Chapter

15

The rain is coming down in sheets. It rains just seldom enough on this idyllic world that most of its inhabitants are conditioned to leave their homes without umbrellas, and today they’re paying for it. The press clamors at the edges of the funeral procession, getting soaked to the bone and/or exoskeleton. John ducks his head away from the flash of cameras, still uncomfortable with his position among the pallbearers. He didn’t know Dirk that well, but he couldn’t refuse a direct request from a grieving bro. He ventures a glance at Dave, who is at the front of the line carrying a smaller casket containing Dirk’s decapitated head.

The actual casket is unusually heavy, not just because Jane insisted on having it crafted from the finest-quality timber on the planet, but also because for some unfathomable reason Dirk is going to be buried with every single one of his shitty anime swords. It would be absurd were it not so tragic, and possibly also predictable. Gamzee fumbles with his corner of the casket when it comes time to set it down in the cathedral, upsets the balance of the whole thing, and sends it careening down so hard that the nose of it crashes right through the stage.

GAMZEE: OoOpS mOtHeRfUcKeRs.

JOHN: oops???

ROXY: its fine gamz

ROXY: accidents happen

John presses his mouth into a flat line. He looks at Dirk’s casket, sitting diagonally in a hole in the floor and popped about 13% of the way open. A few shitty swords seem to have made a valiant effort to escape, but didn’t quite make it all the way. He looks at Dave, who appears even more stoic than usual, with his wet hair plastered to his forehead. He looks at Roxy, who is staring at the floor, rather beside herself in grief. Then, finally, he looks back to Gamzee, who offers two dubiously sympathetic “whoops” in response.

Today is not the day to push it, he thinks to himself. He forces a smile, kisses Roxy on the cheek and goes to take his seat in the front row of the pews. At the back of the nave, devastated fans of RUMBLE IN DA PUMPKIN PATCH are trying to force their way inside, past the barrier of reporters. Jane drags Jake off by the wrist to deal with them as Roxy approaches the pulpit, looking miserably ghostlike in her violet mourning clothes.

ROXY: um

ROXY: hey thx everyone for joining me today

She folds her hands in front of her. Her earrings light up as the reporters at the back take about six million pictures of her tear-stained face. She sniffs, then hocks back a whole mouthful of snot. The sound is very much in contrast with the delicate, feminine manner with which she tugs a tissue out of her modest cleavage in order to dab at her eyes.

ROXY: wow now that im up here its like

ROXY: idk

ROXY: i have no idea what to say

Of course she doesn’t. Dirk was her first BFF, her first love, and at one time, the only other human being left on Earth. She rolls the wet tissue between her fingers.

ROXY: and i guess thats cuz there IS nothing to say

ROXY: theres no words to describe how i felt about dirk strider

ROXY: and even tho he left a note that had hella words in it

ROXY: they might as well have been sayin nothing

ROXY: which is just like dirk i guess

ROXY: to leave us with a load of bullshit and no idea why he did what he did

ROXY: so im just gonna say that

ROXY: im glad that he was in my life

ROXY: and give it over to someone whos way more eloquent than me

Dave gets to his feet, unwinding his fingers from Jade’s. He walks to the pulpit with his usual smoothness but pauses beneath the giant stained glass window to run the heel of his palm under his shades. The camera bulbs start clacking away like crazy. John whirls around in his seat to glare at the reporters, putting a finger to his mouth to shoosh them. He watches a tiny, white-carapaced chess guy sheepishly press the flash button on his camera as quietly as possible.

It takes Dave a moment to gather himself when he reaches the lectern, but when he speaks his voice is steady and even.

DAVE: hey guys

DAVE: wanna apologize in advance cuz this is about to get a lil real

DAVE: realer than that three quarters of a corpse im standing about two feet from right now

DAVE: i mean i totally hate to ruin everyones mood on a day where weve gathered to think deep thoughts about how one of us just went and fucking offed themselves

DAVE: not like were gonna be stumbling through our lives constantly experiencing intrusive thoughts about this specific event or anything

DAVE: hey remember what our good pal dirk looked like with no head

DAVE: p hard to forget since getting decapitated was like his third favorite hobby

DAVE: so its not so much the body thats the problem but the sorta

DAVE: existential realization of finality i guess

DAVE: though i aint gonna lie the bodys starting to stink

DAVE: sorry all that shit i just said was a load of absolute bull meant to deflect from the fact that im pretty shook about this

DAVE: i used to do that a lot

DAVE: like basically every time i opened my mouth

DAVE: most of you know this but i had a kinda shitty childhood

DAVE: not gonna go into details but

DAVE: long story short it was technically my good ol bro-dad heres fault

DAVE: not this specific version of him

DAVE: the one i grew up with was a

DAVE: a

DAVE: he was

Dave hesitates. His voice might be cracking, but it’s subtle.

DAVE: he was just an absolute bastard no offense to the dead

DAVE: yeah ok sure he taught me a ton of shit that if were being generous was in theory useful

DAVE: but he didnt give a single solitary shit about raising a well adjusted kid

DAVE: or

DAVE: raising a kid in general

DAVE: i was more like his disciple

DAVE: and all that mattered was his grand design or wtf ever

DAVE: and i know dirk struggled with

DAVE: you know

DAVE: the idea that he could eventually become that kind of person

DAVE: or even worse that he was somehow cosmically fated to become that person no matter what he wanted or did to prevent it

DAVE: thats prolly how he managed to off himself in the first place considering how the mechanics of god tier works

DAVE: maybe hed been struggling with that the whole time weve been here on earth c

DAVE: who knows with him

DAVE: he was always so inside his own head i cant even imagine what insane train of thought led him to decide that this was his only option

DAVE: but i dont think hed want us beating ourselves up about it

DAVE: or torturing ourselves trying to figure out what it fucking meant

DAVE: esp jake jane and roxy

DAVE: he loved you guys and wouldnt do anything to hurt you

DAVE: well not intentionally i mean

DAVE: anyway all that shit about my bro

DAVE: im over that

DAVE: like as much as you can get over it

DAVE: theres a subconscious response to certain stimuli you cant exactly rewire

DAVE: but the conscious part of my brain is all like

DAVE: shit dude

DAVE: i feel great

DAVE: wtf is hypervigilance??

DAVE: i love being alive and having all these friends who care about me and dont beat the shit out of me every day of my life

DAVE: etc

DAVE: and part of thats cause i got to be friends with dirk

DAVE: it was great getting to know this rad version of my childhood guardian who wasnt completely batshit insane

DAVE: and like just chill with him

DAVE: shoot the shit and freestyle or debate dumb crap without it being a federal fucking issue

DAVE: and more than that he treated me like i was on the level with him

DAVE: he let me give him shit for being a pretentious blowhard every day of his life

DAVE: which i did

DAVE: but despite that i

DAVE: i looked up to him

DAVE: the way i always felt like i should have been looking up to my bro

DAVE: the way i WANTED to look up to my bro but couldnt

DAVE: dirk taught me so much shit i didnt know i needed from him

DAVE: i mean picking up dirks opinions was unavoidable if you ever hung out with him considering he never shut his fucking mouth

DAVE: but im glad he didnt

DAVE: he taught me about combat

DAVE: philosophy

DAVE: life

DAVE: and im sure had he not killed himself the literal day i was finally gonna ask him romantic advice

DAVE: he wouldve taught me about love too

DAVE: so in the end

DAVE: i really got no idea how the fuck im supposed to feel right now

DAVE: but thats probably ok right

DAVE: like its ok

DAVE: to not know how to feel when someone dies

DAVE: its ok to not have all the answers

DAVE: i wish dirk were still alive so i could tell him that

DAVE: but hes not

DAVE: so

Dave takes a deep, shuddering breath and actually takes off his shades to wipe away the tears that are pooling on his eyelashes.

DAVE: i guess thats all i got to say about that

Jake is openly weeping by the time the speech is over, his face buried in Jane’s breasts. She’s remarkably composed—looking more irritated than anything that her gentleman companion is getting snot all over her attractively tailored power suit. Dave leaves the stage, face turned away from the glare of the camera lights, and Roxy takes her place at the pulpit once again.

ROXY: anyone else have a eulogy theyd like to give

ROXY: i think the best way we can honor dirks memory at this point

ROXY: is to spew an untold number of words into the void

ROXY: as many as we fuckin can

Rose—who had been staring off into space with a peculiar expression on her face during Dave’s speech—snaps to attention. She brushes Kanaya’s hand off her lap and goes to stand, but is interrupted by the horrible, squelching sound of Gamzee lumbering to his feet in his wet, oversized boots. He saunters up to the pulpit with the precise lazy gait of one who’s grown far too comfortable with a lifelong tendency of unwittingly inspiring others’ contempt, and braces his arms on either side of the lectern. If inside this church there were an adjacent room full of wet dogs eating garbage, everyone in attendance would run to that room immediately to escape the stench emanating from this smiling clown. Suddenly, his expression distorts, to become something which can only be described as a leer.

GAMZEE: WhAt’S uP oN tHiS mOsT rIgHtEoUs AnD fRoWnY Of DaYs My BiTcHeS. :’o(

KARKAT: OH MY GOD

KARKAT: NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR ANYTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY, GAMZEE.

GAMZEE: HaHaHaHa YoU sTiLl GoT iT bRoThEr.

GAMZEE: mY mOtHeRfUcKeR oF cOmEdY’s In ThA pRaYbLoCk! ThAt MiRtHfUl NoIsE yOu HoLlEr StIlL sLaPs My MaNg.

KARKAT: IT’S NOT A FUCKING JOKE.

Gamzee clears his throat quite loudly and abruptly, sending ear-shattering echoes throughout the church. It sounds like someone just threw a toilet in a woodchipper.

GAMZEE: NiNjAs AnD gEnTlEhOeS!

GAMZEE: We GaThEr Up At ThIs ShRiNe Of WoRsHiP tO wHaTeVeR fAlSe IdOlS oR mEsSiAhS tHeSe HoMiEs GeT tHeIr DeVoTiOn On FoR.

GAMZEE: BuT tHaT’s Ok, BeCaUsE wE’rE mOtHeRfUcKiN uNiFiEd ToDaY, nO mAtTeR wHaT oUr BaD aNd DiFfErEnT bElIeFs SaY aT uS tO oUr PiEtY pAnS.

GAMZEE: We CoMe In CeLeBrAtIoN oF tHe LiFe! :o)

GAMZEE: aNd DeAtH. :o(

GAMZEE: Of ThE oNe AnD oNlY, a TrUlY cHoIcE pIeCe Of MaN-bItCh WhAt WhOm I hArDlY eVeR kNeW:

GAMZEE: tHe DiRkStEr.

KARKAT: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

GAMZEE: ThEn, YoU mIgHt Be Up AnD wOnDeRiNg, WhAt PlAcE hAvE i GoT aLl OrAtInG oN tHe SuBjEcT oF tHe LeGeNd Of ThIs FiNe FeLlOw?

GAMZEE: tHaT’s A gOoD qUeStIoN mY mIrThFuL bRoThErS.

GAMZEE: i MaY nOt Be AlL uP aNd LeArNeD aBoUt HiS lIfE, bUt I’vE gOt DeEp SpIrItAl CoNnEcTiOnS tO hIs DeAtH.

GAMZEE: It JuSt So HaPpEnEd ThAt FaTe BrOuGhT mE tO hIs DoOrStEp On ThE vErY dAy ThAt He WeNt AnD mOtHeRfUcKiNg ChOkEd It OfF aT tHe NeCk.

GAMZEE: oNe Of ThE mOsT sPiRiTuAlLy AwAkEnInG mOmEnTs In My LiFe...

GAMZEE: In SuCh A sHoRt TiMe He TaUgHt Me So MuCh.

GAMZEE: ThIs WaS nO cOiNcIdEnCe. It WaS a HiGhEr PoWeR gUiDiNg My PaTh.

GAMZEE: tHeSe PoWeRs MaDe SuRe ThAt I wOuLd Be ThErE, tO rEcEiVe A gReAt WaRrIoR’s FiNaL mEsSaGe, AnD rElAy It To YoU oN tHiS dArK aNd DrEaRy DaY oF dEaTh.

GAMZEE: HoNk!

The clown thrusts his hand somewhere beneath the waistband of his pants and starts obscenely rooting around. He retrieves a piece of paper, crumpled and soaked from the rain outside, and attempts to smooth it out over the lectern. The wet paper breaks apart immediately beneath his oafish clown paws.

GAMZEE: AwWw, ShIzZ. i GuEsS i’Ve GoT tO uP aNd WiNg It!

Dirk’s close friends in the audience look on with anxious anticipation, eager to hear whatever important message Dirk had apparently handed down to Gamzee to be passed on. John can’t seem to find that optimism himself.

Gamzee draws a big, fat breath, and begins his speech.

GAMZEE: YoU eVeR wAkE uP aNd SiT dOwN tO dRoP a FaT oNe In ThE lOaD gApEr, BuT yOuR fLeSh BoDy JuSt AiN’t ReAdY tO gO aNd DoOk It OuT yEt?

The clown’s words hang heavily in the air. He scans the crowd, silent for a uncomfortable while, as if his question weren’t rhetorical and he were expecting an answer that will never come.

GAMZEE: tHaT’s WhAt LiFe WaS lIkE fOr ThE d-MaN.

GAMZEE: A mAn BoRn WiTh A pUrPoSe. A pLaN.

GAMZEE: bUt ThE wIcKeD wAyS oF tHiS wOrLd StOlE tHaT aWaY fRoM hIm...

It goes on like this for some time. Members of the audience ride out the clown’s eulogy with an admirable sense of grit and determination, though visibly reacting with full body spasms every time the preacher issues another punctuating honk or deeply inappropriate turn of phrase. Karkat continues heckling him all throughout, and at one point delivers no less than thirty uninterrupted instances of the phrase “FUCK YOU.” Throughout most of the eulogy, Roxy continues attempting to urge others to settle down and give him a chance, based on the many endorsements she’s heard of his spiritual oration skills. But even she gives up on this effort when one especially boisterous honk results in Gamzee knocking over the lectern entirely, which he does not bother to pick up. Instead, he proceeds with his eulogy as if nothing happened, while openly scratching an itch beneath his codpiece.

At this point, Dave has had enough, and exits the church. Karkat follows him. Gamzee inhales deeply, preparing to launch into what quite possibly will be the full body of his speech, rather than one or two mercifully concluding remarks. Roxy stands up and begins clapping loudly to bring a heroic end to the elocutionary horror show.

ROXY: WOW WASNT THAT GREAT FOLKS!

ROXY: WOW JUST WOW I KNEW THIS GUY WOULDNT LET US DOWN

ROXY: BRAVO!!! DAMN I FEEL LIKE IF I NEVER HEARD ANOTHER WORD THIS GUY EVER SAID THATD BE FINE BECAUSE THAT WAS ALL JUST SO *PERFECT*

ROXY: ANYTHING MORE WOULD ONLY DAMPEN THIS PERFECT MEMORY HE GAVE US!

ROXY: TAKE A BOW GAMZEE AND THEN OH YEAH THE EXITS THAT WAY!

GAMZEE: hOoOoOoOoOnK.

She nudges Jake.

ROXY: (hey dude can u get up there and say somethin as like...)

ROXY: (a palate cleanser?)

JAKE: Gulp! Uh...

ROXY: (he was your best bro! come on man surely u got somethin in ur heart to say)

JAKE: Oh... Okay.

ROXY: hay everybody its jakes turn!

ROXY: hes got a few words hed like to say about our dear departed buddy

JOHN: (oh for fuck’s sake.)

John mutters a few imprecations under his breath and gets up before Jake can take the stage. He’s concerned about Dave and heads for the exit, beating Gamzee there easily. Gamzee’s strolling so leisurely, in fact, he’s barely even made it off the stage yet.

John pushes out into the churchyard. The rain has receded into a light drizzle, which is nice. Much less like being being trapped in a high-pressure shower and more like being sprayed with a plant mister. He looks around the largely decorative graveyard and spots Dave and Karkat huddled together beneath an eave of the churchyard walls. John begins to move towards them but stops when he notices how close together they’re standing. Dave’s got his suit jacket unbuttoned and pulled over Karkat’s head to shield him from the rain. Karkat’s the one talking—his caterpillar eyebrows furrowed, but his gaze soft. Whatever he’s saying makes Dave turn his face away, but Karkat winds a hand in his shirt and tugs him in, forces him to make eye contact. They both go still, seeming to finally realize how close their faces have gotten, how Karkat’s fingers are brushing down the length of Dave’s torso. Dave dips down so that their noses are bumping. Karkat’s eyes are so wide it’s amazing they don’t pop out. For a moment, it looks like they’re going to...

John sneezes.

Dave and Karkat jump apart like opposing magnets.

Oops.

JOHN: uhh, hi guys!

John waves dopily and hopes that he doesn’t look as buffoonish and mortified as he feels. Dave and Karkat are still staring at each other from the corners of their eyes, warily. Something silent and tense passes between them.

They make a quick recovery.

DAVE: hey

KARKAT: I SEE THAT EVEN YOU COULDN’T BEAR GAMZEE’S ASININE, BRUTAL AND 100% NONCONSENSUAL ASSAULT ON YOUR LISTEN CRATERS, AND ALSO THE BASIC DECENCY WHICH SAPIENT BEINGS APPARENTLY OWE TO ONE ANOTHER ON THIS PLANET.

JOHN: no, um, actually i listened to the entire thing.

JOHN: i have no idea why i did that. now i have this whole memory in my head that i could have definitely lived without.

JOHN: i was just worried... because you didn’t come back.

JOHN: dave, are you ok?

Dave glances at Karkat again. He... smiles. It’s a sad smile, but it’s there.

DAVE: yeah

DAVE: well no

DAVE: but its ok to not be ok about this specific thing i think

DAVE: so for once i think im having like

DAVE: a totally unironically normal emotional reaction to a thing

DAVE: which loops around back to being ok

DAVE: in fact im probs the okayest ive ever been objectively

JOHN: are you SURE?

KARKAT: THAT WAS HALF A HUNDRED WORDS TO EXPRESS A THREE LETTER SENTIMENT.

KARKAT: I’D SAY HE’S DOING FINE.

JOHN: hmm.

JOHN: because i was thinking...

John chews the inside of his mouth and blinks down at his hands. Now that he’s paused to think a little, what he’s about to offer is a pretty weird way to console a friend after the death of a loved one.

JOHN: do you... want me to go back?

Dave quirks an eyebrow.

DAVE: go

DAVE: back??

JOHN: with my retcon powers.

JOHN: i could go back and stop him.

DAVE: dude

Dave says at the same time that Karkat shouts:

KARKAT: JOHN!

JOHN: what!

KARKAT: DO YOU NOT HAVE AN INCH OF GODDAMN SENSE IN THAT THICK FUCKING SKULL OF YOURS?

JOHN: what!!!

DAVE: john

DAVE: come on what are my powers

JOHN: ummm... time travel?

DAVE: so you dont think i wouldve already done that if i thought it was a good idea

JOHN: well ok yeah, obviously.

JOHN: but if you DID do it we wouldn’t even know right now because it would’ve just made a new timeline where dirk didn’t kill himself. that’s how time travel works, right?

DAVE: ehhh well actually

Dave makes a wavy hand gesture that implies he’s about to jump into a rant about causality or whatever. John cuts him off.

JOHN: but!

JOHN: if i retcon it...

JOHN: then it’s like it never even happened!

JOHN: we wouldn’t have had this horrible funeral at all.

DAVE: i dunno dude thats

DAVE: a little fucked up actually

JOHN: you think so?

DAVE: yeah

DAVE: dirk was a complicated guy

DAVE: dude obviously had reasons for doing what he did

DAVE: if you go back and just rewrite his decision

DAVE: thats like denying him his personal autonomy

JOHN: huh. i... didn’t think about it that way.

John frowns. Dave opens his mouth to say something else, but he’s cut off by Jade poking her head out of the church window.

JADE: dave!!! roxys wondering where you are

DAVE: oh yeah be right there

JADE: what about you karkat? you coming??

KARKAT: YES! GOD!

KARKAT: CAN’T A MAN STAND ON A MOIST AND DREARY PIECE OF RELIGIOUS PROPERTY TO HELP CONSOLE HIS MAIN BRO?!

KARKAT: JESUS FUCK, GOD FORBID WE UPSET THE CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED FUNERAL PROGRAMMING WHICH JUST FEATURED A SEGMENT WHEREIN A DEEPLY UNPOPULAR CLOWN PISSED HIMSELF IN FRONT OF THE CLAMORING PAPARAZZI!

JADE: oh lord... you dumb baby

JADE: karkat it looks to ME like youre the one third wheeling dave and johns poignant brotimes

JADE: so why dont you get your butt on over here???

KARKAT: ARGH... FINE!

Karkat stomps back toward the church, bickering with Jade his way across the graveyard. Dave adjusts his shades and puts a hand on John’s shoulder.

DAVE: john

DAVE: i get what you were trying to do

DAVE: but

DAVE: its ok dude

DAVE: im ok

John nods, swallowing hard. His throat is dry all of a sudden. Dave turns and walks back into the church. Once John is absolutely sure Dave is gone, he closes his eyes, breathes in deep through the nose and raises both his hands.

Nothing happens.

John cracks one eye open. It’s been a while since he’s tried to do... well, anything more complicated than going out for dinner to be honest. Has he just forgotten how to invoke his game powers?

Do the windy thing, he thinks to himself. A brisk breeze howls through the graveyard, rustling some leaves off a nearby tree.

Nope, that’s all good.

Do the... retcon thing? He thinks much, much harder than he thought about doing the last thing.

Still nothing.

JOHN: that’s weird...

JOHN: it was working just the other day.

He stares at his hands so hard that his head starts to hurt. So hard that he doesn’t hear the footsteps sloshing through the wet grass behind him. When Roxy taps him on the shoulder he yelps and shoots six feet up into the air.

ROXY: lmao john its just me

John spins around to greet her. He hides his hands behind his back like he was doing something bad with them. Which he guesses he was, kind of. Roxy shields her eyes against the rain and laughs.

ROXY: doin ok up there b?

JOHN: i’m fine!!!

JOHN: wait. b?

John lands softly, close enough to Roxy that she can slide a hand up his arm.

ROXY: yea like short for babe

ROXY: cuz ur my babe b

JOHN: oh, haha. right.

John feels himself flush and runs an awkward hand through his hair. He’s still a little embarrassed to show affection in public places like this. He slips a hand into the small of Roxy’s back and feels a pang of guilt about what he saw transpire between Dave and Karkat earlier.

ROXY: is dave ok?

JOHN: yeah, i guess.

JOHN: ...

JOHN: are YOU okay?

ROXY: yea

Her gaze gets distant as she stares at something over John’s shoulder. Whatever she’s thinking about, it tugs a soft smile across her face.

ROXY: yea

ROXY: actually

ROXY: im more than ok

ROXY: cause ive been thinking

JOHN: oh?

Roxy starts dancing her fingers up John’s chest.

ROXY: about you n me

ROXY: and this

She bops him on the nose.

ROXY: hey john

ROXY: we should get hitched

JOHN: ummmmmm...

John stares at where Roxy’s finger is still pressing down on his nose and goes a little cross-eyed as his brain tries to process what she just said.

JOHN: um...

JOHN: ...what???

ROXY: um what WHAT?

ROXY: john cmon

ROXY: marry me

JOHN: like...

John looks around the graveyard nervously.

JOHN: right NOW?

ROXY: lmao totes

ROXY: were already at the church n everything

JOHN: o-oh my god.

JOHN: oh my god!

ROXY: john

JOHN: oh my god, are you serious??

Roxy starts laughing so hard she has to wipe away a tear. She leans in to give John a quick, chaste kiss on the lips.

ROXY: no LOL

ROXY: john u take everything so literally

ROXY: its fuckin adorbs

JOHN: is that... why you want to marry me?

ROXY: yea

ROXY: im off the charts with all my jokes n shit

ROXY: and i gotta even all that out

ROXY: with this like HUGE helping of clueless nerd :)

JOHN: roxy...

ROXY: ok but lets be serious here moment

ROXY: i actually do love that youre so earnest

ROXY: its cute as fuck and also

ROXY: i always know where i stand with you

JOHN: roxy...

ROXY: sides this whole

ROXY: THING with dirk

ROXY: its made me realize that even though were immortal

ROXY: were not necessarily gonna live forever

ROXY: lifes too short not to spend every moment with the one u love

That word hits John like a suckerpunch to the gut. He goes breathless with shock; adrenaline pumping through him, his blood rushing in his ears. When he speaks, his voice is hoarse.

JOHN: you...

JOHN: LOVE me??

ROXY: yea john i love you

ROXY: wanna marry u and spend the rest of my life with u and pop out a bunch of cute lil buck toothed babies with you

JOHN: oh, uh. haha, wow. roxy that’s um.

JOHN: that’s a LOT.

ROXY: well you dont gotta answer rn

ROXY: just know its on the table

JOHN: i...

He doesn’t know what to think. He so doesn’t know what to think that he’s spiraling inside his head, shaking all over, damp with sweat. Something about this doesn’t feel... right? Just a few weeks ago, Roxy was happy with Calliope, and now she wants to have his babies? John feels like he’s missing something important here, like he went for a bathroom break during the part of the movie where the plot twist happens. He should give Roxy some time, get himself some space. It’s all happened so fast that it’s suffocating.

On the other hand...

...on the other hand, isn’t that how love’s supposed to feel? Like a quick plunge into cold water, a feeling that grows unexamined, and then gets so big that the realization washes over you like a wave? Roxy’s unbearably beautiful with moisture clinging to her eyelashes and a smile that she’s only smiling because of how much she likes him. She likes him so much that she wants to be around him every single day! John’s stomach feels like it’s doing pirouettes. His hands come up around Roxy’s shoulders, and keep going until he’s cupping her face in both hands. He starts giggling.

JOHN: i...

JOHN: ok.

JOHN: ok, let’s... let’s do it!

Roxy waggles her eyebrows.

ROXY: ooo u want to do it??

JOHN: yeah!

JOHN: er... i mean...

JOHN: um, yeah. that too.

JOHN: but i meant...

JOHN: about the getting married thing.

JOHN: let’s... do that!

JOHN: let’s totally get married!!

Roxy practically attacks John’s mouth, she’s so excited. John shuts his eyes and kisses her back, still giddy and laughing against her lips. She kisses him until they’re both breathless, then pulls back so that she can gaze at him with glittering eyes.

ROXY: omg

ROXY: were gonna be SO freakin happy!

> ==>
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