======Not so long ago, in the mysterious land of Toronto Canada,========
You ask, what the ever living fuck and I ignore your query as I shove you through the fourth wall and into the life of a young man lying face down on his bed, the epitome of pathetic misery. Who is this douchebag?
The answer is you, you are now this douchebag, duh, this is how this shit works remember? Get with the program. The question now is, who are you?
Three solid knocks threaten to bust your door in and you dutifully ignore it as the answer to the question gets yelled at you from the opposite side.
“JOHN EGBERT OPEN THIS DOOR RIGHT NOW OR I SWEAR TO GOD, I WILL KNOCK IT DOWN AND BEAT YOU TO DEATH WITH IT YOU PIECE OF COMPLETE AND UTTER SHIT!”
Your name is John Egbert, you are 22 years old and you are currently sporting a massive headache from not, repeat NOT having an immature, embarrassing 12 hour sobfest and instead staying up all night, burning your way through the Lord of The Rings, X-Men and Matrix trilogies and before you go off to begin your story, here is more background info on yourself:
If it isn’t already obvious, movies are one of the main pillars of your life, they consist one solid chunk of your identity. You’re fresh out of film school, having graduated from a mediocre institution back in Washington where you were born and raised. You moved to Canada because your dad wouldn’t let you go off with your cousin Jade to Zimbabwe or wherever the hell she is now, where no one can ever find you again. And because…well, we’ll get to that later, right now you have to get up and open your door before the person on the other side makes good on his threat and you end up either a) owing your landlord a new door or b)dead
You really don’t feel like facing him or really, doing anything at all in your current state but really, neither of the aforementioned prospects that will come about of your ignoring are appealing so you get up off your butt and drag yourself over to your door.
You’d just twisted the knob when the door swings open and hits you right in the face. Your head flies back and you fall on your ass, clutching your nose with your hands. You groan and whimper pathetically for a few seconds before shaking your head vigorously in an attempt to shake the pain off. Footsteps make you look up and you spread your fingers, peering up through the gaps at a glaring pair of burgundy eyes.
“Karkat what the hell?!” you ask, or at least you try to. Your hands muffled your words and what actually comes out sounds more like “Kakat mmmph –he hellff?”
“Oh look, its still alive, how unfortunate.”
Who’s this douchebag now? You-no, it’s a little too early on in the story to be flipping characters, you remain John. But since this short, angry looking dude in your room needs a name, it shall be given.
23 years old
Motto: Hitting is Caring
Ok, now that that introduction appropriately reminiscent of a certain series we are trying to rip off here is done, Karkat crosses his arms over his chest and you open your mouth to say something but he beats you to it, suddenly crouching down in front of you and scowling.
“Shut up, I don’t want to hear it, the only reason you’re still breathing right now is because Harley threatened to hunt me down and shoot me in the ass if I did anything to you.”
“Ugh, I think you broke my nose,” you say, carefully moving your fingers away from your face. Karkat grabs your face without warning and you squeak in surprise as he tilts it this way and that none too gently. “Oh shut up you giant pussy, you’re fine.”
Karkat takes a second longer to inspect your face and he wrinkles his nose when his eyes land on the dark stubble creeping along your jaw. “Exactly how long have you been locked up here swimming in a pool of your own shit- ugh don’t answer that, where’s that ironic twink you call your roommate? Argh, don’t answer that either, just get your ass into the shower and start being human again you miserable piece of shit!” Karkat says, grabbing you by the scruff of your shirt and hauling you to your feet.
He lags you around your apartment, like a useless vegetable and Karkat threatens to slap your shit sideways until he actually does, landing a mighty fist of tough friendship(because the L word, as far as you know is forever void to the two of you) that sends you ‘DOOF’-ing across your floor. He then proceeds to throw you in your shower and forces you to stay under the coldest setting until you give and cry for mercy, promising over and over that you are once again a functional, sensible human being.
Gosh, you live a truly precious little life don’t you?
You’re vaguely aware that Karkat is dragging you into some sort of food place. You weren’t paying attention to the sign outside. You don’t really care. Your knee knocks into several booths before he stops and you’re half sure it was deliberate on his part but again, you don’t care. God you’re so sleepy, and you really want nothing more than to crawl back under your sheets and watch movies until your brain cracks.
“Has he been like this since he found out?”
“What, you mean braindead and just beyond hopelessly pathetic? He’s always been like this Lalonde, he’s just been worse lately because of spider bitch.”
Someone is talking to you. You glance down to see a girl with short, shiny pale blonde hair. She has black lipstick on and, oh heeey, its Rose!
Wait, what the f- ROSE?
“Rose? What are you doing here??”
Amused, your friend whom you haven’t seen practically since you finished College and is apparently right here right now in Canada raises an eyebrow in greeting and pats a spot on the table in front of her.
“Why don’t you sit first and we’ll catch up?” she asks.
You go to sit but you can’t because you already are, sitting that is because now you’re the girl. You are
Rating M for mature
Fun fact: a psychic
Yes, you are, to put it in terminology that a humble simpleton would understand: “psychic” because in this universe anything is possible, it’s a strange place. Not to mention fictional, but hold, before this narrative can stray any closer to the fourth wall where it should stay the fuck away from, let us go back to you. Yes, you, you are Rose Lalonde, and you are here because you have to be. And you will leave it at that because the inner workings of fate are really complicated and it is not particularly prudent to dwell on them too much. Your outer motives, if such a figure of speech is even a thing; is to carry on familial responsibilities and visit your dear friend John while you’re at it because, poor thing, just look at him.
He looks like he was jolted to life via some serious smacking around and yelling that only Karkat can deliver and is now running solely on liters upon liters of cheap energy drinks. You can swear he’s beginning to nod off when Karkat suddenly fishes out an ice cube from the glass water you’ve ordered for him specifically for this reason, and dumps it down the back of John’s shirt.
John yelps and does a spastic little dance as the ice cube slides down his shirt and when it appears that he’s rid of it, he turns a slightly bloodshot, sleep-deprived glare on Karkat.
“What the hell Karkat?” he exclaims and before Karkat can retort and start an argument that is sure to go on for at least ten minutes, you swiftly divert John’s attention to you.
“If I may ask, how have you been John?”
You are now John once more because fuck smooth transitioning, and also, what the hell kind of a question is that? How have you been? Miserable? Lonely? Pathetic? Why does Rose even have to ask? She was one of the first ones that you came crying to after you got dumped by…she who will not be named because even the mere mention of her name sends all sorts of negative feelings bubbling up within every fibre of your being. You hopped across the border to get away from her and you’ve recently found out that she was coming here to shoot something and just…BLUH! You can’t even go farther than that. Just the knowledge that she’s going to be in the same country as you is enough to make you sick.
“Well, you know…same old, same old.” you say.
Rose raises an eyebrow at you and you see that look in her eyes, the one that says ‘do we really have to do this?’ but to your surprise, she doesn’t pry and before she could change her mind about that, you jump in with a question of your own. “It’s great to see you but what are you doing in Toronto?”
“My brother seems to have landed himself a job here, he just moved two days ago. I came to make sure he’s settled.”
“Your brother?....Oh! the other one, the one who lived in Texas! You mean the one who you only see once every year because of your family’s weird passive-aggressive thingie right?”
Rose responds to your statement with a slightly exasperated quirk of an eyebrow and delicately sips at the steaming mug of coffee in front of her. “Yes, that one.” she says simply. “I was about to look you up to come surprise you but I ran into a certain Mr.Vantas and was subjected to the courtesy of being forced to wait in this lovely little coffee shop while he went and brought you to me.” She says, glancing up at Karkat from beneath her lashes with a small smirk.
“He mentioned something along the lines of old friends being effective baits into leading you out of a self-imposed seclusion due to certain problems involving-”
“Can we please not mention the psychotic girl who kicked my heart in the ass so hard that she broke half of my everything?” you ask.
>You are getting less than nowhere with this, why don’t we just skip all the bullshit and fucking start this story already?
How you might ask?
>x2 TRANSITION COMBO
You peer out at the empty vastness of subspace through your shades as you glide along on your skateboard, some fortunate asshole’s delivery tucked securely under your arm. Whomever they are, they’re lucky that a super-cool pseudo-ninja dude got assigned to get their shit for them. And they’re extra lucky that said dude doesn’t just know how to jump through space, but time too. Hah, they’re really practically the same entity if one were to know the facts but those are only for badass, cool as fuck people. Like you.
Wow, subspace highways are really empty over here in Canada. At the rate you’re going, you’d probably deliver this shit a day too early. Hmmm, maybe you should just go home and slack off on your X-box, not like there could ever be a late delivery done by you anyway.
Oh, wait, the scenery’s changing. Hmm…you’re probably passing through someone’s head. Terezi taught you how to recognize it when-…yep, you are. There’s the guy whose mind you’re passing through right no-what the?
You look down when you feel something tugging on your pinky and you blankface at the thin red string that is now apparently wound tightly around your littlest finger. You follow it’s long, twisting and winding trail through the messy convoluted place that is this person’s mind to see the opposite end of the red string disappearing into the blue sleeve of the guy who technically owns this place.
One brow furrowing slightly, you pivot and head for the guy standing atop a very high, blue cliff, the highest amongst all the other ones in the deep blue world of his subconscious. From where you are, all you can see of him is a slender, decent build and messy black hair. As you swoop in closer, you can hear him wail something into the breeze.
“Oh god, I am so frikken miserable!” he says, throwing his arms up in the air before falling to his knees and shoving his palms against his face.
You raise an eyebrow, what a tool.
“Dude, no you’re not.” You say when you’re close enough to be heard.
His shoulder jerk upward, startled and he looks around, confused. “Who said that?”
“You’re just having some stupid dream.” You say as you accelerate, zooming past him and leaving a trail of long, red string in your wake. The guy with the messy black hair blinks at you twice, glances down at his hand, looks at the red string tied to his pinkie finger (what is the deal with this shit anyway? Oh well, its his dumb subconscious, they’re usually litered with the randomest shit) in confusion and glances up at you and probably figuring you’re just a figment of his imagination, yells: “Does that mean we can make out?!”
His incredibly dumb question/ painfully forged reference gets lost to the wind and then you’re moving on past his brain and back into the rest of the dark, jumbled mess that is subspace.
Wait, who are you again?
Someone who doesn’t trust you with his identity quite yet and promptly ejects you from his persona as he continues on being mysterious and shit.
If you've never heard of the myth about the red string of fate then let me tell you, google is your friend, embrace it.
Chapter 2: Dating a Highschooler
John Egbert is dating a highschooler?
really? is he hot?
>John wake up
You wake with a jolt and blink your eyes several times. Wow, what a weird dream. You didn’t know your subconscious was capable of conjuring a very specific image of a hot blonde dude on a skateboard. Huh. You’re dimly aware of a sharp, measured beeping sound and as you wake up further, you come to realize that it’s you alarm clock. You turn over with a groan and you reach to silence it, knocking your phone almost off of your nightstand in the process. You yelp as the alarm stops and your phone almost topples over but you salvage it with your weird windy powers (reminding you again, weird universe is weird~ keep up your suspension of disbelief) mid-tip and make it float over safely to your palm.
You blink when you see that Pesterchum is blinking on and off on your screen, alerting you to a new message and with one brow furrowed in curiosity, you thumb at your screen to read it.
AT: hey, I heard from Karkat that you sort of passed out this morning when he took you out for coffee
Are you uh, okay?
You suddenly recall the bits and pieces of your conversation with Rose and Karkat before apparently passing out and you type up a response before he can message you again.
EB: yeah, i’m fine, no worries. i guess i totally dozed off when i put my head down on the table. i was just reaaallly really sleepy hehe XD
AT: uhh are you sure? i mean passing out is never a good thing, even if it’s from something as simple as sleep deprivation.
EB: positive, really, i’m okay. no nausea or dizzy spells or anything. it’s all good!
AT: alright,,,if you say so but maybe we should skip hanging out today so you can get some more sleep
For a second you’re tempted to jump at the prospect but you’re stupid so you do the exact opposite.
EB: no no no! it’s OKAY really, i won’t pass out again! we can hang :)
AT: you sure?
AT: Ok then, come by the school at around 4, the drama club announced an impromptu meeting today after classes.
EB: sure thing, i’ll see you then
AT: okay :)
You stare at the heart he just typed as he logs off and you resist the urge to bang your head against your desk. What the hell are you doing with your life? Look at it John, look at your life, look at your choices.
He comes online again and you blink curiously at your screen as he types up a new message.
AT: by the way, i uhh…made some of those cinnamon oatmeal chocolate chip cookies yesterday. my mom thought i made an entire batch to give to some girl ahahaha,,,but yes, i made them for you since you liked them so much. pEANUT FREE of course!
A small, familiar surge of fondness washes over you and as usual it erases the guilt you feel whenever you speak to him.
EB: dude do you even have to ask? r.i.p. cookies, you’ve all had a good life, but alas, you’re too tasty to keep existing.
AT: we’ll send them off to cookie valhalla in the flames of your stomach XD anyway, gotta get to class. i’ll see you later okay?
He logs off and with a heavy sigh, you sign off as fast as you can. You don’t want him to come back with more firewood to chuck at the flames burning white hot in your ‘stupid decisions’ furnace. You frown and bring up your hands to smother them against your face.
What has it been, a week now since you started dating him? Maybe, just maybe, you know, for the sake of all things moral and goodly you should break it off now.
And then you remember that your ex is going to be in town within two weeks and you do a complete 180. Fuck her, you’ve moved on now, you’re moving on, yup. AT is a very nice, decent kid, he likes you and you like him and you have and will never do anything to him that can land your ass in jail. God, the farthest you’ve ever gone is almost holding his hand. He got embarrassed when your fingers brushed together.
You part your fingers to peer out at nothing as you contemplate your situation. It’s only a matter of time before everyone finds out that you’re dating a highschooler 5 years younger than you…surely the backlash wouldn’t hurt that bad if you tell everyone that the most scandalous thing you do with him is give him hugs. Karkat knows and so does Jade. The former reacted in typical Karkat fashion, with an entire liturgy detailing with impressively creative swear-based metaphors, how much of an idiot you are. Jade went a little easier on you. She was a little disapproving and mostly just sceptical. You know she sees straight through you-...NO you aren’t thinking about that. Because you’re an idiot and you’re happier that way. Anyway, there’s no point dwelling in what Jade thinks, she’s all the way in fuck know’s where, exploring the most remote places in the world and getting into all sorts of trouble that would make survivor man look like a sheltered, homeschooled wuss.
BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEP!
You jolt as your phone starts ringing up a storm again and you check the screen to see that the alarm you’ve set to tell you when you’re supposed to get dressed and get your ass to work is going off happily.
With a small sigh, you heave yourself out of bed, change quickly into a simple ripped jeans, faded ghost busters shirt and sneakers ensemble and zoom out to your tiny kitchen to whip yourself a quick breakfast before going out the door. To your surprise, your roommate is there at the bar, hunched over a steaming mug of something. When you pass by him to grab a glass, you get a whiff of it and eye him curiously when you recognize it as his home-made, extra strong anti-hang over remedy.
“Partied hard last night? You weren’t here this morning when Karkat dragged me out. How many dudes were you out cavorting with you fiend?”
You ask teasingly and he peers up at you coolly from beneath the lenses of his dumb pointy anime shades.
“No, my beloved siblings just decided they’d come to Toronto to assault me at the same time. Of course, with the magnitude of the divine miracle that is all three of us in the same city not killing each other, dear old mom decided she’d host a family drink fest over skype until 5 in the fucking morning.” he says and you snort in amusement as you pour yourself some milk.
“Dude, your family is so weird. Where is Rose staying by the way? And oh my gosh, did you two share a passive aggressive sibling-ly embrace when she got here?”
“Enough about me. Are you going to see jailbait after work?”
Just like that, he turns the tables on you and you give the asshole a look over your shoulder.
He just raises an eyebrow expectantly at you.
“When do I even get to meet him?” he asks
“If he’s lucky? Never.”
He smirks. “Chill bro, I won’t touch him, even I’m not desperate enough to bang a 17 year old.”
You blanch, horrified and you shake your head. Bluh!!! God your roommate is such an asshole. What is this asshole’s name anyway?
25 years old
Rating: Pretty awesome…not by Egbertian standards.
“Bluh! It’s not like that you ginormous, dirty minded douche! Ewww, he’s in a wheelchair you know, that’s just wrong.”
“Used to be in a wheelchair. He’s an amputee, not paraplegic, he’s completely capable of walking around with those prosthetics he hides under his nerdy catholic school uniform. Everything above his knees is fully functional.”
You frown, one eyebrow rising. “How the hell do you know all of that?”
Dirk just gives you his patented creepy little sly smile that always reminds you that he’s basically a more disconcerting, somewhat perverted version of Rose. “I know everything.”
“You’re downright disturbing is what you are. Didn’t your dadbro or whatever the fuck he is teach you to use your stupid ninja powers for good?”
“Only you would phrase it like that you dumbass. You sound like my little bro.”
You gulp down a few sips of milk and you regard Dirk with a raised eyebrow. “About him, what does he even look like? I have to know so I can avoid him like the plague.” Knowing one Stider is more than enough. Your frazzled, Dirk-worn psyche really wouldn’t be able to handle another one.
Before Dirk can open his mouth to answer, your phone buzzes in your pocket and you fish it out to see that your boyfriend is calling you. Huh, lunch break is probably almost over. He always makes sure he calls you before it is. You talk to him about pointless, casual stuff about his classes and his friends for a few minutes and all the while, you can feel Dirk burning holes into your back. You turn around once to check and he rolls his eyes at you. You stick your tongue out at him and give him your back once more.
When you look back at him again, he’s in the middle of hitting one last key on his phone and he pockets it while you say your goodbyes and hang up.
“I’m gonna go with you later and I’m going to meet the innocent little doe you’ve trapped in your grubby pedo-claws.” He says simply, just like that and you know from being close friends with his sister and living with him for almost a year now that when he says something, you better fucking believe that shit will be done. Not that it ever stops you from protesting.
You argue with Dirk for a solid ten minutes and after Dirk points out that he can easily just go meet your boyfriend himself without you there to stop him from saying anything and everything Dirk Strider can and will say about you, and a very brief strife in which he mops the floor with you, you reluctantly agree to meet up after work so you can introduce him to your boyfriend.
Fuck your life.
You’d think you’d be happy that Dirk doesn’t utter so much as one peep as he drives over to the movie rental place you work at to pick you up and then straight over to the gates of the institution holding your underage boyfriend hostage until 4. But the longer he just stands there with his stoic, blank face on, the one that lets you know that the gears are turning in his scary, calculating little head, the more you get nervous.
“I really do not want to be here with you at all,” you say, shoving your hands in your pockets and rocking back and forth on your heels.
Dirk ignores you, eyeing the closed gates with a mildly interested expression when the shrill sound of the school bell pervades the premises.
“What does this kid even look like?” Dirk asks as throngs and throngs of uniform-clad students start filing out of the main doors.
You think about your answer, or if you should answer at all and while you’re busy doing that, a cheerful voice calls out your name and a tall, skinny-looking senior races through the crowd of students towards you. His huge brown eyes are alight with excitement and the sheepish grin perpetually on his face looks even more adorable framed by the floppy dark brown hair he just couldn’t be bothered to cut. Why, who is this cutie?
17 years old
Status: Oh look John’s here! Yay!
Tavos gives you a big wave while he practically skip-hops over to you and he stops abruptly, head tilting to the side curiously when he sees Dirk.
“Hey Tav,” and before Dirk could even dare cut in, you say, “This is my annoying gay roommate Dirk Strider. He’s annoying and gay.”
“Oh. Uhh, hi!” Tavros greets him, grinning at Dirk shyly.
To your surprise, Dirk smiles at him pleasantly and offers his hand for him to shake. You barely restrain yourself from eyeing him like he might pull out a sword and attack Tavros (because really you wouldn’t put it past him) what the heck is going on in that conniving brain of his?
“Pleasure to meet you. If I may ask, why the heck did you saddle yourself with this imbecile over here?” Dirk says, tilting his head towards you. You pout at him sourly and Tavros just laughs as he reaches out to shake Dirk’s hand. “Nice to meet you too and well, uh, same reason you stick around him maybe?” he asks.
Dirk’s eyebrows raise a fraction as if he was impressed and he reaches out with his other hand to grasp Tavros’ wrist.
“You’re too good for him. Run.” he says calmly, seriously, staring straight into Tavros’ eyes.
“Okay Dirk, your visiting privileges are over. You go now. You be gone.” you say, pointing at a random direction.
Dirk lowers his shades to wink at Tavros, gives you a subtle, pointed look and walks away, hands casually shoved in the pockets of his jeans. You try really hard not to think about all the things that look possibly meant and you beam at Tavros unreservedly.
“Your roommate seems nice.” Tavros comments and you wrinkle your nose. “Yeah, he really seems that way doesn’t he?” you ask.
Tavros just laughs and lightly smacks you in the arm as the two of you begin to walk away from his school. “I’m sure he isn’t as bad as you say he is, why else would you still be living with the guy?”
You shrug one shoulder and make a face. “Whatever, let’s just stop talking about him. What do you wanna do today?”
Tavros was up for doing the usual; dropping by Tim Horton’s for a shitty little iced cap, browsing through the comics and graphic novels in the second hand bookstore 2 blocks away and then retreating to the park to sit around and talk. Today you two even played a round of what the two of you fondly and literally refer to as air-hockey using an acorn as your puck and your windy powers to slap it across the mini soccer field. And in case it wasn’t implied clearly enough, Tavros has windy powers too, which is one of the reasons you get along so well with him.
The two of you play until Tavros complains about sweating buckets under his thick catholic school button up and cardigan and you rip on him a little for being forced to wear stupid clothes in this kind of weather but you toss a cool gust of air at him with your powers and buy him another iced cap on the way home.
“Do you wanna come in? Nobody’s gonna be home until 6.” Tavros says, hesitating at the threshold of his house. You shrug one shoulder, oblivious to the slight flush on his cheeks and the nervous/shy glance he’s giving you from beneath his lashes. Not that it matters because whatever plans Tavros might have had that you’re too tired and too unmindful to suspect are completely thrown aside out of sheer nervousness once you walk through the door.
You two just carry on as usual, talking about everything and nothing. He makes pb and j for you and himself and you eat while you discuss LARPing vs MMORPG. Then you retire to his couch to watch ‘Hook’ for the 12th time since you met him and his couch is just so comfortable that you find yourself sinking steadily into the sands of sleep before the opening credits were even finished rolling.
Despite being spaced out and dangerously close to attempting to regain all the sleep that you lost, you notice it when Tavros goes from being half a foot away to sitting with his side pressed to yours and when his head tentatively rests on your shoulder you start. You excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, fully intending to sit as far away from him as possible without seeming like you were trying to keep him away when you get back, or at least you would’ve…if you weren’t so busy getting sucked into an abrupt transition and blinking up in confusion at a weird, bright gold city made out of cathedrals.
“What-” you begin, looking around at all the white humanoid things that look like chess pawns with limbs walking around, oblivious to your presence.
Suddenly, a decidedly human looking figure darts out from an alley behind you and you step aside to give it a wide breadth as it zooms past you on a strangely familiar skateboard. Your eyes widen at the back of a blonde head as you recall, you murmur “I’m dreaming,”
The blonde head turns, a dark pair of shades regarding you over a shoulder. “You sure are. Wake up.”
You awake with a jolt to find Tavros leaning over you. He blinks once. “Are you awake?”
“Mrghh- oh crap, sorry.”
“For what? I knew you were tired, I’m just glad you blacked out here and not on your way home.” Tavros says with a small smile.
You make some more incoherent sleepy noises as you rub your hands over your face to wake yourself up. “Mmff-what time is it?” you ask.
“A little past 5:30. Do you want me to drive you home?”
Your wanted to decline since you don’t live all that far and you had some change in your pockets that you’ve been meaning to get rid of via the public transit but a huge yawn worms its way out of your throat and you feel so heavy with sleep that you nod slowly with eyes half open and rest your forehead against Tavros’ shoulder.
You’re mostly awake by the time Tavros pulls up in front of your apartment complex and thus you feel the tension in Tavros when you go to hug him goodbye and pull back in confusion. You barely manage to get a glimpse of the blush across his cheeks how he was gnawing on his lower lip, the way he gets when he’s having some sort of inner argument with himself before he leans forward and presses his lips to yours.
You tense and you move to pull back but before you could, something small but decidedly solid thunks against your skull and Tavros jumps back when you yelp in pain. Whatever fell on you falls to the concrete with a loud, metallic clatter and you curse as you look down to see what it is.
A shitty, miniature model of Cloud Strife’s buster sword lay innocently on the curb in all its craptastic, Chinese sweatshop glory and you inwardly gulp, eagerly resisting the urge to look up and see the faint glimmer of the sun against a well hidden pair of shades.
“Oh god are you okay?” Tavros asks, alarmed, huge brown eyes darting back and forth between the buster sword, you, and the balconies above.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m okay. I have crazy neighbors ahaha,” you say, rubbing at your head.
“Are you sure-”
“Yup, no worries, though I should probably check to see if I have a bump or something. I’ll go do that right now, see you tomorrow!” you blurt out quickly. Oh god, you can swear you could feel Dirk’s eyes burning holes through your head. You offer Tavros one last smile before practically running into the apartment complex and leaving Tavros there to stare after you in worried bewilderment.
Dirk is perched on the kitchen counter, casually sipping at some C-plus while browsing through a battered old copy of Deathnote vol.1 when you get to your apartment and you hold your hands up defensively when he looks up.
“He kissed me! I’m innocent!”
Dirk ducks his head so you can see the tops of his eyes above the shades. He blinks at you slowly, gaze dripping with mock innocence.
“Tavros seems like a really nice kid.”
You narrow your eyes at him and he turns his attention back to the manga in his hands.
“I don’t have any ulterior motives or something if that’s what you’re hinting at.”
That one kind of hurts a little because you’re actually not quite sure of the answer.
“It’s…it’s just nice with him you know? It’s just simple. Am I not allowed to do what makes me happy?”
“You are. Just one question, are you really happy or are you really evil?”
You open your mouth to defend yourself, close it, open it again and then march over to the fridge to chug down half of one of Dirk’s stupid orange sodas because screw him. You don’t have to justify yourself and your actions to him.
Dirk sighs softly, a barely audible gust of breath that lets you know he knows he wouldn’t get any more out of you on the topic. There’s awkward silence for an indefinite amount of time that most probably feels longer than it actually is. To your surprise, Dirk is the one who breaks it.
“I was talking to your cousin earlier by the way.”
It’s really remarkable how he can make you feel great amounts of dread with so little words. You regard him with wide eyes and you ask. “Did you tell her about-”
Dirk looks up from his manga to blank face at you. “You know me,” he says simply and hops off the counter just as the phone starts ringing. You pick it up hesitantly as Dirk leisurely strolls out of the kitchen.
“Hello…?” you ask hesitantly
17 years old. You’re dating somebody who’s 17. Years. Old. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!??!?!?!
You wince, unkowingly mimicking the expression on a face similar to yours, couple hundred kilometers away in the quiet suburban town of Markham, a place that couldn’t be more fit for someone like her. In her home, located in the aforementioned suburb, your cousin Jane Crocker bites her bottom lip as she resists the urge to lecture your ear off.
“That’s not true, who even told you that?”
Dirk who else?
“Dirk is a gossipy bitch you know that.”
You do know you can get arrested for statutory ra-
“It’s not like that! I don’t even kiss him!”
Technically that was true.
So, what, are you saying you’re actually serious about this mystery child you’re apparently dating?
Jane pauses for a while and sighs heavily before speaking again.
John, you know I love you and I trust you most of the time but seriously, seriously ask yourself. It’s only been a year since you got dumped by…you know who, are you really trying to move on with this boy or is this just you being insane?
You stay quiet for 5 seconds, and then two more and then you sigh.
“I’ll get back to you on that.”
Dirk is the best cool gay roomate one can ever ask for.
You know, I really do believe him and Wallace would hit it off if their universes ever crossed XD
Chapter 3: Dude, he's totally real
Dude! He's totally real!
You’re lying on your back, perched on top of a beam. All around you, turning gears and dark metal blend with falls of lava that feed the huge ocean of bright red molten magma beneath you. Wow, where the fuck are you now?
You immediately chuck the question carelessly aside when a shadow falls over you and you sit up to see the hot blonde dude on a skateboard you’ve been dreaming about zooming past you again and oh god, yep…hot is definitely right. You haven’t been this interested in a guy since Karkat (OOPS, back the fuck up there John your thoughts are straying into forbidden territory) but maybe that’s only because you’ve never seen this guy or anyone who even comes close to where he is on the attractive scale. Damn, just damn.
“Okay, seriously, this has got to stop. Why did my subconscious even dream you up if you always just float past me instead of, I don’t know, making out with me until my face falls off?” You ask, throwing your hands up in exasperation. You feel a little stupid but hey, this is your dream, your brain, you’ll do whatever the fuck you want.
The floaty, handsome douche looks at you over his shoulder with a small smirk.
>Be the douche
You’ll take that as a compliment. Normally, knowing someone thinks you’re a product of their testosterone-fuelled imagination would creep one out but as is established by the fact that you jump right through the fabric of motherfucking space to get from one place to another, you are not normal. Not to mention growing up with your psychotic, puppet fetishist brother has done a marvellous job of permanently breaking your creepy gauge.
Besides, coming from this dork, it’s really not so bad. Sure he can probably use some braces but there’s something cute about his sparkly white monster teeth. Paired with his messy birds nest hair and those painfully nerdy black framed glasses, it gives off that nerdy edge that’s softened and somehow made strangely appealing by his huge, stunningly blue eyes and soft, boyish face.
“Just wake up dude. It’s like 2 in the afternoon.” You say with a smirk.
“Noo, it’s like 6 in the morning,” you mumble as you realize that you are John again and you’re waking up in your bed, blinking groggily up at a white, black, orange blur hovering above you.
“You’re finally awake. I was beginning to think you slipped into a coma.”
It takes you a few seconds to place the voice and connect it to the gradually clearing image of your roommate perched on your headboard like a gargoyle, peering down at you through his shades. You yell out some colorfully undignified curses as you flail about and Dirk just watches you calmly until you throw yourself off of your bed.
“Rose called earlier, she says she’s throwing a party for our little bro, get him acquainted to the neighbourhood and to celebrate him moving in and shit.” Dirk says, jumping down from the headboard and landing cross legged on your pillows.
“Ugh,” you say, rubbing the sleep out of your eyes. You would’ve gone on a long, Karkat-esque speech on how Dirk is the creepiest bastard you’ve ever known but you’ve made enough of those to last you three lifetimes and so far none of them have come even close to making Dirk give the slightest semblance of a shit so it’s a moot point.
“-mm’kay. Is it going to be a passive-aggressive party?” you mumble, dragging yourself over to the edge of your bed , still not fully awake yet and resting your head on your covers.
“You were mumbling in your sleep, anything interesting in your dreams?”
You know from his tone that he’s about to go Rose on you. But you’re too tired to care. Besides, for that the both of them love getting into people’s heads, Rose is the only one who actually meddles…most of the time. You’re not sure if Dirk likes watching from the sidelines or if he sticks his nose in other people’s business’ more often than you know, he just does it in a much more secretive, sneaky manner that sometimes you wouldn’t ever know he was pulling some strings behind the curtains.
“I had a dream about somebody,” you mumble into your covers.
“Interesting. Anybody I know?”
You shake your head. “No, it was someone new.”
Dirk makes a non-committal noise and reaches out to drum his fingers on your head.
“Speaking of new, I thought you were supposed to take Tavros out for lunch a half hour ago.”
You raise your head to squint at him in confusion. “What? It’s like 6 in the morning.” you repeat.
“Bzzt. Wrong.” Dirk says, jumping off of your bed and walking over to your curtains. You make the mistake of looking up just in time to see him push them wide apart and you make a truly pathetic, over exaggerated show of yelping in pain and jumping back like a twi-hard on crack as the sunlight assaults your eyes.
>John: cease all this fuckery and go get Tavros already
“You know we really didn’t have to go today,” Tavros comments, staring out the window at the gray skies outside. The rains haven’t started yet when you showed up at his doorstep and you luckily managed to not put a metaphorical penny in the douchebag jar as Tavros had assumed your phone died giving you no way of contacting him about not going since the weather was supposedly going to be bad today.
“Like I said, Pizza Pizza is only like a 5 minute walk from your house, it’s all good.”
You say, dipping a piece of chicken in your little bucket of honey mustard sauce and stuffing it in your mouth.
Tavros says something in reply but it doesn’t make it to your brain, because then you’re too busy staring at something over his shoulder. Or more accurately someone.
If your life were a movie or you know, something as ludicrous and simple as a shitty, comic based fanfic, everything will be in slow motion right now and music that would probably sound like this would be playing really loudly in the background.
All because the floaty blonde douche from your dreams just waltzed in through the automatic doors on his skateboard all casual, with his hands tucked in the pockets of skinny ripped black jeans as if he isn’t a figment of your imagination come to fucking life.
You’re pretty sure your mouth falls open the slightest bit as your eyes dart back and forth between his shiny blonde hair, his shades and the red and white long sleeved tee that he wore, double checking, triple checking that he’s actually right there in front of you. You wait for everything around you to spontaneously turn into another outlandish landscape or for him to just go ‘poof!’ as you wake but it doesn’t happen. You remain right where you are and you watch him, slack-jawed and wide-eyed like a total idiot as he orders his food.
About a minute later, you’re finally convinced that you aren’t dreaming when he gets a paperbag of take out from the person at the counter, turns and skates right on out.
“Do you know that guy?”
Tavros asks and you don’t even look at him, too busy, staring at the doors that the guy-who-is-apparently-real just exited from.
“Umm…no? I don’t think so…Isn’t it too rainy outside to be skateboarding?”
For a person who’s about as warm and sociable as an ice cube, Rose does know how to throw good parties. With tons of people you’ve never even seen. You lose Dirk almost as soon as you walk through the door of the expensive (passive aggressive) condo unit that Rose’s mom insisted to get for her short, few week stay in Toronto and you wander around aimlessly until the hostess herself gets a hold of you.
“Ah, John. Evening, how are you finding the festivities so far?” she asks and you open your mouth to answer but get cut off when she suddenly reaches out and yanks you aside just in time for a random, drunk party guest to go stumble-running past. He would’ve crashed against your elbow and send your drink spilling all over her shirt and you mentally give handy points to her psychic abilities as you-
“Hey Rose you know everyone right?” you blurt out.
Rose sighs, just a touch of mild exasperation in her voice, she closes and reopens her eyes slowly, a substitute for a nod that says ‘for simplicity’s sake, let’s just say yes’
“Do you know this one dude with blonde hair and shades like this?” you ask, whipping out a shitty little doodle you made of said dude somewhere between now and then from your sylladex and holding it up next to your face for her to see.
Rose blinks at your drawing, looks at something over your shoulder and points.
“You mean that one?”
You whip around to see what she’s pointing at and feel your jaw go slack the littlest bit when you see hot skater dude in the flesh once again, looking as stupidly hot as ever in an old faded red shirt, a stylish leather jacket, faded gray jeans and red reeboks. He’s slowly advancing towards you and the shock of seeing him in the real world for the second time, actually existing outside of your subconscious renders you temporarily mute. He raises an eyebrow at you from behind his shades and turns to Rose with a slight jerk of his chin.
You recover enough to speak and you ask; “Wait, you two know each other?”
“More so than the two of us would have ever liked unfortunately,” Rose says with a small smirk. “John, this is my brother, Dave Strider.” she says, crossing her arms over her chest and nodding towards Dave.
Dave, that’s his name
The gorgeous floaty douche you’ve kind of been crushing on is related to Dirk and Rose?!
Feh, you don’t even fucking care, he’s real. He’s actually real! And holy shi-he’s looking at you.
He stares for 2 seconds and his eyebrows jump in recognition. “Oh. Hey.” he greets casually as if he was never in your head, subjected to completely idiotic (and now that you know he’s real, completely mortifying on your part) propositions for sloppy makeouts. Oh my fuck.
You grin at him weakly. “Hi, hehe…he…I haave to go…” you say and abscond immediately to go freak out somewhere else.
You end up finding Karkat and spinning him around the second you’re close enough to grasp his shoulder.
“Dude! He’s totally real!” you exclaim as Karkat stumbles and sways, fighting against the momentum you threw him into. “What the actual fuck?!” he says.
“He’s totally real!” you repeat, tugging on his sleeve.
You’re shaking him now and Karkat quickly bats your hands away, giving you his patented “you’re an idiot, what the fuck do you think you’re doing this time?!” look.
Karkat just raises an eyebrow at you, looking as if he was contemplating if it was too much trouble to inform you how much he hated you and how huge of a stunningly idiotic fuckass you are.
“Well of course he’s real, he’s right fucking there.” He says simply, jerking his chin somewhere behind you.
“You know him? Tell me now.” You say, weirdly desperate for information. This would’ve bothered you if you weren’t so…interested. Later you’ll think about it and sit for hours, marinating in bafflement. Maybe. Or maybe not, after all, thinking things through has never been on the list of things you find important.
Karkat’s eyebrow inches higher, eyes narrowing slightly in suspicion. “He just moved here, got a job at UPS, sometimes he comes in to my work.”
“Does he really?” you ask, and there’s probably something in your voice or your face when you say it because the suspicion on Karkat’s face abruptly develops a disapproving edge.
“Why are you asking fucknub?”
“Nothing, nothing at all. No reason, just curious ahaha. You know, because I know both of his siblings but somehow never knew of him, so I thought maybe Dirk and Rose were just pulling my leg ehehe.”
Yes, except Dirk and Rose both have the sense of humor of a wet mop, or you know…an executioner or something.
“Anyway, I have to go-” you say, preparing to abscond as quickly as possible but before you could take a single step, Karkat suddenly grabs you by the hair. You yelp as he yanks your neck back so he can look down at you with a glaring scowl.
“No.” he bites out and you pout at him.
“What no? I didn’t even say anything, what is there to ‘No’ to?” you ask.
Karkat narrows his eyes again. “I know you, you little fucker. Did you forget I dated you in highschool?” His face sours just the slightest bit as he said it but he shakes it off so he can turn the full force of his glare on you. “Don’t even think about it, even if you hadn’t had a real relationship in over a year.”
“Besides, you’re out of luck. I hear he has a girlfriend all he way back in Texas or wherever the hell he came from. And he keeps mentioning some girl named Meenah, so” Karkat says, letting go of you and crossing his arms.
“Besides, have you forgotten that blissfully unaware underaged idiot you’re babysitting?”
You try and fail to say something for a few seconds and then you sigh, shoulders slumping.
“Forget it John!”
No, fuck that. You can’t forget it. You’ve been trying for the past four hours, emphasis on the trying part. It weighs heavily on your conscience, the question of what kind of person it makes you, acting this way now that Dave is in the picture. Because if you weren’t just playing with Tavros before like a total, stellar-level douche, you certainly are now. But every instinct you have is screaming that if you let this one go quietly, without so much as trying to know anything about him, you’ll regret it.
Someone knocks on your door and you get up to go answer it. You’d just turned the knob when all of a sudden it flies open and the next thing you know, you’re flying back and being pinned against the wall and there was a sword being pressed to your throat.
“Guess who’s Drunk?”
You squint at the faint reflection of the light peeking out from the crack in your curtains on Dirk’s shades and you sigh. “I guess Dirk.” Oh great, Rose probably spiked his drink or something. It took quite a bit to get Dirk drunk but holy shit, he was a frightening drunk… surprising no one.
“You guess right.” Dirk says, reaching up to pap your cheek twice.
“Guess who needs to breakup with his fake highschool boyfriend?”
“Argh.” You groan, rolling your eyes, “Why the hell does everyone want to put me in a leash and tug me where they want me to go? I haven’t even done anything yet!”
Dirk’s eyebrow is so pale, you can see it in the dimness of your room when it rises up beneath his shades. He lowers the sword he’s holding to your throat and grabs your face with one hand, squishing your cheeks together til you’re practically forced to make fishlips.
“Do you think my brother is attractive?”
“Yes you do, don’t even lie.”
“Okay, fine, maybe a little bit.”
“Then you should break. up. with. your. fake. highschool. boyfriend.”
You bat his hand away and you glare up at him.
Dirk grabs your face again and leans in a little closer.
“I won’ff do anyffingphh” you try to protest.
Dirk sighs “John, you know I love you but seriously, we all know you latch on to trouble like a dog with a fucking bone.”
You twist away from his grip with a pouty glare. “Not true.”
Dirk folds his arms across his chest. “Tavros.” He says simply.
“Again, it’s not what everyone thinks it is,”
Dirk tries again. “Karkat.”
“That was highschool, I was frikkin 15!
“I suppose we really have to go there don’t we?,” Dirk says and it takes you a second too late to realize where he’s going next.
“Okay, okay! Fine!” you say, flailing your arms to get him to stop. “Fine, so I screwed up a bit before, I’m not gonna do it again!” you say.
Dirk just raises an eyebrow.
“Yes, you will.” He says, marches over to your bed and promptly passes out on it.
You frown at him. “No I won’t.”
>Actually you will
When Dirk emerges from your room early in the afternoon, pretending that the bright light of day isn’t making him want to wince and he isn’t hungover as fuck, you’re sitting at the kitchen table with your laptop, ordering something. You’d just chosen Canada UPS first class as your preferred shipping method when Dirk ambles into the kitchen to whip up his anti-hangover drink. He opens the cupboard, probably decides he doesn’t want to put forth the effort and disappears into the bathroom.
He comes back out holding a glass of water and a bottle of Advil. He pops two in his mouth and hurriedly gulps it down just as you finish your transaction online.
He nods at you. “What are you doing?”
You stare blankly at your screen as you answer. “Maybe ruining my life and proving you right?”
Dirk pauses for a bit and “Hmm”-s “I see.”
He moves to get the phone from its cradle and walks over to you. You look up at him questioningly as you hold it out to him. “Go on then, call Tavros.”
You frown at him. “What makes you even thi-”
“Need I remind you, a) you’re after my brother, whom I know for a fact is the only delivery boy in the downtown area, b) my sister is fucking omnipotent c)again, she’s my sister. Just shut up and do what I say.”
You stare at him, glance at the phone, glance back at him and you sigh before snatching it out of his hand. You move to dial in Tavros’ number but before you could the phone starts ringing and you jump a little, startled before pushing the talk button and putting the phone to your ear.
“Hello? Oh…hi Tav,” you look up at Dirk again who gives you a pressing look that makes you want to shrivel up and disappear.
“Listen I-…you what? Oh. Oh right, yeah, yeah I didn’t forget, I was just a little busy. I’ll meet you at the bus stop in-…what? You’re outside? Oh okay then. I’ll be right down.”
Dirk doesn’t say anything when you go off to change and still doesn’t as you walk out the door but the look that effortlessly makes your skin prickle that he gives you is more than enough.
You and Tavros hang out as usual and if you’re distracted, Tavros either doesn’t notice or he doesn’t care because he just goes about as usual, chattering cheerfully about everything and nothing. Or at least he does until you almost spill your soda all over his shirt.
“Is something bothering you John?” he asks.
You look up at him and gulp nervously. Just do it, there isn’t any subtle way to anyway. Just end it and make life easier for everyone.
Everyone except Tavros.
Tavros looks at you expectantly with those huge brown eyes, trusting and innocent and you feel yourself crumble.
“Uhmm…your hair is getting really long,” you comment, stalling.
Tavros laughs. “Yeah, I guess it is.” He says, picking out a particularly long chestnut brown lock and holding it out in front of his face.
>Goddammit John, you big wuss, just do it!
Tavros lets go of his hair to look at you questioningly and you gather up all your nerve.
“I think we should….we should…”
>We’ll spare you the awkwardness of this moment. Just keep reading
You are now Dirk because as you will be reminded, fuck smooth transitioning and besides, you have perfect 20-20 imbecile vision and John’s astronomical imbecilitude is crystal clear and perhaps a touch bit funnier if seen through your eyes.
You walk into your apartment after heading out to pick up some groceries to see John huddled on top of the kitchen counter, curled up around a tub of soy ice cream, shovelling spoonful after spoonful into his mouth. You would use a metaphor here but really, on his worst days, John can make a piece of lint seem capable of winning the Nobel prize.
“Dude, what are you doing?” you ask slowly.
John doesn’t look up at you. “I’ve lost control of my life Dirk.”
“You didn’t do it did you?”
“By the way, you know that gig that Cal invited you to on the 13th? Yeahh…I invited him to that too.”
You stare at him in silence until he looks up just to flinch away and pretend like your eye(shade?) lasers don’t bother him.
“John, you’re pathetic.”
Chapter 4: Dave come closer
in which i borrow even more from Bryan Lee O'Malley
>John, engage severely familiar scenario
When you open your eyes, you find yourself standing in the middle of what really appears to be a giant chessboard. You glance around a bit sceptically. Good god, seriously, your subconscious comes up with the weirdest frikking places. Did you fall asleep watching Alice in Wonderland or something? Not the classic Disney one, the shitty live-action Tim Burton one. Because it will make sense if you did, since its no secret that anything Tim Burton related is kind of a tried and tested guide to turning your subconscious into fucking-weird’s-ville
…wait a second…
You stop your inane inner ramblings to note that, wellp, you’re dreaming. And you are well aware that you’re dreaming…does that mean-
And right on cue, the guy you’ve been obsessively pseudo stalking for the past few days through his siblings- umm…you mean…what? You didn’t think anything. Anyway! Dude-guy, Dave, yes him. He appears from nowhere once again on his skateboard, a UPS package tucked securely under his arm.
“Hey!” you call out, running after him as fast as you can.
“You know, its kinda rude to barge into someone’s head without even saying hi” you say, still running.
Dave ignores you and keeps going.
“How the heck do you even do this anyway?”
You continue to be ignored and you frown.
“ Say something, I know you’re not just a figment of my imagination you know, because in case you forgot, I know both your sister and your brother!”
Hmm, it would appear that Dave Strider is either deaf or simply a snobby douche.
“Why won’t you talk to me?” you ask with a small irritated huff.
And that’s when he finally appears to hear you. He abruptly comes to a stop and his skateboard carefully drops until the wheels are resting, immobile on the ground.
“Because, I’m right outside your door bro.” he says, turning to face you and jerking his thumb over his shoulder at a weirdly familiar door that for some reason is just standing there surrounded by the blue skies and winding checkered cliff-tentecle thingies of this place.
>John: wake up. again. You really have to stop with all this dream nonsense.
You will. Because apparently Dave is at your door, as he pointed out. There’s no point in continuing with your dream shenanigans when he’s at your door waiting to be seen and spoken to in person.
Oh god he’s at your door!
The thought is barely finished when you rip your covers off of you, leap out of bed and all but blaze to the door. You don’t even stop to think of what you’ll say to him before you throw it open and you get a bit of a shock when you see him there, being factual for the third time, with his hands shoved casually in the pockets of his jeans, that same package he had in your dream resting in the niche of his elbow.
Slowly, he takes it in his hand and looks down at it. Then he glances up at you.
“ Uhm, John Egbert?”
>Hello? He’s talking to you, say something!
You can’t at the moment, you’re too busy staring. We apologize for any inconvenience, Dave Strider is even more stupidly gorgeous in person and he has rendered this particular individual temporarily unintelligent. Please hold, your regular John Egbert service will resume momentarily.
“H-How did you get here?” you say when you finally regain the wits to talk. Dave tilts his head to the side, eyebrows furrowing infinitesimally and you take that to mean that he’s confused.
“What do you mean?” he asks slowly.
“How did you get here from my dream?”
This time the expression that crosses Dave’s face is obvious: surprise.
“So…you actually know that I skateboard through your head?”
You look around, a little confused yourself. “Well yeah.” You say with a slight shrug. What is he on about? It’s kinda hard to miss a dude on a floating skateboard.
Dave’s expression snapped back into cool, neutrality. “Hmm. Weird, normally people would think they were just dreaming, cause you know, what I do is supposedly impossible.”
You think about that for a second. You suppose he’s kind of right but you can fly around and make other stuff fly around plus you have a sister who can kind of teleport and make other stuff teleport, a friend who knows quite literally anything and everything and an ex-girlfriend who has freaky mind control powers.(John Shoosh! You don’t want to think about that. Bluh!) Really, nothing is hard to believe for you anymore. You live in a weeeeird universe and you are quite aware of that.
You shrug your shoulders.
“Wait, what do you do anyway?” you ask him.
“Well, to try and make it short, you have this convenient subspace highway running through your head that I like to use, it’s the quickest shortcut I can find through the rift of reality, like 2 miles in 10 seconds. So I always use it.”
You tilt your head to the side and if the thoughts in your head in that moment can be rendered in a flash animation or a GIF, it’ll probably be an image in a thought bubble of a winding highway with a flashing X over it and question marks hovering above.
“Subspa-wha?” you ask intelligently.
Dave raises an eyebrow. “Do you guys seriously not know about those here in Canada?” Then he says, more to himself than anything, “Huh. I was wondering why they were so empty around here. Anyway,” He takes the package he was holding and holds it and a slip for you to sign, out to you whilst taking out a pen from his pocket with his other hand. “Can you just sign for this so we can be done here?”
“But if I sign for it, you’ll leave.”
“Well yeah, leaving after a delivery to go make another one is kind of part of my job description dude.”
“Okay, umm…well, do you wanna maybe hang out sometime? I mean, you’re new to the neighbourhood, and..all...that…stuff…” you trail off because he’s just staring at you in that same, intimidating ‘I’m silently shredding your soul to bits behind my shades’ way that Dirk has. He does it for quite sometime, until you feel so awkward you could die and when he finally speaks again, he sighs and from the way his eyebrows move, you get the impression that he’s rolling his eyes.
“Just get it out of your system.” He says.
“Umm, excuse me?” you ask.
“Dude, seriously, just hit on me and move on. I got stuff to do.”
You raise an eyebrow. Ego much? Not that he doesn’t have any right to be vain and all that, but dude, what even?
“I’m not trying to, is it so wrong to make friends these days? Seriously, I just asked you to hang out, like, there are reasons for you to hang out with me that have nothing to do with the fact that you’re-”
“So you don’t think I’m attractive at all?” Dave interrupts.
“Well-…I didn’t say that.”
Good god, this has gone from slightly awkward to mortifying in less than 4 seconds.
“Uhh…so, do you want to hang out with me?”
There’s a beat of silence and then, “You’re weird.” Dave says.
“But- but I’m so sincere!”
“What?” Dave asks, looking slightly baffled by your reply and you shrug.
“Just felt like something I should say?” you ask.
One of Dave’s shoulders rose in what you guess is a toned down version of a shrug. You mentally shrug yourself and as fans of a certain Canadian comic snicker at the reference/borrowed dialogue from the opposite side of the fourth wall where this narrative should now dutifully retreat from, Dave shakes the pen he’s still holding in your face.
“You’ve put me back five minutes behind my schedule. Can you please sign for your dumb package already?” he asks.
He sighs but he doesn’t sound agitated or anything when he speaks. Mostly. “If I say I’ll meet you tonight at 8, would you just sign for your damn package?”
“That depends, will you actually?”
Instead of answering, Dave grabs your wrist, hurriedly scribbles something on your palm and holds the pen and package out to you again. You look at your hand to see
printed on it in black ink. Your eyebrows rise up and you hurriedly reach over to sign your name and take the package from him. You open your mouth to say something but when you look up, Dave was scratching at some records floating on red gears and in the next second he’s gone, leaving you there to blink at the space he once stood in confusion. So…that’s it? He gave you his number. It was that simple?
>Well, yeah. Pretty much.
“Oh, you’re actually here.” is the first thing you say to Dave when you arrive at Humber Bay where he agreed to meet you earlier. He was standing on one of the big boulders scattered on the little hill overlooking lake Ontario looking like some sort of hipster vigilante watching over the sleeping city of Toronto. He’s wearing faded ripped jeans, a pair of red converse, an ancient, faded looking red tee under a sleeveless black hoodie with a red gear printed on the back and a few random bracelets that try hard to scream counter-culture.
“What, you counted on me ditching you like a total dick? I’m hurt John.” Dave says, putting a hand to his chest and pouting in exaggeration.
“Well, so far you haven’t exactly shown signs of being made of manners and gentlemanly charms.”
“You know, I can leave if you want?”
“No no no! Umm, well, since our first meeting and every one that followed was pretty awkward, let’s start over. So uh, hi! I’m John, thanks for coming out here to meet me.”
Dave jumps down from his perch “Yeah. Well, I got nothing better to do anyway.”
You take a breath and gesture toward the Arch Bridge connecting the hill to the actual bay. “Well then, shall we?”
You cross half of the bridge in silence, both of you choosing to stare at the many, many blinking lights of the city and their faint reflections on the midnight black waters of humber bay as you walk.
“This is a pretty nice place,” Dave comments and you nod.
“It is. They say Toronto is one of the great cities. I can agree with that. Is it a lot different from where you’re from?”
“About that, what brings you to Toronto anyway?”
Without missing a beat, like it was the most casual thing in the world, Dave says “Just trying to stay alive. There’s this psychotic chick I knew who wanted to skewer my face with a trident and mount it on her wall as a trophy. After the 6th time she tried, I put my foot down. Decided I’d rather move away than keep dealing with it.”
“Oh. Wow.” You say, at a loss. Because really, what do you say to that? Wellp, just another strange person to know in your strange little life.
“What about you? I know you and Rose hung out together in College so I know you aren’t from around here either.”
You sigh, looking up at the huge arch of the bridge stretching high above your head. “It’s a dumb story filled with sighs. I just…didn’t like Washington anymore I guess, so I headed somewhere really different.”
Dave hums and the two of you proceed to walk in comfortable silence for the next five minutes.
You decide, that Dave is a pretty ok guy. Well, more than okay really. Behind the face, there’s a witty, sarcastic, somewhat (kind of really, in a unique way) dorky dude who masks his dork-aura behind a veneer of cool, stoic cool-kid persona that is acutely reminiscent of Dirk. Despite that they look and act alike though, Dave is nothing like Dirk. He warmed up to you faster, he’s a lot more easygoing, and just a little less guarded. Or maybe, the two of you simply clicked because it isn’t long at all before you’ve transcended from cautiously circling to teasing and chatting like you’re lifelong bestfriends.
You find out that he’s basically into the same stuff you are: movies, comics, video games –except he has absolutely no taste. The two of you banter for what feels like hours about the stupidest stuff like why Nic Cage is like the best actor ever (stupid because its completely self-evident and you don’t know why Dave even bothers to argue) and why the Ninja Turtles wore masks despite the fact that you know, they’re walking, talking mutated turtles. (They probably thought it’s ironic Egbert) And when conversation between you finally slows down, you find yourselves sitting on a log, on the bit of shore that was smudged in between the pavement of the board walk.
It was starting to drizzle when you were making your way there and it only takes half a minute after you sit down for the torrent to start.
“This is fucking ridiculous. Isn’t it like, June?”
Dave asks as the two of you dash through the downpour, trying to find anything that can serve as an awning to hide you from the rain.
“Well welcome to Canada.” You reply, cursing yourself for picking such an open space for your little pseudo-date.
“Goddammit, fuck this-” you hear Dave mutter before he grabs your arm and you find yourself unceremoniously dragged forward. Through the blur of rain and movement, you barely manage to see the white door pop out of nowhere before it opens and Dave drags you through it. You don’t have time to wonder what the heck is going on because then you find yourself free-falling into (literally) a dark abyss.
You scream in alarm until Dave’s hand finds itself wrapped around yours and he pulls you to him, so he can wrap an arm loosely around your waist.
“Geez, relax, there won’t be a solid floor of concrete waiting for you to go ‘splat’ on.” Dave says calmly even as the two of you continue to get pulled by what you’re certain is gravity toward something painful and solid and ground-like.
“You’re sure about that? Where the heck are we anyway? Oh, wait, is this subspace?” you ask, looking around at the endless wall of black spreading out in all directions.
You hear the smirk in Dave’s voice when he answers. “Well, well, look who actually has a brain.”
You pout at him and open your mouth to retort but before you could, another door appears out of nowhere and your momentum suddenly stops. Dave twists the knob and when he pushes it open you find yourself staring into a small, slightly cluttered apartment. Dave strolls right in as if he owns the place and you conclude after a second that he probably does.
“Is this where you live?”
“Yup. Welcome to Casa de Strider.”
Dave’s apartment mostly consisted of a kitchen that opened up to every other room and it’s in said kitchen that you find yourself 5 minutes later. You’re made to wait at the table while Dave gets changed and presumably, hunts down some dry clothes that you can borrow, or some towels at least. That said, you expect him to walk in wrapped in a nice dry pair of old sweats and maybe a faded old tee.
…and catches you a little by surprise when he walks in without anything on save for a pair of boxers and a towel draped over his shoulders.
“What?” Dave asks, making you realize that you’ve been staring at him dumbly for the past 10 seconds.
Nothing Dave, you’re just really hot.
“Nothing, was I staring? I wasn’t staring, I was just-”
So. Fucking. Hot.
“-…thinking really hard.”
Dave raises an eyebrow and you don’t know if it’s your imagination or if it really is amusement you see in the very slight upward turn of his mouth.
“Really? About what?” he asks.
“Like, aren’t you cold?”
It’s a pretty decent question to ask and it took you barely time at all to pull it out of your ass. You congratulate yourself with a small pat to the back and Dave clicks his tongue, shrugging one shoulder.
“Well, I am,” you say and you are. You are still sitting there in water logged clothes after all.
“Okay, so strip.”
You are very proud of yourself for not choking on your own spit.
“Excuse me?” you ask.
“In case you hadn’t noticed dude, my AC is on and even if it isn’t cranked up to turn my apartment into an arctic meat locker, you’re still sitting in it wearing wet clothes. I know simple logic is a concept that’s hard for you to grasp so let me help you out here: take em off.”
You utter a totally exaggerated gasp complete with mock reel back and wide eyes. “Dragging me into your apartment and then demanding that I take my clothes off. I didn’t know you were that type of man Mr. Strider.”
“I’m sure you didn’t, so how about you take off those rags before I do it for you?”
“Dude, I don’t even have anything to wear”
“Exactly, obviously I’m demanding that you strip so I can kick you out and send you home buck naked so that the universe can laugh at your shame because that’s the type of cruel, cruel person I am.” Dave says and before you know it, he’s lunged forward and already has a handful of your hoodie, yanking it swiftly above your head one handed. Holy fuck he was fast.
“Gah! Ey! I don’t put out on the first date you creep!” you say, flailing around and trying to get him away from you. The two of you wrestle with each other for a few minutes and by the end of it, he has you half-pinned to the couch void of your damp hoodie and pants. Dave stands up, smirking down at you triumphantly as you glare up at him with righteous indignation, sitting ccross-legged on the couch in nothing but your socks and ghost buster boxers.
“You have violated my virtue, I shall now run home and cry my eyes out to your brother, whom I shall then force to avenge my honor by wiping the floor with your ass in one of your incredibly dumb rap-offs.” You grumble at him, feeling too much like Karkat in your resentful state. Dave opts to ignore you and grabs something from the back of the couch, something warm and fluffy that drapes over you a second later and immediately cancels out the cold.
You pull the duvet tighter around yourself, barely resisting the urge to wiggle around in it like a happy kitten in a basket of yarn. It was so comfy. “I take it this means you’re not sending me out into the storm naked then?”
Dave pretends to mull it over. “Nah. Rose and Bro would probably skin me alive if I harmed a single hair on their pet idiot’s head. So you can crash on my couch I guess. Do you want a coffee or anything?” he asks, moving into the kitchen.
With how the earlier moments played out, you certainly didn’t expect how the rest of the night turned out. Seeing as how you’ve only dated three people in your life and two of your past relationships ended on a sour note, you really wouldn’t call yourself an expert. However, even you are hard-pressed to doubt that what he was doing earlier (ripping your clothes off even in a non-sexual sense) was flirting.
You half expected a sloppy make out at least but maybe your expectations were too high because it’s been so long and you liked Dave. A lot. Way more than you should be allowed to considering you just met him.
Instead, as the evening wore on, the two of you simply picked up where you left off at Humber bay. You talked and talked, watched a movie or two, played a handful of games and talked some more. All the while the both of you basked in a comfortable aura of mutual like. It wove around all the empty snarky quips and half-flirting insults you two throw at each other like a baby in a downy pillow pile.
You feel like you gained yourself a bestfriend, whom you also happen to want to kiss and ogle a lot. Aaaand who seem to be interested in perhaps returning the favor. And close inspection of that thought leads to the conclusion that despite the lack of makeouts, this evening was really, really nice.
“Dude, it’s like 12 in the morning. Maybe you should go to bed.”
You say, tilting your head back to rest against Dave’s. At some point, he got under the blanket too and you two sat, leaning partly back to back, the backs of your shoulders glued together, your arms intertwined. You have your feet tucked under you while Dave’s legs slouched haphazardly down the side of the couch.
“…alright, so move.”
Dave makes a thoughtful noise and then shrugs. “Nah. I’m gonna crash right here. This is my couch anyway.”
“Then where would I sleep?”
“You don’t, you’ll stay up all night acting as my personal pillow.” Dave says before hitting you like you were an actual pillow that he was trying to fluff up for comfort. You yelp and curse, hitting him back halfheartedly. By the end of your struggle, you end up scooched a little ways down, with your head on his shoulder and his on top of yours.
“Consider it your rent for the night.”
You open your mouth to fire a retort but you stop and yawn instead. You were a little tired and besides, you’ve exchanged more than enough ripostes with him, it’s time for a break. So you close your eyes and prepare to drift off.
A few seconds later, you were gently being moved and you frown a bit but stayed silent and pliant as Dave shifts beside you. “What are you doing?” you mumble sleepily.
The next thing you know, you were getting pulled down to lie on your side and there was a warm, naked chest against your back. An arm drapes itself contentedly across your waist and a pair of legs curl up beside yours, following the angle yours are set in and fitting neatly into the crook of your knees.
“I should say something but I’m sleepy. So you’ll have to settle for this: cuddling on the first date is acceptable, and this is nice you get ten redeeming points.”
You mumble and you’re steadily sinking into unconsciousness at this point and therefore are not fully aware (nor do you give a shit) of what you’re saying. Dave chuckles against the back of your neck and you sigh.
“Seriously though, this is nice. Just this. It’s been a long time and I think I needed it, whatever this was. So, you know, thanks.”
You don’t know if Dave is even paying attention to your nonsensical rambling but just before your senses start to fade out from sleep you can swear a kiss was pressed to your shoulder.
As I'm sure you've noticed, this chapter is not edited. I'll go back and edit later. or maybe not, it depends on how busy I am. Also, to those of you who were expecting a good ol' Scott-Ramona-we-gon-have-sex-oop-no-so-lets-just-cuddle-on-yo-bed-in-our-underwear sloppy make out. Trolololol no.
No JohnDave kissies for u
at least not yet