NOTES: oops i accidentally sadstuck.
bluh bluh don't ask me why i wrote this shit just shh, read it.
and yeah there's some Sburb shit in here, followed by post Sburb in which the kids keep their memories and the trolls become human and they create a new earth to achieve this and yup. also, as for the title, it's a psychology term that is "basic acceptance and support of a person regardless of what the person says or does." [Wiki] idk i was studying for my mid-term exam and this term came up and for some reason it inspired this….blasphemous shit. XDD

"I hate you!"

To be honest it stung to hear those ugly words fly from that beautiful mouth. It hurt to see him looking at you like that, so broken and agonized and he was crying so much. You wanted to gather him in your arms, just hold him until he stopped crying long enough to tell you no, I was lying, I love you.

John Egbert does not do this and you, Dave Strider, do not try to reach out to him.

You still love him.

"I hate myself."

You're angry, so fucking angry, because your beautiful and lovely John is frowning bitterly and his eyes are so full of hurt, of regret, and he's staring at his hands like he doesn't know what to do with them. You want to grab him and shake him, make him realize how stupid this is. It's not your fault your father died, shut up, stop it, you're not at fault stop fucking blaming yourself!

"Dave, I couldn't protect him."

He's broken, so fucking broken, and you want to kiss his tears away. But bros don't do that, they don't kiss away tears, so you just watch him as he tears himself up over this and glares at his hands, like suddenly he knows what they are there for, to protect and he did not protect, and he's so angry but you're angrier. Angry that he even thinks it's his fault, that he refuses to realize there was nothing he could do.

You want to tell him even if he hates himself, you still love him, you always will.

But you don't do this and you still love him.

You don't know how he got here but he's holding you and you can't breathe anymore, you can't even see, but you know that it is John holding you. His tears soak into your shirt and on your skin and you want to reach out, touch him, tell him to stop crying over you because that's uncool and it's stupid because technically you're still alive. Why is he crying over you? You're just one Dave out of many, you're not even the Dave he's supposed to be playing Sburb with right now, you're not the one who reached God Tier you're not even full of present memories. But here he is sobbing your name like it's the fucking apocalypse and you suddenly want to cry too.

But you're dying and you can't.

He suddenly puts you down and you know you're dead, you're dead but why do you see him, looking at you smiling through his tears as he mumbles, "See you soon."

And you're kind of pissed because he was crying over you like you're the only Dave, and he's losing you and it hurts him, but now he's remembering that you're just one of many Daves and he's fine with it. And you are mad, you're mad because you felt special and loved and now you feel like a sock thrown away after a hole is torn through it.

But even with so much anger and hurt, you still love him.

The game is over and you all remember, and every night you wake up screaming because you keep reliving the millions of deaths, the repetitive memory of staring at Bro's dead body, of hearing the blood squish beneath your shoes, of fearing your own life and the lives of your friends. The game is over and you and John are in college together and when he hears you scream he always runs to your side. He strokes your hair and mumbles "it's okay, shh, Dave, I'm here, it's okay it's over" over and over again, and his voice comforts you more than his words do. Your lashes flutter and you fall back to sleep easily and you always dream of him.

Then there are the nights you wake up to his cries and it breaks your heart to hear him, and the things he says - "Dad, dad, no! Dad!" and "It hurts it hurts" - and then it's your turn to kneel by his side and stroke his hair and mutter soothing words. And it's his turn to fall asleep under your touch. But sometimes, before he does, he looks up at you with those big blue eyes and your heart stutters because for a moment you think he sees right through you, that he knows, then he chuckles and says, "This is gay, dude."

You just smirk and then he says something quiet and it sounds like "if you were a girl, Dave, I'd probably kiss you right now!" then he laughs at himself and says "that was even gayer!" and you're hurt, you really are, but you just shake it off and say something ironic or stupid that makes him laugh then he falls asleep and he doesn't see you bury your face into the sheets as you continue touching him, soothing him.

And you hate him just a little but even then you still love him.

You watch as he runs his fingers through her hair and she smiles at him, and you feel so sick to your stomach watching them but you can't look away. This new human Vriska is smiling at John and she cackles at something he says. He looks so happy, all bright eyes and big goofy grins, and she leans on his arm and whispers in his ear and he looks absolutely elated.

Then they kiss and you want to cry but you don't. You turn away and pretend you're more interested in what Jade and Karkat are talking about.

He's dating Vriska and he's happy and you still love him.

You're both in your last year of college and John is leaning on your arm and god does he know what he's doing to you? A shitty movie is playing and you try to pay attention but the scent of his shampoo is distracting. It doesn't take long for you to zone off and lose track of the plot - you're more interested in John's big eyes and intent expression as he watches and that's more entertaining than the actual movie.

The movie ends and John says he has something to tell you. He pulls out a box and shows you a diamond ring; it's big and beautiful and he's grinning ear to ear and you just stare.

Then he laughs about how long it took to save up for this, but then he gets all shy and quiet and he says he's going to ask Vriska to marry him. You're too shocked to say anything and he just laughs about how stupid this all is, that human or not Vriska is - or was - a troll and why would she want to get married? And to John, to boot? Then he starts sputtering out his insecurities and you just keep staring, wondering why you were born a boy and why you had to fall in love with this idiot, but you say nothing and eventually he stops talking too.

Very quietly he says, "I hope she says yes."

Lying is easy; "Me too."

And oh, god, you still love him.

She said yes.

You still love him.

John and Vriska get married and everybody is shocked, even Vriska, but she tells you that maybe Sburb shook the troll right out of her. She told you, the best man (irony meter is about to fucking explode), that her stupid crush on John made her realize that all the killing she was doing made her feel bad, that being human was easier and safer and she wanted that. Then she did become human and John kept her safe, he showed her how to be human, and she really didn't understand marriage but she wanted to be with John forever. Everyone is happy and they cry and congratulate them, and you just quietly move along with the crowd. You watch them kiss, exchange vows, make toasts, dance in the middle of the floor, pretend to find the image of John and his father sharing the 'father-daughter' dance hilarious, and you even choke back the truth when you make the obligatory best man toast.

Then you get drunk at the reception and Jade has to walk you to the hotel and you start crying on her shoulder and you tell her everything, and she just holds you and strokes your hair and whispers, "I know, I know," like a song and it lulls you to sleep.

And you still love him.

You start dating a girl you met at your new job and she's nice, and her eyes are blue like John's and her laugh sounds like him. She even has the same dark hair, the same love of shitty movies and even though she's pretty and she doesn't wear glasses or have an overbite and actually has a good fashion sense, sometimes you pretend she's him. She doesn't notice and that's fine, you're fine with that. Then she gets pregnant and you propose to her and she cries.

You get married and John is invited. He brings his son and Vriska is there, ready to sneer at you but something about her is softer, kinder, and they look so happy together. And John's son looks at you with big, big blue eyes and he looks so much like him that you think you tear up a little, but your wife-to-be thinks you're just happy and she cries too and you feel guilty, but you go with it.

You get drunk at the reception but this time your wife takes you to the hotel. You kiss and you make love and you whisper John's name into her hair when it's over, and you know she hears you because when she thinks you're asleep she starts to cry.

And you know that you still love him.

You have a daughter and John insists you set up play dates with his kid, so you do, and whenever you're at his house watching your kids play and tumble around you sit together and have a drink and talk about old times. You're both almost thirty now and you don't talk about The Game anymore, you don't talk about those nights in college when you'd fall asleep at each other's side after a nightmare. You just talk about your kids and your job and wives and you laugh, and he has no idea, and it stings.

He makes a joke about your kids getting together one day and you say that would be a nightmare and he laughs. Just seeing the way he throws his head back, flashing those dorky teeth, you know that yes

oh god
oh god

you still love him and you don't think you'll ever stop.

You're only forty and your daughter is the only thing that keeps you here. She's bright and happy and vibrant and her laugh sounds like her mother's, like his, and you and John are stunned when she does start dating his son. You sit the kid down and have a firm talk about safe sex that makes him pull these horrified expressions and you laugh because he looks just like his father, then he promises to take good care of your girl and you believe him.

One time Jade asks you if you're okay and the way she says it makes the underlying inquiry obvious. Her brows are furrowed and her eyes are worried, and you lie because you learned how to lie easily after falling in love with John Egbert, and you just shrug and say "Yeah. I'm happy."

But you're not happy; you still love him and you know that as long as you love John Egbert you never will be.

You're fifty, fifty fucking years old and your daughter is grown up and your wife is still with you and you still love him.

You're almost sixty years old and you die the most uncool way possible. You can't believe after becoming immortal, reaching God Tier, fighting to survive and experiencing all that you did, you died in a car accident.

Your wife is on one side and your daughter the other, holding your hand tightly and crying and you remember John crying over you as you die, you remember holding him as he cried, you remember everything. Their hands are warm and gentle and their voices are soft, choked up, adoring, and you want to apologize. Sorry, sorry for marrying you and loving him all this time, sorry for giving birth to you while harboring these forbidden feelings for someone else, a man, and sorry -

sorry for dying.

But you can't speak and they're just crying, wailing, and your daughter's face is buried against your chest and her tears are soaking your bloody shirt. Your wife is kissing your face and you taste her tears and she whispers, "I love you, I know you don't love me but Dave, I love you, please, please don't die, Dave - "

You have so much love surrounding you, so much warmth, and you feel terrible because even then you yearn for John to be here too, crying over you like they are, kissing your face and begging you to stay with him.

You're Dave Strider and you're fifty-eight years old, married with a kid, and you die in the arms of your daughter and wife
and you still love John Egbert.