CHAPTER ONE: THE END
HOSPITAL ROOM B612. NOW.
This was the message Karkat Vantas, age 17, sent to all his acquaintances at precisely 7 o'clock. His palms sweated as he patiently waited for any replies. The hospital room, in which he was assigned, was mostly white; white bed and bed sheets, white walls, white tiled floors. He was even wearing a white hospital gown, which made his already pale skin look paler and contrasted with his jet black hair. His eyes were naturally a bright shade of red, though most people accuse him of wearing colored contacts, and were underlined with dark skin caused from his insomnia. A necklace, the zodiac sign for Cancer, hung around his neck, glittering in the pale light of the room. He fumbled around with a small porcelain crab his father gave him before he had been murdered, fearing for the near future. On this fateful Saturday, he had to tell his friends, no matter how heart-crushing or how ironic it was: he had cancer.
The first to arrive, more like sprinting in, were John Egbert and his sister Jade Harley. They both had raven black hair, Jade's hair reaching the small of her back in waves and John's being flipped to where it looked like he had just being blown by a gust of wind. John was wearing a black shirt with a green ghost on it, blue jeans, a green jacket, and red shoes with flames at the bottom. His squared glasses and his brilliantly sky blue eyes gave him an intellectual look. Jade wore a bright green turtle-neck sweater with dark blue skinny jeans and white shoes. Her rounded glasses sat in front of her appealing green eyes, giving her more of a childish look. Both of them were fair skinned, though Jade was slightly tanner than her older brother. Their arms were filled with multicolored flowers of all sorts, enough to drown the Cancer with. He sat up, his eyes wide with shock.
"Holy crap, guys," He managed to say after they had set all the flowers down onto his lap. "You seriously didn't have to do this." John got a wide, bucktoothed smile slapped on his face as he sat down in one of the hospital chairs in front of the small window that overlooked the town.
"But you said you were in the hospital, so we decided to get you these, just in case!" he laughed. "We thought it might cheer you up! And besides, your birthday is, like, a week away, isn't it?" He rubbed the back of his head, chuckling at Karkat's surprised look. All Karkat could manage to do was nod, not realizing how close he was to being 18.
"So, happy early birthday, I guess!" Jade piped in, flashing an identical bucktoothed smile. Then her smile slowly disappeared at the glimpse of dread in Karkat's face. "What's wrong?"
"I can't tell you yet. Just wait for the others," Karkat mumbled, as a pale woman with short blonde hair, a purple shirt, and a beige skirt walked in, escorted by a nurse. She was wearing a dark purple eye shadow, which illuminated her periwinkle eyes, and black lipstick.
"Rose!" John greeted warmly while getting up to give her a small hug. "It's been a while!"
"John, it's only been a few days, but it is quite the pleasure to see you again," the blonde replied with a smirk. She turned to the Cancer with her smirk gone. "Is everything alright?"
"Well, I'm in the hospital and can't leave. Do you honestly think everything is alright?" His response came out more hostile than he wanted to, and he felt angry at himself deep down for spewing it out like that.
"No need to get upset, Mister Vantas. It was merely a question," Rose said smoothly. Before he could say anything else, his best friend Sollux Captor walked in with his hands in his pockets, wearing a red jacket with blue sleeves and a yellow Gemini symbol on it. His heterochromatic eyes, one bright blue and the other doe brown, were glazed over with sleep as his bangs covered them up slightly. 'He must have just woken up, or something,' Karkat thought to himself. 'Lazy bastard.'
"Thup, KK?" he murmured quietly, his lisp soft. Karkat didn't reply as Sollux flopped down on the chair, not caring if somebody else was planning on sitting there. Finally, Kanaya Maryam entered the room, wearing a simple red blouse and a short black skirt. She wore black lipstick as well and a jade green Virgo necklace hung around her neck. She was just as pale as Karkat, but she was on the taller side. She spoke with a motherly tone.
"Karkat, I hope you are well," she purred, her eyes calm and collective.
"Well, not exactly…" he replied, not helping but feel like a child in her presence. After about an hour of mindless small talk, Karkat finally thought to himself, 'Where is everybody?'
"Ok, KK. We've waited long enough. What the hell ith going on?" Sollux blurted out, obviously impatient.
"Um," he hesitated and took a deep breath. "Before I do, Rose? Can you take your make up off please? It's just going to make things harder." She simply nodded and excused herself, walking to the bathroom and washing off her eye shadow, then returning. "Alright. Guys, I...I have cancer, and the odds of me surviving are... Little to none." All grew silent and the room became still as a graveyard. Sollux bit his lip as he looked down at the floor, his face grave. Kanaya and Rose gave him a look of genuine sorrow as John slowly wrapped his arms around his sister.
"C-Can't they find a cure?" Jade peeped, tears threatening to fall.
"The doctors say that they probably won't be able to find a cure until it's too late…" Pain and fear surged through his body as he tried to remain calm, trying to be strong. "So I would suggest getting your black dresses ready. I'm probably not going to last very long."
"Karkat, you must have hope," Kanaya assured, sitting next to him and holding his hand comfortingly. "You have to believe in that chance of survival."
"Y-yeah!" Jade agreed. "You can't be such a pessimist like you usually are at a time like this!"
"Jade," he began, emotions building up. "This is it. I'm finished. This is my fate."
"No it isn't!" She cried out, immediately being cut off.
"Jade. Imagine looking at yourself in the mirror. Imagine wanting to send your fist through your reflection every time you see it. That's what it's like to be me. Now, if I can ask for a final request, or some shit like that, then I don't want any tears when I pass. I want you to smile. With all I've done, then I wouldn't expect you to cry, anyways," he claimed, his eyes filled with nothing but seriousness.
"But, we all love you, no matter what you've done in the past!" Jade screamed, tears erupting and rolling down her cheeks. "You can't just give up!" Karkat didn't answer as he pulled out a folded piece of paper with large blocky letters written on it from the side table and handed it to Kanaya. "It's my resignation form. Just give it to my boss whenever you have the chance to. Not like he cared much for me in the first place." She nodded and took it, standing up and placing it in the pocket of her skirt. Sollux stood in the corner with his hands in his pockets, his face grave. He desperately wanted to punch his best friend straight across the face for acting like this, but he refrained himself from doing so.
"So, NOW you got front row seats to the penitence ball," Kanaya muttered. Her words were like a dagger driving through the Cancer's heart. It hurt so much to see them like this, and naturally, he thought that it was his fault. He murmured under his breath, the others barely hearing him.
"It doesn't matter anymore. I never wanted to be anything when I grew up anyway."
They sat there for what seemed like an eternity and one by one, the mourners left. First, Kanaya and Rose left, quietly chatting. Next, Sollux strode out, not saying a word. Jade followed soon after, yet John hesitated. He shot the patient a sorrowful look as he turned and exited. Karkat then screamed in his head.
'Get me the hell out of here! I'm too young to die! Just fucking save me!'
END OF CHAPTER 1