You offer to escort John out and he agrees, as you figured he would. First he makes a quick phone call to his father off in Washington, explaining his situation and apologizing about, "Yeah, sorry about the bill..." But from this side of the conversation, it sounds as though his dad is more concerned with his son's bravery rather than his broken appendage.
Bro would've called you a dumbass.
Weird how families differ.
He ends the conversation with a, "Sorry dad, my phones's gonna die!" and hangs up, slipping the phone back into his pocket and sighing quietly. He glances up at you, trying to put on his normal go-lucky smile; but you can see he's just as upset about this as you are. "Ready when you are," he says weakly.
You nod. "Then let's go." You turn and head for the door, eager to get out of the hospital- the receptionist has been eyeing you suspiciously this whole time and you're not sure you can hold back the urge to flip her off for much longer.
However, you do give in and flash her your middle finger when she calls after you in an uppity, sarcastic tone to "Have a lovely evening."
John follows after you, snorting.
The two of you are silent as you walk down the street. He still looks as forlorn as ever; positive he's screwed this up. Well, he has kind of screwed things up, but that doesn't mean you can't fix them. You're not all too sure what all there is for you to be saying right now. There are, of course, a few generic topics to bring up in a situation like this, but most of them revolve around the well being of his wrist and you're pretty sure he's not too eager to talk about it. Especially with you.
By the time you reach the subway station, you've long given up think of a good conversation topic. If John wants to sulk in silence, then you'll let him. It's better than listening to him apologize over and over.
You offer to take him out for a quick dinner or travel the way to his dorm with him, but he just shakes his head, politely rejecting your offers. You at least wait for his train along with him, though, watching as a violinist nearby packs up for the night. You go to reach into your pocket for a buck or two, only to realize you're still in your pajama pants.
"Sure you don't want to take me up on either of those offers, huh?" You're trying to make him feel better. "We could grab some chili dogs or something just down the road. I have to get some real pants on, but I can pay and whatever."
"No," he replies. It's hard to tell if he's appreciating your efforts at all. "I think I'll just stop by the dining hall and grab something. I have that paper I should be working on, anyway. I wanted to get some more research done for it tonight."
You hear the rumbling of an approaching train. "Well, if you change your mind-"
You officially give up after that and cross hook your thumbs on the waistband of your pants, making up for the lack of pockets. "Okay then, dude."
There's only a few more hesitant, silent seconds between the two of you before his train arrives. You exchange goodbyes and he's off.
You walk the rest of the way home.
You have to use the spare key to get into the apartment; in your hurry down to the hospital, you'd forgotten to grab your usual keyring off the counter. Feet hardly leaving the carpet, you trudge straight to the bedroom, flopping face-first onto the bed.
You kick off your shoes and roll onto your back, squeezing your eyes and pressing the heels of your hands against your forehead. Your thoughts whir. This is a tricky problem. You're going to make it work. You will. Somehow.
You let loose a frustrated noise and rub circles into your skin, trying to calm yourself down. It's not often you get upset like this. And it's not that you're mad at John; no, you're mad at the situation. You're very mad at the situation. Now that you're thinking about it, you see just how difficult it's going to make this project. It's stressing you out and you really don't like to be stressed.
In a huff, you push yourself off the bed and go to the kitchen to make some fucking tea.
You don't even know or really care what kind of tea. You just heat some water, throw in a bag, and dump a shit ton of honey- probably enough to sweeten your way to diabetes. You consider grabbing a beer or something too, but decide against it. If your bro ever taught you anything, it was that alcohol doesn't solve problems.
That and that safe sex is good sex- if you were to ever walk though his door with an STD or a pregnant chick, he'd probably cut off your dick.
It's about 8:00 when you finally calm down. You just kind of lay sprawled out on the couch, staring at the ceiling and trying not to think about the obvious and most current issue in your life. After a while, you turn on tv, the mindlessness of reality television distracting you from your problems.
Suddenly, there's a knock at the door. Five knocks to be precise.
You sit up and listen carefully, making sure it wasn't the neighbors or some trick your mind thought might be fun to play on you in your hour of unhappiness.
But your suspicions are disproven with another couple knocks.
You jump up and make your way leisurely to the door, unlocking it and swinging it open. The visitor catches you off guard. "...John?"
He shifts sheepishly, looking at the floor. "Hey, Dave. Um... I know this is probably gonna sound weird, but," he shifts his gaze to you, "do you think I could crash here tonight?"
You blink, confused- it's pretty late for him to be asking for a sleepover. "Uh... John, what time is it?"
He continues. "About 1:30... Please? Just for tonight! ...let's just say that I found this on the doorknob." He reaches into the pocket of his hoodie and pulls out a sock, holding it up for you to see.
"I figured you'd still be awake and not busy or anything, so I just kind of came here."
You nod, understanding. "Come on in, man." You step aside, gesturing for him to come in. There's no way you're going to push him away. Poor guy. "Been a rough day, huh?"
He huffs and steps inside. "You have no idea."
"So does your roommate bring home people on a regular basis, or is this a surprise?" you inquire, shutting the door behind him. Maybe you shouldn't be prying, but what the hell?
John just shrugs, and follows you into the living room, not seeming to mind your invading his privacy. "Well it happens more than I'd like. Usually he throws some of my stuff out in the hall for me to find- like a pair of pajamas or something- but he didn't even bother with that tonight." He sighs lightly, letting the breath escape through his nose.
You sit on the couch. "You can move in here," you say, the words coming out before you have time to think.
He gives you a weird look.
Well. That happened.
"I mean, we're not too far from your school, right?" Strider, stop. Stop talking. "And it would make working on this album easier." Think about what you're saying, you dumbass! "You'd just have to help pay rent, but with two of us it wouldn't be that much." Well great. Now you can't take back that offer.
"Dave, I've known you for like, a week."
"What's your point?"
"...are you serious?"
Maybe it's the fact that you're harboring that small crush for him; that's probably what's doing the talking here. But what happens if he agrees? Then you lose those feelings and eventually grow to hate him. Maybe hate is putting it to an extreme, but you've seen this kind of thing before and it didn't end well.
Even though you know this, it's like your mind is disconnected from your mouth. You keep talking, trying to convince both of you it's a good idea. "I mean, if your roommate pulls this kind of shit on you, I don't see why you wouldn't want to get out. See what I'm saying?"
He looks like he's beginning to consider it. "It's not like I dislike him..."
"But he's not your favorite person."
"Neither are you."
He rolls his eyes, then starts thinking about it again, probably weighing the pros and cons of living with a weirdo like you.
A weirdo who can't keep his mouth shut.
"I'll see how tonight goes," he says finally, though he still sounds like he's lost in thought. He looks up at you. "Then we'll see, okay?"
You shrug. "Yeah sure." No. "Sounds fine to me."
No, it sounds awful. Dave Strider, you are the biggest idiot ever to walk this planet. And you know it well.
He nods. "So I'll just take the couch tonight, then?" he suggests.
"Oh no. No couch for you."
"Okay so you'll be taking the couch."
"No one's sleeping on the couch, dude. I tried that once and I'd ended in disaster. Screwed my back like a bitch. I couldn't walk right for a week." It's true; you resembled the hunchback of Notre Dame for about eight days. There's no way you're going through that again, and there's even less of a chance you'll subject anyone else to that. Especially John.
He looks at you skeptically. "Sp we're sharing your bed?" He doesn't sound thrilled by the idea.
"Look," you say, putting his doubts away, "I'm not gonna try anything. I swear on my life I won't. You sleep on your side, I sleep on mine, end of story and sweet dreams."
John still looks suspicious, but a little less so. "Okay," he agrees after a moment. "But I have just one question."
"You don't sleep with your shades on, do you?"
You can't help it, you let out a short laugh. "How long has that question been burning, dude?"
He smiles a bit. "A while."
You shake your head, biting your lip to keep from smiling too wide. "No, I don't sleep with my shades on. They're just on the rest of the day."
"Are you hiding them?" he asks. Looks like it's his turn to get nosy.
"They're sensitive to light," you say, not giving all of your eyes' secrets away. "Natural light, electric... it hurts like a bitch." You can't let him know that they're red. Not yet at least. You've freaked out more than one potential partner that way. No, that's a trust he's got to build up.
He nods slowly. "Don't they have a surgery or something you can do for that?"
"I'm sure they do, but I'm not too fond of the idea of a lazer cutting through my cornea or anything."
"Exactly my thoughts on the subject." you say in reply to his face. "But changing the subject now, I'm assuming you'll want to borrow some pajamas? You're a little bigger than me, but I think I can find something that'll fit." You're a stick. Let's face it. A tall, lanky stick.
John is not. Not to say he's fat, but he doesn't look like he's about to waste away at any second. You swear that if you turned sideways, you'd disappear.
"That would be great, actually," he replies, finally accepting one of your offers. "Thanks." He cradles his arm carefully. "Here's hoping I don't lay on this funny tonight. You don't move a lot in your sleep, do you?"
"Mh, not too much. I usually toss until I get comfortable. Then I'm there for the rest of the damn night." Unless you have nightmares, but you don't mention that part. The last time you had a nightmare, you woke up on the floor and you had managed to all but wad up all of your blankets. But that was a couple of weeks ago and you haven't had an incident since. You're hoping that you don't tonight.
"Well," he says with a shrug. "Show me to the bedroom."