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It's Been A While

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Corpse stared down at his phone. At the texts he had re-read hundreds of times. 

He had left Sykkuno on read for over a year. Reaching out now… how would he even go about it?

7/9/21, 9:42 PM
I hope we can stay in touch Corpse! 

7/15/21, 1:03 AM
sleep well!

7/18/21, 2:01 AM

8/1/21, 4:48 AM
[An image of Bimbus sitting primly in a mess of fishing nets, some of which were carefully draped over his back. A familiar hand was in his hair, gently stroking his afro.]
this is wat the real thing looks like

8/8/21, 12:01 AM
OH JESUS IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!! i hope it’s a really good one Corpse :D im really glad i got the chance to meet you <3

8/15/21, 4:32 PM
:) !!

9/28/21, 7:03 PM
a real life bird attacked me today the trauma continues
this is wat happens when u leave ur house D:

10/3/21, 8:32 PM
jack mentioned u got some bad news. he didnt say what happned but i hope things improve soon
and if that isnt possible i hope theres someone in ur life making u laugh
u have a really nice laugh corpse. its illegal to keep it to urself!

10/30/21, 4:53 PM
[An image of Sykkuno pouting down at a large stain on his faded blue shirt. The garment was clinging to him, saturated with what looked to be either grape juice or wine. Wine was more likely, considering the flush on his cheeks and his dazed gaze.]
spilled wine but my t isnt whiet :(

Corpse had looked through his vods in search of a drunk stream. Sykkuno hadn’t been live in two days, though. Apparently he was drinking alone at a time he had considered unreasonable half a year ago. It almost made Corpse reach out, but in the end he said nothing. Just saved the photo in his camera reel and moved on. 

10/31/21, 8:08 PM
put on the cat ears corpse_husband! ;)

11/25/21, 6:48 AM
happy turkey day ! i dont celebrate (cus birds! definitly cus birds!) but maybe u do
gobble gobble

12/13/21, 5:44 PM
how do i get out of going to a strip club with Rae ;w;
ptroetc meeee shes cRAEzyyyyyy

12/25/21 2:03 PM
rewatched our first ever imposter game today. you did so well!!
hope you are happy . happy holiday

Corpse stared at the message for too long. He opened it up randomly throughout the day, fingers hovering over the keys. He wanted to write back. 

It had been five months. The sooner he got this over with, the better it would be. The easier.

Corpse had stopped himself so many times. Wrote draft upon draft in his ‘Notes’ folder, unwilling to make the ‘...’ appear on Sykkuno’s side.

He clicked through Twitter absently, eyes falling on the most recent update on his mostly dead timeline. 

syko powered mira! @sytracking · Dec 26 · 16 minutes ago

Who tf is syk waiting to text him?!! He sounded so hopeless ._.

Arial-don't hmu im lit af @toastkunosupreme · Dec 26 · 9 minutes ago

what stream/do u have clip??

syko powered mira! @sytracking · Dec 26 · 4 minutes ago

he was on blaus for about ten mins! here you go

The video was only twenty seconds. Corpse clicked.

“Did you do anything fun for Christmas?” Blau asked Sykkuno absently as he checked his screen for something. 

There was a pause. Sykkuno’s voice was lower than Corpse was used to when it came back, not just less emotive like it often was off stream, but generally quiet. “Um… I guess that depends on your definition of fun? I sat in the darkness for a few hours, waiting for a text that’s never going to come and listening to loud music.” There was a pause. He gave a stilted little laugh, like he could have been joking, and said, “Anyway…” 

The clip cut out. 

Corpse swallowed. Blinked. Replayed the clip. Blau eyes went wide and worried as they flicked from his task to Sykkuno’s character.

It had the same energy as that time Ludwig asked what Sykkuno was doing for New Years and Sykkuno tiredly saying, “Probably sit at home in the darkness. Y-you know how it is.”

He could be talking about anybody, Corpse reminded himself, even as he clicked back to the text.

He didn’t have his read notifications on. 

For all Sykkuno knew, Corpse had gotten a new phone and these messages were going to a random. But maybe he should…

He didn’t. 

1/1/22, 12:00 AM
[A screenshot of Sykkuno’s spotify:
Most listened to song of 2021
agoraphobic - CORPSE
Track played 1,118 times for 1 day 16 hours 3 minutes 42 seconds]

1/8/22, 8:43 PM
rae wasn’t sure who it was from & didnt want to talk about it on stream jic it was a stalker, but she’s in love with her second brick of silver. you really improved her day corpse. youre a great friend

1/10/22, 6:09 PM
happy 2nd birthday corpse~~!! <3

1/20/22, 3:13 AM
told toast that i still text u sometimes. he said i should leave u alone >:c
even if u have me blocked and these are floating in space i still want u to know i still think about u
ull always be my friend
i rly hope life is treating u well
and if it isnt i hope u choke it out!

2/14/22, 10:56 PM
karl mentioned u guys watched my stream together today
he said it rly quick and kinda like hes joking so u probably didnt
why would u guys want to watch me?
but on the off chance u did,  i hope i could at least make u smile. im glad ur still in contact with someone
I dont message often cus i dont want to be a bother on the off chance these are reaching u
im here for u though

3/29/21, 8:58 PM
[Attached is a picture of a pizza with a red frowny face drawn on top of it using some kind of app .]
visiting LA and lily tried to order a vegan meat lover pizza today as if ill ever try it without you or your rec. i cant believe shes done this!

Sykkuno @Sykkuno · Apr 3
no streams this week, sorry!! should be back on 4/11

4/3/22, 10:21 AM
i wish i could sleep forever

Sykkuno received a reply

rae @Valkyrae · Apr 3
take all the time you need your audience of sykkos are loyal af !

Show replies

“I know a lot of you are wondering why I was gone for a while. Um, the short answer is that Bimbus--” Sykkuno’s voice cracked, and he cleared his throat, eyes darting away from his camera. The dark marks under his eyes were more defined than Corpse had ever seen them before. “Bimbus passed away last week. I thought it was better to take some time for myself, so I did. Please respect that that’s all I want to say about it--guys, you don’t need to--spamming you’re sorry really won’t help. It’s awful, but I don’t want to make this a thing today. Um, a hundred gift subs from from switchlevi, thanks for the hundred gifts subs, Switch, that’s a whole bunch of…” Sykkuno faltered. Cleared his throat. “A whole bunch of gifts subs, thanks a lot. ‘I’m sorry for your loss, I hope this helps.’ Thanks. I, um, I think I’ll be disabling donations and gifted subs for the day, I don’t want… please don’t donate because you think I'm sad, guys. It’s just life. Bad things happen sometimes.”

6/7/22, 1:22 AM
thinking about bingus 🤔

6/21/22, 5:29 AM
you have a nice smile corpse! i don’t have to have seen it to know 📠!
(bretman taught me that emoji i hopefully did it right)

7/9/22, 8:01 PM
its officially been a year since we’ve talked
i hope you’re doing ok today. anniversaries can be tough :/

8/2/22, 11:04 PM
almost your bday! i’ll be celebrating by begging jack and karl to tell me youre still alive

8/3/22, 1:23 AM
I’m sorry.

8/8/22, 12:32 AM
Happy birthday, Corpse! I miss listening to your laugh. I hope you have lots of reasons to laugh today.

9/2/22, 2:04 PM
what if i just disappeared

9/3/22, 8:37 PM
cursed on stream today. i wish this wasnt going to be a big thing
9/3/22, 10:04 PM
I wish i was like u corpse
leaving everything behind sounds

9/8/22, 9:08 PM
raes taking a break from streaming and i haven’t played with toast in almost a month
i miss the amigop days :(
miss u

9/12/22, 4:13 AM
if we played among us again i might kill u first i think ive grown resentful
i havent heard u laugh in a long time and it makes me sad

9/13/22, 1:06 AM
i keep messaging like nobody is on the other side
but i hope u are

9/16/22, 11:54 PM
im not okay
i hit over 100k viewers today for an hour and i just think
its funny that nobody ever notices

9/17/22, 12:01 AM
im just too good
i smile thru the pain and let no one in
that way when i need help nobody is here
9/17/22, 5:11 AM
im sry
ignore that. i was sleep deprived

Corpse’s anxiety had been spinning all day. He felt like throwing up. He’d been waiting for Sykkuno to go live for 16 hours. If he didn’t today, fuck it. Corpse would reach out. Even if he didn’t feel ready--even if the thought made him want to shake apart--

Sykkuno didn’t go live, but Leslie did and Twitter told Corpse that Sykkuno was on her stream. 

He sounded tired. Sykkuno’s laughter was slow to come, and weak when it did. Miyoung and Leslie didn’t seem to notice. A part of Corpse was screaming at them, while another thought that they might be aware of Sykkuno’s mood, but didn’t want to draw attention to it.

There was a point, an hour in, when Corpse heard something familiar in the background of Sykkuno’s voice.

His own. “What’s the point? I’m not okay.” 

The girls didn’t seem to notice it. A few people in chat did. 

It continued playing audibly every time Sykkuno used push to talk. Eventually Leslie seemed to notice and looked startled, before she started typing up a storm, frowning slightly and ignoring chat for a moment.

Sykkuno left shortly after, voice strained. “Well, it’s been fun guys, but I gotta grab something to eat!”

“It’s three pm!” Miyoung exclaimed. “What?”

“Oh--I mean, I can stay if--”

“No, Sykkuno, you go eat! Go eat!” Leslie exclaimed. 

“Oh--kay. Um, see you guys around.”

“We should play tomorrow!” Leslie interjected cheerily. There was something almost desperate in her eyes, Corpse thought.

Thank God. 

There was a long pause. Had Sykkuno already disconnected?

He came back faintly. “Yeah… I might be around....”

Leslie’s smile trembled for a moment. She heard it, didn’t she? She had to. “Okay! I know Edison’s been missing you, so it’ll be fun!”