"Hey Karkat, what do you think this does?"
"For the love of god Egbert do not touch anything." Karkat walked over to where John was standing. He had found a large device with what looked like a transportation pad on it. "It sort of reminds me of the machines in the ectobiology lab." Karkat remarked. John agreed next to him. They had been sent down into the lower levels of the asteroid to search for usable machines to bring upstairs. They were supposed to be focusing on finding a new alchemiter so they all don't starve to death. "It's not what we're looking for let's go," Karkat turned to leave, tugging John behind him.
"But Karkat we haven't even seen what it can do." John complained while being led away from the strange device. "It sorta looks like it is used to transport things. Maybe it works like the alchimeter? It could just be an old model or something, we should check it out!"
Karkat sighed at let John drag him back to the machine. "Well, it seems to be a device used for the production of something. With all the crazy shit in this lab it wouldn't surprise me." He ran his hands over the controls, brushing dirt off. "I don't see a spot to enter codes; this might be too old to be of use."
John was kneeling down on the other side of the device, on the platform. He was busy brushing off more dust, "It was worth a shot, Karkat." He coughed a bit, "this thing must have been sitting here for ages, it's coated in dust!"
"Maybe Sollux can use it for parts or something," Karkat offered. "It seems to be in working order."
"Should we should fire it up? See if it reveals anything else when the screens are on."
Karkat hesitated, his hand resting on the switch to turn it on. "Egbert, I think we should leave it alone. It's not what we came here for, that much is obvious, we don't need to cause any more trouble. Let's leave."
"Oh come onnnnn! Aren't you even a bit curious about what it does?" John was still brushing off panels, he hadn't left his spot.
Karkat watched him pull out a piece of metal and grumble as he noticed some of the wires had been ruined. "See? It's broken, let's go." He was amused by the boy's efforts, he watched as John toyed with the loose wires and attempted to re-establish connections. "You know, for a derp you're not too bad at that."
He looked up, "Ha,ha, thanks!" he stood up and admired his work, "I think I fixed that." He cocked his head, "though I don't know for sure, it's not turned on, but they seem secure." He ran to the other side, and examined the panels checking the wires on that side as well. "I don't know why I'm bothering with this, you said it's useless right?" Karkat nodded. "I just have some sort of feeling that we need this." He ran back to the side with platform, he knelt down again and noticed a spot still covered in dust. "Hey Karkat, I think I found something important."
Karkat knelt down beside him, "What is it?"
"I don't know," there was a long sharp point sticking out from beneath the panels John was just fixing. He reached out to clean off, "It's weird, why would they put something sharp way down here?"
"I don't know," Karkat ran his finger down the point, "It doesn't seem too sharp anymore, more like a dull blade." His finger lingered on the tip, suddenly gasped pulling his hand back, "What the fuck?" he brought his finger to mouth.
"Karkat you ok?"
"Yeah, fine," he licked the blood off his finger.
"Lemme see," John reached up and pulled the troll's hand out of his mouth. Karkat hesitated briefly but allowed John to look.
"It's just a pin prick, really, I'm fine." Karkat was still nervous about his blood, but John had seen it before so it didn't bother him as much. He pulled his hand back from the human and returned it to his mouth. They returned to looking at the machine.
"Maybe there was something attached to this piece?" John suggested, "And it broke off, leaving this sharp piece behind."
Karkat stood up and walked over to the control panel. "Maybe
" he didn't seem convinced with that explanation. "Should I start it up? We've wasted so much of our time on it anyways."
"Sure," came John's voice, he was sitting down again examining the point.
Karkat's hands ran over the keys, he was looking for something that would turn it on. His fingers found what he was looking for, he flipped a switch and was greeted with a soft humming noise. The lights blinked and the screen flickered, Karkat waited till power had reached the whole machine. "Hey Egbert, look at this," Karkat called, John was still sitting. "Hey fuckass look at this." The troll was annoyed that John was refusing to come over.
"No way, Karkat this is way more interesting."
"What is it?" Karkat was preoccupied with the screen. The display showed a status of some sort. Karkat leaned in to get a better look. The monitor was horribly dirty, he tried to wipe away some of the grime. The text on the screen made no sense to Karkat, it wasn't written in Alternian or English. He growled in frustration and wiped more of the dirt off. The troll stood back and tried to make sense of the screen. There seemed to be something preset in one of the command areas, he tried toggling between the two options. It showed that under option one was a green bar that was completely filled, while option two had an empty white bar. "John, I really think you should look at this."
"But Karkat, I think I figured out what this thing was." Came his reply from the other side of the machine.
"What is it?" he moved the curser over the green bar.
"I think it's a needle," he replied.
"A needle? What the hell would a needle be doing on the side of a fucking machine?"
"I have no clue Karkat." John paused, "Think we should get the others now?"
"Yeah, I mean, this could actually be something Egbert." Karkat was still focused on the screen. "Look at this display, it's almost like something you'd see when transferring files, or copying data." He clicked around a little more, exploring the options, "I wish I could fucking read what these prompts say." He grumbled and accidently hit a key too hard, instead of just scrolling through the options he selected one. "Oh shit," he backed away from the machine. It didn't seem to be doing anything. He let out a breath he was unaware he was holding. "Looks like the wiring might still be shot there Egbert."
John grumbled and opened the panel again, "It looks fine Karkat." He rolled back on his feet and met the trolls eyes, "why did you press something?"
Karkat was about to shake his head and tell his friend to forget about it when a blinding light flashed down where John was. Karkat immediately had to shield his eyes from machine, he tried opening them once but the pain was too much that he screwed them shut again. He could hear John scream in surprise, then pain.
"K-Karkat!" he wailed, "Karkat it hurts! What's happening?!"
"JOHN!" Karkat called back, "JOHN HANG IN THERE!" he had no clue what was happening, he could hear John still crying in pain, "JOHN!" he hissed and opened his eyes, determined to see what was happening to his friend. From what he could see, there was a large searing white light that had enveloped the boy; it appeared to be coming from a large pointy part of the machine positioned directly above John. 'How the fuck did I miss that?' Karkat swore. He ran to the machine desperate to find a way to make it stop. The controls wouldn't respond and the light only intensified.
John didn't know what happening, one minute he was kneeling down examining wires then the next he was screaming in agony. As soon as he rolled back on his feet and stood up a bright light enveloped him. He couldn't stand the pain, it was intense, almost like his body was being ripped apart and put back together. He could feel parts of himself moving, and changing. His voice went raw screaming, but he couldn't stop. Karkat's voice sounded in his eardrum, John could tell the troll was as scared as he was. He listened as his name was called over and over again, but all John could manage to reply with was another ear-splitting scream. Suddenly everything seemed to stop at once. The light intensified then disappeared, the pain retracted and John fell to the ground.
Karkat's head whipped around as soon the light vanished, he saw John fall to the ground and instantly he was alongside the boy. "John!" he knelt down, "holy shit, are you ok?" John nodded, Karkat was so wrapped up in the fact that the human was ok it took him a minute to figure out something was different. It was when John tried to speak that he actual noticed what had happened.
"K-Karkat, what th-OW!"
Karkat couldn't believe what he was seeing. It was John, that much was clear, but the boy had features all too familiar with Karkat. He had grey skin, pointed ears, yellow claws, glowing eyes, and on his head two bendy horns grew. One was curved up while the other curved down, much like his Heir of Breath symbol. "J-John I think you're a troll
" Karkat said quietly.
"What?" The boy looked down in disbelief, but when he saw his hands he knew Karkat hadn't been joking. He ran his tongue over his teeth, noticing each one had a sharp point, and there were many more than before. He brought a hand up carefully to his head and winced when it came into contact with a new growth. John looked up at Karkat, "I think you're right
" he focused on each word carefully so he didn't bite his tongue again. "How did this happen?"
"I don't know." Karkat replied honestly, shock was still clearly visible on his face. He watched as John gave a toothy grin, his buck teeth still prominent, only now they were sharp.
"Well, I guess we'll figure it out, but this isn't all bad," he said optimistically, "in fact it's kinda cool!" He stood with Karkat's help, and looked around. Everything in the lab was suddenly so much clearer, even though it was dark. When he breathed he could smell Karkat, he noticed that the troll had a distinct scent he hadn't been aware of before.
"I can't believe you're so calm about this." He said helping the boy to stand steadily. "You are such an idiot, I swear." Karkat couldn't help but smile too, an action he rarely did. Karkat examined the new troll carefully, John looked normal enough; he didn't appear to have any defects. He carefully ran a hand across one of John's horns; he felt the boy shudder and look up. "They're still soft," he murmured, "don't touch them, and try not to bump into anything. They'll need at least a day to harden."
"Troll horns don't start off hard?"
"No," Karkat replied, "They are supposed to be super sensitive, when we're grubs they help us navigate the dark caverns, they harden when we pupate, but even so, they never really lose all their sensitivity."
John nodded, not sure why his would be soft. He met Karkat's eyes. "What should we tell the others?"
Karkat walked back to the machine, "Maybe we won't have to tell them anything." He started looking over the device, "maybe this thing still works and we can change you back."
As much as the thought of being put under that much pain again scared John, he nodded and walked over to where Karkat was standing. He glanced at the controls and monitor, the boys heart sank a bit. The machine was completely trashed, smoke was coming up from the panels and rouge sparks of electricity came from the buttons. "I don't think it's going to work anymore, Karkat."
John watched the troll slam his fists on the machine, "Damn it John!" he pounded the machine again, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this to happen to you. We should have just left the damn thing alone."
The new troll placed a hand on Karkat's shoulder, "It's ok, Karkat, I'm at as much fault as you. I mean, I was the one who kept saying we should see what it does." He smiled again, "Besides, maybe the effects wear off?"
"Somehow I doubt that." He looked back at John, who seemed to be completely back to normal personality wise.
"Should we continue our search for something useful?" he asked.
"You don't want to tell everyone what happened?" Karkat asked, a bit surprised.
"Well, they'll figure it out sooner or later," he sighed, "Why waste the time it took to get down here?"
Karkat agreed and they continued the search. He watched John very carefully, for any signs of his body not working right. All he could see was a perfectly healthy troll boy. John's muscles reacted exactly how they were supposed to, and it seemed all his senses worked as well. John was able to help to Karkat move heavy pieces of broken metal and the stupid grin never left his face.
"I think I like being a troll." He said tossing aside a large chunk of scrap metal.
"You've only been one for a half hour, fuckass." Karkat commented and looked at another machine carefully. He was no longer willing to risk turning one on. He blew dust off the keyboard and stood back in shock. "Damn, Egbert I actually found one."
"What? Really?" John ran to his side and looked at the contraption. The device looked exactly like the alchemezer they all had. "Yeah, it's even got a slot for the cards!" he turned and started running towards the staircase out, "come on! We gotta tell everybody!"
Karkat blinked in surprise, 'Damn, Egbert can run fast.' He took off after the boy catching up and running alongside of him. He could hear John babbling on and on about how pleased everyone will be now that they found a way to keep producing food. Karkat smirked when John tripped over a step and Karkat caught him before he could hit the ground. "Just watch where you're going, we don't need you busting up your face." The other boy laughed his goofy laugh and kept running. They burst through the door and both winced in brighter light.
"Guys! Guys! Come quick we found an Alchemiter!" John shouted as soon they hit the top floor. John was panting slightly but the grin never fell from his face. He waited for his friends to show up. Soon Rose, Dave, and Jade appeared from one hallway. Following behind them was Terezi and Kanaya leading Sollux. "You won't believe it!" he said happily, "Karkat and I found one! We have no worries now!"
They stared dumbly at them. Karkat could feel the stares, well except Sollux, his face was confused and he just looked blankly in their direction. "What'th the matter?" he asked, his lisp back in full force after his teeth grew back. "Why'th everyone tho quiet?"
John blinked a few times, realization setting in. He glanced at Karkat, then back at his friends, then his gaze fell to the floor. "I-I uh, I sorta did something stupid."
Dave stared at him through his shades, "John are you, a troll?"
"So THAT'S why you smell different!" Terezi exclaimed.
Rose cut in, "how did this happen," the question was directed at Karkat rather than John.
"Perhaps it would be best to discuss this in a more comfortable area?" Kanaya suggested.
John nodded and hurried to main room. There were some couches spread out, and a table in the middle. Karkat flopped down on one, glad for once that the humans had come up with a decent idea. Rose wasn't bad at accessorizing, and Kanaya loved to help. John sat right next to Karkat instead of by his friends, who were all on one couch staring directly at them. Terezi and Sollux flanked either side of Karkat's couch and Kanaya kneeled down by the table.
"So," Rose asked again, "what happened?"
Karkat sighed and explained the story, "You see, we were down there looking for useful equipment, when we stumbled across this one machine. John thought it looked promising and was fixing the wiring; I went to the controls and turned it on. It was an odd machine; I couldn't read anything on the display. I was tampering with the options when John discovered this pointy piece jutting out of the side. It was sharp and I cut my finger on it, basically we decided it was useless and went back to what we were doing. I had hit a button, on accident, but it didn't do anything. Then John stood up and the machine went out of control and blasted him with some sort of white light."
"It hurt, really bad," John added. "If felt like my body was being ripped apart. I could hear Karkat trying to stop the machine, he was calling my name, but then it just suddenly stopped."
"When the light went away John was still there, only he was a troll."
"KK, wath that mathine alongthide the wall?" Sollux asked. "Did the dethplay look like thomething you would uthe to copy fileth?"
Karkat looked up surprised, "Yeah, actually, it did."
"Oh, well I know what that wath then." Sollux said confidently. "We thould be able to put John back too. It wath a replicator, uthed to make two pietheth of matter thimilar to each other the thame. I played with it a bit, it thould be eathy to get John back to a human, we jutht need thome human DNA. KK, when that thing pricked you, it wath taking a thample of your blood, of your DNA. It then saw John ath not the thame ath you and turned him into a troll to match." He chuckled a bit, "Luckily for you, troll DNA and human DNA theem to be thimilar enough that you didn't die."
Rose then asked, "So John's not stuck like this?"
Jade added happily, "That's great news! Aren't you glad John?"
John nodded, but he glanced over at Karkat's worried face, the same expression on his own face. Sollux continued, "Jutht lead me to the mathine and I'll have John back to normal."
"I'm afraid it won't be that simple."
"Why not?" Sollux asked, already fearing the answer.
"The power it took to change John destroyed the device. It doesn't work anymore." Karkat answered glumly.
"How bad, KK?"
"Like it won't fucking turn on or do anything. John's stuck as a troll and it's all my fault."
"Karkat that's not true," John tried again to convince him.
"So," Dave said slowly, "John is going to be a troll forever?"
"Unleth I can fixth the divithe, yeah." Sollux replied.
"I don't believe this shit." Dave got up and started to walk away. Rose stopped him. "Lalonde, I don't have time for this bullshit."
"But you have all the time Dave!" John said trying to lighten the mood.
"John shut up." he said curtly. He turned and faced Karkat and John, he gestured to the other trolls, "There is no way I'm just going to accept that my best bro was turned into one of you. Let me make myself clear, I do not trust you. I will never trust you; you're not called trolls for ironic purposes. Now get John back to normal, this quit being funny a long time ago."
John couldn't believe what he was hearing, "Dave it really was an accident! I swear!"
Karkat was watching the other trolls for their reaction, Kanaya seemed a bit shocked, and Sollux had a blank expression on his face, 'he's probably 0k with it,' but Terezi, she was harder to read. She looked hurt, but her glasses were as good as Dave's at hiding her emotions. "Fine, we'll all go there and look. You will see that I was telling the truth, the machine really is busted."
Karkat got up followed by the other trolls, John hung back a bit and waited for Rose and Jade, Dave hadn't said another word and followed behind the trolls not making eye contact with John. "Did I make him mad?" John asked Rose as they were walking.
"I think he's shocked, he's not handling it very well." Rose answered calmly.
"Do you two think badly of me now?"
Rose laughed, "Of course not John, I am not prone to judging my friends based on appearance. I know that you are John Egbert, the very same who helped save all of us countless times over."
"I think it's really neat!" Jade said bouncing along side of him. "Think of all the cool things you can do now!" She hugged him tightly, "You're still my friend, that would never change!" She hung off of him while they walked. Jade couldn't believe how different, yet the same John was. He was definitely still her brother, she looked up at his face, which had for the most part stayed the same, she noticed his pointy teeth and new yellow eyes, she was a bit sad the blue irises were gone, replaced with grey ones. Finally her eyes rested on his horns, she had always wanted to touch one, but none of the other trolls seemed too fond of that idea. She reached up and carefully ran a finger across one, it was smooth and almost felt soft, she pressed down a bit.
John was talking with Rose when he was assaulted with a quick searing pain from his head, he dropped to one knee and noticed Jade had a hand around one of his horns. "J-Jade stop it, that hurts!"
She immediately recoiled her hand and apologized, "I'm sooo sorry John!"
He smiled again, "It's ok, Karkat said they'd be super sensitive for a day or so, then they'll harden up, after that I don't mind if you want to feel them, they are pretty weird!" He got up and continued walking.
Jade walked alongside him again, "Is there anything I shouldn't touch?"
"I don't think so
" John thought hard, "I mean, this only just happened, maybe I'll ask Karkat."
"You seem to be in the mindset that this is how you are going to be for the rest of your life, is this a fair assumption John?"
John looked down, "Well, I mean, Sollux said it changed my DNA. It's not hard to understand that this is serious. And, I'm not going to get my hopes up that I'll suddenly be able to return to normal, if that machine can't be fixed, this might be how I stay."
"And you're ok with this?"
"Yeah I guess." He let out a shaky laugh, "I mean, I don't feel any different than before, I just have grey skin and horns now." He continued walking, "What's done is done, so I should look on the bright side, right?"
"Yeah that's the spirit John!" Jade clasped her hands together.
They reached the basement levels and Karkat lead them to the broken machine, where not even an hour ago the accident had occurred. Sollux bent down and examined the device with sightless eyes. Kanaya was kneeling beside him explaining everything in great detail. He reached out with hand and brushed the machine, he ran his hands all over the surface, taking it all in. He stood up and walked around it, Kanaya still giving him a steady flow of information. He walked back to the others and said grimly, "I don't think it'th repairable." Dave was about to open his mouth to yell when Sollux continued. "I can try, but I don't know how much good it will do." He turned back to Karkat, "Now, KK where wath thith Alchemiter you found?"
"It's over here," he started walking to where they had found it. Karkat turned to see John running up to walk shoulder to shoulder with him. "Sorry about the Replicator, John."
"It's no big deal; I've already decided that living as a troll won't be so bad."
"Idiot you obviously haven't thought this through at all." He sighed, "We'll talk later, ok?"
He nodded, "Yeah. Come on! We have to show them our great find!"
Sollux had checked out the Alchemiter and confirmed that it was actually useable. "Now, KK, can you and Kanaya carry it?"
"I don't know, it's pretty big."
"I can help too you know," Terezi scoffed, "I may be blind, but I'm not useless."
"I can help too," John said.
"I guess you can," Kanaya confirmed, "You would be a great help."
John smiled and grabbed a side of the device; thankfully it was a compact version of the ones they had used, so it wasn't as bulky and heavy. John smiled when it came off the ground with relative ease. The four of them lifted it up the stairs and into another room; this one had the hum of machines and was dimly lit. Sollux requested they put the machine along the wall and then leave so he could start hooking up things. Thankfully he had spent his entire life around electronics and didn't need his eyes to see what he was he was doing.
John re-grouped with the others in the main room. Rose and Kanaya were chatting on one of the sofa's. John saw Dave fiddling with a new iPod he made before the old Alchemiter broke. He sat down next to him and asked what he was listening to. "One of my bro's mix's." He replied without looking up.
"Can I listen too?" John asked, curious as to what his Dave's older brother's music was like. Dave grunted and pulled out an ear-bud handing it to John. John put it in and was amazed at the sound. The bass line enveloped him and he closed his eyes letting the music wash over him. The volume hurt his ears a bit, but he wasn't going to complain, he just sat beside his friend listening to the awesome beat. He could see Dave's fingers moving with the sound, and he smiled. The song ended and Dave retracted the ear-bud from John's ear. "That was really good. Your brother was talented."
"Yeah, Bro tended to be the best at fucking everything." He said still watching his iPod.
John laughed, "I'm sure you're catching up to him though, you're pretty awesome at a lot of things!" John leaned against Dave, the human visibly flinched. "There's something you want to say to me, isn't there?" He asked softly so only Dave could hear, well Kanaya could probably hear too, but she didn't give any indication that she cared.
"Yeah," came his short reply. He stood up and John followed behind him. They walked through the halls a bit, before he stopped.
"Out with it Dave." John said when they stopped.
"I don't know if I can trust you anymore."
"What?!" John said surprised. "Why not?"
"Because you're a troll, not human." His answers were simple and blunt.
John tried desperately to search his friend's eyes, but the shades only reflected his own hurt expression. "I'm still John, Dave. Really, nothing has changed."
"Yeah, until you start hanging out with them more than us. Soon you'll be talking like them, eating like them, acting like them. You might be John now, but for how long?"
"For forever!" he protested, "I'm not going to just change who I am! Dave that's stupid. The only thing that separates humans from trolls is our stupid looks!"
"That's not true John!" Dave said a bit louder than his cool-kid façade usually allowed. "You think that that is all, but I listened to Terezi's stories. I paid attention every time she told me about something that made her skin crawl and she felt like ripping another to pieces. I was there when she told me her past, and how aggressive trolls are. The ones you see before you are like tamed wild animals, the look docile until something snaps. You know what happened with their friends right? How that clown one went crazy, how another killed his love? It could happen to any of them, including you now."
"Dave, that's stupid, Dave I-"
"It's not stupid Egbert. To me, my friend, my best bro, John Egbert died today. He died in a horrible accident in the basement of an asteroid. You're nothing but a monster wearing his face." He pushed past John and muttered, "Now leave me alone."
John was left standing alone in the hallway. Tears were slowly beginning to form around his eyes. "I'm not a monster Dave
" he said to himself.
"Hey has anyone seen Egbert?" Karkat asked walking into the commons, "I've been looking for him everywhere."
Rose looked up from her knitting, "I believe he left with Dave a few minutes ago, they went that way."
"Thanks," he headed off in that direction before Rose's voice called out again,
"You might want to wait until they get back. Dave is still unsure of what to think about John's new condition, so I believe they left to work things out."
"Yeah, he wasn't exactly taking it very well." Karkat said leaning against the wall. "I mean, yeah we're some weird aliens you just met but still, he could give us some more credit."
"I agree, however it is not my place to tell Dave what to think."
Karkat asked hesitantly, "What do you make of this mess, Lalonde?"
"It will be different, but I have faith that John is still John no matter what, besides, I've already grown accustom to Kanaya and I am beginning to see beyond your appearance."
Karkat nodded and looked up when Dave walked into the room, John was not with him. "Where's Egbert? I thought he was with you."
Dave didn't say anything, just walked right by and into the hallway that lead to the room the humans shared.
Karkat walked into the hallway Dave had emerged from, he didn't have a good feeling about this. He rounded the corner and heard the sound of someone softly crying. He took a deep breath and proceeded, "Hey Egderp," he tried to sound casual, but when John looked at him he could only feel pity for the poor kid. "What happened?" he asked.
"D-Dave said I'm a monster
he, he said I'm not John, that his b-best bro is dead to him
"John you know that's not true." He walked over and put a comforting arm around his neck, "he's just being an ass, you know that. He'll come around." Karkat waited patiently until John could walk with him. He eyed the blue tears falling down his cheeks, "You're a blue blood," he said trying to switch topics.
"Your blood, it's blue."
"How can you tell?" he asked, wiping his face.
"Troll tears are the color of their blood." He explained. Karkat lead to an abandoned room, he sat down on the floor and motioned John to follow him. He wasn't at all surprised when John leaned against him sighed. "You ok, Egbert?"
"Yeah, I'm just starting to re-think this whole, "it's going to be great being a troll" thing." He closed his eyes tight, "I mean, Dave is one of the only friends I have, I'd be crushed if he continues to hate me."
"I understand the feeling." Karkat said beside him, deciding that John didn't need to discuss being a troll right now; he needed to talk about his friends. "Jade and Rose don't seem to mind," he said in a lighter tone, "maybe Dave will come around?"
"I hope he does." John said. "It's going to be awkward talking to him."
"If anyone can get someone to open up, it's you." He said reassuringly.
"What about you? Do you mind that I'm a troll?"
"No, I don't really care. I was more concerned about if you would hate me for allowing it to happen to you." He ran a hand through John's messy black hair, "Come on, let's go back to the others, it's late, you should think about sleeping."
John got up and followed the other troll out the door. They arrived in the main sitting area again and John sat on the couch and watched the others.
"Sollux said the new Alchemiter should be working by tomorrow." Kanaya said while helping Rose with her knitting.
"That's great!" John said excitedly. "I'm starving!" he laughed and yawned.
Karkat eyed him worriedly, "Maybe you should go to sleep early tonight?" John looked up at him, "I mean, you did just overhaul your DNA, you should rest." Karkat watched as he nodded and left going down the hall.
"See you tomorrow, Karkat."
"Go to sleep, fuckass."
John continued down the hall to the room they shared. The trolls all had separate rooms because they liked the privacy, but the humans all shared one big room. It was nice, being surrounded by all his friends. John eyed Dave sitting on his bed, but he didn't bother saying hello. His words still stung and John wasn't ready to talk to him about it yet. The lights in their room were brighter than anywhere else in the asteroid. It was nice when he was human, but now it hurt and he could already feel a headache forming. He ran his hand over the dimmer switch and lowered the intensity just a bit. Dave looked up at him and said, "Turn them back up."
"Dave, please? The lights were giving my headache."
"You're wearing fucking shades, what do you care?" He said a bit more harshly than he intended. He could feel blood pulse behind his forehead; he flopped down on his bed and stared at the ceiling. He heard Dave get up and turn the lights back up, in fact, he was pretty sure Dave made them brighter. He growled in annoyance, then stopped as soon as the noise left his throat. He was unaware he could even make such a sound. He could feel Dave's glare on him. He sat up and faced his friend. "Was that necessary?"
"Oh fuck you Strider." John laid face down on the bed and buried his head in the pillow and drew up all the blankets over his head. He tried to sleep, but it was hard. He could barely breathe under all the blankets, but he didn't dare take them off or open his eyes due the ruthlessly bright lights. John was confused; he didn't know why he acted so sharply towards Dave, or why it angered him so much. He hoped it was just stress, he prayed it was just stress; the boy didn't want to prove Dave right. He also found sleeping with horns a bit of a challenge, every time he tried to roll over he was reminded by a sharp pain that they were there, on the side of his head. Finally his body gave up the struggle and he fell into a restless sleep.
Just in time to be tormented by horror-terrors and nightmares.