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S.S. Don't Care

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Dave leaned against the door frame. "Sup."

John jumped, hitting his head on the shelf above him. "Ouch! Oh, hey, Dave!"

"You actually say ouch? That's...adorable, actually. Stop it." Dave leaned outside John's tiny room and pulled a short stool from around the corner to sit on. "It's way too early for this shit, anyway."

"I'm an independent woman, Dave. I don't need no man telling me what to do...least of all you," John snarked, oddly for him. Dave raised an inquisitive brow.

"And just where did you find all that sass? I doubt you caught it from me, you've proved pretty resilient so far."

John blushed. "Uh, I mean, uh--"

"You dog! Who is it? No, wait, let me guess--can't be my sister, or Kanaya for that matter...not Kit-Kat, either--he's way too uptight, I mean, really...hmm, Vriska?" The blush deepened. "Fuck me sideways, Egbert has a girl!" Dave jumped to his feet and leaped onto John's bed, pulling him into a headlock and noogieing him mercilessly.

"Aha, no, really, stop it! No! Shut up, she's not my ahhhh no really stop uncle!" John was near tears as Dave finally let him up. " can't...go around saying...that to people...okay? We're really not just really like her, alright?" John stayed horizontal, recovering his breath, until Dave relaxed his posture

John pounced, and Dave, taken by surprise, collapsed under his weight, unable to prevent John from tickling him. "Fucking--no, shit, fuck, ahahahaha, no--" Dave flailed, but to no avail. "Ahaha no stop ahh fuck no ahahaha!"

"See, you're all for mercy now! Time for a taste of your own medicine!" John kept him pinned with great difficulty, as Dave's spidery limbs were kicking out in every direction. "Come on--tell me who you like, and I'll let you up!"

"Aradia!" was Dave's immediate answer, but John didn't let him up.

"I know that's not true," he laughed.


"Nope!" John jabbed at his ribs and Dave jerked.

"...Nepeta?" He could tell that Dave wasn't hopeful about this one.

"Come on, man..."


Sigh. "Give me some credit, bro...I know you didn't end well. And I walked in on her licking Karkat's face yesterday. It was weird."

"Fuck. Are we really doing this?"

John's brow wrinkled. "What? Isn't anyone in your classes cute and fun?"

"Not that I've noticed."


Dave mumbled something under his breath.

"What was that?"

"Jade. I fucking like your cousin! Happy now?"

"...Oh my god. What--"

"Let me the fuck up, Egbert." John let him up and Dave wrenched himself upright, brushing the hair out of his eyes.

" Jade? When did that start?" Dave was blushing, actually blushing. "Come on! When?"

"I dunno." John gave him The Look. "I don't, really!"

"Yeah, whatever, man. Tell!"

Dave rolled his eyes, but continued. "It's weird. I really don't know when--shut up, it's the truth--there was...the whole Terezi thing, you know..." John nodded. "...And after that I was feeling incredibly shitty, obviously. I was well and truly fucked over for a couple months, remember?"

"Yeah. Remember that time when I found you in the--"

Dave cut him off. "No. Nope. Not even going there. My brain is wiping this moment from my memory." He flopped back onto John's bed, staring at the ceiling. "Anyway, I was in class one day talking to Jade on facebook instead of taking notes on fucking pottery or something and I was like, holy fuck. Jade, man."

"Jade, man," John laughed. He flopped down beside Dave and poked his side. "Dave and Ja-ade, sitting in a tree...!"

"Shut the fuck up, Egwad. I will end you if you're not careful." They both lay in silence. "So...Vriska?"

John sighed. "I don't even know. She acts like she might...! And then she basically dismisses me? I don't get it, bro."

"I feel you. Terezi was...similar, in some ways."


"To be brutally honest," Dave began, rolling over onto his belly, "Kanaya is the only sane one in that apartment. Her, Vriska, Pyrope...I don't know how she fucking does it. Some kind of weird Maryam voodoo shit. Her sister deals with Karkat senior. How the fuck does that work without a loaded pistol in her pocket?"

"Witchcraft!" John laughed.

"Yeah, totes, fuckin' sacrifices to the dark king at midnight, dancing naked in the woods..." John waggled his eyebrows. "Dude, no, shut up, that's not what I meant! Fuck off, man, she's dating my sister!"

John laughed louder and didn't stop, even when Dave rolled him off the bed. Dave sat on the bed, waiting for him to shut up, until, "Whatever Egbutt, just come downstairs whenever you feel like making pancakes." The giggling continued as he stalked away.


"What's this event even called, anyway?" asked Dave. He was sprawled along the whole couch, laptop balanced on his chest, leaving Karkat to stretch out on the floor. "Every time I hear about it it's called something else."

Sollux laughed. "I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to the homecoming harvest bazaar festival equinox dance." His blonde hair was getting long enough that he kept having to shake it out of his eyes as he catapulted furious birds across his tablet.

"And so the S.S. Don't Care sets sail," muttered Karkat. He glared at the document open on his computer screen.

Dave glanced over, eyebrow hoisted high. "Someone's grumpy ahead of schedule."

"Motherfucker, we've lived together for two years. When am I not grumpy?"

"When you find cheap cinnamon," volunteered Sollux.

"When you're taking a bath," Dave said.

John leaned out the open kitchen door. "You don't frown as much when you're winning at Scrabble."

"Ugh." Karkat typed a short sentence, looked at it for a second, then backspaced it all. "Anyway, it's just a fucking dance. Not that exciting."

Dave shrugged. "Not saying it is."

"Then what's got your feathers ruffled?" Karkat twisted around to stare at him. "You haven't cared about any of the other dances over the last two years, ergo this one's different. Got a date lined up?"

Dave ignored him.

"Ha, fuckin' gotcha! Who is it?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about." Dave scrolled down without seeing anything.

"Fuck that. Who is it?"

"Fuck off, Vantas."

"Fuck you, Strider. Who?"

"None of your business, assfuck."

"You admitted it!"

"Admitted what?" Dave sat up a little to glare at him.

"There's someone you want to go with!" Karkat smirked. "And I think I know who...!"

"Who?" Sollux asked. The tip of his tongue stuck out the corner of his mouth as he aimed a triangular bird.

"Oh, I don't know if he'd want me telling..."

"Tell what? I have no fucking clue, that's for certain."

Karkat paused for extra tension. Dave's eyes narrowed behind his shades. "...J--" Dave's foot hit him in the back.

"Whoops, foot slipped." Dave glared at Karkat until he grunted and went back to staring at his computer.

It was quiet for a while, until Sollux turned the Angry Birds music on. A precarious structure collapsed on top of a trio of pigs.


"Fucking--" Dave reached out blindly, but Karkat rolled out of his reach and to his feet. "You're dead--" Dave let his laptop land on the end of the sofa and dived for Karkat's knees, missing by a foot.

John reentered, cradling a large ceramic bowl. "What was that about Jade?" Karkat scampered behind him and he and Dave dodged around John. "What are you--"

"Dave has a crush on Jade and he wants to ask her to the homecoming harvest fuckall dance and now he's gonna kill me--shit--" Dave grabbed a handful of Karkat's shirt and reeled him into a headlock. A firm but tender hand circled his scalp and noogied without mercy. "Uncle!"

"Fuck that, assmunch. You gave up the right to uncle when you spilled the fucking beans all over this shit. Maple smokey bacon legumes are staining the fuckin' carpet and there's no. Way. Out."

"You have a crush on Jade?" John asked. Dave froze. "Really?"

"...Yeah?" Karkat seized the opportunity to twist away from Dave. His shirt got twisted up around his shoulders, but he pulled it down and stalked away, muttering. Dave shook his head suddenly. "Wait, you knew that already."

John smirked. "Gotcha." He spun on a smug heel and returned to the kitchen. Dave gaped behind him.

"That was masterful," Sollux stated. Victory music echoed through the quiet house. "Yes! High score."

"Congratu-fucking-lations." Dave turned back to the couch and collapsed, pulling his laptop back up to his chin. Silence ruled until John returned.

"Pancakes are ready."

"Oh, thank god." Sollux got up and beat Karkat and Dave to the kitchen.


Dave pulled on his other shoe and tugged it tighter around his foot around his foot. His backpack perched on a battered chair by the door. He'd just looped the laces into a knot when Karkat came bounding down the stairs, brandishing a sheaf of freshly printed paper. "Better hurry up, dude, the bus--"

"Yeah, yeah, fuck, I know," Karkat groused. He slid the course outlines in an empty binder and latched his satchel shut over it. "Get out of the way, you're on top of my shoes!"

Dave rolled his eyes, but got out of the way. Vantas charged past him and yanked them on, and they both hoisted up their bags and departed without further ado. Dave heard John shouting something unintelligible on their way out, but let the door slam behind them without a qualm. He can text if it's that important.

They strolled up to the bus stop in good time. No one else was waiting there, that late in the day. Dave shoved an earbud in and pressed play.

"You've got syrup on your chin." Karkat licked a finger and reached to clean Dave's face. "No, hold still--" Dave made a face and pulled away. "Come on, dickmunch, you'll look like a tool with that shit all over you--" The screeching of the bus' brakes barely intruded on their attention. "Dude, just hold on--"

The bus driver coughed loudly. Dave glared and pulled out his bus pass, pushing past Karkat. He scanned the card and took one of the last seats, and Vantas followed his lead, dropping his satchel on the floor of the bus and kicking it under the metal seat. Dave looked away and dropped his loose earbud in his other ear. His illest beats filled his ears as he idly watched a short girl wrestle her hair into a bun. He could feel Karkat moving beside him, probably yanking something out of his bag, but he resolutely looked in the other direction.

When Dave finally chanced a glance toward Karkat, the guy was buried in a book almost as big as he was. Dave barely concealed a snort and looked closer. The Language of Flowers? Oh, for fuck's sake.

The bus pulled up and every single person on the bus filed off. Dave was second last in line, ahead of Karkat, and waved a terse wave of farewell before heading into a narrow, squat building.

The campus was cleaner than usual, like it was every year early in the semester. The yearly grime had yet to sink into the pores of reality, and everything was fresh. For now. The expected crowd of tiny first years clung to either side of the hallway, but his skinny frame slid effortlessly through the sea of humans and through the peeling doors of his class.

He almost let the door swing shut on the guy coming in behind him, but he caught it at the last second at held it for him, exchanging a bro-ly nod with him as he passed. Dave swung his backpack off his shoulder and sat in the chair closest to the door in the very back row. The group of girls a few seats ahead were discussing the latest episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but Dave refrained from inserting his own opinion. Scott's the fuckin' man.

He extricated his laptop and flipped it open. Dave logged in with a few rapid keystrokes and reopened his browser. The tabs he'd left open flicked up: SBAHJ, Facebook, Reddit...Dave clicked onto Facebook and checked his messages.

Eridan Ampora: fuck off asshole

Sollux Captor: found this and it made me think of you xx

Rose Lalonde: As one might colloquially say, "hella to the max, yo".

Jade Harley: are you ready bro??!

He vaguely noted his prof entering the lecture hall and setting up his powerpoint, but Dave pointedly ignored him in favour of replying.

Dave Strider: im so ready bro
ready as a fox
Jade Harley: ive seen ready foxes dave
Dave Strider: yeah right
Jade Harley: :p
Dave Strider: thought so

Dave Strider: youre finally getting the lingo are you lalonde
took you long enough
guess i can finally shave the beard i vowed to keep throughout your struggle to ride with the times

Dave Strider: ill fuck off when im good and ready ampora
now go make out with peixes or captor or whatever you do in your spare time
Eridan Ampora: fuck off
Dave Strider: nope weve been there already

He ignored whatever Ampora was continuing to spew at him in favour of finding exactly the right video to reply to Sollux. The sound of the teacher's voice intruded on his consciousness before he found it, however, so he switched to taking notes. Fuckin' archaeology, bro.

His phone vibrated as he stowed his laptop in his bag.

Karkat: Are you going to ask her.

Dave sighed.

Dave: fuck off vantass
Karkat: Are you going to ask her.
Dave: stop that
Karkat: Are you going to ask her.
Dave: kk stop saying that
Karkat: Oh sorry pocket text.
Dave: fuck off thats my joke
Karkat: So you're going to ask her?

He slunk out of the classroom, texting as he went.

Dave: so what if i do
Dave: none of your beeswax son
Dave: i learned you better than that
Dave: back home on like
Dave: the bee farm
Dave: do beekeepers even have farms
Dave: or are they even called farms
Dave: maybe theyre like bee coves or bee conglomerates or some shit
Dave: maybe bees farm beekepeers did you ever think of that
Dave: hold on rethinking the entire agricultural system

He turned a corner, dodging a sprinting dude dragging a cello behind him. Dave shoved his phone in his pants pocket and trudged up a flight of stairs to his usual hangout nook. Dave peeked behind the staircase and--the area was completely deserted, for once. Thank fuck. He dropped his stuff on the wide seat and checked his phone again. Nothing.

Dave: arent you going to keep pestering me
Karkat: I was waiting for you to finish babbling.
Dave: come on man thats like half the experience of talking to me
Karkat: Yeah exactly. It's the tiresome half.
Dave: rude
Karkat: Well what did you expect it's me.
Karkat: Are you going to ask her.
Dave: i expected more from a bro
Dave: and ugh i dont know ok
Dave: its complicated
Karkat: How is it complicated.
Karkat: Just ask her.
Dave: u g h

Dave pulled out a slender book from his bag, putting off checking his phone for a couple of minutes. As soon as he was situated about as comfortably as he could be outside of bed, and had his phone, waterbottle, books, laptop, and house keys arranged neatly around him, he finally unlocked it.

Karkat: Just nut up and ask her already.
Karkat: I know for a fact at least two other dudes have mad crushes on Harley.
Karkat: And they may be just as dickish and rude as you but they have more of a chance because they're going to actually ask her.
Karkat: It's in two days you dinglefuck. You're running out of time.
Dave: im cool im chill i got this
Karkat: So you're going to do it?
Dave: maybe
Karkat: Fuck
Karkat: I'm getting Kanaya to text you she's better at this.
Dave: no fuck dont do that rose will find out
Dave: shes cray like that
Karkat: Too late.
Karkat: May god have mercy on your soul.
Dave: im writing you out of my will
Karkat: I'm sure Rose is ok with inheriting custody of all your dusty old records and shit.
Dave: heck off u jag

Sigh. He scanned a few lines of what he was trying to read, but that paleontology shit just wasn't computing. Fucking Vantas. Dave's phone vibrated again.

Kanaya: So Im told you need romantic advice of some persuasion
Dave: thats it im out
Dave: nice talking to you papaya but im outie
Kanaya Oh come on just tell me whats happening
Kanaya: I cant say Karkat was terribly forthcoming on the subject
Dave: oh my god i fucking hate that guy
Kanaya: That feeling can be rather overwhelming but then again I can probably help with
Kanaya: Uh
Kanaya: Whatever is actually going on with you and the other person it concerns
Kanaya: Ok that sounded extremely vague but I probably actually can help you for real
Dave: fucking
Dave: fine
Dave: karkles is trying to convince me to ask jade to the harvest equinox homecoming dealie
Kanaya: Oh really
Kanaya: That sounds adorable
Dave: fuck off
Kanaya: No I am being completely sincere
Dave: no stop oh my fuck this is worse than rose
Kanaya: Is that strictly possible
Dave: snrk
Dave: ok no its not
Dave: continue

He shifted position, knocking his keys onto the floor. Dave cursed and bent down to pick them up.

"Dave?" He looked up to see Jade casting a questioning glance at his recumbent posture. Son of a dick, Maryam's vocab is contagious.

"Sup?" He straightened and dropped his keys back beside him. There were footmarks on the cushion now.

"Not much, just got out of physics." She shifted the books she held over to her other arm.

"Got time before your next class?" Smooth, Strider.

She grinned. "Sure!" Jade unharnessed herself from her bag and set up camp beside him.

They sat in relative quiet a while as Dave pretended to read a bit longer. He glanced at Jade, but her absorbed face was turned down to her textbook as she scribbled some notes in the margins. Instead of saying something completely stupid--like usual--he checked his phone.

Kanaya: Ok good
Kanaya: So we both know you have feelings for Jade
Kanaya: Or rather strictly speaking you Karkat and I all know about your feelings for her
Kanaya: Oh and Rose has mentioned it on several occasions
Kanaya: And perhaps John or Sollux I forget which
Kanaya: Anyway it is known to multiple personages that you harbour affection for the girl
Kanaya: And to be entirely truthful it is about time for you to act on them
Kanaya: Jump on that complex beautiful woman like shes the last slice of pizza covered in hunks of dead animal
Kanaya: Not that I really intend for you to regard her as you would a piece of food
Kanaya: Objectifying her would be uncouth and frankly an awful thing to do to any living creature
Kanaya: The way this society equates female bodies with products available to purchase or consume is horrendous
Kanaya: I can link you to several beautifully done documentaries on the subject
Dave: well this feelings jam is going to hell in a handbasket
Kanaya: Well now that you mention it I had noticed it veering slightly off topic
Dave: you dont say
Kanaya: I do though
Dave: yeah
Dave: i know

"Who are you texting?" Dave looked up to see Jade looking back, one eyebrow quirked up.

"I taught you how to do that."

"What?" She looked confused now.

"Oh, remember back in grade, what, six? We spent like hours just getting you to flex your forehead right. Then you kept making that face at me in class and I kept laughing, and then I got detention..." Worth it.

She giggled. "Oh wow, I'd forgotten! It's been so long!"

"Like, hella." What the fuck did I just say?

"Mhm." It was quiet again as she seemed to return to her reading, then, "But who were you texting?"

"Oh, that." Dave looked back at his phone. Kanaya hadn't replied yet. "Just Kanaya, she had a couple questions about Rose's birthday."

"What, already?"

"Yeah. Sorry, can't say more than that, agency business." Dave put on a bit of a weird English accent at the end there, and was rewarded with a giggle.

"Well, let me know if it's anything I can help with."

"Totes." Shut the fuck up, Dave. He shut up.

Kanaya: Ok
Kanaya: Well
Kanaya: Basically what you need to do is
Kanaya: Um
Kanaya: Ok so youve known Jade for a very long time am I correct
Dave: uh yep
Dave: pretty much always
Kanaya: I see
Kanaya: Well
Kanaya: To be entirely honest you just need to tell her
Dave: what no sonnet or elaborate promposal
Kanaya: No just ask nicely
Kanaya: Or whatever nicely means to a Strider
Dave: thanks for the vote of confidence maryann
Kanaya: Maryam
Kanaya: And you just need a good kick in the pants
Dave: you sure you dont mean trousers
Kanaya: That would just sound silly
Dave: yeah
Dave: it fits the profile


He took a second before looking up. "Yeah?" Oh shit she's holding her phone what could Vantas have said--

"Are you going to be home before seven? John's asking, he says you're not answering his texts--"

"Oh. Shit. Yeah, my class ends at six, I should be back long before then. Hold on, I can text him back--"

"Oh, it's no trouble." They both looked back to their phones and tapped away.

John: bro, you gonna be home before 7?
John: it's not me asking, sollux says he's going to light the carpet on fire if we don't have a family meeting about the bathroom.
John: like for real i think that towel pile is gonna grow legs soon!!
John: daaaaaaaave
John: daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave
John: i'm texting jade, you're probably with her because you liiiiiiike her!
John: don't worry dude, i didn't actually tell her, best bros forever!
Dave: oh my god you dweeb
John: oh hey!
John: jade already told me, sollux has backed down and retreated to his lair
John: for now........!
Dave: no stop stop right there please for the love of fudge
John: next episode on the dudebro house!
John: ok fine i'll stop :P
Dave: good
Dave: do you even have a date to the thing
John: what thing?
Dave: you know
Dave: the thing
John: oh, the thing! i know the thing!
John: ...and that is tbd!
Dave: what about vantas
Dave: hes been all up in my grill about it
Dave: does he even have a body coming
John: i just asked him and he told me to swan dive off the ironing board into the toaster.
Dave: is that a yes or a no
John: to be honest, i have no idea.
Dave: yeah me neither
Dave: what about cap
Dave: dont tell him i called him that
John: i'm telling him you said that!
Dave: fuck there goes my street cred
John: he says fuck off and also that aa is going with him! that'll be nice for them!
Dave: i guess
John: i don't guess. i know :)
Dave: sap
John: you should watch that documentary on hypermasculinity kanaya was sharing around, it had a lot to say about male emotional suppression :P
Dave: shut up or ill
Dave: uh
Dave: idk ill eat all your cheese
John: that's a low blow
Dave: the lowest of the low

Dave looked up to see Jade picking up her things. "Going to class?"

She glanced up and smiled. "Yeah. I have to get all the way down to the Huss Complex in time, so..."

"I'll walk you there." He stood, closing his laptop and zipping it into its case.

"Isn't that in the opposite direction?" Jade swung her bulging backpack on her shoulder. She stuck out her lip and blew some hair out of her face. "You're up in the Tower, right?"

Dave simultaneously stuffed his keys in his jeans pocket and shoved his phone in a back pocket. "Nah girl, I got this. It's hella time management all up in the hizzy--" She smacked his arm gently. "What up?"

"Come on! No time for a full Strider rant." Jade stuck out her tongue and ran down the stairs. "I'm gonna beat you!"

"You wish." He grabbed his backpack and rushed headlong after her.

Chapter Text

The house was quiet when Dave got home. Too quiet. The living room was almost dark by this time of night. Dave nearly smashed a toe off the coffee table on his way to the kitchen, only avoiding it thanks to his phone screen lighting up with a text. He dropped his backpack on the seat of a chair as he kept walking, when--


Fuck. He turned back. "Sorry dude."

Dave could almost see John's expression in the gloaming, eyes and smile wide. "Nah man, it's totally okay!"

"Cool." He let the silence grow between them, until, "So...any particular reason why you're lurking in the dark like a murderer?"

"Family meeting, of course!"

"Jesus christ, no." Dave made a beeline for the kitchen, attempting to ignore John's footsteps quick behind him. "I said no," he added, as he flicked on the light and opened the fridge.

John trailed in behind him. "But, it's a family meeting! You can't skip out on a family meeting!" he protested.

"Wanna bet?" Dave pulled out a mostly-empty jug of milk and tipped it back into his mouth.

John frowned. "Come on, man, it'll be hella."

Dave swallowed thickly, and tossed the empty plastic jug in the general direction of the recycling bin. "Nah."

John perched on the counter beside a growing jungle of dirty mugs and pouted a little (a lot) more than strictly necessary. "But, Sollux and Karkat said they'd be there--"

"Sure, yeah, whatever." He rolled his eyes. "They say they'll be here, and then they hide out in their rooms and refuse to come out and face us like wild animals and leave us to clean up their shit. Like I'm going to let that happen again." Dave pulled the fridge open again and rummaged through the fruit drawer. He emerged from the adventure brandishing an apple.


"No buts." He crunched the first bite of the apple. Then stopped.

Dave swallowed whole chunks of unchewed fruit more rapidly than is generally considered ideal. "Why is this meeting so important to you?"

John's deflation would almost be visible from the international space station.

"What's really going on?"

"Um..." John trailed off. "Household cleanliness?"

Dave's eyes narrowed dangerously. Not that they were visible, of course, from behind his shades, but it's the thought that counts, sort of. "What. Is it?" he repeated.


"No." Dave dove back into the fridge and swept half a package of yoghurt cups and a bag of baby carrots into his arms. He shoved that shit into the crook of one elbow and rifled through the cheese drawer with brutal accuracy. John kept trying to say something, something about eternal friendship and all for the best and all for one and one for all or some shit but he wasn't listening, not even a little bit, one hundred percent not paying attention. Dave kicked the fridge door shut with one foot, grabbing a carton of apple juice with his free arm, then headed for the stairs.

John's voice floated after him. "Hey, my cheese!"


His phone vibrated. Again.

Dave kept on fiddling with the beat on an old track he'd rediscovered. It'd been years since he'd abandoned it to the merciless depths of his hard drive.

The phone buzzed.

He dropped his laptop next to him and flopped back into the unmade covers on his bed. Something small and sharp in the sheets poked him in the shoulderblade, but he shrugged it off and didn't move. Buzz. His eyes slowly focused on the ceiling, and he noticed a tiny black spot on the plaster. Buzz.

A dust mote flickered across his sight, caught in the artificial light, followed by another.


A muffled curse hissed out of his mouth as he finally reached for it.

Sollux: get the fuck down here.
Sollux: please.
Sollux: oh my god, he is literally calling this "operation nerd kiss".
Sollux: save me, i'm fucking begging you.
Sollux: help
Sollux: police
Sollux: ambulance
Sollux: go to jade's place and put your face on her face. stat.
Sollux: no, seriously. save yourself from this horseshit plan.
Dave: oh my god what the fuck
Dave: i dont know where to begin with this shit
Sollux: yeah, well, i don't know where it ends.
Dave: well
Dave: i guess were all fucked in this scenario
Sollux: no kidding.
Sollux: i'm not joking though. not even a little bit. please ask harley out.
Sollux: it'll be more humane that way. for everyone.
Dave: whatever
Dave: ill work this shit out
Dave: why does no one ever believe me
Sollux: ...
Sollux: have you MET you?
Dave: technically no
Sollux: you always do this shit.
Sollux: i'm not going to sugarcoat it. you dick around until the last minute, and when everything falls apart you cite it as a reason never to try again.
Sollux: i'm fucking sick of it.

He was typing another reply when his phone slipped from where he held it over his face and hit him square in the lip. "Motherfuck--" Dave swept his tongue over his teeth and didn't taste blood. Probably a good sign.

His phone vibrated several times in succession as he checked his wounds, and he could feel it in his bones through the mattress.

Sollux: you can't keep running away from shit forever.
Sollux: feelings are gonna find you wherever you hide, strider.
Sollux: there's no fucking cheat code to get the thing you want. you just have to go for it if you think it's worth it.

Dave stared at the screen for long enough that his eyes swam from lack of blinking. He put the phone down after a minute. What do you say to that?


Whatever you have to say, you say it to someone else.

Dave: fucking fuck
Dave: i cant fucking do this
Rose: 'This' here referring to Operation Nerd Kiss?
Dave: jesus fucking christmas
Dave: you know about this shit too
Rose: I only know of it from hearsay, not direct involvement.
Dave: so
Dave: indirect involvement then
Dave: i cant believe youre in on this shit too
Dave: fuck
Rose: What's got my brother in such ruffled feathers?
Rose: Hardly the most fashionable threads of the biz.
Dave: john and karkat and sollux are whats got me ruffled beyond the chip industrys wildest dreams
Rose: Are you quite sure you don't mean Jade?
Dave: pretty fucking sure
Dave: all my friends dont think i can handle my own shit
Dave: not even john
Dave: not even my own fucking twin right rose
Dave: how am i supposed to actually deal with my own shit when i know no one thinks i can
Rose: Easily.
Rose: To prove them wrong.
Rose: And I have never bet against you, Strider.
Rose: Except the science fair in grade nine. That was just for practicality's sake.
Dave: those teenage bookies had it coming
Rose: My allowance wasn't infinite; I did what I had to, and I got it done.
Dave: those novelty horrorterror action figures have never been more grateful
Rose: They were limited edition.
Dave: ...
Rose: Dave.
Rose: All I want is for you to be happy.
Rose: And for Jade to be similarly so, of course.
Dave: is that so
Rose: Yes.
Dave: do you actually think this has a chance of working out ok
Rose: Yes.
Rose: Especially when we both know how much you want it to.
Dave: pfft yeah whatever
Rose: Dave.
Rose: Don't belittle this. Remember, I know you better than John, Karkat, or Sollux ever could.
Dave: creepy
Rose: I try.
Dave: does she feel the same
Rose: Spoilers.
Dave: aw come on ro ro
Rose: Fine, she wants to mush her lithe torso all up in your business. Oh, excuse me, I meant your 'grill'.
Dave: are you just saying that so i shut the fuck up and you can go back to spooning your nubile alternative chic girlfriend
Rose: Who's to say we're not 'spooning' as we speak?
Dave: gross
Rose: One of us might be wearing trousers, even.
Dave: no
Rose: ;)
Dave: fuck no
Dave: kthxbai
Rose: Laters.

He put down his phone and buried his head in his hands. What is the world coming to? It buzzed again and he checked it.

Kanaya: Thank you
Dave: augh no fuck
Kanaya: ;)

Dave slammed the phone onto the bed and uttered a garbled shrieking sound. He could hear the conversation downstairs stop and Karkat shouting something, probably a 'what-the-actual-fuck' exclamation. Well, the audience can't be left in suspense. He shrieked again, ending in a weird cawing sound, and listened to Sollux's barking laughter echo through the floor.

Shit's gonna get realer than Kraft Mayo. And that shit's really fucking real.