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Why Me?

Chapter Text

Your name is Dave Strider and you’re officially the new kid on the block. You just moved from Houston, Texas to Maple Valley, Washington because your brother, creatively dubbed ‘Bro,’ decided that business with clients would be easier up here. Apparently sex puppets are more acceptable the further north you go.


However, this move means you have to start at a new school with kids who you don’t know and who don’t understand you/sign language. You’ve been mute your whole life. Being born with damaged vocal cords tends to do that. Luckily, your family is pretty cool and they all adapted quickly. Everyone learned sign for you and came up with a special system for communication when you’re not in the same room. (This system mostly involves strictly yes or no questions and you knocking on walls either twice or three times to indicate yes and no respectively).


You’d be perfectly fucking fine with starting a new school if your brother, Dirk, was still attending so he could help you explain shit to teachers, but he graduated a year ago, leaving you behind to fend for yourself. A surprisingly low number of people actually know sign and you can’t afford to have a translator follow you around all day (not that you want one anyway because having some random grown man following you around and listening in on all your conversations is creepy as hell). Bro has his own shit to deal with, so the most he can do is write a note for teachers, not that he will, and your oldest brother, D, is in Hollywood creating bullshit he calls movies, based on comics you wrote when you were thirteen. You would enlist your little sister, Rose’s help except she is on vacation in New York with your other sister and your mom for another two weeks.


Basically, you’re fucked. The most you can do is hope a teacher might know sign so at least you won’t have to suffer the entire day. Just most of it.


You’re currently making your way to your new school, red knapsack heavy on your back and dark shades hanging in front of your eyes. It’s colder up here than you’re used to and you don’t know if you’ll make it through the day without freezing to death at least once. You make it up the steps to the school and wander around until you find a door labeled ‘Office.’ You walk inside and begin signing to the woman at the desk, hoping she might have some clue what you’re saying. She stares at you incredulously for a moment and you decide it’s probably best to just write it out for her before she starts trying to decipher your sick hand movements like some sort of secret code.


You open your bag and swiftly tear out a sheet of paper. You write in big, sloppy, red letters ‘I’m Dave Strider. I’m new here’ and turn the page to her. A look of recognition flashes across her face and she begins typing on the keyboard in front of her. You hear a printer running a few seconds later and she stands up. She hands a paper to you containing your schedule and points to the first class on the list, making eye contact with you and speaking slowly, with long, pronounced syllables, the exact thing you were hoping to avoid.


As you walk out, you debate whether you should flip her off or not for thinking you can’t understand a lick of English. She gets off easy this time because your chances of needing her in the future are rather high. On your last day, though? You’ll bring your entire family with you just so everyone can flip her off at the same time. You may even somehow sew a few extra arms onto your body just so you can tell her to go fuck herself a few more times. You look forward to that day.


You walk into your first class, biology, and are met with anarchy. There is glitter covering everything, a huge glob of shaving cream is sitting behind the teacher’s desk (and it’s screaming so you think the teacher might actually be under all the shaving cream), and a kid with black hair and thick glasses is giggling uncontrollably while tooting an airhorn.


What the actual fuck.


Another teacher peaks in the door behind you, shrugs his shoulders, and walks away and is this a normal occurrence? You’re no stranger to schools. You’ve been to many a school in your lifetime and this has never happened before. Not once in your entire, too-long school experience.


A glitter-covered student eventually notices you standing in the doorway and calls to the teacher, having to screech over the loud honking of the airhorn. A few other just-as-glittery students look up at you as the teacher emerges from the shaving cream like some bizarre egg hatching. He glides over to you, leaving a trail of white footsteps behind him and you’re honestly a little scared of taking this class now. You definitely don't want to go home every day covered in glitter and shaving cream. Bro would certainly not approve (to be honest, he would probably make some sort of coming-out-of-the-closet joke, snap some photos and make sure you couldn’t get to the bathroom to wash yourself off).


The teacher asks if you’re David and you nod (you don’t have the patience to correct him at the moment after dealing with that secretary). He drags you up to the front of the room to introduce you, telling everyone to be welcoming and all that bullshit. He asks you if you have anything you want to say and you hand him the note Bro wrote for you earlier, informing him of your ‘condition.’ And by “Bro wrote it,” you mean that you forged his signature since he is an ass and refused to write one for you.


The teacher, Mr Nitram, lets you sit down after reading the note, putting you in the back, next to…




The kid with the airhorn. You only just got here but Mr Nitram clearly hates you if you’re being seated next to this guy. You slowly make your way to your seat, which is mysteriously devoid of any glitter, despite the insane amounts of the stuff all over the desk and floor and students. You sit down and a huge fart noise comes from right underneath you. You pull a whoopee cushion out from under your ass and just stare at it for a moment, the kid giggling like a deranged psychopath right next to you.


“John,” the teacher speaks up, “Please be nice. It’s his first day. We don’t want to traumatize him just yet.”


This is going to be one hell of a year.

Chapter Text

Your name is John Egbert and you’re so, so, so proud of how well your latest prank has gone. Your entire class and your teacher were all extremely surprised by the glitter explosion you unleashed upon them. Mr Nitram seemed especially shocked when you dumped about 5 gallons of shaving cream on him.


You’re especially glad that it went well because of all the planning that went into this particular escapade. You had to get a metric fuck-ton of glitter and you had to sneak a whole lot of cans of shaving cream out of your dad’s cabinet. He probably won’t notice the cans that you took when you look at how many cans of barbasol are still there (Your dad REALLY likes shaving). You also had to give up the cake in your lunch for a week so Jade would agree to help you. Not that you’ll miss the cake since you’ve grown so tired of eating it practically every day, but you will be little hungry without it.


All was going well with your genius prank until someone sitting by the door pointed out some douchebag-looking kid standing awkwardly in the door. Seriously, this kid is wearing sunglasses indoors. How much more douchebaggy can you get?


Mr Nitram gets up, leaving all the shaving cream behind, and greets the kid. You’re thoroughly disappointed at this point. Everyone has completely forgotten about your geniusness already. This kid definitely needs to be put in his place. Nobody ruins one of your pranks and gets away with it unscathed.


Mr Mitram introduces the kid as Dave and you kind of zone out until he seats Dave next to you (easier to exact your revenge this way, even if you will be sitting next to the king of all douchebags for the rest of the year). You quickly dust off all the glitter that ended up on his seat before he approaches. He sits down silently, like he’s too good for this class and doesn’t feel the need to grace all the other students with his voice. He had the teacher say his name for him. How much more dickish can you get?


The class starts, and people clean the glitter off their books so they can begin taking notes. You take this chance to study Dave up close. He’s got white hair, which you’re pretty sure he dyed that colour because that’s what douchebags do. You really don’t understand why he’s wearing shades. There aren’t any windows in this room, so no sun could be getting in his eyes, not that the classrooms with actual windows are much brighter anyway. You can’t wait until a really strict teacher tells him off for wearing those stupid-looking things.


You poke Dave, deciding to interrogate him. He looks up to you (at least, you think he does) and you ask him politely where he came from (keep your friends close and your enemies closer). He pulls out a blank sheet of paper and writes messily “houston.” You tell him that you’re sitting in the back of the class, and Mr Nitram is super chill anyway, so he doesn’t have to write stuff down.


He looks a little taken aback when you say that, but puts down the pen in his hand. He then proceeds to move his hands around a lot. You’re kind of concerned that this is some kind of weird muscle spasm happening in his hands and look up at his face worriedly. When you do this, however, the spasms stop and he picks up the pen again.


You’re more than a little terrified right now. What if he dies from whatever just happened to his hands? You don’t want to be accused of murder, or watch someone die at all.


Before you can voice your concern, however, he begins writing again. You look over his shoulder and see “i think i do need to write if you dont know asl bro” written sloppily on the paper. You’re a little less terrified once you figure out what ASL stands for and realize that he wasn’t having spasms or anything.


Instead, you’re terrified that you offended him. You made fun of the disabled kid! People are going to hate you forever if they hear about this! You quickly ask if he’s deaf, hoping that he’s just messing with you. He shakes his head and your shoulders sag with relief. You ask why he was using sign language if he isn’t deaf, because that’s really stupid and he almost gave you a heart attack.


“cant talk” is his response. You look at him with confusion written all over your face. Why can’t he talk? He won’t get in trouble for it. Not in this class, at least. You inquire as to why. He seems to be getting pretty frustrated with you right now, but he writes a response.


“im mute asshole”




You start panicking again because you really did make fun of a disabled kid and this will tarnish your reputation forever and your friends will probably stop talking to you and your dad will disown you and your whole life is ruined now all because you couldn’t keep your mouth shut-


You stop your silent freak-out when you feel a tap on your shoulder. Dave is looking at you with concern on his face. That’s a little weird though because you’re pretty sure he’s supposed to be angry with you for making fun of his disability. He writes on the paper again, asking what’s wrong with you. You tell him exactly what is wrong.


He seems more than a little offended when you refer to him as disabled and quickly writes a response to your (apparently very offensive) statement.


“dude im not disabled man i can do the same stuff as you im not stuck in a wheelchair or something”


You quickly try to correct yourself but you don’t even know what to say. You just end up flailing your arms around a lot and opening and closing your mouth without really making any sound. Mr Nitram eventually tells you that you’re being too distracting and that you need to save it for after the lecture. You shut your mouth once more and stare straight ahead at the blackboard. You can feel Dave’s eyes boring into the side of your head until the end of the period.


Once you’re about to leave, Mr Nitram quickly stops you and asks you to show Dave to his next class. You almost burst into tears right at that moment because you’re pretty sure Dave already hates you.


Nonetheless, you take a look at his schedule and see that he shares THREE fucking classes with you. Whatever gods are out there are clearly trying to torture you with this guy’s presence. Unfortunately, Mr Nitram gives you a stern look when you try to push the responsibility off on someone else. Your shoulders sag and you succumb to your fate.


Dave is silent while you walk through the halls and it takes a moment for you to realize why. You feel really bad for this guy. He can’t talk! And you made fun of his disability! What kind of asshole does that?!


The John Egbert kind of asshole does that, apparently.


You walk into english with Dave in tow. He spots Ms Wilson and quickly strides over to her, handing her a note. She tells him to sit in the spot next to you (JUST YOUR LUCK. There are seven empty seats in this class and she sits him next to you of all people). On his way to his new desk, she informs him that wearing sunglasses inside is unacceptable and he must take them off. He looks pissed off but doesn’t argue with her. Instead, he sits at his desk and removes them from the bridge of his nose, leaving them on the edge of his desk. He then promptly places his head in his arms, like he’s fallen asleep. You poke him once, wanting to ask what’s wrong. He keeps his head on his desk but briefly flips you off.


On one hand, you’re glad that he got told off for wearing them in school because he looked like a complete asshole and he kind of deserved to be knocked down a few pegs. On the other hand, you’re starting to think there might be something more to those shades than just looking cool.


The period passes by in a blur and you don’t remember anything from the lesson. You were too focused on this new kid the entire time. Seriously, what’s his problem?


Before he is lead off to his next class, and against your better judgement, you tell him to join you for lunch. He looks hesitant, but eventually nods at you, accepting your offer before being dragged off to his next class by that weird cat-girl, Nepeta.


Your next class breezes by and you don’t retain anything your teacher talked about today. You’re too nervous about lunch today. You’re not sure why you invited such a douchey guy to eat with you. He’s just so mysterious and you really want to know more about him.


When lunch finally comes around, you find Jade already sitting by the tree you always eat near. You desperately hope Dave knows where it is because you never gave him very specific directions (Nepeta dragged him away too fast for such details). However, exactly six minutes later, he shows up. He looks pretty neutral about the whole scene, poker face still in place. He drops his bag on the ground unceremoniously and stares down at you, not saying anything.


Jade quickly jumps in, asking him what his name is. He pulls out his phone and begins texting. You’re about to call him out on it because that’s just plain rude, when he turns the phone towards Jade.


“names dave strider and you are?”


Jade doesn’t even question it. Not like you did. She simply tells him that she’s Jade Harley. You inform her that you invited him to sit with you guys at lunch, and she tells him to sit down because ‘we won’t bite, silly!’


He sits down in front of the two of you. Actually, he kind of flops onto his butt, dropping down as abruptly as his bag.


Jade practically tells him her entire life’s story, but he seems genuinely interested, nodding along at all the good bits. You eventually cut in, because seriously, Jade. You tell him about the other person who usually sits with you at lunch, Rose, and how she’s on vacation at the moment but should be back in about two weeks.


As soon as you mention the name, he freezes and pulls out his phone again.


“you know rose?????”


“Yeah… Why? Do you know her?”


He begins typing furiously again.


“dude shes my sister!!!”


This piece of information is actually new to you. You thought she only had an older sister. You ask him about this, and why she wouldn’t even mention that her sibling was moving here. He tells you that he and his brothers never actually informed the rest of the family. It was supposed to be kind of a surprise for when they got back from vacation. He then makes you promise to not tell her this at all. You give a scout’s honour, and Jade says she won’t reveal anything.


You decide at that moment that Dave might actually be alright.

Chapter Text

You successfully survive your first day at your new school. You're still baffled that those kids you were hanging out with knew Rose. You kind of just assumed she sat in a corner writing gay wizard fanfiction all day, not making friends. You're also surprised her friends are as happy and upbeat as they are. You thought any friends she may have would be goth kids like her. You're also more than a little hurt that Rose has never mentioned you to any of her friends. You talk about her all the time. Your friends back in Texas knew all about her.

You decide you'll interrogate her on the topic later. When she gets back from her trip. After you and your brothers surprise her with the fact that you moved.

As you lament this, you're walking home. John and Jade live in the opposite direction, a fact that made them very upset. John's exact words were "But Daaaaave, we wanted to be able to hang out with you some more! You're so awesome and amazing and so much better than your dumb sister in every way! We want to learn how to be as cool as you! Please teach us your ways!" Those were his exact words and in no way an exaggeration at all.


You walk in the door to your new apartment and feel a rush of air whiz by your face. You hear a sharp thunk behind you and look to see a shuriken imbedded in the door frame. Anyone else would have freaked the fuck out about that, but not you. You keep your poker face steady and unwavering as you flip off Bro. You're used to this kind of greeting when walking in the door.

Bro is sitting on the futon, grey hat perched on his head. His hair is messy, sticking up is all directions underneath the plain-looking snapback. His shirt is wrinkled and he's still in his pyjama bottoms, which makes you think he only got up recently.

Dirk is sitting next to him, eyes on his phone, typing inhumanly fast on the small keyboard. He has oil and grease all over him, so he's definitely been working on some sort of robot today.

Your oldest brother in nowhere to be seen. You assume he's gone out to work on a new movie script.

You dump your bag onto the floor and head into the kitchen. There is nothing but a half-eaten poptart in the cupboards. You brace yourself and open the fridge. A pile of swords tumble to the ground, clattering loudly against the tile floor. You thought you would be able to open the fridge safely for your first few days in the new apartment, but apparently not.

You find a sandwich in the fridge that looks like it's been there way longer than you've been in Washington, but you also find a bottle of apple juice. Score.

You grab the beautiful golden elixir of the gods and shove the swords haphazardly back into the fridge again. You step back into the other room again to see Li'l Cal sitting on the back of the futon, staring blankly at you. You cautiously step forward and give him a fist bump. No need to go hating on the guy, after all. He's never done anything bad to you before so you won't deprive him of your righteous fist bumps.

You walk around to the front of the futon and set down your apple juice on the table. You're practically starving and having no edible food in the apartment is not helping. You wait until Bro looks up at you (holy fuck, Cal is still looking at you despite you moving shit that's a little scary) to begin signing. You're pretty sure he's ignoring you on purpose, but you're a patient guy so you wait. After a full minute of standing and waiting, you get a little annoyed. Dirk is laughing his ass off because Bro is purposely ignoring you, the asshole. Bro is looking at the TV behind you and you're tempted to turn it off.

Eventually, temptation takes over and you snatch the remote, pressing the power button until it works. You're pretty sure Dirk is about to give himself an aneurism from laughing so hard, but you ignore him. Bro finally looks at you, pointy shades making the look he gives you even more intimidating. You hold your ground, telling him to go buy some food because you're basically a walking skeleton at this point and you'll probably drop dead soon enough from starvation. Your movements are jerky and clipped and you're more than a little annoyed right now.

Bro doesn't say anything, and you think he might actually be dead or something because the dude has done absolutely nothing since you got home. The you see him smirk, and Li'l Cal snaking a long leg around Bro's arm.

"Strife, li'l bro." Is all he says before he completely vanishes, leaving only a dull afterimage behind.

You sigh and go back to the fridge again, pulling one of the shitty katanas out and flashstepping up to the roof. You don't know how Bro managed to get access to the roof of this building so quickly, but you don't think you want to know either.

You open the door to the roof, stepping out into the warm sun. Bro is standing in the dead center of the roof, katana in one hand and Cal in the other. You ready your blade and wait for him to make the first move.

He sprints toward you, Cal no longer in hand, blade raised. You push your own katana up, metal meeting metal, a loud clang ringing across the rooftop. He pulls back, swinging at your legs. You flip backwards, landing smoothly on your feet, nearly falling down the stairs.

You rush forward, sword held high above your head. You jump up and swing down as you come up to him. He raises his katana up to block your attack. You land on your feet, knees giving out underneath you. Bro brings his sword up above your head, and you roll away, getting up onto your feet again. His blade smashes against the ground, sound ringing similar to nails on a chalkboard.

You can see Bro smirk, a you wonder why for a moment before looking behind you. Cal is sitting on the ground by your feet, arms wrapping tightly around your ankles. A silent yelp escapes your mouth and you try desperately to remove your legs from his grasp. Bro is rushing at you again, katana raised high above his head. You duck out of the way, attempting to roll. Cal somehow manages to hold you down though, and you end up flopping onto your front, katana clattering loudly as it skids across the rooftop. Bro holds his sword to your throat, foot resting atop your back.

You feel him grab your shirt collar and scramble for some sort of refuge. There is nothing to save you, and you are tossed down the stairs. You would have screamed if you could as Bro shouts down the stairway "I warned you 'bout those stairs, bro."

When you finally stand up, you can already feel bruises forming all over. Bro is no longer at the top of the stairs, which means he probably went back into the apartment. You open the apartment door and see Dirk still sitting where he was earlier, but Bro is nowhere to be found. However, you do see his wallet sitting on the table next you your unopened apple juice.

"Did he throw you down the stairs already? We only just moved in," you hear Dirk say. You curl your hand into a fist and hold it up in front of you, nodding it up and down to indicate that, yes, he did in fact throw you down the stairs. You grab the apple juice and chug it, golden rivulets of juice running down your cheeks. You wipe your face with your sleeve and turn to Dirk again. You sign quickly, asking if he wants to go to the store with you.

Dirk sighs, but stands up none the less. You grab the wallet and head for the door again, Dirk tagging along behind you. The two of you make your way down the seemingly never-ending steps down to the ground floor and walk down the street. You guys have only gone shopping once since you arrived and you only went to a small corner store. Of course, Striders only shop at corner stores, never real super markets. You walk in, cool air wafting out the door as a bell dings. You and Dirk grab as much junk food as you can carry between the two of you and bring everything up to the checkout counter.

The cashier is John. He waves and greets you cheerfully.

"Hey, Dave! Funny seeing you here!" His grin stretches across his entire face, eyes squinting underneath his glasses.

Dirk looks at you blankly for a moment, and you stare back. You can feel John looking between the two of you, confused. Dirk gives you a silent thumbs up and a smirk. You turn back to John, whose face is the epitome of confusion right now. You wave off Dirk and John finishes ringing you up.

"54.63 is your total," John says. You hand him a handful of bills and he hands you back your change.

"See you at school tomorrow, Dave!" He shouts excitedly as you grab your bags. You wave to him and walk out the door again. Dirk walks next to you, silent for a moment, until the store is out of view.

"Nice catch" is all he says and you're fairly tempted to kick him right now. Your cheeks heat up and you shake your head quickly. You literally just met John earlier today. You're not gonna start going out as soon as you meet him. That's how marriages end badly. Dirk does have a point though. John is definitely not unattractive. Though, neither is Jade.

The two of you climb up the stairs, all the way to the top floor. You walk into the apartment and dump the groceries on the floor in the kitchen. You pull a box of hot pockets out and throw them in the microwave.

You spend the rest of the night alone in your room, working on your homework.