Car ride? Also Karkat suspects John of homophobia. John Is not good at responding to accusations.
Last finished chapter. There's one more chapter, but I have no idea if I want to finish it or just, like, never let it see the light of day. I suppose I could upload it unfinished, but... eh.

Chapter 3

You sit in the car, nervously fidgeting to yourself. You can’t help it, though. The last time you’d been to a birthday party was on your 13th- and that was your party. Frankly, you’re surprised your dad hadn’t thrown you any more parties than he had, given his cake obsession. You make a mental note to call him soon- you hadn’t talked to him in a little while- and continue to silently freak out about the party.

It’s not like you’re against parties or anything, other people can enjoy them! Hell, you as a 16 year old might have actually been excited to go to a party, but now, it’s just nerve wracking.

You think about all of this while staring out the window. Specifically, the window of Jade’s car from the shotgun seat. You’re also apparently driving Dave and Karkat there, because both of them are in the back. Things are still a little awkward between you, Dave, and Jade. Well, more just awkward between you and Dave. You haven’t actually voiced your complaints about her meddling to her, yet.

Honestly, you hadn’t even told Rose you were going, though knowing her, she probably already knows you’ll be there. Then you realize if she invited everyone but you, why would she want you to be there? Was she excluding you? You’re about to go on a downwards spiral, but a little nagging voice tells you to just fucking ask her, instead of assuming things. You think back a silent ‘fine’ and pull out your phone.

-- ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering tentacleTherapist [TT] --

EB: hey rose?

EB: if you’re not busy, i have a question for you.

TT: Well I wouldn’t describe myself as not busy, what with the whole party I have planned and am currently in the process of setting up, I can spare a moment.

TT: What is it?

EB: heh.

EB: well i was going to ask you two things, actually, but you kind of answered the first question already?

EB: that being whether you knew i was going to it or not.

TT: You’ll be arriving with Jade and the Davekat, yes?

EB: that’s one way of describing them, yes.

TT: To describe those two as non-adjacent would be, quite frankly, false.

TT: Lately they seem practically glued together. You’d figure for two people who don’t share the same dorm and are constantly busy with schoolwork, they couldn’t possibly spend that much time together.

TT: Though I suppose when me and Dave decided to share a dorm, it more or less became a formality of paper signing, since my mother then forced me to live in a large house. I might have appreciated it more if it wasn’t thirty minutes away from my college.

TT: Dave hasn’t said anything to me about the dorm situation, but it’s likely they both share that dorm room.

You focus your hearing for a moment and listen to Dave and Karkat's conversation for a moment. “Look you gotta understand that movie is literally terrible, there isn’t an excuse for you this time okay you’ve made me a romcom expert and in my strider certified opinion, that shit sucked.”

Karkat silently yells. “Dave, just because you decided to actually fucking watch my movies with me for a few weeks does NOT mean you are suddenly an expert! I have been studying the art of romantic comedies for my entire god damn life, and if you think for just one moment that some how, some way, you have fucking gained some sort of knowledge above my years of experience, you are sorely fucking mistaken, and you can-!” 

You stop listening at this point. You can tell it’s going to go on for a while. You glance towards Jade, but she’s focused on driving. She tends to be annoyed if someone bothers her while she’s making sure none of you crash and burn, so you don’t say anything to her and just look back at your phone.

EB: yeah they’re talking about some romcom they saw recently?

EB: should probably clarify I’m in the car with them.

EB: i think Karkat’s gotten him into the genre.

EB: though he might not admit that himself.

TT: Well that’s not entirely unexpected.

EB: yeah.

EB: i mean you can’t really talk about other people being glued together, though!

TT: Personally I have no qualms with the proximity in which I keep myself to my girlfriend, and hopefully future wife.

TT: I don’t think you could say the same for Dave and Karkat, however.

EB: wow. haha. 

EB: i forgot how confident you are about uh, yourself?

EB: anyways second question.

EB: kind of an important one?

EB: you never actually invited me to your party!

EB: so uh...

EB: i’m kind of worried you just don’t want me there.

EB: not that it i could blame you for that, i guess.

EB: but like...

TT: Egbert, if I had directly invited you, you would have outright refused and then denied any attempts to talk about it. I’m not quite sure who invited you, but I’m glad someone convinced you to come, as I’ve recently been seeing less and less of you in person. I was concerned about the possibility I might not ever see you again.

TT: That last comment is sarcasm, of course. If you refused to meet me for any longer, I might have barged into your room and dragged you out, kicking and screaming.

EB: ha. ha.

TT: I realize a party isn’t exactly the best place for someone who is a little deep into their... anti-social phase, so if you need some time to yourself, you know where the upstairs guest room is. 

TT:It has your name on it, afterall.

She’s got enough guest rooms to just start assigning them to her friends. Yours was on the smaller size, but even then, it’s bigger than your room back at your dad’s house. You uh... really mostly use it to get away from other people when you’re there, because you don’t sleep over there often.

EB: uhm, okay.

EB: i’m gonna go now.

TT: I must continue preparing as well. I hope you find the party enjoyable. 

-- ectoBiologist [EB] ceased pestering tentacleTherapist [TT] --

Right. You forgot about the psychoanalysis and all that. Har. Har. So funny, Rose! What a jester! You feel your now rarely used PRANKSTER’S GAMBIT tick down a few notches. That jape sure was hilarious!

You look at a few other handles, but the only person you see online is Kanaya? She’s probably talking with someone else about the party though, given that you think she’s helping Rose set it up? The two of them kind of... kind of live together? Kanaya won’t admit it, but she spends most of her time at Rose’s house; you know this because she’s always there whenever Rose calls you.

Regardless of anyone’s busy status or not, you don’t think you really want to talk to anyone. Rose kind of hit your ‘you don’t know me’ nerve, like you’re some kind of troubled teenager. Sure, you have some issues, but it’s not like she’d know much about it! Because uh... she wouldn’t get it. Probably.

You shut your phone off and just stare out the window, watching trees and houses go by. You’re in some sort of residential area with big fancy houses you’d expect to be somewhere in the six digits, price wise. It kind of intimidates you, but then you remember you’re friends with Rose, and by proximity someone(her mom) who might make more money than all of these people. Hmm... That’s a weird thing to think about.

You stop spacing out and scoot your chair back, which ends up leaving Karkat with very little room. “John, why the fuck would you do this? I specifically fucking asked you not to do this when we got into this damn shiny metallic death trap!”

You kind of look at him for a moment before remembering, yes, you had a whole conversation about this when they got into the back of the car. Your seat had been scooted back really far, and you then had to adjust it several times before Karkat’s mood shifted to some semblance of ‘minorly annoyed’ instead of searingly fuming.

“Oops.” You scoot the chair back forwards, but you think Karkat’s still not happy about it. Luckily, Dave seems to know now is the time to interject before Mr. Angry gets too pissed.

“John have you ever seen a romantic plot that wasn’t in a cage film because I need backup over here.” He holds his hands together, faux begging.

“What? What’s wrong with Nicolas Cage’s movies?”

Both Dave and Karkat share a look, and you know exactly why. “Oh blah blah, Nicolas Cage isn’t bad, and frankly, that’s all there is to say on the matter.”

“Whatever helps you sleep at night.” You give him a look when he says this, but it isn’t from any actual anger. Then you seem to notice how Karkat is leaning into Dave, their sides pressed together. Clearly Karkat is leaning more than Dave is(Dave probably just feels nervous to try), and they’re holding hands in that weird way where their fingers are between each other. You think it might be a bit weird to notice such a thing in so much detail. You make... what is probably a strange face, before realizing you’ve done so and correcting it.

They probably both notice, but before anyone can make a comment you turn to face the windshield instead of looking. They start talking, very clearly trying to make sure you can’t hear them. You’re not trying to eavesdrop, but unfortunately it’s a small car, and the radio isn’t particularly loud.

“Dave, did you see that??”

“Uh, if you’re talking about John being John, which is to say weird, sure.”

“Look I know you said he was fucking cool, but are you positive he isn’t some fucking homophobe tool?”

Dave sighs.

“Look I know he was weird about when we started dating, but that was mainly because he hadn’t been around it too much or anything, not because he’s a homogenocider or something”

There’s some sort of pause, before Dave mutters a sorry.

“Look, I’m just saying, he’s been fucking weird about it the entire time I’ve seen him. Like he’s not fucking comfortable around us, and it’s very clear!”

“...Look I think he’s just a bit alienated you know? We talk about this stuff a lot and I mean... We’re bi, love you babe, Rose and Kanaya are gay, Jade’s bi and trans, and-”

That cuts you straight out of their conversation and just shocks you. Jade is trans??? What? You look over at Jade and... you can’t really see it at all. Which er, you guess is good? Probably? God. You had no idea!

She’s... she’s just, she looks very normal! Again, good thing, but it kind of just is almost unbelievable to you. She looks... okay, well, you’re not gonna say your sister is attractive, you’re not that weird, but you can appreciate that as a person, she looks relatively good? And she’s trans???

Ugh. This really hurts, for some reason. You’re not sure why, though. You’re a great ally! Right? You love your sister dearly, and this doesn’t change anything about her! But... why are you kind of... nope! No- haha. You’re perfectly okay with this. It’s great, and okay, and you’re okay with it, because why would you not be! 

You bury your gut churning feelings, and tune back into the conversation.

“The hell? You fucking think he’s gay?”


“Uh, I’m not gay?”

They both turn their heads towards you, sort of semi-surprised, as you’re now looking back at them. You suppose you just revealed you’d been eavesdropping.

“Er... did you hear all of our conversation?” He very clearly cringes, at least slightly, despite his constant bragging about his poker face.

Shit hold on, maybe you can salvage this. “No, I just heard that out of nowhere. I’ve kind of uh... been zoned out, a lot, during... the uh, ride.”


They both look at you, and you just... slink back into your seat. You ask Jade quickly if you can turn up the radio and she nods. You just... You want to tune out the rest of whatever their conversation wanders to. You’re not gay. You know this at minimum- you’ve thought about it after Dave came out- but it probably didn’t look that way when you said it.

Jesus christ, why can’t you just not be a fuckup? 

You just wallow in how stupid that conversation was. You just don’t- god. That was so fucking stupid. You just zone out for the rest of the trip, trying to ignore how much of a fuckup you are.

* * *

You all shuffle to get out of the car, and you’re already regretting agreeing to come to this party thing. To be honest, it’s pretty much ridiculous. You? A party? Ugh. 

You can see a fancy electric white car, which is probably Rose’s, a jade green car which you think is Kanaya’s, a bright hot pink car, and a few others you don’t recognize- two of them are large vans. Great. There’s gonna be a lot of people you don’t know, and you’ve already started alienating the people you came here with. Fun.

Rose’s mini-mansion always surprises you- it just looks too large- and you don’t know enough about architecture to really comment on it, though it has a lot of arches? It’s more stone and concrete than wood, anyway.

Your stomach is already sinking, and anything the others are saying seems to be sinking as well. You think Jade is saying something about how she’s excited, and Dave and Karkat are saying something you can’t hear back, and you- you can’t hear any of it. 

You feel like you’re submerged. Like everything is far away, so far away from you. 

Your group starts walking up to the building and you ring the doorbell. A large chime snaps you out of your trance, like you’d been splashed with a bucket of water.

Karkat jumps. “OH FUCK!” And Dave just chuckles in response. “Never not obnoxiously loud.”

“I actually find it quite charming.”

Everyone jumps when they hear her- apparently the front door was somehow silently opened- and Rose is standing politely in a black dress with some kind of jacket thing? It’s a look that’s between casual and fancy, just the right amount of dress for a party, but casual enough that you remember it’s just going to be a bunch of college students.

“Well don’t just stand there, come on in.”