The sounds deafened him.

However, he didn't care.

His stereo was playing loudly as he focused on drawing his latest comic. He almost didn't hear his phone go off. Thank God he had it on vibrate and ring. He blinked and reached into his pocket, turning down his stereo with his other hand. "Yeah?"


Dave jerked the phone away from his ear. "No, I haven't watched the news, Egderp. What's going on?" He continued to draw as he listened.

His pencil snapped. "What?" The pencil was tossed onto the desk. "John, this better not be one of your pranks-"

"It's not, just turn on your TV!"

Dave turned around and tapped the power button on his remote. The television came to life and the first thing he saw was a pale face, white hair, and bitter crimson eyes. It was in fact Karkat. He stared at the tv as reporters hounded Karkat and he scowled. Much to Dave's surprise, he was silent the whole time. The only one who fought back the nosy reporters was his aunt, who started shouting at one reporter who refused to let Karkat close the door.

"The man who found and led rescue teams to Karkat Vantas was questioned as well and is hailed a hero to many citizens. He is referred to as "Bro" Strider-"

"BRO!" He threw the remote on the bed and stormed out of his room. His brother was reading on the couch, probably some stupid manga or something. "We need to have a talk."

"Give me a minute-"

He was interrupted as the smuppet next to him was suddenly impaled and pinned to the wall by a well-aimed blade. Bro sighed and looked at him. "What?"

"You. You found him."

"You'll have to be more specific, kid."

"You FOUND Karkat and didn't tell me. Why didn't you tell me?"

"You know very well why I didn't. You would've went after him without me and got yourself killed." He set down his book and stood up, eyeing Dave intensely. "It was hard enough for me to see him the way he was. I can only imagine how you would've taken it."

Dave scowled. "You don't know-"

"Yes, I do!" Bro slammed his fist into the wall, showing a very rare display of true anger. "The person I found was not your boyfriend… it was a victim almost too long gone to save. He was broken and barely grasping any sort of comprehension or SANITY. It wasn't until we managed to convince him that he was safe did he really start to show. It's a miracle he's still himself. I know Karkat wouldn't have wanted you to see him like that."

Dave chewed on his lip before letting out a sigh. "Fine… can I at least-"

"You'll have to wait until he comes back to school. It may be a couple days, but Ms. Maryam and I discussed it and think he should have a few days to relax before his friends see him."

"This is bullshit-"

"Dave, just work with me here. If you go over there right now you're probably going to stress him out even more. Just wait like everyone else." He walked over and put a hand on Dave's shoulder. "You have to trust me on this, little man."

He frowned, but nodded silently.

"Good. Now, let's go get Dirk and order some pizza."