John was surprised at Sollux's presence outside his door. 'Why does he want to speak to me? Sollux hasn't shown much interest in me or the other humans, so why now?' It puzzled him, he thought that maybe Sollux was just being friendly. "Sure, what do you want to talk about?"
"I'm going to be blunt. KK."
"Yeth Karkat." He took a few steps forward towards John, "I think it'th time thomeone on thith thtupid athteroid talked to you. Thinth KK theemth unable to do it I will."
"Talk about what?" John asked, "This is sorta random," he laughed a bit, "I mean, you never talk to me."
"I know." He continued past John, "We're going back to my room. It'th more private."
John followed Sollux, watching the troll move through the halls carefully and slowly. He kept a proud stance, even when stumbling over something. He carried a cane, much like Terezi's. "So, um, Sollux
do you need any help or something? I mean, I can lead you if you want, it might be faster
" He trailed off when the troll turned around and just stared, eyebrows tilted down.
"I don't need your thympathy, and I don't need your help. I'm not thome thtupid athth wiggler who can't fend for himthelf."
John watched him pick up the pace and growl angrily under his breath. "Hey um, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you or anything. I was just trying to help."
"Goddamn it I know. I shouldn't have yelled like that."
John chanced getting a bit closer. "It must be hard."
"You have no fucking idea." He growled again and John responded with a quite whimper and a soft growl of his own. Sollux looked surprised, "Shit, you really are like one of us." John glanced over smiling a bit sheepishly, "You've gotten the hang of figuring out Alternian that'th for sure."
"Karkat, he's pretty good at showing me the range of emotions, and I also think that maybe I have some sort of built in instinct about this stuff? I dunno. It's still so confusing." John continued to follow Sollux. "Sometimes I get afraid of myself
Sollux glanced down at John, "Really?"
"Well, yeah. I mean, this was very sudden. And sometimes it really does feel like my whole brain has been rewired."
"It probably hath." Sollux opened the door to his respiteblock and stepped inside. "Your whole body changed drathtically, it'th not too much of a thtreach to athume your mind did too. But, that might actually make our converthation today eathier."
"How so?" He sat down on Sollux's messy bed. "What are we discussing? You mentioned Karkat, what about Karkat?"
"Quadrantth Egbert. We need to have a talk about troll feelingth."
"Quadrants? Why? Karkat already explained them to me."
"Obviouthly not well enough."
is this because we're Moirails now? I'm sorry, I can stop or something, I mean, weren't you his before? I didn't mean to ruin anything or come between you two
"John no, that'th fine. You didn't do anything wrong there. I'm thtill KK'th Moirail, he'th jutht yourth right now." Sollux rubbed his temples and sighed. "Lithten, you need to thtart uthing that thinkpan of yours before you hurt thomeone."
"Sollux I don't get it."
"Jutht, lithen to me Egbert. You're a troll now, any human inthtinctth you had should be deleted."
"Why? What's wrong with them? Just because I'm a troll doesn't mean I should give up everything that made me, me. That's unfair Sollux."
He growled again angrily, "No, what'th unfair ith watching the people around you get hurt becauthe of idiotth like you!" He took a deep breath. "I jutht don't want anyone to get hurt John. You need to underthtand that the longer you thtay a troll the more the inthtinctth you mentioned are going to mature. You might notithe that a troll or hell even a human might start wanting to fill a quadrant with you. And if it'th a troll
well, you know our rathe doethen't care about the thame thtuff humanth do, and you should be open to that."
" He wasn't sure if he was following or understanding what Sollux was getting at.
"John thith ith theriouth," he paused, "fuck my goddamn lithp."
The other troll switched to Alternian, "I hope you're fluent enough for this. I can't stand speaking English tho much. It drives me insane. My thtupid fucking lisp. I can't just have KK punch out my teeth every other week. I hate the damn thing, I hate so much about me
" he trailed off and growled again. "Anyways, I'm a pathetic sack of shit, but that's not what we're talking about." He watched John for any signs of confusion, just in case he was speaking too fast. "Trolls have very thtrong emotions. Once developed they're really hard to break. The worst case scenario is having a troll get really clothe to you and you freak out or something. These feelings aren't to be played with."
"You said this was about Karkat? Where does he come in?"
Sollux hesitated, there was no way in hell he'd give away his Moirails secret, "I just want you to be careful around him. He's so guarded and closed off from the others, don't hurt him."
"Isn't it a Moirail's job to make sure their partner doesn't get hurt?"
The yellow troll wanted to strangle John, but he held back, "Yeah, Moirails are supposed to listen to each other, really listen. Tho I want you to pay attention to KK with everything you are. Can you do that?"
John nodded, "I
I think so."
"Good. I don't think I could stand to thee him miserable again." He clenched his fist. "And one more thing," He hesitated again debating on if this was too much of a giveaway, "you can flip quadrants, tons of trolls do so, just make sure you don't commit before flipping. They aren't set in stone right away."
"Right, I will try to be a good Moirail. I imagine you're pretty good at it Sollux. You seem to know so much."
"I'm not half as good as Kanaya. But I have had to put up with KK's shit longer than anyone else."
John laughed, "I suppose you two are good friends then?"
was that all?"
"I guess. I just wanted to start telling you that it might get even more confusing for you in the coming weeks, and that you should be aware of your feelings and those of the trolls around you." Sollux leaned back on his chair and stretched, his cane falling out of his lap and rolling across the floor. "Fuck." He got up and started searching for it.
John got down and picked up the cane and handed it to Sollux. "Here," he offered and sat down.
"Thankth." He took it from John and sat back down. "I'm not used to this thing Terezi's been teaching me. I don't get it; I can't just smell colorth like she can. It's frustrating."
"When did you go blind?" He asked hesitantly.
"Ugh, god, it feels like sweeps ago. But I think it's only been a few months."
"Can I ask how? Not many of the others feel like talking about what happened."
Sollux paused again; he had to think through his words to make sure John could understand. "We had some trolls go crazy. Eridan, he was the one who blinded me. All the trolls who went inthane, they were all highbloods. Blue or higher."
John was silent, the computers hummed in the background. "So," he started speaking again, "will
will I go crazy like them? I'm a blue blood too."
"I don't know John. Maybe. No one can tell for sure. You might be just fine, or you might not." He could feel that the boy was worried; he didn't need eyes to know that. "But, you'll be fine. You have friends to back you up. Even if you do start becoming more aggressive they'll help."
I don't want to go insane. Sollux
He sighed and moved to the bed. "You'll be fine John. Don't stress out about it. You're doing great."
"That's what Karkat says." He stared down at his trimmed claws. "But
I already hurt my friends. I already attacked them
"Everyone knows that was an accident. I told you, don't thtrethth out."
"What was that Sollux?" John giggled joking.
"Ha ha." John could see a bit of yellow spread across his face. "God that's embarrassing ath hell."
"I don't think it's that bad, it makes you unique."
Sollux laughed, "Yeah sure, thouding like a complete idiot is great. I'm tho ok with that." John was still giggling a bit. "English is even worse. And when I get flustered or caught off guard, ugh. And you guyth wonder why I don't talk much."
"I really don't think the others mind that much." John continued, "I mean, I just thought you were quiet, or maybe didn't like us. But you're really pretty nice. I think talking to the others would be a good thing."
"Yeah ath long ath
as I can I can handle it. It's not a matter of if everyone is ok with my speech, but I get annoyed at myself. It'th thorta a problem."
maybe we both need to work on some self-confidence. You with your lisp, me with my, well everything."
"You'll get it John. Look at how well you're doing with Alternian, jutht wait till your instincts fully develop. You'll do fine; trust me John, everyone else thinks too."
"Heh heh thanks
Everyone is so nice, all this support feels great." He stood up and walked towards the door, "I should probably go; you're usually pretty busy right?" John excused himself and went looking for food. But Sollux's words didn't leave his mind. "I have to listen to him huh? I'll try
I'll be a good Moirail."
He tried hard to watch Karkat without the other troll noticing too heavily. He learned a lot about him that he never knew before. Things became clearing in all his actions. Trolls, he found out, could pick up on the tiniest of changes in another's mood. He became hyper aware of Karkat, it was weird, it wasn't the same as the other trolls, he had to really focus on them but with Karkat everything came naturally. One glace and John could tell if he was distressed or feeling good. Unfortunately it seems like his presence couldn't calm him. It wasn't like when Karkat would hug him or sit by him, John didn't have that effect on Karkat at all. If anything Karkat became more nervous or uneasy. "I don't get it," he said to himself frustrated, "I'm able to pick up on Karkat so easily, yet I can't seem to help him
what am I doing wrong?"
It had been a week since Sollux's talk with John, he was feeling a bit more confident in himself and how he carried himself around other trolls and humans too. When Dave would glare or try to aggravate him he would simply turn to him sadly and walk away. Once or twice he would bare his teeth and snarl at, what he was now sad to say, his former friend. He would get a brief moment of pleasure in seeing Dave's poker face break and a worry flash across his features. John would grin and walk away. He was done being afraid of himself.
"Karkat told me not to take your shit anymore Dave." He said confidently moving past. "If you want to be a dick and shove your head so far up your ass you lose all your friends, well I guess I can't stop you." He glanced back before leaving the room, "Just don't think we're all going to take it from you anymore. You're walking a dangerous line Dave, keep going and you'll have no one left."
The cool kid stood alone in the room, his shades reflecting the image of his friend retreating back into the lab.
John still kept his claws trimmed short, he may be getting more confident with himself, but he didn't completely trust himself yet. Sometimes he'd remember what happened; he would see himself attacking Jade, or Karkat. The sick scent of blood and the sight of it, thick and red, under his claws couldn't be forgotten. Occasionally he'd even gag when remembering the taste of Karkat's blood in his mouth. It wasn't a flavor he'd want to experience ever again. The only nightmares he had that would cause him to shoot up were ones of him hurting his friends. The others, the blood, the killing, the rainbow spray of carnage, that was all normal by now. As depressing as that thought was, he was used to it. Even the screams became nothing more than mere background noise.
Karkat said he was proud of John, that he was beginning to get used to being a troll. John would laugh and tell him he wasn't all the way there yet. There was still he was uncomfortable with. He still felt very alien in his own skin, but he wouldn't let that show. The others had enough to deal with. They were still trapped on an asteroid and Bec was still out there. He knew the situation looked bad, and he wouldn't drag the others down, he would try to be the bright cheery force he used to be.
He wanted so desperately to make everyone happy again. Dave may be a lost cause, but he knew Karkat wasn't. The troll had been in a slump recently. It happened around the same time John broke down; around the time they became Moirails. 'Moirails
.when we became Moirails Karkat got worse. Is it my fault? Am I a bad Moirail? I must be, why else would he be getting worse. I'm not helping him at all
' It was still early in the morning, way too early for anyone to be up. He rolled over and watched Karkat sleep. He was having a nightmare, that much was clear. He would twitch and growl in his sleep. John wanted to help, to make him feel better. But his nervousness won over and he just laid motionless watching Karkat claw at the blankets and snarl. He would see a flash of yellow when Karkat would open his eyes briefly, not seeing anything, not really awake.
It was when he would mutter in his sleep that John got worried. He often wondered what Karkat dreamt about, he was genuinely curious, but the troll never told him. He preferred to keep that to himself. But as John listened, his ears catching words not meant for him, he realized why Karkat never said anything.
John. Goddamn it! You bastard, how could you!" He would trail off into growling and random bits of Alternian. He was shaking badly, his breath catching.
" John sat up and tried to think of something to do.
"JOHN!" he roared into nothing, "John!" He called over and over again. "John don't die, please don't. Fuck, I didn't
It's my fault! Don't die! John!"
Without thinking John reached over and shook Karkat, "Karkat, wake up, I'm fine!" He could feel tears on the edge of his eyes, he couldn't stand listening to his friend suffer like that.
A low rumbling growl resonated from the mass under the blankets.
John froze. Fear suddenly shooting through him. "Shit." His actions dawned on him; he just woke up a sleeping troll. Even worse, he shook awake a troll mid nightmare. He braced himself for the worst, for the feeling of claws raking across his chest and fangs buried in his arm.
But what happened wasn't anything that he was expecting. Karkat rolled over and opened his eyes, calmly looking over at him. He yawned and curled into John's side, obviously still half asleep and dazed. "K
Karkat?" He made a purring sound and growled, hugging John's side. The display shocked John. "Karkat. Wake up."
The troll opened his eyes and looked up at John. "What?" he said half annoyed half drowsy. "I was sleeping."
I know that." He paused, "And that's what I want to ask about."
"You were having a nightmare, Karkat, and I woke you up." He paused again, "I uh, woke you up Karkat. I shook you awake. And you didn't attack me."
He watched the troll sit up suddenly and his face flush red. "S-Shit."
"You said that only trolls considered Matesprits can wake each other up. So
does that mean
"Karkat do you feel that way about me?"
"Fuck." He repeated. His head rested on his hand, "Damn it. I didn't want you to find out like this." He sighed. "Yeah, Egbert, I'm flushed for you."
"You know that I'm not a
"Yes, I know you're not flushed back. Don't bother yourself with it." He never once looked at John. "Just forget it happened."
Shit, it all makes sense now, why you've been so down. You don't want me as a Moirail
"You want me as more."
"John, I said shut your mouth." He rolled over and growled. "Please drop it."
"Drop it!" He sat up and turned back around shouting at John. All his teeth were bared and his eyes seemed to glow with intensity and anger. Karkat was still snarling and glaring down at the other boy.
John trembled and shrunk back into the bed. He flattened his ears and broke eye contact. For the first time ever he was actually scared of Karkat. The other troll was showing his dominance, and John was submitting as quickly as he could. "S-Sorry, Karkat
" After one last growl and flash of teeth Karkat flopped back over and pulled the blankets over his body.
John was left frozen in place.
Karkat had never growled at him like that before. He had never threatened him before. John glanced nervously over at the troll lying beside him. He was sleeping again, his chest rising and falling softly. Slowly John slid out of the bed and grabbed his pillow. He curled up on the floor next to the bed and hugged the pillow tightly. 'Shit, I pissed Karkat off
I didn't mean to, it just happened. How was I supposed to know he was hiding anything from me? And why'd he get so angry? I'm so confused.' Then he remembered when Sollux first talked to him. It was about Karkat. 'I bet this is what he was referring to. I bet he wanted me to watch Karkat so maybe I could pick up his hints. Instead I just angered him. Now he probably hates me. I really do make a pitiful Moirail
' He shivered and gripped the pillow tighter.
Karkat was a mess. He didn't expect to be woken up by John, ever. There wasn't any doubt in his mind that he would be found out that way. There was also the shock of yelling at John. Regret was already sinking in and the troll felt terrible. He sighed and decided it was the only way to show John he wasn't messing around, he was serious. His feelings were out on the table, and it scared him. He knew deep inside that rejection would be the answer, but when presented with it he backed away into a snarling mess of teeth and glares. Growling and scaring John wasn't the right thing to do, he knew that. Especially since it was someone he felt flushed for. Instincts collided; he was torn between protecting himself, and leaving his feelings out in the open.
There was no way in hell he was getting any rest. "Listen, John," he rolled over but found the boy missing. Panic set in briefly as he sat up and looked around the dark room. His door was still sealed shut and he didn't hear it open. "John?" He whispered again. Karkat went to get up, but stopped when he almost stepped on John. The blue troll was curled up tight in a ball hugging a pillow. He was shivering badly and breathing uneasy. He placed a careful hand on John's bare arm and recoiled when he felt how cold he was. 'Shit, trolls shouldn't be sleeping unprotected in this temperature.' Even though the asteroid was usually warm and perfectly suitable for trolls, the timeframe they picked to sleep corresponded with a sudden temperature shift. If they stayed moving or active it was usually fine, but while sleeping the trolls encountered a bit of a problem, their bodies weren't meant to cope with low temperatures.
While Karkat saw John as a Matesprit there was no such feeling in John, he couldn't risk waking him up or lifting him back into the bed. Instead he grabbed all the heavy blankets from the bed and gently put them over the sleeping boy. Karkat then moved to the floor himself and joined john under the covers. Carefully he made the calming noise that had stopped John so many times and wrapped his arms around the quivering troll. He was cold, but it wasn't serious, Karkat would have to lecture him the next day about sleeping without some form of covers.
But the whole reason he left in the first place was because Karkat reacted so aggressively towards him. He still felt bad about that, but nothing could be done now. He was almost certain things were going to go downhill from here.
He was correct too. The days that followed were a cluster-fuck of emotions that spiraled out of control.
Karkat Vantas didn't mean to automatically growl at John whenever he saw him. In fact the thought hadn't even crossed his mind the night before. But when he saw the troll enter the room and attempt to sit next to him a snarl would let loose from his throat and his lips would curl up. The boy looked so confused and hurt. He would whimper and back away showing complete submission to Karkat. This went on for a few days.
Every night however, Karkat could still feel John slide hesitantly into bed next to him and fall asleep. Karkat never showed the aggression when John was sleeping, it was confusing even himself. He knew he still felt flushed feelings for John, he could tell as soon as the boy would lie next to him. There was no fooling himself; he had picked John Egbert as a Matesprit. 'So why the fuck am I acting like this to him?' He assumed it was fear. There was deep source of fear whenever Karkat dealt with his own emotions. They had been kept locked in a cage more secure than his damn fetch modus. It was a self-defense he developed years and years ago.
'If no one knows my feelings, my emotions, they can't hurt me. But,' he looked over at the sleeping troll next to him, 'he does. He knows.' It was that reason alone why Karkat believed he was behaving the way he was. Deep down he was protecting himself from pain, but at the same time he was causing it as well.
As the days went on John Egbert finally did snap at Karkat, there was only so much he could take. The others had picked up on the tension between the two and managed to keep out of it. John was entering the living room when he heard the now familiar growling of Karkat. He spun around and flattened his ears, "H-Hey Karkat," he said weakly. The other troll dropped the growl lower. When John walked by Karkat bared his teeth and snapped at him. Something deep within John pushed itself forward, there was a bubbling surge of anger and John growled back harshly. Karkat looked shocked when the other troll pinned him to the wall and snarled. Karkat struggled underneath John but the blue troll was stronger. Instead he opted for digging his claws into John's wrists and shoving him away roughly when the pain distracted him.
After that whenever they met it was a struggle for dominance, both trolls would snarl and growl and throw punches. John had never felt that way before. Never in his life had he had such a desire to make Karkat kneel in front of him and whimper at his feet. It was a strange feeling, the sudden rage and sudden hatred for his friend. And the part that confused John the most was that Karkat seemed perfectly ok with it.
Karkat was ok with it, in a way he was more than ok with it. Every time John would fight back, return a growl and flash his own teeth made his blood boil. 'Maybe
maybe I can get him to flip to blackrom?' Karkat had always thought they were fated to be Kismesis's, maybe this was their chance. If he couldn't get John to be in a red relationship with him then black would have to do.
The other trolls were swiftly becoming aware of the rising aggressiveness between John and Karkat. Their fights were becoming something done on an hourly schedule and often ended with Karkat running to his room covering various wounds, his blood still remaining a secret. They were getting more aggressive, the cuts and bite marks a bit harder to hide. Karat would spend a lot of time in the shower just cleaning the open wounds and bandaging them. But the troll would smirk and slip back on his shirt ready for another round. He always thought he wasn't suited for blackrom, but maybe he was wrong.
John didn't understand why they were fighting, but he had a pretty good idea it was because of quadrants. The whole troll romance stuff confused him, his body and instincts were urging him to do one thing, while his brain would scream something else. He was scared, and had no clue what to do next.
Wearily he fell on one of the couches in the main room, carefully licking a long gash on his arm. Terezi sat next to him. "Hey."
She was quiet for a while before speaking. "So, what's up with you and Karkat?"
He growled softly, "I don't know. Wish I did." He sat up and looked over. "He just started growling at me one day, out of the blue. I don't get it. He won't say anything; he just acts aggressive all the time. I think he might be fighting me for top spot as leader or something." John shook his head, "Which is stupid, because I'm not a leader, I've already decided that the term doesn't apply to my friends. Has he ever done this before? Is this maybe some sort of troll puberty thing and he's gone off the deep end because of like crazy hate hormones or something?"
Terezi chuckled, "No, I don't think that's why. Though you might be getting close with the mention of hate. Have you ever thought that perhaps he's trying to get you into a blackrom?"
"Not really. I hope not. I don't want to hate him. And plus, don't you have to fill buckets or something in that quadrant? Like, have sex? Terezi I'm not a homosexual. I was pretty sure I made that clear."
"And you do know that means nothing to us right?"
"Well it should mean something, you guys can't just ignore someone's wishes, it's rude." John crossed his arms. "I just wish I knew what he wanted from me."
"Karkles has never been very good at expressing his emotions. For someone who watches as many romcoms as he has, he should be master of it. I think he's so bad at it because he's scared. And most trolls don't like the feeling of being vulnerable. Deep down it's our worst fear. We'll do anything to make ourselves seem strong and cover that weakness." She placed a hand on his shoulder. "Sometimes what trolls do doesn't make sense. If you don't hate him, then I don't think you'll end up in a caliginous quadrant with him. You both have to feel the same."
"Terezi, I'm worried what he's doing will have a permanent effect on me." He could feel her rub his shoulder gently and make a few calming noises. "What if he sets something off deep inside of me? What if I stay this aggressive? Sollux said that high bloods were the reason everything got so bad on the asteroid."
Eridan, Gamzee, and Vriska. They were all high bloods; I suppose I should put myself on the list too. I did kill her. I'm a teal blood, the border between high and medium blood. I know you don't like hearing about the bad things Vriska did, most of them weren't her fault, but she was naturally aggressive, Eridan and Gamzee, they both just lost it. I'm almost certain Equius would have too if he didn't have Nepeta with him. You're the closest to Equius blood color wise. In fact, you're really high." She stopped when John rested his head on her lap. "John
" She ran a hand through his hair. "I want to tell you that you'll be ok. I want to say nothing will happen to you. But I can't
" She could feel his shoulders shake and his breath catch. "I do believe however, that you'll control it. I truly believe that John. You're a troll, but you're strong. It'll be tough, but I think you'll stay John."
He clenched his fist and tried to wipe the tears from his face. "I-I hope so. I'm so scared of losing myself." He paused, "Oh gosh, sorry Terezi. I didn't mean to be a bother to you."
She laughed, "You're not a bother John, you're just another friend. And I don't mean the troll version of friend either."
He nodded and just rested near her. He was physically exhausted from the last fight that he had with Karkat. There was just so much he didn't understand. Everything hurt and nothing was right. His arm throbbed from where Karkat scratched him, his shoulder burned from a bite mark that hadn't healed. He had scrapes and cuts from hitting the hard floor or the corner of a wall. He was tired and just wanted to sleep. He found himself growling in frustration and standing up. "I'm going to go take a nap. If anyone asks that's where I am, I'm shutting off my PDA too." Terezi nodded and said she'd spread the word.
"KK what are you doing?"
"I don't know Sollux. I think I'm courting John into a blackrom." He sighed and fell back on Sollux's bed. The other troll was busy typing away at his keyboard.
"Why the hell are you doing that?" Sollux didn't break the steady stream of clicking.
"Fuck if I know. I just thought, well, maybe if he doesn't want a redrom with me, then blackrom will do."
"But the two are completely different KK. You can't really be conthidering thith can you? You pity him right?" Karkat nodded, "You can't pity and hate him at the thame time."
Karkat switched to Alternian to give Sollux a break, "I know."
"This is only going to hurt you both."
"Or maybe, just maybe I'll hate him too. I did hate him, so much back then. It probably won't take much longer for those original feelings to return."
"But what about John? Have you ever asked him?"
"No," Karkat admitted. "I just assumed he was fine with it. He seems to be responding with the correct amounts of aggressiveness, he's even started attacking first."
Sollux looked worried. "Are you sure he's displaying blackrom and not just general troll aggression?" Karkat froze. "I take it you haven't thought of that."
"Fuck. Sollux, you don't think
no he has to be showing the start of a Kismessisitude. I'm not wrong
The fighting did get worse. Karkat was beginning to worry about his blood color getting out. They would fight roughly, way rougher than a normal Kismesis pair would. When John would attack him his blood would boil, but not in the way black feelings would be, this was for survival. John became a different troll, his pupils would contract and he'd growl and snarl so much that normal words were impossible for him. Karkat was seeing the same patterns and actions as a troll under sleep rage.
They were in the eating area when the last main fight they had took place. Karkat was eating quietly when he sensed John walk in through the door. The other boy was already alert and flashing his teeth. Karkat gave a warning growl, he was eating and didn't want be disturbed. John ignored it heading straight for his table.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing bulgelicker?" Karkat stood up and faced the other troll. "Meal time is off limits, we discussed this."
"Yeah and so were times when we were sleeping, but you betrayed that trust."
Karkat stepped back, "yeah that was one fucking time, and it was a damn nap, it wasn't actually night."
"You still broke it first."
"Fuck, fine." He snarled at the other troll, he figured maybe if he struck fast and overpowered him the effort wouldn't be worth it and he'd leave. Karkat lunged at John and tackled him to the floor where he raked his claws down his sides and leaned down to bite, but John wasn't caught off guard and kicked Karkat off of him. Karkat slid across the floor and hit the wall. John stood faster and pulled Karkat up by his shirt collar. Karkat asked John something a growl still deep in his throat, "Doesn't this feel good John? You know, like it was meant to be? This hate?"
John looked back confused, "N-Not really. I just want to hurt you. I thought this was more of a who gets to be leader dispute thing." John furrowed his brow, "I have no idea anymore Karkat, I just want to cause you pain, it doesn't make sense."
Karkat looked at John's expression, he was definitely confused, but in a flash that was replaced with rage. The other troll tore into Karkat's arm and kicked him roughly to the side. John was on him as soon as he hit the ground, his claws were still trimmed short but that didn't stop him from punching and covering the troll in small scratch marks.
They were both growling fiercely and looked more like animals than people. They were a twisted mess of limbs, fangs, claws and horns.
This is what Dave Strider got to walk into.
"Holy shit." He dropped the tray of food he was holding. John looked up from attacking Karkat long enough to growl at the human. He saw Karkat underneath bruised and clearly in distress. "Fuck, Vantas do you need help or something?" He looked over at John who was bleeding heavily from large gashes on his arms and chest. But the blue troll did have Karkat pinned, and it didn't look like the Vantas was wining.
"S-Stay out of this Strider."
"Hell no, I may hate you guys, but this is insane. I can't have you two killing each other in the damn kitchen. If you need to play your stupid troll hate game at least do it in some deserted part of the asteroid. That way when one of you dies the corpse doesn't need moving." He drew his sword and moved to pull John off.
John growled viciously at Dave, the savageness in his eyes not disappearing. "What the hell is wrong with you John?" Dave was able to trap John's arms and he held him from behind. "Vantas did he finally snap? Is that it? Did he become a monster? Like the rest of you will? Was I right? Fuck man, I was right wasn't I?"
John was still snarling and struggling to get away; he was tired from dealing with Karkat and didn't have the energy to break free from Dave.
"Fuck bro calm down." Dave held what he used to consider his friend. But now he only saw a wild animal whose only goal was to rip the skin off of anything in front of his claws. Holding back a troll was probably the scariest thing he'd ever done. And he'd seen his own death a million times.
When the blue blood couldn't break free with is strength alone he tried instead to smack Dave with his horns, but the knight avoided it. John eventually was able to turn and get a look at Dave's face. He growled and bared his teeth again, and then he saw Dave's expression. His shades had slipped and underneath the black glass were crimson eyes filled with fear. John recoiled and lost all the will to fight. His ears lowered and covered his teeth. "D-Dave?" He breathed quietly. He glanced back over to the beaten troll that was Karkat, then at the pools of blue blood forming around him. "Shit
Dave please understand, I'm not
Dave I'm not an animal, I'm just
"No it's cool dude, I get it. This is that weird alien hate love shit right? Kis me whatevers. It's gory and violent and by my standards really stupid, but that's what this is right Vantas? Sorry I ruined your boner."
John looked back at Karkat. "Karkat?"
"That is what this is right? Or were you two actually fighting? Should I have let one of you tear out the others throat? I guess we'd have less trolls to worry about then."
Karkat didn't answer; he looked from Dave to John. Dave asked again and Karkat responded by head-butting John hard with his horns.
John's vision went blurry and he blacked out.
Karkat lifted John up and started to carry him away. "I don't know what that was Strider. It was supposed to be blackrom, but now, I have no fucking clue. Thanks for the help. Don't expect anything in return."
"I wasn't counting on it."
"You haven't exactly been all that friendly to trolls. And after witnessing what you just did, I doubt you ever will be. We're different, and you can see that. I can't defend our actions, not all of them." He quietly walked away.
When John next woke he was on the couch in the main room. His injuries had been bandaged and a blanket thrown over him. "John? Oh good, you're up." He turned to see Rose and Kanaya watching him carefully. "Karkat fixed you up. He looked really concerned
Kanaya spoke up, "I think it would be in both of your best interests if you spoke civilly about your string of conflicts. I cannot tell if I need to intervene as an Auspistice between you two. You both looked terrible, I'm afraid you will kill each other soon."
John sat up weakly, he nodded, "Yeah, I have to ask him a few things anyways." He could already feel his anger rising at the mere thought of talking with Karkat. He suppressed the urge to growl and stood on shaky legs and made his way to their room.
He paused at the door and took a deep breath before entering. "Karkat
can we just, you know, talk? Maybe
" he walked into their room carefully. "Maybe without you know
fighting? Is that something we can do?" John made sure to flatten his ears, look away and not growl.
Karkat looked up from the bed, "Hm? John?"
"Yeah. Hi. I've been thinking about a lot of stuff lately." The other troll stood up and moved closer. John had to fight the sudden overwhelming urge to attack Karkat right there. It surprised him, how that became a normal reaction. "I've been thinking about the past few weeks. Karkat I was confused."
He stopped and stared at John. "Go on."
"I was confused, but now I'm not." He raised his eyes slowly to look at Karkat. "Y-You, this whole thing, you wanted me in the caliginous quadrant didn't you?"
He waited for Karkat's reaction. The other troll was also observing John. He was watching his body language and opening his senses again. "Yes." He answered confidently.
"Why though?" John clenched a fist. "I don't understand. You hurt me Karkat."
"No, I don't think you do!" He took a few steps forward, noting that Karkat didn't fall back. "I don't think you realize how much this stupid idea of yours hurt me." John was now standing inches from Karkat. "I didn't want to act like this. You know I hated being aggressive. You know I feared that my reactions would go too far. You fucking knew I didn't want to act on my blue blood, yet you did this anyway!" The fist he had clenched found its way to Karkat's face. The other troll stumbled back a bit. "Do you have anything to say? Anything at all?"
Karkat kept his mouth shut. He was beginning to see what went wrong. "Fuck, John. I-"
"No, no excuses Karkat, no apologies. I don't want to hear them. I'm so angry you have no idea. I want to punch you again, then dig my claws deep into your arm and
Karkat I want to hurt you. I want to injure you until you can't stand. Then I want to leave you there. I want you to cry out and I want you to suffer."
Karkat listened while John was talking. The boy was trembling slightly, Karkat could see his fists clenching and relaxing, he saw blue blood drip to the ground from where his claws were digging into flesh. "That's exactly what being in a Kismessisitude is about John."
The other troll snarled and charged Karkat knocking him to the ground. He pinned him there, claws digging into his arms. John was inches from Karkat's face. "But Karkat
Karkat saw and felt blue tears hit his cheek and roll off.
"I don't want to hate you." He released his grip on Karkat and leaned over him. "I don't want to hate you. Karkat I don't. I really, truly don't."
"Karkat please," his forehead rested on Karkat's, "please don't make me hate you. Don't make me hurt you. I can. You know I can. But I don't want to. All this
everything I've done in the past weeks
it wasn't because I wanted to, it was because you were using my instincts against me." Tears were now flowing freely from his eyes, "you used those, you used me. And I was too weak to control myself."
"Fuck." Karkat didn't apologize, John didn't want one. But once again the overwhelming feeling to protect John washed over him. There had never been a moment were Karkat had felt anything this strong before. John was shaking and crying, and couldn't even hold himself up anymore. Karkat slowly made the same calming noise he developed over a month ago on the boy. He put arms around him and held him close. "I won't."
John was once again reduced to crying hiccupping mess that was clinging to Karkat. "I don't want to be an aggressive troll Karkat! I don't want to hurt anybody. Don't make me."
"I already said I wouldn't, it's ok. Shoosh." Karkat rubbed his back softly and let the other troll cry on him. "I'm so sorry; it wasn't supposed to be like this." After a while John stopped sobbing hard but he still had his face pressed into Karkat's chest.
"W-Why did you
"I was scared John. I was scared of being hurt, so I threw up walls to try to protect myself I guess. Then when you growled back, I thought
well I thought maybe you were looking for a Kismesis." He let John press his head harder against him and cry. "I didn't realize how much I hurt you."
"I-I scared Dave again too. Now he's never going to trust me." He gripped Karkat's shirt and shut his eyes. "This is all your fault."
Karkat didn't say anything. He knew it was probably his fault. It was his fault for not confronting John first about his emotions. It was his fault for acting so angry all the time. It was his fault for egging on the aggressiveness that he knew would surface in John. Very gently Karkat picked up John and carried him to the bed. The other troll looked up, "Was this all because I was a bad Moirail?" he asked. "Could this have been avoided if I was a better one?"
Karkat leaned over him and nuzzled him resuming the calming noise. "No, of course not. You weren't a bad Moirail; I just don't think we're suited to be Moirails."
"Then, friends?" He could feel sudden drowsiness wash over him. "Can we be co-friendleaders again?"
"Sure," Karkat smiled down at him and pulled a blanket over John. "Rest up nookwhiff, you're probably exhausted from kicking my ass." John's eyes closed and he breathed out wearily. 'John
you have no idea how much I want to protect you. How much I want you in a quadrant with me, any quadrant. I was even willing to sacrifice our friendship for it.' He looked fondly at the sleeping figure and then walked away; he was ready to collapse on the nearest thing he passed. Luckily that nearest thing happened to be Sollux and Terezi.
"KK?" Sollux asked confused, he couldn't see the person who just leaned on him, but he thought he recognized the weight and smell.
"Hey Karkles, glad you could join us, it saves me the trouble of finding you."
"For what?" He mumbled.
"We decided it's time all the trolls had a talk. Well, all the trolls except for Egbert."
Karkat nodded and tried to stand a bit better, "Yeah, sure, fine. Just let me pass out first." He wasn't joking.