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Crimson Sky to Red Eyes

Chapter Text

Strider.

I can’t br

Strider

eath

Strider!

hel p

DAVE!

It’s bright. Why is it so bright? It’s never bright at home. But you aren’t home are you? Wherever you are is..warm. Comfortable. There’s a hand holding yours and the touch is so loving and careful you can’t wrap your head around it. You slowly become more coherent and begin to determine your surroundings a bit more. Your head is on somebody’s lap, hands hand is on your forehead and shoulder, you lean into the touch.

You open an eye and groan at how unbearably bright it is. You can feel your sunglasses gently being pushed on your face and you open your eyes further to see Rose. She’s practically your sister, if you really wanted to stretch it you could even call her somewhat of A Mother.

Those terms are for Humans, though.

You aren’t a human, what are you?

What a silly, dumb question. You’re a Demon, of course. How did you forget? Maybe your head was pounded a bit too hard into the stone.

“Dave..” Rose, Her voice is so gentle.

“Cmon Rose, let me sleep..” god your voice sounds horrible. Scratchy and raw like you just screamed your lungs out. Hell, you probably did.

“Gods, No, Dave. You’ve been asleep for almost two days. We’re all worried sick.”

We? Who is..ah. You come to the minorly sudden realization that the lap your head is currently resting on belongs to none other then Jade, who’s staring down at you in a mix of relief and concern.

“Fine fine, if you’re all so desperate to see my striderly charm, so be it. I’m up.” You feel like death itself. You’re just so tired, everything aches and hurts. But it’s so..warm. And comfortable. How strange.

“Cmon Dave! Even John is worried! Though right now he’s grabbing us some lunch.”

You attempt to sit up to no avail, Roses hands push your chest back down, urging you to continue your head lap laying.

“While id love you to stay awake, please also stay laying down. Healing Magic can only do So much, Dave.” Ah, Healing magic. That explained a lot. Demons were never built to be healers, so their healing magic is typically very poor. The only person who You could recall ever being able to properly heal you was..

Let’s not think about Her. Or any of Them.

“I need to get back home.” Bro had to be looking for you by now, the longer you wait the worse it is.”

“Dave..please, we’re begging you, leave! You cant keep going back there!” Jade’s voice cracked at the end of her sentence. God. That was painful to hear. She just didn’t understand, neither of them did, He was the Crimson King, the Demon Overlord, you can’t run from him.

But he ran from him. They all ran from him and not even you know where they are.

Again. Stop thinking about them, Dave. They’re Probably Dead.

“I can’t, Jade. It isn’t worth the risk. Besides, it isn’t that bad, I can handle it.” They both looked unconvinced.

“We think we can smuggle you out, If you remember Nepeta, she managed to escape to Metir. She’s living with a centaur now, A peaceful existence.” Huh, you had always been mildly curious of Nepeta’s fate. You two were never close, but you remember when your Bro sentenced her to Death. One of His Loyal Guards, Gamzee or whatever, was sent to execute her but you don’t think that he was able to, considering what Rose just said. That explained why He was currently locked up. Failure to complete his Mission.

“Man, it isn’t worth it. I’m not worth that, you both could die-“ Rose cut you off

“And what about you, Strider? We both know that our dear king is ruthless, he’ll kill you. If we don’t try he’ll kill you sooner.” She sounded so..angry. Worried. God, this was such A drag. It’s hard seeing your best bros and gals all upset like this. You opened your mouth to respond but were then cut off when you’re other best bro arrived. You heard the door open, and he called out.

“Jade, Rose, I’m back! I got some food! Vriska gave me a discou-Dave!” He cheered the minute he walked into your room, he quickly discarded the bag of what you could assume was food and hugged you. Man, you were still recovering, Fucking OW!

“Oh! Sorry!” He quickly backed off, seemingly understanding that you were in pain.

“S’all good.”

“Dave here was talking about how he needed to go back.” There was a sharpness in Rose’s tone.
It didn’t seem like she was angry at you..maybe angry at how stubborn you were.

Johns Face Fell. “What! Dude, no, don’t do that!” Same routine, every time this happened. They’d try and get you to leave, you never did, you always went back, and this repeated.

“Can we not do the ‘Guilt Dave into running Away routine? It’s getting kinda old, man.” You grumbled and pushed farther into your scarf-cape thing. You weren’t very sure what it would be considered. All you know is He got it for you, before..

“Dave, please! We’ll protect you!” Jade gave you a little smile, and god she was hard to say no to. They were all hard to say no to.

“I’ll..I’ll think about It. Okay? Good enough for you?”

Rose seemed hesitant but nodded. “I suppose we really do have to send you back there..Plesse, check in with us tonight.”

“Sure thing, Rosie posie.”

She rolled her eyes. “Please, refrain from ever calling me that again.”

“You got it.” You carefully sat up, jade hugged you from behind. John quickly joined in, followed by a far more delicate approach from Rose.

“See you guys soon. I’ll be okay, promise.” You were muffled by their collective hugs, but they all seemed to hear you. They all slowly pulled back and you stood up on shaky knees. “See ya guys soon.” You gave them a small reassuring smile, as they saw you off.

—————

Fuck. You really should’ve come home sooner. You arrived to your sleeping chambers to find a small folded up note with a message poorly scribbled inside.

‘ STRIFE ‘

Goddamnit it. This was gonna suck. You quickly grabbed your trusty sword, and rushed to the battlegrounds. There was already an audience, Your Bro’s high court, consisting of a few scattered high colored demons, sat in comfort while waiting for you to get your ass kicked.

You slowly and carefully step onto the battlefield before you, hyper aware of your surroundings. Goddamnit where the fuck was he?

You quickly turned around to parry the first strike. He grunted in response. Have you impressed him? God, why do you want to impress him so terribly? It isn’t very cool of you.

You go on like this for a while, blocking and dodging his strikes, occasionally attempting to throw one of your own in there, but consistently missing. He knocked the sword out of your hands and kicked you square in the chest, rendering you defenseless and on the ground, vulnerable. You rolled to your left, quick to reequip your sword and get back on your feet.

He spread his wings. Shit, sky battle? Fuck, whatever. You in turn did the same. You both acesnded to the air, and basically did the same thing a second before. You managed to somehow slip up, your grip on your sword failed you and quickly started falling towards the hard pavement below. You swooped down to catch it only to get kicked in the head, knocking you back a bit. Your sword clattered to the ground for the second time in this fight, and you knew, you were defeated.

Bro wasn’t finished, however.

You could only dodge so much. His strikes became more aggressive, until finally you were hit, leaving a bright red gash on your hip. You held back a scream and instead choked on the little air you were getting into tourneys overworked lungs. Fuck, he drew blood.

Your terrible, red blood. He didn’t want your blood to be red, he wanted, no, needed it’s to be crimson. So you could take his throne. But you’re a Red demon, unable to provide the color he so wanted. God you were a failure. You let yourself fall out of the sky, your wings wrapping protectively around you. Is this where you die? No. He wouldn’t give you the relief of death. You felt yourself land on a newly placed tarp-Bro’s servants are getting quicker. You groaned in pain and closed your eyes as black filled your vision.

You woke up in your bed. Wounds carefully tended To, most likely by some of the staff Bro keeps. You made a mental note to remember to thank them soon. You sat up in bed and reached for your Phone. Demons only recently got access to such fantastic earth technology, and you love it. You see that your friends have started a memo. Oh boy.

EB started memo: WAITING FOR DAVE TO COME ONLINE.

EB added GG to the memo.

EB added TT to the memo.

EB added TG to the memo.

EB: Hey guys!!

TG: TG is currently Idle!

EB: thanks for stating the obvious >:B

TT: Hello, John.

GG: Rose! Have you heard anything about Dave? You’re the highest ranking Demon out of the three of us, surely you can gain intel better!

TT: What I’ve gathered from my Informant, our dear friend Dave is currently recovering from A particularly rough strife. It is best to be patient here, We after all, cannot help Him at the moment.

EB: oh no! I hope he recovers soon!

GG: he wasn’t even fully recovered from last time!!! Gosh I hate that darn king of ours!! :((

TT: unfortunately, there isn’t too much we can do without Dave’s full cooperation.

TG: TG is Online!

EB: Dave! Are you okay? :B??

TG: sup

TT: Hello, Strider. Pleasure to talk to you again. How are you feeling? Do we need to come over?

GG: yeah!! We can bring some food or something! Rose can use her neato healing magic!

You take a minute to run through the possibilities in your mind. You hate this, you hate living here you hate living like this, you hate not being good enough for him and you hate fighting him. You hate that he left you. You hate that she left with him. You hate that they managed to escape. You hate that He of all people, left you behind. Alone.

Well fuck that.

TT: Dave?

GG: Daaave!

TG: i think I made up my mind

TG: i wanna leave

Chapter Text

The plan was relatively straightforward. Wait until the castle you call home is asleep, and sneak out. Jade will be disguising you, after all she is A green demon.

You suppose you should explain Demon Colors.

Crimson, Red, Pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange. There was the occasional mutant, but they were typically eliminated.

Crimson Demons are Royalty and Rulers. There were only Two in existence. Though, you don’t like to think about either of them.

Then there’s Red Demons. Oh hey, you’re one of those! Same deal as Crimson, but you’re unfit to rule the throne. Explains why Your Bro hates you so much. You aren’t the color he wants.

Pink Demons are..Scary, to say the least. They even sort of freak YOU out. You! The trademark cool kid! Pink Demons are those who were once human, they escaped from hell and as a reward acsended to Demonhood. You only knew of Two, Aradia being the most notable. She was a character, that’s for sure. You enjoyed her company nonetheless. Then there was her sister, Damara. She was exceptionally Nice to you and your friends, you’re unsure of why.

Then there’s Purple Demons, Rose’s class. They’re also fairly scary, Purple’s are known for exceptional magic abilities.

Then there’s Blue, Johns class. They don’t actually have anything very special about them, they do however have increased stamina, and are able to fly for longer periods of time. They’re typically High ranking soilders.

And then There’s Green, Jade’s Class. They’re known for being pranksters and tricksters, and make good spies due to their ability to craft well put disguises. Hence why Jade was the one helping you out of the Castle.

Yellow and Orange aren’t anything special, power or ability wise. Typically drafted to be mindless canon fodder for your Brothers army.

You don’t like to think about how many people of those castes have died.

Well, anyways. Jade was waiting outside for you. All you have to do is leave. You carefully stalk the halls of the castle, quiet as a mouse. Footsteps can be heard behind you. You turn in alarm to see it is only one of the servants. She looks at you with a smile, and continues on her way. She had always been very kind to you, You nodded in appreciation to her and kept walking. You doubt she was going to rat you out.

You make it to the castle entrance and slip past the gate, careful not to fly over. Bro had invisible barriers stopping this, they’d fry you in a second. Not worth the risk there. You scurried down the path leading up to your now previous home, to see Jade waiting for you with her usual big cheerful smile. God you didn’t deserve someone so sweet.

“Dave! You made it out! I was starting to worry, haha!” She pulled you into a little side hug when you came into arms reach of her. You chuckled and hugged her back.

“Worried about me? Cmon Jade, you know I’m too cool to be caught.”

“Of course, how could I forget!” She smiled. “Well, I have my invisibility spell here and ready!”

You quirked a brow at this. “Invisibility? I thought you were going to disguise me?”

“Well..I kind of overdid it today messing with John, and I wore out a good amount of my power. I didn’t have time to regenerate it, so I did the best I could here. I’m sorry..” Aw. How could you be mad at her, like, ever?

“It’s all good, just was a bit confused. Lay that sweet sweet invisibility on me.” You spread your arms and She giggled. She muttered a few words before casting whatever spell she had whipped up.

“Did it work?”

“Well, I cant see you Dave so I guess so!” She grinned. “Take my hand, I’ll fly you outta here! John And Rose are waiting for us over in Mitir!”

Your eyes widened. “Wha-“ you were cut off when Jade managed to find your now invisible hand, and swooped you into the air. You flapped your wings to keep up with her.

“What do you mean they’re waiting for us? They’re not coming too are they?”

“Don’t be silly, we all are! We aren’t gonna send you away alone!”

You groaned. Fuck, this was gonna be bad. But she was so hopeful, and..ugh. You let too much slide here.

You and her fly for what feels like half an hour before you reach the Gate that connects your world from the many others. It was well guarded, by..Wait, Is that Aradia?

Jade smiled and waved at..Yeah, that Is Aradiac what the fuck?

“Aradia! Glad to see you!”

She grinned. “Good to see you Too Harley, Strider. You headed out?”

“Aradia you’re-In on this?”

“Of course she is! How else would we sneak us all outta here?”

Aradia Nodded. “The Gate is open, ready for you to head through.”

“Are you sure you don’t wanna come with us Aradia?”

Aradia shook her head.

“I don’t wish to go back to my previous home. Not yet. There’s so much this place has to offer, it’s so fun! Besides, I’m not gonna die again. I don’t plan on dying anytime soon.” She have you both one of her signature smiles. Slightly off putting, but kinda contagious.

“Well, either way. Thanks.”

“Of course! Now go on, They’re waiting for you yknow.” She moved to the side to let you both through. Jade waved goodbye, and you both went through the Gate. Or, more of a portal really.

————

Jesus Christ is is so fucking sunny here.

You see John, Rose, and a couple others waiting for you. They spot you and John enthusiastically waves. You both fly over.

“Jade! Where’s Dave?”

“Oh! Right, one second..” she fiddles around in her pockets and pulls out a little slip of paper. She reads whatever she had written on it, and suddenly you are visible again.

Rose walks over and puts a hand on your shoulder. “I am so happy you both made it here. Nepeta and her Centuar friend are sitting over there, if you wish to say hello.” You make a mental note to maybe greet them, if you feel up to it. But there was just..something gnawing at you. This wasn’t safe enough.

Everyone was happy and smiling but He could still find you here, Metir wasn’t his territory but he wasn’t banned from entering.

“I hate to cut this short, but you do realize he’s totally capable of finding me here, right?”

Rose feigns offense and scoffs.

“Dave, truly how little do you think of me? To think that I would not have a plan for this.” She tsk’d at you and you groan.

“And you’re plan is?”

“The Human Realm.”

What.

Even John and Jade looked a bit shocked. Had they not previously discussed this?

“You’re joking. Demons are banned from The human realm, they kill on sight Rose-“

“Precisely why we won’t be going as Demons, Dave.”

You shared a glance with his friends. “You’re joking. That makes no sense Rose-“

“Disguise magic. Jade, would you do the honors?”

Jade looked confused for a moment before realization struck, and she nodded. She focused for a moment before reciting something under her breath, and suddenly everybody looked different..John, Rose, Jade, they all looked human. And so did You.

Neat.

“Let’s get going, shall we? We need to figure out living situations, I suppose.”

You watched as Rose walked towards the entrance to the human realm, Your friends following close behind. You hesitate, and you run after them.

To freedom.