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The Blackout

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We talk all through the night after we're through clinging to each other like babies. And by all through the night I mean right up until about ten when the doctor gently kicks them out. It only takes me a moment to throw on my hoodie and offer to drive them to my apartment. No way in hell are they gonna stay in some cockroach infested motel. After all, Bro'll be ok for a few hours, right? I mean... what could it hurt. He won't be wakin' up for a couple more days anyways. 'You mean if he wakes up at all...' I roll my eyes at myself before looping my arm through Jade's. I have to raise my arm up a little to reach her elbow. Sure shot up like a fuckin' weed. If I'm honest, I'm a little jealous of her. Bro's about six-three. When's my growth spurt gonna happen? I frown as I realize I don't have a car with me... Rose jingles keys in front of my face.

"Don't worry, Dave. As always, I have your ass covered." I snatch the keys and huff.

"Thank you, Saint Rose. Where would me and my plush rump be without you." She grins and almost seems to glide over to the car. A purple Aveo, really? How the fuck did she even get a purple one? I let go of Jade and plop into the driver's seat, ready to go go go, there's no stoppin' meeee! I push the key into the ignition and turn it, the engine roaring to life. Jade hops into the passenger seat and I only take off after checking that everyone's safely inside and buckled. We make it to the apartment in a twenty minute drive that should have only been ten at the most. No harm in being careful, right?

I unlock the apartment door and usher everyone inside. I spread my arms out and smirk. "Welcome to Casa De Strider! Please please, hold the applause. You guys are makin' a scene." I place my hands on my hips amd take a deep breath. I can hear Rose let out a breath behind me and then the inevitable happens. John trips over an orange smuppet and I jump over, catching him around the waist before he hurts himself. He breaths shakily and clutches at my arms, nails digging crecents into my skin. I right him as I grit my teeth. For a small guy, he sure is heavy.

"Gee, Dave! Haha, I almost became one with the floor!" I shake my head and brush invisible dust off of my shirt.

"We can't all have the smooth moves like you, Egderp." I kick the orange smuppet into the living room, and it makes a satisfying smack against the wall. 'Stupid dick plushies.' "You guys hungry? We can make nachos. Or I can order out..." Jade immediately jumps onto the offer.

"Can we get chinese? I never get to have take-out on the island!" She's bouncing on her feet and her excitement makes me grin.

"Sure, Harley. I know a few good places."

So that was that. We ordered chinese, watched My Little Pony and shitty B Horror movies until four in the morning. Rose and Jade insist on taking the futon together and I give John my room, unable to bear the thought of anyone staying in Bro's room who isn't me. I curl up under his sheets and hug his Dr. English; Jungle Adventurer body pillow to my chest. I almost drift off when my phone suddenly blares 'Thrift Shop'. I look down at the caller ID, but the number isn't recognizable in my sleepy haze.

"Hello...?" I slur, hand on my forehead. All I hear is breathing on the other side for a moment, then...

"...H-Hey, motherfucker." My breath catches in my throat, my eyes widening impossibly. "I uh... heh. I remembered your number and needed to call you up. They tell me I've been outta comission for um... a couple months. Like three." My stomach is doing somersaults and my heart hand-springs.

"Holy shit," I breathe out, "I gotta be dreamin'." I run my hand through my hair and blink.

"Nah, man. This isn't no dream. It's me, alright... it was weird, I woke up and my old man was sittin' next to me. I thought I was hallucinatin'. Or my dad was dead too. Then the doctor walked in... told me what all up and happened. How you saved my life, motherfucker. That it... that it was a miracle I woke up at all." My eyes start to burn and I harshly bite my lip against the sob that builds up.

"Gamzee... I'm sorry. I'm sorry about all of it. Do they um- Are they still sending you to jail?" He chuckles mirthlessly.

"Yeah. Yeah they are. Gonna give me therapy and shit. Work through my problems. I'm already gettin' detoxed, friend." There's a large pause. "Will you visit me, Dave? Here? Or in jail... I just wanna see you. Thank you. I need to know you're ok." I start to nod, which is stupid because I know he can't see me.

"Sure man. I'll be by tomorrow." He sighs in relief.

"Thanks, motherfucker. Doc says I gotta go. Night, Dave." I hold the phone extremely close to my ear.

"Night, Gamzee." I hang up and toss the electronic onto the desk. It clatters to silence.

I'm not even prepared for this.

I can't deal with all of this shit at once. It's too much. I shut my eyes against the outside world and fall into a fitfull sleep full of blood and gunfire.

Eventually when I wake up for the fourth time, I creep down the hall and into the bathroom. The light blinds me despite being dim. I frown and kneel down, moving the loose tile behind the toilet. I almost stop myself, but I start feeling crushed. 'No. I need this. I fucking need this.' The razor shines as I pick it up and I feel disgusted. But that's nothing new. I lean against the sink cabinet and hold my left arm up. The scars have only faded a little. The one I made before Bro's accident look like a guilty stamp. A fucking Scarlet B for betrayer. I frown and hold the razor to my arm, right below that purple scar. I don't think about it as I slash the blade across, blood instantly welling up and spilling down my arm. I gasp when I finally breathe, the pain is like fire. I start panicking when I see tthe laceration I've made. 'Shit oh shit. Fuck! Fuck!' I grasp at the hand towel and hiss as I press it against the gaping wound, trying to stem the blood flow. All it ends up doing is soaking the fabric an ugly burgundy. 'Oh no! God why did I do that!?'

There's three sharp knocks on the door and I go completely still.

Rose's sharp voice cuts through the dull buzz of the light. "Dave? Are you almost done jerking off in there? I would like to use the bathroom as well." She doesn't sound like she's trying to joke around.

My voice wavers when I answer. "Yeah, you broad. Just calm your tits, a'ight?" I hear her foot tap against the carpeting. She's upset.

"I assure you, David, that my tits are very soothed. What are you doing in there? Did you fall in?" I snap.

"Jesus just fucking wait!" My heart sinks into my feet and Rose tries the door's handle after a stretch of silence.

"Dave. Please open this door," she begs. "I won't be mad. Just please open up." She tries the handle again when I don't answer. "I'll open this door myself if I have to! Dave, I'm worried. Open up!" I resign myself to the consequences and reach up slowly, carefully unlocking the door. It doesn't even take a half a second to open and Rose it suddenly on the floor next to me, holding my arm.

"Shit," she mumbles. "Damnit, Dave!" I laugh weakly.

"Thought you weren't gonna be mad..." She says nothing as she grabs another towel and holds it against the split skin. "Just leave it. It'll stop eventually." My arm feels Blazing Saddles hot.

Rose sounds panicked, "Dave it's not stopping!" I try to push her back.

"Yes it will." I don't have the energy to roll my eyes. "I've done this before. Give it a few minutes." She presses the towel harder in response.

"You might dead in a few minutes!"

We sit there for an eternity, but it was only a couple of minutes in reality. The bleeding does slow to a stop at some point, but I'm too tired to remember when. Rose half-carries me back to Bro's room and tucks me in after tending to my arm.

"We're going to talk in the morning. Get some rest." There's no need for her to say that. Once my head hit the pillow I was already out.

Tomorrow will be hell.