Alright this is all I'm writing for this I swear.
Warnings: Same shit that I got bitched at for last time. Also this is pure fluff here guys, everything is gay and nothing hurts. Sexual situation, too.
Disclaimer: Hussie, I'ma let you finish, but Dave/John should be canon.
The Bro Code Forbids Part II
A month passed after Dave moved into their dorm, and John was happy to say that he was not yet used to any of these feelings.
Every time Dave spoke, that adorable Texan twang tingeing each word, John felt giddy with attraction. When Dave asked him to plug in his keyboard and play for some new sick beats he was working on, John blushed and hurriedly obliged, honestly surprised Dave thought he was good enough. Every weeknight, after a long day of studying and classes, Dave pulled him away from his textbooks and over to the dining hall so that they could eat together, and John felt warm and loved. When, sitting on his bed and condescending to watch Con Air with him like he'd promised back then, and Dave's fingers deftly entwined with John's when John began to cry at the touching reunion scene, John almost couldn't help but cry a little harder knowing it was Dave's hand in his. When John fell asleep with textbooks spread out all over his bed at two in the morning, and he woke up to see them all cleaned up, and his glasses folded neatly on his desk, and a softly snoring Dave curled up against him under the covers, he had to remind himself to breathe.
Being with Dave – being Dave's boyfriend? John wasn't sure – was seriously the most amazing thing to ever happen to him. It was one thing to have realized while in sburb that Dave was probably the most important person in his life, or after they finally beat sburb to think of Dave whenever he felt sad, or lost, or lonely, and be comforted. It was another entirely to have Dave physically there, have a Dave that was so attuned to his moods and habits that he didn't even have to say anything for Dave to know he was scared; to have a Dave that held his hand and let him cling for no reason other than he wanted to be close to Dave. Sometimes John wondered hopelessly how Dave didn't get tired of him, how he put up with the constant hugs and (sometimes even public) displays of affection. John didn't really think he could help himself. But regardless, Dave would always just blush a little before taking his hand, or leaning over and pressing his lips against the soft spot behind his ear.
Despite how intimate their relationship was, and how happy it made him, John couldn't help but wonder why Dave still hadn't taken off his sunglasses. Dave had told him, back when he'd first confessed his feelings, that John was the sole owner of the irony bypass key, that John would probably break down his coolkid façade without even trying, and at the time John's heart had pounded so quickly at those words that he felt a little dizzy. And Dave had been honest, for sure; he often told him that even he would have difficulty making handholding and kissing and bed-sharing ironic, if he even wanted to in the first place. But something about the ever-present shades made John feel like Dave was still guarded, still had something about himself that he was not willing to share. John wanted to respect that, he really did. He just wished it didn't make him feel…
What did it make him feel, exactly? He supposed it was something like inadequacy, like not being good enough. He knew he was stupid to feel that way, but he couldn't help it. Dave had full access to his eyes; whenever he wanted, Dave could just stare into them and see everything John felt like reading a book. John didn't have that luxury; with the shades there, it was always difficult to tell quite what Dave was thinking. Honestly, when John allowed himself to think about it, he felt like he was missing a big part of who Dave really was behind the façade.
Sometimes when Dave woke up in the morning to the feeling of John's legs moving between his, or John's hands unconsciously rubbing circles on his back underneath his shirt, he had to force himself to calm down—usually by sneaking to the bathroom to take a long, cold shower.
Back in high school, when Dave was fully convinced that his love for John would forever go unrequited due to what he'd assumed was their tragic incompatibility, he had told himself that if he tried being with someone else, his feelings for John would eventually fade away. So saying, he hooked up with a few girls (only girls—he feared having sex with a boy would only encourage his subconscious to imagine John). Every time, he didn't particularly like it, but it never really disgusted him. It felt hollow, meaningless. And above all, it didn't make him stop loving John. If anything, he only felt ashamed of himself for thinking that fucking some unsuspecting, love-struck girls would ever, ever make him fall out of love with John. He could almost figure that the emptiness of sex only reinforced the strength of the feelings he harbored for his best bro.
Naturally, as soon as John clued him in to the mutuality of his attraction, he made sure any delusional classmates understood that business hours were over, that this coolkid was taken and no number of swooning fans could change that. Jegus, he loved being taken. Actually physically being near John in itself was the fucking most amazing thing to ever happen all by itself, and then the fact that he was allowed to hold John's hand and be hugged by him and kiss him and sleep in the same bed made him wonder why he wasn't dying of an amazingness overdose by now.
Of course, as the (increasingly frequent) escapes to the shower might illustrate, being physically near John wasn't always easy. Dave wasn't kidding anyone; he'd spent practically all of his teenage years wanting to be physical with John, if you would be so kind as to catch his drift. It was just his luck that he would fall hopelessly in love with the single most oblivious, sexually unaware boy on the planet (and probably others). But in spite of all that, Dave realized that until John was ready, sex held no precedence. John honestly represented everything that was bright and beautiful in the world. He smiled every morning, held his hand when Dave felt frustrated, gazed at him like there was no one in this universe or any other that he would rather be with, cooked for him when he was too busy with his studies to leave the dorm, cuddled with him every night, and miraculously enough managed to chase away all of the nightmares. Although Dave would give anything to make love to him, John deserved to be romanced, to go at exactly the pace with which he was comfortable. And for John, Dave would be willing to wait a lifetime.
EB: well i'm just a little confused.
TT: What is confusing you?
EB: i guess, it's just that we hold hands a lot
EB: and he really likes to kiss me
TT: This doesn't sound like a problem, John.
TT: Unless you simply are not enjoying it.
TT: While I would find it hilarious that Dave is not cool enough to woo you, naturally I worry that he will attempt to take advantage of you.
EB: rose, he isn't that underhanded!
EB: and i am definitely enjoying it.
TT: My, my, John. Consider me shocked.
EB: oh my gosh rose shut up.
EB: we haven't done anything inappropriate.
TT: Is that so? How does he manage?
EB: i don't know, it's never really been a problem.
TT: Well, if you are enjoying the goings on between the two of you, what exactly do you find confusing?
EB: i guess it's just that… well, he tells me he loves me
EB: but i'm not sure if what we're doing is dating
EB: like, he hasn't specifically gone out and said "hey john will you be my boyfriend" or anything.
TT: John, you know how I love to psychoanalyze the inner workings of Dave's mind.
EB: yeah, that's why i was kind of hoping you'd be able to help me.
TT: First of all, Dave has been in love with you since we were thirteen.
EB: what? he has?
TT: John, it was so obvious, I was honestly a tad disgusted with him for his transparency. To think he prides himself on his irony.
TT: But in any case, the fact that you have recently reciprocated his feelings after so long of thinking you to be heterosexual is making him cautious.
TT: It is one thing to kiss you, but what if, in trying to legitimize your relationship, he ends up frightening you? You did spend a lot of time affirming that you are not a homosexual for the majority of the friendship, after all.
TT: Basically, he does not want to push you into anything that might make you uncomfortable.
EB: do you really think so?
TT: If I know Dave at all, then I can almost assure this is his train of thought.
EB: he is so stupid
EB: of course he wouldn't push me away
TT: I take it you would prefer to become "official."
EB: i… well yeah i guess so.
TT: Perhaps it would be wise to take it upon yourself to bring your (and his, for that matter) desires to fruition.
EB: hm… maybe i will do that.
EB: thanks rose, you are so helpful.
TT: Anything for you, John.
Dave was at his desk, headphones covering his ears, the music so loud that John could hear it from where he was lying in his bed. It looked like he was working on an essay for English 101, one hand in his hair, eyebrows furrowed and pen poised over the notebook paper. John didn't realize he had been staring at him for the past twenty minutes until he looked over.
"Sup?" he asked. John blushed and turned back to his French notecards.
"Nothing," he said dismissively. Dave didn't seem to think much of it, because John saw him in his peripheral vision turn back to his notebook.
So, he had to somehow convince Dave that he was totally comfortable being his boyfriend. He stared blankly at the word se lever for another ten minutes, contemplating how in the world he was going to do this without feeling like he might die of embarrassment.
Without meaning to, his gaze again raised to Dave, lingering over the eyebrows that dipped behind his sunglasses in frustration, the light, almost unnoticeable sprinkling of freckles on his cheeks, the lips that were soft and slightly parted—
"Egbert." John blinked and realized that Dave was looking at him, headphones lowered to his neck. "Hey, not that I don't find your inconspicuous little stare-fest adorable or anything, but it isn't doing my concentration any good." John reddened considerably. "Heh." Dave laid his headphones down and moved slowly over to the bed, and John felt his heart hammering away in his chest as he came closer, hands on his thighs, lips gently touching. Dave smirked. "I didn't want to do that essay anyways."
John's eyebrows furrowed a little. Goddamnit, if he was going to do this, he was going to do it.
Swiftly, John grabbed the back of Dave's neck, pulling him more firmly against him, his tongue pushing past the lips that Dave had parted in surprise. The coolkid stilled, clearly not expecting something like this, but after several moments was more than happy to partake, hands sliding up thighs and tongue sliding expertly over John's. Many minutes of kissing and grabbing and moaning passed before John had to pull away, figuring if he went any longer without a proper breath he might pass out. He was admittedly a little pleased that Dave's breathing was also rather heavy.
"D – ave, I want – to go out."
"W – What? Like, to the – dining hall?"
John pressed his face into Dave's shoulder, the fingers that were clutching the record shirt tightening. "N-No. I want to go out on a date."
Dave visibly froze; not even his chest heaved for breath anymore. Something cold ran through John, and he pulled closer. What if Rose had been wrong? What if Dave didn't want to label their relationship? What if—
"Really?" the coolkid asked, his voice trembling and breathless. John sat up and looked at Dave, saw the creased eyebrows and mouth agape with incredulity, and suddenly felt like an idiot for doubting Rose's words. How could he ever forget what Dave himself had said to him?
i dont want to be with anyone else either
not in this universe or any other
"I'm tired of not knowing," John finally said, more steadily than he thought he'd be able to. "I want to be allowed to call you my boyfriend. I want to be yours." Dave's head dipped down, his shoulders tense as if he was bracing for something, and John touched him gingerly. "Dave…?"
He let out a breath that sounded suspiciously like a sob. "Of course I want to be your fucking boyfriend," he retorted, but the tremulousness of his tone took the edge away.
John took Dave's chin in his fingers and lifted his face so that they were level before hesitantly reaching for his sunglasses. Dave moved surprisingly slowly, hands covering the ones that grasped the frames and holding them there, preventing the shades from being removed. He leaned forward just as slowly, lips pressing lightly against John's as he whispered, "Not yet. I may have to do a fucking pirouette off the handle if I let anyone see how absolutely in tatters my coolkid façade is right now."
John smiled, and kissed him. "That's okay. I'll wait as long as it takes."
Friday found John in the library, studying like his life depended on it for the insane biology midterm he had on Monday. For the record, Introduction to Biology is not nearly as cool as ectobiology. Nevertheless, John didn't feel terrible about his impending doom. At least he understood most of the concepts, unlike half of the worthless freshmen in his class. (Those were Dave's words, of course. John couldn't bring himself to say it himself.)
His PDA buzzed and he pulled it out of his pocket, grateful for a distraction.
TG: bro meet me by those weirdass stairs pronto
John gave his PDA a confused look.
EB: what, do you mean the stairs that lead to nowhere?
TG: yeah whatever do you seriously think i even give any fucks at all about what theyre called
EB: i'm studying for my midterm, dave.
TG: its friday egbert
TG: jegus you have got to be the derpiest nerd i have ever met in my entire life
TG: also are you still wearing that ridiculously dorky sweater vest you had on earlier
EB: no dave, your insults have wounded me so badly that i went home to cry over it and then change into something cooler.
TG: ok good then ill see you here soon right
EB: yeah i'll be there in a couple minutes.
EB: and sweater vests make me look handsome, alright?
TG: yeah yeah i agree you look really hot in sweater vests
TG: dont tell anyone i said that though
A rush of butterflies exploded in John's stomach, and he decided he'd rather hurry the hell over there and kiss the living daylight out of Dave than sit here wasting more time with another text.
When he arrived, he looked around, but didn't see Dave anywhere.
EB: well i'm here, where are you?
But before he could press send, he heard the eerily familiar notes of one of his favorite songs being played by a guitar somewhere nearby. He looked up, eyes wide, to see Dave walking up the other side of the sculpture, wearing a long-sleeved white dress shirt under a rather classy, grey button-up vest that went well with the light grey skinny jeans. There was an acoustic guitar strapped to him, right hand strumming as the left worked the neck.
"D-Dave, you can't be serious," John said, not even caring that he was grinning like an idiot. Dave ignored him and continued playing.
"How do I get through one night without you," he sang, and John thought he might die as Dave began walking down the stairs, staring straight at him. John couldn't find the strength to be surprised that Dave actually had an amazing voice. "If I had to live without you, what kind of life would that be? Oh I, I need you in my arms, need you to hold. You're my world, my heart, my soul. If you ever leave, baby you would take away everything good in my life."
A crowd was beginning to form around them, random passersby wondering what was going on or just wanting to watch the dope with tears in his eyes and a big grin on his face be serenaded by the attractive cool kid. John thought he could see Jade out of the corner of his eyes, hands covering her mouth and squealing with fangirlish glee. He tried to ignore her.
Which, actually, wasn't very hard as Dave reached the grass, standing right in front of John and watching him closely as he sang, "And tell me now, how do I live without you? I want to know. How do I breathe without you if you ever go? How do I ever, ever survive? How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?" He strummed the final chord of the chorus and let the sound die away before pulling the strap around so the guitar was on his back and leaning forward, kissing John right there in front of everyone, which only seemed to elicit applause and a few catcalls from the onlookers.
When he pulled away, Dave said, "Now that I've pretty much serenaded the shit out of you, I was wondering if you'd like to go on a date with me tonight. Nothing special, just dinner and a movie. A good movie, please."
"Con Air is the best movie," John quipped quietly before pulling Dave in for another kiss.
They sat in a lively Thai restaurant, seated close together in a corner, talking over a small table lit with a candle.
"I didn't know you could play the guitar," John remarked. Dave smirked.
"Technically I can't, really." John gave him a questioning look. "Well, I may or may not have gotten Jade to teach me the basics, and possibly I have been spending practically every waking hour for the past week in her dorm practicing."
John felt his cheeks glow. "Dave… that's so sweet."
"What can I say? I am the master of romance, my brofriend. Not to mention I now have the power to play How Do I Live ironically whenever I want." John giggled as the waitress walked over with their orders, setting down a bowl of red curry in front of Dave and a plate of pad thai in front of John.
"Enjoy your meal," she said quietly, and John made sure to thank her before she left.
There were a few minutes of silence as they began eating, but Dave could tell John was distracted. He saw each little surreptitious glance John shot at him like it was child's play. Throwing discretion to the wind, Dave leaned over the table and kissed John softly for a moment before leaning back and stealing some of his pad thai.
"This is some good shit," he said with his mouth half-full. "It's a shame you aren't eating any of it." John colored and sighed in exasperation.
"Okay, I get it, I get it. I was just thinking about your sunglasses. Why do you never take them off?"
One corner of Dave's lips rose, a sort of half-smirk. "You got them for me and they make me think of you."
"Pfft, whatever Dave. Come on, what's the real reason? You wore those weirdly ironic anime shades all the time before I got you those."
Dave sighed. He supposed if it was John he didn't mind sharing, but looked at his curry from behind the shades as he spoke regardless.
"Alright, here's the deal. I have red eyes. It's weird, it's unnatural, I don't know why they are that way, but they are. I never thought much of it until I got into school, where kids started to make fun of me for it. In middle school assholes and douchebags made it a point to beat me up after school, and I was too ashamed to really talk to Bro about it. Of course Bro isn't an idiot, he figured it out easily. That's why he started training me so hard, so that I could fight back and not have to be scared of my classmates. Eventually we went to the school with some fake-ass doctor's note saying my eyes were overly sensitive or some shit and giving me permission to wear sunglasses at all times. I guess I just never really grew out of the habit."
Finally he looked up to see John frowning at him. "That's awful," he whispered. "I'm so sorry that you had to go through something like that."
Dave gave a small smile. "Hey, no need to apologize. I mean, you know what it's like. It's hard being a kid and growing up. It's hard and no one understands."
It was late at night when they returned from a movie that had been a startlingly nice mixture of action and romance, and only the light from John's desk lamp fought the darkness as they lied in bed, kissing deeply, hands in hair or clutching shirts or unbuttoning vests. Dave moved to John's neck, kissing and biting softly and licking and sucking, and he couldn't think of any good reason as to why they didn't do this more often. He loved hearing all of John's little reactions, sighing, moaning, gasping, nails digging into Dave's back. He could barely register his own surprise when John rolled halfway on top of him, sitting up enough that Dave could no longer reach his neck, and stared down at him with an oddly serious expression.
He didn't have to say anything, and this time Dave didn't fight him as he reached for the sunglasses, pulling them gently away from his face. John's lips touched one eyelid, and then the other, and Dave finally opened his eyes and stared into John's, his first completely unobstructed view. But John didn't ogle, or gasp in surprise, or really react at all. He merely leaned down again and resumed kissing him. Dave didn't know what he had been expecting, but this hadn't been it. He supposed he didn't care, though, as long as it somehow made a difference to John.
No, perhaps something was different. There was a strange energy running through John, a paradoxical feeling of urgency in the way John kissed him, the way his hands found his, fingers entwining, while somehow he seemed so calm, so sure of himself. Dave found this new current enticing as it was confusing, and when John's knee pulled up between his legs, he didn't bother trying to hide the fact that he was aroused, and couldn't even feel disbelief when John pressed more firmly against him with a low moan, because nothing had ever felt more natural.
His name was sighed into his ear as John decreased the distance between them, their chests and hips pressed together, and Dave squeezed his hands when he felt that John was also aroused. Ever so slowly, John pushed against him, his breathing shallow, and Dave kissed his neck, his ear, tried to ignore the growing dizziness as John's grinding became steadier. It didn't take long for his own breath to begin to stagger, and John clearly didn't know what he was doing, was working off instinct alone, shit they still had all of their clothes on for christ's sake, but nothing had ever felt so intimate, so meaningful. Dave shut his eyes tightly. "J-John," he moaned, bucking back a little, just to feel John's gasp in his ear, followed by a needy whine.
"A-Again," he groaned, his driving movements insistent. "Please say it again—"
"John," Dave whimpered, more because of the way their hips fit together than because John had begged it of him, though the desperation in his tone was certainly no help. "Oh god, John…"
With that, John arched, almost completely silent in his release but for the small, broken sound that cracked from his throat. Usually Dave could have gone on for a much longer period of time, but the sight of John, spent by his doing, was enough to send him over the edge, and he shuddered his moan against John's neck.
Several minutes of catching breath and controlling heartbeats passed, and when John finally lifted himself enough to look Dave in the eyes, Dave was about ready to die of happiness. That is, until John opened his mouth to gently say, "Dave, I love you."
Dave reached up and kissed him. There really was no one else he could imagine holding this way, and he felt it so strongly that tears came to his eyes. His façade, his irony, humanity, trollmanity; he could forget about all of it as long as he still had John Egbert to hold onto. And Dave Strider knew that he would never let go.
Without you, there'd be no sun in my sky
There would be no love in my life
There'd be no world left for me
How Do I Live, Leeann Rimes