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Looking Down

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Your name is John Egbert, and you have decided that if your neighbor doesn't stop walking around his roof half naked you will have to pour your early morning coffee into water balloons and drop them out the window. Such hijinks will likely teach him the error of his ways. A burnt back that smells of free trade organic coffee is a lesson well-learnt, you believe.

However, you think to yourself, it could be worse. Crazy blond man with a katana (as he is titled within the regions of your mind) could have been an old man. After all, you still have mental scars from when you caught your cousin's guardian- you both call him grandpa, despite intense confusion within your family tree- in the middle of unspeakable acts. You really do not want to think about that.

Instead you attempt to bring your mug to your lips, where you will sip at your coffee with just enough sophistication and disdain to bespeak your father's tender care and your subsequent fine upbringing. Despite your attempts to stick to that plan, you inhale your drink such a way that you end up choking, coughing, and nearly vomiting on the roof directly adjacent. Naturally, this captures the attention of crazy katana man. For a moment you are stuck making dying noises with boiling liquid trapped in your throat, your neighbor staring at you with a completely blank face. Then, all at once, he folds in on himself with breathless laughter.

"This is so not funny," you choke out once you have the breath, "I could have died, asshole!" The douche has the nerve to lean back, a slow smirk spreading across his face.

"Serves you right for eyeing my body, perv. I'm a blushing innocent here, and you've gone and made me unsuitable for marriage. You've seen me indecent, and now I'm unfit for my honeymoon. Thank you, Sir Asshole of Hipstonia."

You have no idea how to respond to that. You have more proof than ever before that this guy is stark raving bonkers.
"Yeah, right! At least I'm not making love to a sword on top of an apartment!" You have no idea who is controlling your mouth, because there is absolutely no way you just said that.

"Don't be jealous just because your sword doesn't get the attention it needs," the man says, with a deadpan intonation that gives nothing away. You splutter, and this time it has nothing to do with your coffee.

"Who the hell do you think you are?" Your question sounds more like an admission of defeat to your ears, even though it should be the opposite scenario because it it is his fault, damn it!

"Dave Strider, master of mixes, microphones, and shitty swords. I'm also a damn good lay, just FYI." He pronounces the acronym as if it is a word, leaving you with a moment to interpret what a fwigh might be. A moment after you realize what he meant, the rest of his statement filters in.
"Gross dude," you exclaim, delighted. Someone who can make jokes about this kind of shit might just be the kind of guy you want for a friend. He gives you a bemused look.

"You're the one looking out your window like my training is a peepshow," Dave points out. You wave a hand.
"I was figuring out what kind of angle I would need to get away with throwing coffee at you," you reply, grinning. His eyebrow twitches over his sunglasses. "Damn, kinky much?"

You color. "Like you're one to talk, mister swordsman!" He shakes his head and tilts his head.

"What's your name?"

"John. John Egbert."

He considers you for a second before walking to the side of his roof, cupping his hands around his mouth, and yelling,"Egderp is a horny hipster!" He proceeds to blow you a kiss and make a speedy escape back into the building before your mouth can even form a response.
"Asshole!" That's it. You are definitely preparing coffee bombs for tomorrow morning.


Your name is Dave Strider, and you believe this is the best idea you have ever had. With a last heave and the strategic placement of cement blocks, you have finished constructing a temporary penthouse of cloth atop your apartment's roof. It may or may not violate your lease, but it can easily be disassembled. At least, if your memory serves you correctly, it can.

You sit down for a minute, appreciating the way the red sheets billow out from their makeshift seams and tent over the abused antenna. Sometimes it's hard to contemplate the fact that it has been at least a decade since you and bro created this monstrous fuck up for ironic pillow fort training, so you don't, for the most part. You have no idea how the stitches have held the sheets together this long. The fact that you knew where this thing was after leaving it untouched for years is shocking.
You think about the reason you have dragged it out of the ruins of an old guitar case in the first place and suppress a grin. The look on Egderp's face will be priceless. It's a shame your freaky eyes don't have x-ray vision. For now you'll just have to settle for-

Right on cue, you hear a squawk and the splutter of coffee missing the trip to a certain resident's stomach once more. "Dave," you hear, nearly screeched and coupled with choking laughter. You can't help it. The corner of your mouth quirks upward.

"Better Instagram it, Egbooty," you yell, and okay, maybe it isn't your cleverest pun; however, if John's laughter is the determining factor, it is your best joke yet. When you hear the click of an honest to God camera, you realize that your fort is now immortalized in film, complete with your shitty cartoon that proclaims, "noonne sees the wisard".

For some reason you are completely okay with that.


Your name is John Egbert, and you will finish typing up your thesis on the proper application and execution of humor as soon as Dave removes his puppet from your computer. You have no idea how, but he has managed to leave something in your apartment each night. For the first week or so he had taped photos to your door, and you had thought the pictures of inappropriate objects contrasting with beautiful sunsets were funny; however, they soon became old hat. Then, Dave moved on to horrible poetry about such important matters as Nicki Minaj's hair. You had never actually seen him leave the offerings, however. So, you made it your goal to catch him in the act. He took it as a challenge, and now he has no problem with proving that he is a, "wicked ninja of awesome," and is able to slip in and out of your building with nary a trace. You know it has to be him,seeing as only he would engage in such an inane form of psychological warfare. He called himself a ninja, after all. You let him live without much retribution, as the last time you burst into his room and yelled about the invasion of privacy, he dumped a pile of creepy puppet ass on you. You took a minute to impress upon him the fact that puppets are creepy as hell before leaving, but he did not seem impressed.

His sister, Rose, later texted you later to inform you that you succeeded in doing what she had been trying to do for years, and that you had in fact convinced Dave to stuff several of the plush people into his fridge. You proceeded to save her number to your phone. Having blackmail on Dave was always a plus.

You pause for a moment. When did interacting with Dave become such a common occurrence that you require blackmail? You snort as you realize this is more troubling a development than the fact that Dave and Rose managed to get your contact information without asking you for it. You haven't even met Rose.

Unimpressed, you stare at the plush, phallic puppet that sits on your laptop. Its blue skin burns your eyes, and you tap up a quick message to Dave through the PesterChum app on your phone.

ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG]

EB: get it off of my computer.

TG: i have no idea what youre talking about

EB: its proboscis is staring into my soul, dave.

TG: you should talk about that with your doctor

TG: especially if it lasts more than eight hours

TG: these things are perfectly normal johnny boy

TG: you can get a sailboat to make things all better like that guy in the commercial

TG: he seems happy

TG: except his penis is broken

EB: i will break your penis if you don't take the puppet off of my computer, dave.

TG: damn egbert you are always so pervy

EB: dave!

TG: but he likes you

EB: no. this is not a thing that is happening, dave.

TG: you are breaking his heart

EB: his heart will go on.

TG: but leonardo dicaprio is still lost at sea searching for his oscar

EB: ouch! harsh burn duuuuuuuude!

TG: i hope to god that was an ironic dude because otherwise you are dead to me

EB: pick up the damn puppet.

TG: what if i burnt my hands beyond repair and you are just rubbing salt into what is already a traumatizing and horrible experience for me??

EB: did you?

TG: did i what

EB: did you burn your hands on some sick fires?

TG: oh hell no

TG: sick fires

TG: you know serket

EB: vriska? how do you know her?

TG: i play gigs at spinnerette on occasion

TG: what about you???

EB: she's an ex-girlfriend of mine.

TG: how are you not dead

EB: what?

TG: ive imagined serket stabbing anyone she sleeps with yet you are magically in one piece

EB: nah, though her roommate tried to kill me once.

TG: tz tried to kill you?? did you make fun of the dragons or something

TG: if you dissed the dragons you deserved it

EB: hell if i know.

TG: well congratulations are in order for our relationship surviving the awkward exes conversation

EB: we aren't dating, dave.

TG: what am I gonna do with these goddamn wedding plans then???

EB: as pretty as you might look in a dress, i don't date assholes who leave puppets on my computer.

TG: so if i take the puppet back youre officially dating me

EB: i'm pretty sure that isn't how it works.

TG: it already has

turntechGodhead [TG] has become an idle chum

You hear a bang, and when you look up the door is slammed shut. Once you direct your gaze to your laptop you notice the puppet is gone. Worse still, you feel uncomfortably okay with this turn of events.


Your name is Dave Strider and you are wondering if Terezi would be willing to act as your attorney if you kill your sister. She stares you down from across the table, sipping her martini across the dining room table with an infuriating smirk plastered across her face. Hell, you should have done so as soon as she made you buy a dining room table. Kanaya, her girlfriend, might be able to escape with her life.

"So, Dave, tell me about John."
Kanaya must die as well, you decide. She flashes an apologetic smile, and you try to figure out whether or not Rose put her up to asking about your neighbor. You suppose the question does sound more amicable in the faint British accent she has never managed to drop, as compared to your sister's harsh, sarcastic tones. Still, it is not nearly enough to make you talk about anything that may lead to Rose bringing out her detailed journal of your apparent homoeroticism throughout the years. You decide to shut this party down before it can begin.

"He's my dorky neighbor who watches me get down and dirty on the rooftop when he isn't working on his degree."
You nailed it. There was absolutely no sexual subtext in that sentence whatsoever, you're sure. You resist the urge to stab your tongue with the fork that sits next to your untouched meal.

Kanaya coughs on whatever neon drink she'd been downing, eyes widening. Rose pats her on the back before returning her attention to you. Only the vaguest twitch of her lips betrays her amusement, and you feel the sudden urge to duck below the table and hide beneath the strategic pile of puppet ass you assembled in advance.
"So, he watches you work out? Ah, I see you have found a fine match who does not match the criteria for a stalker at all," Rose drawls. Kanaya flushes and does her best to pretend she had not been thinking of dirtier scenarios.

"Sis, you know the innocent masses can't help it. They see my body and become slaves to their primal urges. They aren't even primal urges of the generic sort, being so prime that they star in movies with Shia LeBouf and gigantic yellow cars."

You would continue, but you are put off by the fact that Rose has brought out her knitting. Even Kanaya appears to have grown bored of your awesome analogies by now. You are definitely not going to pout about this.

You snap your fingers instead. Rose looks up from her needles and sighs. "Yes, yes, we've covered your love of robotic phallus before, Dave. I'm just happy you found someone who does not seem to be nearly as self destructive as you are, for once."
You splutter. "I haven't found anyone!"

Kanaya and Rose laugh among themselves, and once again you find yourself thinking that bi-monthly dinners are horrible creations, and whoever first thought they brought families together was insane.