Karkat awoke early that morning. He groaned and rolled out of bed. For the first time in weeks Karkat had actually had nightmares of his own. They were terrible dreams, but they were not the dreams of his ancestors. He dreamed of his friend's deaths, over and over again, he saw his remaining friends die as well. But the one that hurt the most, the one that had Karkat sitting up in bed, gasping for air, and nearly clawing his blankets to shreds, was his dream of John. It was a dream where John died, saving Karkat.
The troll shook his head and cleared his thoughts. Growling he set off to do what made him wake up early in the first place. His hand rested on Sollux's door, he was suddenly overcome with nervousness. He took a few steps back and looked around. "What'th up KK?" a voice sounded behind him making him jump.
"Sollux, god, you scared the shit out of me."
"That'th thuprithing. Uthually you're more alert than thith." Sollux continued, "What did you need? I athume you're in-front of my room for a reathon."
"Yes I am. I wanted to talk to you. You are my moirail right?"
"Yeth KK," Sollux replied. Noticing the tone in Karkat's voice, he was serious.
"It's about John."
"Shut up and let me finish." They started walking down the hall, towards the main room. "Well, you mentioned that I might have flushed feelings, right?" Sollux nodded, "I couldn't stop thinking about that last night. Then it-it just hit me. I DO feel fucking flushed for Egbert. I mean, there's so much about him I pity. His stupid teeth, his thinkpan that doesn't seem to work, when he was human he had the most ridiculous body, and now that he's a troll, there's even more." Karkat could feel himself turn red, he was thankful Sollux was blind, "I figured it out, but, what should I do?"
"And thith ith why you came to me?"
"Yeah, you're my moirail I came to you for advice, and maybe to vent."
"John'th thtill got that 'I'm not a homothexthual' thing right? So he doethn't realithe you could be pitying him. And if he thtill doethn't like guyth, and if you tell him, he might never pity you back. That'th a problem KK. You thure do pick thitty matethprits." He laughed a bit, "thorry. Why don't you tell him when you think he can handle it? That way you can make thure of your feelingth, and hith. Altho, it would give you time to prepare yourthelf for the rejection that might happen."
Karkat nodded, as they entered the main room, "I think you're right Sollux, I shouldn't jump to conclusions. I'll just-" Suddenly Karkat heard a female voice scream in pain. Karkat's head whipped to look in the direction of the humans's hall. 'That sounded like Jade
Fuck,' Karkat could hear a crash and some shouts, before he was even aware of himself the troll was sprinting down hall. He opened the door. It didn't take a genius to figure out what had happened.
John was standing in the middle of the room, arm outstreached, claws tinted red, apologizing as fast as he could, tears already streaming down his face. Jade was behind Dave with Rose comforting her, she had scratch marks on her cheek. Dave had his sword out and was telling John to back away. Instantly Karkat was at John's side, holding him tightly and talking to him in a reassuring voice. "John it's ok, it's ok, it wasn't your fault. John this wasn't your fault."
Dave still had his sword pointed at the two, "Not his fault? That's bullshit! He attacked Jade!"
Karkat turned around and growled fiercely, "Yes, it isn't his FUCKING fault. It's hers!" Karkat pushed John's face into his chest and hugged him tightly, "Jade, you woke John up right? You shook him awake, didn't you?" Jade nodded. "I knew it," he turned his attention back to John, still telling him over and over again that it wasn't his fault. "John reacted how any other troll would react. His brain thought he was being attacked. Any of us would have done the same, even Kanaya." John was sobbing loudly and Karkat could feel the front of his shirt become damp.
"What were we supposed to do?" Dave asked, "I saw an alien attack my friend, draw blood, how do you think I felt?"
Karkat spun around, leaving John to cling to his back. "You were supposed to respond in any other way then you did. Are you a fucking idiot? Couldn't you SEE he was back to his senses immediately after it happened? How he was fucking apologizing? Are you blind? Could you not see the fucking tears streaming down his face? So what do you do? You pull a fucking sword on him! What a GREAT friend you are." Karkat glared at Dave, then at the others. "Do you have any idea how HARD John worked so he could be with his friends again? With YOU again? Do you know how HAPPY he was when I said he could go back? And THIS is how you show it? By treating him like an animal? You have got to be the shittiest friends I've ever seen." He turned back to John and snarled at the other humans, "Get the hell out of here. I don't even want to see your fucking faces. Take Jade to see Kanaya, it doesn't look deep, she'll help her." He heard the others shuffle out, except for Dave. The knight approached them sword still drawn. He pointed
the blade at Karkat's neck. "Strider," he growled.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't cut you all down now," he said coldly.
"Dave I'm sorry!" John whimpered and pressed into Karkat.
"I was right, wasn't I? All you trolls are the same, just ticking time bombs, wild animals, monsters-"
"Does this look like a wild animal to you?" Karkat hugged John tighter, "does he look like a monster to you? Sound like one?" Dave was silent; the only sound was John's crying. Dave lowered his sword. "Now get the hell out of here."
John didn't know what to do, his mind was reeling, all he remembered was the intense fear when he woke up, and then standing in the middle of the room, with blood on his claws. Then Karkat was there, holding him tight and talking to him. He realized that Karkat was still holding him, still talking to him. He noticed he was crying, and sobbing. His body shook and his legs felt like giving out, but somehow he managed to cling to Karkat.
"It's ok John, it's ok, I'm here, it's ok, you didn't do anything wrong." He spoke quietly and gently. Karkat ran a hand through John's hair, "You didn't do anything wrong, it wasn't your fault." He could feel the boy tremble.
" he choked out between sobs, "I-I hurt Jade, d-didn't I?"
John, listen to me, yes you did hurt Jade," he wailed again, "John, stop, it's ok, you didn't do anything wrong." He didn't bother explaining it now; John wouldn't be able to process it anyways. He just kept holding the boy close and repeating the same words over and over again. Karkat was aware of the other trolls peeking in occasionally to check on him, to make sure he had everything under control. Karkat ignored them and focused on John. He couldn't believe how much the boy was shaking, and was surprised to see that he still had tears to shed.
Karkat realized that someone else was standing in the hallway as well. He knew it was a human, but he didn't know who.
Dave Strider felt like the world's biggest jackass. Not only had he ruined his friendship with his best bro, he also threatened to kill him. The boy walked through the halls alone, feeling more regret then he ever thought possible. He approached their room and stopped. He could still hear John crying, and Karkat was still telling him everything was fine, and that it wasn't his fault. Dave realized that it had been almost an hour since the incident took place. Another pang of guilt hit him. He sat down with his back to the wall and listened to the room just behind him. Dave pulled his knees up and rested his head in them. 'I'm such a worthless asshole.'
Karkat watched John closely; he could tell the boy was starting to calm down enough to talk. Karkat gave him a worried growl. John growled back, softly but confident. "Hey, are you ok?" Karkat asked.
"No," John whispered.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"I-I didn't mean to," he choked out. "The last thing I wanted to do was hurt my friends." He clutched the front of Karkat's shirt; "I care about them so much
" he trailed off, taking deep breaths. John felt Karkat's hand on his back, rubbing gently. "This is what I was afraid of."
Karkat focused on John, his concern growing. "What were you afraid of?" he asked quietly.
"I was afraid Dave was right." John choked back a sob, "He said I was different, that I was a monster, and he was
" He felt fresh tears roll down his face, "H-he was r-right." He hiccupped and started crying again.
" Karkat pulled the boy close.
"H-how could I?" he said into Karkat's shoulder, "Jade is my, my s-sister, and I hurt her. I'm no better than an, an animal!"
Dave sat outside, hearing everything. He heard John's words, those were not the words of an animal, those were the words of his best friend, of John. 'How could I have been so stupid?' Then he heard what John said next, about what he told him. 'Fuck, and now John believes it
' he knew now that John couldn't help his reaction, Kanaya had explained it to them while treating Jade. Dave stood up and left the crying troll to someone who could actually help him. He instead went to find Rose.
When John had quieted down Karkat began to explain what had happened. "Trolls have that stupid fear of being vulnerable; actually it's not stupid but whatever. When we sleep, that's about as vulnerable as it gets. Our brains are programmed to strike at anything that disturbs our sleep. None of us can help it."
John stared at the floor, and then back at Karkat, "So, that's why you would always wake me up from across the room, right?" Karkat nodded. "and this instinct won't go away?"
Karkat shook his head, "But, there is one troll who could wake you up and not get attacked, and that's your matesprit. You have already shown your most vulnerable side to them, so your brain will recognize their scent as one you don't need to fear."
John nodded, "It seems matesprits are pretty important."
"Yes, they are very important. Every troll wants to find one, at some point in their lives." Karkat answered, happy that John seemed to be calming down. "Well, that and you have to fill a pail when the drones come, but mainly matesprits are good for releasing stress, and letting yourself be relaxed."
"Do you have a matesprit?"
"No I don't."
"Do you think you'll ever find one?"
Karkat looked away, John could see hurt briefly flash across his face. "Don't be an idiot John, with what troll?"
"Terezi?" he asked slowly, "I thought you and her were a thing."
Karkat groaned, "No, we are not a thing. Besides, she has a flush crush on Dave so hard. Sollux is with Aradia, but we're moirails so it doesn't matter, and Kanaya is flushed for Rose, so that leaves me out." He didn't know why he just spewed all that quadrant information at Egbert, but it happened anyways.
"Wait, Terezi is crushing on DAVE?" he asked,
"Are you stupid? Yes, she is. Isn't it obvious?" Karkat rolled his eyes. He stood up and pulled John up with him. "Come on, let's get you cleaned up and put some food in you." John nodded, and followed Karkat out. They reached the bathroom and Karkat let go of John's hand, it was the hand he had used to scratch at Jade with. He turned on the water and pulled John's hand in. He watched the boy's eyes widen when he saw the red empty into the drain. Blue tears formed again, sobbing followed after. Karkat dried the boy's hands off and wrapped himself around John again.
John felt bad for crying on Karkat so much, but he just couldn't help it. He thought he was done with most of it, but seeing Jade's blood, his sister's blood, run down his hand and into the sink made him cringe and feel sick. John followed Karkat into the kitchen, his hands wrapped around Karkat's shirt and his face pressed in the troll's back.
Karkat made John a bowl of soup; he set it down in front of the boy. "Here, eat; it'll make you feel better."
John looked down at the food, he didn't notice half of the vegetable in it, but he shrugged and put took a bite anyway. A smile spread across his face. "This is good," he said to Karkat. He took another bite and sipped the broth, warmth spreading through him.
"Glad you like it," Karkat sat next to him and rested his head on a hand. "I used to make it all the time when I felt bad." The remainder of the day was spent doing nothing. John followed Karkat around never straying more than a few feet from his side. Whenever they passed another of the humans John would grip Karkat's shirt and shove his face against the troll.
John was scared and ashamed of himself. He couldn't believe he was cowering and hiding from his friends, but he couldn't face them. He didn't want to face them. Clinging to Karkat seemed to be the only thing he could do. They were now seated in the main room, Karkat was talking to Kanaya and John sat right beside him. He listened halfheartedly to their conversation; they were discussing supplies and taking inventory. His eyes felt heavy and he shifted to rest his head on Karkat's shoulder and tuck his legs underneath him.
Karkat felt the added weight and glanced down to see John asleep. He caught his lip turning up to smile but forced it back down and grunted at Kanaya, "We should be good for another month, provided we keep a steady pace with the supply usage."
She nodded and wrote some numbers down. The glowing troll looked over at John, "Is he sleeping?"
Karkat looked fondly at the other troll, "Yeah," he replied quietly.
"You care for him, don't you?" she asked. Karkat's head whipped back, his eyes widening briefly. "I could tell, even before he became a troll. But those feelings are stronger now, aren't they?" Karkat couldn't disagree. "It's ok, you don't have to go into detail. This type of conversation is for Moirails. I just wanted to confirm my suspicion.
"Consider it fucking confirmed. Yeah, I care for the idiot. I don't know how much is pity and how much is guilt, but yeah, I already talked to Sollux about it."
"Oh? And what did he say?"
"For me to calm down and take it slow."
"He's a good moirail. That's exactly what I would have told you as well." Kanaya got up and excused herself, "I should report these numbers to Sollux."
He watched her leave and sighed. Karkat felt a slight tingling sensation in his arm, the tiny pricks of claws digging in. His attention was on Egbert, who was obviously having a nightmare. 'Fuck, the poor kid has only been asleep for a minute and he's already plagued by haunting dreams.' He gently brushed his bangs from his eyes, and made his special growl for John. The twisted expression eased from John's face and his eyes blinked open.
The boy nuzzled into him, "Sorry, I was having a bad dream,"
A hand found its way onto John's head and began ruffling hair. "It's ok, you don't have to apologize."
"Aren't you tired of this though? Tired of me?"
"No," Karkat responded softly, "and I don't think I could be sick of you."
John didn't how to take Karkat's words; Karkat knew he wasn't a homosexual, so he couldn't mean anything romantic by it. 'He's just a really good friend,' John decided. "Thanks," he said quietly. "I don't think I could have done this without you."
"You probably wouldn't be in this situation if it wasn't for me." He said back.
John laughed a bit, "I guess," he looked up at his troll friend, "But, you have helped me so much. I knew you weren't a mean angry person in heart."
Karkat looked away in embarrassment, "Shut up fuckass, you don't know anything about me."
John continued to chuckle, "I know tons about you Karkat. I know that you are really nice, and you care for everyone, even though you swear a lot and tell us all to fuck off. I know that you like romcoms, even though I think they're boring, I know that when you sleep you often growl, I think it's because you have bad dreams too. I know that there are nights when you don't sleep. You stay awake and make sure I'm ok, you make sure everyone is ok." John paused, suddenly aware of how weird that sounded. "It's not like I watch you sleep or anything, god that would be creepy!" he continued on, "I know that you have the same worries, and stress out about the same things I do. We were both in charge of our friends, I know how it feels to watch helplessly as someone dies, and to feel like it was my fault." John sat up and looked Karkat in the eyes, "I know that you are like me, and I know that you care for my friends just as much as I care for yours. You care for me, like I care for you."
Karkat just listened to John; he couldn't believe how much of the truth John was hitting. He wanted to look away, to do anything besides watch John. Somehow the boy always saw through him, 'and I don't need him seeing how I feel about him.' "Whatever, you go ahead and think that, idiot."
John laughed again softly and rested against Karkat again. "You know I'm right," he teased.
"Take your nap, you look like shit." He grumbled.
John nodded and closed his eyes, "hey Karkat?"
"Should I sleep in your room again tonight?" he asked.
"If you want, I'm not going to stop you."
"I would like that," he paused, "thanks."
"We'll grab your stuff when you wake up." Karkat didn't get a reply; he glanced down and saw John was already sleeping, his chest moving up and down slowly. Karkat put his head on Johns, he could start to feel the slight shaking that comes from nightmares, he softly growled and the boy relaxed again. Karkat breathed in John scent, part of him was sad that John would turn back to him instead of his friends, but he also missed the former human and was happy he was returning. Karkat moved so he was leaning against the couch better, he put John between his legs so the boy was resting against his chest. He glanced around, but no one was near. Carefully he put his arms around John held him close.
"Aren't you two the cutest little couple," a voice sounded from behind. "You know he's not a homo right?"
Karkat turned his head and snarled. "Strider."
Dave sat down across from him, "It's ok dude, calm down, I'm not here to start anything. I just want to know if he's ok."
"How about this? You can kindly fuck off before I make your statements truth."
The troll and the knight glared at each other. Neither seemed willing to extend the olive branch just yet. "Karkat, I was just curious was all."
Karkat growled again, lifting his lips up a bit to expose sharp teeth while gripping John tighter. "You can know this. John is terrified of himself. He's afraid of his friends, and it's all your fucking fault."
Briefly Dave's cold stare broke, he frowned, "Listen, Kark-"
John groaned and opened his eyes, he looked up at Karkat, "What's going on?" he saw Dave and flinched. "D-Dave, h-h-hi." He stuttered and looked anywhere but his shades. "How's J-J-Jade?"
"She'll live. It's not like you ripped out her throat or anything."
John nodded, smiling hesitantly. He watched Dave flinch and frown, the troll turned back to Karkat's chest and hid again.
"I think you should go." Karkat told him, trying hard to keep the growl out of his voice around John. Dave nodded and left. "He's gone," Karkat whispered in John's ear. "It's ok."
John's dreams were chaotic. He wasn't bombarded by the usual torments of his ancestor's victims, but now a new development presented itself. Fear. John was running, he was running from something, he wasn't sure what. A bright splash of color drew John's attention to his hands and arms, the skin was still grey but it was splotched with bright red. His first thought went to Karkat, 'Is he ok?' He knew the amount of blood on his arm proved otherwise. John looked at the ground and noticed he was following red bloodied footsteps. "Karkat!" he called, running faster. The grey walls gave no hint to where he was, he knew it was the veil; it had to be the veil, but where? "Karkat! Karkat don't worry, I'll find you!" he called out until his voice was hoarse. He ran down the hallway, but with each door that he opened and saw no one his heart dropped. "Karkat!" He was crying now, blue tears streamed down his face. He was so afraid he would find Karkat dead, find him in a pool of candy red.
John stumbled into the last room in the hallway where the bloody footprints ended. "Karkat?"
"About time John," Karkat answered in Alternian. John's eyes widened at what he saw. Karkat was standing, coated in blood. He claws gleamed, "did you take care of Dave?"
'Dave?' he asked himself, but found he replied with "Yes." He watched himself walk over to stand next to Karkat.
"Good, that means the only one left is you," attention to turned to a shape on the ground. Jade was up against the wall, knees pulled up and sobbing into her arms. "Would you like to do the honors, or should I?" Karkat asked, grinning, all teeth. It was then John understood what happened. He'd Killed Dave. They'd killed his friends.
"I'd love to," John was shocked to find his dream self reply. He stood before the quivering mass on the floor. "What's wrong Jade? Didn't see this coming?" He was screaming in his head for Jade to run, 'Run Jade please run!' "I thought you had that foresight crap? Guess it just wasn't working today."
She was crying, "John, it wasn't supposed to be like this!" She sobbed, "Don't kill me! We're friends, remember?"
John raised a clawed hand, red running down his arms, "friends?" he looked at the blood, Dave's blood, "Whoops, should have reminded me sooner, hehe I think it's too late for Dave," he grinned back at Karkat, "Think Rose could pull through?"
"Not if she's missing her fucking throat." John was horrified at the pleased expression on Karkat's face.
" he turned back to Jade all smiles, "well, since my other 'friends' are dead, I guess it really makes no difference. Besides, it'll be nice to join them, don't you think?" He paused, "Hey Jade, think humans taste good?" She just cried into her arms. He walked over to Karkat and grabbed the trolls arm.
He licked some of the blood from his arm running his tongue down to the other troll's fingertips. "Huh, Rose tastes a bit like salty seaweed." He frowned, "I guess it fits, not really all that good."
Karkat took John's hand and lapped at some of the fresh blood, "Bluh, I'd like to say Dave tastes like cherries or some shit like that, it'd make Terezi happy as hell, but, he reminds me of that tomato drink shit they tried to shove down my fucking throat." He smiled and laughed, "And here I thought Strider would be ironic down to the last drop."
"Hm, well I guess the only mystery flavor left is you," attention turned back to Jade. John walked over and crouched in front of her. "So, you wanna go fast or slow?" he smiled wide, "Your choice!" He giggled. "I haven't used the windy thing yet, Karkat think that'd be too messy?" The boy took his hand and cleared away the hair from her face. "Shoosh, shoosh, at least it's family right? Would you rather be killed by some random ass stranger?"
"Y-You aren't my brother!"
John frowned. "Hmmmm that was NOT the answer I was looking for. If you were trying to get me to spare your life, that is not how you do it. What did you take lessons in manners from Karkat?"
"Hey nookstain, don't get cocky. Just finish her already."
"Yeah, yeah, fine Karkat, jeez. You act like we're on a schedule or something." He watched in horror as the dream version of himself lunged at Jade and ripped her apart with deadly claws.
John jolted awake screaming, his eyes flew open, and they were met by wide green ones. Jade was looking over him, all he could remember was that same face twisted in fear and sobbing.
Jade jumped back surprised, "John are you ok?"
He was aware he was still screaming and Karkat had him, "Jade, go!" Karkat ordered.
"What's wrong with him? Is he ok? Did I do something again?" Jade watched the troll thrash and cry out.
"It's just a nightmare, he'll be fine, go!" he snapped at Jade, the girl fled and Karkat started talking to John. He had never seen the boy, or any troll for that matter, so freaked out. "JOHN! John fuck! It was a nightmare, you're ok!" He tried to hug him close but John thrashed and wouldn't allow it.
John was gripped in fear, his dream and reality were merged into one, he spun and saw Karkat's face, the same monster that had killed Rose and enjoyed it. He growled at Karkat.
Karkat found himself staring at a very enraged troll, 'John's lost it
' "John," he called one more time. He watched the boy's eyes grow wide, and his pupils shrink. There was no recognition in his face. The troll's teeth were bared and he snarled at Karkat. He couldn't believe this, 'John is going to attack me.'
The newer troll lunged at Karkat and slashed, Karkat was able to avoid having his throat ripped out and instead opted for his chest. The troll's claws ripped into his shirt and skin. Karkat hissed in pain and roughly shoved John off. The boy hit the floor and jumped back up snarling slashing, he tried to jump on Karkat but the troll grabbed his arms. John was now lying on top of Karkat. Still growling he sunk his teeth into Karkat's shoulder and held fast.
Karkat clenched his teeth and held John's hands firm. The troll struggled and released Karkat to head-butt him. Karkat let go, dazed and stared into John's crazed eyes. "Shit, John! Stop!" John paid him no mind, he moved to strike again but Karkat got his feet under the boy and kicked out. Karkat was able to sit up better and he looked around, no one seemed to have heard the commotion yet, there was still time to end this before it got worse. John lunged for Karkat again but this time Karkat let him get close, he reached up and pulled down on one of John's horns, tugging his face down into his chest. He wrapped his hand around the base and squeezed. He felt John immediately tense and go limp. "John?" he asked quietly, "John are you with me?"
"K-Karkat?" he asked voice small and frail.
"John. Thank god." Karkat hugged him tighter.
"Sleep rage, I've never seen it affect someone so bad."
John was dazed, coming out of sleep rage as well as having his submission reflex triggered took its toll. "D-did I hurt you?" he slurred.
"John, we are not going through this again, yes you did, but you didn't mean it." He whispered quietly. "All that matters is that I got you to calm, and that no one else was around."
"What'd you do?" he asked a bit scared. "I can't move."
"I'm sorry, trolls have a submissive reflex, I used it on you, I didn't know what else to do." Karkat felt a bit ashamed, but he knew it was the best option. Karkat scooped the troll up and proceeded back to his room. Thankfully John was light and Karkat was able to move fast. He set him down on his bed and watched his eyes widen when he saw the wounds on Karkat's chest. "John, don't. I already know you're beating yourself right now. Stop it." He walked towards his attached bathroom, "I'm going to clean up real quick. Just wait here and relax until you can move again." he had locked the door to his room; just in case, he wanted to make sure they stayed alone. When Karkat emerged from the bathroom he was sporting a new set of bandages over his chest and medical patch over his neck and shoulder. He pulled a shirt over his head and looked around. He noted that John was no longer on his bed, and that the blanket was missing. He walked around his bed and over to the corner where he found the blanket, and a quivering mass underneath. "John
" he stepped forward but froze when he heard a warning growl sound from under the fabric. He backed up and sat down, waiting, he knew John needed time. He was content with waiting until he was ready to come out.
John was so terrified. He didn't know what scared him more, the dream or what he did after. He decided they were both equally as scary and he didn't ever want to experience something like that again. He hugged his knees under the blanket and heard Karkat approach; he growled at him, he needed to be alone. John felt like he just wanted to curl up and die. 'This is two friends I've hurt today.' He felt himself cry and he didn't bother stopping. He didn't understand anything, everything was confusing and his own brain felt foreign. He needed someone to explain what happened, he needed Karkat, but he couldn't bear to face him at the moment. John buried his head in his arms and sobbed.
Karkat sat on the floor, patiently waiting for John. He stayed like that for over an hour. Finally a grey hand poked out from under the blanket, John crawled out and hugged him. Karkat held him tight. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Karkat grabbed the blanket again and threw it over both of them. They could both see in the dark, their eyes glowing faintly, but the enclosed effect was nice and John visibly relaxed. "I'm here for you, you know that right?" John nodded, "So you talk about it when you're ready."
John took a few deep breaths. "It-it was horrible." He gripped Karkat, "I've never had a dream like that before, we-we both KILLED Karkat, and I don't mean imps, or Jack, or monsters, we killed my friends. You killed Rose, and I killed Dave and J-Jade." He paused, feeling tears again. "The worst part was, we enjoyed it, the blood, the power of tearing another apart." He shuddered, "Karkat is that normal?"
"John, relax, it's ok," he spoke quietly and gently, "it was just a nightmare. You're really susceptible to terrifying dreams, and what happened with Jade earlier today is acting as a trigger for them." He rubbed small circles in John's back, "You don't want to hurt your friends, I don't want to hurt your friends, there is no pleasure gained from an action like that. It was just a horrible, horrible dream, nothing more.
"But I hurt you
" he hiccupped. "And I couldn't stop, it felt right."
"In your dream I hurt Rose right? I was the "bad guy" so naturally in your confused sleep rage state I was the target. Your brain saw me as a threat, that is all, you were confused, you didn't mean it." John curled into him more, and shook. "I anticipated something like this to happen. When you first turned into a troll I was expecting this."
Karkat paused, "Yes. I'm sorry." His voice got softer, "I'm so sorry. It seems that every time something happens to you it could have been prevented by me. It's always my fault, I didn't warn you about the nightmares, I didn't tell the others not to wake you, I never told you about sleep rage, and I failed to mention the biggest weak spot trolls have. All your pain, it's from me, because I can't see that you're a troll, you're just John fucking Egbert. And that hurts you."
John looked up at Karkat, "No, that's not fair, not everything is your fault Karkat!" he clutched the other trolls shirt, "Just because something bad happens doesn't mean you're to blame every time. You're too hard on yourself." John released the bunched up fabric and continued, "And, I'm really happy, that you see me as the same John, like nothing's changed." He fell against Karkat again, "I mean it, that makes me feel better about myself. I've been so scared, and worried." He hugged him, "Thanks Karkat, for being there for me."
" he pulled him close, and waited for his tears to stop and his body to cease shaking. The troll started thinking; he held John tight and rubbed his back slowly. 'Should I confess I'm actually flushed for him?' He had John in his arms, the boy was trusting Karkat, he was open with him, 'I mean, it seems like this could work. I'll just tell him now, John, I have red feelings for you, no, that's stupid. Oh god, no that's fucking stupid. There's no way he'd feel it. But on the other hand, he's closer to me than any other troll is now, he's sitting here, crying on me, showing me how vulnerable he is. Maybe this could work.' Karkat took a deep breath, "J-"
"Karkat, this is what a Moirailship is right? What we're doing?" Karkat looked down at the troll clinging to him, "This is the red one without
pail filling right? The one without love?"
Vantas gripped John and looked down at him, the boys eyes were locked on his, Karkat replied softly, "yeah," he put his head on John's shoulder so he couldn't catch a glimpse of glistening tears. "Yeah, Moirails." The troll's heart was torn. 'I KNEW this was a stupid idea. Why the fuck did I ever let myself feel this way? I should have known he'd want nothing more than a pale relationship. I was so fucking stupid.' He clung to John and forced himself not to cry, the only thing he allowed were the tears to flow from his eyes onto his sleeve. 'I have to be strong, for John. Pull yourself together Karkat Vantas.'
Sollux heard a loud pounding on the door to his room. He sat up and fumbled for his cane calling out, "Who the fuck ith it?"
"Sollux you ass it's me," he heard Karkat's voice sound from the other side. "Let me in, I need to talk to you."
The yellow blooded troll got up and made his way across the messy room. He was careful not to trip and fall over cords. The door opened and Karkat walked in. "What'th up KK?" He couldn't see the other troll but he could hear the pathetic whine that escaped his lips. "KK?" Karkat was hugging and sobbing. "KK are you alright?" Sollux hadn't seen his leader break down in a long time.
"He wants to be Moirails, Sollux."
"Who else?" Karkat lead Sollux to his bed where they sat down. "I just, I don't know what to do." Tears still fresh and streaming.
"You thould justht be Moirailth with him, it'th what he wantth."
Karkat fell against his own Moirail. "But what about you? I can't have two Moirails."
"You don't. You'll be hith and I'll thtill be your'th." Karkat sighed, "KK, you can get him to feel fluthed later."
He growled and protested, "but Sollux, do you have any idea how hard it is to hide flushed feels from a Moiral? This shit's going to be impossible."
"Yeah, I know." He said softly, and the other troll could hear the sadness too.
"Sollux?" Karkat sat up, rubbing left over tears from his face. "Sollux are you-"
Karkat found his lips suddenly captured by Sollux's, his eyes widened with shock and he pushed away. Sollux held firm though. When Karkat broke away he gasped for air. "Sollux what the fuck was that?"
"KK, you're not the only one with red feelingth for their Moirail." He said quietly.
" he paused, "I, I had no idea
" the yellow troll leaned in again. This time Karkat returned the kiss. He couldn't help himself from grabbing Sollux and pulling him closer, or the chirps rising up from his throat. When they pulled away Karkat stared at him. He smiled shyly, even though he knew he wouldn't see. Then his brain caught up with the moment. "No, Sollux, this isn't right." Karkat moved away.
"KK, what'th wrong?"
"No, Sollux, we can't. You-Aradia, I can't."
Sollux moved in again his hands finding Karkat as easily as if he had sight. "KK, it'th ok." He said softly and reassuring. He kissed him again.
Karkat internally swore at his body for reacting positively to it. He chirped and moaned as Sollux kissed him and ran a hand up his shirt. "Fuck, no, Sollux." The troll kept on kissing his neck, and pushing Karkat down. "S-Sollux!" His Moirail moved for his pants, Karkat panicked. The next time Sollux went to kiss him he bit the other trolls lips, hard.
"Fuck, KK, what'th wrong with you?"
Karkat got an arm underneath him and sat up. "No nookwhiff, what's wrong with you? You don't act like this Sollux."
"Come on KK, you were enjoying it." Sollux moved in again but was stopped by the feral grow that vibrated from Karkat's throat. "KK?"
"No, Sollux." He couldn't believe he was actually growling at his Moirail in a threatening manner. "Kiss me again and I will end you." Karkat watched as Sollux backed away.
"Oh god." The tall skinny troll shrunk into himself. "Oh god, Karkat."
"Sollux, what the hell just happened?" He moved closer to him, his Moirail was visibly shaking.
"Karkat, I'm tho thorry. I-I don't know what came over me."
"Idiot, just try to explain." He put a hand on Sollux's shoulder, noticing how he flinched away from the touch.
Sollux was silent for a while, "Thorry KK."
"You've already said that."
"I've alwayth had red feelingth for you KK. For a long time." He admitted quietly. "I'm thuch a worthleth, pathetic Moirail." He shoved his head in his hands. "A Moirail thhould NEVER have to growl like that. Definitely not at each other." Karkat was patient, quietly waiting for Sollux to continue. "I'm an awful troll. I have red feelingth for both you and AA."
"Sollux, it's ok to have multiple red feelings, just as long as you only act on one." He laughed "I know you like duality and all, but you probably shouldn't have two Matesprits you know?"
The other troll seemed to relax and stop shaking, "KK I don't think now'th the time to joke."
"Why now, Sollux?" Karkat asked. "I mean, you never act this forward."
"I was afraid." Karkat looked over and gave him an encouraging growl. "I was afraid, that, that Aradia isn't alive out there, that she's dead. And by the end of this game I'd be blind and alone somewhere."
"Sollux, that's stupid, you said so yourself, she's alive. She contacted you; she told you she was out fighting for us."
"I know, KK, I know. But it doethn't thtop me from worrying. You know how I get. I thtart thinking the wortht and it taketh over."
Karkat moved so they were back to back. "I know you do. But listen to me, Sollux, she's fine."
"I haven't heard from her in a long time, thince the humanth got here." he let out a sigh, "What if thhe doesn't want to care for the blind troll? What if thhe realitheth how utheleth I am? KK what if-"
Karkat stopped him and grabbed his hand, "You are NOT useless." He gripped it harder, "You can stop that thought right there."
They both sat in silence, the hum of Sollux's computer providing the only noise. There was something unexplainable about Moirails. They were able to both calm down by just sitting back to back in silence. "KK, thankth."
"It's what I'm here for. Just, don't try that again."
He let out a shallow laugh, "yeah, I won't. You really want Egbert don't you?"
Karkat bit the bottom of his lip. "Well, yeah, I want that fucker. I want to just watch over him, and make him feel safe. I've never felt like this before. When I see him, I want to hold him and protect him from everything." Karkat sighed and leaned on Sollux harder, "But the shitsponge just thinks of us as Moirails. He'll probably never think of me like how I want him to."
Sollux pushed back and said, "Well, I know how you feel at leatht, tho I can tell you it'th going to be hard." Karkat sighed and the other troll could feel his breath catch again, "KK, it'th not impothible for you get him to feel red for you. He'th thtill getting to uthe being a troll, KK, he probably doethn't even know hith own feelingth. Didn't I tell you thomething like thith wath going to happen?"
"Yeah, you did. I just, what if he doesn't come around?" Sollux heard Karkat sniff and take a deep breath.
"Eathy, you thand by him. Make thure you're alwayth there for him."
"Like you're always around for me?"
"Even though I'm a huge asshole and worth less than dirt."
Sollux chuckled, "KK, you're not that bad. Trutht me." he paused, "I thtill can't believe you're not killing me for my behavior earlier."
"I can't believe you held in red feelings for this long. Shit Sollux, you should have said something. I don't blame you; in fact, I'm impressed you were able to even talk to me. You've had to listen to my whiny shit every time something went wrong with Terezi or John. For being a borderline schizophrenic and overall mental troll you sure can hold it together sometimes."
"It wath mainly for you KK. And I'll continue to hold you together for ath long ath you thtill need me."
Karkat reached behind him and gave him an awkward hug. "God, Sollux, I have no fucking clue what I'd do without you." he added, "I'll be here for you too, always. There's no way in hell I'd let you get kicked to the curb now."
"So you think there's still for hope for John and I?"
"Yeah, and you think Aradia'th out there thtill?"
"Of course." They both were relaxed and calm. Karkat laughed, "See, Sollux, THIS is why we make such fucking amazing Moirails."
"Yeah, I'll agree with that."
"We can come in and both act shit hive fucking maggots and somehow we'll pull each other back."
"And act like nothing even happened. Even though tho much did."
"I know you still have red feelings, but Sollux, do you think we could stay in this quadrant?"
"Yeah, KK, I think thith one workth well for both of uth."
It had been a few days since the incident with Jade. John was now sporting freshly trimmed claws on both his hands and feet. Karkat made sure to file them down every day, and John was grateful for that. Eventually Karkat would stop, and he'd have to get used to having them, he'd have to learn to be mindful of them and watch himself. But for now, they both decided the added stress wasn't worth it.
John was leaving Karkat's room when a voice sounded from behind him.
"John, I need to thpeak to you."