Mainframe > Surveillance Records > 5/17/18

Footage recovered during routine maintenance. Transcribed automatically by MemRecord v.52.6.8.

Footage shows 22619's arm wrapped around the shoulder of an icarian, currently leaning into him. They are sitting together on a couch, with the ambient murmur of a television in the background.

22619: Why did you attack me?

Elnajian: Hm?

22619: I know what you did, Kada. In Whitehall.

Elnajian visibly freezes.

Elnajian: ...I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry.

22619: Why did you do that? I won't tell the board, but I want to know.

Elnajian: I… god. I, I don't want to talk about this-

22619: I want to know.

Elnajian: Look, things have been going well between the two of us lately, yeah? And this conversation is just gonna make things worse again-

22619: I don't care. Why did you attack me.

Elnajian: It's- it's complicated.

22619: That's not an answer.

Elnajian shifts off of him, still tense.

Elnajian: Okay, fine, I wanted to help Karkat. I wanted to, I just… I wanted to buy him time to leave.

22619: Why did you let him go?

Elnajian: This is, this is really stressful, I'm sure we've both had long, just long days, we should pick this up-

22619: Stop stuttering. Why did you let him go?

Elnajian: That's… it's… I don't want to talk about this, okay?

22619: No. Why the hell did you let him go?

Elnajian: ...You, I don't think you're gonna like the answer.

22619: I don't care. Tell me.

Elnajian: Binary, I-

22619: Why did you let him go!

Elnajian: Fine, he was terrified of you. Both of us are! You're fuckin' scary, Bines! You're strong as hell and you've hurt both of us, bad, and you're a jackass.

22619: Oh, I'm a-

Elnajian: No, shut up. Shut the fuck up. You asked and now you're getting your damn answer.

They stand up.

Elnajian: You have no idea how much you screwed him up. How much you screwed me up. It's really hard to be the head of an entire branch of a company when you don't have any self worth anymore because you're being put down all the damn time! God knows how bad Karkat took it, he hadn't been in a serious relationship before and thought all your bullshit was normal! When you aren't hurting us of your own accord, you're doing it on behalf of this fuckin' corporation!

Their voice cracks slightly, and their stance loses some of its strength.

Elnajian: He got scared, Bines, he got scared every time I did somethin' nice for him 'cause he was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Always. 'N I was the one comforting him. I had to pick up the pieces when I couldn't find my own. He barely has any friends 'cause you scare them all off. You did the same to all of mine. It's hard to hang out with someone whose torture robot boyfriend is constantly stalking and threatening and manipulating them. I love you, he loved you, I'm sure you love us, but you still ruined our lives.

22619: Are you done yet?

As 22619 stands and the camera rises, Elnajian seems to regain energy.

Elnajian: No. Fuck you. Now I'm done.

22619: You aren't perfect, either, Kada. You're not exactly pleasant to be around most of the time.

Elnajian: You think I don't know that already?

22619: And you insist on inflicting yourself on everyone around you anyways!

Elnajian: Actually, this has nothing to do with what we're talking about.

22619: Except it does, because you're out of your mind. You always have been. You just make things up - I never scared off your grand total of 3 friends. They left you because they didn't like you!

Elnajian: Then what about Karkat's?

22619: He wanted to sever ties with his rebellion days. Sun and storms, Kada, what is it going to take for you to accept that people don't want you around?

They visibly hesitate to speak.

22619: You don't belong! You're an important member of Strex, sure, but you aren't valuable. You aren't anything special. There are a thousand people around the Raeniasya who are smarter and more experienced and three times as stable, and any one of them could have been chosen for your position. I could have chosen any one of them. But I got close to you because I knew I was one of the only people who could fucking tolerate you!

Elnajian's face falls, as if he's hit a sore spot.

Elnajian: Thanks for the reminder.

22619: You're so damn egotistical, you need one every 5 seconds.

Silence for 0:24.

Elnajian: I should break up with you.

22619: But you won't.

Elnajian: You wanna bet on that?

22619: I know you, Kada. You're too desperate for approval and afraid to be alone.

Elnajian: If you hate me so much, then why are you still with me?

22619: Because I pity you.

Elnajian: Then there's no reason for me to stay.

They turn and start to walk towards the door. 22619 grabs their shoulder, and they turn their head to the side.

22619: Alright, Kada, you really wanna leave? Go on ahead. Leave. Leave right now, I dare you. Just turn around and walk out the door. See what good it does you. See who loves you. See what happens when you're alone again.

Elnajian: I… I just…

22619: What? You what?

Elnajian: I'm not happy anymore.

22619: Are you ever fucking happy?

Silence for 0:07.

Elnajian: ...No.

They turn away again.

Elnajian: Don't think I can be.

22619: But you can. You just have to make the choice.

Elnajian: I know.

22619's tone suddenly grows much warmer as he reaches out to stroke one of Elnajian's wings in a comforting gesture. They initially flinch away, but then lean slightly into the touch.

22619: Things aren't always easy here, or with me. I know that. You're going through a lot. I know that, too. Karkat may have abandoned you, but if you stay with me, I won't.

Elanjian: I know.

He circles around to face them, hugging them gently. They seem to reciprocate.

22619: I could never, ever abandon you.

Elnajian: ...I know.