Your name is Dave Strider, you are twenty-five years old, and today is a very important day. Not for you - no, you don't really have too many important days (that's a lie, yes you do - they just aren't important to you) anymore. This is a big day for John Egbert, your bro, best friend, the guy who's been there for you through thick and thin, through the end of the world, since you were just a tiny guy. It's a day he's been looking forward to for years, and it's one you've anticipated too. When you're helping him flatten the creases in his jacket and stop him from fidgeting and messing up his hair, you think that he looks really nice - wonderful, handsome, happy.
"Do you think I look okay? Jeez, is it hot in here, or is it just me?"
"It's just you, bro, calm down," you say, patting down his hair again. "Chillax, okay? You look sweet."
"You really think so?" he smiles nervously, those front teeth still just a bit ahead of the others.
"Yeah," you half-smile, just barely, "I do. She's gonna eat you up, okay?"
His face goes a little red, but his smile's even bigger. "Thanks, dude!" and he hits you, laughing with a snort.
Today is a very important day for the person most important to you, someone you think is the love of your life.
Just not for you.
"Hey, you guys ready?" Jade peeks in blinking and adjusting the round lenses of her glasses. "The ceremony's about to start!"
"What? Really? Oh god, fuck, I-" and he's in panic mode again, checking his face in the mirror and messing up his hair all over again. You put it back in place, grabbing him roughly by the chin.
"Dude, you're fine. You do wanna marry her, right?" you raise your eyebrows.
"Of course!" he nods eagerly.
"Then you'll be okay."
And with that he's walking out, deep breathing, and you're following after, making sure he gets up to the altar without having an anxiety attack, giving his back a good hit every so often for good measure.
You remember when he asked you to be his best man. It really wasn't something he expected you to say no to at all - after all, you'd decided years ago that you'd be each other's best men. You were always adamant that you'd get married and then you'd finally be his when he was old and gray, and you'd be laughing but at the same time mad because then you'd look hideous in your suit. Seriously, couldn't he get married when you were young and hot? Jesus. And at that part he always hit you, and you two started wrestling, and you'd always be at a tie until you tickled him, and it went on like that.
So when he asked you to be his best man first, it was actually kind of a shock - even though the both of you knew you'd been joking. "So what was that about you being my best man when I'm an old fart, huh?" he prodded when he first called you up to ask, laughing warmly on the other line. "You don't even have a girlfriend, do you?"
"Oh fuck off," you'd retorted, flipping through the pages of the latest screenplay you were working on.
"Wait..." he paused, and you could hear the gears working through his head. "Have you ever even had a girlfriend?"
"Didn't I just tell you to fuck off? I don't see you fucking off."
"Oh my... Hahaha, oh my god, the great Strider's never even had a girlfriend, and I'm getting married!" he seemed to be having a time with that, making fun of every last bit of that, dragging the punchline out way too long. "What's up with that anyway?"
"I've been too busy being in love with you, obviously," you said, a joking tone to your voice.
"Shut up, dickwad," and you knew a fist would've hit your shoulder if you'd been next to each other at the time. It figured he'd take it sarcastically. Well, of course you'd wanted him to - as if you'd ever say so so plainly unless you were dead sure he'd think nothing of it.
Perfectly ironic, right?
And now here you are, standing at his side as he goes through his breathing exercises - looking so handsome in his suit and the sunlight coming through the stained glass windows of the church. Though you obviously have your reasons for not wanting this day to be here, you think it might be okay. After all - he looks so wonderful, so happy, so excited. Sure, maybe you'd prefer if you were the reason he got his knickers all in a knot, and maybe it'd be great to be in the middle with him, but you knew that was never an option. From day 1, this was your place, and you could've gotten over this a long time ago, but you chose not to - you knew (thought) you could handle it all. After all, being a Strider, having the happy ending would be way too obvious, wouldn't it? That's what you think, anyway.
And it's almost time, everyone's all gathered in the pews and all so very excited. You see Rose and Jade shimmying next to each other on John's side, Mr. Egbert holding Ms. Lalonde's hand while asking the two of them how they've been doing. Your Bro had been invited, but of course he decided to skip out on the ceremony (though he'd likely show up at the reception later). There are unfamiliar faces on the bride's side, but you think that's your fault - you never really cared to get to know them. You know her okay, after all, you obviously had to check her out and make sure she was good enough for your Johnny boy (she checked out, she was almost too perfect), but that's about where it ended.
And the organist is starting their playing. God, John looks so excited, you almost think he's going to run head-first down the aisle and pick her up himself, but of course he stays planted there, eyes lighting up when she shows up.
She's beautiful - Molly Valentine, golden bob to her shoulders and bright blue eyes, wearing an ornate gown that glows in the sunlight (she looks almost as wonderful as John, you think). They met in college, when he was studying science. They liked all the same dumb movies, were in the same field, had the same dorky sense of humor, both liked pranking each other. It was just a match made in heaven, and as soon as you saw the two of them interact, you knew it. You knew these two would grow old together, and you couldn't even be angry about it like you wanted to. You couldn't even call her a slut, couldn't make up in your head how you'd be better for him, because you knew and know that's not true. You know she's the best there is for him. And you know he's so, god damn happy.
And finally she's up at the front, smiling and waving as her father goes to join her side of the family, wiping at his eyes. She's beaming at John when she finally meets eyes with him, and now his back is to you as he takes her gloved hands in his. And you think that's probably for the best - you don't need to be seeing that look in his eyes anymore, you have to keep it together.
You're only half paying attention as the ceremony starts going underway (which is likely a defense mechanism for your sanity) and your eyes begin to wander a little. Your eyes meet with Rose's for a moment, and she's smiling sadly at you. Fuck, you forgot she knows - you told her years ago when you were drunk and not afraid to ask for condolence. You haven't spoke of it since, but the look in her eyes says she knows that it's still there, and damn it her pity is palpable. You look away quickly, hoping she couldn't tell you noticed her looking through your thick shades.
"Speak now, or forever hold your peace," you hear ring through the church, and there is silence. Your teeth are digging into your lower lip, begging yourself to not say anything. After all, you're no reason for them to not get married - after all, how you feel about John means nothing when it comes to how they feel about each other. They're happy, so happy - and they will continue to be happy. John deserves that, you aren't about to take that from him.
And it starts up again, a brief sigh of relief through the area. The minister is going through his occult mantra about their dedication, and you can see Molly's smile, her perky little lips pursing before she answers, "I do."
And not long after, you hear John's, and you dig your nails into your palms, keeping a barely there smile, despite your nature, so you don't look like a total dick to everyone attending the ceremony. You know that's probably just making Rose all the more suspicious in her seat - and maybe Jade's curious now too. You glance over and no, she's just dabbing her eyes, focus fully on the couple, right where it ought to be.
You have to tune out the rest, trying to think about anything except the words John is saying to Molly as he slides a little ring on her finger (he's probably smiling so big, God you fucking love that smile), spouting how extremely ec fucking static he is to be spending the rest of his days with her, and maybe even beyond. You glance over and there are tears in her eyes and she says her lines, too perfect eyelashes getting caught in them as she blinks up at him like a doe.
"I now pronounce you, man and wife. You may kiss the bride!"
And cheers echo and bellow throughout, everyone on their feet as their arms fly around each other and their lips crash together, so, so in love that either can hardly bear it. You know the smile on your face now is so big, and soforced because fuck it's the best you can do, but you're keeping it together, and you're clapping and that's all that matters. Your ears are bombarded by the excitement everyone has, as John picks her up bridal style, and carries her out of the church, everyone applauding from the pews, watching the happy couple leave.
Soon they all clear out, exchanging small talk and other mindless chatter while they go to file to their vehicles, ready for the next event at the reception - of course, the part everyone was actually excited for. You can see Mr. Egbert humoring Ms. Lalonde as she babbles about all the possibilities of alcoholic dreamland awaiting her, and you almost smile for a moment. But you're stepping down with everyone else, Rose and Jade quickly at your side, and asking what ride you'll be catching to the reception.
"Nah, I'm gonna hang back here for a bit. Didn't get too great of a breakfast while takin' care of Egbert's antsy ass," you say, mocking a gagging motion which makes Jade squeak before hitting you roughly over the head.
"You suuuure you don't wanna come?" she pouts after a moment.
"Oh chill, I'm just feelin' a bit nasty, I'll be over in a couple minutes."
"Oh," she blinks, before grinning eagerly. "Okay! See ya there!" and she runs off, trying to drag Rose along with her.
That's when you turn tail to the men's room, deep breathing, and waiting for everyone else to clear out. Once the coast is clear, your fist is colliding with the cheesy-as-fuck wallpaper, curses growling from your throat. Hit after hit, you bloody your fists and soon your forehead also meets the wall, before you fall to your knees, repeating "god damn it" to yourself as if it's some intangible safety blanket.
You don't know why you're so upset - you'd held it through all of this. Years, and years, and years - every time Egbert cried to you about some girl he dug, every time he told you how excited he was, every time they dragged you on some date because it seemed like something you'd like, every time, every time, every god damn fucking time, you kept it under control and just finally nowall of that is just put to waste. Now you've lost it all and now the tears can't stop falling, you can't stop shaking and just wishing to God that things weren't this way. You wish you were good enough for someone like him, you wish that he could love you back and that if he did, you'd be worth it. You wish he knew and you wish you didn't have to pretend all this time.
You almost wish you didn't love him so fucking much - but no, you could never regret that. After all, how could you not love him? It was never a question of that, or even of whether Valentine would love him or not - it was impossible not to, you're sure of it.
You wish Valentine knew how fucking lucky she was.
Or well, her name is Egbert now, isn't it?
It's only after quite a while of this that you notice a dainty hand on your shoulder, and a tissue offered to you.
"G-god damn it Rose, why the f-fuck are you still here?" you all-but-yell at her, taking the tissue.
"You should know by now that I know when you aren't actually sick," she sighs, leaning next to you, keeping that hand on your shoulder. "After all, what are sisters for?"
"Just... f-fuck," is all you can manage out, and dammit you are so ashamed. It's one thing for you to lose your cool to yourself, another entirely when someone else is there.
"I know, dear," she murmurs, sitting on the dirty linoleum and gently nudging your head towards her. "I know."
Today is a very important day, for John, and maybe for you too.
But whether it's the happiest, or the worst, or somewhere in between - that's harder to say.
(A/N: Thank you so much for reading! I haven't posted anything in a long while and I got some good feedback for this on tumblr, so I figured I may as well. Let me know what you think!
I was thinking of adding some chapters and getting a maybe possibly good ending? But I feel like that might ruin the feel and point. Let me know!)