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  1. It's been nearly 2 weeks now since Jade Harley came back, and she's adjusting to it pretty well so far.
  2.  
  3. she has also adjusted to the necessity of becoming my beacon briefly, every few days.
  4.  
  5. She has?
  6.  
  7. if you wish to skip forward this amount of time without losing track of the prince, yes.
  8.  
  9. Okay. Yes, she has. Jade Harley has adjusted to that as well. To have her daily life, her time with her friends interrupted. To suddenly black out, and then wake back up a minute later. It's disorienting, and unpleasant.  But as far as things go, one minute out of every few days isn't that bad a sacrifice to make.
  10.  
  11. Not that she's letting herself think too hard about it being a sacrifice, though. It's one she's willing to make, and can make peace with, but... it's just a thing that's happening. No greater purpose to her being the one to make it or anything. It's like a sickness, that occasionally causes her to black out. That's how she's trying to think of it, anyway. Trying not to take it too personally.
  12.  
  13. Now that it's clear it's just going to be an intermittent thing, accomodations have been made. Don't worry about it, don't try and shake her out of it- just sit her down somewhere so she doesn't fall when she wakes back up, and record the angle of her arm as quickly as possible, and she'll come right back.
  14.  
  15. It's a minor thing, really. Hardly what she spends much of her time thinking about. No, she's spending most of her time, just... living, really. Once she got everything sorted out, she was ready to start working, to do everything she could to assist in Operation Fuck Dirk, but. There just wasn't really much to do. Outside of the occasional course adjustment, they just sort of leave the ship on auto pilot, and go do whatever.
  16.  
  17. Fortunately, there's at least a lot to do. Though this ship is more than big enough and powerful enough and has enough firepower to qualify as a warship, one would hardly think as much from walking around it. Quarters are decently roomy and cozy, there's a rec room with tons of activities, a large, fancy dining room and extravagant kitchens filled with more baking equipment than any one ship should reasonably need. There's a swimming pool, and even a theatre, where Dave occasionally puts on shows that are usually pretty funny, and Jake occasionally puts on shows that just sort of make everyone deeply uncomfortable.
  18.  
  19. Jade wonders if this is what it was like on the meteor. Everyone just sort of hanging out, killing time, enjoying each other's company, while some big confrontation looms on the horizon. Just them, and nobody else, since they'd apparently chosen not to bring along any kind of crew. Didn't quite feel right apparently, to ask a bunch of people to go on a trip for an indefinite period of time, to fight a battle that's definitely not theirs.
  20.  
  21. It makes sense. But Jade still wishes they'd brought some other people along, because none of her friends here are viable options for the way she usually likes to spend her time, and she's having a bit of trouble finding other ways to occupy herself. And going back to an empty, quiet, isolated room night after night is starting to get a bit... unpleasant.
  22.  
  23. This night, it is not just getting unpleasant. Things have officially reached fully unpleasant now, and no amount of practicing her bass or playing one of the handheld gaming devices she got from Roxy is going to produce enough noise to drown out the quietness and divert things away from unpleasant town.
  24.  
  25. It is with a heavy heart, that Jade resigns herself to the inevitable. She grabs her blanket, pillows, and a change of clothes, and heads off to rough it somewhere in this fully furnished and comfortable warship. Having her own designated room was nice for a while, a fun little experiment, but even since she was a little girl, she's sort of just gone to sleep where ever she felt like, or where ever some troll decided to knock her out to practice her powers.
  26.  
  27. Maybe she'll try the rec room for a bit. Plant herself down on one of the couches, turn on the big TV, and just lose herself in light hearted, cartoon shenanigans until she passes out in front of it. Let herself feel more comfortable, in a large, open space where people come to spend their time, with lots of well-used equipment that shines with the warmth of other people's activity. Well, everything except the pool table at least. That's covered in a thin film of dust. Nobody's touched the thing since this trip started, apparently. Too many bad memories.
  28.  
  29. When she gets there, she sees that she's not the only one out and about this late at night. Sitting right next to each other, are Dave and Karkat. Dave seems to be doodling something on a piece of paper, Karkat's halfway through a book which Jade is willing to bet is some cheesy romance novel. Jesus, how does someone who spends so much time embroiled in shitty romance stories take 10 damn years to finally be able to use his free hand to hold his boyfriend's hand in public?
  30.  
  31. Oh, wait. Maybe not even in public, because as soon as he hears Jade coming and looks up, he immediately tugs his hand away. Dave looks over, sees Karkat looking up, and then looks up himself.
  32.  
  33. DAVE: oh damn is it finally time for this
  34. JADE: huh?
  35. DAVE: cmon jade you know what im talking about
  36. DAVE: the pillow and the blankets
  37. DAVE:  its pretty obvious
  38. DAVE: and besides it was only a matter of time
  39. DAVE: really im surprised it took as long as it did
  40. JADE: oh... yeah, i mean, i guess you two would be pretty familiar with this by now!
  41. KARKAT: WELL IF THAT ISN'T THE BIGGEST GODDAMN UNDERSTATEMENT I'VE EVER HEARD.
  42. KARKAT: WE ARE NOT 'PRETTY FAMILIAR' WITH THESE ACTIONS FROM YOU. JADE.
  43. KARKAT: WE ARE, IN FACT
  44. KARKAT: WAY TOO GODDAMN FAMILIAR.
  45. KARKAT: GOOD FUCKING GOD IT'S BEEN LIKE NON-STOP FOR YEARS NOW.
  46. KARKAT: FRANKLY THESE PAST TWO WEEKS OF YOU KEEPING TO YOURSELF HAVE BEEN A GODDAMN BLESSING.
  47. JADE: oh, i... wasnt aware it was that much of a problem, i guess!
  48. JADE: i sort of got the impression that you never minded
  49. DAVE: jade i like to think that im a pretty cool guy who just kinda rolls with most things
  50. DAVE: just an unending ball of coolness rolling right over any awkward little moments that might phase lesser beings
  51. DAVE: but you kind of had a habit of just picking up that damn ball and throwing it at a wall with this stuff
  52. DAVE: absolutely no rolling whatsoever just flying through the air uncontrolled wishing for the stability of unawkward ground again
  53. KARKAT: YEAH, GOOD GOD.
  54. KARKAT: I KNOW YOU CAN BE OBLIVIOUS SOMETIMES BUT I DIDN'T REALIZE YOU WERE THIS FUCKING BRAINDEAD.
  55. KARKAT: DID YOU SERIOUSLY NOT NOTICE??
  56. JADE: i dont know, fuck off!!
  57. JADE: that stuffs hard for me sometimes and you never said anything!!!
  58. DAVE: ok well
  59. DAVE: yeah maybe
  60. DAVE: but i think the times finally come to say it outright
  61. DAVE: were not interested in getting in a relationship with you
  62. JADE: ...huh?
  63. DAVE: like listen trust me youre great and all
  64. DAVE: and the blanket and stuff is a nice touch for whatever innuendo about sleeping together you were going to make
  65. DAVE: but its just not gonna happen
  66. JADE: ...what???
  67. JADE: the blankets for sleeping!
  68. JADE: i came out here to come crash in the rec room for the night!!
  69. DAVE: oh
  70. DAVE: you mean you didnt specifically come looking for us to try and make another pass
  71. JADE: not this time, no :p
  72. DAVE: okay well what time can we expect it then
  73. JADE: ummm... well i mean that was just a joke?
  74. JADE: i dont actually have a time planned, so
  75. JADE: never??
  76. KARKAT: BULLSHIT.
  77. JADE: im serious!!!
  78. JADE: im done with that!
  79. DAVE: i dunno i mean
  80. DAVE: id like to believe that but also i think this is probably the longest youve ever gone without getting any action in years
  81. JADE: true
  82. JADE: you would not believe how much easier that kind of thing gets when youre a god!
  83. DAVE: point is me and karkat have just been kinda waiting on you to get too pent up and come banging on our door one of these days in some crazed lustful frenzy
  84. JADE: ok is that just you exaggerating stuff or do you think im actually like that
  85. DAVE: uhhhh
  86. JADE: because i mean, like! yes, i enjoy that kind of thing! and ive even kind of been missing it
  87. JADE: but jeez im not some kind of crazy sex monster
  88. JADE: its just a fun thing to do! and if thats not an option then ill just find other fun things to do!
  89.  
  90. Jade huffs a bit, as she tosses her blankets and junk over the back of one of the couches, before returning to sit at the table across from them. This isn't exactly the most pleasant or flattering discussion she's ever had, but. Hey, at least it's a conversation. That definitely beats NOT a conversation.
  91.  
  92. DAVE: well thats pretty good to hear i guess
  93. KARKAT: TRUST ME, I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE RELIEVED IN MY ENTIRE GODDAMN LIFE THAN I AM NOW, KNOWING I'LL NEVER HAVE TO PUT UP WITH ANY MORE OF YOUR PURSUITS.
  94. JADE: oh, please, like you werent secretly totally into me :p
  95. KARKAT: NAME ONE GODDAMN TIME I'VE EVER DISPLAYED EVEN THE SLIGHTEST HINT THAT I WAS "INTO" YOU.
  96. JADE: jadesprite
  97.  
  98. And with that one name, Karkat reacts immediately. Eyes widening, face turning red, as he immediately turns in his seat, crossing his legs and facing the other way in some attempt to put some kind of distance between him and Jade, and the reaction is so immediate and visceral that she can't help but start laughing.
  99.  
  100. KARKAT: OH MY GOD, I WAS SIX FUCKING SWEEPS OLD AT THE TIME, THAT HARDLY COUNTS.
  101. JADE: heeheeehee! yeah, thats true...
  102. JADE: maybe youre right!
  103. JADE: maybe im, heehee, just not as sexy as i make out with myself to be!
  104. KARKAT: *OH MY GOD.*
  105.  
  106. Karkat's attempt at creating distance with body language has evolved into creating distance with body movement. He stands right up out of his seat and turns around, hands up and sucking in a long breath, utterly agog at Jade's comments, while she just laughs uncontrollably. Even Dave can't stop himself from joining in with a chuckle.
  107.  
  108. KARKAT: NOPE, NOPE NOPE NOPE, I AM DONE HERE, I AM FUCKING DONE.
  109. KARKAT: I WILL NOT HEAR ANY MORE OF THIS NONSENSE.
  110. DAVE: haha oh my god dude calm down
  111. KARKAT: FUCK OFF.
  112. KARKAT: IF YOU WANT TO STAY HERE AND KEEP TALKING, FINE, FEEL FREE, BUT I'M FUCKING LEAVING.
  113. KARKAT: I AM GOING BACK TO THE ROOM AND GOING THE FUCK TO SLEEP.
  114. DAVE: oh thats cool dude
  115. DAVE: see you in a bit then
  116. DAVE: love you babe
  117. KARKAT: HRRRHNGH
  118. KARKAT: YES OKAY FINE YOU TOO.
  119. DAVE: ill make sure to be real quiet when i come in
  120. DAVE: and real gentle when i slip in under the covers with you and cuddle up
  121. KARKAT: STOP
  122. DAVE: and maybe a few kisses upon your lips
  123. DAVE: perchance that i might bring you a sweet dream of your beloved strider
  124. DAVE: and see a smile on your unguarded toothy lips
  125. KARKAT: I TAKE IT BACK, I'M FINDING A DIFFERENT ROOM TO SLEEP IN.
  126.  
  127. Karkat storms off, one arm raised high in the air to shoot a middle finger backwards, while Jade and his boyfriend both just cackle.
  128.  
  129. JADE: hehe, god
  130. JADE: i cant believe hes still that uncomfortable even after you two finally got together!
  131. DAVE: yeah seriously
  132. DAVE: i mean i kinda get it i guess hes just that sorta guy
  133. DAVE: but fuck if im not still gonna enjoy ribbing on him sometimes
  134. JADE: hee, yeah
  135. JADE: besides, im sure hes way more affectionate and junk in private!
  136. DAVE: mmmmmmm, ehn
  137. JADE: aw, cmon! no need to be shy and spare the details!
  138. JADE: if theres anyone thats not going to get uncomfortable hearing them, its me :p
  139. DAVE: yeah im not so sure im comfortable talking about that?
  140. DAVE: especially since im not so sure youre really done chasing after us
  141. JADE: what!!!
  142. DAVE: like i mean sure me and karkat are together now
  143. DAVE: but you havent exactly been the type to show much respect for the sanctity of monogamy before
  144. JADE: ok yes but if a couple says no i dont really push them on it!
  145. DAVE: you also havent been going after that couple nonstop for years
  146. JADE: yeah, but thats DIFFERENT
  147. JADE: i was only trying to date you both to try and make you get over yourselves and date each other!
  148. JADE: because jeez you two were embarrassing
  149. JADE: if you just werent INTO sex thatd be one thing
  150. JADE: but you clearly were!!
  151. JADE: dont think i didnt notice how much your eyes drifted down between my legs whenever i pulled my pants up to show off!
  152. JADE: neither of you are all that subtle
  153. DAVE: yeah i wouldnt really say they drifted down when you usually stood in front of me while i was sitting so i was fucking eye level with it
  154. DAVE: youre not exactly subtle either jade
  155. JADE: :p
  156. JADE: anyway, as long as you two are a couple now, i dont really have any reason to interfere!
  157. DAVE: mmmmmmmmmmmm....
  158. JADE: oh, come on, what now!
  159. DAVE: well just
  160. DAVE: i dunno but that sounds like a really bullshit reason to me
  161. DAVE: youre gonna make us date by really aggressively trying to bang us?
  162. DAVE: it just doesnt really make any sense
  163. JADE: it makes total sense!
  164. JADE: see, youre both virgins and dont know how good it feels
  165. JADE: but i come in and change that, and then youre both aware of that, and more comfortable expressing it, and bam!!
  166. JADE: ...or, i mean... at least, thats... what i thought, anyway...
  167.  
  168. Jade's energy suddenly drains away, as she remembers, she did after all see how her little plan worked out. She'd gotten so caught up in the actual moment, the actual things she's done, that she forgot when she wasn't in any moments, watching things this version of her never actually did, until her words started seeming just a bit too familiar.
  169.  
  170. JADE: i dunno, i guess maybe i was just being kinda selfish after all
  171. JADE: i mean i told you that
  172. JADE: and i even kind of told myself that!
  173. DAVE: knew it
  174. JADE: ugh!! i guess it just kinda sucked?
  175. JADE: like, i kind of had things for both of you when i was younger!
  176. JADE: and it kind of seemed like there werent really any other options anyway?
  177. JADE: at least, not without settling for some random person id never met before
  178. JADE: and for reasons im only starting to understand now, it felt like anyone i met that way wouldnt really be 'important' enough for something really long term
  179. JADE: rose and kanaya were a happy couple, roxy and callie had their own thing, dirk is, yikes, even before all this, terezi was still obviously pining for vriska, john jane and jake were obviously out of the question and id only ever been interested in john before anyway...
  180. JADE: so all that really left were you two! but you seemed to be coming together and i just... wanted to fit myself in there before it was too late, maybe
  181. DAVE: wait wait
  182. DAVE: hold on go back
  183. DAVE: what the fuck was that about john
  184.  
  185. Jade looks at Dave, eyebrows raised up from behind his sunglasses, as she thinks over what she just said- and realizing it, immediately places her head in her hands.
  186.  
  187. JADE: oh my god
  188. DAVE: hahaha
  189. JADE: oh, no no no...
  190. DAVE: hahaha holy shit jade did you have the hots for egbert
  191. JADE: can we *please* not talk about this
  192. DAVE: oh no absolutely not
  193. DAVE: i have slipped on the incestual banana peel way too many times to catch you now that its finally someone elses turn
  194. DAVE: go ahead jade lemme enjoy this freudian pratfall from the other side for once
  195. JADE: this isnt fair!!
  196. DAVE: oh yes it is its totally fair now cmon spill it
  197. JADE: we were a magical prince and princess of a golden dream kingdom on a moon, what was i SUPPOSED to think!!!
  198. DAVE: hahaha
  199. JADE: i was like eight and the clouds on prospit never thought to show me he was my fucking brother!!
  200. DAVE: i cant take this
  201. JADE: i thought, one day hes gonna wake up and we were gonna get married or something! because i was a stupid kid!!
  202. DAVE: jesus youre killing me
  203. DAVE: hey, hey
  204. DAVE: did you ever see sleeping beauty when you were younger
  205. JADE: stop
  206. DAVE: oh my god you totally did didnt you
  207. JADE: nope were not talking about this anymore!!!!
  208. DAVE: you absolutely tried waking him up with true loves kiss didnt you oh my god
  209. JADE: yes sure and then i met you and we started kinda-flirting and i was so swept away by your coolkid charm and style that i never ever ever thought about john again!!
  210. JADE: and then karkat saw me with my sprite double and said the most directly sexual things to me that anyone who wasnt some random creep on a furry forum had ever said, and it was kinda weird at the time but still sorta stuck with me and who knows maybe it was some kinda weird awakening for me!!
  211. JADE: hey, you wanna talk about that instead???
  212. DAVE: haha no im good
  213. DAVE: i think im fine just letting this solid gold sit for a bit
  214. JADE: uuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhh
  215.  
  216. By now, Jade's just got her head resting in her arms, which are resting on the table. She was a fool, to get greedy, and desire a nice conversation before bed. A foolish, foolish, fool, and this is now officially the most humiliating day of her entire life. Dave is just absolutely losing it, pounding a palm on the table, and Jade thinks she's ready to wrap this day up. She slumps herself out of her seat, dragging her body over to the couch and just flopping onto it. Tugging the covers over herself like they could drown out Dave's laughter.
  217.  
  218. DAVE: haha what, we done
  219. DAVE: cmon no more juicy details to share
  220. DAVE: i thought you liked talking about juicy details
  221. JADE: yeah no thats just about it
  222. JADE: nothing left to do now but lay here and wait to die
  223. DAVE: hah fair enough
  224. DAVE: if its any consolation i do buy you now about not wanting to get involved with us anymore
  225. JADE: ugh
  226. JADE: honestly the worst part is i do still kind of want to?
  227. JADE: i mean i just said i was sorta into you both for different reasons
  228. JADE: and its sorta hard to let go of that
  229. JADE: but like
  230. JADE: i mean, thats my problem and im just gonna have to deal with it
  231. JADE: and even if i do want it, im not gonna go after it anymore while youre both happy together!
  232. JADE: thatd be shitty
  233. JADE: besides, even if karkat werent in the picture, it wouldnt work out between us
  234. DAVE: wait whys that
  235. JADE: ...youre gay?
  236. DAVE: ok but didnt you just like talk about how we used to flirt, and how i uh
  237. DAVE: yknow, have uh
  238. DAVE: looked at you, in a
  239. DAVE: way
  240. JADE: ...really?
  241. DAVE: shut up this stuffs still weird
  242. JADE: ok, well! that first part happened before you really had yourself figured out
  243. JADE: and the second one, um
  244. JADE: i feel like its probably a bit easier for you to be into a girl with my particular gifts
  245. JADE: i dont think ive ever seen you show any interest in any other girls!
  246. JADE: so maybe youre just, STILL figuring yourself out
  247. DAVE: well i mean
  248. DAVE: ok i can see how you might come to that conclusion
  249. DAVE: but im still pretty damn sure im bi
  250. JADE: thats not what you told obama
  251. DAVE: ...
  252. DAVE: ok what
  253. DAVE: what does my main man obama have to do with this
  254.  
  255. Jade Harley thinks about that other timeline she witnessed. Dave marrying her only out of a sense of obligation, never truly being happy with her. Telling the former president that he thinks he's gay, and then leaving without ever even thinking to let his wife know. She thinks about whether it's worth bringing up, and getting into that mess of a timeline at all. ...Maybe some other time.
  256.  
  257. ...She also thinks a bit about that other her. If she was actually happy with him. Did she realize it was a sham, and just lied to herself? Did she not care, because she had what SHE wanted? Was she selfish? Unaware? Thought he'd come around? She has no idea. She's well aware of that Dave's thoughts on the matter, but somehow... her own feelings never seem to came up.
  258.  
  259. Well. Whatever that Jade's feelings were, she's at least not going to let herself fall into that same trap. Dave's happy, and there's plenty of ways she can be happy too, with or without someone else.
  260.  
  261. DAVE: cool so youre just going to leave me wondering about that incredibly cryptic statement
  262. JADE: huh?
  263. JADE: oh, yeah
  264. JADE: i dunno, it was nothing i guess
  265. JADE: im just tired
  266. DAVE: well damn if it wasnt a hell of a non-sequitor jade
  267. DAVE: anyway if youre that tired i guess ill let you get some sleep
  268. DAVE: im sure youre looking forward to dreaming of your true love john egbert kissing you tenderly
  269.  
  270. Jade picks up a pillow and throws it hard at Dave.
  271.  
  272. JADE: you couldnt leave well enough alone, could you??
  273. DAVE: haha yeah sorry
  274. DAVE: sorry, i know youre not really the type for tender kissing youre more into-
  275. JADE: SO HELP ME I WILL THROW THIS ENTIRE COUCH AT YOU STRIDER!!!!
  276. DAVE: hahahaha
  277. DAVE: okay yeah im done now
  278. DAVE: goodnight jade
  279.  
  280. Jade hears him still chuckling a bit, as his footsteps grow more and more distant, and she flops back onto the couch, pulling the blankets back up most of the way, only stopping to grab the remote off the little coffee table and put something on the TV. She'd really appreciate a distraction and some white noise right now.
  281.  
  282. Worst day ever.
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