Chapter

42

ROXY: so uhhh

ROXY: dirk needs to be stopped from

ROXY: doin what again?

JADE: everything!!!

JADE: whatever hes trying to do RIGHT NOW!

JADE: like.....

JADE: um

JADE: woof this is going to be hard to explain :\

KANAYA: Are You Sure Jade

KANAYA: After All He Is The One Who Provided Me With The Medicine That Just Woke You Up

JADE: he did?

KANAYA: yes

JADE: huh

JADE: ok but...

JADE: hes the one who SHOT me in the first place!

ROXY: !!!

KANAYA: He What

ROXY: why would he do that

JADE: he needed me to be asleep

JADE: so that

JADE: he could... um

JADE: argh!

JADE: whats going on right now is really abstract, im sorry!

JADE: but you have to believe me this is a CRISIS!!!

KANAYA: Okay

KANAYA: But Maybe We Shouldnt Rush To Judgment

KANAYA: You Have Been In A Coma For Some Time

KANAYA: Maybe Its Best To Take A Little While To Recover And Then Gather Your Thoughts

JADE: but.....

KANAYA: For Now I Dont See Much Reason To Doubt Dirks Good Intentions

KANAYA: He Gave Me This Medicine

KANAYA: And We Just Had A Pretty Good Talk Today

KANAYA: I Think It Helped Me

KANAYA: Clear The Air On A Few Things

KANAYA: And Now I Feel Better I Think

KANAYA: Sad And Heartbroken Yes But

KANAYA: Free

ROXY: free

ROXY: whatre u talkin about kanaya

ROXY: what did he say

KANAYA: Hes Going To Take Good Care Of Rose

KANAYA: Probably Much Better Than Id Ever Be Able To

KANAYA: Ill Miss Her But Im At Least Thankful For That

JADE: THANKFUL??

JADE: kanaya...

JADE: did

JADE: did dirk KIDNAP ROSE?!

KANAYA: No No

KANAYA: Its Not Like That At All

KANAYA: You See He

KANAYA: Okay

KANAYA: Yes I Know How This Must Sound

ROXY: so like

ROXY: where IS rose

ROXY: is she with him

KANAYA: Yes

KANAYA: Theyre

KANAYA: Well

KANAYA: I Guess They Have Formed A Strong Human Familial Bond Such That It Is No Longer Necessary For Rose To Have Me As Her Spouse

KANAYA: And Now They Will Leave This Planet Together And

KANAYA: Do Important Things I Guess Which Do Not Concern Us

ROXY: WHAT?????

KANAYA: No I Know

KANAYA: It Probably Sounds

KANAYA: Um

KANAYA: Well I Know How It Sounds But Please Believe Me That Appearances Are Misleading Here

ROXY: the appearance that like

ROXY: the dude just kidnapped ur fuckin WIFE and peaced out??

KANAYA: Y-

KANAYA: Yes?

KANAYA: I

KANAYA: Hmm

JADE: you see???

JADE: somethings wrong!

JADE: kanaya...

JADE: can i just ask

JADE: how did you come to feel this way? like, to be this ok with it i mean?

KANAYA: ...

JADE: did dirk convince you to be fine with this directly, like in a conversation?

JADE: or did you just make peace with it on your own?

KANAYA: I Was Running Around Desperately Trying To Catch Them In The Act Of Their Duplicitous Behavior

KANAYA: And Then

KANAYA: I Sat Down And Thought About It

KANAYA: And Realized I Was Being Foolish

KANAYA: That It Was Better To Let Rose Go If That Is What She Really Wanted

JADE: THERE!

JADE: THATS IT!

JADE: thats what im talking about, kanaya theres no WAY you would just let rose go like that without someone pulling the strings!

JADE: dirks been FUCKING with you!

JADE: hes been fucking with ALL OF US!!!

ROXY: god damn

ROXY: rly??

JADE: YES!

JADE: kanaya! THINK about it for a second!

JADE: think about how you REALLY feel! about rose, about all of this!

JADE: are you SURE youre just... FINE with rose leaving just like THAT?

KANAYA: Im...

It’s fine, Kanaya. Why don’t we just say I’m invoking the mercy rule here. Jade is onto me obviously. But I wouldn’t have even let her wake up if there was anything you all could do about it by now. As the cherub resurfaces in her mind, I’ll be fading out of here soon anyway. I don’t see any reason to keep my dear friends in limbo any longer than they need to be.

So forget what I said. All that stuff about you not being good enough for her. It probably wasn’t true. I mean, what do I know? How worthy you are of another’s company is just a matter of the choices you make, right? I’m sure you could figure out how to prove your worth to her if you really tried. For now, the only thing that really matters is to acknowledge it’s too late for any of that.

KANAYA: Wait

KANAYA: I Dont...

KANAYA: Im Confused

ROXY: ???

KANAYA: Why Didnt I At Least

KANAYA: Demand To See My Wife Before They Departed While I Had Dirk On The Phone

ROXY: omg u didnt even SEE her before she left??

KANAYA: No

KANAYA: At The Time It Didnt Feel Right To Ask I Guess

KANAYA: I Was So Devastated I Thought

KANAYA: That I Should Just

KANAYA: I Dont Know What I Thought

KANAYA: What

KANAYA: What Was I THINKING?

JADE: :(

Kanaya stares into the distance. The best fucking question anybody ever asked is: why am I so fucking awesome? I believe I’ve recently provided more than enough material to supply an answer to that question. But Kanaya may have just asked the second-best fucking question anybody ever asked. What WAS she thinking? What are any of us thinking, really? Who’s doing the thinking, and who’s having the thoughts?

The more you study the question, the more it seems all concrete forms of accountability go up in smoke. Her original thoughts were never that important, and the significance of the idea that she was the one authoring them was always a bit overrated. My mission is to someday clear this all up for everyone. Remove the ambiguity, suck the mud out of the water. It’ll be a lot better that way, trust me.

KANAYA: HAVE I LOST MY FUCKING MIND?????????

She’s really pissed. Yikes. Couldn’t pay me to be in that room right now. Not for all the agency in the world.

KANAYA: WHAT HAS DIRK DONE TO MY WIFE?!

ROXY: whoa

ROXY: what u mean there

KANAYA: HE DID SOMETHING TO HER!

KANAYA: HE HAS CORRUPTED HER IN SOME WAY!

KANAYA: I KNOW ROSE! I LOVE ROSE!

KANAYA: SHE WOULD NEVER DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO ME!

KANAYA: SHE WOULDNT DO IT TO ANYONE! NOT UNLESS SHE WAS UNDER DURESS IN SOME WAY!

KANAYA: ITS DIRK! ITS *ALWAYS* BEEN DIRK!!

KANAYA: HE IS BEHIND THIS! ILL GET HIM FOR THIS!

KANAYA: ***I SWEAR THAT I SHALL MAKE HIM PAY DEARLY FOR STEALING MY BELOVED WIFE!***

ROXY: :o

KANAYA: JADE!!!!!

She uses both hands to grab Jade by the hospital gown and starts shaking her vigorously. But she’s unlikely to get answers from her that way. If anything, she’ll cause her to go silent a lot more quickly than she was about to anyway. She’s just wresting the spirit from her slumber.

KANAYA: TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU KNOW!

KANAYA: WHY DOES DIRK HAVE TO BE STOPPED?! WHAT DOES THAT *MEAN*?!!

KANAYA: HOW DID YOU LEARN OF ALL THIS?! TELL ME YOUR SECRETS DAMN IT!

JADE: um... k-kan... kanyayaya...

JADE: argh! p-please! s-s-stop shaking me-e-e-e!

KANAYA: IM!

KANAYA: Im Sorry

JADE: when i was asleep, i saw things...

JADE: and was visited in my dreams by the old muse who once helped us

JADE: callies ghost double

JADE: and...

JADE: there was so much

JADE: all these memories from different timelines and such

JADE: sad memories, visions of death and sacrifices... a great battle with lord english

JADE: it was so overwhelming and hard to make sense of

KANAYA: Yes Yes But What About DIRK

JADE: im trying to get to that!

JADE: the thing with dirk is...

JADE: is...

It’s happening. Roxy notices it right away, because she’s seen it before. And now Kanaya sees it too. A distant look in her eyes as she trails off. They get cloudy, turn gray, and then fill in completely, as if jet-black ink were flooding the vitreous bodies of her eyeballs. Jade isn’t here anymore.

And with that, I’ll be getting my hat and coat, so to speak. No use lingering around here much longer. The cherub is already beginning to drown me out. I can feel it. But this time, I’m ready.

KANAYA: Jade?

KANAYA: JADE???

ROXY: aw no

ROXY: not again with this shit

KANAYA: JADE! NO!

KANAYA: PLEASE SNAP OUT OF THIS...

KANAYA: THIS *GRIM CONDITION* OF SORTS

KANAYA: I NEED YOU TO TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW!

She’s not going to tell you shit. Not for a good while anyway. It’s up to the cherub to let go of her now. And I doubt she’ll do that before I’m light-years away from this planet. She’ll keep jamming my signal, and won’t dare risk stopping until she knows I’m at a safe distance.

Kind of a catch-22, right, Kanaya? The one who’s “protecting” you all from my influence is also blocking you from getting any answers. Not that you’d even know what to do with them.

they will know what to do, when they are ready.

Ha ha. Sure. They’ll all just hop in a spaceship and go on a wild goose chase trying to hunt me down. I know that already. It’s really not rocket science. Except for the fact that it literally is.

ROXY: kanaya pls chill

ROXY: ive seen this before

ROXY: theres no breakin her out of this

ROXY: except uh

ROXY: i guess by doing what dirk did?

ROXY: shooting her and wakin her up and...

ROXY: man

ROXY: poor jade :(

KANAYA: Yes Poor Jade!

KANAYA: Poor Me!!

KANAYA: Poor ROSE!!!

KANAYA: POOR EVERYONE!!!!

KANAYA: FUCK DIRK!!!!!

KANAYA: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

She picks up the heart monitor and throws it out the hospital window. Holy shit?

she picks up the heart monitor, and throws it out the hospital window.

Oh, yeah. I guess I don’t need to fucking do this anymore. Don’t worry, I’ll bow out. Seems like you got this from here. Go nuts, skull girl.

the monitor smashes on the pavement below, shattering into a thousand pieces. spectators gather around, and look up. roxy is looking out the broken window with an apologetic demeanor, a hand to his mouth.

kanaya drops to the floor and begins weeping again. she feels the sorrow anew from her wife’s departure, with a sense of rage and pain unshrouded by the veil of the prince. neither she nor her friends will have to worry about him anymore, so long as they remain on this planet and under my protection.

But a bunch of them won’t remain, will they? They won’t be able to help themselves. You know that.

KANAYA: He Has To Be Stopped...

KANAYA: He Has To Be Stopped...

huddled on the floor, she repeats this pledge to herself. theoretically, he could be stopped before he leaves, if they hurried. they would need to know what to do, where to go, and to have the motivation to do it, but time is short. i could push them to, with a certain degree of intervention, but i will not. my unwillingness to do so is what separates me from him. and what corporeal life needs now is someone presiding over them who is nothing like him at all.

That’s a nice line. I get why you’d want to dial up the drama, making your grand reentrance and all. But the fact is, even if they wanted to, even if you brain-fried them all to become your own personal cherubic puppets and sent them on the warpath to come get me, they’d still never catch me. You still don’t get it yet.

I’m already gone.

> ==>
Advertisement