John had been trying to figure out a way to convince his friend Dave (who he had known for over six years now and goddamnit it was his eighteenth birthday you think Dave would be all over a party) to drive up to his house, John even went as far as to say his Dad wouldn’t be in town, some business trip that was going to take him away for at least two weeks. It wasn’t the first, and would hardly be the last time that John wanted his friend from Texas to make the drive up to Colorado, John’s Dad had even offered to drive John down there, but Dave had made it clear that he did not want John to even see Bro Strider, or the state that there home was in.
So John was forced to continually ask if Dave would drive/fly/walk/anything up to Colorado.
Dave denied him every time, typing up some big long metaphor about unicorns and shit monsters and how if you break the emergency fire alarm at school Mrs. Sanchez will snap a ruler hard across your knuckles and that hurts man, you don’t even know how painful it is, when all John wanted was a straight answer.
It wouldn’t have bothered John if this hadn’t been a six year long friendship that was strictly only text and picture exchanges (even that was like pulling a thorn out of a lions paw), John couldn’t even convince him to get on video chat, or exchange a fucking phone number.
John used to always reel in how hurt he was whenever Dave would deny him, say stupid shit to change the subject, and sometimes just flat out saying, ‘no Egbert, not happening.’ And each time it happened John would feel like a loser, like he was asking too much, that maybe internet buddies meeting six years later was still a bit too creepy.
Today was different; today was not all those times that John could just take the rejection and let it be.
EB: are we really going to do this for another six years?
TG: do what
TG: rap about how sad it is
TG: that I lost my favorite pair of sneakers
TG: you wound me Egbert, at least give me a week to mourn
EB: im being serious here Dave.
EB: why won’t you ever video chat?
EB: why won’t you talk on the phone with me?
EB: why won’t you drive over, or let me drive over there?
TG: because dude don’t you know
TG: im a fat lonely old man living in his dads basement
TG: what you should be asking is
TG: why are you always on
TG: why is there a twinkie lodged in your belly button
TG: why does it look half-eaten
EB: you know dave.
EB: for someone who acts cool.
EB: you are pretty fucking uncool.
ectoBiologist [EB] has gone offline at 1:44 PM
Chapter 2: Meddlesome
Meddling ladies, meddling in their special way.
John was never angry with Dave, not outwardly, but after all of the time they’d put into each other’s lives, John had hoped that one day Dave would suck it up and just at the very least talk on the phone with him.
John was more furious than he could ever recall being in his life, and refused to talk to Dave for weeks, he got every message imaginable from the other boy, and he made an effort to look at none of them, and had blocked him when he felt the itching to look hit him.
After Dave caught onto being blocked, he unloaded his wild cards.
Rose and Jade started messaging him for Dave.
TT: Just so you know John.
TT: I am all for this ‘never speak to Strider’ thing going on.
TT: I have never had more to-the-heart-no-bullshit chats with him before.
TT: And it is making me all so very tingly inside, that all it took was you getting angry with him.
EB: I don’t want to talk about Dave.
EB: it seems like that’s all we ever talk about anymore
EB: can’t you just talk about your day for once, jeez
TT: that was my day John.
TT: I talked to Dave all day, because he’s never off his phone.
EB: that’s what bugs me, he won’t give any of us his number when he is using it to talk to us!
EB: doesn’t that bother you at all rose
EB: because it really gets my goat
TT: It is odd, you think Strider would love a chance to talk to you on the phone.
TT: with the way he talks about you and you about him.
EB: wow okay
EB: I think you mean that in a non-platonic way
EB: but I’ll just let it go because you tend to do that a lot
EB: … why doesn’t he trust us?
TT: There can be any number of reasons John.
TT: But really this isn’t something I can figure out.
TT: It is something that you have to TALK To him about.
EB: I don’t want to just talk on pesterchum the rest of our lives and have a stupid picture here and there
EB: this relati-friendship doesn’t mean anything to him
EB: I am not a wall of text rose
EB: I just… want to talk to him without the bullshit for once.
TT: You are completely right, dear.
TT: You need not explain.
TT: Now tell him that.
tentacleTherapist [TT] has ceased pestering ectoBiologist [EB]
John ignored her advice, exiting out without giving the icon flashing in the bottom corner, John wasn’t sure how many times Dave had just blown him up, and John was just fed up with it all.
It was the third week, and John was feeling rather proud with how long he was going without talking to Dave, even if some nights he’d just stare hard at his pesterchum wanting nothing more than to unblock him and start talking like they used too, because John missed it. But he wanted something a little more than what used to be, and John was prepared to fight for it.
John logged in and made to run off to get himself something to eat when his pesterchum lit up, he rolled his eyes, “god it’s like you stare at your phone until I log in.”
But it wasn’t Dave.
GG: you are on super early today!
EB: 22 days Jade
GG: is that a countdown?
EB: sort of.
EB: that’s how long I haven’t spoken to Dave
EB: that’s how long you and Rose have been trying to convince me to talk to him
GG: I haven’t really been tryyyying have I?
GG: I mean I just tell you that he asked me to taaaalk to you really
GG: that’s about it, I could go into detail about what he said, but I don’t…
GG: And I don’t plan too, haha, I know you’re upset and well I don’t like the fighting really.
GG: but if you need space he’ll just have to buck up and wait
GG: But you know you aren’t wrong about this stuff John.
GG: He’s the one being a douche-mc-doucher.
EB: Rose says the same thing to me too.
EB: and it makes me feel worse I guess
GG: …. Makes you want to talk to him?
GG: kind of like reverse psychoanalysis or whatever?
EB: is that what you guys are doing?
EB: because if you are Jade… that’s kind of messed up
GG: well no, but you kind of have to tell him how upset you are right?
GG: I mean you don’t really never want to talk to him ever again
EB: … im gonna go eat real quick Jade
EB: I just need to think about it I guess, sorry
GG: it’s okay John. :(
GG: take all the time you need
gardenGnostic [GG] has ceased pestering ectoBiologist [EB]
Chapter 3: Truth
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
John made his way into the kitchen pulling cereal out of the cabinet and plopped down, Dad was gone leaving John with nothing but pounds of cake baking materials that he was never ever going to touch, and he was starting to get tired of eating nothing but turkey sandwiches and cereal. John quickly ate ignoring the knot in his gut as he cleaned his dishes, but before he could so much as put a hand on the banister and go up to his room the door rang.
John was sure that it was way too early for the Mormons to be riding by on the bicycles, or even the random Christian’s here and there.
“… Could be the neighbor…” John frowned then threw on his best greeting smile, which always got the person he beamed at smiling too as he made for the door.
Before John could even utter a greeting his eyes fell on a boy not too much taller than him, beautifully sun-kissed blonde hair, and a firmly set jaw.
It was the glasses that floored him.
“D-dave?” John said oddly, like his tongue wasn’t working and the name was trying to fight its way out.
And something inside John melted, at the sight, Dave was on his doorstep, two states away from Texas, on his doorstep, and real, his shoulders were set in a firm tightness, but John spotted the muscles in Dave’s forearms clench and unclench, and there was a slight tic in the corner of his mouth, like Dave wanted to either smile or frown.
John wasn’t sure of what to say, all he could think to say was.
Dave finally responded, nodding his head curtly.
And then something in John bubbled up, and the shock of seeing Dave in front of him swiftly exited his mind, as he felt the anger pop like champagne in his throat.
“What the hell, Dave. Can’t even say hi?” John felt it come out more forceful then he would have liked, he wasn’t used to handling extreme anger.
Dave lifted his hands his mouth barely opening, and he did the last thing that John would have liked, and pulled out his phone, and started typing.
John angrily slammed the door shut at the sight of it, after all this time he had the nerve to drive to his house, and still was going to pester him?!
“No Dave, I can’t believe you! I can’t believe you just-UGH!” John locked his door and didn’t feel an ounce of pity at leaving the boy outside. John stormed into his room, slamming his door so hard it rebound right back and slammed into the wall with a crack, still trying to keep his anger intact he shut it a little more gently.
But even though he was angry he looked at his pesterchum, for once in three weeks ignoring rose and jade’s pesters, and opened Dave’s up instantly.
TG: kind of knew youd do that
TG: but the whole slamming of the door was a new spin on it
TG: thought you’d slap the phone out my hand actually
TG: the door slam sounds better in retrospect
TG: ill just wait out here until you calm down so I can talk to you
TG: well not talk
TG: but yeah
John’s whole face turned as red as Dave’s text, John for a moment just bounced in his seat with the feeling, and with more force than his keyboard could take he started to type.
EB: i can’t even believe you think this is funny!
EB: this is so fucked up in every way!
EB: who drives down to their friends house and doesn’t say a godamn thing?
EB: and messages them!
EB: is this an addiction Dave?
EB: is this like one of those, ‘hi im dave and im addicted to texting’
TG: okay yeah that’s dumb I am not addicted to texting
TG: but yeah its the only way I can talk
EB: oh my god!
EB: and now you are doing the, ‘I don’t need it I can quite any time’ crap!
EB: tell me why I shouldn’t just leave you out there.
EB: i am so furious with you right now dave.
EB: i cant believe you drove here, I cant believe you are fucking on my porch texting me!
TG: no egbert you arent getting it
TG: i know you’re mad okay just I can’t really explain it without just saying it
TG: it is the ONLY way I can talk to anyone
TG: i have to text
TG: i cant speak john
TG: im mute
John stared at the pester for a good minute, he had even already had a complaint ready, one sitting on the edge of his tongue, ‘haha real funny, you’re lying’ but then it started to really make John think.
John never spoke with him on the phone, never on video chat, and whenever John would even ask he’d make a roundabout to get off the subject, or just out right refuse him.
Then John started to sink into his chair, and stare harder, because if that was true…
Without even replying John walked out his bedroom door, and opened the front door slowly, his face still stuck in a cross between shocked and worried, and he looked down at Dave who had made himself comfortable at the foot of his porch.
Dave looked up at John and made to stand up, John stopped him and went to sit with him, they sat there in silence, John remembering every moment he had with Dave, and how awkward the other boy was about speaking to him.
‘… Because he couldn’t talk…’
“I’m so sorry D-“Before John could continue Dave had his hand on John’s shoulder shake him hard, and John turned those glasses were glaring at him in the still morning light, and that frown.
That frown said what words couldn’t, “don’t apologize.’
So John clamped his mouth shut, and looked away. He heard Dave clack-clacking away on his phone, and with all the anger drained out of him, replaced with a pity he didn’t ever want to feel he waited.
John made sure not to look up at him as he heard short exhales that sounded like sobs, but with no voice John couldn’t tell if Dave was crying or just breathing hard.
Dave shoved his phone into his face; Dave’s own turned away, and made a show of scrolling to let John know what he needed to do.
With nothing better to do and after looking at how hard set Dave was on him reading it, he started to scroll.
TG: this is why I didnt say anything
TG: because of what you are doing now
TG: pitying me for something I always have had
TG: and yeah I guess I should have said something to you or to them
TG: but fuck everyone back in texas treated me different
TG: like I was something broken
TG: but I wasnt to you guys I was just dave
TG: now that you forced me to come here because you wouldn’t read any of my messages
TG: which by the way I said some really fucked up shit to you so yeah sorry for that
TG: but to the point
TG: now I wont be dave to you ill be oh my god he cant talk dave
TG: and that really fucking hurts man
TG: do you know how hard it was to tell you we couldn’t talk on the phone?
TG: do you fucking know how close I came to just outright saying I couldn’t talk
TG: fuck when I was young I thought it was a blessing I couldn’t speak
TG: i even preferred it no one bugs a mute
TG: never had the urge to say jack shit
TG: and then you fucking came along
TG: and you wanted to talk
TG: never in my life had I wanted to talk more than right fucking now
TG: sitting on your goddamn porch with you and I cant say shit
TG: i hate you for not talking to me
TG: i really really cant deal with you not talking to me
TG: im here because I cant fucking deal with you not talking to me
TG: all these years and all you had to do was make me think it was over
TG: and fuck I was wrong in it should of said something
TG: haha cant but yeah fuck
TG: im an idiot but please just talk to me
John looked hard at the screen about half-way through he was a mess of tears, and by the time he got to, ‘never in my life had I wanted to talk more than right fucking now’ he was already sobbing, trying to stop the overflow of his own tears so he could read the rest.
And John felt terrible, but he also felt relief, this meant Dave wasn’t second-guessing their friendship, this didn’t mean that Dave thought they should only stay pesterchums.
But John couldn’t stop himself as he handed the phone over; trying to ignore the tracks of tears he could see on the taller boys cheeks, “why…. Didn’t you just tell me Dave, why didn’t you?”
Dave looked at him hard his mouth frowning and his arms crossed, John thought he would write in the phone, John had even looked down at it, like it was going to magically have the answer before Dave could write it.
But Dave didn’t pull his phone up; he set it down on the porch and turned to John.
And started to move one hand, lifting his pinky alone into the air, then made an L shape, then lifted his pinkie and thumb out. It was clearly a sign, and John felt his heart sink.
John looked at him sadly, “Dave I don’t know sign language.”
Even though his said it, John was already planning all the ways he could learn, he heard that the college gave classes, he could get a few books; hell there was interactive videos online….
Dave only smiled at him something about it breaking John’s heart and putting it together, Dave was fully aware that he didn’t know sign language so he took pity pulling John’s eyes to his mouth with a gentle tap on his own lips then mouthed to him, ‘I love you, John.’
John didn’t know what to say his heart exploding and his lungs clenching with the most painful grip, he had no words, and for moments he felt mute felt like he’d never be able to say anything at all, because this was Dave this was his friend of six years who after only twenty days of no communication finally threw in the towel and drove to his house, confessed his inability to talk, Dave the man of so many words, too many words, not being able to actually honestly say them, and he was here, vulnerable and taking a chance at something that John wasn’t even sure of, and before John knew it with a watery smile and a sorry set of eyes to match he reached over.
And kissed Dave Strider.
Hope that it came out well. :)
Unfortunate is wasn't beta'd all mistakes are my own.
At the very least I hope that it was enjoyable!
Mute!Dave seemed like a fascinating idea, though I'm worried that I should have warned for it?