drunkopp: a great big sloppy thanks to all you people out there reading this thing.

tothatanonymousreviewerinchapteronethatwasTooLazyToSignIn. i pretty much loved your idea about sollux too fuckin much to pass it up, haha. cause sollux is totally one of my favorite characters, so most credit goes to you for this chapter. and you can bet if john does go to a gay bar in the future, it'll be because of you. god bless.

tothatanonymousreviewerinchaptertwodubbedZ. thanks a bunch for all the ideas woah. that is actually extremely helpful, haha. if i do use any of your ideas, it'll all be credited to you. oh, and for this chapter, i got sollux's major from you ~ and also by looking up the guy who created facebook heh.

toYaoiOverlord. i really liked the idea of marine biology for john for some reason. i got that from reading your review so thanks! hope you don't mind i took it, aha.

toNeavvs. ooh seattle was actually one of my contemplations. even though i don't know much about it, hm. i'll probably put them in a made up university or something, to make things easier to manipulate. thanks for your input ~

and yes sorry, i just replied to the reviews i did or may take ideas from. thank you all for you input of ideas, you guys are more helpful than reviewers should be, haha. but yeah, i have such helpful readers. pushy, but helpful.

Homestuck belongs to Andrew Hussie. because I felt bad not including his name in the first chapter.

Chapter 3: Domino Effect

The morning after was lax and warmly comforting, just the way John liked his Saturday mornings. Add a bowl of Froot Loops and cartoons and it would've been a great morning. Unfortunately there was no television in the room, but there was a grocery store just a few blocks down west.

John was up around mid-day. After their little baking escapade last night, the pair took the rest of the night snacking on what legitimately were, pretty damn good cookies. The only evidence left was the abandoned pantry tray on the floor, scattered with crumbs of what used to be.

Dave, being Dave, was still passed put on the mattress, sleeping on his stomach with sunglasses carelessly tossed onto the bedside stand.

John snickered lightly as he passed by, but while also being super cautious as to not make too much noise. He'd wake him later, he decided, because he was just that much of a good friend. Unlike Dave who got a kick out of doing things to John while the boy slept.

As of now, he might as well fetch some breakfast for the two of them. The brunette slipped on a light vest before heading out the door, leaving a sound Strider behind.

It was a beautiful day; the vast blue sky was streaked with dazzling sunlight and rich, mountainous clouds. A day fit for much possibility, and yet not a single idea crossed his mind. The freshman wasn't all too up to date on what exactly there was to do for leisure around these parts, other than study. (the accusation of nerd is reverberated off the background) But he figured he'd find something, John thought as a catchy whistle passed his lips in contemplative wonder.

Walking down the street, the brunette would catch sight of a few other students out and about. One girl he passed by actually gave him a small smile in greeting. John smiled back, of course. And at that, he speculated if he'd make new friends during his stay, like you know, ones that he didn't already have since high school.

Or, you know, maybe even a girlfriend.

John bit down his lip. Well, unlikely as it was, it was still a nice concept. Considering he never had one in his life, ever. Although people always assumed he dated Rose and Vriska, it wasn't true. Okay, so maybe he had a thing for them sometime in the distant past. But it never would've worked out, because it was RoseandVriska foremost of all. Not to disregard them in a bad light or anything, but they were pretty difficult people in terms of relationships. Rose had the habit, and fancy, of twisting every male individual's shot at her by analyzing the depth of his sexual psyche, interrogating to the point of hysteria and tears.

Vriska was, self-explanatory. Any unfortunate fellow involved in her love life was never seen again.

John shivered. Girls were crazy. Or at least, the ones he knew were.

Maybe it's better to steer clear of the whole dating scene, he mused while entering the convenience store when its presence suddenly came into view. He didn't quite get how Dave handled it all. But I guess that's all part of the Strider charm, whatever the hell that is.

The brunette only picked up a few things, not even bothering to get a basket. Better to get only what you needed at the moment.

Apple Juice for Dave, strawberry milk for him (don't judge), and some unlabelled muffins wrapped in cellophane. Now, what else was he supposed to get? Oh right, the Froot Loops.

Cereal aisle, cereal aisle...He paced down the store 'till his eyes caught sight of the right sign. You were never too old for the classic avian toucan and its doughnut-shaped artificial flavors, or as Dave liked to call it, "feathery asshole gone a little too far off the rainbow".

John reached for the top shelf housing his trusty brand cereal. Until that is, someone else beat him to the punch.

The boy blinked when he noticed the separate hand on top of the last box, claiming it before him. John turned his head to see exactly who this asshole was.

It was a lanky looking guy, build and height around Dave's size; actually reminded him a lot of Dave with those dual tinted shades. He looked fairly young too, so it was possible that he was a student from the same university as John.

The brunette gave him a blank look before snapping back into reality. "Oh...! Sorry, I didn't see you there." He apologized, withdrawing his hand away.

Sollux simply shrugged. "Yeah, no problem," he said while grabbing the last carton.

John watched him throw the box into his plastic basket in an almost begrudging manner.

The other caught his eye, but with a little more interest than before. "Th'orry if you wanted these, but if it makes you feel any better, you look a bit too old for Froot Loop'th."

John noticed the subtle lisp underlying his tone before frowning in confusion. "Uh... wouldn't the same go for you?"

The taller snorted in amusement. "Thi'th shit ain't for me, it's for my pubescent roomie. He'th been wailing like a fucking baby for his morning dose of sugar."

"Oh," noted Egbert, feeling just very slightly embarrassed.

"Whatever." He shrugged passively once more. "I get it, i'th cute when someone like you doe'th it, but KK always makes a big frigging deal 'bout it and loses his shit when I bring it up."

John nodded in puzzlement as the words registered into his mind. "... Uh, wait. What did you call me?" John interrupted, even though the other still seemed to be talking.

"Hm?" Sollux raised a brow. "What?"

"That... thing." The boy pointed out. "You called me cute?"

Sollux returned his baffled bemusement with an indifferent stare. "Yeah, I did. Is that a problem?"

"Uh..." John awkwardly shifted from one foot to another, scratching the back of his neck. "I guess not, it's just... We just met? So it's kind of weird and unexpected."

Sollux nodded in understanding. "Guess you're just not used to it." He then brushed past the smaller one, leaving without even a word of farewell.

Well okay, that was one strange, but kind of nice dude. Who the hell was KK anyways? John shook his head, leaving it off as unimportant as he grabbed a box of Apple Jacks.

Following right behind the dual-colored shades dude to the cashier line to pay for his stuff, John fished around his pockets for his wallet.

Or at least, what should've been his wallet, rather than flat nothing plus lint.

"Aw, shit," cursed the boy aloud as he slumps his shoulders in deflated defeat. Just his goddamn luck.

Sollux apparently heard him by the way he turned around with questioningly raised eyebrows.

"Forget your money?"

John forced a tight lipped smile. "Yeah... Looks like it. No big deal though, I'll just run back to the dorm and get it."

Sollux nodded silently before turning back to the nice cashier lady. "Hi'th stuff's with mine," he said, motioning back to the clueless schmuck behind him.

The said schmuck widened his eyes slightly. "Huh? What? Oh," the recognition of the other's words suddenly hit him. "No, that's okay, really! It's not like I urgently need this stuff anyways." John blinked, staring absently. "And I don't even know you, so..."

"You could get to know me," he replied, already having paid for everything in the midst of John's rambling. Damn.

The taller handed the bag with John's stuff to him, which the boy reluctantly accepted with an expression that looked absolutely remorseful. Sollux smirked in light amusement. "I'th not that big of a fucking deal. Just take the shit and be done with it."

Sollux then turned and walked away, exiting the store with his own bag in hand. John realized he didn't even say thank you. And well, if his dad taught him anything, it's that real men return favors before anything else. "Uh, wait!" He shouted after him while hurriedly jogging out the store entrance.

The other boy didn't get too far down the sidewalk before John caught up with him, abruptly exclaiming, "I'll pay you back right now, if you're not too busy!"

He ended up walking with who he found out later to be Sollux, all the way back to campus.

Sollux was one legit dude, John concluded after conversing with the guy after a measly five minutes.

First thing he learned about Sollux was that he was indeed attending the same university as him, except enrolled as a Computer Science and Engineering major as opposed to John's pursuit in Marine Biology. That pretty much dazzled John, seeing as he himself made a hobby out of programming computers, despite being horrid at it. It also turned out Sollux was here on an international scholarship program, tuition and board paid in full, along with some pocket allowance due to being a raging computer genius.

And then imagine John's surprise when he found out who KK is.

"You're Karkat's roommate?" John exclaimed, not being able to help the growing grin on his face. "The insufferable wise-ass? Oh man, that's such a weird coincidence!"

"If anyone's the in'thufferable roommate, i'th KK," he snorted. "But yeah, unfortunately. He's actually mentioned you more than once."

The brunette blinked at this unforeseen news. "Wow, really? Like what?" Knowing Karkat, it couldn't be all that flattering.

Sollux took a short pause before answering. "Yeah, more than I can stand really." He stopped for another brief moment before continuing on. "Th'aid stuff like you were naïve, dumb-ass, etcetera, you know how he is. I could tell it was you by his description, guess tha'th why I tried hitting on you."

John halted and took a double-take on that last part. "... Excuse me?"

"Hm?" He stopped in his tracks shortly after John did.

"Can you repeat that? Uh, you said..." He swallowed nervously, "You were hitting on me back there?" The boy inquired a little louder than he meant to.

"Well not full on but yeah, kind of." affirmed Sollux in a nonchalant tone, as if it were of complete norm.

John wasn't completely sure how to handle a situation like this. So he tried his best, in a way that was both blunt and socially respective. "Um... Well, I'm flattered but," he let out a breath while holding his hands up slightly in defense. "I'm not a homosexual."

"Relax, Egbert. I'll have you know I have a girlfriend." Sollux said, vaguely entertained by his remark.

John simply gaped at him. "W-what? But you just said you were hitting on me! So you were cheating on your girlfriend?"

He shook his head and opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted by a group of unfamiliar faces approaching them.

They were three girls; the one in the middle walked a step faster than the other two with an expectant gaze on her face. She wasn't crude or haughty looking, but rather had a pleasant welcoming smile on her face and - holy shit take a look at the rack on her.

Those things were so massive it was impossible to even avert your eyes elsewhere. And judging by Sollux's intrigued brow raise, he couldn't also. Except he had those stupid glasses to cover him, lucky bastard. John actually forcibly pried his eyes up before she got too close, a blush lightly tinting his pale cheeks. She was even prettier up close, he noticed.

The girl smiled brightly at both of them. "Um hey, sorry to bother you guys." She casually rested her hands on her hips, eyes fixating on John particularly. "But, you wouldn't happen to be Dave Strider's roommate, would you?"

John blinked his expression vacant until it occurred to him that hewas Dave Strider's roommate. "Oh!" He cried out in full awareness. "Uh sorry, that's me yeah." He grinned sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck in a bashful manner.

Her face seemed to light up by the way her brow rose and plush lips formed into a small oval. "Oh, good. I was actually looking for you."

"You were?" He said in disbelief.

"Yup," she elegantly chirped. "I just needed to know where Dave was last night, since he was a no show at my party... even after he absolutely swore he'd come."

John gulped as a bad feeling was coming on. "Uh-huh."

"So..." She lowered her scrutiny, semblance brimming with intrusiveness. "Do you know where he was?"

"Uh -"

"Out with another girl, perhaps?"

"Not exact -"

"Come on, spit it out. I know you know."

Jesus, for such a cute girl she sure was intimidating as hell. John was starting to feel a little heat under the collar. His mouth was dry to the point where words no longer formed coherently. "I-uh was -" Obviously Dave ditched this girl last night, even though she was smoking hot and Dave was such a bastard for somehow wooing these girls into obsessing over him. Damn that Strider charm. But John wasn't ready to sell his best bro out to this random chick that had a glower that could topple concrete structures.

So that's when Sollux decided to be awesome and intervene. "How would he know, since he was with me the whole time?"

John at first appeared as confused as the girl, until he caught on what was being hinted at and leapt in to play along. "Ah - ha, that's right, of course!" He rapidly agreed, nodding his head as if bats swarmed in his hair. "We were hanging out late at night and doing... stuff. And by the time I got back to my room, Dave was asleep."

The girl, who's name was Ellen just so you know, frowned as creases formed in her brow. She glanced back and forth between the two of them before it finally clicked in her head. When the pieces started to align with the big picture, she pressed her fingertips lightly against her cherry red lips. "Ohh," a gratifying chuckle echoed at the back of her throat. She grinned almost devilishly at Sollux. "You're... Captor, right? The honor student?"

He nodded. "Yeah, none other."

Ellen's cheekbones tinted a rosy pink as she cupped her perfectly unblemished right cheek with her hand. John was clueless to her reaction, or why she was even acting this way, all flustered and amused. He just didn't get girls.

"Riight," she dragged out the word while turning on her heel to leave. "I'm really, really sorry to have bothered you guys. Like, I didn't know... But I guess it's kind of obvious now when you look at it."

John frowned, perplexed by her sudden change in demeanor. Sollux simply shrugged.

She fully turned her back on them, before turning back again as another inquiry came to mind. "By the way, where's your dorm room? I need to talk to Dave."

"Gordon House, South residence. Dorm 106," Sollux immediately spoke up.

John whipped his head with wide eyes at Captor.

She grinned, a twinkle in her eye as she waved farewell. "Thanks a bunch! You guys were a ton of help, totally make a cute couple too. Buh-bye ~!" Then she skipped off with the two girls who were waiting for her not too far off.

The two lads dutifully waved her off, making sure she was out of sight before the panic rolled in.

John practically flailed his arms at Sollux. "Sollux! That room number... You gave her the wrongnumber, not to mention my dorm is on the complete opposite side!"

He raised a brow, perfectly calm and collected. "Well, what the fuck did you want me to do? Tell her your real dorm so she can stalk you to no ends?"

A valid point, but still, they told a lie to a nice girl. And lying was bad. "Okay, but... That room belongs to someone, right? So we're gonna be sending her to a total stranger."

"Not necessarily. I know who it is."

John didn't know whether to feel relieved or considerably more anxious from that.

"Well, who is it then?"

Sollux didn't say anything and simply turned to John with a incredulous expression. "Are you deaf or just slow? Or maybe both?"

John frowned, not quite following. "Uh what the hell are you talking abou -"

Totally make a cute couple.

"Holy fucking hell."

Dave woke up half asleep and not a happy camper.

For one, Egderp wasn't there to broadcast his derpy morning greeting, one that annoyed the ever loving shit out of Dave but was still rather endearing once you got used to it, not that he'd ever admit it.

And then there was the constant beeping ringing in his ears, from which came his phone bearing dozens of unread text messages, voice mails, and missed calls. All from the same sender. At first, he actually thought it was John calling him to see if he woke up yet because he just wanted to have sex with him so bad that it couldn't wait until later.

But alas, no. Reality doesn't work that way apparently.

It was that girl, Ellen something-ma-jib whom he didn't really want to deal with right now, so he decidedly threw his phone against the wall, the impact of it causing the battery to fly out from the back case. He was still half overcome by sleep, so Dave turned over on his bed to catch some more Z's when the door flung open with a loud crash. He reallyneeded to start locking that door.

"Dave!" It was John's voice, which made Dave a little more alert, but not enough to get up from his comfy bed.

He made a half-fascinated grunt, figuring that was a responsive enough action.

John was panting, as if he sprinted and had a panic attack several times over on the way here.

"I'm supposedly gay!"

Dave sat up in an abrupt but fluid movement and turned to the distressed boy standing in the doorway. The blonde wore a faint bemused visage, but not necessarily a disappointed one. "What?" This better not be a fucking dream or he was going to be pissed when he woke up.

John sighed irritably, as if Dave should've been able to figure out the whole dilemma from just those two words. "I'm supposedly gay, Dave!" He blurted out once more in desperation. "With Sollux, nonetheless! Can you freaking believe that!"

Oh god, this dream was taking a turn into nightmareville. "- 'The fuck?"

And true to John's word, Captor was standing right outside in the hallway with a cell phone pressed to his ear. "I just called KK, he said he's coming for some reason."

John muttered a small 'oh okay' at Sollux before turning back to Dave. "KK - I mean Karkat - is coming too!"

Dave didn't know what to think of this messed up threesome, which apparently decided to gather around in his room while he slept.

The blonde held up a finger to pause briefly while he reached over the bedside table to grab his shades and flip them on. Alright kids, lets get our thinking shades on and attempt to salvage some sensibility from this messed up play. "You mind running that by me again, in a way I'll actually be able to understand what the fuck it is you're saying?"

John paced his way to the bed, plopping his arse down on the side as he motioned fervently to begin his story. "Okay, so I was going to the store to buy some stuff, like apple juice and milk and some funny-smelling muffins."

Dave stared with lacking interest as John continued. "Anyways, that's when I met Sollux when I was buying some Froot Loops, but he took the last box, but that's okay 'cause I got Apple Jacks instead."

"Froot Loops?"

"Shut up. We went to the cashier line to pay for our stuff, but I forgot my money so Sollux was really nice and paid for my stuff. That's why we came back here, so I could pay him back." He took a breath before talking on. "And on our way here, we met this girl, I think you know her because she acted like she knew you."

Dave raised a brow. "A lot of ladies are aware of me, but not so much the other way around. You're gonna have to be more specific."

John bit his lip apprehensively. "Uh, well, she had brown hair... and um..." He awkwardly made big circular motions with gropey hands over his chest. "... You know, bro."

Dave narrowed his eyes, still unclear but he had a good guess for now. "Yeah, I think I got it from your dynamic miming. What about her?"

"Well she was asking about you, something about her party you missed and one thing led to another and now she thinks we're together!"

"What, you and me? I don't see the problem in that." Really, no problem in that at all.

John exasperatedly flopped his arms to the side. "No, I just said! She thinks me and Sollux are together. And yeah, that's kind of a problem!"

Dave ran a hand through his blonde locks, not knowing whether to laugh or punch Captor in the face. Maybe both.

John sat there expectantly leaning forward. "Dave? What do you think I should do, man? I mean, I'm not a homosexual."

Yeah, I already fucking know that all too well. Instead of saying that, Dave kicked his sheets off to the side and stood up from the bed. This was too much bullshit to deal with in the morning. Or afternoon, whatever.

"Alright, let me get changed first before I coach you all on your wavering sexualities." He snorted, figuring this was as ironic as his situation could get.

John frowned as he stood up from the mattress to get out of his friend's way. "Jesus, nothing's wavering, dude! Sollux and I are straight."

"Bi, actually," corrected a lisp in the background.

"Yeah, you see we're - wait, what?" The brunette whipped his head around, utter bafflement crossing his expression. Dave's brows shot up in more of an aroused curiosity.

"Bi'thexual, do I need to repeat myself? Jegus Christ." Sollux swore under his breath. "I thought it would've been obvious by now."

"I never knew that," spoke up Strider.

"Yeah, well you don't know me that well."

True that, and it's not as though he had any intention of unraveling him now. And to be honest, Dave should've been expecting it, what with all the bifurcation and duality obsessions.

John awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck. "Oh... wow, sorry I didn't know. That's cool though, I'm fine with that."

Sollux snorted. "Why are you only acting nervous now, Egbert? I thought I made it clear by hitting on you."

"What?" Dave's 'actually give a fuck' sense was kicking in.

John's cheeks flushed pink. "B - But you said you have a girlfriend...!"

"Sure I do, but that doesn't mean anything about my sexuality. And what the fuck are you looking at me like that for, Strider?"

Dave had his sunglasses on, but by the way he pursed his lips into a grimace with his brows furrowed, you could tell it was a look far from pleased.

"Better steer clear of this flaming douche, Egbert. He'll probably try to steal a piece of your precious virgin ass while your back is turned." Dave said while patting the lower back of his bro in a not so platonic fashion.

"Fuck off, Dave," retorted John.

"Oh please," Sollux rolled his eyes. "You two ladies are as paranoid as KK. And he thinks I'm gonna fucking jump him ever thince I told him. Schizophrenic little bitch, I swear -"

Both Strider and Egbert pointed silently towards the hallway behind the binary inclined man.

Sollux calmly glanced over his shoulder. "Well, speak of the de -"


One grueling recap of the previous dilemma later.

"Remind me again why we're having this discussion in our room like a gang of teenage girls huddled 'round the gossip circle." Dave mused aloud while leaning against the wall, arms loosely crossed over his chest.

John, who sat cross legged on the floor, just shrugged. "I dunno, it just kind of happened."

"This is utterly. fucking. retarded." Karkat growled. "I don't know why I'm fucking insinuating myself into your feminine deliberations with each other." He complains while sitting on John's bed, legs and arms crossed in a way that seems awfully strained and tense.

"No one invited you, KK." Sollux sat on the floor, leaning limply against the wall with hands rested comfortably behind his ashen blonde head. "You're free to leave whenever you want."

"Hey - here's an idea, WHY DON'T YOU CRAM A SOCK IN IT."

Dave pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to tune out all the disturbances in his life. "Alright look, not that I don't enjoy your company, which I don't, but if you've got no business here, just leave now for fuck's sake."

"Well, I'm here to help John, because apparently we're an item now." Sollux smirked triumphantly at the two murderous glowers sent his way.

"You're a fucking moron, don't you dare touch me with all that homosexual nonsense. I swear to god, I'm the only normal one here." Karkat scowled irritably as Dave silently thought up places to hide a dead body. Two if things turned dire.

"Hey!" John piped up. "It was just a misunderstanding, and I know for a fact that I like girls. So can we please get on with the real issue here? I mean like, what do I do?"

"What I don't see is how this is a problem," began Sollux. "Unless fake dating me is that unbearable."

"That's not it, man," John said, feeling somewhat guilty. "I just... don't want a reputation for something I'm not." Because God knows he'd already been through enough of the same shit in high school.

Captor shot him a half-smile. "I was just kidding, dude. It's a'right."

Dave couldn't exactly pinpoint this uneasiness settling in his mind. Something about this whole facade made him - what's that word for when you want to punch a wall - irked. Because this was just an absolutely fan - fuckingtastic way to start off his morning, or afternoon whatever. Finding your crush in a pretend gay relatonship with someone that's not you. Especially with him having to work late tonight at the club, he's certain his co-workers will appreciate his turned sour mood for the night.

"Don't worry your panties in a bunch." Strider reluctantly added, "I'll clear things up for you, should be no problem."

The prosperous look lighting up on John's face almost made it worth having to confront Ellen later. "Really? You'd do that?" The boy blinked, straightening his posture as he stared fondly at his best bro.

The older shrugged lethargically. "Not that big of a deal, bro. Although I'll admit, convincing her you're not a flaming maneater is gonna be the hard part."

John grinned toothily like a huge dork as he punched his pal playfully on the shoulder. "Shut up, man! You're the one who always has his hands all over me," he accused, sticking his tongue out childishly.

"Am not." Dave snorted in feigned skepticism.

"Whyy Mr. Strider, that's not what you said last night." John puckered his lips up at the other teasingly and damn it if Dave didn't find that hot as hell.

"Wow, i'th like I'm literally thuffocating from the sexual tension here," observed Sollux, who was leaning against the doorframe with a still demeanor.

"Oh you're still here?" The coolkid questioned with disinterest.

"Hey yeah, where did Karkat go?" John surveyed the limited space around them to see no sign of the stubborn little schizophrenic in sight.

Sollux jutted his thumb over his shoulder. "Little dude left a'th thoon a'th you guys started making out."

"What? But we weren't making out." John protested.

Dave nodded, but not dismissing the idea entirely no, he was actually busy with the mental picture of playing tonsil hockey with bucktooth over here.

Sollux grinned, "Right. Well it sure looked like you were going to."

"So you mind leaving anytime soon? Preferably before I kick your scrawny ass out." Dave said, finally snapping out of his daydream. "I've got work tonight and I like to accomplish a big heaping pile of nothing before I go."

"Huh, right. Your Djing gig or whatever. The LOHAC?" Sollux recalled before nodding lightly. "I remember that place, yeah. I gue'th I'll take Fefs there thince she's been dying for me to take her out tonight."

"Oh hey, that means almost everyone is going," John commented with cheer as he counted off the people on his fingers. "Me, Karkat, Rose, Jade, Terezi, you, and... Fefs?"

"My girlfriend," he made clear.

John opened his mouth in near surprise. "Oh. That's right. Uhh, are you sure she'll be okay with this whole er... us rumor thing...?"

"Yeah, it's no problem. The'll be cool 'bout it." He turned in the doorway to make his departure. "Well, I'll thee ya guys later."

"See ya, man!" John exuberantly waved farewell.

Dave attempted to give a rats ass and wave, but failed.

Because hey, this meant more alone time for them, which was apparently so valuable now that they were surrounded by nosy assholes 24/7. Or so he thought until the melodious tune of How Do Live rang through the air.

The brunette fumbled with his pocket before he hastily pulled the device out and pressed it solidly against his ear. "Ah - Hello?"

"John!" An ever so cheerful high pitched voice cut through the speaker, which even Dave could hear clearly from several feet away.

"What's up, Jade?" John grinned while pointing to the receiver and silently mouthing to Dave, it's Jade. With which he was reciprocated with an apparent I can see that, idiot.

"Um, well, if you're not too busy today, do you think you might wanna go shopping with me?" She queried eagerly. "I want to get a new outfit for when we go out to Dave's workplace tonight! Come on, pleaaaase?"

The boy hesitated before answering, because for one, he didn't feel inclined toward shopping much. But the sound of his cousin's pleading voice was a powerful persuasion. "Well... Alright, I guess. But, maybe I should ask Dave first?|

Jade rolled her eyes at the other end of the receiver. "Of course, If only he'll ever let you leave his side for a minute."

"No, I mean... Maybe he wants to come along too?" He suggested, although he truly doubted it, even more so with the glare and evident fuckno directed his way.

"No! He can't. Just you." Jade said sweetly but assertively.

A nagging suspicion dwelled in the back of his mind, but he didn't want to bother thinking about it so he sighed, "Alright, I'll go."

She clapped her hands in delight, which meant she was probably on her bluetooth somewhere. "Great! I'll see you at the front of my building then." And with that, the dial tone clicked the conversation done.

As John lowered the handset, he noticed the pitying look on his bro's face. "Shopping with Harley. That's brutal man, I doubt you'll make it out in one piece."

John rolled his eyes in exasperation, although there was some truth in those words. "It can't be that bad. Anyways, what are you gonna do while I'm gone?"

His lips unwillingly twitched at the faintest urge to smile. "Jesus Egbert, I'm not as helpless as to resort to being a lost puppy while you're gone. I've got a big heaping pile of nothing to do, remember?"

John laughed cheekily. "Hehe, of course you're practically hopeless without me." He patted the taller sport on the back good-naturedly. "Cause I'm the prankster gambit to your epitome of cool, the funny bone to your stoic nature."

"The derp cramping my style."

The freshman snorted as he strolled to the door. "Say what you want, I'm your derp, and you're stuck with me whether you like it or not."

Dave outwardly smirked to cover up a grin. "You better keep on your toes. I'll make you mine soon enough."

The sound of the latch closing indicated John was gone before he heard it.

Jade lived on the exact opposite side of campus from his dorm, which was exactly why she made John come to her, to save her the excruciatingly long walk around. Even though she was secretly more fit than him.

South residence and - which house was it again? It started with a G, that was for sure.

But thankfully for John, there was no need to stress his brain over remembering because Jade was right outside waiting on a nearby bench. She noticed him immediately and practically jolted up from her seat when she caught sight of the boy. Was it just him, or did she seem a bit more tense and jumpity than usual? His question was answered soon enough when she raced over the grass, nearly ramming into his chest from not being able to stop her rapid pace quick enough.

She panted out a breath, "Oh my god, John!" The girl hit his chest with the brute force of her palm.

John, very rather befuddled, blinked and tried to make sorts of things. "Um, what - ow! Jade?" He lightly placed his hands on her shoulders, careful not to rile the girl up any further. "What's wrong?"

"It's you!" She proclaimed.

Okay, so apparently he was in the wrong, for whatever reason. "What?"

"You and Sollux, how could I not see that? Or more importantly, how you could you not tell me?"

Suddenly everything in the Universe was starting to make sense again as it clicked. But then it turned out the Universe hated him and liked to fuck him over by doing everything in its power to humiliate him further. "Oh, that. Look, Jade, it's just a misunderstanding, I swear..." His train of thought lost track as another station came into view with a different theory in mind. "Wait, how the hell did you find out about that so fast? It happened like an hour ago."

Jade waved him off with a smile. "It's nothing, I just happen to have a blog. Anyways!" She firmly planted her knuckles on either side of her waist. "You better tell me what you're doing here, John. I mean, have you even thought about this? The consequences?"

John fruitlessly tried to slow her down with a pathetic exasperated flail of his arms. "I told you it's not like that! And is this what you called me out here for?"

"Um, well no. I do want you to come shopping with me, but that's after we get through this matter first!" Jade pointed at him in an entirely accusatory manner.

He sighed distressingly because life liked to kick him in the balls when he was down. "Jade -"

"I don't even know what to think about Sollux, you know? I mean, he seems like a nice guy, but I heard he also has a girlfriend, can you believe that? He's two-timing you, John! Unless you already knew, which would also make you in the wrong..." Jade gasped scandalously. "Are you a homewrecker, John?"

Taken aback, he blurted out absurdly, "What the hell? No, I'm not!"

"Well good, 'cause I expect better of you, unlike a certain playboy Strid - oh my god, Dave." Her conduct suddenly transitioned from lecturing to absolutely mournful. "Oh no, oh nooooo." She shook her head with her palms placed flat against her pale cheeks. "This is terrible, I feel so bad for him. His unrequited feelings after all these years... just crushed."

John furrowed his brows in utter, utter confusion. What, did Jade think she was dating Dave now? Just what kind of blog does this girl maintain? "We're not dating!" He finally cried out, thinking enough was enough of this little facade.

" - and he loved you so much!"

And then brought on the silence, one much similar to standing in the eye of a hurricane.

"... What?" Exclaimed the cousins simultaneously.

They first stared at each other blankly, both of them not knowing exactly what to say in this situation. So John spoke up to break this awkward air. "Umm... What did you say?"

Jade, for some odd reason, got really bright red in the face as she responded in a panicky manner. "O-oh, uh... Nevermind. Actually, you go first. What were you saying?"

John skeptically nodded as he began, "Alright... I was just explaining that well, the whole me and Sollux thing is just a misconception. We're not together atall, in fact, I just met the guy this morning!" He grinned crookedly, chuckling a bit. "Anyways... Yeah, it's just a rumor some girl started, which is not true at all."

The young lady widened her eyes in slight shock, not because her blog turned out to have lied to her, but because of her realization at the confession she just so shamelessly blurted out. "Uh, so what were you going to say?" John asked.

Shit. Shit. Jade cursed inwardly at her inability to keep words from spouting out. "... He, uh... Dave, he well..." Frantically she scrambled around in her brain for coherent excuses to dish out to her beloved but naive cousin. Few seconds later, still absolutely nothing comes into registry. So, she did the next best thing. "Dave is a homosexual!"

"What?" He uttered confusedly.

Jade sent a telepathic apology to Dave, as she had no choice but to forcibly follow up her lie. "Yes... Um, it's true. You see... H-he's always secretly liked guys but uh, you know, he could never tell anyone of course, hehe. So I - uh, was worried that he'd be so envious of the fact that you're in an openly gay relationship, while he has to hide in the closet and... pretend to be straight." Jade pursed her lips uneasily. That made so much more sense in her head. "So, yeah. That's the gist of it, basically." Well not really, but it was close enough.

John made an incredulous face, to which Jade began to panic, but slowly his expression softened into one of understanding. "So... Dave is gay? And he was jealous of me because he thought I was gay?"

Wow, when you put it like that, it sounds like utter bullshit. "Yes." Jade quickly added, "But he couldn't bring himself to tell you because of his pride! And the fact that you're best friends...?" She egged on, hoping to hit a sensible chord somewhere.

John's mind was a mixture of many different emotions, and it showed on his shell. "That's... really weird. Why didn't he just tell me?"

"Oh, you know, stupid ego, keeping up appearances, the fact that you're so overly homophobic." Whoops, there goes that overactive tongue of hers.

He tentatively rubbed the back of his neck. "Oh man... Do you... really think it's because of me that he's keeping it a secret like that? I mean, I guess it sort of makes sense."

"Yes, exactly!" She shouted abruptly, mentally thanking heaven for making her cousin so damn gullible. "It makes total sense and oh god, John, please don't mention this to him." Dave was never going to talk to her again if he knew she almost spat out his secret like it was nothing. And also the fact she told his crush he was gay.

John blinked, "Uh, yeah, no problem. It'll be our little secret, pinky promise." Smiling, he stuck out his left pinky finger as a sign of sworn secrecy.

Jade wiped the sweat from her brow. Dodged a bullet there... And set off about ten more. She inwardly grimaced.

Sighing helplessly, the girl reached out for his hands to clasp them inside her own. "John... Please take care of Dave. He's not as stalwart as he puts himself out to be."

The boy simply flashed a positive grin. "Well jeez, of course I know that! How long have we been best friends now?" Apparently not long enough for John to notice his friend's true sexuality. He had to admit, he was kind of worried. Would their friendship change from this newfound knowledge? Contemplating that thought for a moment, he almost immediately shook his head. No, of course not, only if John made a big uproar about the whole ordeal, which he was not going to. In fact, John resolved himself to understand Dave better, in the closet sexuality and all. "Don't worry, I'll break down those barriers and reach him somewhere!"

Jade smiled warmly. "Good, now let's go shopping."

Maybe it would be advantageous to take control of this situation, and play it so that they both finally open their eyes to one another. God knows they need all the help they can get.

Meanwhile, in room 106, Gordon House, South Residence.

A knock echoed against the hollow wood of the doorframe.

"Hello? Dave?" The girl knocked a few more times, each louder and harsher than the next. "I know you're in there, open up. We need to talk."

After a few moments of rustling that could be heard from within, the lock clicked and the door steadily creaked open, revealing a quite famous face.

A wide lethargic grin spread over painted on make-up. "Salutations, my fine motherfucking lady friend."

A scream vibrated through Gordon house complex that time of day.

drunkopp: not much romance stuff happens, mainly me building shit on top of another. i honestly don't know where i'm going with this, but right now, all i'm doing is nipping the bud. you know, tending to the flock before in rolls time for the slaughterhouse. and don't fret, the slaughterhouse will roll in eventually, it's just a matter of fattening things up. gotta tend to the cattle for that grade a beef result. god, i need more sleep, you know what, just forget what i said. that's embarrassing shit.