JOHN: so tell me about your ridiculous meteor journey! DAVE: um JOHN: the dave from the bad time line told me some funny stories when we got together on the grassy hill planet JOHN: but we weren't actually hanging out for that long, so i didn't hear much. JOHN: also, i'm MOSTLY sure vriska wasn't alive during their trip. DAVE: oh well let me tell you DAVE: vriska was most certainly alive during this one DAVE: like almost DAVE: extra-alive, if thats possible JOHN: haha. JOHN: i think i know what you mean. JOHN: i spent some time with her when she was a ghost, and uh... JOHN: let's just say whatever her mortality status is, she makes her presence hard to ignore. KARKAT: YES. YES! KARKAT: I LOVE THIS. KARKAT: CAN WE SPEND OUR WHOLE REMINISCENCE JUST DESTROYING VRISKA, SLIGHTLY ABOVE AUDIBLE LEVEL? VRISKA: Slightly? VRISKA: Karkat, you only have one volume setting. KARKAT: WOW, FUCK YOU?! DAVE: ok dude maybe lets not spend our paltime trash talking serket if only cus theres no way youre not getting repeatedly trounced exactly just like that KARKAT: FFFFFFFFFFFFFYEAH. KARKAT: YEAH, YOU'RE RIGHT. KARKAT: OK, I'LL CHILL OUT. YOU'RE RIGHT DAVE, AS USUAL. JOHN: wow. JOHN: karkat, for a funny shouty guy, you backed down on that really fast. JOHN: i'm almost... a bit disappointed? JOHN: i was looking forward to more of your patented ravings! KARKAT: HEY, JOHN FUCKBERT, I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW I'M A LITTLE MORE MATURE AND REASONABLE THAN THE LAST TIME YOU SAW ME. KARKAT: I'M A LOT MORE THAN MR. HOLLERSPONGE ONE-NOTE, AND ANYONE WHO DISPUTES THIS CAN CORDIALLY INVITE ME TO PLAY THEIR DIRTY SEED FLAP LIKE A DISCOUNT HARMONICA. JOHN: oh. well, i'm sold. KARKAT: SERIOUSLY THOUGH, IT'S PRETTY COOL TO FINALLY MEET YOU. I MEAN, UNDER MORE CIVIL, RATIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. KARKAT: UNLIKE WHATEVER THE *FUCK* THAT BRIEF ENCOUNTER WAS THREE YEARS AGO WHERE YOU KO'D VRISKA AND THEN POOFED YOUR FLIMSY ASS INTO THE FUCKALL CONTINUUM. KARKAT: I KNOW I SEEMED REALLY MAD ABOUT THAT AT THE TIME, FOR WHATEVER REASON. KARKAT: BUT REALLY, I'VE HAD SOOOOO MANY BORING HOURS ON THAT METEOR TO SPEND BARELY REFLECTING ON THE ROUGHLY TEN THOUSAND WAYS I DON'T GIVE THE SLIGHTEST FUCK ABOUT WHATEVER IDIOTIC TWIST OF FATE TRANSPIRED BACK THERE. JOHN: heheh. ok? KARKAT: I'M COMPLETELY OVER IT. KARKAT: I'M OVER A LOT OF THINGS ACTUALLY. JOHN: ... you are? KARKAT: YEAH. KARKAT: LIKE, REMEMBER BACK WHEN I WAS YELLING AT YOU ALL THE TIME FROM MY COMPUTER. KARKAT: BACK THEN I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE FELT NERVOUS OR AWKWARD ABOUT THIS ENCOUNTER. KARKAT: BECAUSE OF... WELL, YOU KNOW. JOHN: no? KARKAT: I WAS HITTING ON YOU BRIEFLY, AND IN A VERY CONFUSING NON-CHRONOLOGICAL WAY, WITHOUT EVEN QUITE REALIZING HOW BADLY I WAS SHOVING MY STRUT POD DOWN MY OWN STATEMENT TUNNEL. DAVE: dude KARKAT: I MEAN, UNTIL YOU MERCIFULLY AND WITH A FAIR AMOUNT OF TACT SHUT ME DOWN. KARKAT: DON'T YOU REMEMBER? JOHN: uh... JOHN: maybe? KARKAT: HOW CAN YOU NOT REMEMBER THAT? JOHN: i dunno, it was a long time ago! JOHN: and we had a lot of ridiculous conversations... KARKAT: OK, WELL MAYBE IT WAS A BIGGER DEAL FOR ME THAN IT WAS FOR YOU. KARKAT: I MEAN, *OBVIOUSLY* IT WAS, THAT'S SORT OF THE WHOLE POINT. KARKAT: BUT THE *REAL* POINT IS, OR THAT I WAS *TRYING* TO MAKE, IS THAT IT *ISN'T* A BIG DEAL ANY MORE. KARKAT: BECAUSE I'M OVER IT! DAVE: karkat what the fuck are you doing KARKAT: WHAT! KARKAT: I'M TALKING, QUITE CASUALLY, ABOUT SOME SHIT THAT'S NOT A BIG DEAL. KARKAT: AND THE *POINT* IS THAT IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL ANYMORE, SO I'M JUST CASUALLY SAYING THAT! GOD. DAVE: ok its not an unreasonable conversation to have but like DAVE: we JUST started friend-jamming about past anecdotes to get us all up to speed or whatever DAVE: and youre already trucking out these guns KARKAT: GUNS? WHAT GUNS! DAVE: just sayin, it doesnt sound that casual and no big deal if you keep saying its casual and no big deal oh and also its the first fuckin thing out of your mouth to john in three years KARKAT: SORRY! KARKAT: I'M SO TRULY FUCKING SORRY. I FORGOT THERE WAS SUCH AN OUTSTANDINGLY SMOOTH PILE OF SHIT IN A CAPE WITHIN MY JUDGMENT RADIUS! JOHN: no, i mean, i think i remember. JOHN: i think you were um, "black flirting" with me or something, but in backwards order, and while constantly yelling. JOHN: and i didn't really even know what that was. JOHN: and then i told you i wasn't a homosexual, so it was kind of a moot point, but also, you didn't even know what that was either? KARKAT: YES! KARKAT: THAT'S BASICALLY WHAT HAPPENED KARKAT: AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS *TRYING* TO SAY I WAS OVER, AND WASN'T A BIG DEAL ANYMORE, BUT NOW IT'S A BIG DEAL AGAIN I GUESS? KARKAT: THAT'S FUCKING GREAT! THANKS DAVE! DAVE: yo im hardly one to talk here since i am a goddamn geyser of hilariously self-pulverizing freudian bloopers DAVE: at this point i cant even pretend to keep a lid on any shit ive got in me cause i know sooner or later during one of my rad soliloquies ill just pratfall butt backwards into an embarrassing admission and i just have to be like yeah... yeah ok thats my shit thats what im about lets just get the fuck on with our lives DAVE: so when johns like hey man and youre all locked and loaded with some stuff about how youre 'over him' and go on and on about it its like some way obvious protest-too-much shit and everybody knows it so i dont see how it salvages any of your dignity or whatever to pretend thats not whats happening KARKAT: OH MY FUCKING GOD... DAVE: so what im saying is if youre so eager to push this out there- KARKAT: I'M NOT "PUSHING THIS OUT THERE"! DAVE: if youre pushing this out there which you are then maybe we should rap about it DAVE: i mean discuss it critically and earnestly not drop ill rhymes or anything tho that could be sweet too KARKAT: UEHRNGH. DAVE: so are you SURE you still dont have these unreconciled blackrom feelings about john DAVE: i say we air this out before it ferments into some rank and hella unexamined feeling sauce JOHN: dave, i think you're making karkat uncomfortable! JOHN: are you being a wise guy and trying to make us uncomfortable? DAVE: no! DAVE: i dont do that to bros thats huge uncool DAVE: i dont see what has to be uncomfy about chattin out our true ass thoughts and emotions KARKAT: YEEUURHNGHGHH. DAVE: dude you clearly had a spades thing for john but i dont recall you ever bringing it up DAVE: is this something you been thinking about all this time or KARKAT: NO! KARKAT: NOT... NOT REALLY DAVE: yeah we coulda talked about this DAVE: i have all KINDS of shit to say about john seeing as he was my number 1 dude for approximately the majority of 13 years DAVE: the main dead end here man is like, nothing personal at all its just that he is literally incapable of hating anyone KARKAT: I KNOW THAT! KARKAT: THAT IS THE *EXACT* FUCKING THING I KNEW AND UNDERSTOOD, AND WHY I FELT SO STUPID ABOUT IT IN HINDSIGHT! JOHN: well... JOHN: not that i really want to egg on this train of thought, but i dunno if that's quite true. KARKAT: IT'S NOT? JOHN: i can get really angry and hate stuff too, just like you. but i think only in extreme cases? JOHN: the skull guy in suspenders i got REALLY pissed off at... JOHN: but i am a hundred percent sure that hate was platonic! DAVE: gettin pissed off at a suspender dude sounds like just the sort of yarn i wanna be all ears for some time DAVE: but ok thats something to work with DAVE: hey karkat maybe theres some hope yet maybe its not a total lost cause KARKAT: NERGH! JOHN: ok, dave, it definitely sounds like you're trying to own us now! DAVE: own DAVE: what DAVE: no way DAVE: im being real as a motherfucker JOHN: being able to hate things i think is... JOHN: the smaller part of that equation? JOHN: what about the other part? don't you think that's, uh... JOHN: a little more significant? DAVE: what part JOHN: the part about not being a homosexual!!! DAVE: john DAVE: dude i gotta say DAVE: when you talk about being or not being "a homosexual" you kinda sound like a corny old man JOHN: what! why? JOHN: no, that's a normal way of putting it! JOHN: i mean... it's a pretty normal thing to say, right? when that's... how... you are? KARKAT: SOMEBODY FUCKING KILL ME. DAVE: what does normal mean though DAVE: normal was some crap that ruled our dead civilization DAVE: we left that behind years ago DAVE: its all a huge pile of shit that doesnt matter anymore JOHN: oh. kay? JOHN: so then, you're saying... JOHN: what are you saying? DAVE: im not sure i guess JOHN: ... DAVE: ok i guess what im saying is DAVE: i dont think its all as simple as you think it is DAVE: or maybe not like ACTIVELY think it is but continue to assume it is on account of NOT thinkin about it much DAVE: due to a lot of junk about the subject that gets shoved into our brains from movies and stuff while we were just dumb kids JOHN: i, JOHN: hm. DAVE: im just saying it probably isnt as absolute or simplistic as the way youve been framing it DAVE: or maybe it is for you personally i dont know DAVE: im just guessing you havent spent much time thinking about it if only cause all the stuff we read and watch suggests that like even examining your honest thoughts about it is perilous road to go down DAVE: cause if you actually think too much about it without always having that undercurrent of haha nope nope nope THEN what happens DAVE: what if it turns out youre like... JOHN: ...like? DAVE: like not exactly the way you thought you were DAVE: or maybe not so much that, as old presumptions about what you were turn out to be not that relevant? KARKAT: (WHY. WHY ARE THESE WORDS HAPPENING TO OUR CONVERSATION.) DAVE: i dunno man DAVE: not sure what youve been doing the last 3 years all riding a large boat, then saving everyone from apocalyptic whatever DAVE: but ive had a fuck ton of time on my hands to think about stuff DAVE: about stuff ive said and done in the past why i said and did them DAVE: a lot of things i once would have insisted were like part of my brand and helped me come across cool and smartassy DAVE: but now im not so sure DAVE: we used rip on each other all the time for being gay even though we knew we werent which of course is what made it "funny" remember JOHN: yeah. JOHN: i dunno, it was pretty funny, sometimes. JOHN: it was just a lot of joking around! DAVE: yeah i know DAVE: it frankly IS funny to say how gay something is sometimes and lets face it sometimes someone or something is just flat out REALLY fucking gay and theres no two ways about it DAVE: its more like that through the preponderance of all that jokey shit is an underlying implication that its all lame stuff for pansies but not like us no were not lame and ha ha thats the joke DAVE: which thrives on this like double-buried implication that the REAL COOL SHIT is founded on this absurd wanky ideal about masculinity which if you think about it is 1. dumb as fuck 2. the male adulation of masculinity to that extent TO BE HONEST is pretty fucking gay unto itself and 3. was always some totally impossible shit for us to live up to anyway DAVE: i think all thats mixed up with the same phony ideals about heroism DAVE: like living up to the storybook idea of what a hero to me feels almost interchangeable with living up to societys snapshot of what a hard manly dude should be DAVE: i stopped pretending i could ever live up to either thing a while ago DAVE: and mainly have spent time looking back on the sheer magnitude of all my "joking around" DAVE: i used to lambaste fuckers left and right grinding them into the pavement over how gay they probably were and how much they were quite possibly jonesin to kiss some dudes or such DAVE: and i dont really feel bad about it in the sense that it was jerky or like "insensitive" necessarily even though i guess it maybe was DAVE: more that i feel like it was probably transparent DAVE: a massive front of outrageous snark to disguise a lot of insecurity DAVE: like a fuckin coverup DAVE: as long as i kept clowning hard about it i didnt actually have to think about it or face my actual beliefs JOHN: dave, um. JOHN: all that's cool and all, and... JOHN: i think i mostly agree? JOHN: but... JOHN: ummmm, how do i put this. JOHN: are you... JOHN: are you gay now? DAVE: what no KARKAT: (THE WORDS. WHY WON'T THE WORDS STOP. DEAR GOD.) JOHN: i dunno, it sounds to me like you're trying tell me something here! DAVE: man no look JOHN: i mean, it's ok if you're gay now! JOHN: that's totally cool, if true. JOHN: i just think... JOHN: you turning gay would be kind of a weird consequence of me changing the time line around? JOHN: ok, not "weird"... JOHN: just, unexpected! JOHN: i dunno what i did that would account for that. JOHN: maybe saving one of terezi's plush toys did some goofy homosexual butterfly effect thing on you? JOHN: jeez, who knows! DAVE: dude you arent listening DAVE: although a gay butterfly effect is a pretty funny idea lets not dismiss that as a concept altogether DAVE: anyway maybe what im tryin to say is sorta getting lost in the weeds here DAVE: the fact that you were wondering if i "turned gay" makes me think maybe youre still not quite on the wavelength im tryin to ramble on here DAVE: maybe we should wrestle this topic to the ground another time, theres a lot more id wanna say but this is probably not the venue DAVE: i mean not literally wrestle to the ground because that is maybe literally the gayest course of action we could possibly take but you know what i mean KARKAT: (YES! LATER! TALK LATER, BECAUSE THEN THE WORDS WOULD STOP! OH WOULDN'T THAT BE LOVELY.) JOHN: that's fine, we can talk about anything you want, any time. JOHN: i'm just still confused about what you're getting at, is all. JOHN: like, what is the bottom line here? JOHN: are you actually attracted to boys now? JOHN: do you... JOHN: um. JOHN: did you... JOHN: like, date any boys? DAVE: uh JOHN: but there weren't even that many boys on the meteor? JOHN: well, there's the clown guy, but i don't really see you and him... JOHN: that really only leaves... JOHN: um, were you and karkat... JOHN: ARE you and karkat, like. JOHN: hmm.