Rose, not for the first time in her life, was afraid. She found herself spiraling out of control with no clue how to change it. She's been spending the majority of her time sitting in her room, keeping herself busy with novels of all sorts to distract from this lingering nagging in the back of her mind. A needing- no, a wanting. She glanced up from her current source of entertainment, a novel titled Dark Matter by Black Crouch, at the sound of footsteps stopping at her door.
"Hello, Dave." The young light haired girl greeted her brother, without even bothering to glance up. Her black lipstick painted perfectly on her lips as always.
"Yo, Lalonde." Dave responds. He too has light hair, with an array of freckles and large, round mirrored shades to cover his features.
"What have I done to deserve this visit from such an esteemed quote rap legend unquote?" Rose inquires, lilac eyes lancing over the sentences on the page. She had been stuck on the same paragraph for a while now, rereading it over and over again without being able to really process just what it was she was reading.
"Just thought I should stop by. Haven't seen my sis in a while, and I know that you're just dying to see your cool as shit older brother," Dave's lips twitched upwards for a split second before he continued. "Besides, you can't not like my presence or whatever.'
"Those are words I personally wouldn't use to describe you. You are also my twin, older by just a few minutes. You don't qualify as someone who can refer to themselves as the oldest." Rose points albeit bitterly. Was it so hard for her to just read without being interrupted? She cleared her throat. "So, again, I'll repeat my question; what are you doing?"
"That wasn't even the question you asked in the first place, and I can too call myself older." Dave crossed his arms and raised a pale eyebrow, glancing his sister over.
"It wasn't?" Rose finally glanced up at her brother, a small frown tugging at her lips.
"Nope. What are you up to half-sis?"
"I am currently speaking to my conceited ectobrother." Rose smirked, placing a bookmark inside the novel as a just-in-case.
"No shit, Lalonde, I other than that" Dave dropped his arms to his sides.
Rose sighed, thinking over her words carefully. "Nursing a horrible hangover."
Dave's face flashed with a sign of worry, or is it fear? It's to hard to tell, he already had gone back to the stoic Strider face by the time Rose processed that his expression changed in the first place. "You're still drinking huh?" Dave paused once again, and sighed. "What about your little gay vampire girlfriend? Does she know that you..uh...?"
Rose rolls her eyes, with a semi-defeated sigh. "She has a name, Dave. And speaking of her, she is the one that took away all my drinks earlier. I had forgotten about another one of our dates, it appears."
He hesitated, for about five seconds top. "Oh, shit. Well that's not good. Glad you two are working on it, though."
Rose looked down at the book cover, the harsh font and bright orange of the cover doing nothing but making her headache worse. "I suppose..." She started again, "But....." Only to change her mind. "Never-mind." Her gaze shifted to the bottle of cheaply flavored vodka sitting innocently under her desk. The one Kanaya had missed. The guilt clawed at her, but what else is she to do?
Her ectobrother however, was having none of that. "Rose?" She looked up at him.
"Talk to me," next comes a word Rose would never expect from a Strider, however quite it was. "please."
Rose took a moment, mostly to figure out what to say in her scrambled mind. It doesn't come out as well as she had hoped. "Er-I said it's nothing Dave, don't worry about it-"
"You're like my sister Rose, I'm gotta worry. I care about yo-"
She merely cut him off, her hands twiddling with the soft orange fabric of her hood of the god tier outfit. "-And as your sister I am a bit annoyed by this fact." She gave him a joking smirk to try to change the subject. It doesn't work too well. Dave sure could be a stubborn dick sometimes.
"Rose, I swear-"
"-Yes, you do curse quite often." Rose cut him off again. This wasn't like her in the slightest.
"Okay, but putting that shit aside," The attempted subject change didn't work.
"What were you going to say?" Dave stared at Rose with cold eyes behind the sunglasses. She didn't need to see his eyes to feel his disappointment.
Rose clenched her fists by her sides before standing abruptly. "I said that it's NOTHING!" She re-collected herself, then took a few steps back. "Just go back to being to Karkat or something, okay? I'm sure you two have some sort of movie to watch," Another pause. "I think I'm gonna go.. talk to Kanaya.."
Dave takes a few steps toward her, almost as if he could see right through her ruse. "Rose, holy shit. I just want to help you."
Silence fell between the two for several minutes. They stood, frozen in place.
Rose was the one to break the silence as she bit her lip in shame. "I.. I know, Dave."
He sighed, taking a few steps forward to close the gap between them as he pulled her into a unnaturally stiff hug. "Now look at all this unironic shit you're making me do. Showin' emotions like this. I'm practically naked in front of you now, my emotions right out there for you to dissect like some kind of Frankenstein shit. Sheesh." Dave forced an out of place chuckle in attempt to cheer her up.
Rose smiled and gave an equally awkward chuckle, shifting awkwardly, suddenly very aware of and very afraid that he'd be able to see the bottle a few feet away.
Dave shifted so that he could look at the shorter of the two. "Rose, you gotta promise me somethin', alright?"
Rose huffed softly. "What's that?"
"promise me you'll work on getting better. Don't need you dying of alcohol poisoning at fifteen."
Rose went stiff in his arms, could she stop herself from following her mothers path? She didn't believe she could, but like hell she would say that to her brother. "Erm...Yes- Yes...I certainly will try."
Dave shook his head. "No, fuck you, not try. You gotta fucking do it."
She scrunched up her face as she tried to pull out of the hug.
"I.. Y,es Dave, I already said I'll try. Let go." Dave bit the inside of his cheek, tightening his hold instead. "I know that you fucking said you'd try, but i don't want you to try. I want you to do it! I need you to succeed! c'mon Rose, please."
Rose was almost in tears, distraught at the raw emotion she could hear in Dave's voice. He wasn't even trying to hide it. "Dave I want to tell you I'll succeed but then, if I mess up, I'll feel like I'm breaking my own fucking promise..." She began to struggle again to get out of his grasp.
"Rose, look--" He finally let go, upon noticing her struggle. "I know its hard right now. I know life seems like complete shit. Our family is dead and we're in the middle of space with a bunch of aliens as our company, but right now, you're just shitting yourself to the max with all that liquor. So just- just give me the bottle." He'd known it was there. He had spotted it when Rose stood. It's not hard to find it, it really was just barely hidden.
Rose shushed herself, maintaining eye contact only with the ground as she walked over to the desk and bent down. She stood with the bottle hanging loosely in her hand by her side.
Dave bent down slightly and attempted to take away the bottle from her grasp. "Trust me, alcohol never helps. Never has. Never fucking will."
Rose stutters once more, she's a mess and she knew it. She would probably cry more if she was able to see just how smudged her mascara was. "I.. I didn't ever say it helped..." She sighed and loosened her grip further, allowing Dave take the bottle.
Without hesitation, he tucked it into his sylladex.
Rose continued to stare at the ground, too ashamed to look him in the eyes- or... shades.
Dave spoke slowly. "Look at me... Its alright. We've all had addictions of some king and we've all done shit we ain't proud of. We- your friends just want you to get better."
Rose still stared at the ground. Have no viable excuse for her actions, she doesn't say a word.
"Rose, please. Look at me."
It is only now she speaks, quietly and filled with bitterness, although there's no actual bite. "Even if i was to look up Dave, I wouldn't be able to see them."
Now, it was Dave's turn for silence, if only for a moment. He gives in. "I guess that's true. What if I take 'em off? Oh shit, that's what she said. Ha."
She nodded, that's what she wanted, after all. She wanted to see his emotions clearly, not that Dave ever really was good at hiding them. He's actually the third most emotional person she's ever met.
Dave slowly reached up and pushed the shades up into his hair, automatically squinting at the change in light. "There. Now will you look at me?"
Rose looked up at him, Red sorrow-filled eyes clashing with purple guilty ones as soon as she does.
Dave's face is full of so many different emotions, but none look even close happy. "Rose. We all love you, its so, so fucking painful to see you like this."
Rose looked at the small scar underneath Dave's left eye, finding it easier to focus without the intensity of her brother's gaze. "I..." She trailed off once again, allowing her eyes to tear up even more, so that it's more than noticeable. "I know. I'm-" Her voice breaks, along with any hope of keeping her well composed facade. "I'm so sorry...."
"Hey, don't be like that." he pulled Rose into another hug. The shades slipped down, falling back into place. With them back on, he could at least focus a bit more on the situation at hand.
she returns the hug this time, hiding her face in his chest, a warm smile present on her face.
Dave rubbed her back tenderly, happy that this uncomfortable feels fest is over. "Movie?"
Rose whispered an "Okay, " into the soft red fabric as a silent tear dripped down her cheek.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in the meteor's common room, watching an unhealthy amount of Disney movies. Cuddled up with her girlfriend under a pile of blankets, her brother sitting upside down on the other side of the couch, Rose found that she was no longer afraid.