When John woke the next morning he was still surrounded by quietly sleeping trolls. He went to move but found himself trapped in Karkat's embrace. He didn't mind, for the first time in almost a month he didn't wake up alone. It felt nice to be surrounded by others he could relate to a little bit. His senses were off, compared to the others, the closeness was getting uncomfortable but he would rather be uncomfortable then alone. The troll next to him shifted and pulled John with him. He couldn't help giggling when Karkat couldn't pull him over with him like a huge stuffed animal.
Karkat opened his eyes blinking a few times, "Oh, hey Egbert."
"Oh hey yourself," he said back. "Good morning." Karkat nuzzled into John and sighed deeply. "Sleep well?" He nodded. "Do we have to wait until everyone is awake to move?"
Karkat sat up and looked around, "Not really." He started talking softly, "Hey guys, get your lazy asses up. It's time to move on with the day. Don't you growl at me, come on let's move."
"Jethuth KK, it'th thtill early. Shut up."
John watched as one by one the trolls got up and stretched, yawned and started moving around. "Uh, Karkat
you just woke up a group of trolls and they aren't killing you. I don't get it."
Karkat laughed a bit, "Something happened when we were separated. Our small group grew closer than I've ever seen any trolls get. It will probably wear off when we go back to sleeping separately, but for now
there's this peace we can't explain."
He was right too; all the trolls around him were calm and were acting way different then he had ever imagined. It seemed like he was the only one who still had aggression embedded in him. "Karkat this is crazy. Everyone's so calm
Karkat could tell John was on edge, even if he was smiling and looking around wide eyed. He moved closer and instinctively made the calming noise. John looked over and raised an eyebrow in question. "You're really tense." Karkat replied. He saw John look down at his clawed hand that was currently ripping bedding. "It's ok, you can relax. Although I don't blame you, this is a lot of contact after being separated for a while." John nodded and unclenched his hand.
"Sorry about that
"John you're fine. Come on you must be hungry." He pulled the troll up and together the group walked to the dining area. "What did you do all this time you've been alone?"
"N-Nothing really. I just sat around I guess. I did a lot of thinking." He leaned against Karkat, "I don't really want to talk about it right now, you guys are back, can I focus on that?"
Karkat eyed his shirt, "I see you made some new clothes."
"Heh heh yeah. I'm not sure what came over me, I just wanted a shirt to match everyone else's I guess."
"I figured you would eventually. We have a bit of an attachment to our signs and blood color."
Terezi laughed, "Except for you Karkat, you never show yours."
"That's because it's still none of your damn business."
Sollux joked too, "You know, you'd think after being friends this long he'd tell us. I guess being betht friends doesn't mean what it used to."
"Shut the fuck up now. We're not having this debate ever. My personal decisions are not open to discussion."
Terezi was still laughing, "I bet he's secretly a high blood and doesn't want to admit it."
"Or maybe he'th really low and thtill ashamed or something, even though I'm lowest blood here besides AA."
Kanaya spoke up, "What if perhaps he something like human blood and isn't even on the scale? That would be reason to hide."
John felt Karkat tense up quickly. He quickly pressed against his friend again trying to comfort him somehow. Terezi cackled again, "Heh heh heh good one Kanaya, but I doubt he would have lived through the culling drones with something like delicious candy red blood. Someone would have found out. His mutation would have been a bit more severe than say, Sollux's."
Karkat looked pale, "Can we please not talk about me like I'm not standing right behind you? I mean I even fucking asked nicely."
"Karkat were we stepping on a nerve?" Terezi turned around walking backwards, "Or was one of us right?"
Suddenly John's low growl reverberated through the hall, "He said drop it."
Everyone's eyes widened a bit, "Yeah sure John, it was just fun." They walked back in silence.
"You don't have to protect me nookwhiff."
John's shoulders sunk, "S-Sorry. Was that out of line."
"PFt, no. Those idiots need that sometimes. You're fine." He cracked a rare smile. "It was a nice gesture though."
really don't like it when you look cornered like that. Is that weird?"
Karkat glanced over at John his own thoughts going too fast for him to analyze. "No John, it's not weird." 'It's just something that Matesprits concern themselves with.' He began to wonder if John's time alone had an effect on him.
Just like normal Karkat opened his husktop when they got to the table and began pestering the humans. He informed them that they had met up with John and are currently back at the lab. He also told them that they found a possible way out to a different complex.
"Do you think I should say anything? I haven't opened computer up since everyone left. Think they're all mad at me?"
"I don't know John; you talk to them when you're ready." He nodded and instead asked what had been found while they were separated. "Oh, we discovered the end of this lab complex. There's a bridge that leads to the next one, I'm hoping there will be more useful stuff in that one. This whole building seems to focus on the production of weapons for the battlefield. There's a strong possibility that the next building will specialize in something else and contain useful machines."
"So we're going to leave for that one? When?"
"I don't know. I think we'll wait for the humans to reply and plan ahead better. Our food stores lasted us until we got to the bridge. This place is a lot bigger than I thought. Though, we should be able to move a bit faster now that we don't have to check every damn room."
John rested his head on the table. "Do you think the others would want to come with us? Can they come with us? The whole reason we split apart was because my friends were putting too much strain on you guys."
He observed the other troll sink into himself and sigh. "You still can't choose can you?" John shook his head. "It's ok; we'll travel as one big group this time. I still think that we needed the break, but it was an overall bad idea to split up. I realize that now."
"I don't understand why I couldn't just pick a side," He mumbled into his arms. "I should have just left with you."
Karkat placed a hand on his back, "Maybe it's best that you didn't. Because if you had chosen then the group might have stayed split forever. Besides, I don't think you would have been happy with one or the other."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, think about it this way, your friends are important to you right?" He nodded, "Well, if you had gone with them, you would have been pretty happy. But then the troll in you wouldn't feel right ever. I know you'd start to feel out of place. But if you left with us, you'd be fine instinct wise, but miserable because you weren't with the friends you've had for years."
"So basically I'm fucked no matter what."
"You're just in a different and difficult situation John. This has never happened to anyone before. I didn't expect it to be easy, plus you're balancing the emotions of two very different species inside you." He said a bit softer, "Actually I'm surprised you've lasted so long. I'm amazed that you haven't lost it yet, and I haven't had to kill you."
John looked up but he lacked the energy to be shocked any more. "You will though right? If I ever do get out of hand, you'll take care of me?"
"Y-Yeah, of course. But it won't come to that. You've made it this long."
John laughed harshly, "This long? This long has been two months; I still have my whole life ahead of me. According to you guys, that could be hundreds of years. I could easily go insane by then."
Instead of agreeing with him Karkat pulled him into a hug and said quietly, "But you won't. Because I won't let you. I'll make sure of it, just like a promised when you first became a troll. You're strong, John, the fact that you haven't gone insane just from the pressure of adapting is proof of that."
"I wish I could believe that."
Karkat wanted to lift his mood, but he wasn't entirely sure how. So he got up and tugged John with him. "Let's go for a walk, ok?" John looked confused but nodded and followed him. They started ascending the stairs in what used to be Terezi's chunk of the lab. "Listen, John I didn't mean to bring up all that shit about your blood. I didn't want to worry you."
"I know you didn't. But it is facts. I didn't know so much could be decided about you just based on blood color. Troll's are
well really different. There was always a part of me that thought we were the same, that it was only looks. But that I am one, I realize that I've been wrong this whole time. You guys are so different." He trailed off, the started talking again, "I can't imagine how hard it must have been for to lead them all. Especially after what I've been told, how much fighting there was."
The staircase leveled off to a hallway and they continued walking. "It was hard, and maybe in the end, I was the reason we lost. I think I was too good of a leader. I forced everyone together, it wasn't natural. Maybe that's why they started fighting so bad in the lab. You know that we all survived our session right? With Aradia's help we all made it. Then things went to hell so fast. In one day almost all of us died." He punched the wall hard, "Sometimes I think that I could have avoided it, that somehow it wasn't supposed to be like that
because, well, you saw earlier, trolls can be peaceful, even if we're not with our Moirails, or Matesprits. I think we can be a peaceful race."
"I want to believe that. Which is why I think you'll be ok."
"So if our behaviors are influenced by our blood color, I wonder why you act the way you do?" Karkat stopped. "I mean, you're blood isn't on the scale, so maybe that's why sometimes I don't even think of you as a troll?"
There was a silence; John wondered if he should apologize for bringing it up, but then Karkat spoke, "I've been wondering about that my whole life. I have this drive to be a leader, to make sure everything is ok; I got lonely living by myself. And, unlike other trolls I was obsessed with making sure someone noticed me. I'm a fucking mutant, with probably a fucked up thinkpan. Who knows what else is wrong with me. I'm the worst candidate for leadership, but everyone followed me anyways. I have these ideas that aren't normal for trolls, I believe in ideals that should have gone extinct."
"Karkat you shouldn't be so hard on yourself, I'm sure you're fine."
"And then there's a part of me on the other side of the fucking spectrum. Sometimes I get filled with such and intense hate, it's blinding. It'll come out of nowhere
it makes me feel like screaming and killing the nearest thing to me. It's like suddenly I went from being a docile low blood to something like Gamzee. It scares me, how much I can hate something. How much I'll hate myself."
John listened quietly to Karkat; he didn't notice himself moving closer to him and grabbed his hand. He tried to give him one of his trademark stupid smiles in hopes of cheering him up. "Karkat, I can't answer why you're mad, or why you hate so easily, but I think your idea of a peaceful Alternia and peaceful trolls is wonderful."
"Heh, thanks John."
"You shouldn't worry about your blood color Karkat, I mean, it's just a color. I doubt anyone cares anymore, not after what we've been through." They reached another staircase and began climbing that too. "Hey Karkat, where are we going?"
"To the roof, I thought a change in scenery would be nice."
"But we're in space, can we breathe?"
Karkat laughed softly, "It doesn't make any sense, but yeah we can." He followed John up the rest of the stairs and onto the roof.
it's pretty." Karkat stood next to him as the boy observed the stars. "Are
are those your planets" He pointed to what was now just shimmering dust on the horizon.
"Yeah, what's left of some of them." Karkat sat down on the ledge and let his feet hang. "Bec Noir took care of any hope we ever had of wining our session. He destroyed our gate to the new world, your world, he also wiped out Prospit and Derse and all of our solo planets. Pretty much the only fucking thing here is these asteroids."
John sat next to him, "Well, I guess it could be worse."
"We could all be dead, you're right. We could have let you die as well. And as long as we're still alive we'll keep fighting." Karkat growled low, "We won't let this game win."
"That's the spirit Karkat!" John looked into the inky blackness. "You know, I'm glad you trolled me."
"I still think there's something wrong with your thinkpan. I can't believe you enjoyed that." John laughed again, "Though I'm glad I gave enough fucks to harass you too."
"You asked before what I did when I was alone. I can feel like I can talk about it now." He moved so he could lean against Karkat's side, being careful of his horns again. "I spent a lot of time thinking. I cried a lot too. Also, there may or may not be a few broken computers. And uh gashes in the wall from where I maybe attacked it with my claws." He laughed a bit, "But seriously, I was really broken up inside. I don't think there was a night I didn't cry myself to sleep. I uh, really missed you the most Karkat."
John felt Karkat nod and put an arm around him. "I really did miss you Karkat. It was one of those feelings where I didn't know what I had lost until it was gone. I don't want to feel that again."
Karkat rested his head on John's. "I missed you too idiot."
"I don't want to be alone ever again. It sucked. There was too much time to think."
"What did you think about?"
"I thought a lot about being a troll, and what it means
and feelings and stuff like that. Boring shit. You don't care about," he laughed a bit shakily. "I just spent the weeks missing you guys and drowning in a pool of my own sadness. It wasn't much really, but it feels better to talk someone."
"It didn't feel right moving forward when we all knew you were still behind. It didn't sit well with any of us. So before we left, I decided to go back to you. I'm glad I did."
"Same. I think I might have actually gone insane had I been left alone." He gave Karkat a shaky laugh and sat up on his own. "I didn't think out of all the craziness a birthday can hold that I'd end up playing a game like this. That we'd be the only humans left fighting to make a new universe. It seems silly to imagine that few months ago I was an average human boy going to school, and now I'm not even human." He looked back out across the asteroid belt, "It's amazing to think about how much can happen in so little time."
"Are you sad about any of this?"
"No, overall I'm happy I'm not dead. I'm glad you came back for me, and I'm glad I have friends like you. I'm glad I have you."
Karkat stared at John for a while, watching his grey eyes dart from star to asteroid to remnant of a planet. He smiled thinking about what the troll said.
His heart stopped briefly.
"Quadrants are confusing, but
I'm going to try my best to understand them ok?" He looked over at his friend, "So uh, I guess what I'm getting at is that I'm sorry for the mess that happened before you left. Although I know for sure that I don't like Kismesis stuff."
Karkat laughed, "Yeah I figured that much out." He fell backwards and looked up at the weird black sky that surrounded the asteroid belt.
John flopped down beside him too, but grimaced and shot back up, "Ow." He rubbed his back.
"Are you ok? Did you lay on something?"
John muttered under his breath, "Didn't fold right
"What didn't fold right?"
"Oh, uh, my shirt you know? Fabric gets all bunched up and hurts to lay back on." he laughed and resumed lying next to Karkat. "So did you ever hear back from the others?"
Karkat growled quietly, "I was hoping to forget about them for a while." He rolled over and opened his husktop up. "Oh what do you know, I did. They're on their way. They'll be here in a few days."
"I should probably turn on my computer now
" Karkat could hear the hesitation in his voice. "Maybe say hi or something." He continued to watch John load up his pesterchum account and see the wave of messages that bombarded him from friends who tried to contact him over the weeks he was out of touch. John read through the messages his eyes growing wider and wider with each one. "K-Karkat," His voice broke and he just pressed up against Karkat. "Oh god, they were so worried. You all were so worried. I'm an asshole."
"Shooosh no you're not. You were going through a lot. It's not your fault."
"You always are so quick to say it's not my fault, but this time
Karkat I ignored them, I didn't even turn on my stupid computer to check. All because I was scared of talking to them. I was scared they'd make me choose."
Karkat didn't know what to say, "I'm sure they'll forgive you, they are your friends."
Those few days went by very quickly. John was glad for the time he had alone with Karkat, he really did miss the troll and rarely left his friends side. It was nice walking into rooms and seeing familiar faces instead memories. The feeling of safety and comfort when he slept again was something he didn't want to lose again. He even began think more about Karkat in ways he hadn't before. The idea of becoming Matesprits didn't sound so awful anymore. He had to live without Karkat and it sucked, he couldn't imagine doing it again.
He missed is friends, but Karkat said they'd be coming within the hour. There was no way John was missing this. The troll waited with Karkat by the split in the all in the same room where they all parted ways originally. John heard it first, the sound of footsteps and voices talking. He got up and looked from Karkat to the dark corridor again. "Karkat it's them. Can you hear? it's them!"
"Yeah I can hear them," He replied quietly.
John was now bouncing from foot to foot, "Oh gosh I can't wait
" As soon as Rose and Jade entered the room John ran forward and tackle hugged them to the floor. He was careful to make a cushion of air so they didn't hurt themselves. "I missed you guys so much!" He hugged his friends tighter and laughed.
"J-John," Rose said a bit surprised.
"John! I missed you too!" Jade hugged her brother back.
The boy looked up, "Hey where's Dave?"
"Over here Egderp." John's eyes moved to the side of the wall where Dave was waiting. "Whoa, whoa Egbert, man, hey stop that!" John tackled him to the floor too, squeezing him.
"Dave!" He was so happy that everyone was back.
Eventually he let Dave stand and grabbed all three of his friends for another group hug. He made the same humming buzzing sound he made around the trolls. "I'm so glad you're all back."
His friends laughed and agreed. Even Dave seemed a bit relieved to be back. They had a group meeting in the living room again, John nestled himself in-between Karkat and Sollux while everyone else filled in around the table. Rose and Kanaya drifted towards each other. They discussed what they found, or didn't find. The humans reporting that they made no progress while they were out. The trolls had the better end of the story; they not only found large expanses of equipment to make weapons for the battlefield but also found access to the new lab.
"So what do we do now?" Rose asked.
Karkat spoke up, "I was thinking we should rest here, re-group and get ready. Then we all leave as one for the new lab. We'll be stronger with a larger group."
"A-Also I don't think I could handle another group split," John added, "I didn't exactly do so well the first time."
"What were you up to John?" Jade asked innocently.
He looked away, "I uh, well. Basically I just had one huge panic attack followed by depression." He smiled weakly, "But I don't really want to talk about it, because it doesn't matter, my friends are back and that's all that matters."
Dave broke his silent cool kid act to say, "I'm really sorry about what happened to lead up to the split. I understand that most of it was my fault. I caused useless drama like a high school girl. I'm sorry about that. I'll work on getting better around you guys, but don't expect me to change overnight."
John smiled wide, "All I need to hear is that you're trying!"
They all agreed to spend at least another month in the lab. Sollux wanted to see how much of their equipment could be made smaller or duplicated for transport. Kanaya and Rose expressed interest in making sure everyone had adequate supplies and John was just happy to have the group back.
There was one night were Kanaya and Rose approached him during dinner, "Hello John." The glowing troll started.
"Oh, hey guys!"
"I was going to ask if you were going to make any moves on Vantas before we left."
"A-Any moves?" John choked a bit on his food. "What do you mean?"
"The way you've been acting suggests you are more comfortable with the idea of a flushed relationship with Karkat. Is this true?"
uh, um. Heh heh Kanaya that's really sorta personal, do I really have to answer? I mean I'm only thirteen I don't know what I want yet. Are you sure I have to make this choice now? Oh gosh
" He could feel his face blush.
"John I regret to inform you that the entirety of what you just said was lost on me, you were speaking in Alternian again."
"Oh, sorry Rose. Sometimes I don't notice when that happens." He rubbed the back of his head, "I uh, I don't know yet. I mean I know that you guys are cool with the whole homosexual thing, and uh I'm starting to realize that maybe it doesn't mean that much to me either. And uh
well I really like Karkat, he's very important to me and-" he paused noticing both their eyes were on him. "Oh man this is sorta really embarrassing. Can I uh, just deal with it?"
"Of course John, I know you'll make the right choice." They left the troll boy flustered and his mind racing.
'Whenever I see Karkat I do feel happier, no matter what. I feel like I need to rush in and protect him, or keep him safe. And,' he made himself blush, 'he's kinda cute I guess
oh god I can't believe I'm thinking about Karkat this way
don't think I could stand to be apart him. Maybe being boyfriends wouldn't' be so weird. We're already pretty close
' He thought more about it that night.
Karkat flopped down on the bed next to him, "John are you sure you're ok with sharing my room still? You've pretty much gotten used to being a troll; I don't think you need to be with me if you'd rather go with your friends."
"No," he said almost too quickly, cursing himself for reacting so fast. "No, I'm fine, really. I like sharing a room with you." Karkat rolled over and shrugged. "I spent too many nights away from you. I really missed your presence beside me."
Karkat didn't even pretend those words had no effect on him. He grinned into his pillow and pulled the blanket over his head. He was aware of John moving closer to him throughout the night.
John slept next to Karkat again the next night too. Each time he kept thinking about the troll and what he meant to him. He decided that the next day he was going to make his move.
It took him all day before he was able to muster up the courage to say anything at all. "Hey, uh Karkat?" The troll looked up from his computer. "Could we talk?" He nodded and moved over on the couch. "No I mean, like maybe in private?"
Karkat looked confused got up and together they went to their room. "Ok, what did you want to say?"
John blushed, blue spreading across face quickly, "I, uh. Karkat could we maybe
I mean if it's still open
I might be ok with being
" he look away more embarrassed than he should be. He couldn't believe how bad he was messing this up. 'Is this really what everyone sounds like?'
"John you have to actually fucking say something to me. I can't comprehend all this stupid babble spewing from your seedflap."
"I really, um
" he said in a small voice. "Like you," and even softer, "Maybe even flushed
" and softer still, "if that quadrant is still open."
Karkat listened to John's words. He saw the boys quivering body. "John," he put a hand on the troll's shoulder. He saw a few blue tears fall from his cheek, "John why are you crying?
"I-I'm sorry. I've been so s-scared." He admitted weakly averting his gaze.
"Of what? John, it's ok. I've been telling you over and over again, flushed feelings are natural."
"I know." He sniffed and turned back to Karkat, "You were right, I talked with some people." His eyes were still adverted, "I thought about a lot. And I-I really do like you Karkat." He wiped some of the tears from his face. "I was caught up in the whole homosexual thing Karkat, I was being stupid."
Karkat let John rest his head on his shoulder. "No, you weren't being stupid. You felt that way, it wasn't fake, or false, those were your feelings."
"But they were human." He paused, "I've decided, Karkat. I've decided that I'm going to throw that part of me away, it's in my past now." His confidence was growing with every successfully completed sentence.
"I'm a troll, and my instincts are telling me that I have flushed feelings for you. And I'm going to be true to them."
Karkat hugged John close, "John, that's a big step, are you sure?" He was trying hard to hide the overly obvious feeling of happiness at John's confession.
He softly growled in Alternian, "I already know the language, I've been acting like a troll for weeks, I think it's time to let go."
"And you're ok with that?"
"Yes." He pulled away and looked Karkat in the eyes, "So, are you still open for a
a flushed quadrant, with me? I'm asking as a troll."
Karkat smiled, "My feelings never changed."
that's a yes?" he asked quietly, the hesitation returning to his voice.
"Of course, idiot, what kind of troll admits they have flushed feelings then backs out of filling a quadrant?" Karkat carefully took John's hands in his own. "I care about you so much John," he murmured. John's face flushed another shade of blue darker. He made a soft chirping sound and his eyes flew open, he backed away a bit and looked to the side. Karkat chuckled, "John, what's the matter? Embarrassed?"
"Y-Yes actually." He looked away. "That stuff still makes me nervous."
Karkat stepped closer trapping the other troll in his arms. "You said you were throwing your human side away."
"I-I know. Just, I can't do it all at once." He smiled again, "You understand right? It's hard
"Why wouldn't I? You've already impressed me a million times over. There were some bumps in the road but you're doing great as a troll. I'm sure you'll make a good Matesprit, John, I hope you do."
"Thank you, Karkat." John got up the nerve to place a small kiss on Karkat's lips. "I don't really know what I'm doing, but I'm going to try hard ok?"
"Now," Karkat said, his tone getting a bit firmer. "Do you know what getting in a Matesprit relationship means?"
John looked at him, confusion crossing his features, "Isn't it like being boyfriends?"
Karkat rolled his eyes and explained, "Sort of. Trolls pick only one Matesprit for their whole lives. They form a bond, a bond stronger than anything else they've ever experienced. The two trolls are bound to each other forever. Your Matesprit is the only one you will totally open up to, they are the one troll you'll risk your life for, the one troll you'll trust with everything you are."
you picked me? Gosh, Karkat
"You picked me as well. And quiet, I wasn't done yet."
John smiled and let him finish. "Now, we can't officially be Matesprits until we form this bond. It's very important that you let all your instincts take over. Even you don't know what you're doing, or are worried. Just go with what feels right. We'll know if we're meant for each other."
"And if we're not?"
"We'll know that immediately. If it doesn't work the first time, there are no second chances, you understand?"
"I think so
but wait, Karkat? You said that trolls could flop between red and black feelings, but just now, you said a Matesprit is for life
"Yes, when we grow up on Alternia our lives are very chaotic. There's lots we have to figure out very quickly. That's why most trolls start trying to figure out their quadrants early. We're also under a time limit. In order to make sure that we can have at least one quadrant filled the feelings that go with red and black emotions are very fluid. We can experiment until we figure out what is right with a that troll. That's why you can flop from red to black to ashen to pale multiple times, but as soon as you chose one, and go through with making the connection to them you're done, that quadrant is filled forever. Even if your Matesprit dies." He carefully held John again, "Do you understand now?" John nodded. Karkat smiled, "I know we're moving fast, but if you chose me and I picked you, I think we should go for it. Right now."
John rested against Karkat; he took a deep breath, "Yes. I think so too. I'm ready."
"John, I just want to say before we start that, that I'm glad you picked me."
He led John to his bed and they sat down. "Karkat, is this going to
Karkat laughed, "No, of course not John. We're only six for fucks sake. We don't have to worry about filling a pail till we're at least nine or ten. This isn't sexual, at all." He pushed John gently down on the bed and kissed him. "I promise. Now, trust me, like I trust you."
Karkat lowered his head so John could see his horns, John imitated the gesture, his brain was working on autopilot. Their eyes met and he couldn't stop himself from kissing Karkat, and he didn't want to stop. Their tongues collided and both trolls worked on staying away from sharp teeth. Every movement Karkat did was gentle and soft, he was careful and would take breaks from kissing to nuzzle John and breathe in his scent.
Shirts were discarded as Karkat moved to kiss John again. The troll beneath him giggled and ran his hands down Karkat's side. His fingers brushed the ridges of where Karkat's grub-legs had fused to his body. Karkat was doing the same, each finger memorizing every inch of his partner. His hands slipped behind the blue blood's back and John froze. "John, are you ok?" Karkat was terrified that they had already failed. The other troll nodded, Karkat continued until hit something on John's back. John tensed again. "John what are these?" The blue troll didn't say anything. He just looked away. Karkat's hand explored around the edge of the raised patch of skin. His fingers met a soft membrane. "John
are these, wings?" He sat up allowing John to prop himself up as well. "You DO have godtier wings, don't you?"
I, yeah," he smiled weakly, "surprise
" He looked like he was going to be sick.
"John let me see
He turned his back to Karkat and let him explore on his own. Karkat noticed the raised areas near his shoulder blades. When he looked closer he could see blue sticking out from underneath. Karkat growled quietly, and soothingly, his fingers grazing the folded wings. John sighed and looked back at him. "I'll show you, but just this once."
Karkat felt the muscles in John's back relax and slowly his wings unfurled. Karkat's eyes widened. "Holy shit, John these are beautiful." When they were fully extended the wingspan was about equal to his arm span, maybe a bit longer. The wings were dragonfly shaped and were a deep blue, just like his blood, and strong, and healthy. The base was darker than the rest. And the darker parts faded into lighter membrane. At the very end was his symbol in light blue. "John," he ran a hand down one of them, watching the boy twitch and shiver. "These are amazing
" as quickly as they came out he hid them again.
Before Karkat could ask why, John kissed him. "Please, Karkat, don't tell anyone."
"I won't, but why?"
"Just, not right now, I want to focus on us, not me. Please?"
"I don't understand, why hide something this amazing? Are you in pain? Does that hurt?" Karkat remembered back to when John was on the roof with him, 'That must have been what didn't fold right, not his shirt
"No, no, no, they don't hurt. They're supposed to fold in like that." He relaxed and let his wings out again to demonstrate. "See? They slide in and out and fold up neatly against my back. It doesn't hurt them at all." John turned back around to face Karkat, "And the reason why I haven't told anyone is because I don't like them. At all."
"They're so beautiful though
"They just make me feel really different, ok?"
Karkat was confused, but nodded. "If it's something you don't want to talk about, we don't have to."
"Thanks." He troll continued to kiss Karkat, this time he got to explore Karkat and feel him. Karkat made lots of sounds, he would purr and chirp and growl and utter bits of Alternian, John loved it. "Karkat, what do we do next? Kissing can't be the only thing
He looked at John, a bit surprised, but smiled anyways. "I told you, follow what you think is right." He dipped his head to kiss John's neck again. He felt John tug at his pants, Karkat allowed them be removed, he pulled John's off too. Karkat never stopped nuzzling him; he never ceased kissing him and telling him he pitied him more than anything else in paradox space. His heart would skip when John would return all the affection, even stronger sometimes. Boxers went the way of their pants and John continued to hold him close.
Karkat could feel his bulge start to come out, John's responded too, "K-Karkat, I thought you said this wasn't going to be sexual?"
"It's not," he said quickly, a chirp punctuating his sentence. John looked up at him a bit worried, but he relaxed when Karkat kissed him again. "Don't worry, you'll be fine."
"I know, I trust you."
"That's all I ask," he moved to kiss him again.
The two trolls felt their bulges meet and wrap around each other. At the same time Karkat's fingers became intertwined with John's, they moved their hands together, memorizing each part of each other. Karkat was right, even though they were naked, and their bulges out, John didn't feel any desire to do anything but hold Karkat. He just wanted to be with him, always.
Karkat hadn't ever felt this happy before, his grin couldn't be hidden. He would chirp and lick John's neck following his throat down to his chest where he broke into kissing. The troll felt his bulge around John, his mind briefly flashed back to a past experience, the growling and snarling he remembered made him freeze. But John wasn't doing that, he was buzzing softly and moving his hand through his hair. Karkat pushed the memoires from his mind and rested his head against John's chest.
"Karkat," he whispered. "This feels right. I feel right."
"Do you feel whole?" John nodded. Karkat smiled and kissed him, grinning when John kissed back. They moved as one, breathed as one, and their hearts were even beating in synch. He watched John's face flush blue when the low humming sound resurfaced from John's chest. "You can purr too it looks like," Karkat said smiling, "Each troll has a unique sound, this is yours."
John smiled wide and pressed against Karkat, "It's embarrassing, but I'm glad I'm making all these sounds, and I'm glad you're here with me." He rolled Karkat over so he was on top, "Does this mean we passed the bond forming thing?"
His partner chuckled and leaned over him, staring into grey eyes that reflected his own, "I think so."
"I don't feel any different."
"You will tomorrow," Karkat assured him.
I think I love you Karkat." John pulled other troll and kissed him again softly.
Karkat fumbled for a blanket, pulling it over both of them. "I love you too." They stayed wrapped in a tight embrace for the rest of the night.
There was a knock at the door the next morning. "KK are you in there? I'm coming in, don't flip your shit. I know how much you like to."
The blind troll entered, and Karkat was still hazily trying to wake up. He heard something growling beside him.
Sollux froze. "KK?"
Karkat blinked a few times, "Shit, Sollux, get out of here."
The growling beside him grew louder, snarls being thrown in the mix. "Ith that John?" Sollux stepped back, his eyes widened. "You guys," he sniffed a bit catching their combined scents, "You guyth are Matethpritth
" He smiled still backing up. "Uh, it'th ok, John, I'm not interethed in Karkat." He moved to shut the door, "Thorry, I'll leave you two alone. Uh, congratulations, KK, I'll tell everyone."
John was still growling even after the door shut and Sollux left. "John, relax, it was my Moirail," he laughed and flopped back down. John curled up against him.
"Heh heh, sorry, I don't know what came over me."
Karkat put an arm over him, "We're going to act a bit differently, just so you know. I'm not sure how different; none of us have actually seen a new Matesprit pair before. Sollux should warn everyone."
"Awww, so we don't get to tell them?" John pouted a bit.
"We can still tell them ourselves, Sollux is just going to inform everyone to keep their distance for a bit. At least until the initial protectiveness wears off." He kissed John quickly, "And you'll be worse than me, Mr. High-blood." John giggled and hugged him.
"Don't say it like that, it's weird!"
"But it's true." Karkat purred and closed his eyes. "We're the first," He said quietly, "we're the first trolls to become Matesprits from out group
I never thought it would be me. You know
because of my blood." He yawned and rested against John.
"I still think I would choose you no matter your blood, it's so silly."
Karkat yawned again, "You might change your mind if you grew up a troll
" He trailed off and went back to sleep.
John watched over the sleeping form of his boyfriend-Matesprit, he corrected, until he also became to weary to resist the soft blankets. 'They can find out from us later.' He sighed contently and let Karkat hold him a bit tighter.
The times John felt secure and alright were rare since entering the veil, and even scarcer since he became a troll. But finally, after all the hardship and emotional stress that came with his transformation, he finally felt ok. There wasn't anything that suggested otherwise to him, the feeling of Karkat beside him and knowing that he had someone who would care about him for the rest of life kept his mind at ease.