Your name is Nepeta Lejion, and you're dead.
Karkat didn't save you from him.
Gamzee killed you.
He let you die.
He didn't control his morail and he let you die.
You've been dead for a while now, and-sort of-come to terms with the fact that he doesn't love you, that he loved one of your best friends instead, the girl you giggled and roleplayed with. You heard through the bubbles that she left him for the Dave human, filled a blackrom with Gamzee and broke Karkat's heart. The boy of your afterlife. She broke his heart and you've swore to get revenge on her for it. No one hurts your Karkitty. He can hurt you all he wants, but no one can hurt him. You won't allow it.
You saw the blackrom with Gamzee coming, you have to admit-but you forgot your shipping wall when you died. You just didn't feel any joy in shipping anymore. All the matespritships and quadrants just made you sad that yours were empty. You've scratched over the wall in your cave, leaving deep gashes and streaks of blood in its place. No more shipping. Your OTP has sunken to rock bottom, never to be discovered again.
You still love him. You know it. Love for him fills you and comes out from your eyes in the form of olive tears, drips down your face and into your hands, pushes from your bloodpumper each and every day. You love him. You miss him. You saw him once, in another dream bubble, hundreds of different Karkats locked in a strife. You even saw one with another you. It hurt. But you smiled anyways, laughed with your dancestor and tried not to notice.
Currently you're curled up on the cool floor of your cave, swirling a finger idly against the ground. You don't want to hunt; you're dead, you can't get hungry. Besides, the sport in it was gone. It seems that when you died, so did the rest of you. You feel empty. Empty as a shell that Feferi would give you when you needed a smile. Hollow, inside and out. You don't want to move, just sleep. Sleep and be blessed with pure black and peace until you woke up. That was the best part of being dead for you; no more life, no more dreamself. Just black.
You reach over to tuck your blue tail beneath your head to use as a pillow, continuing to poke at the cold stone below. Little chips of grey come off and you lay them in a neat little pile. Only to blow it away in a cloud of dust. Sigh. You need to get up. You want to get up, somewhat, a little....not really, but you really should. You should get up and go talk to people, stretch your legs, find Equius.
But that would mean risking running into Karkat.
What would he think of you, hollow and antisocial as you are now? He would be mad at you for letting yourself slip like this. Caring and concerned but upset and disappointed. Guilty. Knowing he was the cause of it. Or even if he didn't-guilty for letting you get like this. No. Guilt was close to pain, and the last thing you wanted to do was hurt him. Unlike Terezi. Tears fill your eyes, long after you'd fooled yourself into thinking you'd cried yourself out, dribble down your face, but you don't cry out, just silently let them fall. Wait for them to stop.
You stop and stiffen, however, when you feel the dream bubble you're in collide with another. Oh god, what if it was him? No, no, no....time to make yourself scarce while you can, just as you did last time. You heave yourself off the ground with a bit of effort and retreat to the very back of your cave, pressing yourself thin against the wall and holding your breath. Which doesn't affect you much. You're dead, you don't need to breathe, remember?
You hear someone head inside your home, watch from your spot as a troll you don't recognize hop over the fire you've let diminish to glowing embers. Whoever it is, it's not Karkat....that fact makes you relax ever-so-slightly, but that doesn't mean you want to talk to...him? Yeah, him. The faint sent of the ocean meets your nose and you confirm a seadweller has wandered into your cave.
"Hey, anyone home?" A thick, masculine voice calls out, alien to your ears and hinted with some sort of accent you've never heard before. He's wandered a bit closer to you now; you see he actually looks a lot like Eridan. Hm. Must be his ancestor. He's different though, really thin rather than muscular like the other Ampora, wearing different clothes with a.....wand in his mouth? Your head tilts a little as you take him in. You have to admit, you're a little curious. It's odd to feel something again. But kind of nice too.
Tail kinking at the end, you lean in to get a closer look, hands resting on the rock you're hiding behind. He smells like cologne and something smoky. It's an interesting combination. He doesn’t leave, just sits down by the smoldering ashes and leans against a rock. He might be waiting for something. Maybe for your combined bubbles to join with another. Or he could be hiding. Like you.
You watch silently as he starts to drift off. He was probably running or something, then-it doesn’t take long for the dead to run out of energy. Makes sense in a cruel way. It’s not long before his breathing is slow and steady, only interrupted by soft snoring. You’re pretty sure he’s drooling too. Gross.
Curiosity eventually leads you out from behind the safety of your rock. You cautiously poke your way over to him, looking him over. He’s covered in violet freckles-heh. Just like Eridan. You realized Eridan had a flushcrush on you a while ago; you were both flattered, and guilty for not noticing. He’s probably moved on from you now. You wonder how he’s doing sometimes, a bit sad. Too bad you never felt the same for him. He would’ve been a nice matesprit. You realize that now.
He looks peaceful all curled up like that. You’re a bit jealous he can do that, just be peaceful and innocent. But it’s not his fault; he probably didn’t have that hard of an afterlife. He was pretty too. Really pretty. His eyelashes were long, hair dark and slicked back. A fang poked out of the side of his mouth slightly, next to his weird little wand, and he was using a leather jacket as a blanket. It was a nice sight.
Not quite the first thought someone else might have about someone they didn’t know inviting himself in and falling asleep in their hive, but you’re not someone else, are you.
You sit there beside him, just….looking. His fins arch in an intricate way, different from Eridan and Feferi’s. You’re tempted to touch them. You end up reaching out and running a timid hand through his hair. Slimy hair gel coats your fingers from the touch, but it’s alright with you; you don’t really mind it. It looks kinda, dare you say it, cute on him. He’s cute. The thought seems alien in your head. The last person you called cute didn’t think you were too.
Your fingers move from his hair to down his face and along his cheekbone; gingerly gliding over the rest, captivating your attention. You don’t really know why you’re so curious about him. You just are. He was something new; something to focus on rather than your own sorrows and mistakes. He was interesting. It was more fun looking at him than it was staring off into space, at least.
You aren’t expecting a pair of glassy violet eyes to pop open when you risk running a finger down his fin, however.
You jerk back with a gasp, narrowly missing the still-hot embers of your fire and falling against the stone floor. It doesn’t take you long to recover, though; you get up and crouch, watching his every move, claws ready to spring out and slice him like sushi. It’s mostly instinct that throws you into your frenzy. You can’t really help it.
“Fuck!” Apparently while you were getting over slamming against the floor, he’d jumped and hit his head on the wall. He rubs it with a slightly pained expression for a moment before looking up at you through those incredibly long lashes. A very fangy smile is sent to you, which turns into a grimace as he focuses on his head again. “Whoopsies…..sorry, dolly. I was kinda in a tough spot an’ ended up hiding in here. Guess I must’a fell asleep.”
That weird accent fills your ears-it’s a minute before you remember your talking-to-people-and-not-letting-them-know-how-much-you-secretly-hurt personality and flick it on. You force a smile of your own, slightly shy. “Er, it’s okay! I’m sorry for waking you up and scaring you.” Your eyes drift on his face for a moment before lowering to the floor. He looks even prettier awake. “Um, just….who are you, exactly?”
“The name’s Cronus Ampora.” He seems to have gotten over his head troubles, and is now looking you over with an expression of honest curiosity. “An yours? Though honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was adorable.” He flashes you a grin and you’re not quite sure how to respond to it. It sends you into a mass of confusion.
“I uh….My name’s Nepeta. Lejion.” He looks surprised at that, though not in a bad way. “Oh, you’re the little Lejion, huh? Suppose I shoulda’ guessed, I mean, from the horns an’ cat outfit an’ all.” He looks at your face a moment before giving the cave a once-over. “How come you’re not out there stuck like glue to your ancestor like everyone else seems to be, dolly? I haven’t seen ya around with Meul before.”
“I’m avoiding someone,” You blurt. The words are out before you can stop them. And suddenly you just can’t stop talking-it’s as though someone flicked a switch and you have to spill your guts all over whoever’ll listen. “Have you ever been so in love with someone, you can’t stop thinking about them no matter how hard you try? And that you’ll never stop crying because you lost them and can’t get them back? And you just keep wishing they would notice you, remember your name, look for you when you’re gone…..and…..you know…..just love you? Have you ever had a feeling like that, Cronus?” Oops. You shouldn’t have said that.
But the look on his face tells you all you need to hear. And then he says exactly what you need to hear too, as an added bonus. “I think I know just what you mean, kitten. That’s every day of my life.”
It’s like a knot inside of you had loosened; you needed that. You need to know someone else feels like that. And now you do. And it’s a relief. The tears that had gathered in your eyes without you noticing start streaming, and you don’t bother to stop them-and don’t bother to stop him when he reaches over and pulls you into his lap for a hug.
You burrow your face into his shirt and breathe in that odd smell of his, and just cry there. Soft cries, not full-on sobs or silent tears. Closer to whimpers or just sniffles. There’s a lot wrong with this scene-Equius should be the one holding you, not this stranger. But he’s not here. He didn’t find you. So you take what you get and you take it gratefully, even though this guy’s not your morail and you’re never gonna be able to be pale for him.
Of course….there are a few other options to consider, too.
But not now. You just met him, ugh. The word ‘flushed’ is as foreign to your ears as the humans and their strange ways of doing things. But you are curious. And you haven’t been curious about anything for a long while. He seems like a good person to you; you just sort of sense it. You want to be friends with him. A whole lot. Maybe he’ll get you to come out of your hive for once, stop the hollow ache inside you-though that seems unlikely.
But maybe. Maybe. Maybe he could make you feel whole again.