the best of intentions

(paved the road to hell, darling.)


During the season of autumn, he would find her curled up on his sofa, fast asleep, wearing her favorite dress.

The habit carried on into winter, and Dave Strider wasn't terribly sure what to do about the unsuspected roommate he had suddenly acquired.


She looked like an angel, but he would never admit that. She wasn't the fragile being she appeared to be, she was a force to be reckoned with, and usually caught him off guard.

It was so odd, having finally met his match. It was stranger having said match crashing on your living room floor, because she got kicked out of her last apartment, because she was out of money, because of whatever excuse she could think of. She seemed to have a plethora of reasons she needed to stay over at his apartment.

He was okay with that.


Their routine was like clockwork, repetitive and rhythmic. When the moon took its place in the inky sky, she would murmur something about finding the eye of a hurricane. He would roll his eyes behind his black shades, and respond to her rambles with a scoff. Her green eyes would flutter open, glossy behind ebony eyelashes, and he would immediately regret whatever snarky comment he doled out minutes before.

"Jade," he would say, as her concentrated scowl turned into a whimsical smile. She wouldn't respond, not yet anyway, as she crawled towards him. She would wrap his arms around his waist, and would lay her head on his lap. Her messy hair would take up most of the space, and he would play with the onyx strands.

She would show her teeth, still crooked from her years of youth. She's tried braces twice, but ended up with the same result: orthodontists couldn't get rid of the Egbert-Harley dental curse. He thought that it wouldn't be the same if she fixed them.

"Dave, am I cool enough for you now?"

Her question would always be rhetoric. She didn't like answers, just questions.


Those were the little things that he loved about her. Her eccentricities, her quirks. The way she glared at him behind her cracked glasses, the way she would curl her lips, and beckon him to come closer. Sometimes, he would wonder what would happen if she left, and never came back.

He didn't contemplate the subject too much. It was too hard to think about. He already lost her once, no need to contemplate on the possibility of losing her again. Dave doesn't like fighting, and especially not with Jade. They've only had one real fight. It ended with harsh words, and the slamming of doors. She had braved the Manhattan snow, and Dave stood and watched her silhouette bounce off the walls of his brownstone apartment.

She didn't come back for an entire week. The next time he saw her was at the local café.

Her frostbitten face featured two bruises under her green eyes.


They called their falling-out "The Incident." Jade added the quotation marks, because apparently 'they made things non-permanent' or some other bullshit reason that Dave simply couldn't find an argument against.

He was okay with not winning their debate. Only that one time, though. He made sure he won all their other arguments, because that's how it always was. Secretly, Dave wondered if Jade let him win those debates.

His logic consisted of calling bullshit every other second, so it was rather obvious she was just obfuscating stupidity. Especially during that specific encounter, at that specific local café. Jade hated coffee, so she went to the tea shop next to the coffee-shop, where Dave made his second residence. It wasn't a fate, or chance that they ran into each other there.

She had visited the café everyday before their meeting, in hopes of finding him.


After a tumultuous winter, Jade Harley officially moved in with Dave Strider.

He decided that it would be the best way to make her start paying for her food.