Karkat looks at the car’s clock, “It’s time to switch.”
“Do you want me to stay up with you?” Jade queries. “It’s only fair.”
“No I don’t need you to do that,” he claims. “I have enough distractions to keep me
awake.” He holds up his large coffee as he finishes it off.
“Oh,” she looks off to the side. “Are you sure-sure?”
The troll grunts, “Yes I’m fucking sure-sure like the Grub damn one-sweep-old I am.”
Jade starts to pout, “You know what your problem is Karkat? You-“
“No. Fuck no I’m too tired for this if I want to keep my sanity. Why are trying to fight
“Why do you want to stop talking?”
“Because then we’ll move on to me and I don’t want to talk about dumb shit that was in the
past. What the fuck is even with you humans? All you want to do is sort out your problems,
but you know what? Just let them go! Forget them and they’ll leave you!”
She looks at him unsettled, “Karkat I-“
“No Jade. I’m done. I’m don’t want to share my ‘feelings’ like you do. Go to sleep and
leave me alone.” His partner frowns to herself but turns away.
Karkat tries not to think about how much he messed up. He tries not to think about it for
five minutes. He tries not to think about if for twenty minutes. He tries not to think
about it for fifty-five minutes, but he cannot.
He looks over at his ‘friend’ who appears to be sleeping peacefully. Karkat opens his
mouth just a little to say, “Jade . . .” She moves around cuddling herself.
“I didn’t sleep.”
“Are you tired?”
“No,” she whispers with half-closed eyes. Jade opens them up and looks apologetically at
Karkat, “I’m sorry. I should have let you have your privacy.”
The troll sighs, “I’m sorry too, I shouldn’t have barked at you. It was dumb.”
“I just worry you know? I thought I knew everything about my friends, but then I really
get to know Vriska and it’s like . . . I knew nothing at all.” She looks over to the
troll, “I don’t want to have that happen with you.”
“I don’t have dark secrets Jade,” Karkat explains. “I’ve told you practically everything.”
Jade holds herself tighter, “But I’m not looking for ‘dark secrets.’ I want to make sure
that you and Vriska are okay. I don’t want either of you to be unhappy.”
“Why would you think I’m unhappy?” She responds with an awkward look. “Jade, just because
I’m angry most of my fucking life doesn’t mean I’m unhappy. I’m managing fine.”
“Karkat,” Jade reaches out to comfort him but back out, “you deserve better than managing.
Sometimes I wonder if you are ever really happy, or if you fake it. Have you ever been
“Yes,” he answers. Karkat is tempted to tell her to back off. To demand that Jade drops
the conversation, but he wants to continue. He’ll blame it on the sleep deprivation in the
morning, but he’ll be lying to himself. “I was young. Maybe a sweep or two old. I was
living at a care house alone and scared. Everything was confusing and no one cared to
explain or at least talk to me about it. But then someone picked me up in their arms and
comforted me. I stopped crying like the little troll I was and felt safe.” He stops.
Jade tilts her head interested, “Who picked you up?”
“Her name was Tivrosa. She was a caretaker at the house and the closest thing I had to a
‘mother.’ She personally took it upon herself to care for me since no other staff member
wanted to. She protected me, taught me how to smoke to hide my blood color, and was my
friend. She cared for me more than any of my ‘siblings,’ but I didn’t notice until I was
older. When I was eight sweeps old she told me everything.” Karkat stops talking.
“Everything?” Jade asks.
“Tivrosa had jade blood, meaning like every other jade blood she worked for the Mother
Grub carrying for grubs.”
Officer Harley shakes her head, “Every troll with jade blood doesn’t work for the Mother
Grub. Look at Kanaya! She certainly isn’t caring for young trolls.”
“You’re right. Not all jade trolls do that, only the ones competent enough for the work
“. . . What?”
“Jade, has it never crossed your mind why Kanaya is working here? She couldn’t handle
Mother Grub’s work, so she came here as a loser. That’s what you said Skaia was for,
The woman bows her head, “I had no idea. Kanaya never told me.”
“I wouldn’t blame her. It’s a huge dishonor for that to happen to a jade blooded troll.
Make sure not to bring it up to Kanaya.”
“Don’t worry about that, but what were you saying about Tiwasa?”
“Tivrosa. She was casted out of the caverns for her botch.”
“Botch? What was that?”
Karkat takes a breath uneasily, “Me. My ‘mother’ was actually the troll that took care of my egg, but when I came out as this . . . Well I don’t blame her for trying to kill me.”
Jade is wide-eyed, “She tried to kill you?”
“She told me that as soon as she saw my blood color she took me outside and grabbed a
sharp rock. I was laid down with the rock ready to be thrust down, but she couldn’t do it.
She realized more and more with each passing second that she couldn’t kill me.
Unfortunately for her, other trolls found her and condemned her for not finishing me. And when she refused to let them kill me, we were banished from the caverns.”
“You were told all of this?”
He sighs, “Yeah. Tivrosa then found a small home to raise me in and when I grew old enough I left her to find my lusus like the others trolls my age. And I wasn’t supposed to ever see her again. But when I started living with my lusus in an abandoned building, others found me who wanted to take my new home away from me. And the few that didn’t want to fight me change their minds once they saw Crabdad’s spilt blood.”
“I’m not I find it sweet,” she explains in a comforting voice.
Karkat grumbles, “Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to have him, but then I realize that I’ll never know so why bother. And after Crabdad died I was found by humans who sent me to a care house. Where surprise surprise, Tivrosa was there and I didn’t even remember her. What an unforgivable piece of shit I was to do that.”
“And so she told you all of this years later.”
“And she thought she was to blame for my blood. She wondered constantly if she bumped my
egg, or if she kept me too cold. That’s the problem with our society; they can worry
someone to death with their criticisms. If they’d just accept what done is fucking done
then we can move past everything no one wants to deal with.”
“I’m confused Karkat, I thought you said you are a full troll.”
“I am,” he growls. “Look at me Jade! Do you see any human features on me?”
“Rhetorical question! I was raised a troll and I’ll die a troll like my mother promised.”
Jade, not wanting to get on Karkat’s defensive side, tries to change the conversation, “So
if you were raised like that then how did you get your symbol? I’ve never seen other
trolls with it before.” Karkat looks down on his belt where his symbol is shown.
“She gave me this too. I don’t really understand it though, but she says it stands for
equality or something stupid. It doesn’t matter because I don’t care what fucking trolls
could have shared this symbol with me.”
“Really? I thought all trolls loved that! At least Vriska seemed to . . .”
“Yes Jade, all trolls are represented by Vriska.”
“Ugh you know what I mean!”
“Well to answer your dumb question, only high bloods really care about that ancestor junk.
It doesn’t make much sense to me since all the ancestors from Alternia are dead or we
could never learn about them. Not to mention how the generations on the travel to Earth
did nothing interesting. And I don’t give a single fuck about the assholes that fought in
the First War.”
“So what happened to your mom?”
“Like all trolls she got old and died. But it was shortly after she told me about me so I
was pissed and thought going through a depressed ‘goth’ stage was the way to go. I was
such an idiot back then. For all I fucking know I still am. Whoops! Hold the presses
everyone, I’m an idiot! Whoop-dee-fucking-doo! Now everyone go home because print is dead.
I’m going to right an addition to the story called ‘The Fuck Up Called Karkat.’ It’ll be
so popular on my blog!” Karkat bends over pressing his fingers onto his face trying to stop the emotions, “Why her?! She was everything and I just had to fuck it up before she died! I should have noticed how weak she’d gotten.”
Jade frowns sadly to herself from wanting to comfort him but not wanting to set him off,
“I’m sorry that she died Karkat.”
He shakes his head, “It is what it is. We argued a lot before because I didn’t want to believe her, and I didn’t get to say I’m sorry or thank you.”
“She sounds like the type of person who would understand and love you no matter what.”
“You’re right. She was so wonderful and supportive when I was training to become an
“So why did you decide to become a police officer anyways?”
“Because,” he shrugs, “I didn’t want other trolls to become like me. I figured someone had
to stick up for the pathetic trolls that can’t even handle themselves.” Karkat looks over
at the clock, “I’d say we wasted enough time here. Ready to go?”
Jade nods, “Yeah. I’m disappointed nothing happened at the warehouse.”
“I warned you so.”
“I know, but thanks for talking to me. Here, let’s switch sides.” Without argument Karkat
gets out of the car and moves to the other side. “Thanks! I know you wanted to drive us
here, but I think Vriska would prefer if I drove her car home.”
“I won’t argue, her car drives badly.”
Neither one really talked on the way home or fell asleep. While Jade concentrates on
driving home, Karkat can only think of one thing, “Jade’s pretty cool I guess when she’s
not annoying or anything. She’s not as pampered as I thought too. And she didn’t laugh at me when I told her about my life like I expected. And she’s smart, I don’t think she fakes it like some other assholes that I’ve dealt with. I guess Jade’s really . . . special.”
When they finally arrive at Karkat’s apartment, Jade drops her partner off and says,
“Night!” Karkat stays outside to watch her drive off to her own apartment.
The troll then walks up the stairs into his apartment, opens the door and prepares for bed by stripping down to the underwear. Karkat collapses into his bed and pulls the covers over hoping to get some sleep before work that’ll come in the afternoon.
He is one second away from sleeping before his eyes wake up more alert than ever in the entire night. The troll tries to shake the thought away but he cannot.
The officer sits up in his bed and grasps his head astonished, “I’m red for Jade!”