[so many awesome name suggestions! i decided to go with the excessively long one, because… i dunno… it fits the period or something. it will be tagged General Vantas Gets Hitched, and i’ll go tag the first part in a sec.]
He tried to remember exactly what he’d said. He’d gone off his speech. Rambled. Maybe he left out something important. “You’ll be a joke. They’re sneering at you already.”
“I know!” That was a laugh, goddamn him.
“So… that’s why you can’t accept,” Karkat finished weakly.
“No,” John smiled, “that’s why I must accept.” He got up and moved to sit beside Karkat instead of across from him. Wrapped a hand over Karkat’s fist where it lay clenched on his knee. Surprisingly large hand. Surprisingly cool and dry. “I’m sorry, Karkat. I didn’t realize your position was so precarious. Not that I ever planned to refuse, but I’d thought you’d be safe back in Alternia during the engagement. We’ll work out a way for you to stay here until the wedding. We can move up the date. These things can be handled.”
Karkat stared at him in utter, bewildered disbelief. “Are you actually insane?” Not an insult, but a genuine question.