Today John is turning sweet sixteen and you're sure none of the four of you could imagine a better present than being reunited. Granted, it's more a gift for you all than a gift for him, and some of the trolls have had some choice words about the subject, but you know that the fabled friendleader wants nothing more than to see his pack. Of course, you still have an actual present to give him, a really good one, you think (at least a good one if John is anything like his thirteen-year-old self), as well as the two you've saved from his previous birthdays, which you never got to give him mainly because he was millions of lightyears and universes away and that's a pretty hard distance to bridge on short notice, even for you guys.
John, for his part, is lit up like an Egbert Christmas tree--he sent you pictures of Dad's antics, once--or the Green Sun, a considerably more blinding and more unpleasant comparison. You have a terrible and simultaneously anticipatory feeling in your gut that he's about to do something incredibly Johnlike--AKA, dumb and sweet as the birthday cake he can't stand en masse--but you're not quite sure what. You are pretty sure that that is where the "terrible" feeling is coming from.
Interestingly, the Johnlike action in question involves screaming "ROSE!" at the top of his lungs and literally hugging the breath out of you, and also taking you for a magic carpet ride thirty feet above the floor, sans rug. You are not really new to flying, Breath-induced or no, but something about whizzing loop-the-loops through the air (or lack thereof) in the arms of the Heir of your session sends butterflies through your stomach.
Dave has learned by now that you are far more emotive than you pretend to be, but the look on your face must be especially priceless, because he is actually dropping the pokerface to laugh at you.
You, of course, feel properly avenged when Jade lets out a yell that sounds more like a bark and literally tackles him, jolting the smirk from his face in a decidedly not coolkid-like way.
You realize you are clinging to John as he brings the two of you to touch down, and you are only mildly surprised to find it so, and not really opposed to it in any way. In fact, you kind of wish he wouldn't ever put you down, as silly and fleetingly romantic and dumb as that notion is; you are sure if you mentioned it he would blush and stammer but make an earnest promise in some way or another, but you are not quite ready to deal with John in full-force derp mode. Composure regained, you settle for studying his face for a moment--a really long moment actually; he looks so much older, where the hell did that jawline come from--as he studies yours in turn.
In that moment you might have kissed him or he you, so bizarre was the look in his eyes, but Dave is half-seriously telling Jade she should do something more productive with her tongue than lick his face. Still, perhaps the four of you might even have disregarded the awkward taboo of engaging in sloppy makeouts in the same area as your (ecto)sibling if Karkat hadn't come marching in the lead of the trolls warding (loudly) against that very occurrence.
(You don't think that's really fair--they've had plenty of opportunity for inducing discomfort with public sloppy makeouts and it's only fair that you get your turn.)
Still you think that kissing is a thing that might-possibly-maybe still happen, until John admits defeat and says he bets he can tell which one is Karkat, and wow the trolls are less weird-looking than he imagined. Of course. Typical John, ADHD poster child.
Your appropriately amused smirk covers an inaudible sigh as his arms leave your waist, and even as Dave pushes back to his feet he is giving you an I-saw-that look from under his shades. You return an unnerving wink that says ditto, tiger, and you know that all is well between (ecto)siblings.
And then you watch the Egbert-Harleys greet the trolls and Davesprite collect high-fives and think, mildly disappointed, that John's birthday present (the three years' worth) will have to wait until you're alone.
Well, then. You'll just have to take Dave's advice, and do something productive with your tongue.