You’re sitting in front of the new kid in school and, in all honesty, you’re pretty sure the only reason you’re here is because Rox is an insufferable broad that you practically cannot deny anything (that’s mildly healthy/good for her) because…well, you love the girl. Just not in the way that men are supposed to love women, you suppose.
“A pleasure to meet you, good chap!” Jake holds out a hand and you hesitate, unused to the idea of shaking anyone’s hand with non-combative purposes going with it. Jane tuts at you and you take Jake’s hand with a rough shake, though not without an inward sigh. Damn it all. “I’ve been told your name is…Dirk?”
“Strider, yeah.” You concede, sliding your hand out of his grasp smoothly to take hold of your mini-carton of milk. Shit’s healthy. “Jake English, I’ve been told?”
“You’ve been told correctly, then!" He laughs and…really, how can someone laugh that hard without getting tired? “I’ve only just transferred from a little somewhere over the Pacific, so I’m quite new to all of these rigmaroles of schooling. Hopefully,” he shoots a grin at your two ladyfriends and you suppress the urge to sigh at how easily he’s charmed them, “I’ll make enough good friends to help me along the way.”
“Ohh, certainly,” Rox slurs, a little too sleepy to be normal, and you try not to smack her on the back of the head for drinking again. “S’all get along and be bee eff effsies together, wouldn’t that be great?"
“It definitely will be,” Jane assures with a small smile of her own.
“Just great,” you murmur to yourself quietly, still sipping on your already half-empty carton of milk.
You’re writing down another blueprint for one of your personal projects (a robot bunny that could do some menial chores like opening the door and shit like that, nothing big) during Physics class, and you’re really not paying any attention to the teacher when someone suddenly whispers beside you,
You stifle a jolt and look up, instantly noticing buckteeth and black hair. Jake English grins at you from his chair, his foot tapping on the floor in distraction as he gestures with his lips pointing at your draft. “It’s a robot, if I’m to assume based on the technical jargon I can see around there?”
“You assume correctly.” The grin on his face widens further with your confirmation, and you try your hardest not to wonder what he might be thinking.
He doesn’t give you much of a chance to think about it, actually. “Say, are you planning on, in point of fact, making that creation of yours a reality?” You barely make a nod in his direction before he’s chuckling under his breath and leaning over, like a child who’s about to whisper a secret that he wants no one else to know and all in all looking utterly ridiculous. “I’d definitely adore having a look at your work, if that’s alright with you?”
“It isn’t a problem,” you mutter back, eyes darting forward to see if the teacher is noticing anything wrong with you or English. He’s not. “I…actually do appreciate people watching me work.” You admit truthfully, and you start to wonder instantly after why you’d let your mouth run away from you like that.
“I’m glad to know that,” Jake whispers right back, the grin still on his face, “Because I certainly wouldn’t mind watching you work on those projects of yours from time to time.”
You become silent, not responding once you realize the teacher is starting to take glimpses in your direction. It doesn’t matter, anyway. The only thing hanging from the tip of your tongue was the thought that,
You may just be in love with this guy.
And you really don’t want to weird him out with that, just because he took an instant liking to your most adored project.
“Dirk? Dirk, are you alright?”
You jolt awake at that, unfolding your arms from your desk to wipe at the wetness clouding your eyesight. “Sorry,” you mumble instantly, shifting around to stretch for a bit before taking your bag from behind you. “Didn’t think I’d fall asleep like that.” You quickly sweep your drafts, pencils and whatnot into your bag before standing up and walking alongside Jane out of the classroom. You hadn’t thought you’d actually sleep through the whole of your last class until the time to go home came, though you’d obviously thought wrong.
“Did you have…nightmares, again?” Jane whispers, not wanting anyone else to overhear her. You smile for a fraction of a second before reverting back to your poker face, though the knowledge that she is still as thoughtful as ever remains imprinted into your heart. You’d trust her with anything, if only because of that.
“Yeah.” You keep your stride to minimum speed to let her catch up with you, letting her place a hand on your arm as her own form of comfort. “Woke up screaming like a banshee. It’s not that bad,” you immediately assure her once her fingers grip tighter onto your arm, “just the usual, you know. Dying, zombie attacks, that shit.”
“That doesn’t mean that I can’t worry,” she chastises you with a tiny frown, the worry clear from her baby blue eyes. “Have you told your father about it?”
“He has enough worries as it is.” You shake your head, fingers fiddling within the confines of your pants’ pockets. “Add Dave to the equation, and I pretty much have my hands full. You know that.” You sigh, slipping your outside hand from your pockets to reach up and pinch the bridge of your nose. “The kid is too observant for his own good.”
“He’s your brother, Dirk,” Jane says with that affectionate smile on her face, and you smile back. “I think he knows when his big brother is feeling unsafe. He wants to protect you.”
“He should know better that I can do the protecting just fine,” you retort sharply, though Jane just takes it with a pinch of salt and a giggle. You ease away from the tension in your body and sigh again, letting her pull your hand out from your pocket to clasp it in hers. “Damn,” you mumble to yourself, stepping down the stairs with her as you approach your own personal entourage composed of one drunk blonde and an overexcited brunet. You press a small kiss onto the top of her head and she laughs, a light blush dusting her cheeks as you murmur, “You know what I’m saying, don’t you?”
Thank you, for pulling me out of my nightmares like you always do.
She grins back, gripping your hand in hers. “I know.”
It’s dark. So, so very dark. You reach out and you feel nothing, yet when you take a step forward you can feel something tugging you down, as though you were stepping on something sticky. You don’t think you want to know what it is.
“Hello?” You try to call out, yet nothing comes out. There’s only the echo of silence in your ears and you feel deafened, though there’s nothing you can do. You keep walking, trying to look for some light along the way, but you can’t. It’s all too dark and you’re all too alone, and you can’t stand it. This isn’t what you want.
As time passes, you’re slowly starting to hear noises coming from all around you. Groaning, pleading sounds, and you finally realize that you’re scared when you feel your knees lock at that moment. It takes you a frozen moment of fear to notice that the darkness is slowly slipping away to give room for blood, dark red blood that you find you’re drowning in and you try to scream but you can’t because it’s too late, it’s too late-
“Dirk, answer your phone already! It’s not very gentlemanly to keep a lady waiting!”
You jolt awake at the sound of Jane’s (sweet and angelic) voice, eyes wide open and staring at the ceiling as your chest heaves with your shallow breathing. You shake your head, rubbing at your eyes with your hands to clear away the blur before rolling around to get your phone. The repetition of Jane’s voice comes to a stop once you answer her call, your eyes fluttering shut again as you breathe in. “Hey,” you say as you roll out of bed completely, sitting on the edge. “Thanks for the wake-up call.”
“It’s quite alright, Dirk,” she says, voice overly chirpy for such an early morning. “This routine is certainly comforting for me as well, I hope you realize!”
You chuckle, the exhaustion creeping into your voice as you rub your face with your hand. “Same here.”
Maybe, someday, the nightmares will stop. You hope, with all of your heart, that they do.
You don’t usually drink. You find that drinking alcohol isn’t the most productive thing to do with one’s life, and you don’t want to ruin your internal organs so early at your age when you could easily become one of the greatest inventors in the future. (Psh, you wish.) Still, that doesn’t take into account the capability to try one’s hand at drinking.
You still don’t understand what the point is, though.
“Rox, why the fuck did I let you pull me into this again?” You manage to grunt, toying with the shot glass in your hand as you sit on the floor by the edge of her bed. Her mother is still away on one of her pleasure trips and her guardian is practically nonexistent, always out and about rather than actually guarding her wards. You find it miraculous that Rose is still the sanest and smartest little girl even with her drunken sister always at home.
“’cause you love me, dumpass,” she slurs, crawling closer to you before finally settling in the space between your legs with her own legs folded beneath her. You quirk an eyebrow when she slides her arms on your shoulders, effectively letting them dangle on you as she presses closer and nuzzles her nose into yours. “And you don’t like it when I’m lonely.”
“True it may be,” you manage to say coherently back, voice only mildly affected by the vodka, “that doesn’t mean that I should get shit-faced with you. If I remember correctly, good friends are supposed to stop you from getting wasted.”
“Then you must be my bestest friend ever,” she drawls before bursting into a giggle. You laugh, if only because there’s nothing else you can do in reply. “You love me enough to get pissed to the tits with me, isn’t that right mister Shades?”
“I’m not even wearing those fucking things anymore,” you grumble, hands moving up to wrap around Roxy’s waist. “Gotta lay off calling me that, Rox. It’s pretty-”
“Everythin’ I say’s pretty, duh.” She laughs softly again, her alcohol-laced breath wafting across your face. Your eyes look into her contacts-covered ones, before darting down to look in contemplation at her lips, shiny with lip gloss. The decision is made before you can even ponder on it and you shift forward, capturing her lips in yours. She doesn’t pull back, only moving for a fraction of a second to encircle your neck with her arms.
It ends as quickly as it starts and she laughs, and you laugh, and really, how’d the two of you make such a mess of yourselves with a little more than eight shots of alcohol?
“We’re freaks,” Roxy says with a laugh as she presses her forehead against yours, “and we’re a mess.”
“We’re a hot mess, to be exact,” you supply, your laughter slowly dying down into small chuckles. “I wouldn’t let it be anything less.”
“Good, good,” Roxy slurs again, the lopsided grin still on her face as she nuzzles her nose into yours. You nuzzle back, just because. “Love you, you dork.”
“I love you too, you drunkard,” you murmur back, only the truth spilling from your lips under the haze of alcohol.