The only warning he had was a tickling in his chest that had quickly becoming burning until the boy was forced to start coughing, hunching over as they tried to breath. Dave felt something hit his hand but couldn't see due to the tears built up in his eyes. It took several more minutes for him to get himself under control, wiping at the water and breathing before looking at the floor.
At the sight his eyes widened behind the shades on his pale face, trying to process what was in front of him.
Dark leaves littered the ground around him, along with hints of thorns.
Maybe he’s simply accidentally managed to eat some dodgy plants and this was his body getting rid of it.
He should have admitted to himself what it really was, but Dave didn't want to think about it. He should have done something, anything. Not told his Bro, no way. That’d just be a surefire way to piss the adult off and start up another strife. Maybe tell his friends? What could they do about this? Nothing. They couldn't do anything. The albino could only hope the feelings would fade.
In case you're wondering, the next months of the 16-year-olds life were hell. No, the feelings don't fade. Yes, his guardian did find out. No, it hadn't ended well.
Dave's friends knew something was up, tried to ask what was wrong, but he could only say he was fine. How did he explain his feelings, how did he explain what and how this was happening?
He couldn't, so he simply held it inside to fester.
Seeing the others face always made his chest ache. He didn’t know if it was just how much he loved them or if it was the plants growing in his lungs. One or the other, he thought, but probably both. Both was good. Well, not good, but probably the right one.
December 3rd was always a pretty shitty date. Finding out last month he was related to his internet friend Rose (twins, who would've guessed) and her family (they had the same birthdays as their older siblings apparently) had been an experience. He was also made aware of the fact his Brother was actually his biological Dad, which made him puke off and on daily for the weeks following. It still made him nauseous, but less on a daily basis and usually right after one of their… more disturbing strifes. The plants in his chest only got worse, making it even tighter and more painful to breath, to wear the ace bandages. Whatever, he’d just have to deal.
They woke up on their birthday, creeping out of the bed and to the bathroom silently. He didn’t want to piss off the older anymore.
In the shower Dave thought about what would happen if he told his friends about everything that happened in the apartment, about the flowers and admitted his love for the boy that caused the flowers to bloom.
Then there was blood, and large, bright red roses came out of his mouth after a minute of terrified choking and coughing. He proceeded to pull and claw at his skin, trying to get rid of the ghost feeling of being touched. Trying to will the plant out, as if he could break open his ribs to tear the stupid flowers out.
He tore at his skin until there was blood running from the nail marks, and he was sitting on the floor with cold water beating down on him, but the boy didn’t care.
Getting out, he wrapped his chest tighter then he’d dared in the last few months, throwing on a shirt before looking at himself in the cracked and grimey mirror. A pale, gaunt face with dull eyes stared back at him, dark bags underneath. They were obvious, no doubt, almost darker then the bruises that littered his neck and the rest of the boys body. Shoving the glasses on their face, they finished dressing. They didn’t bother with makeup to try and hide shit, something told them they wouldn’t need it. He heard his guardian leave, coming out of the bathroom 20 minutes later and snagging his bag. Everything felt pretty hazy, their chest in agonizing pain that made it hard to see, to breath. He was staggering, barely making it to his chair. Kids looked over at the bruised boy, confused and whispering to each other. Dave tried not to care, to just zone out and hope to fade away.
Lunch was a bad idea, he should have skipped. But no, his desperate ass had to have some form of positive social interaction with the guy he liked- even if it was killing him.
He had been walking to the tree where they all usually met up when he saw the other and felt his chest tighten. The troll was scowling at his friend Sollux, who was laughing. Karkat turned to look, and his face lit up in a grin. “DAVE!”
The little bit of steady breathing they did have cut off, and the grip they had on their bag dropped as Dave clawed at his throat, eyes wide and panicked. He was coughing, blood and flowers and leaves and thorns flying from his mouth to splatter the grass.
Strider could hear people yelling as he fell to his knees, saw blurry shapes running toward him. He was hacking, seeing bits of his own lungs attached to the plant parts that came up.
It felt like everything was happening in slow motion. He could see teachers moving to him, eyes wide. Rose and Roxy and Dirk and Jake and all his friends were trying to get there, but his eyes found Karkat’s. His shades were gone, the colors sharper then he'd had the chance to see. Grey had given way to a familiar mutant red over the years, seeming to glow against the yellow.
Time resumed at its normal pace, the screaming of the others finally reaching his ears fully.
Dave finally rolled onto their back, eyes blank as they stared up at the sky.
The pain in his chest had finally ceased, along with the beating of his heart and breathing.
A huge, bright red rose bush had forced its way out of his chest, breaking through the skin and bone and bandages to appear in the light. Spots of darker red on the petals showed where drops of blood were. The mutant red of the roses matched the troll’s eyes, and showed what should have been obvious all along.
Dave's last thought before the world went dark was that he hated feeling things like this, they were shitty. He was shitty. Shitty feelings and shitty plants.