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the sweetest thing

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Your very own house.

You never thought the day would come, aside from a few brief, too-hopeful fantasies in your youth, but moving day has finally arrived, and you’re watching John struggle with boxes with this self-satisfied smirk on your face instead of getting up to help him.

“Dave, come on!” he calls. You sip delicately at your bottle of apple juice and ponder your reply.

“My mood is too good for manual labor,” you finally tell him, shrugging. “And besides, dude, you’re way stronger than I am. Put those hammer arms to good use.”

His fingers twitch, and you know it’s because he wants to flip you off—you planned this, of course, because he can’t do jack shit with his collection of movies occupying his arms.

“Please,” he relents. It kills him inside to ask you please. “I can’t reach the DVD player and I really want that in our new place.”

John’s short. It’s one of the many things you like about his physical appearance; even though you grew out of the awkward part of your awkward teenage lankiness, and you finally mastered the puberty challenge of ‘looking proportional,’ John never did grow past 5’5”. You played this to your advantage and placed the DVD player on top of the television and out of his reach, only for him to best you by buying Netflix so he didn’t even need the player half the time.

But there are some movies that he absolutely has to have the device for, and they’re always the worst. You’re so glad you can stop them.

You lift your shades into your hair, effectively pinning your bangs back, and roll up your sleeves after you set your juice aside as though you’re getting ready to do something impressive. John stops to watch, disgusted with your blatant display of superior height.

“Boom,” you say, and you unplug the player from all its little cords without even having to stretch. You pluck it gingerly from its resting place. “Got it. What box is it going in?”

“Ugh.” He finally sets down his collection. “Give it here. You take the DVDs out to the car, and I’ll put this where it needs to go and meet you outside.”

You hand over the DVD player, and lean down to kiss him as the exchange occurs.

“Thanks, Dave.” He grins as he tucks the device under his arm, and it’s not until he leaves the room that you realize he left you with the responsibility of one of the heaviest, most delicate, and easily most unnecessarily precious boxes of the soon-to-be Strider-Egbert household.

You love that fucking douche.

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You hate—

Well, you hate a lot of things, but you especially hate mornings.

John always gets up for work a good many hours before you even think about moving, but he never fails to wake you up in the process. You never fail to get whiny.

He slips out of the bed as quietly as possible, as though trying to break in to Fort Knox or some crazy ridiculous shit like that, but it’s a futile effort—you know when your heat source is leaving you.

“John?” You can feel a little drool at the corner of your mouth, so you don’t move your cheek from its firm place against the pillow to avoid John noticing.

“Shit, sorry. Did I wake you up?” You’ve been through this a thousand times before. Of course he woke you up. You groan an unhappy noise of assent. “My bad. Go back to sleep.”

But oh no. You’re awake now. Even though you want to sleep, so long as you and John are both awake and in the same room, you have this visceral need to make conversation.

“That shirt looks good on you,” you comment; as though aware that you are in this for the long haul, he turns on the light and television for background noise.

“Thanks, Dave. It’s like, the same shirt I wear every day.”

You hug the pillow closer to your face, at which point you can kind of feel your own nasty spit, so you sit up instead. Your hair is in seven different directions—you feel rather like John yourself in this moment.

“Well, it looks good.” You rub your eye. “Take it off and get back in bed.”

“What?” He straightens his collar in the mirror, checking himself out. It doesn’t seem as though he took your suggestion to heart, so you prompt him again, hoping that he’ll listen to you for once in his life.

“Don’t go to work today,” you attempt. “Sleep.”

John doesn’t even skip a beat in telling you no. Asshole.

You try to come up with another reason for him to stay home as he hops into his pants, but you’re coming up empty; your boyfriend is much like a stern mother when you try to satiate your selfish needs.

“My stomach hurts.”

“Call Jade.”

It would be a fair and reasonable thing to do if your stomach actually hurt. He runs the water so he can brush his teeth.

“My stomach really hurts,” you try again. “I’m pretty sure that the only cure is some down-ass cuddling. Otherwise I’m going to lay here and die and the single, tragic thing your job is going to pay for is my funeral.”

He spits. “Well, good. Funerals are expensive.”

You’re completely wasted on excuses, so you can only watch miserably as John completes his morning routine and turns off the TV when he’s done. Fuck. He’s going after all. John has officially moved past the point of no return, and now you’re going to have to wait to fall back asleep with no one in bed with you.

“Bye, Dave.” He stops at the side of aforementioned half-empty bed before he leaves the room, just so he can kiss your cheek. You do your best to appear averse, but you both know you love the smallest things most of all. “I’ll bring you something to eat on my way home.”

As he pulls away so he can turn off the light, you settle back down.

“Make lots of cash,” you call, and the last thing you hear from him before he closes the door behind him is his stupid little laugh.

One day, you’ll succeed in getting him to skip.