So, yeah. Remember how I said this wouldn't be out until the end of May? Well… I lied. I couldn't stop writing. Ehe yeah. I love this fic already.
Going to go ahead and rate the M for later stuff and what not
It all started when I was 13.
I had pretty much the same appearance, pale-skinned, blonde, and freckled with those irreplaceable and irremovable shades plastered to my face. Though I was shorter, scrawnier and less experienced at the best of everything, I still held my normal, apathetic expression. Other than slight look differences, I had the same unchanged attitude, personality, and over all persona.
I was in all aspects Dave Strider.
The stoic, swagger flooded cool kid that never dropped a single hint of emotion.
Well, on the outside at least.
On the inside, it was a completely different story.
Almost the entirety of my adolescent life, in which would later become the complete focus of my adult life as well, was spent with emotions rearing their ugly heads and flipping tables in my mind. And it all led back to the fact that I was defenselessly and helplessly crushing hard on a guy. That's right, a guy.
But this wasn't just 'some guy'. He was my best friend, my biggest bro, pal honcho, side kick, wingman, whatever the fuck you want to call him.
To me, he was just John Egbert.
Irrevocably adorable; dorky and unmistakably perfect, John Egbert.
But we're not quite there yet. The fluttering would arise. About a year into high school. But as for right now, I was a freshman with a legacy; and that takes talent. I couldn't quite figure out how, but no matter who you were, you had somehow or another heard the name Dave Strider. I didn't mind it most of the time, but other times it wasn't in the best regards. Before I had even made it to the school, I was already known as an egotistical asshole; not that I could deny it. During my time as a freshman in the glorious education system the government feels fit to force us through, I earned my rightful title as someone not to mess with and who didn't mess with others. I spend most of my time alone with the few friends I had accumulated and ultimately stuck with over the years. I didn't have too many of what people considered friends. It seemed too worry the guidance counselor, but she didn't quite understand the complexity and unrealistic accomplishment of befriending a Strider. Few could complete this task and it was surprising who actually did. Save my beautifully intelligent, but not at all coherent to anyone of average brain mass, sister Rose and our mutual pal Jade, there were a scarce to whom I socialized with. Jade had tons of friends, but I just wasn't like that. Never really that social in the first place.
I had also somehow gained the bad rap as being able to kick anyone's ass I pleased. Good thing it was true. I never thought I would enjoy the benefits of Bro's constant strifing until I got to high school where it seemed everyone automatically hated you. Given my apparent 'attitude' didn't help things. According to some of the lovely upperclassmen I was a smug little prick who thought too high of himself a need to be knocked down a few notches. The words didn't have the same affect when I managed to beat two of them down only gaining a small black eye and a busted lip in return. I thought I had done pretty well, but Bro thought otherwise. That night when I got home, I had a few choice words with my brother that I'd rather not repeat. In the end, I got pissed and sat in my room with headphones shoved in my ear until I got hungry enough to venture out and force down some pizza.
But other than the few jerks that inhabit every school, no one really wanted to try and get past my expressionless features. I wasn't really as big of a dick as most people thought I was. I just didn't find the need to reach out to people. If someone wanted to get close, I'd let you if I felt so, but half assed tries never made it past my first nerve. If I didn't like them, I'd say so. People seemed to take that as being a jerk, but I simply didn't want to waste my time on those who weren't going to try and be personable.
Either way, it wasn't wrong to say a lot of people didn't like me. If they didn't know me well enough, I did come off as an ass. I guess I could have tried to be nicer, but what's the point when nothing sways your emotions in the slightest? When you've grown up to be this facade of white that has no markings or color other than what others deem 'cool', there's no point to conforming to what others want.
There had to be someone who understood that point.
There had to be someone that new me better than a pair of shades and an impassive face.
I guess it was futile to search. Might as well let them find me instead.
And that's what I did.
It was the beginning of a new semester. The bell tolled eight and I found myself blatantly ignoring the principle drumming through her daily announcements. Within a matter of minutes, she was done. The speaker clicked off just before my overly enthusiastic teacher began clapping her hands together.
"Listen here class! Welcome back from winter break. I hope all of you are ready to begin anew. And with this fine new semester, we have a brand new student!"
I raised my head out of curiosity, dropping my pen that I had been doodling with to smack against the paper. Her arm swung to the side just as the door clicked open. No one entered for a good twenty seconds until finally an old shoe poked in by a fluff of the blackest hair I've ever seen.
He entered quietly, eyes darting around the room as he gnawed on his bottom lip with his obvious buck teeth like there was nothing left to hold onto. Bright blue eyes shown behind think framed glasses even with the evident fear behind them.
There was something oddly familiar about them.
Now let me point this out right now, this was not some fairy tell. I don't believe in any of that love at first sight bullshit. Because frankly, my first impression of this kid was not in the best heed. I was already mentally making fun of the kid as I peered over the top of my dark shades. And equally, I was praying to god that I didn't have to interact with this derpy, scrawny dork.
Just my luck that I would, right?
"This is our newest student. His name is John and-" She turned to him, giddy smile and all. "Where are you from, honey?"
He just stared at her for a moment before letting go of his lip and spluttering out a quick, "W- Washington."
"Well haven't you come a long way!" She exclaimed with a laugh that he returned quietly. "Anyway, everyone make him feel welcome." With a quick glance around, her eye landed on me and she grinned even wider. "Ah yes, you can go sit right there by Dave. Don't let him scare you."
His eyes landed on me, and I think maybe I caught the quick flash of an unexplainable smile before he began to chew on the raw flesh of his lip again. Scurrying quickly, he sat himself beside me, eyes locked on the table.
"Dave." I said, tilting my head to the side a little to see his face.
He looked up, a conceded look of slight disappointment washing over. Brows twitched as his eyes dimmed for a brief second. I didn't quite understand it, but he also didn't give much time to examine it before he was back to smiling sheepishly.
"John." He replied in a quiet voice that was on the verge of breaking. He left it at that with the smallest laugh that was uncomfortable but somehow still sincere.
I gave a nod of recognition before continuing to doodle silently. He stayed quiet the entire class. Didn't answer questions, didn't try to talk to me. He just sat and stared at the desk and occasionally played a beat through his fingers. They tapped lightly, beating out what I could only guess was some sort of piano melody from the way his fingers stretched and ran across the cool, black surface. I had become transfixed on his hands to the point where I dropped my pen. His fingers stopped, eyes clicking to the pen when it smacked the desk then up to my face. A sudden pink tint washed over his cheeks as his hands slid back into his lap. He whispered an apology before looking off to the side.
I opened my mouth to speak, but the bell rang cutting me off. People stood immediately, the shuffling of books and feet filling the room. The teacher tried to remind us of our quiz tomorrow over the chattering students, opening the door and letting the swarm evacuate. I stood, turning to leave, but John's voice caught me.
"Hey Dave!" He squeaked, immediately recoiling.
"Yeah?" I asked, walking around the desk and holding my books against my hip.
"Eh," He looked down for a second but then right back up. "What class do you have next?"
I thought for a moment and began to walk out the door. "English. Why?"
He scurried behind me, eventually making it to my side.
"I have Spanish. Um, do you think you could show me where it is? I practically got lost getting here. I had to go find the office and even when they told me, I got lost again. My old high school wasn't this big, and there are just so many rooms I don't know where to go sometimes. It was a lot of walking until finally I asked this girl who brought me here, so-"
We had begun walking down the hall, but I stopped and stuck my hand in his face. "Hey." He shut up, lips pulling together and getting sucked into his mouth until you couldn't see them anymore. "Chill. I'll show you."
He smiled again, buck teeth poking out just a tad which caught me of guard. The fact that it almost made me laugh struck me as odd. And it wasn't a laugh to make fun of him; it was a laugh that would make me feel silly and girly for having even the slightest thought that his dental problem was anything but dorky.
"Come on." Continuing to walk, he followed closely at my side.
His eyes darted from face to face in the hall with the look like he thought everyone wanted to pummel him. Some probably did. His was skinny, a little short for our age, and altogether dorky. I couldn't help but think of exactly who would be the first to take a jab at him.
I stopped in front a closed door, stepping to the side of it.
"Here you go."
He gave me a nod followed by that tiny smile. "Thanks."
"No prob bro."
A kid slid in between us with an impatient huff and shoved the door open. John gave a small wave and slid in after him.
I just turned on my heels, beginning to walk off and- shit, that's the bell. He made me late.
But somehow, I couldn't find the reason to care.
I just followed down the quickly dispersing hall with a whistle and my hands in my pockets.
Soon enough, lunch came and my heels were being followed by John once again. He still didn't speak very much. Even when I plopped down at the table with my brown bag of shitty food, he stayed standing just staring at the floor.
I kicked the chair next to me out with my foot and nodded to it.
His head rose, questioning eyes staring back at me.
I nodded again before turning to begin ripping the bag open and eating.
He sat down as soon as I turned like I might change my mind of he didn't.
He pulled open a Ghost Busters lunch box that made me smirk but not dare make a crack about it. He'd probably get all nervous and hide it without eating if I did.
A moment after we had begun eating, we were joined by my lovely friend and even more lovely sister.
"Afternoon Dave!" Jade piped only to make me wince a little from her hyperness.
"Hey Jade. Rose." I replied, taking another bite of my sandwich.
"Hello brother." She returned, sitting across from me but quickly turning her attention to John. "May I ask who our new friend is?"
"Oh," I began, setting my food down. "This is John. John, this Harley and my sis Rose."
"My name's Jade." She commented, extending her hand with a bright smile. "Harley is my last name."
He reached across the table, shaking her hand politely. "As he said, I'm John."
"Welcome John!" She exclaimed. "Hope you like it here."
"It's alright so far. Pretty big; I kept getting lost, but Dave's been helping me."
"Dave being helpful? It's unheard of." Rose's voice was dripping with snide sarcasm.
"Yeah, screw you Lalonde." I spat back, but we both held the lightest smirks.
That's how it was with Rose and me. We would constantly insult each other, but never actually mean it.
And with Jade, well I could never really be mad at her. Sure, she annoyed the hell out of me sometimes, but you can't get mad at someone with a personality like hers; especially since it was accompanied by her giant green eyes that could make anyone change their minds in a split second.
And as for John- well I didn't even know this kid. He'd just been following me around like a puppy all day. Big eyed and scared to death. I'm surprised he hadn't passed out from fear.
And follow me is exactly what he did. I led him to third block, found him when it was over, and took him to the fourth block we shared. We had gym, and didn't it suck. Thankfully, today was mostly free time, so I didn't have to excise that much. Not that I minded exercise really. I got plenty of it from Bro. I mainly minded the douchebags and assholes I had to deal with in that class; a bunch of jocks that I wanted to punch in the jaw until they could no longer speak through their bloody lips.
I resisted the urge to everyday, and thankfully I hadn't acted out yet. Silently shouting at them in my head and doing all I could to avoid having contact with them. Withstanding all I could until the bell rang and we filed into the locker rooms to change and go the fuck home.
And wasn't I happy to. But surprise, surprise, as soon as I shut my locker door, there were those glasses and buck teeth right beside me. I jumped on the inside, but stayed completely stoic to those around me.
"I was wondering…" He glanced around before peeling his eyes back up. "Do you ride the bus?"
I shut my locker, slinging my backpack over one shoulder and walking down the halls. "Nah, I don't live too far so I walk."
"Oh…" He replied. Was that… disappointment? Couldn't be. "Alright. That's cool."
"Sorry bro. Guess You'll have to live without my guidance for a few hours."
He laughed quietly, but it was close to sincere. "Yeah. I guess I'll see you tomorrow then."
"Course." We passed through the front door of the school and made our way down the side walk. Upon reaching the end of it, I stopped and turned. "Oh hey, what's your last name?"
"Egbert." He replied and gripped the straps of his backpack with both hands.
"Well then Egbert, I'll catch ya later."
He nodded with a grin-I noted it brighter than normal- before turning and walking towards the bus stop.
I turned in the other direction to begin the short stroll home. It was getting warmer already. Though it never got too cold, the coats would soon turn to jackets and scarves would be abandoned altogether. Through the closest neighborhood and down a few more streets there were the apartment buildings in which I lived. The first building was ours, and we were about half way up it. Up the stairs and down the hall, I threw the apartment door open, walking in and throwing my backpack to the ground.
It was quiet. Oddly quiet except for a few strange noises here and there.
I turned the corner of the small hall leading from the door only to find the source of the muffled noises. Bro was up against the counter with his tan, fruity little boyfriend sitting on the tiled surface, legs around his waist and tongue shoved down his throat. I let out a long, drawn out noise of discontent that was somewhere in between a groan and the sound of a dying animal. There was a large smack when they broke, both heads turned to stare at me; one flushed red and the other as complacent as ever.
"Oh-" He cleared his throat and caught his breath. "Hey little man. Home so soon?"
"It's 3:30." I replied blankly.
"Man, when did it get so late?"
I sighed, rubbing my face. "Listen, can you stop sucking face with English for one fucking minute so I can get some damn food?"
"Eh, actually Strider, I best be going too."
Bro moved, rolling out of Jake's legs and up against the counter beside them. Jake hopped down, running a hand through frenzied hair to straighten it a little before patting his cheeks and ridding himself of the blush.
"Bye Jakey~" He cooed after him in that mocking yet affectionate way only able to be instilled by his daunting little boyfriend.
My eyes dared to roll, but I stopped them as well as the short sigh trying to escape. I stepped over to the fridge, pulling out a banana and ripping it open. I had sat at the table and eaten about half of it before the silence was broken.
"So… how was school?"
My brows twitched as my head turned to stare at him with an odd expression he couldn't see. "Why do you ask?"
He shrugged, his hands pushing down on the counter and one leg crossed over the other. "Don't know. Just making idle conversation."
"Well I have to entertain myself in some way since you barged in here and ruined my fun."
This time the sigh escaped. "Excuse me for not wanting to watch the gay ass adventure that is my brother and Jake."
"Yeah, you're jealous."
"Oh so jealous." I mused, finishing off the banana and standing to throw it away. "But if you must know, I was followed all day by some derpy new kid."
"Oh really? What's their name?"
"John?" His voice suddenly held something I could only note as interest.
I perched a brow and turned back to him. "Yeah."
"What's his last name?"
"Egbert, why do you care?"
He remained silent for a few moments, mulling over his thoughts. "Interesting. No reason really." Then he pushed from the counter. "Well, I have to go. Early gig tonight. Got to keep those beats pumping."
"Whatever." I replied, but I was already walking down the hall to my room.
And with the click of the door, I was alone. What was the point in that conversation? He seemed genuinely intrigued by the name. Maybe he knew someone related to him. Pretty likely with the amount of people Bro knew. God could only tell what the guy was thinking about. I didn't know over half the time.
With a shrug, I entered my room and sat down to wander the internet until I stopped to do my homework.
It had been an odd day, and I could only imagine it was going to get weirder from here on out because of my new friendship with this dorky kid, John Egbert.