"Alright Bec, zip me up!" Jade requests with a playful summer dress unzipped from her waist up. Her canine companion jumps on top of their bed and zips the outfit all of the way up. "Thanks!" She reaches to her suitcase to retrieve a jar of dog treats, "Who's a good dog? Who's a best friend?" Bec yips in reply as his owner delivers treats and kisses.

"Jade!" Karkat yells inside the bathroom, "Are you done yet? You better not be keeping me in here any longer than I need to!"

The woman makes a gaging motion to her dog, "I'm finished."

Karkat steps out into his shared suite, "Finally. I can't believe how long you take to get ready. I have to hide in that mildew to keep away from your bare ass."

"Yes but look how nice we look," Jade tugs on the shoulders of his shirt. "You look slightly presentable now. Maybe a nice little troll will be swept of their feet for you!"

His unpleasant facial expression shows otherwise, "Yeah that'll be the day. Why do I have to go to this stupid high school dance again?"

"It's not a high school dance!" Jade defends. "It's the final night, so there's a big party for all the adults. A chance to mingle and romance," she fantasizes.

"If the chance comes up then go to their room, and bring your dog," Karkat orders. "I'm not going to have to leave my room because of your horny mind."

Jade tugs on his ear, "Don't be so crude!"

"And you know what Harley?" he continues. "I still don't want to go. In fact I won't." Karkat turns to sit down on a stiff armchair. "Fuck this party."

"All of the alcohol is going to be there."

Karkat rubs his face, "Fucking damn it."

The boat has a large ballroom with the purpose of renting out to: weddings, reunions, bar mitzvahs, and of course a party for the end of the cruise. The ballroom itself is stationed with a privately hired dj with a square sized, polished wood floor nearby, a bar with all the right fixings, and of course a noisy cruise director to make sure the 'fun don't stop.'

By the time the two vacationing officers enter, the area is already half-way filled. Parents especially came when the day care was announced to watch over the youngsters all night. The troll looks around the room to find his past time.

"There's the bar. Drag me out when the shit-dig is done." He moves to the alcohol; however Jade pulls him back by the collar of his shirt.

"I don't think so. You should dance with me!"

"I don't dance."

Jade groans, "Of course you can. Everyone can dance, the quality is debatable though," she adds as an afterthought.

"I'm not dancing Jade," Karkat settles. "Just dance with these other pathetic losers and I'll drink with drunken losers." He heads over to the small dim area.

Karkat grabs a barstool and orders his first drink.

And at the bottom of the glass, he turned around to see Jade having the time of her life with some other people. Swaying her hips and throwing her head back laughing; a few particular male humans seem to be enjoying her company. For whatever reason it makes Karkat's stomach tighten into knots. He should drink more.

"You and your girl get into a fight?" The troll turns around to a lightly intoxicated human nursing a cocktail. "I've been there friend."

Karkat scratches his rough forehead skin with his nails, "She's not my 'girl,' and we're not friends."

"Look buddy," he shuffles over to wrap an arm around the troll, "I saw you two throughout this week. I don't know what else you could be but fucking fuckers." Karkat pushes the man away.

"Listen asshole, I was set up. I would rather be a thousand miles away from her, but I'm not." His next drink arrives; Karkat picks it up and stands away from the bar. "For all I care, you can fuck her in your own room."

He paces away from the man, the bar, the dancing, from Jade, and from the area itself. Karkat heads to the side railings of the boat. He leans over to look down on the crashing waves with a glass in hand. He remembers the pack of cigarettes in his pocket, but cannot feel the motivation to pull one out.

"Karkat?" The troll turns around to find Jade standing behind him curious. "What's going on?"

The officer turns back to the ocean, "It's nothing. I just need time to think to myself."

"Oh. Should I leave you alone?"

He thinks for a second, "I'm a fucking horrible person."

Jade exhales relieved, "You're not a horrible person."

"Yes I am. Look at me and look at you," Karkat still looks at the water. "You're . . ."

"Please don't call me perfect," she interrupts moving to his side.

"No I wouldn't do that, you're far from it."

"Oh thanks, aren't you the nicest person."

"It's not like that Jade," Karkat runs his hand through his hair thinking. "You make mistakes, but you're young and you're learning."

The woman smiles, "Well aren't you?"

"Not fast enough, I'm too old. One of these days you'll replace me and leave me in the fucking mud."

"That's not going to happen, and you're not nearly that old!"

"Can you be sure I won't get hacked off the board of the government's fucking employment? I've fucked up so many times lately and I know the chief has a grudge against me."

Jade shakes his shoulder, "He can't hold that against you forever! Didn't you say the divorce was mutual?"

"I . . I sort of lied like the asshole I am of course."


"I did something so horrible to Nepeta," Karkat uses his free hand to hold his head up. "She is the most wonderful person. She kept the chief from firing me when I would have fucking accepted it."

"Come on," she nudges on his shoulder, "It couldn't have been nearly as bad as you believe."

"I cheated on her."

Jade backs away shocked, "You what!?"

"Biggest mistake of my life," the troll turns his head away to avoid her furious glare.

"Karkat. That's that-" she shakes her hands aggravated unable to conceive the situation. "How could you do such a thing?"

He slumps over the rail, "Way to be understanding Jade. Look I already told you how much a giant shit I was or am, you don't have to nag me like an over-worked mother."

Jade hums thoughtfully, "I guess, it's not like I'm personally affected or anything. But I can't believe you did that. I never would have figured you for a scoundrel."

"I don't try to be. It was all very confusing between me and Terezi-"

"Wait. Terezi?" Karkat begins to rub his brow to soften the irritation caused by his associate's high pitch voice. "But she didn't tell me this!"

"You asked her?"

". . It came up. She just said you and Nepeta grew apart."

The troll coughs raspy, "Ack! Well I can at least fucking appreciate Terezi honoring her promise to keep out of my business like our honorable officers to the underground crime."

The woman ignores his sarcasm, "I-I don't think I can even see you and Terezi . . romantic. You don't even act like that to each other."

"Well yeah we were never even into-"

Jade slaps the metal rail, "That's it. Whole story. Now."


"There's no escape, and you might not tell me later. I want the whole story now."

Karkat lifts her hand from the bar, "Will you calm down. We don't always get what we fucking want. You know that."

"No, we have to cooperate, so I need to know you. I barely understand you now."

He looks at Jade for a moment rethinking the situation, "It was late at night, and we were on a case. Terezi and I were never considering more than a friendship. We were chasing a thief in some sort of research lab, and he was getting away. Terezi was ahead of me and he threw something at her; chemicals I guess and Terezi got hit completely in the fucking face. That's how she got blind."

"Oh God," Jade murmurs, "I never knew."

"Right. Well I brought her back to the car to take her to the hospital, but Terezi is just so . . stubborn. She didn't want to leave the case, so she had me try to wipe up the mess. So fucking stupid. We might have been able to save her vision; instead we now got Terezi sniffing and licking to find her way around. The most idiotic mistake I've ever made was not taking her straight to the hospital. And while I was cleaning her eyes . . ."

Jade's face turns down disgusted, "In the car?"

"Don't freak out, I switched the cop car with Sollux."

"Okay then," her face stays a little twisted. "But why? You said that you didn't think of Terezi like that. Don't tell me you had that stupid romantic idea of healing someone injured and having sexual tension."

"Not exactly. Troll biology is meant to build up adrenaline mostly for the fights we used to experience frequently before being domesticated on Earth. That ability hasn't died out yet, so Terezi and I had this build up with no way to relinquish it any time soon. So yeah our fucking lustful energy won over our own common sense. Afterwards we both realized how horrible it was."

"Sex to burn off energy wasn't good?"

"No. I dropped her off at the hospital and told her that I was going to tell Nepeta. She didn't object."

Jade slants her head surprised, "You told Nepeta just like that? Makes you less of a shithead I guess."

Karkat clears the back of his throat, "You know what, I never even told Nepeta about the whole adrenaline thing. I didn't think it would make a difference coming up with a shitty excuse like that. She didn't even want one."

"How did she handle it?"

"Better than she should have. She wanted to work it out despite everything. Nepeta is probably the strongest person I know with the way she put up with me. We spent a month together afterwards; the chief was really suspicious then. We couldn't look at each other in the eyes. It was over when she said she couldn't love me anymore. I accepted it."

"So that's how it happened," Jade resolves.

"And a week afterwards, Terezi left the force. She said she had some sort of self-realization or some other fucking shit but she left all the same. For the best since Nepeta can protect me from the chief but not her. Terezi still likes to visit, but she seems happy with her new job. Huh, I just realized that we never did capture that thief." Karkat lowers his head and brings it back up, "Fuck!" he yells at the sea.

"Hey!" a woman behind the officers shouts. They turn around to see a mother cover her child's ears. "Watch the language!"

"Oh fucking deal with it you fucking piece of fucking shit. It's fucking good for the fucking kid's fucking education, fuck!"

The woman walks away in a huff dragging her young's hand.

Jade gives a slight smile, "Way to be mature."

"I'm so done with this trip." He looks at the glass in his hand, "I need a refill."

The woman steals the empty glass, "I think you're done." She loops her arm around his, "You're going to have a dance with me."


"Yes," she forces him along back inside the room. Jade returns the glass to one of the staff workers. The woman turns to face the troll and makes him put one hand on her waist and her own hand on his shoulder. She brings their remaining hands together and starts to sway. "Isn't this nice?"

Karkat stays still, "No."

"Look Karkat, you're not as horrible as you put yourself down to be. I've made my own mistakes that I regret."

"Fucking fantastic," he squints his eyes, "we're not going to have another intervention are we?"

"No, we're just going to have a nice dance together so you can relax. Then we can go back to the room to sleep. We'll get a full night's sleep before we reach land again. And then we can go back to annoying each other. Deal?"

Karkat glowers, "Deal. I need to get back to make sure Gamzee hasn't killed anyone; surprised his stupid turtle is still alive."

The two sway together as the music continues and the night goes on.