I let out a deep breath and look up at him. We're in the living room, snuggled up on the couch with all the lights off. He's running a hand through my short black hair distractedly, like what we're watching on T.V is more important than me. That can happen sometimes, I know, but it's like he would rather be completely engrossed in whatever we're watching--what the hell ARE we watching?--than pet me just a little bit. He knows that I love to be petted right?
"Karkitty?" I ask quietly.
"Are you okay?"
"OF COURSE," he responds, not looking at me. I know it's a lie. I sigh again.
"That's purrfect I guess " We continue watching the T.V, the bright lights illuminating the dark room.
Lately it feels like something's wrong. I don't know what exactly, but I can see the signs. I know Karkat and I didn't really talk like best friends or anything, and that he didn't reciprocate my flushed feelings for him, but I was hoping he'd warm up to me. 'Cause we're purrfect together right?
I don't know what's up with him now. Usually he puts more effort into this relationship, but nowadays it's like he doesn't care anymore, like faking it isn't worth it anymore. When we started out, I used to believe he would finally love me in time. Now I don't know. And the bad thing is, Karkat's not the only one acting weird--I am too. It's like I started to give up too. I hope it's not so
"Karkitty?" I ask again after a long pause. I notice how he just stopped playing with my hair.
"What's up with you?"
"I don't know something f33ls off "
Karkat shrugs and mutters something under his breath. I couldn't catch most of it, but it sounds like he said something feels off about me too. But I'm not the being all that weird right? "Did you say something, Karkitty?"
Karkat sighs loudly, as if I struck a nerve. "NEPETA, CAN YOU STOP, UH--" He starts coughing. I pat his back softly, whispering sweet nothings in his ear until the coughing stops.
I stare at his yellow eyes innocently, hoping for that spark I always had. It's still there, but it's very small. "What were you going to say?" I inquire.
"U-UM IT'S NOTHING. NEVER MIND."
"Well okay." We turn back to the T.V and keep watching it in silence.
Karkat and I are in our bed, kissing each other. I'm trying to get into it, but I just can't. That flame I felt, it's not bright. Since when was it not bright? I can't believe I just noticed
I feel Karkat slowly running a hand under my shirt, feeling my stomach. His hand is cold. I shiver and he stops to ask, "WHAT'S WRONG?"
"Your hand's cold " I reply.
"I'M SORRY WAIT, I'LL BE RIGHT BACK."
"Where are you--?" Karkat leaves before I can finish my sentence. I sigh and lean back on the fluffy bed, thinking about the memories we have here. I remember when we first started out. We spent basically all day in this bed, laughing, talking, kissing. That's when I believed he finally loved me. But look at us now.
After almost an hour of reminiscing and waiting for Karkat, he suddenly barges in laughing and jumps onto the bed and starts to kiss me with actual passion. That hope re-kindles that little flame of mine. I smile and kiss him with equal fervor. Maybe I was just imagining things. I run my hands through his hair, entangling them. Karkat puts his hands under my shirt again. They're warm this time. His hands crawl up to my bra, while his lips trail down to my neck. I feel like I'm on fire with all this passion. I start to purr. This is exactly what I missed.
I wrap my legs around his hips. I feel hot everywhere, but it's a good hot. Somehow our clothes come off, and I let the passion overwhelm me. We're still worth it.
Karkat's sleeping peacefully by my side, his arms around my waist. I can't help but think about what just happened. It was great, but I noticed how the lights were off the entire time. I wanted to look into his eyes while making love. I tried asking him to turn them on, but he kept interrupting me with a million little kisses, and I'd fall back into the bliss. I remember how we left the lights on before--seeing each other's expressions meant a lot. I also notice how we barely spoke, when before we'd compliment each other and have little chats. But I still love him though. That reminds me, I haven't said that in a while
I nudge Karkat to wake him up. He grumbles. "Karkitty?"
"YEAH?" He yawns.
"I love you," I whisper. It hangs in the air for what seems like forever.
"I I LOVE YOU TOO." It sounds fake.
"Are you sure?"
"YES, I AM."
"Okay hey, what was that all about? I mean, I'm not complaining, but I'm just surpurrised."
"I JUST FELT LIKE GIVING YOU MORE AFFECTION." You didn't f33l like giving me affection a couple hours ago.
"Alright then." I give Karkat a small kiss on the lips. Right then, I smell the lingering scent of alcohol. I pull away fast. "K-Karkitty?"
"WHAT'S WRONG? YOU PULLED AWAY PRETTY FAST "
"D-did you drink?"
"YEAH A LITTLE." How much is a little though? I reach over and turn on the bedside lamp. Karkat cringes and covers his eyes. I pull his hands away from his face and scrutinize his yellow eyes. They're rimmed with red. He's been drinking more than a little.
"Karkat! You did drink!"
"WHAT'S WRONG WITH DRINKING?" he retorts.
"That your affection wasn't real!"
"YES IT WAS."
"So why did you have to drink to give me your supposed 'affection'?"
"I DON'T KNOW. TO SPICE THINGS UP?"
"That's some bullshit and you know it!"
"WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM? YOU WERE PRETTY HAPPY WITH IT, JUDGING FROM THE SOUNDS YOU MADE."
I blush hard. "Sh-shut up!" I roll on to my side, facing away from him. Karkat puts a hand on my shoulder and kisses it.
"I DON'T WANT US TO FIGHT I'M SORRY, OKAY? I WON'T DO IT AGAIN."
I know it's a lie, but I can't help but succumb to him--I'll always forgive him. "I'm sorry too Karkitty. Let's just go to sl33p, okay?" I turn my head to face him and smile. He grins and he turns off the lamp and wraps me in his arms. I snuggle closer to him and we stay like this for a while.
Before sleep comes, I pray, I hope this is still real
"Nepeta pounces on Equius!" I say excitedly, giggling and jumping on Equius' back. We're in front of my favorite Asian bakery. He smiles and tries to play along with me.
"Equius, uh, falls from the STRENGTH of Nepeta's pounce."
I giggle more. It's fun making him role-play with me, even if he's awkward. "Nepeta swipes at Equius," I say while pretending to scratch his cheek. He starts getting flustered.
"Equius, uh, doesn't know how to feel about that I-I think I need a towel." It's true; he starts sweating profusely. Again. Oh Equius
I hand him a napkin from my bag. Unfortunately, it's not enough. I ignore the problem for now, grab his hand and lead him inside. I greet the ladies working there and they smile warmly at me. We sit at a table by the window. "I haven't seen you in a while, Equius," I comment, noticing how he's wearing an indigo turtleneck with his sign on it and black jeans.
"Yes, yes," he says. "What's wrong?"
I jump a little out of my seat. He already knows something's wrong. That's my meowrail... "Wh-what makes you think something's up?"
"The fact that you want to see me at your favorite bakery," he responds simply. I look away and nod slightly. "What is it, Nepeta?"
"It's about Karkitty."
"Did he hurt you?" Equius asks, alarmed. He looks ready to kill someone. He probably would do it too, just for me.
"N-no, it's not that. It's just that he's been acting weird lately."
"In what way?" The wild look in Equius' eyes won't go away.
"Like last night, I told him I love him, since I haven't said it in a while. He said he loves me too, but it sounded fake "
"Oh, Nepeta "
"And then you know what else? I found out he was drinking!"
"Was it e%cessively?"
"N-no, but " Equius motions for me to continue. "Hewasdrunkthewholetimeweweremakinglove," I rush.
If my moirail was drinking something at the moment, I swear he would've spit it out. "WHAT?!" he shrieks.
"THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE."
"Come on, don't be like this!"
"Equius, you're not my dad," I point out.
"I'm supposed to take care of you!"
"Honestly!" I sigh in exasperation. Thank God we're the only customers here; Equius looks like he's about to have a heart attack. "And please, don't punch the table or the window or anything really."
Equius unclenches the fist he made and sighs heavily. "It's just that who's going to 100k after you?"
"I can take care of myself, I'm a wild cat, remember?" I grin.
"Of course, Nepeta."
"I'm starting to f33l like Karkitty doesn't love me anymore " But did he ever?
Equius reaches out to hold my hand, taking care not to bruise me with his immense strength. "Don't worry, he still does."
"Yes." It sounds like he's lying too. But that's what moirails do sometimes, lie to protect the other. "Would you like something?" he asks.
I shrug. "I think I'm in the mood for lemon tea," I say. Equius nods and goes to order. I look out the window. It looks like it's about to rain, the sky becoming dark. That's weird, it was sunny a while ago silly weather.
Karkat and I are walking around the streets. It's 6:23 p.m., yet the sky's dark, now that summer's over. Neon lights are everywhere, reminding me why I love the city so much. Karkat's holding my hand loosely, while I'm eating pink cotton candy. It's so delicious! I think. I sense Karkat watching me, and I think he's smiling at me fondly. I turn my head to face him. His smile gets wider and his grasp on my hand tightens. I blush and offer the sugary treat to him. He takes a small bite and blushes too. It f33ls just like when we first started out. Maybe no one's acting weird at all
I quickly see it's just wishful thinking the second we pass by Terezi leaning against a wall, drinking a can of Dr. Pepper. I instantly feel Karkat losing his grip, his eyes focusing on her instead of me. It's like he just saw something better. I mean sure, she's looking pretty in tight black jeans, a tight teal T-shirt with her sign on it, and a leather jacket to complete the ensemble. Okay, so maybe the T-shirt shows off her stomach, and maybe Karkat's ogling her. That doesn't mean anything, right?
As we pass her by, I feel Terezi's eyes on me, even though she's blind. I don't look at her, nor do I greet her. I know that both Karkat and Terezi notice my lack of a greeting immediately and Karkat proceeds to say, "H-HEY TEREZI. UH, LOOKING GOOD TODAY." The hairs on the back of my neck rise, and I begin to growl under my breath. How dare he I'm right here!
I watch the teal blood blush and mutter thanks. We continue walking and I suddenly don't want to hold hands anymore, but I feel like I can't, because what if that creates a rift between us? I love Karkat too much to risk it.
"That was sweet of you, Karkitty," I say nonchalantly, acting like it doesn't bother me at all.
But Karkat just HAD to glow. "YEAH, SHE REALLY DOES LOOK PRETTY." I feel like slapping him. I tense, and he notices. "N-NOT THAT SHE'S PRETTIER THAN YOU. YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY STUNNING TODAY IN YOUR GREEN DRESS," he amends. Oh, now you say something?
"Thank youu!" I say, faking the cheerfulness.
"YOU DON'T SOUND VERY THANKFUL." Well what do you expect?!
"Sowwy, I don't think I'm f33ling all that great."
Karkat kisses the top of my head. "THAT BETTER?"
No!"Yeah," I say instead, smiling up at him.
He stops to face me fully. "NEPETA, ARE YOU OKAY?"
"YOU'RE KIND OF ACTING WEIRD." Oh, I'M acting weird?! You're the one hitting on gurrls! The fuck?
"What? No." I pretend to laugh, but he knows I'm faking it.
"WHAT IS IT, NEPETA?"
"Nothing. I-it's just that " I sigh. "It's nothing."
Karkat stops and holds my hands. "IT'S NOT NOTHING. WHY WON'T YOU TELL ME?" Beclawse I think you're going to lie to me.
"Do you love me, Karkat?" He does a double-take. He knows I'm serious when I say his actual name. He doesn't respond for a while, making me believe that he's going to say no. Oh God, no! I can't have him not love me anymore, I don't want to lose this
"I I DO."
"I DO LOVE YOU." It still sounds fake. "I KNOW I HAVEN'T BEEN SHOWING IT MUCH LATELY, BUT I DO. I REALLY DO."
I smile at his attempt and kiss him softly on the lips. He holds me tight and we stay like this for a few minutes, until she comes around.
I see her over my matesprit's shoulder. I squint my eyes and glare at her. I swear, if I was actually a cat, my eyes would've been slits right now. The hell is she doing? No. We're BUSY. Go away, Karkat doesn't want you; he's with ME, hello? Whatever threatening message I'm trying to convey doesn't get to her. Well, she IS blind
For the record, I love Terezi, she's a really fun role-playing friend. But right now I feel like clawing her or Karkat.
"H3Y K4RK4T," Terezi says playfully. Hey! Being playful is my thing! I really don't hate Terezi, I just get very jealous easily.
Karkat immediately lets go of me and stares at Terezi, smiling stupidly. I'm serious, it looks like drool is about to come out his mouth. Really Karkitty? I frown.
"H-HI, TEREZI," he greets.
I don't bother to say anything. No one notices this time.
"W4NN4 H4NG OUT L4T3R?" she asks.
"S-SURE," Karkat says, stumbling over himself. You used to do that when we first started out
Terezi laughs and says, "COOL. S33 Y4!" She turns to leave, but then she comes back, as if forgetting something, and hugs Karkat and I quickly. I see how she lingers on Karkat more. Well. Okay then.
After she leaves, Karkat just stands there, looking at her retreating figure. Neglected, I pretend to swipe at him. "Karkitty?" I ask, pouting. He snaps out of his reverie.
"Can we go home?"
"OKAY, LET'S GO." He puts an arm around me and we start walking back the way we came. His grip on me is really loose though, like something else is on his mind. I wonder if it's Terezi
The loud sobs are racking my whole body as I lay in bed, all alone. Karkat was by my side when I fell asleep, but when I woke up a few minutes ago, he was gone. I already know he went out to be with Terezi. Is he cheating on me? I ask myself. Oh God, please let it not be true, I love him too much. I hug my legs, rocking myself. My vision becomes blurry, but I don't bother to wipe the tears. Did he ever really love me? It f33ls like I'm playing a game in which I'm going to lose every time. No matter what, I can never get to k33p him all to myself
I fumble around for my phone; it's somehow on the floor. I pick it up and call the person I thought I'd never talk to. After four rings, she answers.
I sniff. "Hi, Vwiskers."
"What the fuck Nepeta????????"
"Can I ask you something?"
"Sure?" Vriska sounds reluctant.
"Is Karkitty cheating on me?" I sniff and wipe my eyes with my hands.
"Why the hell are you asking ME????????"
"I don't know!" I whine. "It doesn't seem like something I should talk to Equius about "
She sighs. "No, he's not."
"How do you know?"
"Uh, I'm with him right now?"
That makes my lime green blood boil. The waterworks temporarily stop. "WHAT?!"
"Dude chill, it's not like that. I'm just here making sure Terezi and the annoying dum8ass don't do anything." I suddenly hear loud noise on her end of the line.
"Look, Karkat loves you, just trust him."
"It's hard to believe that, when it's like we're growing apart." The tears start to come back again.
"Re-kindle that spark you guys had, no 8ig deal." I stare at the phone in shock. Easy for you to say "I'm going to help you out right now, hold up," Vriska says.
"HELLO?" It's Karkat. Crap!
"K-K-Karkitty!" I say cheerfully.
"HEY, NEPETA," he says with a smile in his voice. "WHAT'S UP?"
For some reason, I don't want to tell him I'm crying over him, so I say, "Just checking on you." I smile, even though he can't see me.
"HOW SWEET OF YOU," he comments, the smile still in his voice. In the background I hear Terezi yelling. It sounds like she's shouting for Karkat to get back on the dance floor. "OH, HEY, I'VE GOT TO GO, BUT I'LL BE HOME SOON, ALRIGHT?"
"Alright," I reply. "Love you."
"LOVE YOU TOO." And then I hear Vriska again.
"Seeeeeeee? Nothing to worry a8out! Now I gotta go too, THE DRINKS ARE OUT!!!!!!!!" I hear a sudden click and Vriska's gone. Drinking ? I sigh. I should really trust Karkitty
I wake up to banging outside the bedroom. I yawn and rub my eyes. Karkitty ? I look at my side; the other half of the bed is still made, meaning Karkat's coming back right now. I check my phone for the time. It's 2:30 a.m.
I slump out of bed, wrapping myself in my green robe hanging on the bedpost, and open the door, halting at the sight of Karkat punching random things, throwing pots and pans on the floor. I gasp. "Karkitty!" I cry out, rushing towards him. He holds up a hand to keep me at bay. He looks at me, and his eyes are tinged red again. Why does he k33p drinking? He hasn't done this befurr
"STOP RIGHT THERE " The mutant blood looks like he's about to fall on the floor; he's swaying back and forth on his feet.
"No, let me go to you!" I insist.
"NO !" I took it as meaning that he's rejecting my love. It feels like a slap.
"I CAN'T LET YOU BE NEAR ME LIKE THIS " Karkat stumbles and kicks a nearby chair.
"KARKAT NO!" I run and jump on top of his back. We crash to the floor. Karkat's struggling to get me off, but I cling on, like a cat to a scratch post. "Why are you being like this?!" I yell. The scent of alcohol emanating off him is really strong.
"GET OFF NEPETA !"
"No! Let me hold you!" I hold on tighter, and he eventually stops struggling and starts crying softly.
"I'M REALLY SORRY, NEPETA I REALLY AM "
"Shh," I say, wiping the tears away. "I'm still here, don't worry "
"I'VE HURT YOU, NEPETA. I'VE LIED TO YOU," he sniffles. My blood runs cold. Oh God, not this ! I don't answer, kissing his neck softly instead. "I LOVE YOU " Does he really mean it though?
"I know Karkitty, I know." Even though I really don't. I'm praying he won't tell me what he's lied to me about.
"DID YOU CATCH IT?" he asks me after a moment of silence. He's stopped crying.
"What are you talking about?" I question.
"I JUST LIED TO YOU, NEPETA." I freeze.
"Are are you telling me you've never loved me?"
"I DO LOVE YOU BUT AS A FRIEND."
"Karkat you're never going to love me, what's the use of telling me you love me as a friend?" I say, having an epiphany. He honestly is never going to love me, no matter what.
"NO, NEPETA, I--"
"Please don't say you love me as a friend, it stung the first time. And please don't say we can still be friends; we're going to become distant." I feel really calm telling him this, even though my heart's breaking.
"NO WE'RE NOT--"
"Yes, we are. I'm not the one for you--I realize that now. I didn't want to believe it, but I didn't want to hear it; I would rather hear the lies." I loosen my grip on him. He turns around to face me, studying my face. I study his as well, the way his hair is messed up so adorably, his flushed cheeks, his bright eyes. I try to commit it all to memory, but then I remember--his face has been burned in my mind since long ago.
"I'm not purrfect," I continue. "But I wanted to believe that we were still worth fighting for, even if you did give up. You never loved me, Karkat."
"I WANTED TO MAKE YOU HAPPY THOUGH "
I sigh sadly. "I know, that's why you tried so hard in the beginning. Now it's b33n over a year, and look at us now. We haven't been speaking like we used to. That little flame in my heart? It's dying Karkat, we're dying."
He looks away from me and says, "WE CAN STILL DO IT, YOU KNOW."
I look at him in confusion. "Do what?"
"KEEP UP THE LIE, PRETEND WE'RE STILL THE PERFECT MATESPRITS. PRETEND WE STILL LOVE EACH OTHER." But you're the only one not loving me. I've b33n loving you since befurr we were born, starting with our ancestors. But I'm starting to give up too
"You think we can do it?"
He shrugs. "WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR A WHILE NOW "
"I'll only do it if you want to " If you want to stay.
"I WANT TO MAKE YOU HAPPY, NEPETA, IF ONLY FOR A WHILE LONGER." He runs his hand through my hair lovingly. I don't know if he's faking it or not.
"Okay then Karkitty," I agree. He kisses me softly. I lose myself to him, wanting to escape the pain and just fall back into ignorant bliss. I let him touch me, and he lets me touch him. We do the best we can to pretend what we're doing is real love.