Time passes by in a tipsy haze of sunlight and rainbows. Rose talks to Kanaya until she can no longer keep her eyes open, and then some, because when she can immerse her friend in such meaningless discussion she does not have to think about the little monstrosities creeping through her grey matter, prodding and whispering and reminding her that she is not free yet.
Even still, sleep comes difficult when she knows that she’ll find herself on Derse, in close range of the Outer Ring. Just sitting in her tower she imagines tendrils wrapped around her mind so thickly she can barely see straight. She is afraid that she will wake up dark again, identity and conscience eaten away.
I originally encountered this Homestuck story back in February, when I was looking for gen fics to rec on Valentine’s Day. Although it focuses more on Rose’s struggle to come to terms with her sexuality, I ended up disqualifying it as a gen fic since it still did have romantic content. Today, however, I have no such restrictions and I’m happy to share Show the Lights with you.
Show the Lights begins during Act 5 Act 2 with Rose’s descent into grimdarkness, but rapidly diverges from canon after that. Dave, Aradia, and Jade quickly interfere in Rose and Jack’s duel, and transport Rose back to LOLAR. In the original comic, Rose’s grimdark berserker rage is stopped abruptly when she’s killed by Jack. (She gets better.) In this fic, her recovery is not so easy. Trapped in her trance but encouraged by the distant soothing of a voice that turns out to be Kanaya’s, Rose manages to use her planet’s power to escape her grimdarkness—enough to regain conscious control of her body, at least. However, the process of withdrawal from Horrorterror power is akin to quitting a powerful drug cold turkey, and equally as unpleasant.