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New Generation

By Shelby Belby

Action / Adventure

Chapter 1

LAST TIME.

ACT 2

Finally. FINALLY after a long agonizing traumatizing twenty minute long walk, they come to... a giant slanted rock. There are two white wands stuck in the ground in an X.

"W-what is... that?..." Aradia stares for a second. The Handmaid's wands.

"S-S0me0ne, please pick t-th0se up f0r me." Nepeta is quick and slithers carefully through everyone and goes under Equius' and Aradia's legs and gets up to the wands. She picks them up and a giant black hole suddenly opens up on the giant rock in front of them. It swirls red and flashes other colors...

"Handmaid... S-she used the la-last 0f her p0wers t-t0 make us a way 0ut..."

"THAT'S WHY SHE LEFT..." Karkat remembers when she left him and Eridan there because she trusted them. She was probably setting all of this up in the mean time, waiting for the chance!... The chance to let some worthless kids escape to who knows where...

Nepeta looks back at Aradia with her big green eyes...

"G0 in... We're g-g0ing. Every0ne p-please g0 first... I can't h-h0ld this f0r any l0nger..." The others try as carefully as they can to slip by Aradia and Equius and look at the portal... They go in order...

Nepeta. Karkat. Vriska. Kanaya. Terezi. Tavros. Feferi. Eridan.

Equius looks down at Aradia.

"Are you ready?"

"I've been ready... f0r twenty minutes..."

"Right then."

"Carefully..." Equius QUICKLY turns around... The water tunnel wobbles a little, but it stays up... He backs up slowly with her and into the portal.

The water tunnel disappears and collapses on itself.

()

()

Everyone finally comes from the other end of the swirling black and purple portal and the warm air hits everyone in their faces and on their bloody skin. It's a soft breeze.

"Wow it smells great here!... Look! WOW!" She runs forward into a giant field of small red purple and white flowers growing out of a hard cracked desert ground... Karkat looks at them all and forward. It's flowers farther than the eye can see. The sky is a strange blue color... It looks like the human Earth's sky, clouds floating by as pure white as anything can get.

"WOW. UH... WHERE THE FUCK ARE WE?"

"W3LL K4RKL3S 1F 1 H4D TO GU3SS, 1'D S4Y W3'R3 1N 4 H4LF W4Y WORLD."

"A HALF WAY WORLD HUH?... WHY DO YOU SAY HALF WAY?"

"1 DUNNO. 1T JUST F33LS L1K3 W3'R3... NOT QU1T3 4NYWH3R3 R1GHT NOW."

"Not anywhere? Terezi I think you've lost it."

"SHUT UP VR1SK4." Vriska rolls her eyes and looks at the others behind her. Kanaya is wiping some blood dripping over her eye from her head and onto the Dolorosa's outfit that turns out is actually way too big on her, Dolorosa having been so tall. Tavros is just letting go of Eridan and Feferi's arms to go check on Aradia. Who falls over...

"Aradia!" Equius picks her up quickly and holds her close as softly as he can.

"I'm...0kay. I just need... a little rest is all. D0n't w0rry ab0ut me." Her eyes stay closed and she just rests and relaxes in Equius' hold.

"iS SHE OKAY?"

"Yes... she appears to be alright, however she used all of her energy to save us... Just as her ancestor did I suppose."

"sO... sO ALL OF THEM... tHEY'RE ALL... REALLY GONE?"

"Yes... I am afraid so... They're all gone." Tavros looks down and bites his lip with his sharp teeth, drawing a little bit of muddy orange blood. Feferi comes over to him and puts a hand on his shoulder. He turns to her and puts his hands over his eyes and begins to cry quietly. She holds him and rests her head on his. Eridan peeks over and just... folds his arms. He can't believe any of this. Dualscar... He's gone... The one and only person who got him... who is him... The only one who talked to him like a normal person and gave him some sort of at least partially close relationship... He's gone... and now any support he had is gone... Eridan takes off his broken glasses and stares at them... Dualscar didn't have glasses... He sighs and throws them to the side, being worthless now. Everything is extremely blurry and he has to squint to even sort of see something... He looks up at the blur and mixture of purple red and white and... something darker? A big blob of dark.

"Hey, wwhat's that?" Everyone looks over at him and then over to what he's pointing.

Off to the side there's a large hive with a storage holding unit...

"Th-those weren't there a second ago were they?" Feferi looks over at it with the others, Tavros wiping his eyes hard.

"iS... THAT A HIVE?"

"It Appears To Be So... Should We Go And Investigate It?" Kanaya turns to Feferi and Eridan and notices something about Eridan at the same time that the seadwellers notice something about her.

"Hey! You're eyes ain't wwhite anymore!"

"Yours Aren't Either!"

"SAY WHAT NOW GUYS?" Karkat turns to face them and Tavros points at Karkat!

"yOU'RE EYES ARE BACK TO NORMAL TOO!"

"WHAT THE FUCK? LIKE HOW NORMAL? NORMAL HOW?"

"Like... Normal Like We Are Alive Karkat."

"WHOA! NORMAL... ALIVE? THERE'S NO WAY." Vriska goes over to Aradia quickly.

"Open your eyes Megido." Aradia tiredly opens her eyes...

"How the hell is this possi8le? Aradia's alive too!" They all just look at each other rather confused...

"Do you think... the others did this for us?"

"DID WHAT NEPETA?" Nepeta turns to Karkat quickly and throws her arms in the air!

"I mean, do you think when they died for real real they maybe gave us their life force?"

"Imp0ssible..." Nepeta swings her head to Aradia.

"Why is it impawssible?!"

"0ne can n0t give a life f0rce that they d0n't have... They didn't have any life f0rce t0 give."

"W3LL M4YB3 1T W4S /YOUR/ 4NC3STOR 4R4D14. 1 M34N, SH3 W4S 4 W1TCH 4FT3R 4LL R1GHT?"

"It c0uld be that... But I h0nestly d0n't think even she c0uld bring s0me0ne back t0 life... let al0ne f0ur of us."

"dO YOU THINK MAYBE GAMZEE..." Kanaya looks over at Tavros and frowns a little...

"Tavros, We're Not Even Sure Where Gamzee Is. Or If He Escaped That World..." Tavros just looks down at his feet and bites the inside of his lip sadly. But Kanaya holds out her bloody hand out for him.

"Come, Let's Go Inside And See If We Can Find Anything Useful In There."

"W)(at if someone lives t)(ere? We can't just..."

"If someone lives there we will simply ask if we may come in." Equius turns and faces the group with Aradia resting in his arms still.

"OR WE'LL KICK THEM THE FUCK OUT AND TAKE OVER THE PLACE, WE'VE GOT NUMBERS."

"OH K4RK4T JUST R3L4X. COM3 ON GUYS." She walks forward towards the black licorice scent. Feferi watches after her and... frowns a little. She's still really sad about Redglare... Dang it...

"Terezi!" She runs up to Terezi and takes her hand in her own and rubs their cheeks together to cheer her up. Terezi smiles a little in her direction as a small thanks and keeps walking. Everyone soon follows with their own thoughts weighing down their minds...

After about thirty feet they all get to the front door of the place. Karkat walks up and knocks loudly on it.

"HEY CAN WE COME IN!?"

"K4RK4T R34LLY TH4T'S RUD3!"

"THEY CAN DEAL WITH IT." No one answers... so Karkat gives another knock and stays quiet...

"i DON'T, UH... i DON'T THINK ANYONE IS HERE." Vriska comes up and shoves Karkat out of the way and KICKS the door open!

"Vriska that wasn't very nice!" Nepeta wags a finger at her.

"No one is even here, who cares a8out 8eing nice?" Vriska walks inside and looks around pretty quick. Oh shit she's got her vision eight fold back! HELL YES.

"No one lives here guys. I mean... there's stuff, but it looks like it was prepared may8e?" She walks in as the others peek in and slowly step inside with her. They walk into the living unit where rear pillows (couch) and a table are with twelve special chairs, a few windows, a cold food storage (fridge) in the cooking area with... cabinets. FILLED with all sorts of food products from Alternia!

"WHOA! Look at all the food in there guys!"

"Yes, And Look At The Nice Rear Cushions And The Table! Oh My, Look At The Seats..." Every seat is different. There is a seat for all twelve trolls if all twelve were there... Feferi's and Eridan's chairs are literally aquariums with little fish of their respective colors and cushions on the seats. Gamzee's, if only he were there was a little circus clown bending all the wrong ways... Its arms are back for the arm rests and his back is curved unnaturally along with his legs to make the rear dip and the legs... which somehow he has four of. Disturbing looking thing, "as usual" Karkat thinks to himself. Equius' chair is a fucking rocking horse. An old wooden rocking horse with little reigns and a mane and leather ears. Vriska's chair is just... a spider web chair. It looks really thin and JUST made out of spider webs... Terezi's chair looks like a judge's chair with a lot of bright colors for her to smell and taste. Kanaya's chair is a rather nice troll Victorian jade green fluffy velvet fabric with dark wood. Nepeta's is a large bear fur covered chair with claws paw pads up and claws out. Sollux's chair is red and blue with his sign in the center... He'd probably love it... Tavros' chair is a wheely chair that he can spin around in and it's childishly decorated in Fidu Spawn stuff. Aradia's is... just a normal chair, but it's decorated with engraved floral patterns and a red tie cushion on the seat. And finally, Karkat's seat is a big floaty shaped like a wrigglers pool toy.

"WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THAT GOD DAMN THING!? WHAT IS ANY OF THIS SHIT?!"

"Oh Eridan look how CUT-E! These have to be ours! They have our colors on them!"

"Wwhy isn't yours a fuckin' throne?"

"Oh gosh I don't want it to be a throne this is perfect!" She goes to her chair quickly and looks it over happily.

"Awww look how adorable the fish are!" Eridan walks over and is just happy she's happy for now... But seeing her tyrant pink blood on her gray skin makes him frown a little.

"I'm gonna go look for bandages or somefin..." He turns and goes to walk out another door but runs right into the door frame.

"Oww fuck." He can't see worth a shit without his damn glasses. Feferi gasps and winces at just the sound of his skull smacking against the wood.

"Oh gosh Eridan. You're bleeding."

"I'm bleedin' evverywwhere else too. Everyone's bleedin'... I wwas gonna go get some fuc- uh, flippin' bandages for ya but yeah. Wwall."

"I'll help you find them! Four eyes are better than one."

"8 eyes are 8etter than four!" Vriska chimes in with a little grin.

"Well you come help too!"

"Ah shit. Fine." The three of them walk out into a different area where there are other rooms.

"W3LL 1 C4N'T S33 4 D4NG TH1NG. C4N SOM3ON3 T3LL TH3 BL1ND CH1CK WH4T TH3 H3LL 1S GO1NG ON?"

"uH, WELL THERE ARE A LOT OF CHAIRS, ONE FOR EVERY ONE OF US. eVEN UH, THE ONES WHO AREN'T HERE. bUT UH, EVERY CHAIR LOOKS LIKE IT WAS MADE FOR US. tHEY LOOK AWESOME! i KNOW WHICH ONE IS YOUR CHAIR. cOME HERE." Tavros takes Terezi's hand and walks her over to her chair and she sits down.

"OOOOH! TH1S TH1NG SM3LLS 4M4Z1NG! CH3RRY R3D, L1M3 GR33N, 4 LOV3LY OR4NG3 T4NG3R1N3, L3MON Y3LLOW, TH3R3'S SO M4NY! TH1S 1S F4NT4ST1C!" She feels around and smells and then turns and starts licking at it. Tavros just sorta... backs up a little and laughs nervously. He's never gotten used to it really. Equius has already quickly gone and searched for a room for Aradia to rest. And oddly enough he finds a room that looks almost exactly like her hive. Well, he guesses this is what it looked like. Lots of flarping posters, red dice, flarping strategy books, a ... gardening shovel? A small wind up music box, a pickax and a hanger for her whip... Extraordinary... He goes to her recupracoon and... doesn't DARE undress her. So he simply and very carefully props her upright in his arms and gently slides her down into her dark red recupracoon and sopor... She slips in and curls up into a ball. He looks down into it... be decides it's pretty creepy to watch someone when they're sleeping. So he goes out and closes her door for privacy. Nepeta RUSHES by him and is jumping all around excitedly. It hurts because she's bleeding in several places, but she wants to look around!

"Nepeta, please refrain from moving so much. You'll tear your wounds further and they'll take longer to heal!"

"NUUUP!"

"Nepeta Leijon redirect your rump over here this instant."

"Oh fiiiiiine." She jumps down from her position on the wall and walks over to him.

"So you put Aradia to bed?"

"Yes. She is in much need of it. However you need taking care of as well. I still have to find the—"

"8andages!" Vriska holds them right between the meowrails and smiles.

"Ah. Thank you Vriska."

"Also Here Is Some Gauze, Rubbing Alcohol—"

"And ointment!" Feferi and Kanaya hold everything up and smile at their success.

"Where on Alternia did you find all of this?"

"Whale, it was just sorta... there." Eridan walks up with a first aid kit of some sort and holds it up as well.

"Yeah, it's spread out evverywwhere. My question is wwho the hell kneww wwe wwere comin'?"

"Maybe They Weren't Aware Of US Coming Per Se, But Perhaps Anyone That May Find This Place And Need Shelter, Food And Medical Supplies."

"So wwe wwere just lucky enough to meander and happen upon it?"

"It could be! But I think this is a good thing... After all that we all could use a break."

"Yeah. Let's get in the main livin' quarters and get evveryone bandaged and shit." The others nod and head down the hall.

"Equius did you see you're cute little chair at the table?" Nepeta looks up at him excitedly. Even after everything that just happened and everyone dying, she was able to quickly become happy like this. It baffled Equius.

"I did not. I was focused on getting Aradia some help. I have a 'cute little chair'?"

"Yeah come on!" She runs off and Equius just walks because he'll get there eventually anyway. Kanaya looks at everyone. Eridan who lost someone who almost appeared as a sort of lusus to him... Equius who found someone stronger than him and gained respect... Vriska who finally got to meet the real life Spinneret Mindfang ... Herself... Dolorosa did so much to try and help... With her Jade class she wasn't trained to fight. To run and to jump and to hold a weapon... She had to learn herself and she fought until the end... She died with a smile...

Aradia found someone to teach her more about her powers and her feelings, and Tavros who had finally gotten someone to boost his esteem and show him what sort of strength he had to look forward too... Sollux got to meet someone who could truly understand his powers and his aches and struggles, Nepeta found an equal and a teacher; Terezi gained and lost a friend who shared her interests...

Karkat got to meet the only person in the universe with his blood... He taught Karkat a lot. Kanaya knows it. She sees it in the way he looks and moves and talks now...

Gamzee... did he REALLY gain anything from all of this?... The poor thing along with Karkat was taken away. He was mentally and physically tortured by his ancestor. Gamzee went totally nuts and was really going to kill them for a while... When he started holding back though, she knew something was up. He'd somehow figured out what was happening and did his best to control himself... Even with Karkat and Tavros there he was still doing everything in his power to not lose himself again... To black out and not know that he's hurting his friends...

And then Feferi... She has to be associated with someone so evil when she is nothing like the Condesce... She has at least a couple good things in common though... Feferi is persistent and she stood up for herself and for the people she wanted to desperately to protect. She showed the witch that she isn't weak.

Kanaya knows that no matter what the Condescension said about Feferi being weak and unworthy of having tyrant blood, that she is better than that woman could ever hope to be...

Vriska notices Kanaya's lagging behind... and then that she doesn't look so good. But she doesn't call her out on it. She knows that everyone's going through a hard time and are deep in their thoughts... Vriska turns around and just enters the living r-

Terezi is licking her chair.

Sigh. Typical Terezi.

"Is there at least some kinda plastic on the chair Terezi? Come on you have to sit in that, gross!"

"OOOH STOP YOU, L3T M3 L1CK MY OWN CH41R!"

"UUUUUGH. Tereziiiii." Tavros is standing next to Karkat who's still staring at the floaty crab toy that he still hopes is not actually his.

"sO UH... wHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO KARKAT?" Silence... He looks over at Karkat and sorta chuckles. The annoyed look on Karkat's face was a little too funny so Tav laughs.

"THE HEEELLLL ARE YOU LAUGHING AT? LOOK AT THIS THING?"

"Hey wwait a second wwe wwere just talkin' about howw wwe didn't knoww if wwhoevver wwas here wwas wwaitin' for US specifically. So wwhy then wwould wwe each havve our owwn separate chairs that belong to each of us?"

"Huh. Good point for once egg 8rain."

"EGG brain?"

"Salmon eggs. Get it? Ha Ha. So someone really was expecting us then."

"Hey don't just go off subject like that!"

"Eridan let's sit at our seats so I can patch you up."

"Fef, you need it more than me..."

"No... You fought so much and so hard and had to go through so much—"

"Fef—"

"Eridan..." He looks down at her and frowns a little.

"Please just... let me help you okay?" They're quiet while the others mumble about the chairs to each other.

"If you insist Fef... Princess."

"Hey, cut that out right now. What even brought that up?" She leads the nearly blind Eridan over to their chairs and sits him in his and then sits in hers.

"I dunno Fef... I just... I wwas left alone wwith my thoughts for a long time on the ship. I thought hard about lots a' stuff... and I don't mean to sound creepier than usual but... I thought a lot about you." It was becoming a little awkward for Feferi now... She hated it when he talked like this.

"H-Hey don't look like that already you didn't evven let me finish."

"I'm sorry Eridan... you just—"

"I knoww wwhat I used to do. I knoww howw I wwas... and I honestly wwanted... to tell ya that I wwas sorry..." Feferi looks up from bandaging his arm a little and sees him looking down at his knees... The look on his face makes her frown. It's so sad and deep in thought. She even thinks for a second that he looks like he's growing up.

"You're sorry?"

"Yeah I'm sorry. I look back noww at myself and I'm actually pretty disgusted. I wwas desperate. I didn't wwant to be alone. And I'm sorry for pushin' myself on you the wway I did. I lovved you so much... and I wwanted you to feel the same wway. It wwas a foolish dream. It'll alwways be a foolish dream. I hate Sollux for takin' you outta my grasp. I hate him for making you happier than I evver could. I hate the wway you twwo look at each other because I knoww wwhat's happenin'... But wwhen I wwas sure I lost you completely when Dualscar and I took Gam and Karkat... I didn't knoww wwhat to do wwith myself... I sat on the ship and just wwatched the stars that wwere reflectin' on the wwater... and I just hoped that you wwere okay." Eridan continues to stare at his knees while Feferi just watches him... She's sort of surprised. All of this...

"I was very disappointed in you Eridan... but... I never hated you... I was really angry. You did so good when we were on the escape pod. You did SO GOOD...then you went off and did all that... I wanted you to change for the better. I don't want anyone to hate you, I only want the best for you because you're my friend."

"I knoww. And that makes me mad too. That I'm only you're friend. But I respect wwhat you'vve chosen... or rather WWHO you'vve chosen. Because evvven though I'm flushed for ya like no one else, I can lovve you enough to let you go and not hold you back from bein' happy..." He doesn't look up. Feferi stays quiet and thinks... then she continues on to cleaning his forehead free of blood. Neither of them speak until Feferi is done cleaning, medicating and bandaging Eridan up. They hand off and Eridan starts to carefully clean her wounds. He's never really felt her skin before. It's soft and even more amazing than he imagined. But he tries his best to not look like he's staring. The other side of the room is talking about other ridiculous chair things but are also bandaging themselves and each other up.

"SO WHY DO YOU GUYS TH1NK TH4T WHO3V3R D1D TH1S CH41R TH1NG... D1D 1T? WHY BOTH3R?"

"Yeah what's the point of helping us out? It's sorta 8othering me."

"And why, if they were e%pecting us, would they put out Gamzee's and Sollux's chairs out?"

"MAYBE THEY THOUGHT WE'D ALL BE HERE ALL VICTORIOUS AND SHIT..." Everyone becomes quiet and look at each other.

"Oooor~~~" Nepeta starts, "they're waiting for all of us to get together again and we'll all meet back here!"

"We should all listen to Nepeta! She's the positive one here!" Feferi smiles over at her and they giggle to each other, bandages in place. It's hard for everyone to stay positive after everything they just went through...

"SO WH4T'S TO 34T? 1'M ST4RV1NG." Terezi folds her legs and kicks one foot.

"Ah, Let Me See." Kanaya walks over and into the kitchen and opens the fridge.

"Oh My. There's Lots Of Stuff In Here. I Suppose We Can Have Whatever We Want From Here. There's So Much In Here It Would Hardly Matter Who Ate What."

"ANY MELLONS IN THERE?" Karkat gets up quickly and goes over next to her, peeking in the fridge.

"Hmmm..."

"OH! THERE IT IS!" He reaches in over the door to grab it but his arm's a little too short so he lifts a leg and reeeeaches! Kanaya goes to get it for him but he lightly swats at her.

"NU! I WANNA GET IT." Reach reach. Kanaya just chuckles a little when Karkat finally grabs the fruit with his nails.

"Happy Now?"

"FUCK YES."

"Language."

"YOU'RE NOT MY LUSUS KANAYA." That's a common joke the two of them share so it's just a little smile cracker for them. Kanaya thinks about everyone else and then everyone starts calling out their favorite food, rushing up to the fridge and peeking in.

"Meat! Meat Meat Meat!" Nepeta sniffs a little and looks around happily.

"Spicy fried gallina anywhere?"

"1 SM3LL 1T 1N TH3 B4CK VR1SK4."

"Ah! Sweet!" Vriska grabs back and grasps the box of the cold cluckbeast bits.

Nepeta eventually grabs a nice hunk of oinkmeat while Tavros reaches in for a plastic jar of peanut butter and raspberry jam and then reaches above the fridge for the bread. Terezi goes over to Karkat who's getting a knife to cut his melon and sniffs around.

"K4RKL3S 4R3 TH3R3 4NY 4LMONDS 4ROUND H3R3? 1N TH3 C4B1N3TS?"

"OH, UH, LET ME SEE." He opens the doors one by one and spots some.

"HUH. FOUND SOME. HERE YA GO."

"SW33333T. TH4NKS." She takes the bag and yanks the top open and starts grabbing almonds three at a time and crunching on them loudly. Equius leans in a little bit with his hands carefully placed at his sides.

"Kanaya is there perhaps an apple in there?" Kanaya looks around and bends over to the fruit drawer and moves aside some oranges.

"What Color Dear?"

"Are there any Fiji's?"

"Yes there is. Here you are."

"Oh thank you very much." He takes it as carefully as he can from her and then walks off and eats it happily. Before Kanaya stands back up, Feferi and Eridan manage to snag their foods, which both happen to be plastic containers of salad and little packets of ranch inside. Kanaya looks back at them with a smile and they smile back, going to get forks.

Finally Kanaya reaches into the fruit drawer again and takes out an avocado. Her now jade green eyes light up happily as she takes it out and closes the door.

"Oh Yes!" She fist pumps once into the air and goes over to the utensils drawers.

Many hours passed eating and snacking and exploring the hew hive and talking. Everyone's respitblocks are exactly the same as they were before the game. Nepeta just stares at her warm cave in shock... Her shipping wall and the rugs of animals her and Pounce de Leon killed together... Vriska looks at her room and just pouts. She hated her hive and her respitblock after being there for so long when making it as a child. It was soooooooo lame. Maybe she'll change it while she's here. Tavros looks at the ramp and glares at it a little going over and moving it... and then realizing that his recupracoon is wider at the top. So wide... that his horns might be able to fit! His eyes go huge and he can't believe this! Who made this place?! How did they make it? This is so weird, but he's so happy to have his horns fit! He jumps up and dunks his head AND HORNS into the sopor and he just relaxes with a sigh. Karkat passes by.

"THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TAVROS?" Tavros swoops his head out of the green sopor and turns his now wet and gooy green hair to Karkat.

"mY HORNS FIT!"

"THEY DIDN'T FIT BEFORE?"

"nO! tHEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN TO BIG, BUT NOW THEY FIT!" He smiles super widely, his super sharp teeth shining with glee. Karkat smiles and thumbs up.

"WELL AWESOME TAVROS. I'M GLAD THIS WORKED OUT FOR YOU... WOW YOU GOT A LOT OF FIDU SPAWN STUFF IN HERE."

"yEAH! i LOVE THAT GAME. tHE CREATUERS ARE ALWAYS SO CUTE!"

"I GUESS SO."

"wHAT ABOUT YOUR ROOM?" Karkat smiles a little bit.

"IT'S THE SAME AS EVER. IT'S SORTA NICE. BUT IT'S ALSO PRETTY DECEIVING. BECAUSE I KNOW WE'RE NOT REALLY AT HOME YOU KNOW? IT'S A NICE RELAXING THING TO BE IN A FAMILIAR PLACE AFTER SO MANY SWEEPS... BUT..."

"oH YEAH... i GET WHAT YOU'RE SAYING. bUT I SAY WE MAKE THE BEST OF THE TIME WE HAVE HERE."

"I GUESS SO."

"iS EVERYONE ELSE IN THEIR ROOMS?"

"WELL FROM WHAT I'VE SEEN YEAH." He walks in a little and whispers a hair.

"I'M FEELING SOME AWKWARD FEELINGS GOING AROUND TOO."

"oH YOU MEAN FEFERI AND ERIDAN? yEAH I NOTICED THAT TOO. wHY DO YOU THINK?"

"DUH, ROMANTIC SHIT. ERIDAN IS TRYING TO SUPRESS HIS RED FEELINGS FOR FEFERI EVEN THOUGH HE ADMITED TO RESPECTING HER WISHES, AND IT'S REALLY AWKWARD BETWEEN THE BOTH OF THEM BECAUSE OF THEIR PAST AND THEIR OLD QUADRANTS. I WISH I COULD HELP, YA KNOW JUST TALK TO THE TWO OF THEM SEPARATELY AND TOGETHER AND SORT SOME STUFF OUT SO THEY CAN BE COOL WITH EACH OTHER."

"wOW... THAT IS PRETTY AWKWARD. i'M GLAD I'M NOT IN THEIR SITUATION. wHAT ABOUT YOU?"

"ME? OH SHIT UH... WELL THAT'S KINDA PERSONAL AND I GUESS I'M STILL KINDA..."

"tHINKING ABOUT IT?"

"SORTA? SOMETHING LIKE THAT. IT'S WEIRD AND I DON'T WANNA RUN INTO ANY BUMPS IN THE WAY TO FILLING A QUADRANT, SO I'M JUST TAKING IT SLOW AND STUFF."

"tHAT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA-"

"Equiuuuuuuuus!" Karkat and Tavros look at each other with big eyes and they just know.

Equius knows too. He speed walks to Aradia's room and opens the door a little.

"Y0u c0uld have put me 0n the gr0und! N0t in my recuprac00n with my cl0thes 0n!"

"I appoplogize, I only wanted to help you heal faster and to relax!"

"IN MY CL0THES?"

"Was I supposed to undress you?"

"N0!"

"Then explain why you are complaining when I could have taken the opportunity to be extremely perverted and disrobed you and didn't?" Aradia squints at him and makes her lips into a tight line.

"Next time just set me 0n the fl00r Equius."

"I will remember."

Over in Kanaya's room she has her hands together happily as she looks at her room, exactly the way she left it! It's strange, all of this being the same, but she's far too happy to give a shit. She walks around quickly and goes to the window. It isn't her beautiful sunny lawn ring, but the field of flowers and the dark sky is still beautiful.

Feferi was in her room and found it a bit different. Her room had no water... But as she searched, she found a new button where a light switch would have been. She presses it curiously and a hole in the ground opens up to... a fish tank! WITH CUTTLE FISH! Feferi GASPS and jumps right in! She's so excited! There are pictures and some of her things in the giant tank and the cuttle fish swarm her happily.

In Eridan's room he looks at everything with a sort of contempt... Things in his room... Such childish things... Old treasure maps that were more than worthless now... Statues of wizards, little piles of gold... Books on the shelf had to do with magic and science and quadrants and ridiculous rubbish... The only things worth keeping are his military books and weapons. Everything else... He had to get rid of this awful shit. It only disgusts Eridan now.

He walks over to where his computer used to be... and sees a purple cape and a stripped scarf. Eridan picks these things up with one hand... and just stares at them. He can't decide what to do with these things... The cape?... It looks so dumb now that he's had so much thought, and truth be told, freedom from its resistance and from his own ego. Capes to him were a symbol of royalty. Wizards wear them all the time. It used to keep him warm sometimes when he was without his recupracoon and it just felt like a part of him.

But now he feels it should only stay as a memory. A memory of how not to be. A constant reminder that he used to be such a naive wriggler who was so astoundingly ridiculous and pompous with his attitude...

The scarf however was staying. It was his favorite fucking scarf. He picks that thing up and wraps that motherfucker around his neck. Hipster or not, it was warm and made with the best material. Fuck haters, he loved his cod dam scarf.

Eventually night had come and the others had inspected their rooms and bonded with old items or spat at their memories and everyone for some reason just sorta... meet back up in the living area. They're all quiet. What are they supposed to do? The place obviously belonged to them, for now at least. Were they allowed to sleep? To stay? For real? None of them knew where they were still and everything was so confusing... But Terezi speaks up.

"W3LL 3V3RYON3, 1 S4Y W3 4LL G3T SOM3 MUCH N33D3D SL33P 4FT3R TOD4Y 4ND 4LL TH3 OTH3R D4YS. W3 H4V3 TO R3ST UP FOR WH4T3V3R TOMORROW BR1NGS. L3T'S 3XPLOR3 THE 4R34 TOMORROW 4ND S33 1F W3 C4N'T F1ND SOM3TH1NG 1NT3R3ST1NG."

"I'm with Terezi!" Nepeta raises her hand lazily and rubs her eye with her torn green coat.

"I'm supuurr sleepy."

"I'll go to sleep too... I'm exhausted." Everyone mumbles an agreement of how fucking tired they are and all head down the hall, each going into their own rooms, lower classes getting in first.

"NIGHT GUYS."

"G00d night every0ne."

"sLEEP GOOD!"

"Night!"

"Rest Up."

"3H."

"Guh."

"M."

"Good night Fef." One by one everyone closes their doors, and Eridan closes his without really letting Feferi answer back. She looks back at his door... and walks over to it.

"...Good night Eridan..." She puts her hand to the door a little and bites at her black lips... then goes to her room and shuts the door.

TO BE CONTINUED


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