Your name is Dave Strider and you are standing in the school blacktop, surrounded by the injured bodies belonging to boys larger and heavier than you. Some of them are motionless, while others are moaning and struggling to stand, even get on their hands and knees. You clench and unclench your fists, knuckles pounding in pain, scarred and cut with blood. You are heaving, sharply intaking the moist, wet air, causing your hair to stick to your forehead in what may either be sweat or just the air vapor.
Behind you, you hear a familiar, calm voice.
"Dave, I don't think that was all too necessary."
You spin around on your heels, facing the bleached-haired blonde. You stare at her through your tinted shades, your eyes only narrowing a tiny bit.
"And let them bully you? Yeah, fuck that. I don't think so, Lalonde." You mutter, kicking one of their hands off your leg in slight disgust. "These assholes fucking deserved it."
She watches you quietly before adding, "I was talking about the mere fact of you beating them up. Proper negotiation is always more pleasant and effective."
"I only roughed them up a bit."
"On the contrary," She says quickly. "I believe 'roughed them up a bit' would be a significant understatement."
"Tch." You grimace a bit and avert your eyes to the ground, trying to avoid your sister's blank stare. It's almost as hard to avoid looking at all the damage you had done, though.
Rose walks up to you so damn graceful and places her dainty little hand on your shoulder, probably in effort to comfort you a bit. It almost works, but not quite. You're pretty fucking angry, still.
"You're not usually like this, Dave. You did the same thing last week to a different group of antagonists. You'll wind up in detention again, you know."
"What can I say, Lalonde? Can't be tamed."
"Right. Well, it'll be a matter of moments before the teachers begin to notice this current predicament, so I highly recommend you think of a valid and believable story to back yourself up with." She says, staring off in the distance at the huddled groups of whispering students and other bystanders. Some of them look like they're running off to get adults.
You clear your throat and wipe your hands on your dark gray, muddied jeans.
"Already a step ahead of you, Lalonde. I got this badboy handled."
She sighs, shaking her head.
"I sure hope you do, Strider."
-- ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG] at 16:31 --
EB: hey dave!
EB: dave guess what happened today?!
EB: it's sooooo awesome!
EB: you'll like, pee your pants or something it's that awesome!
EB: ok maybe not pee your pants, but you get what i mean, right?
EB: hey dave where are you?
EB: eh maybe you're not there.
EB: that's ok! i'll just tell you later.
EB: see ya!!
-- ectoBiologist [EB] is now an idle chum! --
TG: wait no im here
TG: god damnit john come back here
TG: john im dying
TG: and youre the only one who can save me
TG: john come back
TG: i cant breathe
TG: john cmon
EB: i'm here, i'm here!
TG: oh hey
EB: jeeeeez calm your nips, dude! i just left to get some water.
TG: my nips are very calm thank you
TG: theyre as calm as motherfucking buddha during one of his longass meditation naps or shit
EB: i'm suuuure they are.
TG: that metaphor sucked ass im tired k
EB: i didn't say anything, but ok!
TG: yeah anyway
TG: wassup with you
TG: you do something rebellious as shit today
TG: pull the fire alarm when no ones looking
TG: clog a toilet and flood the bathroom
TG: set a lab table on fire
TG: start a food fight
TG: bang some hot chick in the janitors closet
EB: hehe no, but those are great ideas that i have done already!
EB: and eww no not the last one! thats gross dave. :B
TG: jesus fucking christ egbert what
TG: i was joking about all of that but
TG: w/e ok
TG: what is so awesome that i would piss my pants
TG: which youre right yeah that wouldnt happen
TG: but go on
EB: well today, in gym class, we were playing soccer, right?
EB: so i actually scored a goal!!
EB: it was SO awesome!
TG: good for you egbert
TG: you actually contributed something to the team
EB: i did!!
EB: and i hope that's not sarcasm.
TG: it was but im also kinda serious
TG: if only you could see me right now
TG: im clapping for you man
TG: fucking applauding you
EB: hehe thanks!
EB: and get this, dude!
EB: you know that girl i like?
TG: you mean the squealy one with huge tits
EB: but i guess that's one way to put it, yeah!
EB: anyways, she even high-fived me afterwards!
EB: it was SOOO awesome, i'm telling you!!
TG: wow egbert
TG: you are the dorkiest kid ive ever known
TG: and i know a shit ton of kids
TG: like you wouldnt even know
EB: dave you are the hugest jerk i've ever known.
TG: how you wound me egbert
TG: you really know how to hurt a bros heart
TG: fucking woe is me
EB: oh shut up dude!
EB: you know i was kidding.
TG: yeah yeah
TG: im proud of you man
TG: good luck getting the girl of your dreams
TG: youll need it
TG: or maybe not
TG: with your egbertian charm and those dorky buck teeth
TG: youll be covered in bitches in no time
TG: maybe even some of my strider swag will rub off on you
EB: pshhh! yeah right!!!
EB: thanks anyways, dave!
EB: so what's up with you?
EB: anything happen at school today?
TG: yeah i guess so
EB: ok tell me!
TG: well alright
TG: i kinda beat up some guys today
TG: for making fun of lalonde
TG: got sent to detention
TG: yknow the whole deal
oops sorry for the late update!!!
You are Dave Strider again and you think it's damn good idea to explain what your family is like. The word "family" has always sounded dumb to you, completely irrelevant--sometimes you don't even feel related to the people you live with in this shithole apartment. You've always been stuck with your older bro (whose name is Dirk but you call him bro, and he calls you 'little man', which you fucking despise,) and it wasn't till a few years ago when you turned thirteen that your long-lost sister and her mother joined you and him. It was a load of shit, really; how could you have not known your own sister? And for that matter, Bro was your brother, not father, so where the fuck even was your dad? Sometimes you can't help but to wonder if you even have one.
Rose's mom is a crazy hardcore alcoholic. Under most circumstances, you wouldn't even give a shit, but having a conversation with her alone gives you your own headache, alcohol or not. She drives you completely batshit insane, but sometimes you've just gotta cope with family.
After Rose moved in with you, you had asked her why in the world she'd want to move here to Texas. You knew she had a nice home, (read: mansion) and her (your??) mom had more than enough dough in her back pocket to last her and Rose generations. When you asked her that, she only smiled.
"I was simply delighted to meet you."
"Wow, way to be cryptic."
"I could say the same about you, Mr. Strider." She had given you an all-knowing half-smirk, and right then and there is when you realized you could grow used to your new sister. She wasn't all that bad, you thought, so you lifted your fist and bumped it with hers, both of you cracking a smile, and eventually breaking down into a fit of quiet chuckles and too-hard-to-contain giggles.
You are now several years in the future, specifically the day you beat up those group of students on the blacktop. You are at home, standing in what would be called a kitchen, if it weren't so messy and empty, food-wise. Everything's covered in your older brother's shitty swords and puppet ass, all his camera equipment and shit. You have almost no room in here for food, not like it would matter anyways, since money's been pretty tight lately. (As it's always been.)
Behind you is Rose, your beloved ectosister, sitting at the table, occupying as much space as she can manage (which isn't much at all), and sipping her tea.
The scene is calm, quiet, comforting, like it should be in any household.
However, this takes place prior to the conversation you had with your best friend known as John Egbert, and right before the aforementioned "grounding". So the atmosphere is actually pretty tight and heavy, as if it were filled with static electricity, and one movement could set off anyone in the room.
Well, anyone, except maybe Rose. She's one calm motherfucker, and you guess you gotta give her credit for that.
You, on the other hand, are ready to snap something in half, although you try not to show it. Part of having the 'coolkid' image is keeping your temper under control. Which, unfortunately, you ultimately failed to do earlier this day during school.
You're not sure why you're just standing around in the middle of the kitchen right now; actually, you kind of want to just go back to your bedroom and ignore the fact that your older bro told you to meet him here in the first place. You know he wants to talk about what happened at school today, and damnit you are screwed. This will probably turn into some random strife session, no doubt. When doesn't it, anyways.
Oh, and Rose decided to follow you. She had said something along the lines of "I'm deeply interested in witnessing your reaction to all of this". Bullshit, you think to yourself.
You sigh heavily, running your left hand through your hair, accidentally bumping your fingers into the rim of your shades. They shift slightly.
Rose seems to hear you and looks over, her eyebrow raised only a tiny bit. Her gaze is as uninterested as possible.
"Be sure to stay calm, Strider."
"Are you kidding me? I'm calm as shit, all the time." You scowl a bit.
She smirks and sets her tea down. "Of course. Pardon me."
"You are pardoned." You say in a higher-than-normal voice, sarcastic and lofty. You catch Rose opening her mouth to say something until a crashing noise is heard from above and you jump, looking up.
As if things like it happen everyday (they kind of do, to be honest,) your older bro comes crashing through the ceiling (welp, that's gonna need some repairing. There goes your monthly allowance, out the window) with his dumb Japanese katana in hand, dust and debris flying everywhere, swords and smuppets falling to the ground. The sound and impact has you on your feet in a steady position within milliseconds, your hands held up to your defense.
"And so it begins." Rose announces, and you can hear the smirk in her voice. Snarky bitch.
You swallow back a sarcastic comment and face Bro. The dust is the only thing floating in the dry air now, and you have to blinks few times behind your dimmed shades until his face comes into focus. He's in his fighting stance, his arm with the katana in hand pulled back and his other hand held in front of him for his defense too.
You, on the other hand, are not armed.
"The fuck, Bro. How did you get through the ceiling." You say under your breath, stalling, somehow hoping he won't notice you don't have weapons. That was stupid of you, not bringing anything with you at all. Lucky thing you're in shape, and may even be lucky enough to land a few good punches. Or you can always resort to evasion. Even though he's the master at flashstepping, you're not half as bad either. Being his younger brother and all, you're picking things like that up quickly.
Bro just smirks at you, lifting his katana a bit. "I've got my ways, little man. You'll learn eventually, trust me."
What he says--it's actually quite ironic; the "trust me" part of it.
See, you and your Bro have this thing where you can say one thing and have it completely mean something else, and the other will know exactly what you mean by it. And then you can have a conversation just like that. It's almost like being pyschic, you guess.
That's not the point you're trying to make, though.
It's ironic because you both know that you trust each other, but without even saying it out loud. The fact that he knows what you're thinking most of the time creates some sort of insecurity within you, some feeling of no privacy. And there's more to it, even.
He antagonizes you all the time, teases you, strifes with you and wins; it's like he's here to remind you that he'll always be better than you.
But then again, he raised you since you were a puny little kid, and somehow managed to not get you killed.
Which, you guess, is the only reason why you trust and owe him as much as you do.
Without any warning, Bro leaps forwards, his katana extended out in front of him, and towards you. You jump back quickly, knocking a stray box over in the process as you slam against the wall, wincing a bit. You clench your fists tightly, glaring at your opponent through dim shades. If you could knock out ten kids within five minutes, no doubt can you knock out one in a minute alone.
(But this is your brother, you know.)
You run the options through your head and realize you've got none. You've got nothing to lose. Today can't get worse today, can it? Not like you would care anyways.
You sigh heavily, almost groan, and lift your fist, lunging towards Bro.
Suddenly, your name is John Egbert and wow, today is such a good day! You knew today would be completely awesome the moment you woke up. For once, you didn't smell the sickeningly sweet scent of those damned pastries your dad makes every single waking moment of the day, and you got up on time too! Usually you're either a few minutes too early or too late, because your sister Jade never sets the alarm. And you always forget at night! You're (admittedly guilty,) too busy chatting with your best friends. Also, today is Friday, which for pretty much every single kid in school, is fucking awesome. This weekend is nothing to go talking about, but you're excited for the no-homework part of it and the pigging out on snacks and playing video games and watching movies and computer coding... Oh, how you love your past times.
But where were you... Oh right! Today is awesome. So awesome. You had been playing soccer earlier in PE, and your teammates let you move up into offense. (Actually, your teacher made them. They never let you rotate up there!) It was a huge surprise to them and yourself when you scored a goal. You like to think that you have a knack for sports, even though you've never played them actively before. To be totally honest, playing a sport had never really crossed your mind until today!
But that isn't even the best part. After the game finished, you were feeling pretty good! And you felt even better when the girl you have a crush on high-fived you! When she did, she gave you a small smile and told you "good job, John". You were so appalled by this that you barely said anything except for a mumbled "thanks!" and she ran away, giggling to her friends. You could hardly contain yourself! Even now, you are so excited you practically fall down the stairs on the way to your next class, until Jade catches you by the arm.
"John!" Her voice cries out, and your vision swirls around you in circles until you notice you are uncomfortably close to the stairs, on an awkward angle, your leg out in front of you. Quick, short panic shoots through you like static before your sister pulls you back, the two of you stumbling backwards into each other.
"W-woah!!" You are flung backwards, landing on your butt, (and on your sister.)
"Eep!!" She squeals on impact, under your weight. "John, what are you doing?!" Jade asks you incredulously but with concern, and you turn to look at her, your eyes wide as dinner plates behind your rectangle-frame glasses.
"Um, w-wow, uh, what just happened?"
"John!!" She pouts, giving you a serious look, and you laugh nervously, beginning to sit up. You notice afterwards that people are staring at you and her, excited chatter and murmurs erupting around you. "You almost fell down the stairs! Good thing I caught you, yeesh!"
"Haha, definitely. That wouldn't have been pretty if I DID fall..."
"John!!!" Jade says your name for fourth time, and you sigh heavily, dropping your head.
"Sorry, Jade! I didn't mean to give you a heart attack, honest. Calm down!!"
She huffs as you help her stand up, your hand extended out to her, and she takes it. "It's fine, John! Just don't scare me like that again, okay?"
"Okay," you promise with an apologetic grin, and she smiles back. Several people begin to walk away, while others linger behind and ask if you're okay. You tell them you are and they leave too, and you and your sister follow.
"What were you thinking about anyways? You deep in thought? A trance?" She asks you, curious, and you get all excited again, thinking about the previous events that occurred no more than ten minutes ago.
"Oh man, Jade, it's so great!" You say, a huge smile on your face, and begin to tell her what happened in PE. By the time you finish, she's beaming too.
"Wow, John! That is great!"
"Isn't it? I can't wait to tell Dave and Rose!"
Jade smiles at you. "Well, Rose is online right now! I mean, she was when I checked. Which was like, fifteen minutes ago!"
"Huh, really? Doesn't she have school?" You ask, your eyebrows raised, and Jade shrugs.
"I dunno!" She replies, and then adds with a giggle, "Timezones..."
You laugh. "Heh, timezones. Anyways, thanks for the help, Jade! You really saved my ass back there."
"I totally did, John! You're welcome, hehe."
You heave out a long breath, fixing the straps of your backpack on your shoulder. "Man, I bet if Dave were here, he'd be making some of those shitty comic jokes he does. Like, the whole...what was it?"
"'I warned you about the stairs, dog?'"
"Bro." You correct, remembering the proper reference, pointing at her with a grin, and she laughs.
"Yeah, he would! Dave is so silly."
You're about to reply but then you and Jade arrive at your classroom.
"Oops, c'mon John! Before we're late!"
urgghhh sorry for the REALLY late update. i've been pretty swamped with other things and i've done quite a lot of planning for this story while i was at it, so hopefully updates happen more regularly than they have. (anyways, i finished my other story "something less ironic" so.)
let me say ahead of time that i apologize if anyone is OOC!! i'll do my best but i am positive that i write a shitty dave. u_u;;
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Your name is Dave Strider and you just got your ass kicked.
-- ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering tentacleTherapist [TT] at 13:37 --
EB: hi rose!!
TT: Hello, John.
TT: Forgive me for asking, but aren't you in school?
EB: yes, but don't tell anyone! :B
EB: i'll get in serious trouble if i'm caught. but i've done this before, so no worries!
TT: If you say so. Do be cautious.
EB: don't worry, rose, i'm a master at hiding this kind of stuff. rest assured!
TT: Consider me assured.
EB: so i have something really awesome to tell you.
TT: Well, as much as I am a sucker for suspense, please refrain from keeping me waiting.
EB: i won't!
EB: just getting myself prepared over here... it's PRETTY huge......
TT: I would love to hear it, John. Post-haste.
EB: rose, i don't even know what that means.
TT: I'm nearly falling out of my seat.
TT: In other words, hurry up.
EB: alright, alright!
EB: so in phys ed, we were playing soccer, which i kind of suck at.
EB: but today, coach put me up in offense!
EB: see, usually i'm just back there in defense, not by the goal but not in the middle, so i'm kinda not doing anything.
EB: but i was up in the other team's side with the ball, and guess what happened.
TT: I can't possibly imagine! Do tell, John.
EB: i scored a goal!!!!!
EB: i was so surprised, and my coach was so surprised, and my teammates were so surprised.
EB: needless to say, it was pretty sweet!
TT: Congratulations, John. I'm very glad to hear about your sports advancements.
TT: I am so proud.
EB: rose, stop.
EB: you're beginning to sound like my dad.
TT: Oh, excuse me for such an accidental slip.
EB: of course, bluhhh.
EB: anyways, that's not even the best part.
EB: yeah, then this girl i have um, romantic affection for high-fived me!
EB: i was so excited, i almost fell down the stairs.
TT: I warned you about the stairs, bro.
TT: I told you, dog.
EB: wow, rose, i would have expected dave to say that, but not you. it seems you have stolen the spotlight!
TT: It seems so.
EB: nah, but i did almost fall down the stairs.
TT: Oh my God, you actually did?
EB: yeah, but jade caught me before i could fall and break pretty much every bone in my body, haha!
EB: good jade, best sister.
TT: I would imagine it'd be quite painful.
EB: uh, no shit!
You grunt in pain, rubbing the back of your head where you happened to land on. Bro stares down at you, a displeased expression on his face. Oh shit, he's about to give you hell 'bout something.
"So why'd you lose today?"
"'Cause I ain't stronger than you and I ain't tryin' hard enough." You mumble, the cut on your lip stinging. You've gone through this speech-routine shit thousands of times before.
"Right." He says, and you stare at him expectantly. Normally, this is when he lets you go back to whatever you were doing, but by the way he's lookin' at you, you can tell there's still something he wants to say. Rose looks between the two of you, sipping her tea idly.
"What?" you ask, sitting up on your elbows, and he places his hands on his hips.
"Why'd I get a call from yer school today, talkin' 'bout you bein' suspended or some shit?" He asks, subtle anger rumbling in his voice. Rose raises her eyebrows at you, and shit, so do you. You got suspended. Welp, shoulda' seen that coming.
You stand up slowly and decide to keep it short and sweet. "Beat the shit outta some kids at school. You'd be proud, if you saw the damage, I bet."
He smacks you on the head which illicits a small "fuck!" from you. "I'm gonna be the judge of that, kiddo." He sighs. "So you're suspended for five days, an entire school week. Good fucking job, lil' man, that's gonna look great on your school record."
You rub your head as you stand your ground against the table. "Yeah, like you give a shit 'bout my education in the first place. This school literally sucks balls."
He picks up his katana and begins to leave the kitchen. "Well, then you're in luck, 'cause you don't hafta go there for a few days. Enjoy it while it lasts."
"With fucking pleasure." You grumble, and he calls back one last thing.
"Also, you're grounded. 'M turning the internet off at nine." And with that, he's gone in a blink of the eye.
You toss your head back and groan aloud, and Rose shakes her head at you.
"That's too bad, now isn't it." She says, looking at you as if she were searching for some answers or something. You crack your neck and shrug.
"I guess. Don't let those idiots bug you no more, got it?" You turn to her and her face hardens.
"I'll try. Don't worry about me, Strider, I can look out for myself, I promise."
"Whatever you say, Lalonde."
EB: so that's my awesome story. what do you think, rose?
TT: I think that's fantastic, John. If only I had hit such a pleasant stroke of luck myself.
EB: did something bad happen?
TT: But it looks like something not too fortunate is about to...
EB: like what?
EB: is there bad weather over there or something? is something on fire? are bullies beating someone up?!
TT: Not quite...
TT: Just a group of antagonists.
TT: My sincerest apologies, John. I must go.
EB: uh oh.
TT: I'll talk to you later.
EB: be safe, rose!! -- tentacleTherapist [TT] ceased pestering ectoBiologist [EB] at 13:49 --
That Friday, the day you got suspended for the whole next week, you realized you basically had an entire week plus two days to do shit. It was like your own mini vacation. At first, you were really excited. Not having to go to school when everyone else did? Fuck yes, you are one hell of a lucky dude. You actually stayed up a bit later than usual to party with Momma Lalonde in the kitchen and maybe drink a little bit, but who knows, you can't remember. But if the massive headache you had Saturday morning is anything to go by, it must have been enough to make you drunk. Hell, you don't even know. Point is, at first it was awesome, but then it started getting lamer and lamer by the second, almost reaching Egbert levels of Lame.
You spent the entire day on the couch all to yourself, ('cause Bro was out doing whatever the fuck he does during the day,) and watched some shitty TV shows about housewives getting divorced and basically everything exploding and you might have watched some Disney Channel but fuck, you really don't know. At some point, Rose's mom came and joined you on the couch and babbled about shit in her drunken stupor and when she offered you some of her wine, you accepted, took a sip, and almost puked on her. (You make a mental note to never drink wine, ever.) You're too young to be drinking, but it's not like you're addicted or anything. It's just Rose's mom's persuasions skills and your lack of ability to make good choices. Besides, it only happens occasionally, there's no need to freak or anything. You've grown to tolerate and even indulge yourself in her behavior, much to Rose's dismay, but Bro doesn't really give a shit about it, so you just keep what you're doing.
You talked with John a bit over video chat cuz you were just that bored. It was spent mostly him laughing at you for getting grounded and suspended and you pretty much told him to go fuck himself. He just laughed and was like "haha whatever, dude, you're dumb enough to get yourself in that much trouble". You wondered how you ended up with such an assholey friend and engaged in more pointless conversations.
This repeated for another few days, until Wednesday rolled around.
You weren't really supposed to, but you are damn well glad you did.
It was the fifth day into your suspension, and you had the undying need to get out of the hot and smelly apartment in which you inhabit. Conveniently, it was around the time Rose gets out of school so you decided to pick her up. You dressed warm for the occasion and brought along her favorite scarf because it was kind of cool today, being mid-November, and you think Rose deserves it. Also this suspension has got your moods all up in a whack, so who knows what you'll even feel like doing next.
It happens when you're walking along the sidewalk, opposite to the side where the school is, when you're about to cross the street.
Two of the same boys you beat up a few days ago are at it again, trailing after her and tossing small rocks at her shoes and back. Rose doesn't flinch and just hugs her books to her chest and walks along, standing tall. You almost shed one single sibling tear for her, you're so proud.
Well, first you mutter "jesus dicks, again???" and basically sprint across the street without looking both ways, stupidly and against your better judgement.
Rose raises both her eyebrows at the sight of you and you come in between her and the boys. They stop immediately, one of them scared but the other amused, if not a little bit frightened.
The amused one speaks before any of you do, and he steps back warily. "Oh, look who it is! You gonna' beat our asses again, Strider?"
Your mouth twitches down slightly but you clench your fists tightly, trying not to raise them and allow them to come in contact with his face.
"If you keep up this bullshit, I just might."
"You're already suspended; don't care if you get expelled either, d'ya?" The more scared one puts in, and you roll your eyes.
The amused kid laughs and leans over to the other to say, "Yeah, well, ya' see the shithole he lives in? It's a miracle his 'rents can even afford him goin' to school."
You grit your teeth and spit, "You tryin' to pick a fight, smartass?"
He lifts his hands in a shrugging gesture. "Only if you wanna'." He smirks and Rose places a hand on your shoulder. You turn to look at her, a look of desperation on your face, pleading her to allow you to beat these two kids' asses to the moon, and she shakes her head.
You stare at her for a moment before sighing. "...Fine. But only 'cause I don't want Bro to beat my ass if I get into more trouble."
The boys start whooping and taunting you about being a little sissy and getting bossed around by a girl, but you just flip them off and turn around, walking away with Rose.
"Fucking christ, I can't leave you alone for one moment, can I?" you ask her incredulously when the kids are out of earshot, and she chuckles.
"I suppose not. And you came to my rescue again, thank you." she says with a quiet smile, and you remember the scarf you brought for her.
"Oh yeah. Brought you this." You hand it to her and she tilts her head at you with a grin on her face.
"Why, Dave! What a thoughtful gesture of you. How do I know this is the right Strider and not just some silly old imposter?"
You elbow her. "Oh, shut up; I finally do something nice for you and you give me shit? The fuck, Lalonde."
"I'm only kidding."
"Yeah, yeah." You fit your cold hands into your pockets and exhale a short puff of air as she tucks the scarf around her neck. "So what were they bothering you about today, huh?"
Rose looks to the sky as if she were thinking and says in a musing voice, "Ohh, just that I was some suicidal girl trying to be goth. I'm not sure how simply wearing lots of black and purple can give anyone such an idea, but I digress." She sighs and you rolls your eyes.
"I dunno, Rose, the black lipstick is pretty much a huge blinking neon sign that says 'hey, I'm goth'. You might as well dye your hair black and have your bangs hanging all over your face like a dead animal."
"Does it really?"
You shrug. "I guess to other people. I don't really give a fuck what you do with your appearance, I think it suits you fine anyhow."
Rose smiles at that and nudges you, but you frown in response.
"Oh, lighten up, Strider. It's not like you were the one being assaulted. In fact, it was nothing for me. You really shouldn't worry so much."
You groan, lifting your head towards the sky. "I just hate those fucking jerks, thinking they can just bully anyone they want. Especially the kids that're different, like fuck. That just really gets me mad and I can't just stand around being one of the goddamn stupid bystanders who just laugh at the fight in those cheesy PSAs about bullying. Like, fuck that, I'm gonna go and fuck shit up, I'm that mad. I can't express how much I hate this fucking place and all the people in it." You finish in a few short breaths and Rose is giggling at you. You give her one of your quizzical looks and she shakes her head, smiling.
"I'm sorry, Dave. You're just so... Valiant."
You raise an eyebrow at her. "'Valiant'? I'm not some goddamn knight in shiny armor, Lalonde."
"I know, but you act like one." She says, chuckling behind her fist and you roll your eyes and grab her arm, pulling her further along.
"Whatever. Let's just get back home before Bro flips a shit about me not being in the house."
It's Friday night and you're voice-chatting with Egbert as per usual this week, you mumbling to yourself as you work on a shitty drawing and John doing his weekened's homework early and answering you with a grunt or a hum. Since you behaved yourself in the past week, Bro extended your internet privileges by two hours, so it's about 10:43PM at the moment. You're surprised Egbert hasn't gone to bed yet; he always complains about staying up late and whatnot, even though he ends up spending longer online anyways while talking to you and shit. Even if it's a Friday and it's past midnight where he lives.
"Ughhh." He groans, some of the first words he's spoken in the hour. The sound crackles out of the speakers of your headphones. "Geometry seriously sucks. I hate math. Math is dumb. School is dumb. This is dumb." He sighs heavily and you answer him without lifting your head.
"Do it later. I mean, jesus, Egbert, I knew you were a good student and all but I never pegged you for the kind of loser who does his homework on Friday nights."
John huffs a laugh. "Yeah, shut up, dummy. I just want to get it done and over with so I don't have to do it later." He sighs again. "Besides, easy for you to say. You don't have any homework to do anyways."
You lean back in your chair and exhale heavily, dropping your pencil on the desk to stretch your arms behind your head. "Yeeeeeahhh. I'll have a shitload of work to catch up on next week, won't I."
"Eeeyup. Have fun with that, slacker." John snickers.
"Yeah. I'm mentally flippin' you off right now, by the way."
"Oh, yeah, I can see it in my head right now. You and all your middle finger's crude glory." John retaliates, but you don't respond, but instead are distracted by your thoughts. You're not excited to go back to school. Not because of, well, it's school, but because you don't want to see Rose getting picked on again. And if she does happen to get bullied around more, you can't do jackshit about it. Unless you want to get expelled, of course. But then Bro would whoop your ass into next month. (Not like you haven't had worse, but still.)
"Has Rose been alright lately?" John asks out of the blue, and you sit back up into your slumped position. "She's been sounding a bit subdued lately. I tried asking if anything was up and she said no..." He trails off.
"Eh." You kick your legs up onto your desk, drawings abandoned from your attention. "Besides the whole bullying shit, I think she's fine. She's stronger than y'think, you know."
"I guess. I dunno, maybe it's something else, who knows. I just can never figure her out!" John exclaims. "She's so perceptive and knows everything about everyone else, but also really secretive so I can't figure out SHIT about her."
"Well, if she's related to us Striders, then I can't say I'm too surprised."
"Hmm. I guess that's true. Kinda the same way with me and Jade. She thinks we're related, but that's so silly!" He laughs. "I didn't even meet her till I was thirteen."
"Well if you were, it seems the "adorable dork" gene runs in the family." You look at your nails and try to get the dirt out from under them. You vaguely think about the double cheese burger you have stashed in a plastic bag under your desk from earlier today.
John laughs again, sounding a bit in disbelief. "Dave, are you saying that I'm adorable?"
"More adorable than any girl I've met." You answer in a beat, a smirk pulling at your lips. He laughs, (although it sounds more like a giggle,) and by the sounds of it, pretends to swoon.
"Ohh, Dave!! You have such a way with words. Sweep me off my tiny, helpless lady feet!" He manages in a pesudo-high voice of his own, through giggles and snorts.
"Sorry, Egbabe, I've got a date with America's hottest, finest, and tastiest girl to offer." You say, reaching for the burger.
John mock-gasps. "What! Dave, how could you! Now my heart is all gone and broken." You can hear the droop in his voice, while still maintaining a grin. Damn, even without a webcam, John's acting is pretty transparent.
"Nuffin' can be done, man." You swallow a mouthful of the food. "Old McDonald's calls."
John proceeds to enter a fit of laughter when he figures out that's what you were talking about and you decide to change the topic on a whim.
"So how's it goin' with you and that lady chick you're pining after?" You ask, which happened to be the first thing out of your mouth. You don't really care about the girl, or rather, you DO care, but in a way that makes you really mad and you kind of don't want to hear it at all. Especially from John.
"Her name's Amy, Dave." You can almost see him rolling his eyes. "And uhh... It's going...ok, I guess! Not much has happened since last week. She does say hi to me in the hallway, though."
"Maybe you should ask her out."
John quiets down for a moment, humming. "Mmm... I could, but I dunno, Dave. We probably have nothing in common!"
You sigh inaudibly, placing your burger down on your desk. "John, see, this is the problem here. If you keep up an attitude like--" You're midsentence when suddenly the feed cuts short. You sit up, startled by the lack of fuzzy white noise and check the time. Shit. It's 11PM.
You lean back in your chair, rolling your head against the top of your chair. You'll have to let John know that it was late and you had to go tomorrow. Or just tell him Bro was being an ass as usual. Either way, he already knows about the whole deal with you being grounded. You decide to just go to bed now so you can wake up early and bother John then. That'll definitely get him riled up and ready to start his Saturday.
You're climbing into your bed when you think that maybe you can stay up a bit longer and do shit? Bother Rose for a petty pyscho-talk, (who're you kiddin', you ain't doin' anything like that,) join Momma Lalonde in the kitchen for some booze? Play on the Xbox with Bro?
You decide to just sleep with the vague relief of ending that conversation with John early in the back of your head.
if it wasn't obvious, the pesterlog and then the part when dave gets grounded did not happen at the same time! (like, rose isn't talking to john while she's in the kitchen with dave, etc. :P)
the chat between john and dave in the first chapter takes place after dave gets grounded, john's and rose's during school, and then dave getting grounded is after HE gets out of school.
that was a lot of time-jumping but i hope it made sense. it sounds kind of stupid, actually, but at least we get to be linear now!