gardenGnostic [GG] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG]
GG: hey dave!! 8D
GG: you’ll never believe what happened!!
TG: what, did you get swept off of your feet by one of your bishonen heroes
TG: he confessed his undying love for you in a miasma of manly sparkles
TG: like fucking edward cullen up in here
GG: he he he
GG: no! 8D
GG: but it’s funny you should mention that
TG: it’s my swag
TG: gives me the sixth sense
GG: really? :0
GG: so cool!
TG: now what’s this news you got harley
GG: karkat finally asked me out! 8D
Dave stopped walking in the middle of the sidewalk. He stared at the neon green text on his iPhone in disbelief. While his poker face remained intact, his knuckles turned white as his grip on his phone tightened.
GG: dave, are you okay? 8(
TG: got distracted by some bitch getting up in my shit
TG: doesn’t look like she can keep herself off of me
TG: talk to you later, harley
GG: he he oh ok 8)
GG: talk to you later, dave!
gardenGnostic [GG] ceased pestering turntechGodhead [TG]
Dave slipped his phone in his pocket, then ran a hand through his hair.
So. The funny girl you’ve had a crush on for the past 11 years just got asked out by the troll douche you hate. You remember him, right? The one she’s had a crush on for as long as you’ve had a crush on her? Nice going Dave, really savvy with the ladies there. Guess all that swag went to good work.
Sometimes Dave wondered if it was strange all his internal monologues were in Bro’s voice. But he didn’t have time to worry about it when his internal poker face of level forty six was being threatened by a wave of self depreciation and regret.
And Striders did not have major mental breakdowns. Especially not in public.
Dave needed something calming, something to take the edge off. A universal constant that relieved all stress by law.
He needed coffee. Stat.
Walking with his usual swagger, albeit a little more quickly than average, Dave turned into the first coffee shoppe he came across. It was some hipster place, pretentious assholes included. Bro would approve the dangerous levels of irony at work here.
Looking at the chalkboard menu behind the counter, he read through the list of ridiculously overpriced drinks before snorting and ordering a black coffee. The chick with the pink streak in her hair behind the counter gave him a look, but he ignored it.
The first good drink scalded his entire mouth, but that had been the plan. It helped distract him from his thoughts. He put a hand in his pocket and scanned the shoppe for a seat. Almost all of the faux chic tables were taken. Dave didn’t know his city had such a high hipster population.
A troll in the back corner caught his eye. When he saw him, a beat stirred in the back of his mind. It was always there, thudding in the background. It was a hangover from the game. And it got louder whenever another player was around. So, deciding a Sburb hipster was better than a regular hipster, he strolled over to the partially hidden booth.
“You played Sburb, right?”
The troll glared up at Dave. He looked like he was having a rough day. The young Strider looked him over. He had fins on the side of his face, and his eyes were bright purple. If the cool kid’s memory served him, that meant he was a highblood or some shit. Which explained the hipster thing.
“Yeah, I played Sgrub,” he said. Dave rolled his eyes behind his shades. He’d forgotten the stupid names the trolls had for the game. But the human took it as enough invitation to sit across from the troll. He took another sip of coffee. Man, this shit was actually pretty good, without a bunch of cream and caramel crap in it. Dave thought he might actually have to make this a regular stop.
Then the sea troll sighed. Yup, something was definitely eating at him. Those purple eyes bore into Dave’s shades.
“You evver lost someone special to you?” he asked. Weird accent. Dave took a sip of his coffee, thinking about the conversation he’d just had with Jade.
“Yeah, something like that,” he said. Then he decided to get comfortable. Guess messing with this fucker could be entertaining.
And, as he proceeded to prove his awesomeness to the desperate hipster, he discovered he was right.
And then his phone buzzed.
Dave retrieved it from his pocket, expecting Jade. He was internally relieved to see blue on the screen.
ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG]
EB: oh dude, you’ll never believe what happened!
TG: nic cage showed up at your apartment and asked you to run into the sunset with him
EB: that would be pretty cool though, he he
TG: so what’s the deal egderp
EB: i need you to be my best man!
TG: you finally grew some balls and proposed.
EB: he he he
EB: yep! and she said yes!
TG: i can’t believe you want to marry the spiderbitch
TG: you wouldn’t believe the shit i’ve heard about her
EB: well, I know she’s done some bad stuff in the past
EB: but she’s really sorry about it!
EB: and she’s a better person now!
TG: egderp, you’re too trusting
TG: but I guess that’s why you’re my best friend and shit
EB: he he he aw dave
TG: don’t get sappy on me, bro
TG: but yeah, i’ll be your best man
EB: oh, and we’re having an engagement party tonight!
TG: kind of short notice isn’t it
EB: well, we’re just so excited! ::::D
EB: he he he
TG: alright, so when is this nic cage lovers nuptial shitfestpalooza going down
TG: of course it is
TG: well see you then egderp
TG: try not to get dumped on your ass before that
EB: don’t even say that!
EB: oh, gotta go
EB: gotta set up for the party!
ectoBiologist [EB] ceased pestering turntechGodhead [TG]
Dave looked up at Eridan, the name of the troll sitting across from him. He was back on his computer, and the human decided it would be alright to cut out. He stood up.
“Well, this was fun, but someone cool as me can’t be seen with a hipster fish for too long,” Dave said, getting up and slipping his phone back in his pocket. “Enjoy your miserable life, bro.”
“Howw do you knoww my life is mi-sea-rible?” the troll asked. Dave paused. Truth be told, unless the hipster’s crush of x amount of years had been stolen from him by the one guy he hated more than anyone else, it was probably better than the cool kid’s right now. But like hell he would say that. Instead he looked over his shoulder and smirked.
“Cause you aren’t me,” he said, and proceeded to saunter out of the shoppe. Once he was in the open air, he guessed he needed to go home and get ready for John’s engagement party.
Good for him. Goof deserves to be happy. He did save all our asses, after all.
Somehow, this thought didn’t make Dave feel better about not being able to have the same relationship with Jade.
“Oh wow, Dave, you’re here early!” John said as he opened the door to his apartment with Vriska. Dave snorted, waltzing in.
“Ooooooooh the cool kid’s here,” Vriska said, grinning as she put a hand on her hip.
“Spiderbitch,” aforementioned cool kid said, giving her a nod. While his brief stint with Terezi left a competitive atmosphere between the two, Dave had never had an actual reason to hate Vriska. The troll woman chuckled.
“I thought you humans had a thing with being ‘fashionably late’,” she said.
“Overrated,” Dave said. “Besides, I had to make sure you two didn’t make this some Nic Cage movie marathon party.”
“Oh, man, that would have been cool!” John said, giggling. Dave wasn’t sure how Egderp managed to pull off giggling when he was twenty three, but somehow the idiot did it. Vriska jumped to hang around her fiancé’s neck. That was when Dave saw the ring. It was a blue ring pop. He quirked a brow.
“Nice ring, Egderp,” he said. “Classy as fuck.”
“I think it’s wonderful!” Vriska said, surprising John with a kiss. The man giggled again.
“I’ll get you a real ring later,” John said. Vriska pouted.
“But I like this one!” she said, then grinned. “It was soooooooo cute the way you just bought it and proposed in the middle of the store!”
“Yeah, but you’re supposed to propose with a real ring!” John said, putting his hands on her hips. “I just couldn’t wait to get one when you were looking so pretty!”
“Which is why I love it!” Vriska said.
“Well, looks like you two are the apex of cheese,” Dave said, drawing their attention. “All the romantics in the universe are demanding their shitty sapfests, but they’re all being deprived because you two up and stole it all. Nice going, assholes. Now I won’t get to see how my favorite yaoi ends, due to a case of depleted cheese.”
“Dude, if you’re feeling uncomfortable all you have to do is say so,” John said, rolling his eyes. Dave snorted.
“Not even concentrated cheese can make a Strider uncomfortable, Egderp,” he said. Vriska grinned viciously.
“Oh? So we aren’t making you jealous?” she asked, leaning on John just a little more. Dave gave her a hard stare behind his shades. Shit, she knows.
“Jealous? Please,” Dave said. “You’re the ones missing out. I’ve got bitches coming at me all the time and I can still choose a different one to fuck every night. Like a fucking symphony of music making.”
“Dave! Oh man, dude, you don’t even know how much better having just one person to love is,” John said.
“John! You’re so sweet!” Vriska said, kissing him again.
Truth be told, Dave was jealous. His heart felt like it’d been run through by one of his shitty swords. Repeatedly. Because I was too fucking late in getting over my shit.
“Good thing I showed up, or no way you two would have this shit ready to go in time with this sapfest going on,” he said. And it was mostly true. Dave actually ended up doing most of the setting up, even venturing to the store to get beverages and various food items since Vriska and John couldn’t seem to keep their hands off of each other.
So, when the first guest started arriving on time, the party was ready, complete with ‘Moves Like Jagger’ blaring from the boombox in the corner. Dave approved the irony.
And everything was fine.
Well, until they showed up.
“Karkat!” John said, throwing himself into the troll for a totally straight hug. Dave was talking with Rose and Kanaya (they’d been punctual as fuck) across the room. He turned to look at the angry troll shoving a grinning Egderp away.
“Off, fuckass!” Karkat said. Then Jade giggled, wrapping onto one of the troll’s arms.
“Oh, be nice, Karkat,” she said, smiling brightly. “Today’s a happy day!”
“…” Karkat grumbled. “Yeah, well, fucking congratulations and shit. You’re having a fucking human matespritship confirmation ceremony with the biggest bitch in the universe. Whoo fucking hoo-ow!”
Jade punched Karkat in the arm, glaring a bit, but still in good humor.
“Come on, Jade! Even you can’t fucking deny that Vriska’s a bitch!”
“Well, when you’re at an engagement party, you have to at least pretend to like the bride!” Jade said. Then she snuggled against the troll’s shoulder, and he blushed. “I know you can do it!”
“Er,” Karkat said. He cleared his throat, and looked at John again. Dave looked away, ignoring the troll’s response. He couldn’t watch anymore. Rose raised a brow.
“I was not aware that Jade had begun a concupiscent red relationship with Karkat,” she said, taking a sip of her drink. Wine, go figure.
“Yeah, Karkles finally got the balls to ask Harley out,” Dave said. Then, aware that Rose was going to analyze it, he downed the rest of his three quarter full can of beer in one go.
“And how does this news affect you, brother?” Rose asked, watching him with those calculating eyes.
“I don’t give shit, sis,” Dave said. Then he turned. “Excuse me while I find a trash can for this shit.”
He didn’t give her time to respond as he made a beeline for the kitchen.
“Sup, Harley?” Dave asked, turning to see her walk towards him, dragging Karkat with her. The troll glared at him. But then he smirked. Goddamn troll bastard.
“Well, we never got to finish talking earlier!” Jade said, smiling. “How are you?”
“I’m Dave fucking Strider. What do you think?” he asked. Jade giggled.
“Oh, right, really cool!” she said. And Dave couldn’t help but smile at her, just a little.
“If you’re such a fucking cool kid, what are you doing at this lameass party?” Karkat asked, and Dave’s expression went blank.
“Watch it, Vantas,” he said. “Wouldn’t want to have to embarrass you in front of a lady.”
“I’d like to see you fucking try, nooksniffer,” Karkat said, glaring.
“It’s not trying if you succeed,” Dave said. Karkat growled, but then Jade put a hand on his chest.
“No! No fighting, not today! It’s John and Vriska’s engagement party, guys! Can’t we all be happy for one night?” she asked. Dave and Karkat glared at each other. Then the troll sighed.
“Fine. Let’s go talk to Sollux,” he said, steering Jade away.
“Catch you later, Harley,” Dave said, and she gave him a weak smile as she let Karkat steer her away. Dave watched after them a moment.
She’ll never look at me like that.
She and Karkat started talking with Sollux and Feferi. Karkat yelled about something, and Jade giggled and whispered to him. He blushed, and she kept hugged around his arm.
Dave turned and burst into the kitchen. He moved to the far wall, gripping the counter.
He took a deep, shaking breath to calm himself. He turned, leaning against the counter. Fuck. He took off his shades, putting a hand over his eyes to hold back the tears threatening to break through his cool exterior.
How did I end up here?
Dave Strider considered the troll sitting across from him from the corner of his eye. They had returned to the coffee shop, and the human was trying to come up with a reason as to why. It wasn’t as if he liked Eridan. In fact, as far as he’d seen, the best the troll could do for him was free entertainment. So why was he in the coffee shop with a troll he didn’t even like instead of at his best bro’s engagement party?
Cause you’re a pussy, bro. Couldn’t take the heat, so you ran away. And apparently you were feeling too lonely to go alone, so you brought someone as pathetic as you to commiserate like a bitch posting song lyrics on Facebook.
At least I’m not weeping my sorrows into a gallon of ice cream, overdosing on chocolately goodness.
Nope. Substituted coffee for ice cream. So much more manly, bro.
Even in his head, Bro always won. Damn. He needed to shake off the introspection, fast. But what was there to talk about? They were only there because neither of them had the girl they were in love with, and it looked like they both hated the assholes that did have the girls. So it looked like there was only one thing to say.
“Feferi. That’s her name, right?” Dave asked. Eridan sighed.
“Yeah,” he said. “and the human girl, her name is Jade?”
“Yeah,” Dave said. Damn, is that really all I got? I really am just being a blubbering bitch, aren’t I? He snorted.
“Nothing,” Dave said. Everything. Every damn thing. But above all else, Vantas. “Just never expected to be shown up by Vantas.” Lie. I always knew it was coming. Why the fuck didn’t I do something about it? “I mean, seriously? John’s such a derp that he’s ironically cool, but Vantas? Dude’ got nothing to offer.” Except the balls to admit his feelings and actually show he cares about someone.
“I take it you don’t like Kar?” Nickname. Must be friends or some shit.
“Gasp, how did you figure it out? And I thought I’d hidden it so well, too…”
“Duck.” Duck? What the hell does that mean? Does he mean dick? Yeah, that must be it. Makes perfect sense, I guess. Except that’s kind of off the sea theme…
“Hate to break it to you, but those aren’t from the sea, bro.”
“I knoww that.” Liar.
“Sure you did.”
You watch him move in the corner of your eye. He’s glaring at you, and you feel just a little better on the inside. Something about infuriating people was just so fulfilling. Dave was surprised more people didn’t do it. Then again, not everyone was as good at driving the snark train as Dave Strider.
But then Dave noticed the troll seemed trying to look at something. Wait, can he see my eyes? Shit.
The human quickly turned his head to look at his companion. Eridan scowled.
“Are you plannin’ on insultin’ me all night? Cause I can leavve,” he said. Dave took a sip from his coffee. You won’t. Not if you’re feeling as shitty as I am right now.
“Go ahead. I didn’t come here for you,” he said. The troll glared. Prove me wrong, bro. I dare you. Then he rolled his eyes and put his head back down. That’s what I thought.
Oh yeah, look at you, big man. You’ve clearly got so much to brag about. I mean, you’re still Dave Strider, coolest guy in the universe (after me, of course), getting mistaken for a pimp cause of all the bitches throwing themselves at you. Well, except for the only one you want.
Shut up, Bro.
That’s the best you got? Pathetic, little man. Thought I taught you better than that.
“Did she knoww howw you felt?”
It took Dave a moment to realize Eridan had spoken. Then another to consider the question.
“No,” he said. Too much of a coward to tell her. “Did yours?”
“… yeah.” Looks like fish boy has more balls than you do, bro. You think you could hold up so well if she had actually rejected you?
“I did krill her.” Krill? Kill. Must have happened during the game. Explained a lot.
“Yeah, not exactly a Strider recommended method for making hot bitches swoon. Unless they’re into that kind of thing.”
“Wwho the hell do you knoww that wwants their matesprit to krill them?”
“You’d be surprised, bro. Lots of bitches are into S&M shit.”
“Like wwho?” Whelp, there you go, little man. Gonna fess up and let him know you’re still a maiden now?
Not on your life, Bro.
“Dave Strider never kisses and tells.”
“I think you’re full of bullshark.” Not bad, for a whiney fish boy. The bullshark thing is really starting to grow on me.
“Believe what you want, bro. I’ve still got more bitches than you could ever dream.” Like who? You couldn’t fess up to Jade, and your pining after another girl pushed Terezi away, too. What the hell are you even bragging about, dumbass?
“I know you want to.” Too easy.
“You fuckass.” Way too easy.
“Damn straight; no way I’d bottom to someone as pathetic as you.”
“You do reel-ze that’s a troll confession of red feelin’s, right?” Oh, right.
Dave could just barely see the fish troll smirk.
So what now, bro? Got any more ways to make a fool of yourself tonight?
I can think of something.
Yeah, but are you really that stupid? I mean, let’s think about this. You’re sober. He’s a dude. And you’ll feel like shit tomorrow.
I feel like shit now.
Then you better fucking abscond before you really think about this.
Good call, Bro.
“It’s late,” Dave said. Lameass excuse. I’ll be up all night anyway.
“So… is this it, then?” the sea troll asked, looking up at the human. Is it? Is this where it ends with mister same sad story?
“Tomorrow. Here. Noon,” Dave said, standing.
I must be out of my fucking mind.
The human moved to stand next to the troll.
“Don’t be late.”
“If I shoal up,” Eridan said. You will. You have nothing better to do, just like me. The thought made Dave feel more like shit, and even though he hadn’t said it out loud, he felt like he should… comfort the troll, or something. So he reached out and patted him on the shoulder, trying not to give away too much but still offer some consolation. Then he walked out of the shoppe, feeling the troll’s eyes on him until he walked into the brisk air.
The party’s probably still going.
Dave looked up, down the street and over two blocks. He could see John and Vriska’s apartment building, red bricked and tidy. He sighed.
And he turned in the opposite direction, headed for his own disaster area of an apartment.
Dave groaned as his alarum went off. It was a mix Bro had made for him years ago. There was a rooster mixed with banging pots and pans as well as some other noises less identifiable. The young man jumped out of bed and slammed his fist into the clock. When it shut up, Dave ran a hand through his hair as he grabbed a towel and got in the shower.
Morning showers helped him wake up, especially on days like today, when he had a killer hangover.
As the hot water rushed over him, Dave considered the night before. After leaving the coffee shoppe and returning home, he had initially tried to drown his sorrows in mixing some ill beats. When this wasn’t enough, he had turned to his old friend: cheap beer.
Dave sighed as he finished washing off, then stepped out of the shower and dried off before getting dressed in whatever clothes smelled cleanest lying on the floor. He towel dries his hair, then used his (ironic) blow dryer to finish the job before running a comb through the blonde mess. After this, it fell into its natural slightly tussled look.
He didn’t have class today, so he met John and Vriska for breakfast to help with the wedding plans (or something like that), which killed a couple hours before he returned to his apartment. There was still about an hour or so before he needed to meet Eridan, but he decided to screw it and go anyway.
Besides, he wanted see if he could have a chat with that Nisha chick.
So he was, to say the least, surprised when he saw Eridan sitting and talking to Nisha.
He was more surprised when, after buying his coffee, he walked up to hear the barista say she broke up with Bro.
Oh hell no.
“There is no fucking way those words came out of your mouth,” Dave said, startling the two. Eridan looked nervous. Were they talking about me?
“Howw long havve you been standin’ there?” the sea troll asked. Oh, they were definitely talking about me.
But of course they were. You’re a Strider, even a love sick troll can’t resist your swagger.
“Wouldn’t you like know,” Dave said, deciding to play it cool in the off chance he was wrong.
“Strider talk for he just got here,” Nisha said, and Dave looked at her. How did she know that? “Good luck, hipster.”
“Good luck on what?” the human asked, sliding into the seat as Nisha returned to the counter.
“Nothin’,” Eridan said. Dave quirked a brow. Guess they were talking about me. Can’t be helped.
“So, there a reason you’re here so early? Too lonely to go on without seeing me any longer?” he asked. The seatroll scowled. One point cool kid, hipster love.
“I come here at this time evvery day. Wwhy’re you here so early?” Eridan asked.
“Why not?” Dave said, shrugging.
“Because you’re the one who sea-d noon glub,” the sea troll replied. Hm, not bad. He’ll have to do better in the future, but you can give him his first point for finding the loophole. Human douche one, troll douche one.
“Irony,” Dave said. Yeah, little man? You gonna use that excuse as a crutch the rest of your life or what?
If it ain’t broke, a Strider can overuse it until it is.
Keep telling yourself that.
Dave recrossed his legs, wishing just once he could win one of these mental battles.
“Could you explain howw that’s ironic?” Eridan asked. Point two troll douche?
Not yet it isn’t.
Dave took a slow sip of his coffee as an excuse to think of something. And think of something he did.
“Because you’re the desperate one, and I showed up early,” he said. Strider two, Ampora one.
“Fin,” Eridan said. Another fish pun? “So… are you in school?”
“Yeah,” Dave said. He shifted his weight, thinking What’s with the look he’s giving me now? It’s like he knows something… “Music major, concentration in visual performance.” And paid for it all my damn self. “You?”
“Double major in physics and creativve wwritin’,” Eridan said. What? What the hell caused that combination? Unless Harley is becoming infectious…
“Interesting choice,” Dave said, internally berating himself for thinking about Jade. The sea troll rolled his eyes.
“That’s what evveryone sea-ys.” Well no shit, son.
“It surprises you?”
“I guess not. It’s just glubbin’ annoyin’.” What is it with this hipster and glubbing?
“There a story behind that choice?” Dave could easily see the troll losing a bet and being pathetic enough to go through with it.
“Lalonde bet me I couldn’t get better grades in creativve wwritin’.”
Wait. Hold the fuck up.
“Whoa, wait, you have a class with my sister?”
“Oh yeah, forgot about that. I guess I do.” Then the sea troll scowled. “Three classes.”
“My sympathies.” Guess that’s worthy of another point. TG two, CA two.
“Does she do that psyco bubble shark wwith evveryone?” Bubble? Dave almost laughed. Almost.
“Anyone she can sink her Freudian claws into.”
“Some famous quack.”
“Oh, guess that glub makes sea-nse…”
The conversation proceeded more smoothly than Dave could have imagined. In fact, there were even parts of it he would never admit to enjoying. It was why he agreed to meet again tomorrow when he left for class, though this time he was careful not to set a time.
tentacleTherapist [TT] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG]
TT: Dave, I believe I have been more than fair in giving you a reprieve of two days before contacting you.
TT: This being said, I expect a full explanation for why you left John and Vriska’s engagement party early with Eridan.
TG: damn sis i thought you were the smart one
TT: Do not misunderstand me.
TT: I know you left the party due to the new relationship between a certain markswoman and a ceratin romcom enthusiast.
TG: oh whoops cats out of the bag
TG: in fact the cats so far out of the bag it doesnt even remember what that sorry sack looks like
TG: the bag calls the cat up in the middle of the night
TG: begging it to come back
TG: but the cat just starts singing I will survive and ollies out on its fly board
TG: letting everyone know that dave strider is clearly in love with karkat vantas
TT: Do I even want to ask?
TG: come on sis youre the one that said it was obvious
TG: not sure how i kept it hidden with my heart going all doki doki whenever vantas walks in the room
TG: youre just jealous of our totally kawaii desu love story
TG: its okay
TG: i know
TT: Your shenanigans aside, brother, I do believe I should ask.
TT: How are you?
TG: kind of shitty
TG: but i’ll get over it
TT: I am glad to hear that.
TT: And now, for my former query.
TT: Why did you depart with Mr. Ampora?
TG: what something wrong with the sad sack
TG: besides the whole hipster thing
TT: That’s why I wonder why someone with as much swag as yourself would ever condone his presence.
TG: you know lalonde
TG: sometimes your sarcasm hurts
TT: Dave, do not try to draw me off the subject at hand.
TT: I am wise to your tricks.
TG: youre killing me
TG: how can i express myself with all these restrictions sis
TT: Dave, I do not mean to limit your creativity.
TT: It is the mark of a true artist to make something beautiful with limited means.
TG: well shit sis
TG: the gauntlet has been laid down
TG: im up on my horse with my lance at the ready
TG: gonna take down this challenge without breaking a sweat
TT: Then you’ll tell me where you and Eridan went?
TG: nowhere special
TG: just some hipster coffee place
TT: Which one?
TG: that one on fifth by the thrift store
TT: Ah, the Kracken Shack.
TG: is that what its called
TG: no wonder i didn’t want to remember
TT: Did you enjoy yourself?
TG: it was an okay way to kill time before class I guess
TT: You went again today?
TG: i felt sorry for the guy
TG: decided to cut him some slack by giving him a taste of what he wanted
TT: That’s… interesting.
TG: no wait lalonde what do you mean by interesting
TT: Sorry, but I really must go.
tentacleTherapist [TT] ceased pestering turntechGodhead [TG]
Okay, sorry for any mistakes, my beta hasn't looked at this yet, so... yeah. Shhh.
Dave groaned, blinking awake to his iPhone ringing, the tone his text mix. Grumbling, he grabbed his shades, slipping them on as he scrolled through the messages. He didn’t have class today, so he usually slept in. But it looked like the angry wall of text disagreed with him.
STRIDER, WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU
GET YOUR SKINNY ASS UP AND ANSWER YOUR PHONE
WILL YOU FUCKING ANSWER ALREADY?
GOD DAMNIT STRIDER, I’M TRYING TO GET SHIT DONE
IT’S LIKE I’M THE CONCUPESCIENT FEELINGS CONFIRMATION CEREMONY LIEUTENANT
AND I’M STUCK WORKING UNDER A SHIT FOR BRAINS GENERAL
SO I END UP WITH THIS DESK OVERFLOWING WITH ALL THIS PAPERWORK
BECAUSE THE GENERAL IS SO INCOMPETENT THEY DON’T EVEN SEND HIM HIS OWN PAPERWORK ANYMORE
THEY JUST GIVE IT STRAIGHT TO ME BECAUSE I’LL END UP DOING IT ANYWAYS
AND I END UP WITH PAPERWORK UP MY DAMN NOOK
BECAUSE THERE’S JUST SO FUCKING MUCH THAT THE PRESSURE FORCED IT UP THERE
so youre under me then
YES I AM FUCKING UNDER YOU
EVEN THOUGH I AM RIDICULOUSLY MORE COMPETENT THEN YOU
THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT
sure its not
so what do i owe this delightful chat to
GOD DAMNIT STRIDER
JUST GET YOUR ASS UP AND CLEAN THAT SHITHOLE OF AN APARTMENT OF YOURS
why would i do that
you coming over
cause this is pretty short notice dude
i havent even had time to arrange my underwear drawer
CUT THE HOOFBEASTSHIT, STRIDER
I’VE BEEN STUDYING YOUR RIDICULOUS HUMAN RITUALS
AND WE NEED TO PLAN JOHN’S FAREWELL TO BEING QUADRANTLESS CELEBRATION
you mean his bachelor party
HIS BACHELOR PARTY
AND WE’RE DOING IT NOW, BEFORE YOU COME UP WITH SOME FUCKED UP SEXFEST OR SOMETHING
dude thats what a bachelor party is supposed to be
JUST GET THE FUCK READY
Dave sighed, running a hand through his hair. Well, looks like my sleeping plans just got kicked in the ass by fat kid in rusty steel tip boots.
It took Dave the better part of an hour to move all the crap from every other part of his apartment into his room, and about ten minutes to get showered and dressed, Karkat bitching at him via text the entire time.
When Karkat finally showed up, Dave got to meet the other groomsmen: Sollux, Gamzee, Tavros and Equius. The first two were Karkat’s doing, the third because of Dave, and the last because of John. Apparently, the STRONG troll and the other man had formed some kind of friendship, though everyone was baffled as to how.
“Let’th jutht get thith thit over with,” Sollux said, plopping down on the couch. Dave snorted, grabbing a pack of beer from the fridge as Karkat and Gamzee joined Sollux on the couch, Gamzee then pulling Tavros into his lap. Equius just kind of stood… watching.
“So, strippers,” Dave said, grabbing a can of beer before setting the case on the coffee table (I have a coffee table? I really do need to clean more…)
“What? I already told you that’s not an option, fuckass,” Karkat said as Equius broke into a sweat.
“Karkles, I think I know how this works,” Dave said, sitting in a nearby chair.
“Like hell you do. If it were up to you, we’d probably end up in some cheap ass bar with hookers wearing too much face paint and smelling like rotten fruit,” Karkat replied, grabbing his own can of beer.
“I don’t see a problem there,” Dave said, shrugging. “Not that I would make that plan for Egderp. Need to be classier for him.”
“Which means you’re fucking out of your league,” Karkat said.
“You see, that’s where you’re wrong,” Dave said. “Just because cheap hookers are my first choice doesn’t mean I can’t plan for my best bro.”
“Then what’s your plan, Strider?” Karkat asked. Dave took a slow swig of his beer.
“I know this classy joint…”
“Becauthe ‘clathy’ and ‘joint’ alwayth go well together.”
“Alright then, if you don’t trust my judgment,” and Dave smirked, because how the hell could anyone think he could do anything less than completely awesome? “Why don’t we hear from the peanut gallery.”
“I don’t see how a showing of hipster paintings of earth legumes could fucking help us, Strider,” Karkat said. Sollux hit him upside the head.
“It’th an eckprethion, dipthit,” he said. “He meanth we thould give thuggethtionth.”
“We should give what?” Karkat asked, glaring and rubbing the back of his head. Gotta admit, this Sollux guy might not be all that bad.
“Ideath, KK,” Sollux said.
“Well why the fuck didn’t you say that?” Karkat asked. Sollux grumbled something, but ignored Karkat and waved a hand dismissively.
“I don’t really know the idiot well enough to plan thomething like thith,” he said. “I mean, thith whole human matethpritthip thelebration theromony ith ridiculouth enough ath it ith.”
“I’m not big into the whole ‘marriage’ thing, shit’s outdated and unnecessary,” Dave said.
“I don’t know, it motherfucking sounds like the right idea to me,” Gamzee said, smiling lazily at Tavros. “Finding your matesprit is a motherfucking miracle, why wouldn’t you want to let everyone know about it?”
“Pretty sure it doesn’t cost a billion dollars to send out a mass text instead of dragging everyone through a boring as hell ceremony,” Dave said. You think that would have flown with Jade?
Oh really? What about the new guy? He different, too?
I’m ignoring that.
Of course you are. Dave internally scowled at the image of Bro smirking.
“But it not about the money, man,” Gamzee said, shooting Dave a little glare. When they had first met in real life, Gamzee would have killed Dave if it hadn’t been for Karkat. But, after they actually talked, and Gamzee learned Dave hadn’t been trying to insult his religion quite so fiercely, things had cooled between them. It didn’t mean the indigo blood liked him. “It’s about showing that your motherfucking committed, willing to go all the way and shit.”
“And, uh, that there isn’t anyone, uh, else,” Tavros chipped in, blushing a little. “That you don’t want to be with anyone else, and you don’t want your matesprit to be with anyone else, either.”
“So no fucking strippers,” Karkat said, smirking a little. Of course I get stuck with the adorable couple on this committee. Guess we all know who’ll be tying the knot next.
“Hey, if marriage is a commitment, then strippers would just be the final exam,” Dave said, holding his arms open a little. “You stay up all night studying, making sure that even when you’re drunk off your ass the only person you want to make love to is the one you’re marrying.”
“Maketh thenthe to me,” Sollux said, shrugging.
“It sounds depraved,” Equius said, reminding everyone of his presence. The strong troll wiped at his brow.
“It is depraved,” Karkat said, glaring at Sollux and Dave. “And John will never approve. In case the two of you forgot, this is for him, even though it baffles me how he could make the biggest mistake of the entire goddamn universe in marrying Serket.”
“Let me guess, he asked you to stop calling her spiderbitch?” Dave asked. Karkat flinched, then growled a little.
“No,” he said. Yeah, right. Sollux sniggered, and Karkat punched him in the arm. Glancing at his wall clock, Dave noticed it was nearing eleven.
So what? New guy’s like everybody else, right?
So you aren’t going to hurry this along at all.
Nope. In fact, I’ll take my time. I mean, I have all the time in the world.
“Well, it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting anywhere fast. How about y’all go home, come up with your own ideas, and we’ll talk about it again,” Dave said, standing up. Karkat and Sollux, who had apparently been fighting, stopped and looked up him from the floor. Then Sollux pushed Karkat away before standing up and fixing his glasses. The other stood with a growl.
“Fine, I’ve had enough of this hoofbeastshit anyways,” Karkat said, blowing past Sollux to the door.
“You’re just mad you lotht,” the yellow blood said, following. It didn’t take long for the other three to leave as well. When they had gone, Dave sat, tapping his foot as he waited for them to be completely away.
So. That wasn’t rushed.
What I’m, just being honest.
Just shut up.
Dave, really. What are you doing?
Nothing, I’m not doing anything. I’m doing do much nothing it’s making a void in the fabric of the universe.
No, Dave, I mean really. Think about it.
What are you doing?
Dave sat, and ran a hand through his hair. What was he doing? Was this all just some fluke, because he was sad about losing Jade? Okay, I guess I’m really admitting that now. I’m sad about losing Jade. There. That should make this mess clearer, right? Right?
Sighing, Dave rose, grabbing a black leather jacket as he headed out the door. It took him about twenty or so minutes to ride down the elevator and walk through the streets to the coffee shop. Where he was greeted with a surprise.
“Sis, didn’t know you were joining the party.” What are you doing here, Lalonde?
“Well, I felt it appropriate to look after your interests while you are otherwise compromised.” I want to make sure you aren’t rushing into this because you’re still upset about Jade.
“I don’t need a babysitter, Lalonde.” I know what I’m doing.
“Oh, did Strider the sequel get his heart broken?” Nisha asked, leaning on the counter. Great, a read-between-the-liner.
Dave wasn’t really sure what he said back, but it was probably just some hotshit reply. He was too busy being pissed that his sister was fucking babysitting him at twenty three. He didn’t even have time to pay attention to the hipster snob that complained, but managed to put a lid on it as they sat at their booth. And, since Rose took his spot, Dave sat next to Eridan, stretching out comfortably.
“So, you must come here fairly frequently for the barista to be so familiar with you,” Rose said. You come here a lot. That’s interesting. Dave missed whatever Eridan said.
“Can’t help if she wants the Strider remix,” the human said. Butt out.
“Naturally, I’m sure your swag was far too much for her to handel, like a moth to a flame,” Rose said. I decline.
“More like a moth to a raging inferno of irony and awesome shit,” Dave replied. Rose quirked a brow.
“You are truly master of description, brother.” That was sloppy, for you.
“If I got too detailed, I might just turn your brain to mush from exposure to pure swag.” Shut up, I got this.
“My brain and I thank you for your kind consideration.” That was better.
“I don’t know, sis, your brain might have appreciated being turned to mush. Then you couldn’t work it so hard with all that thinking.” Cut the crap, Lalonde.
“Ah, and you are an expert on not thinking, I take it?” Alright. Do you know what you’re doing?
“Lalonde, I’m a master of everything. Born prodigy.” Of course I know what I’m doing.
“Care to indulge me with a display of this non thinking behavior? I’m afraid I find it hard to imagine, with as much as I do think.” Prove it.
Dave paused. Shit, she means it, doesn’t she? Shit, she does.
What did you expect? You’re the one that keeps talking shit.
Yeah, yeah I know. Shit, I’m actually going to have to do this.
Make me proud, bro.
Oh shut up. I couldn’t not make you proud. The universe would invert, and make Egderp cool if that happened.
Dave could hear Bro snickering as he did the only thing he could think of to put his money where his mouth was. Literally.
He wrapped his arm around Eridan’s shoulders, and pulled him closer to kiss him, full on the mouth.
And it… wasn’t bad.
But he still pulled back, keeping his cool as the sea troll blushed.
“See? No thinking,” Dave said. I got this.
“Yes, I do see,” Rose said. Dave did not like the look in her eyes. That was the ‘I know something you don’t know, but I’ll be cryptic as hell instead of just telling you if you ask’ look. And then she stood. “And I also must be off to a prior engagement. Good day, gentlemen.”
Oh, so she gets what she wants out of me, then she just leaves. Of course.
What did you expect? She was playing you, little man.
Shit you’re right. I hate it when she does that.
Gotta watch for the smart ones, bro. They’re definitely the most fun, but the hardest keep after.
InnerBro had no response for that. Mostly because Dave couldn’t think of what he’d say about it.
“Wwhat wwas that glub about?” Eridan said, snapping Dave out of his reverie.
“What do you mean?” Say it. I dare you.
“Oh you knoww wwhat the fuck I mean.” Fine, be that way.
“You were there.”
“I knoww I wwas glubbin’ there. But wwhy in the name of cod did you… you…” Oh, little antsy there, princess?
“Kiss you?” Dave asked, finally looking at the sea troll. The human guessed he deserved at least that much.
“Yeah, that.” Eridan said. He’s blushing? Man, this is rich.
“Why not?” Dave asked. Cue personal space invasion.
“Don’t tell me you haven’t been kissed before, bro.” He hasn’t. Oh my god, he really hasn’t. Ha, Strider 3, Ampora 2.
“Of… of course I’vve been-“
“You really haven’t. Huh.”
Whelp, you are now less than an inch away from him. You have him right in the palm of your hand. You could kiss him again right now, and probably begin a round of sloppy makeouts. And after that, he would do whatever you told him to. So, what are you going to do?
Pull away like badass.
That’s my bro.
“Disappointed?” Dave asked, smirking at the sea troll’s scowl. Cool kid 4, hipster fish 2.
“You’re a fuckin’ tease, Strider.”
“I prefer to think of it as being an ill controlled sex god, unable to stop my impulses.” And back to being king.
“Then could you kelp me out and put a lid on it, oh sex cod?” So I guess there’s no question that he likes me now.
Was there ever any doubt?
Of course not.
“Sex cod? Not as impressive, but pretty ironic.”
“Tch, then it fits you better.” Not bad, Ampora, not bad. Sex cod 4, fish prince 3.
“Shoal, you’re the sex cod, swwimming up the glubbin’ stream of bein’ a fuckin’ tease.”
“Not bad, Ampora. Still needs some work, though.”
“Of course it does, mister born prodigy.” Comebacks are getting more bite. Good.
“Damn straight, Prince of Hopeless.”
The banter that ensued was actually some of the best Dave could remember outside his battles with Rose, and far more enjoyable, since his responses weren’t being analyzed. When they did leave, Dave felt a little better than he had earlier, but then his mind returned to the question that just wouldn’t go away.
What are you doing?
Standing at a street corner, waiting for the light to change, Dave sighed.
I don’t know. But… I think that’s okay.
And, as he returned home, he left it at that.
Dreambubble time shenanigans.
Dave was dreaming. He was dreaming of the game, which wasn’t too uncommon. Except, when he dreamed of the game, it meant he was usually in a dream bubble. Which, considering he knew he was dreaming, was most likely the case.
Looking around, he was in a land he didn’t recognize. One of the trolls? Maybe. Need a better look…
He was surrounded by grey castles and other gothic structures, and he scaled the nearest one to the top in leaps and bounds. He examined his surroundings. It looked like the entire land consisted of the grey buildings, and-
Dave jumped back, barely keeping himself from falling as something burst into the air in front of him, zipping past. Getting rusty, he chided himself lightly, ducking behind a parapet to look up at the thing. It looked kind of like a giant snake with bird wings, and random holes blown through it. In fact, one of it’s wings was almost torn in half, and it flew in haphazard circles, screeching in outrage and pain. Dave sighed through his nose, then flinched when a giant boom sounded, accompanied by a blue blast that severed the beast’s wing.
“Take that you creepy flyin’ fucker!”
Dave blinked behind his shades. He recognized that voice. True, the pitch was higher, but the accent was unmistakable. Peeking around the parapet a little more, he could see a thirteen year old Eridan hanging onto the edge of the building. He was in some ridiculous outfit, his cape billowing behind him. One hand was on the building, and the other held Ahab’s crosshairs. Oh, so it’s time shenanigans too, fan-fucking-tastic. Not like I haven’t dealt with those in ten years or anything…
Dave closed his eyes, and it took a moment, but he managed to jump into god tier, the Royal Deringer materializing in his hand. He wasn’t going to get killed in some past dreambubble, not when he already went through all the game bullshit once. This time he didn’t flinch when Eridan fired, but floated away from the edge of the building. Turning, he rested one hand lightly on the parapet as he watched the seadweller fire off another shot, this one blowing right through the snake thing’s head. That cut the thing off mid-scream. The giant beast was suspended for a moment before it fell, bouncing off buildings on its way to the ground. The air grew eerily silent, even the thump of the thing hitting the ground seemed muted.
Eridan was panting lightly. Then he smiled with grim satisfaction.
“There. That’s the vvery last of you fuckin’ angels,” he said, climbing over the edge of the building. Dave quirked a brow. Well, this is different.
Young Eridan started to react to nothing, and after a few moments, Dave realized that he was probably talking to someone on pesterchum, or whatever the troll equivalent was. He felt his suspicions confirmed when the troll tore off his glasses and threw them away in disgust. He covered his eyes, sinking to the ground. Okay, now what the hell is this?
“No one ever came to Eridan’s land.”
Dave whipped around to come face to face with Aradia’s wide smile. Fortunately, it was older Aradia, not thirteen year old Aradia.
“Holy fuck, Aradia, what the hell are you doing here?” he asked. They were both whispering, of course. No need to fuck up a timeline by revealing themselves. The troll woman shrugged.
“I could ask the same of you,” she said. Floating next to Dave, she looked over at young Eridan. “It must have really hit him now.”
“What must have really hit him?” Dave asked, drifting a little above her. Aradia snorted.
“How alone he was,” she said. She looked up at Dave. “The thing he just shot down? That was an angel. His consorts. He killed them all. None of us are sure why, but he did. And before that, no one would come here because the angels were so angry they would kill anyone that they came across.”
“So he’s here by himself,” Dave said, though it was half question. Aradia nodded.
“He never did have friends,” she said. “Too focused on himself.”
Dave didn’t say anything. He watched young Eridan, sitting on his own in the middle of an empty land.
Maybe he was just focused on himself. Or maybe…
Dave thought back to the way he was before he met John, Rose and Jade. Back when it was just him a Bro. And Bro wasn’t even there most the fucking time. Well he was, but not that Dave could tell. He thought about the first time he talked to John, and how he didn’t even know how to talk to kids his own age. Or anyone, for that matter. All he knew was how Bro had raised him, and it didn’t exactly apply to other people. He made a lot of mistakes when first started talking to his friends. In fact, he was kind of a total douche. It must have been some stroke of luck that they didn’t just dump him as a friend.
Maybe he just didn’t know how to focus on other people.
With a sudden jerk Dave found himself laying in his bed, looking up at his ceiling. His phone was playing the text mix, and his blankets had ended up tangled and only half covering him. He sighed, flailing his arm around until he found the phone and held it up to his face. It was a typical Karkat rant, telling him that there was going to be another bachelor planning session at his apartment in two hours. Dave sighed, then sat up and grabbed his glasses from his nightstand.
Might as well get started.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Since most his shit was already packed into his room, it only took Dave a grand total of about twenty minutes to ‘clean’ his apartment. After a few minutes of dithering, he got bored and decided to do a little early morning mixing. It started out alright, a simple bassline, overlay with a melody he’d been working with, add a little tweak here, another one there…
And all at once his mind remembered he’d been working on this melody for a birthday song for Jade.
Time to change that up. Dave cranked up the bass, speeding up the tempo. Then he started doing some mixing to the melody. But, underneath the tweaks, he could still hear the original, so he started adding a counter melody, to take the edge off. But somehow he could still hear the original, so he tweaked it a little, then added some more. No matter what Strider did, the melody seemed to be mocking him, so he lost himself in piling on more and more to bury it, until finally-
He didn’t even feel the punch, he just knew that one minute he was standing in front of his turntables and the next he was about a foot away from them, almost falling (almost). The sound suddenly cut out and Dave came face to face with a snarling Karkat.
“The fuck is wrong with you? What were you even doing, trying to reach past the god tier of ‘irony’ by making the worst music in the history of music? No, I take that back, that was even worse than before music was even fucking invented, god dammit, it was even worse than when you took John along on your junkyard experiment,” the troll shivered involuntarily at the memory of Dave’s final project last semester. And, the cool kid had to admit, he had a right to. It had been pretty bad even before the storm hit.
“And look at your fucking room! How can you sleep in this mess? Did the universe have an access of shit that it needed to get rid of, so it shot it through a wormhole and straight to your room?”
You know, you really can’t blame short stack here for what happened. I know you and he had that whole troll hate-love thing going on, but you can’t hate a guy for beating you to the girl you liked. And besides, it’s her choice anyway, so you don’t even know if she would have picked you over him.
“Oh my god, I swear that smell if- did that pile of clothes just move? Strider, your place is a fucking sty. Are you listening to me? Strider, are you listening?”
So, little man, you’ve pretty much got two choice here. One, you grow some balls and confess to Jade now, and see who she chooses.
“I’m saying some pretty important shit over here. I mean, I fucking hate your disgusting pink monkey guts, but this is me worrying about your welfare. You should be grateful.”
Or you move on.
“You fucking…!” Karkat sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Did you even hear a word I just said?”
“Every important one.”
“Jesus fucking-! Really? We’re going to do this today?”
“The thing we keep saying we’re never going to do again but somehow managed to keep doing because there is no end to the ways in which you manage to piss me off?”
“Oh. That thing.”
“Yes, that thing.” Karkat paused. Then he sighed. “You’re not… like…”
The typically superfluously articulate troll seemed to struggle for words, making Dave arch a brow.
“Not like what?” he asked, and Karkat growled a little before scratching the back of his neck.
“Depressed, or anything… right?” he asked. Then he held up his hands. “I mean, not that I give a flying fuck whether or not poor you is having some kind of breakdown where you finally realize what a sick douchebucket-“
“Bucket?” Dave asks, surprised as Karkat blushes lightly.
“Yes, bucket, you perverted fuck, I do converse with humans on a regular basis, and even in troll terms the description is perfectly apt,” he said, crossing his arms.
Good thing it’s easy to get him off topic by riling him up.
“But, seriously, Strider, is something wrong with you? Besides the usual, that is.”
“You really have to ask?” Dave asked, removing his headphones from around his neck. He set them on his turntables as Karkat bit a corner of his lip.
“Well… fuck it. I don’t have time for this conversation, Ampora’s already here and-“
“Eridan?” Dave asked, pausing in his process of switching off everything. Karkat waved a hand in the air dismissively.
“Yeah, I don’t know what managed to crawl into Egbert’s head that made having finheads as groomsman seem like a good idea, but whatever it was, it certainly fucking crawled there with some persistence,” he said. Dave finished turning off his turn tables, then snorted.
Looks like fishboy’s been talking to Egbert.
Yeah, looks that way.
If he didn’t want you to know he liked you, he’s doing a horrible job of showing it.
True, but I kind of get it.
Dave followed Karkat back to the main living area But where Karkat kept going forward to talk to the new arrival walking in the door, Dave leaned against the entranceway to the hall. And there was Eridan, in a purple turtleneck (Really?) and glaring as Karkat made some derogatory comment.
Oh? And what do you get?
The girl he’s been totally in love with has gone off with some other guy, and now he knows he doesn’t have a chance with her, so he just wants to move on. Be in love again, and maybe this time have the courage to tell the person about it.
One problem there, little bro.
He did tell her.
Dave pushed off the wall, sitting in his usual chair as everyone else was situated much as before. The exception being Eridan sitting on the other side of the loving couple. The sea troll looked completely out of his element. (Probably because he is…)
Dave decided to start.
“So, starting from all the great ideas we generated last meeting-“
“No, you do not get to be a sarcastic douche, Strider,” Karkat said, cutting him off. Dave waited patiently. “Not when the most monumentally stupid idea was uttered from your insufferable protein chute, just like every monumentally stupid idea is.”
“So you’re saying people should build a monument in my honor?”
Oh how I missed our verbal spars, Vantas. I know we’re not supposed to argue, love, but just this once? I mean, you are the douchebag that stole the girl I’m in love with… er, was in love with.
Your honesty is refreshing, Dave.
Shut the fuck up, Bro.
“Yes, Strider, that is exactly what I’m saying. They will create a monument made out of whatever earth metal you choose, and it will be you, represented in your shitty art style, except ten times worse. And there will be a plaque reading: This is a warning to all future generations; never be this much of an insufferable douche, or the world will hate you. And every year people will make burning sacrifices in front of it, praying that no one becomes as big a douchenozzle as Dave fucking Strider.”
Dave internally smirked. Yes, messing with Eridan had been fun, but it was way too easy. And the sea troll was nowhere near Karkat’s level of mastery when it came to extended metaphors. Oh, how he had missed this.
“You’re almost right, sweetheart. There will be a monument of me, in my shitty art style, but it’s gonna read Most epically cool dude to ever grace this lowly planet with his presence, and they’ll burn Sweet Bro n’ Hella Jeff comics every fucking day, in hopes that the offering is worthy enough to get even a idea of the levels of cool they would experience by seeing me in person.”
At least put a little effort into it. I mean, I know it’s not me, but… seriously? That was lame.
I’m just warming up.
“Oh my god does your thinkpan ever catch up to the filth spewing from your unadulterated, ungodly face hole, or has that shit that sounds like the apes in Tarzan on steroids where dropped into a china shop that just happens to carry heavy machinery and dying animals that you seem to believe is music finally rotted it into a pile festering mush?”
“My beats are pretty unique.”
Oh yeah, you’re rolling now.
Well, you know what? Fuck you.
Epic comebacks, little man, EPIC.
“That was not my point. You fucking asshole,” the troll said it precisely in that manner, splitting the phrase into two sentences.
At least it still pisses off Vantas…
“Are you guyth on again? I mean, I know you thaid you were done with all the black ‘flingth’, but thith ith very public flirting, tho thomeone might get the wrong idea. Jutht thaying,” Sollux said suddenly, making Karkat flinch in surprise. Dave looked away, fighting the smile that threatened. He hadn’t done any real ‘black flirting’ with Karkat in almost half a year, not since…
… not since Jade asked us to stop.
It was a sobering thought.
“Ah… I had an... idea…”
Sapping from his slight reverie, Dave looked to see who had spoken. Surprisingly enough, it was Equius, fidgeting uncomfortably as everyone looked at him. The cool kid waited.
So… is he going to tell us, or…?
“Come on out with it, Equius bro,” Gamzee said at last, making Equius flinch.
“Well… it’s only partial my idea, most of the credit goes to my moirail, who suggested a… a ball,” the blue blood said. “And, given the dispositions of the couple, maybe not having two separate parties, and maybe just one…”
“That is the stupidest-“
“I like it,” Dave said, interrupting Karkat. The nubby horned troll turned on him.
“What!? I thought you were completely for cheap beer and strippers,” he said, incredulous. Dave shrugged.
“Which, as you pointed out, is not appropriate for Egderp,” he said. Stick with the program here, Karkles. “Besides, this plan has so many volumes of irony that it’s filled fifty libraries already, and doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon.”
Libraries? Really Dave?
Shut the fuck up, that was gold.
“You and your fucking irony shit,” Karkat said. “Do you even know the definition of the word, bulgemunch? I looked it up in fucking Merriam and Websters; irony- a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other's false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning ; or, not whatever Strider decides he wants to ignore the real reasoning behind by throwing out a random word he learned from his human lusus.”
He actually looked up the definition. Oh my fucking god.
Jesus fucking Christ, really?
I didn’t even know there was that level of dork.
Shit I can’t even think of a good comeback to that.
Bullshit it, neither can I.
“Wow, even the dictionary can’t keep away from me,” Dave said, and Karkat leaped up with a snarl.
“KK, you’re doing it again,” Sollux said. Glaring at Strider, Karkat slowly sat back down.
Damn it, now I’m getting mixed feeling about this Sollux guy.
Yeah. On one hand, I like him cause he can piss off Vantas. On the other, I’m really starting to hate the way he keeps budding in with the whole ‘good friend’ bit.
So… your feelings have some duality?
Oh no. We are not going there. Yes, I noticed the whole bi-polar thing. I’m not expanding upon it now.
Whatever you say, bro.
“Fine. We’ll put it to a vote. Everyone that says no, raise your hand,” he said, raising his own.
“Would we have to danthe?” Sollux asked.
“Yes,” Equius said, causing Sollux hand to shoot up as well. (Surprise, surprise…) Tavros’s hand followed a moment later, which led to a coupley moment that Dave kind of tuned out due to the gross levels of wishy-washy, lovey-dovey bullshit.
“Okay, so that’s three against. Now raise your hand if you’re for it,” Karkat said. Dave rolled his eyes and raised his hand, along with Gamzee and a tentative Equius.
“Fuck, we’re tied,” Karkat said, preparing for a headache. Dave arched a brow. Really now?
“There’s seven people in the room, Karkles,” he said, gaze suddenly falling on Eridan. The sea dweller looked around as he realized everyone was now staring at him.
Way to put a guy on the spot.
He can handel it. He’s allegedly a prince. He should be used to people watching him.
“For or againtht, ED, I don’t have all day to wathte on you,” Sollux said. Dave saw Eridan’s eye twitch a little before he answered.
“For,” the sea dweller said, causing Karkat to face palm and Sollux to shake his head while returning to his phone. Dave gave the Prince of Hope mental props.
Ampora 13, Strider 22.
Technical defaults don’t count. Plus, the sharkfin soup pun was a give me.
“You stupid grubfuck, why would you even say anything?” Karkat half moaned in dismay.
“Thhup up, KK,” the mustard blood said, scowling.
“So, looks like we’re decided, now all we need is a place to host this thing,” Dave said, smirking just ever so slightly.
“I can provide a suitable location,” Equius said. Karkat turned to glare at him.
“Like I can believe that the most perverted troll in the goddamn universe knows a place where we can hold a ball, and knowing autistic cat girl, it’s probably a whole traditional earth ball with the dresses that can fit the Russian circus and suits that have ten show buttons for every real one.”
Harsh much? Damn, might have some competition, little bro.
What? Not worried about losing nubby’s black affection?
Not really. I mean, we haven’t been a thing for like, a year now. Not like I’m losing much.
Just because you say you aren’t a thing doesn’t mean you aren’t a thing.
It does in this case.
You’re probably right.
So does what does that say about new guy?
What do you mean?
You’re kind of oogling the shit out of him.
What? Oh. Shit, I spaced out.
“So, looks like this meeting’s over, finally,” Karkat said, standing. It took everyone a minute to do the same. “Equius, just send me the address of this place and we can all go check it out to make sure it isn’t the lobby of some hoofbeast fetish sex hotel.”
“That is so… depraved,” Equius said. “I think I need a towel…”
“Then go and fucking get one,” Karkat said, walking over and opening the door to Dave’s apartment, ushering everyone out.
Great that you let someone else play host for you.
Dude, Karkat would be the best housewife, I swear. He’s such a tightass.
“Catch you later, Prince of Hopeless.”
Eridan flinched, the snorted, the last to leave.
“Wwhatevver, sex cod,” he said, walking smoothly past Karkat. The shorter troll shut the door behind the other. Then he rounded on Dave.
“What the everloving fuck was that?”
“’Catch you later, Prince of Hopeless’? Since when do you talk to Ampora?”
“I talk to a lot of people, Karkles,” Dave said, shrugging. “And, personally, I don’t see how it’s any of your business.”
“Damn it Strider, I’m trying to be nice here!”
Karkat blinked, staring as Dave looked straight at him. Then the troll sighed, crossing his arms.
“I guess I’m not exactly your first choice for the problems with your love life, am I?”
“Can you blame me?” Dave said, a bitter smile creeping onto his face. Karkat sighed again.
“No. You’re completely justified,” he said. Then he carded a hand into his tangled black hair. “But if you do, you know, need some advice or anything, since I know John’s shit at this kind of thing and would probably ask me anyways… my point is, you can contact me.”
You think he feels guilty about Jade?
As much as I hate him… yeah, I think he does. Fucking asshole.
It’s like he’s trying to make me feel guilty by being a genuinely nice guy, under all the angry bullshit.
Snort. Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly what he’s thinking…
“…thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Right,” Karkat said.And, rather than stand there uncomfortably, the nubby horned troll promptly left. Dave sighed through his nose, staring up at the ceiling. He had nothing to do the rest of the day, save his typical meet up with Eridan.
It’s going to be a long day…
wow i feel like i've lost my inner dave in this chapter... or maybe found him? idk...
and yes, his internalization IS a plot tool, thank you for noticing