“Gack!” you hack into the sleeve of your soft sweatshirt. You woke up with a cold this morning and the cold weather is not helping you. You try to continue walking down the sidewalk, but you are forced to stop to cough.
“FUCK!” you shout to the ground. “I’ve probably lost my bitchkicking lungs at this point.”
“Whoa bro,” your moirail cautions, “be careful there.” He whacks you back a few times
until you feel better enough to stand. “There, healthy as a motherfucker.”
Your name is Karkat Vantas and you most certainly do not feel as healthy as a
motherfucker; unless motherfuckers feel like bitches getting shit shoved down their
throats. “Please kill me now Gamzee.”
“No can do, but maybe you should have stayed home. I promise on my motherfucking life that
the restaurant is clean as the Virgin Mary’s titties.”
You look at him skeptically, “Who the fuck is that?”
“Someone who apparently has clean titties? I don’t motherfucking know bro, some human
outside one of those buildings you told me to avoid told me so. Super clean religious
figure like my Messiahs.”
“You walked by a church? There’s a church in Skaia?”
“I wasn’t exactly-“
“No. Remember what I said,” you remind him as you pull out a cigarette.
Like an idiotic school brat, Gamzee recites, “Don’t tell Karkat stuff that could hurt me.
Karkat is a cop and doesn’t need my pointless shit annoying him. Don’t tell cops what I do
“So was what you were about to tell me illegal?” Your moirail doesn’t answer. “Okay good.
And bad, but you’re learning.” Gamzee helps you light your painkiller.
“No but seriously you look like the miracle I have come out of me after a long celebration
“I feel like . . puke.”
“I think you need some sleep Karkat. You should get some motherfucking Zs going on like on
those cartoons I watch.”
You wave him off, “No. Every time I sleep . . .”
“You get bad dreams,” he finishes gaining a frown. You nod your head; before you started
coughing you were telling Gamzee about your most recent dream. Every time you closed your
eyes the same horrible memories appear: seeing people dead in the alleyway, seeing Jade
forced against a wall by Droog, even incidents from the Care House. Every single fucking
time. You barely have any energy in you; it’s a good thing that today you have a day off.
The streets are especially busy around you. Cars are honking and people are shouting; it’s
enough to make you die. Figuratively you hope.
“I’ll be fine. That’s who I am, I’m the troll that puts up with everything.”
“That enough Gamzee! I don’t want to hear another word.” Grub you swear he’s your three-
sweep-old or something; a perfect example on why you don’t want any fucking kids.
“Officer Vantas!” A woman calls out from behind. You and Gamzee turn around to find a
young woman running up to you in heels. What kind of monstrosity is coming to probably end
your life? But she soon gets close enough that you are able to identify her as a friend of
Kanaya. And Jade. And Vriska. What the fuck is with this woman to befriend those three and
to try to talk to you, and in public no less!
Gamzee prods your shoulder, “Who’s that?”
“Jade and Kanaya’s friend.” Fuck you don’t remember her name.
The woman finally reaches you, “Hello Karkat, I hope you don’t mind me being informal
You stare at her gawkily, “Fine.”
She raises an eyebrow skeptically judging you, you bet. “So is this the Gamzee that I’ve
heard so much about?”
He sticks a hand out, “Sup chicaboo.”
Ms. What’s-Her-Name turns to you again, “Aren’t you going to be a gentleman and introduce
me?” A gentleman? Oh she’s fucking with you now! She knows that you don’t know her! What a
“We have to get going now.” You turn around and your head starts to sway.
“Oh? Now what could be so important today?” You grab Gamzee by the arm, but he doesn’t
“Ah Karbro and I are just hanging out.” Your eyes start to droop and your cigarette falls
from your mouth.
“Well I must admit that I too have plans for today, but I wouldn’t mind spending some time
with the infamous Officer Vantas. And his loyal companion.” Your head feels too heavy for
“Aww you’re the good type of lady. Can’t she come along with us Karkat? . . . Karkat?”
Gamzee notices you fast enough to catch you as you black out and fall.
You wake up . . . you don’t know when or where. Your eyes flutter open to reveal that you
are lying in a bed in a mess of a room; papers are everywhere where the clothes don’t
cover the floor. You reach for the closest sheet, “Zazzerpan stared at his students with
such a brooding look that his very students shuddered in their seats as if ice daemons
touched their shoulders. ‘Failures. All of you,’ he shouts. Zazzerpan is so horrified by
the performance of his students that he uses his magic to levitate the failures’ recent
test papers. ‘Not one of you past. What do you have to say for yourself?’ One queer student, or perhaps brave, Herbert Pissybottom, stands up, ‘Sir what do you expect from us? We spend all day doing your training and we have no time to study! We understand how important it is to fight the battle, but we can’t do it all!’ Zazzerpan snarls, ‘I was promised perfection from all of you no matter what. You CANNOT back down now. There’s no one for you to even dare crawl back to.’ He crosses his arms staring Pissybottom down hard, ‘So how do you plan to make up this mockery of my lessons?’” What the fuck are you even reading that’s rotting your eyes?
“Oh!” a woman cries out. It’s the same one from the street. She quickly walks past the trash and snatches the paper away from you. She stares at you unfavorably, “How much did
“It wasn’t finished!” she argues defensibly to no one.
“What the fuck is your problem!? And where the fuck am I? Gamzee!” you call out hoping for assistance.
“Your friend had other plans so he left you in my care. I am Rose Lalonde and you are in
my apartment. Gamzee helped me carry you over here as it was the closest location.”
“You didn’t call the hospital!?”
“I wanted to but your friend was skittish at the thought of the authorities getting
involved. Any sort of authority it seemed.” That doesn’t surprise you.
“So now I’m at your apartment? How long have I been out?”
“Not long at all, about half an hour; certainly not enough time for you to dream.”
You stare at her furious, “What?”
She’s unfazed, “Your friend told me of your bad dreams Karkat.”
“I can’t believe he told you and ditched me so quickly.”
“To be fair I think he was worried that I would end up calling the hospital.”
You rub your eyes, “That fucking moron. Can I get some coffee here?”
“I’m afraid that coffee can’t help you with your problems.”
“What fucking problems!?”
“Tell me, did Jade or Kanaya ever tell you that I’m studying Psychology? Sure it’s not my
major, but I find it highly stimulating.”
“Please tell me that you aren’t going to ask about my childhood or some shit. That is the
stupidest ass-fuckery you could do right now.” You reach into your sweatshirt pocket for a
cigarette and lighter.
She smiles, “Don’t worry, I won’t intrude on your childhood, if you don’t want me to.
However I do have some questions for you and if you comply I can help you. Also my
apartment is smoke-free.” Defeated, you return your items back into your pocket.
“Questions?” Rose moves closer to you and touches your face and checks his heartbeat.
“You haven’t said no yet.” You haven’t but it’s quite possible that that’s because you are
exhausted. “How much sleep do you believe you get each night?” You try to rub out whatever
horseshit is in your eyes right now.
“Ugh fuck. I don’t know. Five hours . . . if I’m lucky?”
Rose looks at you astonished, “That isn’t enough for you especially with your career. How
long has it been like that?”
“Uh months ago but I would have more sleep back then. It’s just gotten worse.”
“What would you say your stress levels are?”
“I’m a fucking officer of the ass-fucking law. What do you think? My life is on the line
almost every day.”
“Indeed. Tell me, are you single?”
Now you are staring at her freaking out, “Okay that’s it I’m leaving.” You try to get out
of her bed.
“Please stay calm. I assure you that I am acting as your doctor and you as my patient. I’m
asking only because research shows that people who live alone die early and they are
afraid of dying alone.”
“Where in the grubshitting douchebagging rumpusfuck did you find that? I’m fine being
alone! Being with others only fucks with your head.”
“Oh really? Vriska told me that you had a date last night, so how did that go?”
Grub damn that troll. She’s the one that arranged that nooksmasher of a date.
Last night . . .
You are sitting across one fuckpile of a troll, and by fuckpile you mean this ‘female’
looks like she’d been through a blender of makeup. She’s cutting her steak in the most
obnoxious way possible and talking with her mouth full of potatoes. “So, you’re a cop?
“We’re not encouraged to shoot people,” you answer bluntly. You pick at your . . . you
don’t even want to know what you’re eating at this point because she has ruined your
appetite. “So Kyrsta, what’s it like . . working?”
She looks up at you with her dark orange eyes, “I’m a surgeon.”
“Right and how do you know Vriska?”
“She’s a common visitor at the hospital.” On the last word you feel a bit of spit hit you
just below your right eye. And you got dressed up for this.
Now . . .
“It didn’t work out.”
“I understand that ‘it didn’t work out’ has been a problem with you ever since your
divorce. Is there no one that you thought of dating, or have been allured to?”
Jade comes to mind. “No.”
“You asked Vriska for the blind date, which must mean you want to move on?”
Jade has those beautiful eyes. “Yes, but I want someone that I like.”
“So who or what is your type?”
Jade has that annoying laugh that somehow makes you smile. “It would be better if I just
stayed alone. I can’t even stay asleep one night, who would want to deal with a
“Karkat please, I’m here to help.”
“Let’s be serious here, you have a million better things to do than this.”
She looks at you earnestly, “Yes. But this is more important, and it can be beneficial to
You stare at her confused, “How?”
“I said before that I’m taking Psychology, and I have a bit of an assignment.”
“I immediately regret everything I didn’t regret before.”
She shows you a soft smile, “Don’t worry, my professor has complete faith in me, and all I
need is a test subject.”
“I still don’t understand what’s going on.”
“Karkat,” she puts a hand on her bed and looks you in the eye, “I think you’re a victim to
PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
“. . . What?”
“It’s sadly common for people who have faced traumatic and violent events. Gamzee told me
of your previous dreams and I honestly believe that you have PTSD.”
You turn away, “So I’m crazy.”
“Not at all.”
“Then what am I?”
“You are in need of some help.”
“That’s pretty fucking corny.”
“But that doesn’t mean it’s not true.”
“Then what could you possibly need from me?”
“I’m writing a paper about PTSD and trolls. You see it’s quite fascinating how your
species handled it before, but they didn’t understand what was going on. They just saw a
problem and decided to fix it. On Alternia, every troll slept in a recuperacoon: a vessel
containing soper slime. Trolls used their recuperacoon to assuage the bad dreams said to
plague them every night. Don’t you see Karkat?” No. “Trolls had a warrior-like culture so
they gained PTSD from their battles. Alternia medical scientists probably found this
problem and used soper slime to ease every troll, but they also used it on children to get
them used to it! And soon enough it became a traditional bedroom item! I bet most trolls
forgot what nightmares were like. However, when trolls came to Earth they discovered the
ease of the common bed and moved in to those, thus exposing them to PTSD!”
You sort of back away from the woman, “So that’s your thesis?”
“Yes! Isn’t it exciting?!”
“So you want me to use soper slime?”
You furrow your eyebrows, “If you think I’m enough of a bulgejerk to eat soper slime then
“Eat? Oh of course I don’t want you to eat it! If you consumed that material then your
brain could be dangerously damaged.”
“No, I recommended that every night before bed you rub some sopor slime on your forehead
to allow direct access in the smallest amount possible.” She rubs the back of her head
nonchalantly, “Then if you could just give me the results that would be splendid.”
“And where do you expect me to get slime?”
She gets up and opens a nearby drawer and pulls out a plastic container, “I have some with
Your eyes widened, “What nooksucking bitchfucker gave you that!?”
“Gamzee. He willingly sold it to me.”
“Idiot.” You scratch around your horns, “And you just expect me, an officer, to use a
practically illegal substance?”
“It’s only truly illegal to consume, besides you’re fine as long as you have a
“And what kind of magical nookwhiffing doctor would willingly prescript that?”
“My professor has the form ready.”
You are getting very suspicious of this whole clusterfuck, not that you weren’t before.
“What kind of doctor is he?”
“No wait. Who is he or she or whatever?”
“My professor is Dr. Scratch.” The very name chills your bones.
“I don’t want anything to do with him.”
“But you need help!”
“I don’t want to owe him anything.”
“I promise that you’ll remain anonymous. I’m the one that’ll owe him.”
You can’t believe this girl, “I don’t think I want you to owe him either.”
She smirks, “I wouldn’t worry about that, I can handle myself. You on the other hand need
serious help, and as your psychologist I highly recommend you take your medicine.”
“You idiot! This isn’t playtime! You can’t trust that creep over anything!”
“What? You do?”
“Yes, but I know what I am doing; especially now.” Rose pushes the slime to you. “I need
to leave now, but I recommend you try to get some real sleep and that you use the slime.
Don’t worry, I trust you not to steal anything, but I don’t trust you to walk out with such little energy. But if you could just write down if it worked or perhaps a phone
number when you wake up, that would be tremendous. Sweet dreams,” and she exits the room.
You pick up the container and open the lid, the slime has a distinct scent not too
favorable but not too distracting. Handing your trust into a stranger, you lightly apply
the slime onto your forehead; its cool touch reminds you of the time Jade kissed your
forehead. You immediately feel an ease to your head, and you lower yourself back onto the
A familiar voice seems to sing to you, “Loving child, sweet child, please stay with me.
Special child, forever child, She shall never make you leave.”
You’re almost definitely positive that is the same voice and song your mother used.