"Dave, are you ready?" Jade squeezed his hand in hers and he squeezed back, and she saw his lips curve up into the smile she loved so much.

"You bet." He replied in a cool, confident tone as he turned his head slowly to look at her. She flashed him a huge smile, despite the fear she was doing well to keep hidden.

"Don't worry, Strider. I'll protect you!" She joked, and he pulled her into his arms and pressed his nose to hers, smiling a big genuine toothy grin that he only ever gave to her. She giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck, levitating slightly above the ground to press her face closer to his.

"Yeah I know." He told her, right before pressing his lips her hers. She melted into him as he ran his hands lightly along the back of her neck, gently pulling her harder to him. The real fight was finally beginning, and their time together was ending fast, but they took every moment they could. "Don't run off again. I don't think John could take it." He said in a softer tone, and she knew very well he was talking about himself, and not John, but was way too cool to admit it right there in the open.

"Never, never!" She was smiling and staring right into his eyes, close enough to see them beneath his dark shades. Tears began to run down her cheeks despite herself, and Dave easily lifted his fingers to wipe them away. "We fight together, right? We can't lose if we're together!" He smirked at her, obviously amused by her bright optimism.

"Those assholes don't stand a chance." He replied smoothly, and it was Jade who pressed her lips to his again, unable to resist them, and dying to memorize the feel of him against her before they had to run off and fight. She could feel him trembling softly as her lips met his, and she ran her long fingers through his blonde hair to calm him. He held her so tightly she felt her heart might burst, and she loved it. She loved everything about the moment, and hated it more because it had to end so soon. The game was always cruel, however, and there were worse thing to face than they could make themselves dwell on.

"Hey Bro, it's nice that you two can share such a tender moment, but I think it's having an adverse effect on the ladies." Jade pulled away from the kiss, startled by the reminder that the two of them were not alone on the roof. Everyone was there, in fact, and apparently all eyes had been on the two of them for the past few seconds. The "ladies" that Dirk was referring to seemed to actually be Jake and John who were standing right behind the stoic blonde, John's lower lip trembling dramatically and Jake with tears rolling down his cheeks.

"It's just like the movies!" exclaimed John.

"I know. It's just so… Gosh it's just so romantic!" Jake agreed. Dirk turned his head a little to look at Jake, and Jade was sure he smirked for half a second at the two dark haired boys hugging each other like emotional schoolgirls.

When Jade turned back to Dave, he was grinning, calm as ever, but she had a feeling he had been as startled as her judging by the way he was still clutching at her hand. She bounced off the ground and curled her knees to her chest, glowing a dim green light as she hovered over the ground, wrapping her arms around his neck and nuzzling his cheek. That was apparently too much, and she felt Dave's cheeks grow warm with heat, but even then he laced his fingers with her and his poker face never slipped. She giggled a little as she put her feet back on the ground and turned toward the group again, meeting the faces of her friends and allies.

Dave stared at the girl in front of him, long dark hair cascading down to her lower back, and he felt a swell of affection that was so unbelievably uncool he was almost embarrassed. He had never really understood how much she meant to him until it was almost too late, knowing now he would rather die for her than live without her. What was the more unexpected revelation was that she felt the same way. She needed him, the same way he needed her, and for the first time in his life he felt, really felt that he was worth something. Worth surviving to be by her side. Something so worth dying for, and more so worth living for. That was everything to him.

Dave moved to her side and wrapped his arms around her shoulders from the back, and leaned his face to her ear, feeling her shudder a bit and he breathed over it. "I love you."

In what felt like far too little time, they were forced into the fray again, this time stronger with one another. However formidable they were, the game forced them all to their limits time and time again, facing much less forgiving adversaries then they had before. Their losses were great, but their victories were greater, and in the end the prize was worth the long fight, but everyone had scars. In the grand scheme, it could be summarized in this succinct manner, but the truth was that the greater victories were the ones won during the lull. The time they spent laughing and fighting and and loving one another. Figuring out how much their friendships were worth, and finding their own worth in between.

The End!

Okay, so I have EXCELLENT NEWS. The day that I posted the last chapter I was accepted to AO3 and so I have been busy the past few days setting up something very special. I am posting this fic on that website as well, but... wait for it...



Oh yes. Even if you do not want to read it again, I implore you to keep up just for the illustrations. So far I have been very pleased with he results, and I think you will be too! My handle on AO3 is artsyUnderstudy (the same as my dA account) and the fic is under the same name, it should not be too hard to find.


Otherwise, thank you all SO MUCH for the support, this has been such a fun ride for me, and your feedback has been wonderful. I am currently planning out another Dave/Jade fic, but I am also considering turning this fic into a series wherin i focus on different couples, namely Terezi/Karkat, Rose/Kanaya, and Dirk/Jake within the confines of this "universe". That is a big ol' maybe, and I probably wont do anything for a while, but keep an eye out!

All of my love, homestucks. You are all wonderful.

Thank you.