You watch as the bodies of your friends hit the platform, the Demon standing over them triumphantly. Teal and Candy Red mix together as they pool around the corpses and the Demon's feet. He smirks, as if mocking you. He raises his pitch black sword in challenge, its inky sheen spotted with Teal and Crimson. You feel your blood begin to boil, and you cast your dice with a fury that is unlike you. The numbers slowly decide themselves. Eight, Eight, Eight, Eight, Eight, Eight, Eight, and Eight, because you're just that lucky. A familiar power surges through your body. You feel the weight of the sword appear in your hand, and your outfit changes. You lunge at the Demon, with the intent to teach him a lesson for slaughtering your friends. Then your vision wavers, and everything goes black. As you regain your vision, you feel a burning, painful sensation from the middle of your chest. As you look down, you see a long blade protruding from it, stained Cerulean.
You awake with a gasp, feeling your chest to reassure yourself of your uninjured state. You examine your hands, no longer gray and sharp. Red blood runs through your veins, not Cerulean. You have no wings, your left eye only has one pupil. No horns adorn your head. You run your hand through your uncombed hair, sighing in relief. Your name is Vriska Serket, you are 16, and you dream of another life. A fantastical, impossible life. A life that you wish you had.
The air is chilly, and the sky is overcast. You breathe heavily, examining the steam that forms in the crisp morning air. You walk at a brisk pace down the deserted sidewalk, hefting your backpack full of books. Your dream still lies fresh in your memory, and you cannot shake the image of the Cerulean soaked blade from your head. You know it's stupid to dwell on such things. After all, you're human, not some bizarre alien from another planet. Although you wouldn't actually consider your counterpart to be bizarre. You know her very well, almost as well as you know yourself, perhaps even better. You've had those dreams all your life. You don't think you've dreamt of anything else. You've dreamt an entire lifetime in your sleep. You keep an active diary of your Alternian adventures. You hope to one day write a book about it, you certainly have enough to fill several volumes.
"Hey Vriska!" you hear a familiar cackle and the friendly hand on your shoulder. You turn to face your best friend. Terezi Pyrope. Terezi is a junior in Skaia High just like you, and the both of you are… lifelong friends? You only really became friends with her back in Middle School when the both of you found you had an avid interest in role-playing. Before that, you were constantly trying to commit mischief, while Pyrope's one desire in life was to catch you at your crimes and report you. Amazing, though, what common ground can do. "So, Vriska," Terezi began, "What's new from Alternia?"
You sigh, "Well, I reeeeaaaally don't want to talk about it." She then punches you lightly on your shoulder. You turn to face her. She's wearing a small red and teal jacket, and jeans. Her backpack isn't quite as loaded as yours. She grins, "Aw, come on Vriska. You can tell me."
"Fine," you sigh, "But it's really disturbing."
Terezi settles into a nice pace beside you as you begin, "Well, you know how last time I was preparing to go fight that Demon guy?" Terezi nods, and you continue, "So, your counterpart tried to talk me out of going. She tried to do some coin flip thing to force a decision. I rigged it so it would land in my favor." Terezi makes a comment how that is so like you, and you resume, "I think she intended to kill me anyways, but she couldn't go through with it. So I went, and… I think I inadvertently led the Demon back to the asteroid, and he killed everyone."
Terezi breathes out through her teeth, "Wow, kind of an anticlimactic ending, huh?"
"Then I started to fight him." You finish, but rub your head, "it gets a bit fuzzy from there, but I think I died."
"Well, Vriska, that's not a good ending to the story at all!" Terezi exclaims, "If you want to make that into a story, looks like you'll have to bullshit the ending. What was so disturbing about the ending though?"
"I don't know Terezi," you answer, "It's just the concept of dying. It made me really uncomfortable. If I died in my dream, will I still dream of Alternia? I know it's silly, but I don't want the dreams to stop."
Terezi looks at you with a comforting smile, "It's alright Vriska, and it's just dreams. I'm sure tonight you'll still dream of your Alternia. After all, if the reams have gone on this long, why should it stop?"
You smile back, "I suppose so. Thanks for talking with me about this."
"No problem," Terezi grins back, "Race you to school."
She takes off like a rocket, and you chase after her, cursing her out in Alternian. Just because you know it. Strange how your mind was able to come up with an entire comprehensive and diverse language in your sleep. (Terezi also knows Alternian: You taught her, it's your secret code)
As you walk to class you stop by a friend's locker, tapping him on the shoulder, "Morning Tav. How's it going?"
Your friend turns to greet you. His name is Tavros Nitram. He used to be a loser, but then you came along and brought him out of his insecurity. You knew him in your dreams long before you met him in real life. Your dream-self bossed his dream-self around a lot, so when you met this boy with the same name, you were determined to do what you failed to do in your dreams (And your dream self recently killed his dream self. That was kind of a shock.)
"Oh. Hey Vriska. I'm doing fine. How are you?" he responds, to which you reply, "Oh, I'm having a splendid morning, Tav. Soooooooo, have you reconsidered my offer?"
He fidgets nervously, "Uh, sorry Vriska. I do, um, like you, but just not in, er, that way."
You frown, "Alright then, but at least speak with confidence when you reject something, otherwise it makes you seem weak." Inside, you're more than a bit disappointed that Tavros isn't romantically interested in you, but you understand that he sees you as a really good friend, and it would do no good to his confidence if you pressured him into going out with you. So you don't push the matter. Although…
"So, if it's not going to be me, who do you have your eye on?" you question. He blushes, "I'd rather not say." He responds almost immediately. Damn. "Well," you sigh, "Tell me when you're comfortable with telling me, because I have got soooooooo much relationship advice to share with you." Yeah. Relationship advice. Like how not to get mixed up with complete idiots like that Ampora fellow from freshman year. Then there was that one night in Sophomore year with your good friend Terezi at a party that involved unintentional alcohol and drug consumption that SHALL NEVER BE MENTIONED AGAIN ON PAIN OF DEATH. Neither of you could talk, let alone look at each other a week after the incident that SHALL NOT BE NAMED.
Tavros nods, "Alright then. Thanks for understanding." As he walks off, your vision momentarily clouds over with images of lances and brown blood. You shake your head to clear it. It was just a dream, don't take it so seriously.
You sit in class idly twirling you pencil in hand. You have lunch after this class and you just can't wait until you're done slugging through Chemistry. Of course, class hasn't even started yet, Professor Scratch is busy checking his email. He'll be done in a few minutes.
Terezi sits next to you. She's currently popping chocolate covered cherries into her mouth. She does love cherry flavor. That and strawberry flavor. Well, anything red really. You personally love the color Cerulean and the number eight. No reason as to why. You spy other members of your LARP club in class. There's that sophomore Nepeta on the far side of the class, hunched over her notebook, scribbling in it, while casting furtive glances at that really crabby kid who's name you never bothered to learn. Ampora is a row away from you trying to chat up some girl who's captain of the swim team. You think her name begins with an F, but that's not really important.
Oh, hey, that's new. A row behind you, there's a new kid. He has short, unruly black hair, square spectacles, and has deep blue eyes. You momentarily are reminded of that John Egbert kid from your dreams. The resemblance is remarkable. The possibility that his name actually is John Egbert does not escape you. The first couple of times it scared you. Most people you've met and become friends with, you've already met in your dreams. Albeit they had horns, bled different color blood, and were an entirely different race. You've gotten used to it at this point. There probably is no relationship between this boy and the boy in your dreams, though.
Professor Scratch steps away from his computer, and straightens his green tie, which kind of contrasts with his white suit. "Students," he begins, "I'm sure some of you have already noticed, but we have a new student in our class. Please welcome John Egbert." Damn.
You exit from class with a skip in your step. Another meeting with a person you could have sworn was fictional! You were so surprised that during the class experiment, you almost accidentally burned out Terezi's eyes with the acid you were handling. Fortunately, she's okay. Ampora, though, is not. Poor guy. As you enter the lunch hall, you quickly scan it. You swiftly locate John, as he's standing about, as if not sure where to sit. You sneak up behind him, and loop your arm around his neck, "Hey John!" you grin, "Do you mind if I drag the new kid to the cool table?"
He yelps, surprised, "Gah! Oh, um, sure." He offers little to no resistance as you drag him to the table your friends are occupying. In the large cafeteria on the second floor, there are only a handful of tables right next to the large panoramic windows, with a fantastic view of the mountain range across the plains (as your community is atop a plateau.) Groups jostle for table supremacy all year, and you were determined this year to secure a most prestigious location year-long. Nepeta is the fastest among your LARPing group, and she was assigned to table-claiming duty. The LARP group has had a table all year since.
"Hey, Vriska, whatcha got there?" Terezi cackles as you drag John to the table and practically shove him into a seat. "Who I've got," you laugh, "is the new kid, John Egbert!" Immediately everyone at the table (Eridan, Nepeta, Terezi, and Kanaya) starts scrutinizing him. "Um, hi," John greets nervously under the four critical gazes, "Nice to meet you."
Terezi grins widely, "Hm. I kind of like him, Vris!"
Eridan scoffs, "I don't see what's so special about him."
Nepeta doesn't say anything, but starts frantically scribbling in her notebook. You know what that notebook is. It's a shipping chart.
Kanaya just smiles slightly, "Splendid. This group could use some more males."
You lightly knock Eridan on the head, announcing, "Well John, it looks like you're now an official member of the Skaia High LARP group! Sorry Ampora, majority rules." You get up in John's face, "You do LARP, don't you?"
At the mention of LARPing, John's face lights up immediately, "Oh yeah!" he chirps cheerfully, "I was the LARP co-president at my old school!"
You grin ear to ear. "Perfect, John. We're going to have so much fun!"
And you do.
Your world melts away, back to the incongruous dream bubble it has always been. Images of John and your friends melt away to once again reveal swirling chaos. Your skin darkens to the color of ash, your horns reappear, and blood runs down the front of your shirt.
Your name is Vriska Serket, you are six Alternian Solar Sweeps old, and you dream of another life. A wonderful, impossible life. A life that you wish you had.