(==>)

John takes it in silently. The slain clown, the teen fugitives, the self-righteous political spin. God, the photo. The photo of his son’s friends, actual goddamn Vriska Serket, and the very clearly dead Gamzee, doused in a cascade of tepid public school fire sprinkler water, the flash from the alarms illuminating them in a holy fluorescence. It’s the stupidest, the most dangerous, and the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.

The absurd joy of it bubbles up his chest and out his mouth in the most genuine fit of laughter John has felt in years. And now that he’s started it, he can’t stop.

KARKAT: JOHN ARE YOU SEEING IT?

John can’t answer. He can’t speak. His body has given itself over to the long-lost feeling of manic euphoria. It had felt like Harry Anderson was holding something back on the drive earlier, but he had already told John so much. He hadn’t wanted to press for more.

KARKAT: IT’S NOT FUCKING FUNNY, EGBERT!

John can’t breathe. Something is happening. Something is finally fucking happening, and he’s finally awake enough to appreciate it.

KARKAT: MORE HINGES ON THIS THAN JUST THE LIVES OF THESE TEENAGERS, WHICH SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR YOU TO TAKE SERIOUSLY, BUT APPARENTLY NOT.

KARKAT: JOHN, THIS IS A LINCHPIN MOMENT FOR THE ENTIRE SYSTEM. THIS COULD BE HOW WE LOSE, JOHN.

> (==>)