JADE: youre right that i am being silly, and i didnt mean to start a slap fight over who has suffered more

JADE: clearly you have been through a lot more than i could ever possibly imagine

JADE: youre the same callie who talked to me and jane when we were unconscious back in the game, right?

JADE: theres just a lot of everybody running around and i guess i havent been keeping the internal tally that i should have

yes, that’s correct.

JADE: but i think it is a very natural thing to be silly when you are used to being able to control your own body, but now cant

i will allow that, yes.

JADE: so i will stop yelling at you

JADE: but i reserve the right to start yelling again in the future if i have a good reason

JADE: ...okay?

that seems fair.

jade looks at me with the face i have looked at in the mirror for the last few months on board this vessel without a name. no one can decide what it should be called, possibly due to the comical nature of its construction. for a while there was a ongoing list of ideas hanging in the common room, but it quickly devolved into a cluster of more and more obscure memes, until one day the knight tore it down in a fit of pique.

don’t ask me to tell you which knight. you know which one.

jade smiles. dave and karkat will always be a source of pain for her, a low ache somewhere in her center of gravity, but she is happy for them. she knows that there is really no other alternative for how to be. they chose each other over her, and they always will. they are the two people who matter to her the most in every universe, and that will not change, no matter how much she wishes it would, no matter how--

JADE: do you actually know that?

pardon me?

JADE: do you actually know that im doomed to pine over dave and karkat across every iteration of reality?

JADE: like, can you actually see that?

JADE: because youre a space player, like i am.

JADE: i know that you are more powerful than me, but i dont think you can see other timelines any better than i can

JADE: so i think you are just being dramatic

JADE: for the “audience”, whatever the heck that means

i experience a moment of unease as jade looks at me. keeping her out of my thoughts is proving to be more difficult than i had first assumed it would be. i had begun confident that i could keep her consciousness sleeping peacefully inside the shell of her body, tamed and quiescent, but she has proved to be more irascible than i initially gave her credit for.

JADE: heheh

JADE: i have never been particularly tamable, and my consciousness is huge!

> ==>