our Time Together Is Proving Hazardous To Our Independent Health. I Know That It Is Becoming Harmful. I Suspect It Has Been Slowly Drifting This Way For A While. I Love Rose And Thinking Of Being Away From Her Is Almost Physically Painful And To Be Entirely Truthful That Is What The Portion Of Our Problem That Doesn't Stem From Our Respective Addictions Dissolves Down To.

Until The Incident Rose Was The Only Person I Conversed With. We Were Rarely Apart For More Than Half A Day And Once She Began Drinking I Took To Constantly Being By Her Side To Watch And Make Sure She Was Ok. Looking Back Maybe I Didn't Allow Her The Room To Think Or Maybe I've Done Something Horribly Wrong During That Time But I Began To Feel Lost When I Wasn't Taking Care Of Her. From What I Understand She Felt The Same Way. It Pains Me To Say It But Without Karkat's Random Gift And Without Rose Being completely Sober For That Amount Of Time I Would Not Have Even Realized There Was Something Wrong With My Palemate. One Of The Loves Of My Life Would Be Gone. I Wouldn't Have Known. I Am Ashamed To Think That I Would Have Let Something Like That Happen. Karkat Has Always Taken Care Of Me And I Was So Dependent On Taking Care Of My Mate That I Let Something Like That Go On.

I Love Rose But Since The Beginning We Have Monopolized Each other To The Point That It Caused Damage To Both Us And Others. Neither Of Us Had Allowed Ourselves To Find Ourselves And We Tried To Find The Answers In One Another. Karkat Saw It And Tried To Help. He Still Does But I Know It Hurts Him To See Us Like This. That Being Said. When We Are Good We Are Great And I Would Never Think Of Letting Her Go But... Now That The Veil Of "She Can Do No Wrong" Has Lifted I See What Can Be Helped Or What We Could Work On It Makes Me Determined To Begin To Improve And Bring Us Back From How Low We Have Fallen.

Right Now Though As I Wander Through The Halls I Wonder Where She Is. Our Group Had Agreed Yesterday (Rose Was Sober For The First Time In Three Weeks) That We Had No Idea How Much Longer The Trip Would Take But It Would End Soon. With That We Had decided To Meet Up On The Roof To See If We Could Get A More Accurate Guess Somehow... As Ridiculous As It Sounds It Does Seem Like A Good Place To Plan Things Out Or Form Some Type Of Strategy ... But I Did Not Find Her At Our Decided Meeting Location. I Have Been Looking For Nearly An Hour In Every Place I Can Think To Look. Perhaps She Went To Gather The Mayor. He Is After All A Part Of Our Group. It Would Be Rather Irresponsible And Rude To Just Leave Him Out.

When I Get To Can Town I Find Her. I... I Find Her Drunkenly Maneuvering Around Can Town Marking Cans And Stumbling. She Promised Me She Would Be Sober Today. We Had A Long Discussion About It. She Promised Me She Would Be There In Time So That We Could Work Out A Strategy. I Want To Yell At Her, I Want To Make Her Realize That She's Putting Us In Danger. This Isn't Even Remotely Ok Anymore. It Was Never Ok To Begin With But Now? Now Of All Times? We Need Her. We Need Her In Top Form And This Is What She Does. She Couldn't Hold Out For A Day When Our Lives Could Depend On It? She Has Held Off Before For Lesser Reasons And She Chooses Now To Get So Intoxicated That This Seems Like A Good Idea. I Am Angry And I Am Upset And Frankly I Am So Hurt That I Feel Like Crying. She Promised Me She Would Be Here For Us. For Me. I Don't Know How Much More Of This I Can Take.

Maybe It Is My Fault. I Should Have Been Watching Her More Closely. I Should Have Been Spending More Time Trying To Fix Things. I Should Have Listened To Kar A Lot Sooner When He Said She Needed Help. I Feel Defeated. I Feel Helpless. I Want My Moirail. Kar Always Knows How To Make Me Feel Better. I Want To Run To Him For Help Because I Feel Like I'm Breaking Apart But, I Can't. Drunk As She Is We Still Need Her And It Is My Job To Take Her There. I Love Her So Much But This Is Hurting Me. I Know I'm Selfish Rose Is Hurting Too But I Can't Do This Much Longer. I Need Her But, Not This Her If It Makes Any Sense. She Settles Down Again And Begins Marking Cans And Writing In A Book. I Won't Yell. I Won't Do It She's Still My Mate Even Like This. I Try And Calm Down. When I'm Just About Successful I Start Dropping Finish Crumbs Hoping That She'll Realize I Wish To Speak.

She Ignores Me Completely. She Has Done A Lot Of Things But Ignoring Me Has Not Been One. I Call Her Out On It And She Says She Wasn't. I Don't Know If I Believe Her. I Ask What She Thinks She's Doing Because Honestly Does She Even Remember What She Was Supposed To Be Doing In This State? Dose She Even Remember Me? She Says She Has A Duty To Can Town. She Chose That Over Trying To Keep Us Alive? I-I Need To Stop I'm Being Harsh And Unreasonable. I Try To Keep My Composure Even After She Makes Fun Of Troll Terminology And Tries To Continue To Make The Differences Between Us Even More Apparent. No I Know She's Not Trying I'm Just Upset. She Rambles On And On And In The End I Can't Keep All Of My Insulting Jabs And Scolding Tone To Myself But I Try. I Attempt To Gently Remind Her Of What She Should Be Doing. She Said She Did Remember And That She Was Dressed Properly. Apparently Dressing Herself Is All She Can Handle Now A Days.

I Can't Hold It Back Anymore. I Go Off I Tell Her What She Did Wrong. I Yell A Bit I Let Out Some Steam Because This Is Not The Joke That She Is Treating It As. Our Survival Is Not A Toy. It Is Not Funny. She Tries To Give Me Reasons. I KNOW ALL OF THAT. WHAT I DON'T KNOW IS WHY SHE WOULD ABANDON US. I Tell Her I Beg Her I Try In As Few Words As Possible So That She'll Understand That This Is Wrong. Then She... She Forgot My Name. She Called Me By A Different Name. I Think She Realized Her Mistake. I Forgave Her Last Time But This, This Is Far Too Much. She Attempts To Drunkenly Change The Subject And I Don't Let Her. I Go Off and I Beg And I Yell And I Use Shout Poles And I Don't Mean In A Good Way. I Even Tell Her My Worries For The New Session But She Just Shrugs It Off As Unimportant. She Shrugs The Matriorb, The One Thing That Is Probably More Important To Me And My Race Then Our Survival, Off Like It's Nothing. There Are Few Things I Would Die For Karkat She Herself And The Matriorb And She Acts like It's Not Even A Concern?

She Starts To Realize Something Is Wrong Again And Then Has The Gall To Pretend She Can Make It Up To Me Without Even Apologizing? She Even Says My Name Wrong So Many More Times I-I Can't Do This I Just Can't. I Kick Over The Stupid Cans Because No Matter How Mad I Am I Could Never Hurt Rose. The Mayor Seems Unaffected If Not A Little Disappointed In Rose. Good I Like The Mayor As Well Even If I Think His Cans Are Silly I Would Hate To Be Mad At Him Too. Rose Looks Discouraged And I Can practically See The Proverbial Wheels Turning. Probably Coming Up With Something To Say That Will Make Me Even More Angry. Then She Asks If I'm Going To Break Up With Her. And I Have To Hold Myself Back From Going And Chainsawing Everything Here In Half. No Of Course That's Not What I Want, I Don't Want To Lose The Love Of My Life And I Don't Know Why She Thinks I Would. I Love Her Despite Everything. I Want Her To Be Happy And I Want To Be Happy With Her But She Is Hurting Everyone. She Is Hurting Herself, Me, Her Brother, Karkat, Everyone And She Doesn't Seem To Care At All As Long As She Gets Her Drink. In The End I Know None Of My Words Mean Anything To Her Anymore So I Just Yell "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

It Takes A While To Corral Rose And The Mayor To The Top Of The Meteor But I Manage. Well It's More Like It Takes Awhile To Move Rose Even With The Mayor's Help.

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i've been on edge all day and i don't know why. i feel like i could snap at any moment and go off on someone. i have my bad days and they're getting better but today is just bad. i have a horrible feeling about today. Karkat and i had decided before all this that we would keep as much under wraps as possible during and after the intervention with Terezi until we could find a way to tell her about everything. Kanaya agreed to play along. i was on my way to the top of the meteor ever since Kar called me on speaker crab. (how does he not know how adorable he is when he names things? he always gets so flustered when i call him cute.) i stayed silent for the most part figuring that Kar was doing well enough on his own. i even played good cop when he stressed her out and helped her call him out on the chair thing.

the only time i did take action was when she was about to go into why she wanted to keep the clown. there is now way i'm going to let her talk all sweet about that fucking clown. especially when Kar was abused by him. i know she probably doesn't know what he did to Kar but i won't let him get hurt because she's a fucking idiot and wants to run her mouth. Ok look i know that's not what's going on but in a moment of blind panic about Kar possibly having a flashback again or something by talking about all this she does seem like she's in the wrong here. and to make her stop talking about it i made speaker crab pinch her. i said i didn't do it and she believed me. Kar gave me a thankful glance. so my anger was worth it.

when i finally got up there from the other side of the lab It only took a second for Kan and The Mayor to arrive. i only say Kan and the mayor because Rose didn't so much arrive as get dragged over by Kanaya. she promised us that she would be sober. i was a fucking idiot to believe that. Kan looks a lot worse for the wear. she looks even more distressed after she notices Terezi. They probably both need some pile time with how on edge they both are. Acting like nothing changed is really fucking hard. like way harder than i thought it would be. that's when we look up.

well it looks like we don't get any time to plan. because we're headed on a straight up crash course with the new session and we have no fucking brakes. we're more helpless then the crash dummies in those car crash tests. those poor dummies came into work that day completely not expecting to be slammed into a wall at 100 mph. like they didn't even get to kiss their kids before they went and now they have the knowledge that their kids are going to be subjected to the same fate. their wives' are all going to die. damn i need some of Kurloz's fucking reactiongifs to say how i feel about this. i already had my brain in a jar once when i was fucking around with the alchemiter i don't need my real one to be in a jar. i doubt the game would let us die just like this but you never know so it's fucking panic inducing

Kar and i flail and rant about it for a while. Rose says something along the lines of "it's going to be ok." but really she's drunk and i'm not in the mood to listen to anything she might have to say so i tell her to shut the fuck up. Kan gives me a nasty look but i don't give a shit. and Terezi looks way to happy with the situation for my comfort. then there's a bark and we're all blaming each other like it's a fucking slapstick routine when Jade just space magic's out of nowhere and appears in front of us. i can sense the grimdark rolling off of her. ha grimdark what a cheap joke. grimdark's been in the back of my mind scared to move closer and too scared to leave since i went back time and saw what Gamzee did to Kar. Jade just says "hey guys" and we all get spaced away like it was nothing. next time i open my eyes i'm in my old room.

i don't really want to talk about it but... i don't like my world. it makes me nervous. it's everything i don't want to remember from before the game, mashed into a big you don't wanna fucking be here stew. it's not ok. i don't feel ok. i really don't know what to do with myself right now. i don't want to go outside because... i just... i'm not comfortable like this. i start rambling to myself. it's a habit i picked up when i was younger so i didn't feel so alone. I think I told you that already maybe? I don't know but it's what I'm doing now. i end up trying to think about the game and looking through my old room for some good memories . i end up just looking through some old pictures and by this point i'm kind of breaking down. like just looking back and seeing all the shit that was going on back then and comparing it to how happy i have been on the meteor. it's so fucking wrong that i was happier after the apocalypse, the person who raised me died, and everything else i knew was so far out of reach it might as well have been gone. i didn't want to think of the past and now i'm fucking in it. i'm crying and laughing hysterically before i can stop myself. fuck i'm a mess.

then John zaps in from fuck knows where and zaps out shortly followed by jade spacing in. then without warning or explanation after only a few words that i'm still not sure what the hell is going on i'm outside. we argue and i'm only kinda paying attention because i don't want to be here at all. she takes my sword and turns it back about ninety-seven upgrades and hands it to me like it improved somehow. because yes using a pool-ball against a pool-ball themed villain is obviously the best idea. and that's about the time i start paying attention. i yell at her a bit more because she's evil and just messed up my weapon so why the hell not. and then she tells me i need time away from Kar and what the fuck does she know she doesn't know him. i'm open for attacks right now so i don't say what i want to but after this is over she's going to have to learn a lot about exactly how much we changed.

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Ok so Dave and I are freaking out? How in the fuck are we going to get off the meteor alive? We're going at a speed that is to say the least really fucking fast. Just as everyone else starts to join in on our panic Jade spaces her ass over and then we're alien a meadow thing with John and then on Jade's planet. That answers one of my questions to bad it makes me ask about 314 more. Yes by the way one of them is "WHAT IN THE BULGE BLISTERING FUCK IS GOING ON?" I look around and find out that it's only Kanaya Jade one of the humans ancestors and me.

I don't like the threat posture their showing. They just stare at us for a while which is fucking creepy. Jade and the other one turned evil so apparently that's a thing. I ask her what she's holding. I need information after all. I'm not going to let any of us rush in after all. Another reason is it was part of Kan and my permissions to not hurt the humans unless we had to and there's no way I'm going to break that.

It turns out the floaty thing is Earth. It also turns out that evil Jade is a huge bitch. I ask why she spread us all out and why she has Earth. She gives me a sort of like one fourth answer. The only thing I got from it is that they need us to cooperate for something that sounds suspiciously like universe building. Today is one hell of a mess. I just want two things at this point. I want answers and to pile with Kan so we can both calm the fuck down. this day is really not doing anyone favors.

I start demanding answers. And as It turns out like with everything horrible the fish bitch is involved. Don't get me wrong Meenah is a badass and probably one of the coolest people i know but as a leader of any world she's not even kind of OK. I'm kinda panicking but they said she needs us so at least we're guaranteed to survive until the job is done. That means stall. Stall and hope we can find a way to get out of this and meet up with the others. I ramble and start trying to mess with them through my panic. I wonder if i can get Jade back at least. I rant and ramble but Jade isn't coming back apparently. And 'Jane' can bring a person back to life once. (What's with all the fucking J names.)

I end up getting to a point where there's nothing I can think of and remember who is in control. She won't stand for people messing with her plans. She needs us and if we can convince her we won't do what she wants without something in return she might do it. So I start on that course thank everything for Kan because she agrees without prompting. I have the best Palemate. Jade starts to threaten us. It almost makes me laugh because the humans think they're threatening. It's almost cute. When they start to threaten Kan I almost lose it because it's both funny and horrifying. Kan disproves their ideas on how to kill her one after another. Then they offer a demonstration. Ok I'm not good with that. I'm glad I'm closer to them so they'll go after me first. They're being controlled by the Concession so being a red blood makes me a convenient target.

John appears out of nowhere and Jade gets distracted. I'm trying to figure out what's going on when Jane lunges forward and stabs me with her trident. I feel the pain but I'm used to that. Pain is fine. What I'm not used to is the sound of Kanaya's pained and horrified gasp and John's stupid sounding screaming. Then the world goes black. I'm glad it was me and not Kan.

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I Sense Something Weird And Jade Appears. I Have Only Seen Jade's Powers Once And I Must Say That I Had Forgotten How Unsettling The Feeling Of Definite Space Just ... Changing Is. I Feel Rose's Weight Disappear and Momentarily Panic Until I Realize That Jade Has spaced Us Away. I Don't Understand Why She Would Split Us Up Like This. It Doesn't Take me Long To Realize Why After I See Jade Standing Next To A Human With Feferi's Sign On Her Head It Wouldn't Be too Much Of A Jump To Assume That Has Something To Do With It. I Listen As The Others Talk And Try To Gather Information. Karkat Is Quick To Jump On The Uptake With This Even If I Feel A Bit Out Of The Loop On What's Going On. Today Has Been A Mess. I Just Want To Get Us Both To Calm Down. I've Been Updating Rose Slowly On The Situation For A While Now And Will Continue To Do So.

I Start To Get A Better Picture Of The Situation When Kar Starts To Rant About It. They Start To Try And Threaten Us. Their Attempt Is So Horrid That It Seems Like They Are Telling Us "Oh and there's a hair on your shoulder.". Instead Of Whatever They're Trying . Karkat Keeps up His Ranting And It Feels Like He's Trying To Stall Until We Can Make A Plan On What To Do. That Seems Reasonable. Then They Start Talking About How Jane's Power Works. John Appears Out Of Nowhere And That In Itself Seems To Be Enough To Distract Jade. Now We Just Need Jane's Eyes To Move For A While.

Not Even A Second Later I Realize That Jane Is Lunging At Kar Weapon Ready. I'm Too Slow To Move I Can't Guard Him. I See The Tips Of The Trident Poking Out Of My Palemate And I Feel Dread And Anger And Hate And So Many Other Emotions That I Don't Even Know How To Name It. I Raise My Arms As The Feel Of Death Comes Across Our Bond And I Almost Throw Up. Why Wasn't I The One Targeted. I Wasn't Fast Enough I Wasn't Strong Enough I Wasn't.... I Am In Shock And Everything Is Muted But I Feel Like The World Will End.

Jane Uses Her Powers And In A Blue Light Show Karkat Wakes Up And All My Feelings Crash And Become Numb. Karkat Understandably Moves Behind Me, And To Say I'm Glad He's Away From Her Would Be A Huge Understatement. I Don't Hold Back Anything When I Tell Her Of But There's This Weird Fuzz That's Been Surrounding Us While I Was Yelling And I Soon Forget What Happened. I Wish I Could Remember The Words I Used.

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N3V3RM1ND 4NYTH1NG GOOD 1'V3 3V3 S41D 4BOUT S1GHT.... NOT TH4T TH3R3 W4S MUCH 1 S41D W4S GOOD TO B3G1N W1TH BUT ST1LL. ROS3'S PL4N3T HURTS LIK3 H3LL TO LOOK AT AND I H4T3 1T. TH3R3 1S TH1S R4NDOM GL1CHY SH1T 4LL OV3R 4ND TH1NGS 4R3 G3TT1IG FUZZY. 1 COMPL41N 4ND SO DOS3 ROS3 BUT WH4T M3SSES W1TH M3 IS HOW OUT OF CH4R1T3R SH3 S33MS. W3 W3R3 N3V3R FR1NDS SO NOW SH3 W4NTS TO G3T 4LL BUDDY-BUDDY ABOUT OUR PROBL3MS? TH3 4NSW3R 1S NO. WH4T R1GHT DOS3 SH3 H4V3 TO T3LL M3 ANYTH1NG? OH WH41T SH3 H4S NON3. NON3 4T 4LL. 1'M B31NG W4Y TO OPEN 4ND TH4T'S W31RD. 1T COM3S DOWN TO W3R3 W3 AR3 BOTH 1DIOTS 4ND H3R PLAN3T SUCKS NOW TH4T 1 C4N S33 1T.

TH3N JOHN 4PP34RS 4ND W3 GO OV3R SOM3 SH1T. 1 C4N'T H3LP BUT TO T3AS3 H1M W1TH 4 F4C3 TH4T STUP1D. JOHN S4YS W3 LOST SOM3 OF OUR M3MORY'S. H3 4LSO S4ID 1 US3D MY L1N3 TO 1NSULT H1M ALR3ADY. P4ST M3 W4S 4S 4WSOM3 4S USUAL. JOHN POW3RS 4W4Y 4ND R4NDOMLY 4PP34R1NG J4D3 F4LLOWS 4FT3R. JOHN 1S PROB4LY TH3 MOST 4NNOY1NG P3RSON 1 KNOW. WH3N H3'S GON3 1 F1NALY G3T TH3 CH4NC3 TO STOP 4ND TH1NK. 1 H4V3 B33N 4VO1D1NG DO1NG TH4T FOR F4R TO LONG.

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I feel myself wake up from death for the second time ever. I don't think I'll ever be able to describe the feeling to you. I wouldn't know where to begin. Back in our session we sat down a few times and tried to put it into words. We tried to on the meteor when it was just a few of us but even with the most wordy of us we couldn't even get close to a word. Not a single word would fit. The feeling is so unnatural and yet it's like the most natural thing we've ever felt. It feels like a being is passing through you but it's not alive. It's like solid bubbles. But.... not... FUCK this isn't getting anywhere.

I don't know what to say. Anyway when I woke up I have enough time to see (I think it might be) Equius' ancestor wave at me. Before I'm pulled back into the odd feeling that is death. Then I feel myself coming back again and almost laugh at the thought that I must have broke some records. Then I realize that I'm standing in front of my killer. Panic floods me and I'm hit with the feeling that death is still close. I hide behind a tree and try to get Kan to come with me. Kan refuses to come with me and instead stands there and makes threats and eggs her on. She's pissed off and possibly scared and I feel like I should be doing more but one look from Kan commands me to stay and hide in the most protective way and I find that I can't argue. Then Jane starts talking and that was confusing enough considering the sound bites she was using before. I don't understand why you would talk in sound bites then? It seems kind of ridiculous really and that's coming from me.

Then she says something to Kan that I can't hear and they walk a little further from me. I hope to god Kan doesn't plan on fighting her. She may be human but even if Kan is probably one of our best fighters Jade is under the control of the Condesce so I would rather her not fight alone. The next thing I know Kan is buying our friends blood from the crazy lady. Yes because that is obviously something that just screams safety. Why yes it seems completely reasonable to buy and ingest something the person who just killed your palemate is selling you perfectly reasonable indeed. I know why but that doesn't mean it couldn't hurt her. I question her because what the hell. She just hides it behind her back. REALLY?

I just hope this goes alright.

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Jane's Power Surrounds Karkat In A Way That Looks Like Lightning And I See Him Rise From The Ground And Return To Life. Feeling Floods Me Again And I Take In A Breath That I Needed. I Just Want Him To Be Safe. I Froze This Time. I Won't Do It Again. Karkat Looks Horrified And For Good Reason. He Rushes Away And My Feeling Of Dread Slowly Decreases As Kar Gets Further From His Killer. I Begin To Tell Jane Off And Nothing More Because I'm Not Stupid. I Would Love To Dig My Claws Into Her Skin Until Her Screams For Mercy Stop But Being That She Is Being Controlled And Could End Both Of Us For Real I Settle For Yelling. I Want To Do So Much More But In The End I Just Yell. Karkat Tries To Shift Closer As If To Protect Me But I Don't Let Him. He's Not Getting Near Her Again. Jane Starts To Actually Talk Instead Of Using Sound Bytes. I Don't Understand Why She Would Talk Through Them When She Could Just Speak Normally.

When I Question It She Gives A Bullshit Response And Then Asks Me To Buy Things. When I Take A Moment To Actually Look At It I Realize What She's Trying To Sell Me. Blood. The Blood Of Our Dead Friends. My Mind Reels. What Type Of Evil Bitch Dose This? And How In The Hell Did She Get A Hold Of It. My Mind Screeches To A Halt On One Thought Though. This Is Guilt Free. There Already Dead It's Not Like I Would Be Hurting Anyone. I Could Theoretically Buy Her Out Of Business And It Would Still Not Harm Anyone. I Could Give Kar And Dave's Necks (I Haven't Been Drinking From Rose While She's Drunk) A While Off And I Could Drink My Fill. Karkat Questions Me And It's Not Even In A Guilt Tripping Manner Just A Don't Trust Her Way. As I Make Transaction After Transaction I Receive And Absent Mindedly Reply To Messages From Rose. I Am Still Mad At Her. I Am Still Angry. I Will Talk To Her About Us And Other Things In A While But Not Now. Certainly Not Now. Not As I Am Making What My Impulses And Mind And Addiction Tell Me Is The Best Decision Ever. I Know It's Not And I Feel Both Guilty And Disgusting For Doing This But That Doesn't Mean I Won't Continue.

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Jane is trying to convince me to time travel which is ridiculous. I was serious about not time traveling. I won't fucking do it. like I said the last time i did was when Kan and i went back and saw what happened to Kar before. i'm still rambling when john shows up out of nowhere. in fact i'm in the middle of an awesome rant about karate and it interrupts it. John is kind of freaking me out though i mean who willingly fucks with the alpha timeline? that shit is not supposed to happen. i don't get why anyone would want to do that? he said he didn't want to mess anything up but he already has and now he's asking us to pretend it's not a thing that can happen. Jade says she would have thrown the Mayor of the side of my house into lava. Well I definitely see that she's evil now but like would that have been necessary? John leaves and I just kind of stare at Jade. well this is a mess. let's hope john fixes it.

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Jade just threw the Mayor. she threw him off my roof. what the hell was she thinking. i'm not under any circumstances time traveling i told her that. hell i explained it. in detail. extreme detail. i race after the mayor and swipe him up just before he hits the lava. i hold him close so we avoid the lava and go a little dopy. i think Davesprite keeps sending me messages but they're all messed up. i just tell him to chat with me later.

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1 LOOK B4CK ON 3V3RYTH1NG TH4T'S W3NT ON S1NC3 OUR GROUP W3NT B4CK WH3N W3 F1RST M3T TH3 HUM4NS 4ND 3V3N B3FOR3 TH4T. 1 TH1NK 4BOUT TH3... WH3N 1 K1LL3D VR1SKA. 1 TH1NK 4BOUT 4 LOT. 1NCLUD1NG MY R3L4T1ONSH1-... TH1NG W1TH G4MZ33. TH3R3'S 4 LOT TO TH1NK 4BOUT. NOW TH4T 1 SM3LL B4CK ON 1T 1... 1 C4N'T S33 4NYTH1NG GOOD. W3 TOOK FROM 34CHOTH3R 4ND N3V3R G4VE. H3 HURT M3. 1 HURT H1M. W3 US3D 34CHOTHER. 1T 1SN'T BL4CK. 1T 1SN'T H34LTHY. 1T 1SN'T R1GHT 4ND 1'M JUST L3TT1NG 1T GO ON. 1 L3T MYS3LF B3 HURT SO TH4T 1 D1DN'T H4V3 TO TH1NK.1 B3C4M3 TH3 PR4Y. 1 LET MYS3LF COW3R TO H1M. WH3N 1 L3T MYS3LF TH1NK 4BOUT 1T 1 KNEW. I KN3W 34RLY3R BUT 1 D1DN'T L3T MYS3LF LOOK 1T L1K3 TH4T.

1 W4NT3D TO B3 PUN1SHED FOR WH4T 1 D1D 4ND 1 L3T H1M US3 TH4T 4G1NST M3. NO MOR3. 1 WON'T DO TH1S 4NYMOR3. W3 N3V3R BOND3D. W3 N3V3R ST4RT3D TO. 1 W4S TO BUSY L34V1NG MYS3LF OP3N FOR SOM3ON3 WHO W4S 4LR34DY D34D. NOW 1T'S T1M3 TO G3T ON W1TH MY L1F3. 1 N33D TO STOP TH1S. 4LL OF TH1S. 1 LET MYS3LF F4LL W4Y TO F4R. NOW 1T'S T1M3 TO G3T B4CK UP. 1 C4N'T ST4ND TH3 L1GHT BUT 1 WOLN'T L3T 1T STOP M3. 1 M4K3 MYS3LF 4 BL1NDFOLD 4ND S3T OFF. 1T'S T1M3. 1 H4V3 SOM3TH1NG 1 N33D TO DO.

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I take a page from Dave's proverbial book while looking around my (entirely too bright for someone as hangover as me right now) planet and ranting aloud. My world is slowly writing itself as my hangover wears off rather fast. Perks of being god tier I suppose. I rant about my world and.... now that I'm actually here I have to say that I'm quite different then I was then The more I realize that I have no Idea what to do. Just like back then. I have so many things to do before the end I have so much to say. I have to make up for so much. I'm excited and I suddenly get the urge to talk to Kanaya.... Kanaya. Kanaya. Kanaya. I feel depression faze through me. I messed up. I messed up so bad. I hurt her. I.... I need to talk to her. I pull out my pesterchum and message her. She is distracted and leaves abruptly. I suppose I deserve that. I see Terezi walking away and ask where she's going. She responds "Clown hunting". Well good luck with that.

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After Jane leaves Kan starts to fidget and move around like crazy. She's trying to avoid my eyes to the point where right now she's turned all the way away from me. She should know by now that doesn't work on me. I make my move and rush forward and throw my arms around her middle from behind. She stiffens up for a second but I just pap her on the side and shoosh into her ear and she relaxes and practically melts into me. I take this time to talk to her as gently as I can "KAN YOU KNOW I'M NOT MAD AT YOU RIGHT?" She nods hesitantly and I lead her to a tree that was knocked over and I sit us both down. I don't let her go but I let her turn in my arms so she's facing me. She puts her head on my shoulder.

"TALK TO ME MISS-GLOWS-A-LOT." she nods and starts up "I Am Just... I Feel Horrible." I nod "When I Went To Gather Rose This Morning And She Was Drunk. She Promised Me She Would Be Sober." I hold her tighter and let her let off steam. She continues "It Was Horrible She Even Forgot My Name. MY NAME. She Had Said She Wouldn't. I Feel Lied To And I Am Angry Even Though I Know It's Not All Her Fault. I Am Upset That You Were Upset During Your Talk With Terezi. I'm Upset That I Didn't Save You. I'm Sad That You Had To Experience That Again. I Was Horrified that You Died. I Thought I Lost You. Then I Go And Indulge In My Addiction And I Hate It.". I hold her as she shakes.

"KAN... ROSE... SHE'S GETTING BETTER SLOWLY. AND NOW THAT DAVE AND I PULLED AN INTERVENTION WE CAN DO IT AGAIN AND IT'LL BE BETTER AND WE CAN ALL BAN TOGETHER TO HELP ROSE. IT'S NATURAL TO BE ANGRY AT HER. IT'S OK. I WAS UPSET DURING THE INTERVENTION BECAUSE IT WAS HARD TO HEAR ABOUT HER TIME WITH GAMZEE. I'LL BE FINE DAVE WAS THERE. I'M NOT UPSET YOU DIDN'T SAVE ME KAN I'M JUST GLAD IT WASN'T YOU. WE DON'T KNOW WHAT HER POWERS WOULD DO TO YOU. I'M OK NOW THOUGH. SEE I'M HERE." I squeeze her and she makes a horrified noise "I Know But I Wish You Didn't Have To." I nod and power on, "I KNOW. YOU KNOW THAT WHAT YOU DID WAS OK. WE TALKED ABOUT FINDING SAFE WAY TO HANDLE YOUR ADDICTION AND THIS WAS A GOOD SOLUTION FOR NOW. IT WON'T WORK WHEN IT RUNS OUT BUT FOR A WHILE IT'S GOOD. NO REASON TO WORRY. YOU'RE STILL GOOD. I WAS JUST WORRIED ABOUT WHO WAS OFFERING IT. NOT THAT YOU GOT IT.".

She nods shakily and calms down. That was kind of rushed to all hell for a feelings jam but were not in a safe situation so you do what you can right? "Are You Ok Karkat?" I nod "I'M GOOD FOR NOW." She nods. We sit down and talk for a while. Before Kan suddenly decides it's time for me to eat. A quick check of our syllidex say we brought no food. Kan and i kill and roast some twitter beasts over a fire. It's nice until Meenah calls and informs me that there's going to be some trouble soon. We already have trouble. We don't need any fucking more. I hate this.

When we're done eating (and clean up after ourselves because we're not fucking pigs) there's this weird blinding light from the sky and Kan and I do the only thing that makes sense to do right now. We go towards it. On the way there I call up Dave on my crab communicator. He doesn't hear me the first like five times. It's understandable with the fact he is talking threw that dumb smuppet ass communicator he absolutely fucking refuses to upgrade from. (He made far too many "talking out of your ass" jokes the second he made that piece of shit. for him to ever get rid of it) damn thing muffles sound like you're screaming into a pillow. I finally just yell and tell him we have a problem and Dave just says on the way and hangs up. Good he should be here soon.

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when i finished talking to Kar i felt another wave of dread rush through me. why do i feel like that's going to be the last time i talked to him? no i won't let it be.i'll get Rose and we'll hurry over and solve whatever problem there is. end of story. i look over at the mayor. it's time for me to go but i can't just go without saying anything can i.

the Mayor has been amazing. i can honestly say that i'm glad he was here with us. he's been an awesome shoulder to cry on so to speak and has gotten me through some dark shit. i know even if he could he wouldn't talk about the stuff i told him and for that i'm more grateful than he'll ever know. i tell him i have to go and that i love him. i give him a peck on the cheek and go i wish i could have communicated with him in a better way but it didn't happen. if there are Problems the more the merrier to sort them out so i give Rose a quick shout out and it all basically ends in the knowledge were both on the way to Jade's world.

when i get there i end up generally what the fucking all over the place. i mean Jade's grandpa/grandson (i think) is glowing and throwing off mass amounts of what weirdly feels like... hope? Gamzee is.... flirt tangled with Jane and won't answer my question about why Jade is being crushed by a piece of her fucking house. which is also a thing. a very concerning thing. one i am freaking the fuck out about. i can't go after Gamzee when he's holding on to John's grandma/granddaughter/mom/daughter when i don't know if there's a possibility of braking Meenah the elder's control (fuck this is weird) and i can't leave Jade alone for the same reason. fuck i don't even know if she's reliable right now.

Terezi comes out of nowhere and starts stabbing the clown (something i wish i could have done myself) instead i just yell at her to keep going. then two jacks show up and i mean why the fuck are there two now? the black jack (why is everything card or chess themed?) has Jade in his arms and i'm still confused. i'm halfway through bargaining for her when John's hot mom starts zapping at them. fuck i can't believe i called her that. next thing i know there's a cat and i'm being told Jane can revive Jade if i get her back. fuck it i'm rolling with it time to chase after some dogs.

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1 F1N4LY FOUND H1M I FOUND TH3 CLOWN. 1T'S T1ME FOR WH4T W3 H4D TO B3 OV3R. 1'M NOT DO1NG TH1S 4NYMOR3. 1 DUMP MY J3TP4CK W1L3 1N TH3 A1R 4ND D1V3 K1CK H1M 1N TH3 F4C3 W1TH TH3 4DD3D FORC3. TH1S 1S TH3 ONLY W4Y 1 KNOW TO G3T THR3W TO H1M. 1 1GNOR3 D4V3. NOW'S NOT TH3 T1M3. 1'LL 4PPOLOG1ZE L4T3R. 1T'S T1ME TO M4K3 4 ST4ND. 1 W1LL NOT JUST L4Y DOWN 4ND 4C3PT MY F4T3 4NYMOR3. 1 SQU4R3 OFF 4G4NST H1M. 1 Y3LL 4ND SHOUT 4ND PR3PA1R FOR B4TTL3 R34DY FOR TH3 B4CKL4SH TH4T'S SUR3 TO COM3 FROM R3FUS1NG TO B3 H1S PL4YTH1NG 4NYMOR3. 1 W4S R3ADY FOR 4NYTH1NG. 4NYTH1NG OTH3R TH3N SM3LL1NG TH4T B1TCH. TH3 ON3 WHO GAV3 M3 B4CK MY S1GHT. 4R4N34. TH1S C4N'T B3 4 STUP1D LUCK TH1NG TH4T'S VR1SK4'S SHT1K NOT H3RS.

H3 DOS3 NOTH1NG H3 JUST T4K3S 1T 4S 1 Y3LL 4T H1M. 1 YELL 4T H1M TO F1GHT B4CK. 1 DON'T W4N'T TO JUST US3 4NYMOR3. 1 DON'T W4NT TO JUST B3 US3D 4NYMOR3. 1 JUST W4NT TO T4LK. TO 4RGU3. TO B3 DON3 W1TH TH1S. 1 W4NT H1M TO JUST FUCK1NG S4Y SOMTH1NG. F1GHT B4CK. Y3LL. DO SOMTH1NG. 1 K1CK H1M 4G41N. 1 Y3LL 4ND SCR33M 4ND TRY TO G3T SOMTH1NG TH4T 3V3NTU4LLY 1 ST4RT TO DOUBT H3'S GO1NG TO G1VE M3. CLOSUR3. 1 ST4RT ST4BB1NG H1M. NOTH1NG. H3 WON'T 3V3N STOP SM1L1NG. SM1L1NG. THE ON3 T1M3 1 N33D H1M TO F1GHT M3, TH3 ON3 T1ME 1 WOULD F1GHT B4CK WHOL3H34RT3DLY H3 DO3SN'T 3V3N MOV3.

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I finally make it to Lofaf . I look around and have honestly no idea what the fuck is going on. My brother is chasing two differently colored Jacks who are chasing a cat while one holds Jade. Jade's house is in pieces and Terezi is stabbing the shit out of Gamzee. (Good for her. I see her hunt went well.) Jake... I think that's his name... is throwing out what seems like large amounts of hope. I look around and see M-Roxy... her name is Roxy is either passed out or dead next to a battle that consists of from what my powers tell me is a fake Dirk and an overly living Aranea. What the fuck is going on.

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Kanaya and I are running toward what I'm sure is one hell of a scene. Kan's running fast and I try to get her to pace herself but she is determined to get there. I hate to think it but everyone else is probably there already. You know how I was complaining a long time ago about the game being bullshit for not letting us put multiple things in one card of our sylladex? Well that also applies to our inability to fly. I hate that it's taking us so long to get to the others. I can almost guarantee that there has been some crazy shit going on that it would take way more than one sentence to explain properly. Kan agrees that the no flying thing is bullshit and I feel a little better about it

Then two a cat run by... followed by 2 different jacks and Dave all flying by. I manage to ask Dave what's going on and I get a "can't talk chasing dogs". Well I was right.

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I go down to check on things and fake dirk who is killing Aranea (maybe) tells me to take Mom-I mean Roxy away. Well OK. Will do. I grab her and fly off landing on a safe portion of Jade's broken home. We should be ok here other than Jane standing nearby.

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1 JUST K33P GO1NG. 3V3NTU4LLY 1 KNOW 1'M CRY1NG. WHY WON'T H3 3V3N G1VE M3 TH1S. TH3N 4R4N34 F4LLS DOWN N3XT TO M3. G4MZ33 STOPS SMILING. G4MZ33 S4YS 1'M HURTING H1M. 1-1 WH4T H4V3 1 DON3. H3 W4S UND3R CONTROL. 1 DROP MY C4N3. WH4T H4V3 1 DON3? WH4T H4V3 1 B3COM3? 1'M SORRY. 1 D1DN'T M3AN TO HURT YOU GAM-

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HER CONTROL ON ME IS BROKEN. everything hurts. I SEE TEREZI AND ASK HER TO STOP. that's when i realize. THAT'S WHEN I MOTHERFUCKING REALIZE IT. she's covering her eyes. THE WHORE WAS TRYING TO TAKE A STAND. and she dropped her weapon how funny. HONK! honk! HONK! i don't think she realizes. I DON'T THINK SHE MOTHERFUCKING KNOWS THAT SHE CAN'T GET AWAY. i won't let her. SHE'S MINE. my toy. AND NOW MY PUPPET'S TRYING TO CUT HER STRINGS? i don't let my toys go. I FUCKING DESTROY THEM. i'll take my time. I'LL GIVE HER A TASTE OF TRUE DARKNESS. and when she's broken and bleeding crying out for the friend she killed. I'LL SEND HER TO THE DARK CARNIVAL AS SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE. and then i'll collect my other toy. THE ONE THE OTHERS HAD UNDER LOCK AND KEY. and i'll show that fucking mutant exactly what i can do.

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I stand next to Kanaya and watch in horror as Gamzee hurts Terezi. Even Kanaya looks pissed about it. Gamzee is about to drop her in lava. I won't let her die. I won't. Jake (I think) says something and it seems to snap Rose out of whatever was happening. She yells something and casts a spell so Terezi is away from lava and closer to her cane. Then a shadow falls over everything. We all freeze. It's her. It's The Condesce.

Chapter Text

No time to think of The Condesce right now. I'm sick of this shit I'm not just going to let Gamzee hurt her or anyone else again. I can't just let this go on. I'm done taking shit from him I let him use me but I'm not going to let him hurt anyone anymore. It's not going to Fucking happen ever again. I'm going to end this.

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i think the dogs are carrying Jade to a quest bed. that's so dumb i don't even have a word for it she's already god tier it's not going to revive her. i need to get her to Jane. I race over to her. these dogs need to get the fuck away from my friend and let me help her. i land on the platform and they start to growl as i start walking to her. if they won't listen then it's time to strife. I'm not just going to stand back and let my friend rot. not while there's a chance to save her.

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I Have Put Up With That Monster For Far, Far To Long. I Will Make Good On My Promise. I Don't Have To Hunt, My Pray Is In My Sights. There Is No Looking For Him. There Is No Worry About Who Has The Advantage. This Is The Even Playing Field I Have Been Looking For. This Will Be The End. He Won't Hurt Anyone Anymore. I Will End Him. This Is It.

I Pull Out My Chainsaw And Begin Heading Towards Him.

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Why was I never here? Why was I never paying attention? This has clearly gone way too far. How is it only now that I've thought to help? Was I truly that far away? I need to fix this. I need to right what I've done wrong. The world is no longer sideways. I wonder if it ever truly was. This is going to change. I have time I can fix this. I'm here now.

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WH4T JUST H4PP3N3D? 1 D1DN'T F4LL. 1'M S4F3? G4MZ33 TR1CK3D M3. H3 1S 4CT1NG MOR3 1NS4N3 TH3N USU4L. 1- 1 DON'T UND3RST4ND? WH4T 1S GO1NG ON? MY BODY HURTS SO B4D. WH4T DO 1 DO? H3 GR4BBS M3 4ND B3FOR3 1 KNOW 1T 1M 1N 4 H34DLOCK.

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YES COME TO ME YOU LOWBLOOD MOTHERFUCKERS. I'm about to cut these puppets strings. HA ha HA

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No Kanaya is going for an attack. Gamzee will kill her. I can't let that happen. I'm not going to let him hurt her. I'm not going to let him hurt anyone anymore. I won't let him touch her. I know him. Even though it doesn't look like it he's in a fighting stance, the first few hits won't work but he doesn't have his clubs out. His modus is fucking crazy I should be able to decapitate him when he goes to equip them. I take out one of my sickles and run as fast as I can. More than one would get in the way right now. I need to pass Kanaya and use the time when they're both distracted with each other to try for a move that when Gamzee blocks I stay in my range so I can finish this. I run past Kan smoothly. Shit Gamzee sees me. Ok straight forward attack should make him let go of Terezi and grab my shoulder to stop my hit, meaning I can bend and get close enough for a strike.

I rush Gamzee from the front and like I planed he throws Terezi behind him and grabs my shoulder to stop me. The force I need required that speed. I try to fix my hold on my weapon for the right angle. Gamzee reaches behind him for something-fuck did he have his weapons on his back before? I try to adjust my hand to block the incoming club but what hits me isn't his slow clubs, what hits me is Terezi's Fast Blade. On the first stab I don't feel anything but shock. The second stab he had turned the cane and hit the same place. Now the pain hit. It hurts. It hurts so bad. The third stab hits the other side of my chest. My mind goes blank with pain and then a wave of panic surges through me and I can’t move.

When my vision clears and I can move again it's already too late... I'm falling. When did I even drop my weapon? I vaguely remember lava being below us here. i hold out my hand for help i know even at best could never get here in time. i could get up from the stab wounds but this? i hear the girls yelling in the background. Fuck now Kanaya is going to go after him. Dave and Kanaya are going to have to do this alone. i'm sorry. i'm so sorry. i couldn't help. i love you both. i'm so sorry. It barely takes a second for it to be over.

i really was useless after all wasn't i?

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something is wrong. something is really, really wrong. i feel like i lost something important. no not something. no not something basic like that. i feel sole shaking loss. i don't normally get all wordy but this feeling is... horrible. i put it as far back into my mind as i can It's time to help Jade i slap the Jack holding her so that he lets her go. it’s time to get this done.

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no No NONONO Karkat... RAGE Pure Rage Enters My System Until It Was All I Can Feel. He Killed My Palemate. He Killed Karkat. He Used His Powers On Him Again. I Couldn't Get To Him In Time. I Couldn't Protect Him. I Rush Forward Without A Thought Of Anything Other Than Revenge On My Mind. He Hurt My Loved One And I Will FUCKING DESTROY HIM. No Regret. No Mercy. It Will Be My Weapon That Tastes His Final Blood. I Rush Forward I Would Cut Anyone Down If They Even Thought Of Being In My Way And I Don't Care Who, What Or Why.

I Jump Up And Slice Satisfyingly Threw Skin And Bones. I Cut From The Bottom To Maximize Pain. When I No Longer See The Blockage That Was His Body And I See A Purple Covered Terezi I Know It’s Done. My Only Regret On Killing Him Is That It Wasn't Done A Lot Sooner And A Lot Slower.

Without Warning I Feel Myself Being Torn Apart. I Don't Feel It For More Than A Fraction Of A Second. That's Fine. I Did What I Wanted. And Now I Get To Be With Karkat.

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K4RK4T. OH GOG. OH GOG 1'M SO SORRY K4RK4T. I D1DN'T M34N FOR.. 1 SHOULD H4V3 DON3 SOMTH1NG. 4NYTH1NG. MY T34RS ST4RT 4GAIN. K4RK4T W4S MY ... W4S L1K3 MY ... BROTH3R. OH GOG WH4T H4VE 1 DONE. 1-1 M1SSED SO MUCH. 1 HURT H1M. 1 HURT H1M 4ND NOW H3'S D34D. 1 D1DN'T 3V3N R34LLY S4Y 1 WAS SORRY. G4MZ33'S BLOOD SPL4SH3S ON M3 W1TCH 1S HORR4BL3 BUT 1'M SO GL4D3 H3'S D34D TH4T 1'M OK WITH 1T. I G3T KNOCK3D OFF TH3 P4RT OF TH3 HOUS3 1'M ON 4ND ON TO 4NOTHER.

1 TH1NK K4N4Y4 M4Y B3 D34D. 1 N3V3R R34LLY SPOK3 TO H3R MUCH 4ND NOW 1 REGR3T 1T. IT'S S4D BUT SH3'S GON3. 1 SM33L 4R4N34. 1 TH1NK 1T'S T1ME 1 D1D SOMTH1NG. TH1S 1S 4 B4TTL3. 1 DON'T H4V3 T1M3 FOR F33LINGS. 1'LL MORN WH3N 3V3RYON3 WHO 1S 4T F4ULT 1S D34D.

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the feeling keeps growing. out of the corner of my eye i see flashes and get hit with another wave of feeling. that's all the distraction the dogs needed. i'm stabbed all the way through twice. one by each dog. they at least have the decency to pull the swords out so we don't have another Davesprite on our hands. i fall over Jade. fuck i failed so hard. i failed Jade and now i left Kar and Kan alone to face whatever problem they had. i have to be the worst mate ever. i left him to protect a corpse on the off chance she could be revived and even then it's not like she wouldn't be evil. what the hell was i thinking?

i feel darkness closing in. i think this is it. I hope they're ok.

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I watch in horror as Karkat dies. I watch Kanaya get her rightful revenge, but then, but then I-I........ The Condesce fires and she... Kanaya... Kanaya is gone..... She was just right there and....

That bitch killed her. She killed Kanaya. She killed Kanaya. SHE DOESN'T DESERVE TO BREATH. I'LL FUCKING KILL HER.

I take out my needles and charge murder on my mind. I'll destroy her and everything else she has ever loved. I'll burn this place to the fucking ground. They're destroying the worlds around us and I don't care. I just keep going. I can end this.

She throws her trident at me.

I'm to slow to react.

It hits true and I feel blinding pain. I feel arms slide around me as I black out.

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TH3Y 4R3 UP TH3R3 D3STROY1NG WORLDS. 1 DON'T TH1NK TH3R3S M4NY OF US L3FT. K4RK4T'S D3ATH FL4SH3S 1NTO MY M1ND. TH1S M1GHT B3 TH3 3ND BUT 1 AM NOT DON3 Y3T. NOT UNT1L 1 S33 H3R D34D. NOT UNT1L TH1S 1S OV3R.

1 WON'T L3T TH1S GO UNPUN1SH3D.

1 TRY TO RUSH H3R WH3N SH3'S D1STR4CT3D. 1NS34D SH3 T4K3S CONTROL OF MY 4RM AND M4K3S M3 STAB MYS3LF THROUGH. FUCK TH4T HURTS. 1 F4LL DOWN 4ND TH3 1MPACT J4RS M3 3NOUGH TH4T 1 B34RLY C3TCH 4RN14'S D34TH. GOOD, TH3 B1CH 1S GON3. 1 S33 TH3 R1NG F4LL 1NTO TH3 L4V4. TH3N TH3 COND3SC3 S33MS TO D1SS4PEARE.

FUCK TH1S 1S 4 M3SS.

3V3RYTHING HAPPENED SO F4ST. 3V3RYON3S FUCK1NG GO-... NO TH3R3'S ST1LL 4 CH4NC3. D4V3 COULD B3 4L1V3. 1 M1GHT B3 4BLE TO G3T H1M TO GO B4CK 4ND F1X TH1S. 1 N33D TO F1ND H1M.

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When I wake up I hear mumbled speech. It's quiet and pleading. My vision is blurry and for a moment I dare to hope this was all a dream. I dare to hope that maybe the love of my life isn't dead. That she's waking me from a long drunken dream. I am wrong. I am wrong and I hate it.

My vision clears and I see. I see my mom. Fuck what can I say to her. My mind floods with possibility. I want to call out for her. Beg my mom to save me, beg her to hold me like she did when I was much younger, beg for forgiveness. I want to tell her I love her and that I am so... Oh God I'm so sorry mom. I want to apologize for not showing appreciation. I want to scream all the things I had never said until I can't scream anymore even long after she forgives me. I want to joke to make her feel better I want her to know everything. Instead what comes out is a childish "W", It was the last thing I thought about before seeing her alive for the last time. It was our longest running game. It-it means so much and so damn little that I just hope she understands it.

I ask what happened and she tells me I was stabbed. That’s not quite what I mean. I mean when she died. I just want to know if passing on hurts. Oh well I’ll find out soon. My vision is getting blurry again. I wonder if Kanaya and I will pass on to the same place? She told me she loved me... I couldn't say it back. I was hiding so far behind the bottles I couldn't even tell her I loved her. I wasn't ever afraid of her. I trusted her. But, I didn't trust myself with her. I tried to hold back so I wouldn't hurt her but that is exactly why she was hurt. What type of person am I that I would do this to the ones I love? I ask if she's gone but Mom only questions me on who I'm talking about and doesn't say anything.

I do what I should have a long time ago... I use my final breaths to tell them I love them. But It's far too late. They are already gone. I shut my eyes and leave as well.

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WH3N 1 F1ND D4V3 1 BR34K3 DOWN. TH3R3 1S NO OTH3R W4Y TO PUT 1T. TH3 B4D GUYS 4RE GON3 4ND SO 4RE MY FR13NDS. 1 4COMPL1SH3D NOTH1NG. 1 W4S TO WR4PPED UP 1N MYS3LF TO 3V3N TRY TO H3LP TH3M. 1 COLL4PS3 N3XT TO TH3 QU3ST SL4B. 3V3RYON3 1S D3AD. 4LL MY FR13NS 4R3 D34D. 1 K1LLED THE ON3 1 WAS P4L3 FOR. TH4T'S R1GHT 1 S41D 1T. P4L3. 1 LOV3D H3R... 1 ST1LL LOV3 H3R. 1 D1DN'T F33L L1K3 1 H4D 4N OPT1ON BUT 1 JUST... OH GOG VR1SK4.

1 W4CH3D 3V3RYON3 1 SPOK3 TO 1N TH3 P4ST THR33 Y34RS D13 HORR4BL3 D34THS. MY BROTH3R D13D TRY1NG TO S4V3 ME. 1'M SO SORRY. 1 L3T YOU 4LL DOWN. NOW 1T'S OV3R 4ND W3 LOST. DO TH3 DR34M BUBBL3S 3V3N CONTINU3 TO 3X1ST 4FTER TH1S? 1 P1CK MYSELF UP. 1'M GOING TO 4T L3AST MOVE D4V3 OFF OF J4D3. H3 DES3RV3S 4T L34ST TH4T. 1 P1CK UP H1S BODY AND MOVE 1T. WH1L3 1'M TRY1NG TO 1 SM3LL TH3 COLOR ON J4D3S SHO3S. TH3YR RED.... LOOT1NG A CORPS3 OF A FR1END... 1T DON'T TAKE LONG FOR ME TO DECIDE TH4T 1'M NOT ABOV3 1T. WHEN 1 MOVE H1M SOMTH1NG F4LLS FROM H1S POCK3T. 1T'S 4 P1CTUR3. MY NOS3 1S TO STUFFY FROM CRY1NG TO SM3LL IT R1GHT SO 1 LICK 1T.

1T'S.... WH4T TH3 H3LL D1D 1 M1SS. 1T'S 4 FOLDED PRINT3D PHOTO OF K4RK4T 4ND D4V3 CUDDL1NG ON A COUCH 1N TH31R SL33P. TH4T 1S..... N3W....... 4ND R1D1CKULOUSLY 4DORRIBLE. 1 TURN TH3 PAGE OV3R AND F1ND J4D3, L4V3ND3R 4ND R3D T3XT WR1GT3N 4S 1F TH3Y H4D B33N PASS1NG 1T 4ROUND.

Rose: Dear brother you should really watch where you engage in such scandalous acts. Please refrain from such public displays of red.

Kanaya: Dave Thank You For Taking Care Of Him.

Dave: me and Kat 2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours 36 minutes and 18 seconds even into the trip.

1T LOOKS L1KE H3 COPY1ED BOTH SID3S OF 4 PHOTO 4ND PR1NT3D TH3M OUT ONTO 4 WORS3 QU4L1TY P4P3R. 1'LL 3DM1T TH4T'S PR3TY D4MN 1RON1C. THE THING TH4T BUGS M3 4BOUT TH1S IS..... K4N4Y4'S NOT3 S33M3D P4LE. 1 M34N 1T S4YS D4V3 AND K4R 4R3 R3D BUT.... 1 D1DN'T 3XP3CT TH1S ON3. 1 M1SS3D SO MUCH. 1-1... NO. NO 1 AM GO1NG TO DO SOMTH1NG. TH1S 1SN'T R1GHT. TH1S 1SN'T OK. 1 WILL NOT L3T TH1S H4PP3N. W3 H4V3 B33N THROUGH W4Y TO FUCK1NG MUCH TO JUST L3T TH1S 3ND. 1 KNOW NOW 4ND GOD D4MN 1T 1'M GO1NG TO B3 TH3R3 FOR TH3M 1N 4T L3AST ON3 T1ME LIN3. 1'M NOT GO1NG TO LET TH1S H4PP3N. TH3Y W3R3 H4PPY. TH3Y W3R3 ST4RT1NG TO B3 H4PPY. 1'M NOT GO1NG TO L3T TH1S 3ND. G4M3 OV3R MY W4IST SHOOT. 1T'S NOT FUCK1NG H4PP3N1NG.

G4M3 ON

YOU FUCK3RS TRY TO STOP M3.

JOHN S41D SOMTH1NG 4BOUT CHA1NG1NG TH3 P4ST RIGHT? W3LL H3'S 4BOUT TO DO 1T 4G41N. 1 4M SCORG3. 1 W4S RAIS3D BY 4 FUCK1NG DR4GON. 1 W1LL BR4K3 TH1S G4M3 1F 1 HAV3 TO.

1 W4LK W1TH 4 PURPOS3 1 TH4T 1'V3 N3V3R H4D B3FOR3. TH3 GROUND CR4CKS B3N34TH MY F33T. 1 GO TO TH3 4LC3M1T3R 4ND GET MY DRAGON W1NGS.

TH3R3 1S NO NO1S3. 1 G3USS SM4SH1NG TH3 WORLDS TOGETHER EVEN TOOK OUT TH3 CONSORTS B3C4S3 1 DON'T EV3N H34R 4 S1NGL3 N4K AS I P4SS D4V3’S NORM4LY N4KOD1L3 F1LL3D PL4N3T. 3V3RYON3'S D34D. TH3R3 1S ONLY ON3 VO1CE 1'M LOOK1NG FOR. TH3 MOST 4NNOY1NG ON3. JOHN. WH3N 1 G3T CLOS3 1 H34R H1M 4ND ROS3'S ... TH1NG OV3R TH3 ALMOST NON3XIST3NT SOUND OF MY DR4GON J3TP4CK 3V3N FROM THIS F4R 4W4Y. TH3Y'R3 T4LK1NG SURR3ND3R. TH3Y 4R3 T4LK1NG G1V1NG UP. 1 WON'T L3T TH3M. 1 C4N'T B3L1VE TH3Y WOULD DO TH1S. GO DOWN F1GHT1NG GOG D4MN 1T.

FUCK 1 DON'T TH1NK 1 C4N 3V3N STOP TH1S TH1NG. OK CR4SH L4ND1NG 1T 1S. 1 SM4SH 1NTO TH3 GROUND FULL FORC3. FUCK I H1T MY ST4BS 4ND 1T HURTS. 1 H4V3 TO HOLD MY STUM4CH 4S 1 W4LK TOW4RDS TH3 1D1OT SO 1 DON'T LOS3 TOO MUCH BLOOD. JOHN C4LLS FOR M3 BUT 1 1GNOR3 H1M. H3'S D3NC3 4ND 1 N33D TO G3T MY PO1NT OUT AND V3NT 4 L1TTL3 FRUSTR4T1ON. H3 4SK3S 1F 1M OK. D1D H3 R34LLY JUST 4SK TH4T WH3N I JUST H4D 4 FRONT ROW S3AT TO 4LL OF MY FR13NDS D3ATHS? 1 LET 1T SL1D3 AND DO WH4T 1 W4NT3D TO DO 4NYW4Y. 1 H34DBUT TH3 4SSHOLE 1N TH3 F4C3 4ND H1S W34K4SS GO3S FLY1NG. "F1X TH1S"

1 TRY TO H1NT 4T MY PL4N BY G1V1NG 4 V4RY SUBTL3 'YOU S41D YOU H4V3 POW3RS TH4T C4N F1X TH1S D1DN'T YOU?' SP34CH 4ND H3 FUCK1NG CH4NG3S TH3 SUBJECT. 1T L34D TO 4 LONG 4SS Y3S TH3S3 4R3 YOUR D34D S1ST3RS SHO3S 1'M W41R1NG G3T OV3R 1T CONV3RS4T1ON TH4T TH3N L34DS TO WH4T 4NYON3 W1TH HALF 4 BR41N KNOWS JUST BY LOOK1NG 4ROUND. 4PP3R3NTLY JOHN L4CKS L1KE TWO TH3RDS OF H1S B3CAS3 1 H4V3 TO 3XPL4IN TH4T Y3S 3V3RYON3 1S D3AD.

H3'S P1SS1NG M3 OFF MOR3 4ND MOR3 BY TH3 S3COND. H1M NOT KNOW1NG M34NS H3 W4S GO1NG TO JUST G1V3 UP W1THOUT 3V3NKNOW1NG TH3R3 W4S NO OTH3R W4Y. D1SGUST1NG.

TH3N H3 G1V3S K4RK4T GOOD D34TH W1SH3S 4ND 1'M T3MPT3D TO R1P H1M 1N H4LF. 1 WOLN'T L3T H1M B3 GON3. 1 WOLN'T L3T 4NY OF TH3M B3 GON3. 1 Y3LL OUT MY PL4N AND HOP3 SOMTH1NG ST1CKS 1N TH4T BL4CKHOL3 H3 C4LLS 4 BR41N. W3 COME UP W1TH MOST OF THE SOLUT1ONS W1TH TH3 PROBL3MS TH3MS3LFS. L1K3 TH3 F4CT JOHN C4N'T CONTROLL H1S POW3RS 4ND HOW TO SOLVE 1T. W3 TH3N PROC33D TO H4V3 ON3 OF TH3 MOST AWKWORD GOODBYES KNOWN TO ANY FORM OF L1FE AND 1T S3NDS M3 OFF 1NTO 4 K4RK4T R4NT.

1 STOP JOHN B3FOR3 H3 L34V3S 4ND W3 TRY TO PL4N TH3 CH4NG3S. H3 B3GGS M3 TO US3 MY M1ND POW3R TH4T 1 ST1LL DON'T GET AND 1 ... 1 TRY... 1 S33 TWO P4THS L1KE ALW4S3 ON3 WH3RE 1 F41L 4ND 4NOTH3R WH3R3 1T WORKS 4ND 1 S3T UP MOR3 PASWRDS. 1-1 S33 TH3 FUTUR3, WH4T COM3S OF IT WORK1NG 4ND 1T'S .... 1T'S SO... 1T'S EV3RYTH1NG 1 COULD HOP3 FOR. 1- 1 N33D 1T TO H4PP3N 1.... I CONC3NTR4T3 SO H4RD 1 F1ZZLE OUT. BOTH TH3 POSS1B1L1TYS 4R3 EQU4LY L1KL3Y.

JOHN TRYS 4ND 1T WORKS. LUCK1LY HE DOS3NT TH1NK TO H4RD ON TH3 NOW DOOM3D T1M3L1N3 V3RSION OF H1M H3 L34V3S B3H1ND OR W3 WOULD B3 H3R3 4LL D4Y AND MY S3NC3S W3R3 ALREADY G3TT1NG BLURRY FROM BLOOD LOSS BEFOR3 1 L4ND3D. 1 TH1NK B4CK ON TH3 VISION OF THE TH1NGS 1 D1D TO G3T TH3 ALT3RN4T3 FUTUR3 4ND TRY MY B3ST TO FOLLOW THROUGH AS JOHN SP1TS SOM3 S3NT1M3NT4L NONSC3NC3 B3H1ND M3. F1N4LLY WH3N 1'M DON3 TH3 ONLY TH1NG L3FT TO DO 1S TH1NK OF HOW 1 W4NT TO D1E. 4FT3R 4LL 1VE B33N BL33D1NG 3V3RYWH3R3 AND TROLLS MAY B3 4BL3 TO DO SOM3 R1D1CKULOUS SH1T WH3N OUR N34R D34D BODYS 4R3 B34RLY K33P1NG US TOG3TH3R BUT TH1S 1S TH3 3ND. .......

1 H4V3 4N OP3RTUN1TY 4ND 1'M NOT GO1NG TO M1SS 1T. 1 DR4WL 4 CH4LK OUTL1N3 WH3R3 1M GOING TO F4LL 4ND THROW TH3 CH4LK 4T EGB3RT. 1 S4Y TH3 MOST PROFOUND SH1T 1 CAN TH1NK OF 4ND LET MYSELF F4D3 1NTO TH3 D4RKN3SS. 1'M L34V1NG TH1S UP TO JOHN .... H3 H4S TO F1X TH1S. H3 H4S TO.

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Haaaaaaaay did you think you could 8e a 8iger fucking doooooooowner? Did you think I was just going to let this shit go???????? No. Ya see here's the thing. I found your little 8ook. The one you cry8a8y little pupas had 8een writing in. Well I'm going to 8e the fucking best thing in all of your lives and make this thing 88888888% better. After all it’s not a good story if it doesn't have me in it ::::::::) 8ut don't worry now that I know what you sappy wrigglers had gotten yourselves into I'm gonna fix it. I have all the irons are in the fire. ALL OF THEM.

I read this whole lame ass thing looking to get a good laugh and instead I got this depressing shit. But don’t worry I'll fix this. Just by having me here this time you're going to win. I have all the luck. Don't worry I'll fix everything. I promise. I'll make sure it's different this time. I promise.

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CONTINUE FROM LAST CHECKPOINT?