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Of course it's another friggin' robot

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You'd think that after months of peace instead of a death game, that your best pal would take a break for once and stop stressing himself out. Well, when it comes to DIRK STRIDER, that fella doesn't know the definition of ''chill''. 

Standing outside that prince's abode, you, JAKE THEODORE ENGLISH, aren't going to take anymore of this boy's malarkey. Today, you are going to step in (As you have done many times) and get him to take a break. Go outside maybe, just anything that isn't staying cooped up and surviving off of instant noodles.

You take out your phone and open up Pesterchum, all while gazing at the apartment's two front windows. None of the light's are on but that isn't very weird at this point. When living for 16 years in an abandoned apartment extremely far away from human kind will cause you to acquire some...interesting habits. Not like you are one to judge, you lived on your own for a long time as well and you still can't get over the sheer amount of buildings around here.

You look back down at your phone and press the familiar orange chumhandle.

 

-- golgothasTerror [GT] began pestering timaeusTestified [TT] at 16:20 --

GT: Old chum just so you know im coming over. No objections allowed!
TT: Not even a plea over homemade pumpkin pie? How could you possibly say no to pumpkin pie Jake?
GT: Well if you actually have some pumpkin pie i would love to have it over a dynamite cup of tea.
TT: Great! Let me just go grab some tea over at the store since you are the only person in all of the kingdoms to ever stock up on tea. Everyone knows that soda is better. Tea is such 21st century, like honestly English.
GT: I'm going to ignore all of that.
GT: You dont need to go the store because.
GT: I
GT: Am
GT: Already
GT: Here.
TT: . . .
TT: Are you fucking kidding me right now?
TT: You can't be serious.
TT: This joke was old way before Lord English was even a thing. 
TT: I can't believe you just made that joke.
TT: We all took a fucking oath after the Roxy incident to never make that joke ever again. 
TT: You don't want another remake of the Roxy incident do you?
GT: Knocking on the door!

-- golgothasTerror [GT] ceased pestering timaeusTestified [TT] at 16:28 --

 

You chuckle a bit to yourself putting your phone away as you approach the door. While Dirk usually closes off his emotions in his mental dungeon, that joke is one of the only things to rile him up that well.

His front door is a nice door honestly, dark wood with a horse shoe and his initials engraved into it. It couldn't get anymore Dirk Strider than that.

You knock loudly on the door thrice and wait, all the while gazing at the windows for any hint of movement or light.

.

.

.

Any hint of movement or light?

.

.

.

Oh God dammit.

 

-- golgothasTerror [GT] began pestering timaeusTestified [TT] at 16:32 --

GT: Strider.
GT: Dirk. Its been four minutes now.
GT: ...
GT: Your courtesy range scale is dangerously low right now. But it might tip if you decide to open the door like a true gentleman.
GT: Dirk.
GT: I know youre there!!!
GT: *taps feet impatiently*
GT: Dirk martha strider.
GT: Fine!
GT: I'll just have to barge in there myself!!!

-- golgothasTerror [GT] ceased pestering timaeusTestified [TT] at 16:38 --

 

Without wasting anymore time you fish out the key to his door and unlock it (you could've done this in the first place, but you wanted to see how deep in his bullshit Dirk was first). You open the door just a smidge and then kick it fully open. 

You stand there in a moment of pride over how cool that must've been before examining the door and making sure you didn't break it. It's just fine though, the door took that kick like a champ, no scratches or anything. Good door. You resist the urge to pet the door and close it instead. You then turn around examining the main room.

Despite the lack of a proper light source you manage to make this out. You didn't get many chances to see Dirk's room back in the game. But from the memories where you did see them, this room is almost exactly the same. The TV is on the same wall, the smuppet pile is in the same position beside his messy bed, and the same SBaHJ posters hang on the walls. The only differences is that his desk is less cluttered than back then and the addition of the two other rooms. It's eerily quiet in here, the only sound being your breathing and walking.

The first room is a kitchen, not a big one but it's better than the purely fictional kitchen he had before. You walk over and glance inside just in case he's making a sandwich and taking care of himself. But sadly, Strider is not in the kitchen.

You turn around walking to the door of the other room. It's his work room, which is where most of his clutter from his desk disappeared to. That is also where Dirk must be residing. You stride (heh) past the smuppet's longing gazes and take a deep breath, now face to face with the metal door. 

You close your eyes for a brief moment before opening them, a new found determined expression forming on your face.

"STRIDER!" You shout and bang on the door, both actions loud enough to break through the wall of Kpop or anime openings or whatever kind of music he's listening to, it changes everytime. You hear a grunt from inside and quickly take a step back to avoid being hit in the face by the door. You hear steps approach the door and it opens not too much later to reveal him, just as stoic-faced as ever.

"Geez Jake, how much coffee did you have before you came here?" He asks nodding at you --you assume that's a greeting-- and turn around walking back inside turning on the light while he's at it. You follow suit leaving the door open, not finding much of a reason why it should be closed anymore. The room is pretty empty excluding a bunch of creates here and there filled with either metal and other robotic parts, or food and water stashes. The walls are a boring grey concrete kind of color, stray horse posters here and there to make the room a bit more homely. The desk is in front of the only window in the room, being his only light besides the cheapest lamp on the roof you've ever seen. There must be some kind of aesthetic reasoning behind that lamp because it is absolutely horrendous.

"Three cups, but not in a row mind you," you reply snapping out of your daze and stepping closer to the desk which Dirk is behind. As he sits down on the black office chair behind the desk, it makes a *creeak* kind of sound. Dirk frowns slightly in response. He starts to fiddle with his glasses, and you take this opportunity to start talking.

"Now, I would like to get some answers please. Because you must know how long you've stayed confined in here right? It's been two weeks. Two bloody weeks since your face was gutted from society." You stare at him to be sure that he doesn't disappear from sight, he's not a void or time player but the possibility of him vanishing is still remarkably high. "What new doodad are you even working on right now?"

As you finish your question, Dirk's shades light up and start projecting a picture of some sort. You notice the corner of his lip perk up as he turns his head up, probably looking at you now.

"Well sir English, if you must know, I've been working on a robot for the consorts. Apparently they formed a small fighting club and need a mentor. I really don't believe that they will ever encounter a moment in their life where slapping people down with their tiny arms will help, but they have been very persistent with this request and this is easier than killing them." Dirk explains gesturing to the hunk of metal and coding on the desk along with the pile of unread letters in the trash can, they're all addressed from the 'Secret Society of the Slam-anders'. 

You take a deeper look at the picture broadcasting from his shades and now recognize it as blueprints. And you also notice two different tabs opened as well. One of them is a blank Yaldaboth tab, and the other is your and his pesterchum conversation staring right back at you.

You sigh a bit exasperated as you look back at the robot, examining it. It looks like it could be completed after another four or five hours of working and coding. That means that it could be done today. But you are a stubborn being and are not going to quit just because of that. You don't believe he would quit working just because one of his projects are complete anyway. Probably has a check list up and ready knowing him.

You sit down on one of the closed crates and look around idly trying to come up with a plan of action. Dirk looks at you warily but after a moment of contemplation, he goes back to work. He seems to respect your presence and doesn't put his headphones, that are lying on the desk, back on.

"So you do remember that we're supposed to be having a nice chat with Roxy and Calliope soon, right?" You ask after a few minutes of not so awkward but uncomfortable silence. He doesn't react to what you say so you continue to bring up your phone and open up pesterchum. It doesn't take long for you to find the most recent conversation you've had with that quirky blonde and show the screen to Dirk.

--

TG: and remember to bring dirky 4 our nice chat
TG: he cant escape us forever
TG: i will like
TG: come over there myself if i have to
TG: like the mom friend i most certanly am
TG: and kick his butt
GT: You sure are the mom-friend of our group all right.
GT: Okay, i'm off!
GT: Wish me luck.
TG: g luck babe
TG: make ur momma proud

--

You give Dirk a moment to read it before putting your phone back down. You try to decipher his expression but you have never been good at reading his pokerface. The only thing you notice is that his eyebrows is a bit more furrowed than they were before. You decide to try and convince him one more time before you resort to plan B, whatever it is.

"Maybe you should listen to Roxy and go out, get some fresh air," you suggest hopeful but Strider seems to ignore your request. You huff and scan the room instead. Your eyes drift back to his blue prints. Hmm. He can't continue working without blue prints right? You glance between his shades and the blueprints a few times before nodding, finally deciding how you're going to go about this.

You stand up from the crate and slowly approach the desk, as if Dirk were a crow and that he would fly away if you did anything too quickly. You try to be as inconspicuous and innocent as possible as you stand looking at his work from behind. You notice how his shoulders tense a bit and you pat him on the back in what you hope is a comforting manner.

You take a small breath and a small sly smile comes onto your face as you put your plan into progress. You wait until he continues working on the robot. And then without giving him any chance to respond you grab the sunglasses perched on his nose and swiftly pull them off. You jump back and around the desk, still facing him, your stance indicating that you are completely ready to dart out of the door. You're very surprised that worked and try to steady your shaky hand. Is it adrenalin or nerves?

"What..." you hear him mutter as he processes what the heck just happened. You wave the glasses in what you hope is a taunting way not letting yourself get distracted and lower your guard.

"Toodle-oo!" You say, before sprinting out of the door. You reach the front door before you hear another set of quick steps. You yelp and run jump out of the door turning around, skidding to a halt. You quickly place the shades into your sylladex to keep it safe. You breath in and out trying to calm your heart as you wait for him to run out as well.

"Jake!" Dirk shouts and not a second later appears at the doorway. He's wearing another pair of shades, but you know for a fact that the one you snatched is the only pair he has which has mechanical properties. You smirk and tilt your head to the side a bit putting a hand on your hip for extra sass points.

"Oh and now you want to get out of the house," You snark and watch as he approaches, now outside of the house. The door behind him closes by it's own...or by the wind...it doesn't matter.

He rolls his eyes at your snark, his head following the movement to make action obvious.

"Do we really have to do this?" He asks, and it may just be because he wants to get back to work, but you have a very strong suspicion that it's because drowsiness is finally catching up to him. You have no idea the last time he had an actual reasonable few hours of sleep you're going to bet that it wasn't in the last 36 hours.

"No, if you agree to video chat with me, Roxy, and Callie and then thereafter sleep the rest of the day away," You explain taking out your captcha-card with his shades. You wave it in his face as you continue. "That's the easiest way where you'll get this doohickey back."

You watch his face scrunch up, he's obviously not glad with that option.

"And option B is..?" He asks. You don't offer a proper answer and instead take out your twin pistols from your strife specibus and point them at him winking. He sighs. "That's what I thought." 

You watch him bring out his strife specibus and with a video game-like ding his katana pops into his hand, he doesn't even consider the other option. You roll your eyes shifting your weight from side to side in anticipation.

"You never want to make this easy for either of us do you?" You ask, but you're not necessarily complaining. It's been well over a month since you last strifed with anyone, everyone is always busy with other things and their own lives. The fresh breeze in your hair and the feel of your pistols in your hands are gladly welcome, but of course lounging in your room with a good action movie are never moments you'd avoid.

"It was you that suggested a strife." Dirk deadpans changing his hold on the katana from loose to firm in a continuous loop.

"And you agreed." You counter. Dirk doesn't seem to have a comeback to that and silence fills the air. You start wondering what happened this time that was different from all the other times for a strife to actually have taken form. Usually you just have to find a way to lock him out of his work room or shut down his network, this may just be easier but it's still an unexpected turn of events. Even ironic if you will. 

You snap out of it as you see Dirk take his stance and you quickly join him, you with your guns brandished and him with his katana ready. A mental countdown ring in both your heads --it's common courtesy to give your partner a moment to ready themselves before slaughtering them in a friendly bro to bro strife-- before you spring into action.

The sounds of your guns firing and a sword cutting through your bullets fills the air. Dirk's apartment is in the middle of nowhere, at the threshold of a forest about 20 minutes away from civilization, and so it's the perfect place to fight like no one's watching because odds are that they aren't.

You duck and run in, trying to break Strider's defense but all it earns you are a handful of your energy thrown away, good thing that you have buckets full. You shoot bullets but they get cut. You try to hit him with the gun, he dodges out of the way. If Strider were to be in better shape he would've already beat you with how quick he is, but it looks like he's preserving his energy. 

Shoot, dodge, kick, dash, dodge, slash, parry.

It goes on like this for a while, none of you getting an advantage against the other.

Dodge, shoot, counter, slide, shoot, swing, parry, shoot, deflect.

You stagger back trying to regain your breath, Dirk doing the same. The smell of leaves and sweat looms around you two like clouds. The excited grin on your face was wiped right when the fight started, a look of concentration taking it's place. You've gotten better at strifing since you were 13, Dirk's robot did help somewhat with getting you thinking.

You look down at your twin guns. They're getting you nowhere. While they are your preferred weapon they can't help against Dirk's sword. Don't bring your dual pistols to a katana fight, right?

You put your guns back in your sylladex where their easy to draw and take out a different tool. Your fist-kind. You got it pretty recently, and they really help when you've found yourself in a pickle like this. Even though your still kinda rusty with them, you're not half bad with them either.

You brandish your fists with a grin, but Dirk doesn't react in the slightest to this. Rude. 

You let out a cry and run at him full force. You prepare to tackle him but he simply steps out of the way before you make contact. You jump to a stop narrowly stopping yourself from eating dirt and turn around. He doesn't look amused, and so you try again.

And again and again.

If anything, you're persistent. You let out a breath wiping away sweat off your forehead with the back of your hand, observing Dirk like a cat on the street does a stranger.

"Thinking of raising up the white flag yet Strider?" You ask and try to tell yourself that you haven't thought about doing it yourself these last few minutes. 

"Looks like you're ready to surrender." He comments rolling his shoulders back before going back to his stance.

"Bull-hooey!" You shout and charge at him again, but instead of trying to tackle him you try to send a punch to his face. He sidesteps, but unlike the many tries before this you actually manage to touch him. You're punch was way off and your fingers slide against his shirt grasping for something. You trip past him but not before you manage to sneak a glance at his expression. It became tense when you had touched him but quickly straightened out a second later. Intriguing..you quickly formulate a plan. 

Once you get your balance back you go back to blocking and parrying his strikes. You are both at a stalemate, kind of ironic considering Dirk Strider is your opponent. You ponder the pros and cons about bragging about this to him later while waiting for another chance to test your science headcanon hypothesis.

You try to kick him causing him to stagger back to dodge. There. You withhold a curious smile and start running at him. He gets ready to step to the side like every other time and you take your aim. Instead of his face you aim your hand to his side. As he steps to the side you manage to trail your fingers along his side as you run past him. His breath hitches. 

You take advantage of his moment of stillness and make a 180 turn and run straight at him tackling him to the ground. 

It takes a moment for you to grasp the moment, but when you do, you let out a loud holler of victory. You then look down at Dirk's face. You're currently sitting on his stomach your hands at either side of his head. There's no way for him to escape, and so it would be an automatic victory. His sword is a few feet away as well.

You don't fight the grin off your face as you gaze at his shocked expression.

"I warned you," You tease in a sing song voice crossing your arms over your chest. He tries wriggling out from under you but with no such luck.

"Can you get off me now, you're pretty heavy," He asks and you shake your head.

"Not just yet chum," you tell him reaching to his face. You carefully take of his shades and are quickly met with his beautiful amber eyes. You read the confused expression off his face perfectly, but then again he's an open book without his shield.

"What...are you doing?" He asks cautiously and stares at you his head tilted a bit to the side on the grass.

"Just enjoying being able to see your beautiful eyes before you hide them again for whoever knows how long." You comment slyly leaning forward a bit and enjoying --maybe a tad to much-- how his face reddens and he averts his gaze. You chuckle to yourself brushing some of his hair away from his forehead, he's going to need to fix up his hair later since it's going all droopy, before resting your hands back on either side of his head. You take another moment to try and count how many freckles are splayed against his cheeks.

If this situation is awkward you don't notice as you two stay in this position, neither one of you making an attempt to end it.

But all things come to a close at one point you think as you sigh a bit. You get off from above him and stand up, brushing stray blades of grass of your shorts.

"Welp, I won so you're not allowed to go back into your workroom." You say stepping a bit away from him to let him get up. He sits up still avoiding eye contact. His face is still a rosy red and you can't help thinking how cute he is when he's flustered.

"Yeah well..can I have my shades back?" He asks standing up himself his gaze flicking to your eyes a few times but quickly flicking away a second later. You nod and take out the captcha-card. The glasses bounce onto your hand and you hand them to him before putting the card back in it's rightful place in the puzzle of spare clothes and other random stuff. He spares no time in putting them on and his treasure is back in it's trove.

You glance at your phone, a few minutes left until you two officially have to start the call with Rox. You approach Dirk wondering what you two can do while you wait. You then remember something you were meaning to ask him and your cheeky grin is back.

"So..." You trail off your hands behind your back in an innocent, but not so innocent manner. "I didn't know that you, Dirk Strider, were ticklish." 

He visibly tenses yet again and you can see the concentration he has in trying to not give it away, it's a futile effort.

"I'm not." He answers simply, his voice monotone and his face just as emotionless. You cock and eyebrow in his direction, trying to convey just how much you don't believe it.

"Really?" You ask and quickly try to make a jab at his side. He dodges. You take this as a challenge (how could you not?) and he sighs, his eyebrows furrowing. 

You try to make another jab at him but he's in the air before you could even make contact. You grin and fly up to be level with him, before shooting off after him. You're both flying in circles, for a while. Air shoots into your face that makes you squint a bit but that doesn't slow you down.

It's a battle of stamina. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't the one that grew up on an island filled with hell-beasts. 

You shoot into his back, after so much spinning that would make any adult puke, and wrap your arms around him to hold him in place.

"Fuck!" He curses and wriggles in your grasp, completely aware of what you are about to do. You snort and hold onto him tightly with one arm, the other hovering next to his side. After a moment of suspense you rest your hand on his side and start lightly spidering against it.

It doesn't take long until Dirk breaks. He struggles harder when you start, but you're stronger than you look. His quiet laughs and snorts are a pleasant surprise against his usual silent laughter. It's astonishing how adorable a human who has no trouble in drawing porn can be.

You're hesitant to let him go and have this moment end but after a short mental debate, you decide that Dirk's suffered enough and you let him go. He shoots about 10 feet away from you the moment escape is an option, and you watch as he covers his mouth trying to reign in his giggles curling up a bit on himself. You can't help but feel a bit bad for him, but on the other hand you wouldn't trade that moment in your day for anything. It's a really endearing side of him.

"Sorry chap," you reply half-heartedly fixing the glasses on your face before they fall off your nose. He shrugs still wheezing a bit.

When met with silence you just now notice the familiar pings from both your phones. You pull your phone out and notice just how much time has passed.

14 unread texts and 3 missed calls. You let out a nervous laugh and skim the texts, all of them highlighted in the familiar pink and shaky grammar. You really didn't mean for time to pass by so fast, you'd think it was the work of a time player by how unbelievable it is.

You gaze at Dirk and he's starring at his screen, his ears a vague shade of pink. You begin asking what it says before cutting yourself off, it's not that important.

"Come on," You tell him and float back to the ground, taking out your laptop from your sylladex and arranging it on the grass by a nearby tree. You sit down against the trunk and open up Facetime, patting the ground beside you for Dirk. You wait until he's settled beside you before you start a video-call. It takes less than 10 seconds for them to respond.

The first thing you see when the video loads are two smug and wide grins. Roxy and Callie are in what appears to be a bean bag, Calliope sitting on Roxy's lap. They seemed to have been having some kind of girl talk before you two answered the call from society. But when you did appear they silenced and became like twin chesire cats. 

"Heyo," Roxy's the first one to speak up, Callie on her heel with a polite 'hello'. You both greet time in a similar fashion, but the aura of smugness doesn't cease to waft the air.

"So, what've you guys been doin', ignorin' us ladies?" Rox asks wasting no time. You and Dirk glance at each other and manage to come to a silent agreement. But looking at the computer you're not really sure how to deal with the situation. Dirk seems to have no such trouble though.

"Well it doesn't seem like you were that bothered with us to be honest. What kind of shenanigans have you two gotten to, huh?" Dirk expertly averts the conversation away waggling his eyebrows for extra effect, distracting both the ladies. They both giggle in a flustered sort of way and this topic of conversation is ignored completely to a better game of 'how's the title of kings over the consort kingdom treatin' ya'?

---------

Every single time Strider would get absorbed in his own work, you're the one to come over and snap him out of it. The moments that transpire during these visits though, are moments you wouldn't wish to forget.