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End Credits

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Your name is KARKAT VANTAS. You have a vast amount of (truthfully minuscule, and maybe a bit mediocre?) interests in considerably moderate things; like romantic comedies - you almost really can’t give a fuck what year they’re from, that’s just how much of a devout rom-buff (or in every sense of reality, a huge fucking loser, probably) you are. But there’s not much else you’ve personally given equivalent value, so additionals are pretty bare at the moment, honestly.

Forward, none of that matters anyway. Frankly, your personal biography’s been the same for sweeps, because really, honestly, you’re only about as hardly interesting as your literal place on the hemospectrum (which is a joke in itself). There’s something else you used to occasionally weasle in at some previous point in time, when saying shit like that could at least suck half-interested chortles out of whoever was around when you’d say it, before even complete strangers eventually just got around to silently agreeing to themselves or just willing even something as small as a jab about yourself to die, but whatever.

Whatever it was, it probably isn’t too much more funny whereas just more recognizably true. And even if you can’t remember what it was, because it’s been too long anyway since you’ve even had a conversation (with strangers willing enough) to good-naturedly beat yourself up for their acute amusement, you do recall it being contextually inappropriate. You had a grub of your own almost three and a half sweeps ago, so you can’t give a shit whether you have some idle recollection or not if it’s anything developmentally stifling to Neflim. Which is her name, by the way. Neflim: your daughter, whom you’re finally begrudgingly picking up from Kanaya and Rose’s (good friends of yours).

You gaze for a bit at the illuminated clock in the dashboard of the car - something you reasonably shouldn’t do when you’re obviously fucking driving, but as the clock would relate, you’re doing this pretty late in the night, so the roads are pretty void right now. Gives you less to worry about aside from maybe some furry antlor’d douche somersaulting across your hood maybe seconds before some catastrophic tragedy of flailing pieces of glass, an airbag and you possibly flying through the windshield to depict the last few seconds of your life (in which case you’d rightfully regret allowing Gamzee to suck you into the premeditated argument that ultimately pushed you to make the trip out here, even if he did tell you earlier today he’d pick up Neflim, and that it’d be no problem - you could rest because you deserved a break.

You yawn for maybe a hundredth time as you finally pull into the driveway of a decent condominium, the breaks on the car wheezing pathetically as you stop just in front of the gate at the entrance to punch in the number in the machine upon entry Kanaya gave you a few months back, when her and Rose had pityingly pulled up their work schedules one night together to see how often they could keep Neflim during the day while you and Gamzee - well just you recently - worked.

Gamzee had ‘somehow’ gotten laid off a little over three weeks ago, so as a result works been all you since then. And since the two of you share the car, it’s pretty much been up to you to take care of bringing Neflim out here, since you’ve got maybe ten to fifteen minutes anyway to get to work after that’s taken care of. Rose and Kanaya live pretty close to where you work too, which is another excuse Gamzee likes to use to get out of helping you in the slightest sometimes. Every other option’s redundant unless you’re doing all this yourself; so you have about as minimal range to complain as possible, you guess.

You punch in the familiar number into the keypad on your phone after finding Rose’s number (since you’d already dialed Kanaya’s twice and got the voicemail both times). You smoothly maneuver your foot onto the gas as the gates swing inward, your phone between your ear and shoulder as you pull the car onto the brick-paved roads of the condo’s decently lush interior. You smile to yourself a bit, temporarily unbeknownst of the ringing against your ear as your outgoing call to Rose begins to elapse by the first ten seconds. It’s really nice, you think, that Kanaya and Rose get to have something as nice as this. Every time you’ve been here has always made you feel like there’s still some time for you and Gamzee; that things aren’t as bad as they could be, y’know. You’re both still young and stupid. Had a grub while you were younger and stupid. You guys could probably have something like this one da--

“Karkat? Gog, I’m sorry for not returning your calls. I got tied up a little later than I thought I’d be tonight in the OR and my phone was dead.”

It’s Kanaya, as formal as ever too. You chortle as you come to a parking stop in front of your friends’ shared address, holding the phone more efficiently with your hand now, setting the conversation on speaker as you wipe at your face a bit groggily.

“Shit, over the phone too, Kanaya?” You smile. “Just have a real conversation with me and tell me you thought it better to screen my calls because you wanna hold my adorable baby girl for ransom. She’s just that fuckin’ adorable, I know.”

“No, honestly, I-- Ransom? While I can’t deny she’s undoubtedly irresistible,”

You grin, stifling your laughter behind a closed fist at the giddy sound of infantile babbling and Rose’s distant input of “Especially when she does that whiney-gurgle thing, Kanaya. You remember?” in the background.

“A very decent justification, Rose. And yes, like I was saying, while she is undoubtedly irresistible, since when have I become so unhinged to hold a baby for ransom? I work with and deliver tons of them at work sometimes, Karkat. Make no mistake, I love Neflim, but--”

“It was a gogdamned joke, Kanaya!” You’re wheezing a bit behind your laughter now as you choke out a desperate plea for Rose’s assistance. “Help me, Rose!”

You hear Kanaya start to laugh a bit on the other end, Neflim’s musical babbling amplifying a bit along with Rose’s pitched baby-talk.

“We’ve got her stuff together already. Let me grab a few of her toys and we’ll bring her on out. Ah, I brought her some extra bottles from the hospital in case you should find any use for them.”

“Yeah,” you say, wiping some moisture from your eyelids after the jovial exchange. Sometimes your most enjoyable moments were spent right here, outside or in with these two. “Thanks, Kanaya. Really appreciate it.”

“Not a problem. Rose is bringing her out now.”

“Yeah, ok.”