This chapter was rushed like crazy from the start of the conversation between Karkat and the Doctor in the bathroom and it shows. It is also very short. Wow, sorry about that guys. I will probably go back and edit this chapter more fully later on, but I am kind of feeling guilty for leaving this story for so long. I did NaNo, so no chapter last month. And I had been good with most months on getting one or two chapters out.

As it is, I also began writing another Homestuck story, a oneshot on paper, but it is over 13 000 words. That one focusing on the trolls before entering their game, after Tavros was crippled, but before Aradia was killed. All of them are involved as I am using it as practice to get their quirks as right as I can. I am also using it as one of the complete role reversals the trolls have with their Ancestors. It basically revolves around Karkat having no idea who the Cult of the Signless are and is sexually hurt by one of them, but they think he knew what they were going to do and did it anyway. He decides to get revenge on them and brings the whole cult down, using nothing but his friends and a quickly made up plan.

It is extremely fun to write.

For those wanting to know, my pesterchum handle is wolfishDream and this site has the awful habit of editing out all the extra !'s and ?'s I put in so Jade's quirk may seem a bit off in this chapter. I only just noticed it does that, and it keeps pulling them off.


Chapter Ten

The TARDIS alerted him that there was something wrong. It only took him a quick two minutes to reach the door to his young charge's room, and immediately knew that something was definitely up.

There was a rhythmic beating that seemed to vibrate through the TARDIS, and it took the Doctor a few seconds to realise that Karkat was hitting the TARDIS walls. It stopped in short order, but was soon followed by a muffled scream.

After that the room went quiet.

He waited five minutes before knocking. He wasn't expecting a response, since Karkat was still uneasy around him, but it did worry him when he didn't even get a shouted out go away. Frowning at the door, he knocked on it a bit louder.

"Karkat? Are you alright? The TARDIS told me you're distressed."

He wasn't expecting the door to actually open, so when it did, he almost fell into the room on top of Karkat. "Are you alright?" he asked, though it was clear he wasn't.

"I'm sick and tired of people asking me that! No, I am not alright. I am not even remotely anywhere near the realm of alright. Alright is so far out of grasp, it is circling around another universe entirely outside either of the ones we live in."

Holding up his hands in a way he hoped didn't come off as offensive, he slowly made his way into the room. The door to the bathroom was open, and he spotted the disheartening sight of vomit on the floor of the tiled room.

"Do you feel ill?"

Karkat grimaced and looked towards the bathroom floor. "A little. I don't think I'm sick sick if that's what you're wondering. I just...fucking stress has gotten to me. I got into an argument and said some really, really awful things to my last living friends. My digestive system is tied in so many metaphorical knots I am in actual physical pain with it. It's upsetting my...stomach."

A ping was heard from the computer which was still open and on. It sounded like Karkat's friends weren't going to let him be alone, which was good. He really needed the support. "Another invite by the sounds of it! You should accept it and apologise. They'll forgive you."

In answer, Karkat made a wild dash for the bathroom, a hand clamped over his mouth. He made it to the toilet this time. He went to the door, knocked on it softly and sighed. "Do you want me to tell them that you're not feeling well? It would be better than not talking to them at all. Especially after an argument."

He waited for an answer, which he was expecting to be a furious no, but instead was a slight nod of the head.

Waiting a few moments, the Doctor sighed before going over to the laptop and stared at the chat invite for a second, before clicking on the blue link.

ectoBiologist [EB] opened memo on board FRIENDLEADER CHECK UP.

EB: karkat! you okay buddy?
CG: hELLO!
CG: Oops! Capslock was left on. Sorry about that.
CG: Hello!
GG: oh god!
GG: someone stole karkats computer!
TT: Where is Karkat? This is a message for him.
TT: One I believe he needs to hear.
CG: Oh! Yes, of course. Introductions!
CG: Hello, I'm the Doctor and I am currently the one taking care of Karkat, since I found him on that lab.
CG: He told me he had a fight with you lot and it has upset him quite a bit.
CG: To answer your question of where he is, he is currently on the floor in the bathroom of his suite on my ship, hugging the toilet.
CG: The stress of what has happened to him is making him physically ill.
CG: It should pass with some rest and relaxation.
CG: He's not too comfortable with talking to me so I have been urging him to talk to you kids.
CG: He likes romance for a non stressful conversation topic.
EB: yeah we know he likes romance.
GG: he drew shipping charts of us once :)
TT: Karkat was going to teach us more about his cultures romance practices, as we keep doing things that are considered flirting or taboo in his culture due to misunderstandings.
EB: they have a whole romance based on mutual hatred XD
TT: Mutual hatred with respect and clearly defined borders. I believe killing your kismesis is bad form.
CG: The only one I know as of yet is moirail. The friendshippy one for keeping him calm. He really could use that right now.
CG: Hmm, which one of you is Rose? I'd like to talk to you privately.
TT: That would be me. I suppose that he told you of our arrangement then?
CG: Not exactly. It was more shouted at my wife, before she was dropped off to her office.
TT: Ah, River being your wife then? Yes, he mentioned her.
GG: i don't think dave knows though :/
EB: yeah, dave kind of just ran off crying.
TT: It was actually quite a thing to see personally. Dave rarely lets his 'cool guy' face to slip.
TT: That he left in tears is actually quite a huge emotional step for him. Especially in front of us.
EB: guys, i'm going to go check on him.
EB: you can continue talking, just keep me informed when i get back.
GG: good luck john!
TT: He may let you in. I hope for his sake he does.
TT: I think things are finally catching up to him. Especially with the death of his brother and Terezi being so recent.
TT: I am beginning to think he relied on Terezi to get him through all the heavy emotional things he went through during the game.
EB: going now guys. thanks for the tip rose!

ectoBiologist [EB] is an idle chump

CG: Are you kids alright?
GG: im ok!
GG: i kind of miss my dog but im ok :)
TT: I am not so good. I recently went through what you may call...a psychological break. Of sorts. It's hard to explain.
TT: That came about after finding out that Jack killed my mother.
GG: i tried to warn you and so did kanaya but you didn't listen to us :(
TT: Yes, I know. Thank you for the warnings. I thought I could handle them, and I was obviously wrong. I am sorry if I caused you any undue distress.
CG: Ah! Ok, that is the reason you asked Karkat what you did. I won't tell your friends because you haven't yourself and I suppose that is a thing you and Karkat have to figure out yourselves.
TT: Yes it is. And thank you. I am taking anything said between us last night as private and confidential.
CG: Well, to ease your mind, he never said anything the two of you talked about except the obvious because of River's position.
GG: i feel like i am invisible
GG: do you two want to talk without me here?
GG: ill go see how john is doing with dave

gardenGnostic [GG] is an idle chump

CG: You all have some fascinating usernames!
CG: tentacleTherapist?
TT: In my defence, I am a thirteen year old girl interested in the zoologically dubious and psychology.
TT: Also it may just be slightly suggestive. I do have a libido now.
CG: You're thirteen. All thirteen year olds do, unless you grow up really, really slow.
TT: In the case of the trolls it seems more like really, really fast. Karkat on his planet just reached six. TT: An Alternian Sweep is a little over two human Earth years. Their years are twice as long as ours, so while there really is no difference, it seems odd having a pubescent boy saying he is six.
CG: You ARE human yes?
TT: Yes, I and my fellow friends stuck on this ship are human.
TT: In our version of the universe, Earth was destroyed in the year 2009. The four of us are the only survivors.
CG: Your version?
TT: Yes, from your point of view, I am from an alternate timeline of the Earth. Your Earth I don't exist in.
TT: There are only two possible Earths I could come from, and considering we are now flying to the session that comes from the other one, which is a three year flight at almost the speed of light, your universe we are currently travelling through is not ours.
TT: You can blame Jade for us being here at all. She broke the fourth wall to get us here.
CG: Fascinating!
CG: You and your friends will have to tell me about how exactly you did this at one point.
CG: Right now though we're getting a little off topic.
CG: I'm usually fine with off topic and have a tendency of talking about whatever pops into my head, but right now Karkat seems more important.
TT: His little break in temperament I take it? Just do as you said, rest and relaxation. I will talk to him when he gets back on the computer himself.
CG: Are you sure about this? He is...
TT: Abrasive, rude, an asshole? Yes, I am quite aware of his finer personality traits, thank you.
TT: It doesn't stop him being a friend that needs help. He knows of my sunny and positive disposition and is willing to help me back.
TT: Troll romance, weird but nice.
TT: I will have to stop doing my normal routine and not make it into a psychology session. I doubt that is how it works.
TT: Either that or it would be classed as blatant pale prostitution.
CG: Hah! Maybe. Oooh, Karkat seems to be done in there and is moving about once again. I will be back, or he will be here soon.
TT: I will be waiting here for your return or Karkat's caps lock key to be pressed once again.
CG: Bye for the moment.

carcinoGeneticist [CG] is an idle chump

Getting up off the seat, he made his way to the bathroom, where he could hear Karkat mumbling to himself. There was also a repetitive sound of a brush.

When he poked his head in, Karkat was at the vanity, brushing his teeth and filling a basin with water, a cloth hanging over the side of it.

"Are you feeling better then?"

Karkat jumped slightly, and growled at him, before showing off foamy teeth, toothbrush held between his lips and bobbing up and down as he spoke. "M Fin."

The Doctor waited unit Karkat spat out the paste, drank a few glasses of water and picked up the basin before moving to help him in the obvious task he was about to go about doing. "You don't have to clean this mess up. The TARDIS can just make it go away."

He got glared at for that. Something he was becoming quite used to.

"I made the fucking mess and I'll clean it up! That's how things generally work. Not all of us have a ship to do everything for us like the lazy fuck you seem to be."

He was honestly surprised to find a kid his age even wanting to do anything if it meant cleaning things up. He was also surprised Karkat thought him lazy. He got so much running done in his life, he was possibly the fittest 1000 plus year old in the entire universe.

"I'm not that lazy. I just wondered why someone your age would be more willing to get on your hands and knees to mop up vomit off the floor instead of having it magically go away."

Karkat sighed, threw the soiled cloth into the basin, scrubbed at his head with both his hands and growled. "Because when it came to doing any work my lusus was a stupid piece of shit, so I had to do everything like this myself. I like my living places to be clean and tidy. Is that a fucking crime now?!"

Ok one thing was very clear right now, he was not calming Karkat down at all. If anything he was just making the kid anxious and irritable. "Alright, you can clean things up if you want to. I just wondered that was all. It's generally not a trait in someone your age."

"Not from your universe, you remember? Stupid fucking asshole. All people ever do is judge on what they think they know or think they should know, instead of just letting people be. 'What's your blood colour Karkat?' 'You'd make a horrible leader, Karkat.' 'God, Karkat, don't you ever fucking shut up?' 'The only thing you're good for is working out other people's quadrants, Karkat.' 'You'd make a better human than troll, Karkat." And you want to know what really sucks about it, most of that is true. I am those things and more. My stupid fucking friends knew more about me than I did because I refused to put the default blame of those things directly onto my own head, it was always past me or future me or doomed me or alpha me. Never just me. And now I have all their deaths on my heads because I couldn't do the one job that was assigned to me and was important to save everyone's life. I was to pacify Gamzee like a good moirail. And I failed. In return of my extreme fuck up as a moirail to him, he decided to murder my friends one by one in creative and interesting ways, making sure I found them either once they were dead, or watch them die. He took their blood and begun painting with it on the walls. He took some of their heads. Tavros was...oh god...Gamzee liked him. Romantically. In a sexual way, not conciliatory. I...I have to shut up now or I'm going to just start screaming and never stop."

Karkat's hands were shaking and he grabbed at the cloth again and begun scrubbing at the ground furiously and the Doctor realised suddenly that he wasn't just cleaning his mess because it was a mess he made. He was doing it for something to do to make him try and stop thinking. To try and calm himself of the panic that was beginning to set in.

"Karkat, you're hyperventilating."

He moaned and stopped his scrubbing. "I think I'm going to have a panic attack."

Sighing, the Doctor sat on the ground, careful not to sit on the watery patch that was by now the cleanest spot on the floor. "This is a really bad day for you. Want to go have a rest? It may help to lie down for a while."

The boy nodded slightly, got shakily to his feet and made his way to his bed. Within seconds, he was buried under the sheets. He heard the ragged breathing easing just having been wrapped up and he wondered if it was the darkness, or the being completely covered. Insect species hatched from eggs and spun cocoons in their life cycles.

It probably felt like a safe place to be encased in soft feeling fabrics.

"I'll tell your friends you will talk to them when you're feeling better and leave you to calm down."

He got a short nod for that, if the movement of what he assumed to be Karkat's head was anything to go by, went back to the computer and quickly looked at the chat he had been in before. Rose was now gone, but Jade was back.

CG: Hello again.
GG: hi!
GG: how is karkat?
CG: Not too good. He is curled up in a ball under his sheets right now, trying to calm down.
CG: This is a bad day for him.
CG: He will talk to you lot once he has settled down and rested a bit.
GG: ill tell the others once they are back here
GG: rose went to get something for lunch
GG: john is in with dave
GG: things are going a bit crazy here too :/
GG: ooh rose is back with sandwiches :D
TT: Hello Doctor.
TT: Karkat is resting then, I take it?
CG: Yes he is.
CG: He went through a lot in that lab by the sounds of it.
GG: yeah his friends were all killed :(
TT: Some by his ex moirail.
TT: I am amazed he is willing to find someone else in that Quadrant at all.
GG: yeah :(
GG: still he doesnt tend to give up
GG: although he does have a history of hating himself
GG: in a way that borders on romantic XD
TT: You are ashen for Karkat, Jade.
GG: but theres only two of us
GG: isn't that the threesome quadrant?
TT: Technically, there are three. You mediating between past and future Karkat.
GG: oh my god!
GG: rose are you shipping us?
TT: The two of you are my ashen OTP.
GG: :o
TT: It may also have gone both ways in the past. Don't think I didn't read that conversation in which you were freaking out over your alpha self and Jadesprite.
TT: It was Karkat who managed to mediate between you and your other self too.
GG: oh no!
GG: im going to eat my sandwich now and not type at you
TT: That is good. It is salad.
CG: I have no idea what is going on but it sounds like it is warping time.
TT: It does sound that way.
TT: I call temporal shenanigans.
TT: It actually is so crazy it makes perfect sense.
CG: A lot of things can be like that!
CG: I'll let it slide this once, just please, try not to disturb time too much here.
TT: We didn't disturb time in the slightest. Everything that happened was predestined to happen.
TT: Karkat's friends all dying though...that wasn't supposed to happen.
TT: Getting out of the lab changed his fate. He is a doomed timeline Karkat, and he knows it.
TT: If you hadn't gotten him out when you had, he inevitably either would have faded into nothingness or died. Most likely killed by Jack.
TT: Thankfully, we don't have to worry about him for another 3 years.
CG: You sound extremely sure of this.
CG: How do you know all this?
TT: It may have only been one day of playing the actual game for us, but trust me when I say it was plenty enough time to understand doomed timelines.
TT: Karkat's game session lasted almost four weeks. His time player kept alpha Karkat in the loop to all doomed timelines so he would not make the same mistake again and cause it to repeat.
TT: Trust me when I say if I am sure of the matter, I am sure of the matter.
TT: Also, I am my group's seer. I just know things like this.
CG: You see the future then?
TT: I can sense things and choose the path most fortuitous to our group, not see things. My aspect is Light, not Mind.
TT: Light is the realm of fortune.
TT: Seeing things was Terezi's power as Seer of Mind.
TT: For someone who was literally blind she could see every outcome from every possibility with her class and aspect.
TT: She was...slightly mad as you may guess.
TT: Also, Karkat harboured some major feelings for her.
TT: She was his main crush for...well, we can't figure out if it was black or red.
TT: He was watching her die again in his flashback earlier.
CG: Ah. He never said what it was about to me.
CG: He did however accept comfort from me this time around. That's a good thing, I think.
CG: And he's growling from under the sheets now, so I will leave you two girls alone and let you get back to eating lunch.
CG: I'll take care of him when you aren't available to chat to though, don't worry about that.
CG: Bye!

carcinoGeneticist [CG] logged off

The Doctor didn't just log out of the program, he turned the computer off and closed the top of it, just in case Karkat decided to wake up cranky, he wouldn't hurt the machine.

"I turned your computer off for you Karkat. I'll leave you alone for a while. Try and get some rest."

He got growled at again for his answer, but he was fine with that. It was possible that Karkat was unable to talk through layers, or was busy crying and wasn't able to get his voice box working properly. Either way, it could just be him getting snippy at him for being in there.

He left him alone. He stood outside the door wanting to know if he did anything after he was out, only to have his answer as a yes. Karkat got out of bed, walked to the door and locked it. Sighing, the Doctor turned to head back to the console room. May as well get the TARDIS moving again.

Maybe...maybe he would be able to find Karkat's friends...

It was worth a shot.