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=== Be Karkat Vantas

John ends up making breakfast, toast with this chocolate shit that's actually surprisingly fucking delicious. He cautiously cuddles up to me the whole time, though he seems more okay with it than he had been yesterday. I guess I don't mind. We're… informally dating now or something.

I don't even fucking know, but I'm okay with it.

John changes into normal clothes and I get back into mine from yesterday. I can changed at my hive, it's not a big deal.

John seems so happy about all this, it's a little fucking ridiculous.

No, not ridiculous.

Strange. Odd. Weird, definitely. But not ridiculous, because I think I like it.

We get into the car, and he's obviously excited. But in getting in, he bumps his arm against the car door, drawing back with a hiss and a curse. When he's sitting in the passenger seat, I grab his hand, fingers tracing their way along his bandages softly. Looking down at the rough wrappings, I sigh slightly. "Why?" The word is soft, not accusing or condemning, just wondering.

He tenses up, but doesn't pull away. For at least thirty seconds, it's dead silent, but I'm not about to back off. I want to know. Finally, he mumbles, "I'm lonely."

I take a second to digest the words. "Why?" Again, not accusing, not attacking, just honestly trying to understand.

"I don't know," he replies with a choked laugh. "I don't know. I could literally be actively talking to Dave and still feel this unbearable loneliness, the feeling that anything would be better than trying to survive here. The feeling that I wouldn't be missed, that life would just keep going without me." By now, he's crying, though the strain in his voice tells me he's trying to keep it back. "I just need someone."

I take his hand in mine and look over at him, waiting until he's wiped a hand across his eyes, under his glasses, and looked almost guiltily up to me. "I'm s-"

"No." I cut him off, not even allowing him to finish. "Never be sorry for feeling a certain way. Don't be sorry for breaking down. You're a goddamn person too, John. You have fucking feelings like we all do."

"But they hurt," he mumbles. "And I don't know how to get rid of them."

"You don't," I sigh heavily. "You don't have to get rid of them. You just have to know that your friends fucking love you. We always will. You're never alone, John, okay? If you ever feel like this again… God, at this point, fucking call me. Come over to my goddamn house."

He nods. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry for your feelings. I just… you're important to me, okay? If nothing else, you're fucking important to me. Try not to forget that."

"Okay." Nodding again, he gives me a shaky smile. "You're important to me, too."

I give his hand a squeeze and allow the smallest of smiles on my face before we drive off.