Disclaimer: I do not own anything from the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Those rights belong to Jerry Brukheimer and Disney.
Author's Note: I'm truly terrible at updating regularly, which is partially due to the chapters going from about three written pages to around seven or eight, but thank you so much to those of you who continue to read this story. You guys keep me at it and I appreciate you so much. Now onto the story!
Pairing: Some Becky/Dave, Drake/Dave
Dave raked his fingers through his hair as he paced through the stationhouse, trying to make some sense of the events that had just unfolded.
Why did Drake get upset every time he was with Becky? Even if they were in private, even if no one was watching, the Morganian still got outraged if he caught them together. If they did something in public, Dave could understand why, their actions could put Drake in a very bad situation. He highly doubted a publicity-faux pas like a false relationship would ever be forgotten and there was no way anyone's reputation could withstand the fall-out.
In essence, it was pretty much career-suicide.
But they weren't doing this in public, they were careful, weren't they? Dave felt his cheeks heat up as he recalled the premiere night. Making catty remarks over drinks and running out of a highly publicized event didn't exactly qualify as being precautious.
Well, they were careful for the most part then.
Besides, they wouldn't even be in this mess if it wasn't for Drake, so whatever happened, happened. He wasn't at fault, he couldn't be at fault, and he most certainly wasn't going to be made to feel at fault. It was Drake's decision to kiss him, it was Drake's celebrity status that caused the kiss to make headlines, and it was Drake's idea for them to quote unquote, date.
His cell phone beeped and he flipped open the phone.
'Did you apologize yet?'
Okay, so maybe he was a little at fault. He had gone along with the idea, even though he knew it sounded ridiculous and was ridiculous. Date Drake? The entire thing had spelled out disaster from the get-go. It wasn't like Drake was a bad guy, even though he had appalling bad taste, but he just wasn't into him. Or, you know, guys in general. Not that there was anything wrong with that, it just wasn't him. He had a girlfriend who he loved, who he had loved since before he even knew what love was. Of course, he also now had a boyfriend who wasn't really his boyfriend but everyone had to think he was his boyfriend but he really wasn't.
It was all so confusing.
But the main point was Drake was not his boyfriend, he was just a friend of sorts. Who was a sorcerer. Come to think of it, Drake actually was a bad guy too. Incompetent, but still bad. It was funny how that fact sometimes eluded him. It was hard to compare Drake, the guy who he had been hanging out with on a regular basis who liked Star Wars and manicures, with someone like Horvath. In his mind, it just didn't add up, similar to Drake's jealousy. There was something he was definitely missing but what?
Another beep rang throughout the silence(or lack thereof).
Dave frowned as he looked at his latest text. Even though it was just his name typed out, he could practically hear Becky chiding him in a stern voice.
There was no way she was going to let this go, no matter how much he ignored her. If he was honest with himself, he knew he couldn't let it go either. It was bizarre, but he did feel a little guilty about what had happened earlier. Just a little bit though. He supposed he would have eventually apologized to Drake, just after the older male had enough time to cool down and get away from some rather unpleasant Morganian thoughts that were undoubtedly running through his head. Thoughts like turning Dave into a newt or a zombie, thoughts that he didn't want to be part of. Thoughts that he was going to get dragged into anyway, because he was going to have to go sooner than he had initially planned, thanks to Becky.
True, Dave was thankful to his normally absent luck that Becky still wanted anything to do with him, but knew he not to press it any further. As it was, his relationship with her wasn't even standing on it's last leg, it was propped up by a cardboard slot.
There were some battles you won and some you conceded.
Apologizing to Drake definitely fell into the latter category.
Dave gazed up at the skyscraper towering over him, it's stature alone sending shivers down his spine, much like the person who resided in it's topmost condo was making his gut clench up.
He really didn't want to do this.
Drake was royally pissed off at him. Actually, he was pretty sure that royally didn't even cover half of it, if that last glare Drake had given him was anything to go by.
But maybe he would be lucky, maybe after having a little time to stew things over, Drake would have calmed down a little bit. Maybe he would see that he had been acting irrationally and that Dave hadn't really been doing anything wrong. Maybe Drake would be the one that ended up apologizing to him and offer to end this whole relationship mess.
Maybe pigs actually did fly.
Dave braced himself for the worst as he headed into the complex, his own funeral march blaring throughout his mind. Dave avoided the gaze of the receptionist and other patrons as he waited on an elevator to open up. This was going to be bad, he could just feel it.
The elevator let out a loud ding as it's doors slide open, and Dave reluctantly went in, rapidly jabbing the button for the doors to close. It's not like he wanted to be rude to anyone else(not that anyone else actually was waiting for the lift), but he wasn't sure if he'd be pleasant company at the moment. The fact that this elevator seemed to play the cheesy clichéd elevator music didn't help improve his mood either. His stomach was a bundle of quivering nerves, the kind of feeling when you know you're going to throw up but are trying desperately to fight it off even though you know the end result is inevitable: whether you like it or not, you're still going to puke. Whether he liked it or not, he was still going to have to deal with Drake.
Dave mentally drew up a list of his will.
Bennet could have his X-Box and games, he used it more than him anyway. Becky could keep the burgundy jacket he had been wearing when they first met on campus as a memento to remember him by for whenever she got lonely. Balthazar could just keep his Incantus, like he was already doing anyway. His ring probably would be buried with him, but if not, Dave figured Balthazar could hang on to it as well. Everything else that was left could go to his mom and Tank.
Yup, that about summed everything nicely. He would have been willing to leave his favorite Luke Skywalker action figure to Drake, but seeing as how he was going to be the one killing him in the first place, Dave was willing to bear the blow of it ultimately becoming another one of Tank's chew toys.
Actually, even though it pained him to admit it, Tank deserved his action figure as a chew toy, regardless of what happened today. He loved that doll almost as much as he loved Dave and since he had been stuck at his mom's place for a couple of weeks now, it seemed only fitting to give it to him as an apology gift. He hadn't wanted to leave him there, but ever since the final battle, Dave got wrapped up in events that were beyond his control, leaving him little time to take care of his best canine friend. Plus, Dave secretly worried that Tank might get caught in a spell gone awry, if his first disastrous lesson in plasma bolts was anything to go by. It was highly unlikely but it spooked Dave enough to want to leave Tank in the capable hands of his mother.
He could only imagine the sheer torture his beloved bulldog was enduring, knowing that his mother had a knack for dressing him up in frilly bonnets and bows so she could take doggy portraits. Of course, his mom also fed Tank bits of steak and other scraps when she cooked, so he wasn't too bad off.
The elevator let out a loud ding, jarring Dave from his thoughts. He hesitated for a moment, before he hurried out the elevator. No use in beating around the bush about it.
He was about to knock before he noticed that the doors were jarred slightly open. Taking a deep breath, he pried open the elaborate double doors to find Drake pacing in front of his desk, his eyes focused on the floor. That is, they were focused on the floor. Dave suddenly felt like a deer caught in headlights as the Morganian glared daggers at him from across the room.
"You!" He snarled, stretching out his arm and uncurling his fist.
The motions sparked memories of Dave's training sessions with Balthazar and he summoned a plasma force field around him just in the knick of time, as Drake hurled a fireball towards him.
Though it couldn't harm him, Dave felt the heat from flames of the fireball as it struck his shield, before ricocheting across the room into one of the chairs by Drake's desk.
With an angry sigh, the Morganian snapped his fingers and instantly the chair froze, before reverting his attention back to the Prime Merlinian.
"What. Are. You. Doing. Here?" Drake grit out each word venomously, his eyes blazing with fury.
"I uh, came to apologize." Dave stammered, his focus more on the half-scorched, half-frozen poofy marshmallow chair than the Morganian. He could have been that chair.
"You really think I'm going to believe that? You? Apologizing to me?"
"Why not?" Dave asked, a bit defensively. Sure, he may not have wanted to apologize to Drake right off the bat, but he was here wasn't he?
"Because you keep doing the same damn bloody thing, that's why not!"
"What do I keep doing? Talking with Becky?"
"That's not, she in'it…" Drake seemed to struggle to find the words to say, his face twisting up in irritation. He turned away from Dave and tried to compose himself, taking deep, even breathes. He was shaken up, both visibly and mentally. Dave wasn't much better, he was pretty sure his legs had dissolved into pudding at this point. Having fireballs hurled at you tended to do that.
In an instant, his demeanor shifted, and Dave now found himself pinned against the desk, the Morganian just a little too close for comfort. It rang eerily close to their first meeting in the bathrooms at school, sans magic.
"Tomorrow, noon, Nourriture's Haven."
"But I have classes." Dave protested, but quickly shut up as Drake tightened his grip on his shoulders.
"And I don't wanna hear it, got it? Be there."
Drake released him with one final sneer, before striding out of the room, leaving a half-awestruck, half-terrified Dave behind him.
"You do realize you just walked out of your own condo, right?'
A crackling roar put Dave on edge and instinct out-weighed magic as he dove away from the area, barely tumbling out of the way in time as another fireball whizzed by, decimating the desk. Dave felt a lump form in his throat as he looked at the charred remnants, the once ornate woodwork now little more than tinder, smoke swirling around the room.
Drake stormed back into his office, the look on his face nothing short of murderous, his trench coat billowing around him. Oh yeah, he was definitely a Morganian. Definitely.
Dave inched closer to the door before Drake rounded onto him, his features set in a dark line.
"I'll just go now." He nervously laughed, which seemed to only intensify Drake's anger.
"Yeah, you do that."
Dave wasted no time after that and left without another word, trying to calm his frazzled nerves and heart, which was now battering against his chest. While Drake's reaction wasn't completely unexpected, he never imagined it was going to be that bad. Dave rested his head against the wall of the elevator as he tried to calm down, his pulse still no where near it's normal rhythm, and punched in the button.
One thing was for certain, there never was a dull moment with Drake.
Dave felt queasy as he made his way through the busy streets, getting steadily closer to Norriture's Haven. He managed to convince Bennet he was 'sick' this morning and couldn't go with him to classes. His friend had looked less than convinced at his display, though Dave suspected just saying 'I'm sick' and staying huddled up in his comforters didn't really help his case. Regardless, he left, though only after Dave promised he would call if anything was wrong or if he needed to talk. As usual, Bennet knew his best friend too well. That, and his lying skills still left much to be desired.
The cheap concrete had turned into expensive cobblestone about a block ago, and Dave knew he was headed in the right direction. If that didn't clue him in, the wooden sign emblazoned with 'Nourriture's Haven' with tendrils of vines snaking up it did. Of course the place Drake picked would be one where Dave stuck out like a sore thumb. Even though Drake was used to living a life style rubbing elbows with the uppercrusts of society, he was not. In fact, the entire atmosphere was eerily similar to Chez Pierre: lavish, stuffy, and more than Dave's wallet could ever afford.
As he entered the establishment, whose inside was a mixture of rich hardwoods and floral paintings, attempting to create a 'homey' appearance, though the golden lacquers that etched across the frames ruined it slightly.
The host, who looked impeccably pristine in his vest and bowtie, eyed Dave over the brim of his silver glasses with barely concealed distaste.
"Dave Stutler, I presume?"
"Yeah." Dave mumbled, his unease growing with every moment spent underneath the host's disapproving gaze.
"Follow me this way sir."
The host wasted no time, leading Dave through the inner chambers of the restaurant toward a patio a in the back, which seemed more private and reserved. There was a rustic-style gazebo and smatterings of rose bushes, along with a few tables, one of which was occupied by the illusionist. Drake, who had been idly tapping his fingers against the crystal stemware of his glass, straightened up as soon as he saw Dave. A cutting glance had the host scurrying back to his podium, as Drake ushered Dave toward the table.
"Come on Dave, have a seat, there's a good Prime Merlinian." Dave scowled at the sentiment, feeling very much as though he were being treated like a child or a pet, as he took a seat in the proffered chair. Drake was piling on the accent and charm thick, which could only mean bad things for him. He glanced across the room before his eyes settled on a woman getting her meal flambéed, suppressing a shudder at the image. He could sympathize with those kabobs.
"What's going on?" He asked, reverting his attention back to the older blonde, whose smile just widened to what seemed like a painful degree. Oh yeah, something was definitely up.
"Always so suspicious! What, can't two blokes eat a meal without the world blowin' up?"
"No." He replied tersely, taking a sip from his glass. Only then did he notice something peculiar about the table or rather, the contents on the table.
"Why are there three glasses of water?"
"What?" Drake asked, his chipper front falling short for a moment.
"There's three glasses of water here."
"So there is! Now, you're a smart guy, aren't ya Stutters? You tell me why'd there be three glasses of water."
"Who else is coming here Drake?" He asked, his voice raised barely above a whisper, tiptoeing along the edge of being terrified. While Dave didn't think Drake would purposefully invite anyone that would want to cause harm to him in public, he never knew what to expect from the Morganian.
"All in good time! Why spoil the surprise, eh?" Drake winked, craning his neck over his shoulder as a figure approached the table.
"An' speak o' the devil! Here's our third guest already!"
"Andre?" Dave asked, his jaw hanging wide in shock.
"Hey guys." Andre flashed that winning grin that Dave was sure he practiced in front of the mirror and Dave tried to compose himself, though all he really wanted to do was roll his eyes and walk out right now. The only thing that stopped him was the fear of ending up like those kabobs.
"So what'd you want to talk about Drake?" Drake, who had been watching the events before him unfold with amusement, face fell flat at that question.
Dave watched as the knife turned the other way with some satisfaction, as Drake stalled for time by feigning a sore throat and gulping down his glass of water. Served him right, since Dave was fairly certain that Drake only invited Andre here to irritate him. Scratch that, one hundred percent certain. Too bad for him that Drake was quick to come up with a cover story.
"Your station. You help run that university radio station, yeah?"
"Did Dave tell you about it?" Andre asked, excitement breaking through his cool cover, his eyes glittering with anticipation.
"O' course he did! But you know what, I said Dave, why not hear about from the man himself? So here we are!" Drake announced, throwing his arms wide open at his proclamation before toning it down a bit.
"So why don't you tell me a little about it in your own words."
"The purity of music. That's what the station is all about." Andre said, with a look that Dave had heard plenty of girls describe as 'intense'.
"Mhmm, interestin'. Can you be a bit more specific?"
"We rebel against the mainstream ideals. None of that corporate trash, we go our own route. We play music that actually speaks to people instead of just having a catchy beat."
Dave felt a pang in his chest as he recalled the song Becky played that fateful night on the radio, the same song that in turn had helped him win her over. That was one thing he couldn't fault Andre on, they did play good music. However, he was willing to bet in was more to the credit of Becky than Andre. Plus, the prospect of Andre liking and ultimately choosing the song that linked him to Becky was just too creepy.
"So I was thinking…" Andre began, eying a completely disinterested Drake over the rim of his glass.
"That maybe you'd like to fund our pursuits. That's what this luncheon's all about, isn't it?"
Drake just sort of froze up at that statement, as the conversation had taken yet another unexpected(at least by him) turn. His eye twitched momentarily, before he slammed his hand down onto the table.
"Of course that's wha' it's about Andy."
"Andre." Andre corrected automatically, though Drake just continued on as if he never heard him, which he probably hadn't.
"Arnold, I am personally gonna donate some new equipment to your station."
"Awesome! As Dave can testify, ours isn't that great."
"More like you refuse to hire an engineer who knows what someone in physics could easily figure out…" Dave said quietly, looking at the linen tablecloth as if it were the most interesting thing in the world.
He didn't want to help Andre swindle money out of Drake, regardless of any disdain he might hold for the latter at the moment. Besides, the equipment they had worked fine enough.
Dave looked up at Drake's query, while Andre shot him a look that practically screamed, 'just go with it'. He mentally let out a sigh for what he was about to say.
"I mean, yeah their equipment's really bad. Uh, frayed wires and rusted fuse boxes everywhere."
He felt a little guilty for going along with Andre's scheme, but it was true, sort of anyway. Besides, he wasn't doing it to help Andre, he was doing it to help Becky.
"Say no more. I'll get some papers drawn up an' personally have the equipment installed."
"Excellent! Anyway, I hate to ditch, but my English Lit. professor will kill me if I'm absent again." Andre stood from his chair and shoved it back into it's place at the table, his hands still clenched onto it's metal backing.
"Dave, Drake, awesome catching up with you guys. Let's do it again sometime."
"Let's not." Dave mumbled quietly into his glass as Andre bounded out of the restaurant, no doubt thrilled about having yet another brush with fame. Or, you know, free equipment. Dave wasn't sure which could be skewed to make him sound worse.
He had never disliked anyway so innately before and while that certainly did bother him, it didn't bother him to the extent that Andre did.
He was everything Dave wasn't and normally, Dave didn't care about that. Well, not that much anyway. He was himself and he had grown to appreciate that, finally breaking the cycle after years of torment. But whenever he saw Andre, all those years of resentment seemed to break through. Plus, y'know, he took Becky to the premiere. That definitely didn't earn Andre any bonus points in Dave's book.
"Not quite the route I expected, bloody opportunist…"
Drake's voice drew Dave out of his thoughts as he turned to the Morganian, scowling.
"What was that all about?"
"Now you know what it feels like, Dave."
"What what feels like? Having lunch with someone you can't stand?"
Drake's eyes darkened as he leaned over the table, jabbing a finger in Dave's face.
"Look, I don't like bein' abandoned and I don't like bein' replaced, got it?"
"Got it." Dave muttered, sullenly. He didn't appreciate Drake inviting Andre, but he didn't want to make a scene, only to have it pop up in the headlines.
Drake's stern look softened slightly, though the frown was still there.
"The fact o' the matter is, you are the closet thing to a friend I've ever had. Everyone I've ever known has either left me or used me, and I can't rightly say I like either."
"You've never had a friend before?" Dave asked curiously, feeling a pang of sympathy for the Morganian as he shook his head.
After the 'pee' fiasco, he knew what it was like to tough it out on your own, since all his friends abandoned him pretty much on the spot then. Nobody wanted to be friends with the 'crazy' kid who 'wet' his pants. It was probably the cruelest challenge he ever had to face while growing up, in hindsight.
Before Bennet, he had been closed off from the world, only focusing on his studies. He thought it would have been better that way, so no one could hurt him again, so that he wouldn't have to deal with the betrayal again. It was painful enough the first time, he didn't want to risk it happening ever again after.
So he just sort of shut down.
Bennet somehow, despite all his walls and roadblocks, managed to reboot him and show him that not everyone out there was bad, that some people could accept you no matter what and be there for you. While it didn't solve all his problems, it did give him enough spark to become open with people again, to actually want to go beyond the four walls of his room and classes.
But Drake didn't even have Bennet. Heck, Drake didn't even have Tank.
Despite his cocky front, Dave knew that the Morganian had to be hurt and lonely, probably moreso than he had ever been. It was difficult toughing out the world with friends, but it was downright miserable doing it by yourself.
" Never. So if I seem a lil' hard to handle at times or a bit more possessive than ya'd like, well it's only cause I've never had anyone to think o' before. Bit of an enlightening experience, in'it?" Drake drawled off, staring wistfully up at the sky.
"Havin' someone to care for."
In that moment, Dave saw the truth that Drake had spent years hiding, concealing it underneath layer after layer of magic, leather, and eyeliner. The truth was that Drake wasn't as strong as Dave had initially thought him to be, that he wasn't just some confident braggadocio, he was something else entirely: He was human.
"Yeah." he replied softly, smiling at the Morganian who gaze was still cast skyward.
After a few moments, Drake shifted his gaze toward the Merlinian before him, returning his smile. It seemed very much like a genuine smile, from the soft upcurl of Drake's lips to the light twinkling behind his eyes and Dave felt his temperature rise several degrees. It was an unexpected and uncommonly sweet gesture from Drake. Almost too sweet.
"Too bad I got stuck with some sap like you Stutters."
Dave rolled his eyes at the Morganian, though there was still a slight smile tugging at the corner of his lips.
Despite all his faults, Dave knew he couldn't abandon Drake now. If he did, it would make him no better than the people that bullied him. He was determined to help Drake realize that world was not as cut-throat as it seemed and despite all of it's faults, there were still some people that cared about others.
As a waiter came out with a plate of what looked to be jellied… meat and slimy black spheres, his smile fell. He just hoped helping Drake wouldn't kill him.
Author's Note: Was Drake really being honest with Dave when he said that he was his closest friend? Or is there something more to it than that? And that darn Andre, always popping up when you least expect it. Will there be any more surprise visitors? Stay tuned! (: