It has been approximately 4 months since one Mr Dave Strider last signed into pesterchum. A week after that happened all of his regular contacts received identical phone calls from his older brother. "Hey, I was just wondering if you'd seen Dave? No? It's just He's been missing for a week now. Well, let me know if he shows up, or gets online, or something. And if you do talk to him, be sure to inform him how hard I'm going to kick his ass."
Nothing has been heard from him since.
It's raining outside, torrenting like nothing else. It's also the middle of the night. A figure walks through the line of trees, feet squelching in the soaked grass. Footsteps are uneven as they approach the front door, before slumping against the doorframe and raising one hand to knock three times, hard.
Thump, thump, thump.
If he's right, this should be the house of Rose Lalonde.
Had she not been up for hours, Rose would have been pissed. But sleep was eluding her once again, and so the knock at her door was more odd than annoying. Who could possibly have any business with her or her mother at this hour? Sighing, she put down her book and her cup of tea and made her way to the door. A soaking wet Dave Strider was not what she was expecting. She looked him over for a moment, wide-eyed, trying to think of what to say. Eventually she settled on "Where the hell have you been?" and held the door open for him to come in.
"You do NOT want to know." he staggers inside and leans against the closest wall for support. Now that he's in the light, a fair amount of blood can be seen soaked into his cloths, and diluted from the rain in a way which makes it very difficult to tell where it's coming from. That is, assuming it's Dave’s blood. He doesn't have his shades, and looks... almost wrong without them. "...Sorry."
She turns and motions for him to follow her. "Yes actually, I do. And don't apologize. Yet." Rose leads him to the bathroom and pulls a towel out from under the sink. She hands it to him, re-appraising his condition. "Where are you bleeding from, exactly?"
He follows after her and takes the Towel when offered, using it to dry off his face first of all... then grimacing at her question, and answering by peeling off his soaked shirt.
At intervals up and down his chest and back are several incisions which are trickling small amounts of blood as the dampness causes them to loosen up and re-open. Several of them are in places he clearly can't reach, so he didn't make them himself, but none of them look like they're about to kill him, unless he slowly bleeds out.
"I didn't run away, for what it's worth. I'm not that retarded."
She blinks. Interesting. "And here I had assumed you were. In any case, I suppose it's story time. Now explain yourself." As she speaks, she pulls bandages and disinfectant out of a drawer. Better safe than sorry.
He sits on the rim of the bath tub and takes a deep breath. "I was kidnapped. Not... even... joking. It's seriously been something out of one of Egbert’s retarded movies, I only just got away."
She furrows her brow and sits next to him, bringing her first aid supplies with her. "Fascinating. Do you know who they were? And why did they do this?" She nods at the wounds that she is now dressing.
"Jesus, Rose, everything was covered in Betty Crocker logos," he rubs his face. "And... these? Fucking... chemical implant tubes... I don't even know WHAT they've done to me..." a shiver. Then a pause. "...I missed you..."
Chemical implant tubes? She makes a mental note to see if she can run some scans on him in the lab. "I missed you too. And speaking of missing you, we need to contact your brother, as well as John and Jade. You've had quite a few people worried sick over you." She finishes patching him up and frowns. "You'll need something dry to wear. And when did you last eat?"
His stomach growls at the thought of food. It's been at least a few days since he'd been given anything to eat, and even when he had, it hadn't been anything particularly appetizing. "...Shit... Bro's probably been flipping his shit, hu?"
"That might be an understatement. I doubt there is anyone in the whole of Texas who has yet to see your face emblazoned on a milk carton." She leads him to the kitchen. "Help yourself to anything, I'll be right back." With that, she disappears back down the hallway.
He casually raids the fridge, making himself a sandwich. It's nothing really special, but being as hungry as he is, it tastes amazing. He's tempted by some of the booze lying around... but thinks better of it. He doesn't know what those fucking scientists put in him that it might react with, so he sticks with a glass of milk.
She comes back a few minutes later, carrying a shirt and a pair of pants. More specifically, one of her shirts and pairs of pants. "I'm aware that this probably isn't quite your style, but these should fit you well enough until your clothes dry."
He shrugs, casually. "I'll make it work." He slides the shirt on. It's a little tight fitting, but whatever. A shirt is a shirt. A pause. "So what, are you going to watch as I change my trousers, or could you please look away for one minute?"
She rolls her eyes and turns around. "Once you're dressed, we need to contact the others. They would want to know that you are safe and sound, relatively speaking. How did you find your way here?"
He changes quickly. "Your address is pretty memorable. When I found out I was in the area I sort of meandered in this direction and hoped I didn't get lost. Okay, you can look now."
She turns back to face him. "That's terribly convenient. Could you find your way back, I wonder? It would make finding the bastards responsible much easier." Her eye twitches just slightly as her facade of calm breaks for the first time.
"...Probably." He licks his lips, before reaching out and placing his hands on her shoulders, gently. "...Don't do anything stupid for my sake, though. I'm just glad I was able to get away."
"I will make no guarantees. You look ridiculous in my clothes, by the way. Now finish your sandwich so you can call your brother while I look up ancient Chinese torture techniques." She takes a seat at the table and opens her laptop.
He laughs, and finishes off his sandwich quickly (As in, basically wolfing it down and having nil shits to give) before standing up. "Where's the phone, anyway?"
She pulls her cell phone out of her pocket and slides it across the table to him. She mumbles to herself, "Slow slicing sounds interesting, but where would I ever get a wooden frame?"
"Jesus, Lalonde..." He's not sure if he's amused or slightly disturbed as he picks up the cellphone and dials in the memorized number of his Bro's phone, holding it up to his ear and listening to it ring. Once, twice, three times-
"Hey, Dirk, Don't flip your shit-" and with that he has to hold the phone away from his ear as a torrent of cuss words is shouted down the line in his direction, only bringing it back when he hears it subside. "It's okay, dude, I missed you too. What? No, I didn't run away- Bro, this has nothing to do with your stupid puppets- will you let me get a word in edgeways? Jesus Christ. Look, I'm at Lalonde's place; only just got here. I have her address saved on my computer for when I'm sending her crap... Can I explain when you get here? It’ll be a fuckton easier. Alright, I'll see you in a few days." Click.
"He's going to pick me up."
"So I gathered. In the mean time, we shall locate your captors. Unfortunately, most ancient Chinese torture requires a bit of specialized equipment, and is therefore out of the question. Unless you know where I can buy live bamboo plants?" She holds her hand out to take her phone back.
He hands it back to her. "I'm sure you could purchase them on the internet, but it would be weeks before they got here. Horribly inconvenient." Without his shades he just can't hide the way the corners of his eyes crinkle upwards as he looks at his sister fondly.
"No, that won't do. Drat. Oh, John and Jade." She pushes her laptop to face him so he can log into Pesterchum, not bothering to hide the rather graphic WebPages she has up on strange torture techniques. "I always have my knitting needles; those could get cruel and unusual rather quickly. I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to acquire a whip..."
He logs into pesterchum, Opening up chat windows with John and Jade and typing out quick messages to both. Jade gets a "TG: hey so it turns out im not dead yet" And John gets, "TG: have you at least gotten laid in the time ive been gone?"
"Jesus, Lalond, are you actually serious about this?"
"...Perhaps." She glances at the clock. It's almost three. Whoops. "You must be tired. Are there any other pressing matters that need attending to tonight?"
"Not really, but it would be nice to see if John or Jade actually replies..." He is tired, he's exhausted, but he isn't in any rush to go to sleep.
She studies him for a second. It's obvious that he's practically falling asleep on his feet, and after what he's apparently been through, she would rather he rest. "I'll leave it on, but they're both probably sleeping. You should sleep too."
"Hnnng..." He gives a half-sigh-half-yawn before nodding. "...Alright..."
A pause. "Not to sound too uncool or anything, but could you stay with me?"
She smirks at him, and purposely sounds ridiculously patronizing. "Would you like to cuddle?"
"Yes. Yes, I would very much like to cuddle," he deadpans, but he's being sincere. He's missed her, missed everyone, and he's been through a lot.
Cuddles would be nice.
Rose folds up her laptop and silently leads him up to her room. She plugs it in and leaves it running, as promised, then slides into bed. Dave slides in next to her, allowing himself to relax properly and wrapping an arm around her because fuck it, he wants to.
She's good at reading people and he's been through hell, so she snuggles up against him.
His eyes slide shut, and within a few minutes he's unconscious.