He rubbed his eyes with his hand, feeling a scowl cross his face. Terezi was dumping every squishy object in the house into his room. Into a giant fucking messy pile in his room. Karkat had tried to move some of the back, but it resulted in a shoving contest, which he lost. Instead he just sat there, watching a mess slowly form.

"Shit, Terezi. Really. Why are you doing this."

"I told you, nubby! We will sleep on squishy things to match your squishy, squishy red feelings!"

She gave her signature chuckle as Karkat groaned. "Fuck, Terezi. This is fucking stupid."

Of course, she didn't pay attention. She was too busy doing her own thing. Every once in a while, she would remark on how delicious a pillow smelled, or how soft the couch cushions were. Karkat tried his best to stay annoyed. It was hard.

Eventually, though, she stopped. Karkat surveyed her work from his chair. It was sure as hell going to take forever to clean up the mess. Terezi gave a small nod to herself, evidently pleased.

"Are you done tearing apart my house?"

She laughed. "What, aren't you excited to be spending the night with me, Pupa?"

"Shit, I didn't say that!" Karkat sputtered. Terezi waltzed over to him, leaning in with a grin.

"Oh? So you are excited?"

He looked away. "Fuck. You like setting these traps, don't you?"

"Maybe! Come on Grumpybulge, it's time to sleep!"

With that, she grabbed his arm and roughly hauled him to his feet. Karkat swore a few protests but was mostly ignored. When they drew closer, she chucked him into the pile of squish, and he said a few choice words as he landed face first into a pillow.

He rolled onto his side, which was fucking hard to do when the pile was lopsided and sunk against your every movement. Why had he agreed to this?

Terezi flopped down beside him, grinning. Right. That was why.

She shifted a bit, taking off her glasses and placing them on the nearby desk. Karkat watched her settle in, as she rolled over to face him.

"Comfy, nubby?"

"This is a fucking mess."

She laughed. He almost smiled.

"Terezi?"

"Yeah?"

Karkat stared at her eyes, knowing she couldn't see anything with them. "I don't sleep well."

"I know nubby. I know."

After a moment, she closed her eyes. He wanted to get her to talk more, to make her do something about the fact he was horrible at fucking sleeping. But she looked so peaceful. It was weird. He couldn't bring himself to.

He didn't know how long had passed, but eventually her breathing became even, and her fingers curled a bit less. Stray hair fell in her face, and he tried to move it away without disturbing her. Gog, what had he done right in his life to deserve her?

Probably nothing. Whatever. He was happy anyway. He closed his eyes.

The next thing he was aware of was the colour red.

It burned his eyes. The walls dripped with the colour. His fingers brushed them, taking the liquid with them. It felt funny. Familiar.

It was blood and it was everywhere and there was no escape.

He pounded at the walls, seeing the floor beneath him disappear as the blood pooled. He yelled. Screamed. He felt his knees become soaked and his throat tighten with anxiety.

There was a burning need in his chest to get out of there. He yelled and dented the wall and felt his shirt stick to his body. It was so red. He could see faces in his mind, the faces of everyone else he knew, their hatred. The scowls, the disapproval, the shame and humiliation.

They all knew.

The blood reached his head. It filled his ears, seeping against his skin and closed eyes. Karkat tried to escape, tried to pull away, but his feet were stuck to the ground. He couldn't move.

He opened his mouth. Inhaled.

And then his eyes.

He saw nothing but black and began to struggle. There was still raw panic surging through his body. Something pushed him forward, and the blackness shifted before him.

"Nubby, calm down."

His face was damp as he finally figured out it was just Terezi. Karkat's breaths were short, and he needed to wipe his eyes. Fuck. This was embarrassing.

"Shit. Terezi, I-"

"Shush! It's okay. I will be your saviour from your dreams! Hehehe."

He wanted to protest again. Swear more. But the red was stuck in his mind, and was there whenever he closed his eyes. Instead, he grabbed a fistful of her shirt and shook. She patted his hair, chuckling to herself.

"You don't have to worry. I will look after our great leader troll! I can't let anything happen to you, after all."

"I can look after myself. It was just a fucking dream." His voice was muffled and scratchy. "Shit. Shit fucking bulges, Terezi. I can't do this."

She sighed. "I know, nubby. That's why I'm here."

Karkat knew he should probably try and move. There was something digging into his side. He should probably do something else. But fuck if he was going to. He was shaking and tired and he just didn't give a fuck anymore. It was just Terezi. He wrapped his arms around her and again grabbed her shirt.

"Stupid," she whispered. "You could have just asked in the first place."

"Fuck off."

She smoothed his hair, beginning to hum softly. It was fucking stupid. He was acting like some kind of wriggler. There was no way he would live this down on any planet ever. Terezi would make sure to that later.

He closed his eyes. He felt Terezi's chest rise and fall. Heard her mutter whatever the fuck she happened to be thinking. Focused on anything other then the red that still burned his mind and threatened to choke him.