So I wrote this forever ago on an impulse to do a fairy-tail themed Homestuck story. I never want to write about anything but Cinderella. OTL Or Dave/John, when I like two other ships that I could write about. Nope. Just Dave/John. They are the only ones who get attention.
-ship ship ship-
ANYHOO. I just wanna give a shout out to Spazz Kadet, who was helping me out with this story as it when along. Also, while writing this story, Sailor Dave was born. Don't ask, just go with it. He's protecting his apple juice and fucking people up, not to mention getting wooed by a rather handsome masked man with a blue rose. JUST DON'T ASK WHY MY MIND THINKS LIKE THAT AND WHY I'M NOT AT ALL WEIRDED OUT BY THE THOUGHT OF DAVE IN A SAILOR MOON UNIFORM.
-hides and cries-
Disclaimers: Nope. I don't own sheeeet.
When The Clock Strikes Midnight
Once upon a time, there lived a boy. That's really vague and extremely cliché, but it's true. This boy's name was John Egbert, and he was one of the most timid children you could ever meet, as well as a little weird. While other kids liked toys and cartoons, John always watched terrible movies with Nicholas Cage in them, and loved anything that had to do with the paranormal, as well as video games. He was the happiest kid you could ever find, and he lived comfortably in his Washington home with his parents, Dad and Mother.
That is, until Mother died. What a twist, right?
John's mother had been fighting illness for years, and it had finally caught up with her, hospitalizing her. On her bed in the sterile, uncomfortable hospital room, he held John's hand in hers, a smile on her sickly face. "Now John," she said, voice weak and blue eyes identical to that of her son's, "I want you to be a good boy, okay? Mind your father, be kind to everyone you meet, and, most importantly, do not grieve over my death. You're a wonderful child, John, and I love you."
The small black-haired boy, at only six, watched his mother die on the hospital bed, hand wrapped in hers, and tears running down his face. Needless to say, it changed him a little on the inside, and he vowed that day, and at her funeral, to do what he was told by her; to be kind, listen to his father, and not grieve. He was the only person at the memorial that didn't cry, even as his cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and even Dad did, stunned silent as the most caring and compassionate person left the world.
Years after the death of Mother, John and Dad packed their things and left Washington, moving down to Texas where John's cousin, Jade Harley, and her family lived. But there was something completely different about John's family now- his dad had remarried. Stepmother was cruel and mean, strict as ever and a real witch of a person. Her two children, Vriska and Eridan were just the same, and took advantage of John's sweet nature by piling chores upon chores upon chores on the poor boy, and he, too kind to refuse, did the chores, often left out of his family's activities because of it.
Oh, right, and somewhere during all of this, he met Dave Strider, the most popular kid in his school, and started high school. And since this whole fairy-tale-sounding bullshit is starting to get annoying, I'll just get on the with the story.
And so begins a very modern, and unorthodox, Cinderella story…
The pencil balanced between his thumb and index carefully as he stared off into space, the teacher's lecture over Newton's laws mind numbing at the very least, her voice tuned out by his own willpower, thoughts strayed away to something other than school. His blue eyes focused on a poster with big, bold, yellow letters claiming "DO YOUR BEST!", glasses resting on his face naturally and comfortably, black hair a bit of a mess, but nothing he could honestly do about it. 'Dead Island came out last week... Game Bro magazine totally trashed it, so that means it's got to be good. I wonder if D-"
"Excuse me, Mr. Egbert."
He looked up, brought out of his little daydream by his teacher's voice, and he blinked a little, blushing. "Y-Yes ma'am?"
"What's Newton's law of universal gravitation?" She asked, eyes narrowing and arms crossed over her chest. "Well, John?"
John Egbert bit his lip, hearing the steady snickers around the room, and shrugged, shaking his head. "I don't know…" He said quietly, and the class erupted in giggles and laughter. Just as he thought this was going to be a pretty shitty rest of physics, the bell rang and he jumped up, closing his binders and stuffing them into his messenger bag quickly, escaping out of the room and into the hallway, still mostly empty. Sighing as someone pushed into his shoulder, he took out his headphones and put them on, playing the first thing that came on, and stuffing his hands into his pockets.
School had always been like this for him- getting pushed around, laughed at, made fun of, bullied out of homework and money… It got to the point sometime in middle school where it didn't faze him, and it just came as a second nature, something that always happened that he couldn't control. Elementary school back in Washington wasn't necessarily bad, but once he moved to Texas right before fifth grade, and started middle school in a new state, it only got worse.
With a sigh at the life he's had the past sixteen years, John turned the corner out of the science hallway just as someone's hands pushed at his headphones and they were pulled off his ears. He turned, stunned to see the familiar shades and blonde hair of his best friend and smiled. "You could always try just tapping on my shoulder, Dave."
Dave shrugged, a smirk on his lips as he came up beside John, hands stuffed in his jeans' pockets. "Where's the irony in that, Egbert?" he asked, chuckling a little. John laughed at the blonde, pushing him playfully as they entered the stairwell to go downstairs for lunch.
Dave Strider was the most popular kid in school from the moment he was in kindergarten. There was something about him that managed to attract just about every girl's attention, and there wasn't a guy in the school that didn't totally envy him. Granted, yeah, the school was small, but that was still a lot of envy and crushing going on. Dave had a huge group of "friends", but the only person he ever seriously talked to was John, since they had been friends since sixth grade. And even being Dave's best friend didn't mean John didn't envy Dave, but he wasn't as batshit crazy about it like everyone else. When he looked at the blonde, he saw Dave Strider, "that one kid with the shades that makes sick beats", not Dave Strider, "the most popular kid in the school who's way out of my league."
Oh, yeah, and he totally had a crush on him. Go figure.
The blonde cool kid held the door open for John, letting him go into the cafeteria first before following suit. "So did you see how Dead Island got wrecked in Game Bro?"
"I did. It's got to be a good game if their dissing was that bad. I've seen leaked game play of it on the internet." John said, stopping by the vending machine as the cool kid put some quarters to get his daily bottle of apple juice. "It's got game play elements from Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising and Fallout. The graphics are amazing, too."
"The way you rant about this game makes me want to try it out." Dave said, twisting the black cap of the bottle and taking a drink of the golden liquid inside. "I mean, John Egbert's the best game critic Texas has to offer, right?"
John stuck his tongue out. "Oh shut up, Dave. I'm just excited."
"You get this way every time a new video game comes out."
"I like video games. Got a problem with that?"
Dave just chuckled and took another drink, John smiling lightheartedly just as a hand came down on his shoulder. The black haired boy looked up, meeting dark eyes behind faux glasses and black hair curled around a pale face. "Hello Dave." Vriska Serket's voice purred, batting her eyelashes in a teasing fashion, keeping her glance from John at all costs. "I saw you sitting here, and was wondering if you needed some company?"
The cool kid sighed at the attempt, and shook his head. "No, Vriska. I won't need company today or any other day. Not to mention, I'm sitting with John if you can't tell."
Vriska scowled, looking down at John with a murderous glance. "Oh. The derp. Have fun." She huffed and turned away, walking off to the other side of the cafeteria. John let out his held breath, and Dave shook his head again.
"I don't know how you can live with that. And Eridan. Oh Jesus. I'm surprised you're still sane, bro," he said, voice almost piteous. "Jesus. I would have popped a fucking cap in their heads if I were in your shoes."
John shrugged. Vriska Serket and Eridan Ampora were his step-siblings, the only two children of the bitch of a woman his dad remarried after his mom had died. They were rude and bossy, always setting themselves above John and pushing off the chores to him everyday. His dad never believed him when he told him of what they had been doing, since their little angelic masks came out around him. And their mother… Oh god, don't get John started on their mom.
"I honestly don't know myself," was all of an answer John gave, leaning forward to rest his head on the table. "I'm surprised she hasn't asked you to prom yet."
Dave shrugged. "It's just one of those things you just don't fucking do. Not to mention, despite my magnetic girl field, they all know I won't date a single one of them. Even so much as going to prom with them is out of question." He finished off his drink, tossing the empty bottle into the trashcan at the end of the table a few chairs down. "Rose has been bugging me about finding a date, though. She doesn't seem to get I don't want any brainless broad to go with. It's all bullshit…" He smirked at John. "What about you? Who do you want to go with?"
'You, obviously.' "I guess I'm the same- no one I really want to go with, to be honest. Not to mention, Vriska and Eridan will probably end up throwing their chores on me last minute so I can't go even if I wanted to."
"That's some real bullshit. Fuck that." Dave told him, frowning. "I wish I didn't have to go, but, shit, someone went ahead and nominated me as king, and I won. Go fucking figure."
John shrugged. "I guess it's just our luck."
The bell rang and the two friends stood, grabbing their backpacks and waving to each other as they parted separate ways. Prom was a waste of time, anyway. Not like he'd ever want to go.
Jade Harley, his beautiful black-haired, green-eyed cousin, the very same person he considered his sister, and the only person to be there since he was born, was going to die, and he was going to kill her.
John held the ticket in his hand, a ticket to the masquerade prom going on tonight, and mumbled under his breath, going to change clothes when the door to his bedroom opened and Vriska barged in, glaring at the paper in his hands. "Oh. You got a ticket." She snorted. "Good for you. Listen, Eridan and I are too busy actually getting ready, so can you go do our chores? There's some trash that needs to be taken out."
"I need to get ready, too, Vriska." John said, voice barely over a monotone mumble, but she heard it.
She snorted, smirking in that smug way she's perfected after five years of torturing the poor kid. "Yeah. To go to a prom that no one wants you to go to." She said, shaking her head. "I doubt Dave even wants you there."
The black haired boy gaped, before gripping the ticket and pushing past her to go downstairs, trying to cover up the hurt and worries that presented themselves when she had said that, trying to be strong even if his heart was starting to hurt and his eyes were watering. He wiped the tears away with the back of his hand, stuffing the ticket in his back pocket and tying off the trash bag and lifting it out of the trash can. Carrying it with both hands, he pushed the back door opened and stepped outside in the humid Texas air, going out the fence to the driveway and throwing the bag in the large green trashcan.
John went back into the backyard, reaching the backdoor and turning the knob, pulling back. It didn't budge. He frowned, trying it again only to get the same results, he knocked on the door, waiting a moment before the blinds shifted and he could see Vriska's eyes through the slit. He paled. "Vriska, open the door!" He yelled, pulling at the knob again, wishing maybe it'd open and he'd be able to go inside. "Vriska, please!"
"No way, Egderp!" her voice called from within, and then a smile was the last he saw as she closed the blinds completely. John slumped to the patio chair next to the door, resting his elbows on his knees and putting his face in his hands. Tears were pouring over from his eyes, but he honestly didn't care at the moment- he should have seen that coming, but he didn't, and now he was stuck out in the backyard with a ticket for a dance he won't go to. Vriska was right, anyway- no one even liked him, so who would want him at the stupid dance? Shit, he wasn't even sure if Dave would want him there, either.
'Oh Mom, I wish you were here…' he thought in his head, looking up at the stars, eyes watering and sparkling with tears. 'You would have never let something like this happen. I wouldn't have to share a house with the two brattiest, rudest teenagers I've ever met, and Dad wouldn't have married that stupid woman in there… Everything would be just fine…'
Just as he was closing his eyes, there was a flash of light and he jumped, a little stunned. John looked around, unable to find a source of the light, and he swallowed. That's not normal at all.
"Uh, over… here…"
John turned back to look out into the backyard to see a teen about his age, black hair styled in a Mohawk, golden brown eyes sincere as filmy brown wings flapped behind him. The black-haired teenager gaped at the winged boy, before he spoke again. "I'm Tavros, your fairy God-Bro."
"F-Fairy God-Bro?" He had to be hearing wrong- the words "fairy", "god" and "bro" aren't supposed to be put together like that, especially not when the kid looked like he should be fucking people's faces up and not flying around like he was Tinkerbell. Well… at least the Mohawk made it seem like he was more of a "face-fucker-upper".
Tavros nodded, only once, before motioning toward John. "There's a ticket in your pocket to the prom tonight, right?"
"Well, yeah… But, I can't go." John said, voice hitting sullen again, and he ducked his head. Right. Vriska. She's a huge bitch.
"Of course you can."
John's head snapped up and he looked at Tavros in disbelief. This kid must be crazy, right? "That's why I'm, uh, here. I'm going to grant your wish to go to the prom."
The black haired teen blinked, amazed, blue eyes swimming between rejoicing and rejecting the offer. Tavros floated nearby, patiently, before John looked over and nodded a little. "I'll take it. I wish I could go to the prom."
Tavros smiled, taking a wand out of his pocket. "There are some minor, uh, conditions, however."
John's head tilted to the side. Oh god, is there anything in this world that doesn't have a contract to go with it? "And those are?"
"One, the mask I'm giving you has, uh, a voice changer inside so no one will know it's you. Especially not the one person you, uh, want to see there." Tavros waved the black stick with the star at the end, a mask, simply black and fit to John's face, appeared in his out-stretched hand. John took it carefully, holding it like it was a delicate piece of glass more than a piece of black plastic that was hardly fragile, when Tavros' words finally made sense in his mind; 'Especially not the one person you, uh, want to see there.' His heart skipped a few beats and he blushed- did he wear everything on his face?
"Two, the suit is tailored for you. It probably won't, uh, fit anyone else, and it's made to stretch in case of, uh, running." Another wave of his wand, and John's blue Slimer shirt and faded jeans turned into a spiffy black suit, complete with a blue tie, leaving John awestruck. This was nicer than anything else he wore. But, once again, Tavros' words sunk in and he blushed even deeper. 'Why would I need to run?'
"And finally," With one last elegant, dashing wave of his wand, Tavros conjured a watch, black with blue blocky letters reading the time, and handing it over to John. "This."
"It's a watch," John said, confused and looking at it carefully. "I don't get it."
Tavros cleared his throat. "It's fit to your wrist only. It will fit, uh, no one else. Only you. Be sure not to loose it. It's got an alarm that'll go off at, uh, midnight, and that's when the spell will break and you'll go back to being yourself."
John blinked at it, watching the colon between the numbers flash by the second. "Got it… Midnight."
"No later. Or the mask will disappear and you'll be discovered." Tavros said. "You should get going- you'll be late."
The black haired teen panicked a little at the time, slipped the mask on and made a dash in the direction of the school.
The school was all lights and noises, something John knew could be expected, but it's not like that helped his stomach from flipping and heart from beating a mile a minute. He sucked in one long breath and stepped into the commons of his school.
There were bright lights streaming across the dark foyer, one red and the other blue, not to mention a mass of students dancing near the DJ booth. He could see Vriska and Eridan hanging near the back, sipping on punch and making fun of other students, their masks pulled up to reveal their identities. Everyone else had theirs pulled down over their eyes, following the tradition that this was a masquerade prom. John glanced around once again, finally his eyes landing on the one person he came here to find.
So his heart skipped a few beats. This is, after all, a romance.
Dave Strider was sitting at a table off in the corner next to the office in the hallway, feet propped up on the table and shades in their usual place- over his eyes. There was a cluster of girls, all masked and otherwise unrecognizable, standing across the hallway, giggling and talking about how "cool" he looked. John just sighed and leaned up against the wall, hands in his pockets and face turned toward the ceiling. This was starting to become a waste of time. Why would he dance with someone he couldn't notice when he could dance with any one of those pretty blonde girls? Even Dave wasn't that absolutely stupid.
Of course, that wouldn't be very good plot or story telling if Dave were to run off and dance with a cluster of pretty blonde girls. On top of that, why would he do that? That's not ironic enough for Mr. Ironically Cool.
John jumped a little at a tap on the shoulder, and looked over to see those familiar aviator shades, and blushed. "So, you look pretty lonely," Dave started, holding out a hand (ironically) toward John. "Wanna dance?"
It took everything in John's being not to explode with happiness, and he smiled, nodded and took Dave's hand, careful not to show his teeth and those braces that would ultimately give him away. Why didn't he ask Tavros for something to remedy that? Dave led them to the outskirts of the dance floor just as a slow song started playing, and the cool kid's hands went to John's waist ('Breathe, breathe, breathe…') and John's hands went to Dave's neck.
And then there were slow dancing. John's mind was racing, but somehow only managing to focus on Dave's hand on his waist, how close they were, how he could feel Dave's breath on his neck. He closed his eyes, trying to keep cool even if he was the opposite, and not completely flip metaphoric tables from the amount of happiness and adrenaline running through his body. He was dancing with Dave, his best friend, his crush, the one person he trusted more than Jade, and Dave would never know it was him.
The song ended too soon, and they parted at arm's length, John just looking into Dave's shades as the cool kid smiled a bit and said, "This is boring. C'mon."
There were crickets chirping in the grass a few yards away, Dave's iPod playing some music that John would have never known he liked (Owl City. Who knew?), and they were just lying there, staring at the stars, talking.
No lie. Just talking.
"Your step mom sounds like a total bitch, man." Dave said, hands propped behind his head and face moving to look at John. "Why do you still deal with her?"
"I've got no other choice… I'm not eighteen for the next month, so it's not like I can just leave, you know?" John said, resting on hand on stomach, the other outstretched next to Dave. "Not to mention, I couldn't just leave my dad like that… Still, I wish my mom was around."
"I feel for you." The cool kid sighed, and then sat up. "Are you going to take that mask off?"
John shook his head, suddenly on edge and on guard, and sat up next to Dave. "I… I can't. Sorry."
Dave was about to open his mouth and say something when there was a steady beeping from John's watch that made them both look down at the device. It read midnight in blocky blue letters that made John's heart skip a few beats. "Shit." He bolted up and started to take off before he was pulled back a little. Dave's hand was holding onto his wrist right above his watch, shaded eyes seemingly pleading.
"Where are you going?" he asked, voice absolutely confused, even if cool kids never showed their emotions. It was strange for Dave to be acting like this to someone he barely knew, but… John just didn't know what to think. What if Dave knew it was him? His heart bottomed out before remembering what time it was.
John just shook his head, mute, and slipped out of Dave's grip, watch falling off, and started running, trying to keep his tears from falling, ignoring Dave's protests from behind him. When his feet finally hit the front porch of his house, his suit and mask were gone, replaced by his normal glasses and t-shirt and jeans, and he quietly entered the house, sneaking upstairs.
Vriska and Eridan were sleeping quietly in their rooms when he passed by them, before finally slipping into his room, changing into a pair of PJ pants and crawling into bed, unable to get the feeling of Dave's hands on his waist and his breath on his neck out of his mind.
"Prom was so frustrating."
John snapped out of his dreaming reverie, thoughts scrambled from the dance and looked at Dave from his locker, shocked to find him in a rather bad mood. "Why? What happened?" He'd figure after that night Dave would be in as good a mood as he was, but the cool kid seemed rather irritated.
Dave shrugged. "Well, I met someone, but I didn't manage to catch their name, and they left before I could ask for it…" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a watch that made John's stomach bottom out. So it had fallen off! "They left this before, and I've tried everyone in this school and it doesn't fit anyone."
"Out of the way, derp."
Vriska's hand came slamming on John's shoulder, pushing him into the lockers. Dave glared at her while John recovered from her bullying, Eridan giving him a dirty look. "I heard from someone that you had a watch left behind by a very… important person you met at the dance last night. We'd like to try it on."
Dave's shoulders seemed to slouch and he sighed, shrugging. "I guess. Why not?"
Eridan came up first, holding out his arm like Dave was blessed to be doing this as the blonde tried to put the watch on the hipster. It fastened just fine, but there was an extra inch of space. "It's too big?" Eridan asked, rolling his eyes and handing the device back to Dave. "It's obviously going to fit Vriska, then."
Vriska stepped up next, blue eyes sparkling as she held out her arm delicately, batting her eyelashes behind her thick-rimmed glasses, Dave's hand working the watch around her wrist, not even managing to get it to fasten. "W-What?"
"It's too small…" John snickered behind her, hand covering his mouth. "It doesn't fit either of you."
"That stupid… I can't believe this!" She yelled, kicking at the nearest thing available; the lockers.
"They were the last two on my list," Dave said, voice dropping a little before actually looking at John. "Well, you haven't tried it on yet, Egbert. Want to give it a try?"
John, knowing it would fit him and scared of Dave's reaction, shrugged. "Well, I guess but I doubt it would…" He took it from the cool kid and fastened it around his wrist. It didn't slide down like it had on Eridan's wrist, or barely fit like Vriska's. It was a perfect fit, exactly the right size for John's wrist. Vriska and Eridan's jaws dropped. Dave's eyes, behind his shades, widened. "Whoa."
"It was him!" Vriska cried, stomping her foot, grabbing Eridan by the collar and dragging him away, more infuriated than before and unable to deal with this at the time.
John, however, was frozen in place, hand nervously playing with a stray string on his jacket, looking at the floor instead of Dave. So his cover was blown. Dave knew it was him, and now he just lost his best friend, his brother, his crush because of that stupid watch. He felt on the verge of tears.
"So. It was you, huh, Egbert?" Dave asked, casually, smooth and calm like always, but with a hint of something John couldn't decode, something deep in his voice that showed his true feelings about this situation.
The black haired teen nodded once, embarrassed and leaning against the lockers silently. He couldn't look Dave in the eyes now, much less talk to him. What was he going to do?
The hallway had cleared out, a sign class had started, and Dave stepped closer to John, holding the watch at him. "Well, when you left in a hurry last night, you left that." The blonde said, calmly. "I get why you wouldn't take off your mask now. You were scared of what my reaction was going to be."
"Are you kidding me? I'm still scared, Dave." He said, barely choking out words. "I-I'm sorry."
Dave's hands went to either side of John's face, making him finally look up at Dave. His heart skipped a few more beats. "Nothing to be sorry about. I wouldn't have rather danced with anyone else." Then closed the gap, lips pressed against John's gently. John's eyes widened, even as Dave pulled back and, in the most nonchalant, cool voice ever (not to mention ironic!), said, "Be my boyfriend?"
John died of shock, gasping and gaping at Dave for a few more moments before finally breaking out into the derpiest grin of his life and nodding insanely. "Of course, Dave!"
And they lived happily ever after, the end! (What a cheesy ending. Jeez.)