The local highschool was just like any other; there were all kinds of groups in the school, the nerds, the jocks, the cheerleaders, the normal people, and of course, the cool kids. Or, more specifically the cool kid. Dave Strider was the school's resident cool guy, he never said much but everyone had at least a little respect for him.
The only people he ever seemed to really talk to were his 'elite' group of friends, John, Rose, and Jade. Around them he always seemed to get a little louder. Most people didn't get to see that side of him though, but you were lucky.
As John's neighbor (and good friend) that earns you a first-class ticket to the Strider show, even though you've yet to actually use that ticket. Your low self-esteem is always keeping you from socializing with him, and you can't help but listen to it because really, why would a cool-kid like Dave want to hang with you?
Still, you can't help but want to do just that. The only people who know about your extensive crush on the Dave Strider are you and John. You were hesitant about telling him at first, but after several weeks of probing from him you let it slip.
That tiny mistake is what landed you in your current situation. Immediately after finding out, John insisted that you start hanging out with him and the rest of the gang. After some coaxing, you agreed and met up with him at the beginning of the school's lunch hour. Once you two met up he started leading the way to the cafeteria where he and his friends sat.
When you arrive at the table John introduces you to everyone and the two of you sit down. Jade starts up a conversation with you about the island she used to live on and you reply happily. You've always like nature, and what can be more natural then an island?
Before you know it you've slipped right into comfortability and fit right into the group. You get along fairly well with everyone, except Strider. Since you arrived he hasn't said anything to anyone and has mostly kept to himself. You can't help but feel a bit responsible for his silence and your self-esteem snickers in the depths of your psych.
The feeling continues to nag at you to the point where you're about to excuse yourself from the table and go center yourself again. Just as you're about to though, Dave speaks up. His voice startles you a bit since you've never actually heard it before, but luckily you are able to keep up the appearance that it didn't effect you.
"What kinds of music do you like?"
The words swim around in your conscious for a minute and you begin to think. You love music, it's something you've always liked. Specifically, you like to sing. Most of the time you're shy about it, but when your by yourself or with close friends you sing openly. After a second you realized you've been taking quite awhile to answer his question. Once again, you are lucky it only appeared that you were thinking instead of being a bit slow. As you clear your throat to answer he turns his head and looks at your through his shades.
"Different kinds. It usually depends on my mood, you know?" You joke. Your heart skips a beat when he gives you a slight smirk and nods for you to continue. "I also like to sing."
He seemed intrigued and took a sip of his drink before speaking again. "Oh really?"
You smile. "Yeah, I can't rap or anything, just regular singing."
The conversation ended there, and soon after another one started up. Things went smoothly and eventually the school bell rang, signalling that lunch was over. People scattered quickly and you said bye to everyone at the table before leaving to go throw out the left-overs of your lunch.
You leave the cafeteria, walking down the halls without paying much attention. About half-way down you felt a light tap on your shoulder and turned around, only to come face-first with Dave Strider himself. Surprised, you jumped and turned around. You hadn't even heard him approaching.
"Oh, uh, hey Dave!" You smile and shuffle nervously, waiting for him to speak.
"Sup. You like music. I thought I'd check and see if you want to drop by my house and help me with some stuff since my bro's out of town. Make some sick beats, y'know, that kind of thing." You can feel his gaze through his shades and promptly look away, feeling a bit embarrassed. That being said, you're also incredibly ecstatic.
"Ah, sure! That sounds fun, great actually! What time should I come over?" You're surprised at how confident you sound and smile some more.
The corners of his mouth turn up slightly in a smirk and he slides his backpack off his shoulder, momentarily fishing around for something before reaching back out and handing you a slip of paper. You unfold it and examine the words scribbled down. It immediately registers as an address and you look back up at Dave, only to find him looking back at you intently. He stops without missing a beat, returning to his normal gazing.
"That's the address. Come around 3:00."
You nod. "Alright."
He nods back at you in a way that seems like a whole different type of body language before shuffling his backpack back over his shoulder and walking away. Before disappearing behind the corner he looks back and nods again in a silent goodbye.
You nod back in reply, feeling a bit giddy now that you're talking with him in his own language. It almost feels more intimate then regular talking, more expressive. You don't know if you could live with someone and only talk through body-language --but who said you'd be living with him? Your face darkens and you turn and start walking back to your class. Sometimes your brain thinks a little to much ahead.
You leave for Dave's house an hour early, planning to make a few stops along the way for errands. When you arrived at his apartment building it's 2:49 and you decide it's okay to arrive a little early. You make your way inside the lobby and take the stairs after seeing that the elevator was out of order. By the time you make it to the top floor your legs are burning slightly from the trek. Distracted by that, you push aside the nervousness that has been fluttering in your gut and knock on his front door.
Within a few comfortable moments the door swings open to reveal Dave, holding a glass of what appears to be apple juice.
"Hi." You smile, suddenly feeling awkward. Why did you even come in the first place?
"'Sup." He answers, opening the door some more and motioning for you to come in. You immediately notice the large amount of strangely homo-erotic puppets scattered around the living room along with various swords and other weapons. You're not quite sure what to think but in all honestly you find it a bit funny. He must have noticed you looking around because soon after closing the door he clears his throat and speaks again. "Yeah, sorry for the clusterfuck. My bro's a messy dude."
You glance around one last time then turn back to him again. "I'm guessing he likes puppets then?" You can't help but laugh a bit.
He smirks. You've decided that smirking is just the Strider way of smiling. "'Likes' is a bit of an understatement. But anyway, follow me. My setup is in my room."
You nod and follow him down the short hallway and into his room. It's definitely cleaner then the living room was and you sit down when he motions you towards on of the chairs he has next to his desk and turn-tables. He sits down beside you and quickly pulls up a mp3 file on his computer before handing you his set of headphones.
You hold them awkwardly for a second before slipping them on. He notices your confusion and clears things up.
"Yeah okay so one of the things I need help with is a beta-listener. So I'll play the file and you tell me what you think, okay?"
"Okay, sure." You agree and waits as he presses play on the computer. Sound immediately pours through the head-phones and you lean back in your chair, trying to get a better feel for the rhythm.
A minute into the song you realize he's been staring at you the whole time and your concentration immediately shatters when a smile breaks across your face. You lean up slightly and nudge him in the side, laughing a bit.
"I can't concentrate if you keep staring at me like that." You say, honestly amused with how silly the situation is.
He chuckles in his own "cool kid" way and shrugs.
"Well what do you want me to do, turn around?"
You laugh and nudge him again. "Yes, perfect. Do that."
He does so, still smirking as you smile again and sink back into your chair. Just as your getting back into the music though you catch him saying something.
"Can't handle my Strider swag then, huh?"
You chuckle quietly before returning to your assigned task. Whether or not you consciously realize it, both of you become comfortable and casually begin going through the different things he's worked on for the next few hours. You give him tips on how to create a more flowing beat and even sing a few songs he suggests, getting your own feedback as well.
The whole afternoon went by quickly and before you knew it the sun was going down and the city was bathed in a orange-red light. At this point your mom had called to ask where you were and it was decided that you should probably head home. You gathered your things and Dave walked you downstairs and outside of the building, the two of you lightly chatting along the way. When you reached the sidewalk there was a brief moment of silence before Dave spoke.
"So since this was downright peachy why don't we go do something Saturday?" He asks, leaning against the wall of the building and looking at you. "--If you want." He adds.
"Um, sure! What do you want to do?" You ask, not quite grasping the situation yet. You're still knee-deep in the content and friendly atmosphere that hung around your entire visit with him.
He pauses for a second to think then answers. "Wanna catch a movie or something?"
"That could be pretty cool." You agree, smiling at him. "We should definitely do that."
He smiles at you, and even though it still contains that usual Strider-smirk essence your heart still leaps out of your chest when you realize your the one that caused it. You, just lil' old Ashley. The situation suddenly hits you and you realize that you have been with him the entire afternoon, and the whole time he seemed entertained and interested in what you had to say. You realize something special, something unique. As low as your self-esteem could be there was no way to hide the fact that he liked you, he took interest in you. You made him smile. He made you feel special.
"Well I'm gonna need your number if I'm going to call you." He says, voice full of expression. You grab a piece of paper out of your backpack and scribble down your cell-phone number and address before handing it to him with a flushed face. The brief moment your hands touch during the exchange sends a warm rush down your spine.
He looks at the paper briefly then the two of you say goodbye. You turn and head back home and he goes back into the building, each of you left to your own thoughts. You can't help the smile that crosses your face as you walk home, the sun against your back.
When Saturday comes around you can't stand to be still. From the second your alarm clock went off you've been bouncing around doing different things to pass the time. After eating breakfast and doing your homework you checked your various internet accounts and then proceeded to do random things to pass the time.
Even though your date (--you're still not quite sure if it is one--) is schedueled for 6:00PM you still can't help but be giddy. The official plan is to go to a movie (which has yet to be specified) and then get food.
Around 12:00am Dave texts you. The sudden chiming sound from your cell-phone made you jump, and as soon as you saw who it was from you scrambled to open the message and read it.
are we still doing this
Your heart skips a beat and you quickly send back a reply.
You briefly wonder if the smiley face was too much.
The texting ends there. You immediately relaxed. You feel much more confident knowing that he wanted to double-check too.
You've always known Dave was a cool kid, but not in the same way others think he is. As you know, most of the girls at your school have had a crush on him at one point or another. They've always thought he was just the essence of cool because of his secluded and 'rebellious' attitude. His general lack of emotions and of course, the mysterious shades!
Personally, you think he's a bit of a dork. Still cool, but in a different way. You've seen the way he occasionally laughs while sitting with his friends, and the defensive way he gets when John tries to take his shades. Just those tiny moments you've been graced to have stumbled upon when you see Dave being Dave. You sometimes get worried about his general lack-of-emotions, but that just fuels your overwhelming need to see if somethings wrong. There are many emotions Dave Strider can hide, but anger is one he seems to have the most trouble with.
6:00 rolls around and you begin shoving your different accessories on before Dave arrives. As soon as you slip your shoes on the doorbell rings, sending an echo through your house. You race to the front door before one of your parents can get to it. You straighten yourself up before opening the door, smiling.
"Hey," Dave greets, sticking his hand forward and shaking yours. You note that it's not so much of a handshake as it is a gentle squeeze. You also notice that he isn't letting go. The tips of your ears redden slightly and you step out the door, calling back to your parents that you're leaving. The two of you exit down your driveway and continue down the road to where Dave has his car parked.
You hop into the passenger's seat and he starts up the car, quickly taking off and heading into town.
"So what are we doing after the movie?" You ask, looking away from your window and towards him. He casts you a momentary glance and a quick smirk before switching his attention back to the road.
"Well shit, you like to plan ahead don't you? Here I was thinking this was casual. I guess I'll fuckin have to pull out the big guns now and get you some first-place Strider action. That shit will blow your mind."
You roll your eyes, a smirk tweaking the corners of your lips up. "You didn't plan anything, did you?"
"Fuck no. Striders are supposed to go with the flow." He answers, chuckling quietly.
"That definitely makes things more interesting." You comment, laughing briefly before returning to your window gazing. Out of the corner of your eye you look back at Dave and feel your face flush slightly. Not in a embarrassed way, but more in flushed content. That however changes when he slips his shades down a bit and casts you a sideways glance, also giving you a suggestive wink.
You look away and hide your face in the crook of your arm while he chuckles again, amused by how easily his teasing can get to you.
It only takes a few more minutes until the two of you arrive at the theatre. As soon as the car stops Dave slips out and makes his way over to your side, opening the door and waited for you to step out. Your face heats up again and you step out, smiling at him.
Without saying a word he takes your hand and intertwines your fingers together. You take note at how soft his hands are despite his reputation with swords. The cool touch of his skin against yours sooths whatever anxiety had been hanging in your shoulders.
He leads you into the theatre and the two of you briefly look at the different movies playing before heading towards the front desk. The two of you decide to watch a action-comedy and after buying the tickets (and assorted snacks) you head into one of the theatre rooms. He picks some seats in the top row and the two of you sit down, getting comfortable while the pre-show adds roll buy.
You munch on the popcorn idly and listen to him make comments on the different adds, mostly making fun of them and saying how much more shitty he could make them. When the movie starts he stops and the lights go out in the room.
Halfway through the movie you're snapped out of your trace when Dave shuffles around and carefully brings up the armrest between you. You turn towards him and he gives you one of those Strider-smiles before switching his gaze back to the movie. A few minutes later (just as your about to sink back into your chair) he carefully slides his hand behind you and rests it around your waist, looking at you through the corner of his eye.
Your face heats up and you smile meekly at him, feeling light-headed. You slid closer towards him and he pulls you into him, almost in a hug. You carefully rest
your head in the crook of his neck and the two of you go back to watching the movie. Still, you smile to yourself and your heart flutters when he does too.
After the show the two of you carefully unwind and make your way out of the theatre. He still holds your hand as the two of you exit the building and get back inside his car. The two of you don't say much and you refrain from asking where he's taking you.
It takes about 15 minutes before the car stops again, and you're not quite sure where you are, but you like it.
You step out of the car and look around, seeing the lights of the city below. In the distance you can hear sirens wailing and all the normal sounds that come with living in the city. Closer to you though, you can hear the sounds of crickets and the faint hum of wind brushing through your hair. You are at one of the big hills around the outer limits of your city, a popular spot for couples to escape too when the city is too overbearing.
Dave joins you and the two of you lean against the side of his car in silence, just enjoying the view. The two of you lock gazes for a minute and the world seems to stand still as Dave pushes away from the car and turns towards you, cupping your cheeks as he leans down to kiss you.
The kiss is deep, filled with a mix of emotions that you can't quite name. It's filled with care and you feel like he's doing his best not to overwhelm you. It's the kind of kiss that leads to things, good things. Relationships, specifically.
And even more specifically, yours and his.
Now you just have to remember to thank John for the ticket.