Chapter 2: Friendship

Dirk groans as he glares at his computer screen. Ever since he returned from his trip to the past, Dirk has been talking to Roxy via Pesterchum trying to tell her what happened. Now, he's just trying to convince her it happened since she isn't believing him.

[TT]: You have to believe me Roxy. I wouldn't make something up like this.

[TG]: i know you wouldnt bby but it just seems too... impossbible

[TG]: *impossible

[TG]: sides how would you even explain it?

[TG]: scientificllay i mean

[TG]: *scientifically

[TT]: I'm not sure, but I know it happened Roxy.

[TT]: There was a scar on my head from being hit with Jake's car.

[TT]: It really happened Roxy, and I just want it to happen again.

[TG]: and how are you gonna do that you don't even know when itll habben again

[TG]: *happen

[TT]: You really need to lay off the alcohol for a while.

[TT]: I don't know how it'll happen again, but I'll make sure it does. Since I don't have your help on this I guess I'll just have to figure it out myself.

[TT]: Bye, Roxy.

[TG]: bby wait!

- timaeusTestified [TT] ceased pestering tipsyGnostalgic [TG] at 11:25-

Dirk sighs and pushes himself away from his computer desk, grabbing Li'l Cal as he slides past him. He holds Li'l Cal up to look him in the eyes. "You don't think I'm crazy, right little buddy? It actually happened didn't it?" Dirk asks only to sigh when Li'l Cal doesn't say anything. He leans back in his chair and stares up at the ceiling. How do I get back there? I want to see him again, Dirk thinks as he spins in his chair. Suddenly he stops and stand up. "That's it. We're going back there, Li'l Cal. I'm gonna find a way how."

Dirk starts a video log on his computer and pulls his chair to sit in front of it. Once recording he says, "Scientific Journal: Day 3,628. Yesterday, I experienced a weird happening. It seemed as if I experienced a jump in the timeline. I traveled to a time where there were still more people around, tons of them even, and the world wasn't dead yet. The atmosphere was safe enough to be in without sunglasses, and resources were still plentiful. I plan to return to the same time period somehow. If I could figure out how these time jumps work, maybe I could bring people from the past with me to help humans repopulate here in the present. Wish me luck."

Jake sits nervously outside of his boss's office, his legs bouncing all the while. He is nervous, not only because this is his first piece submission to his editor-in-chief of the newspaper he works at, but also because he is still worried about the man from before, Dirk Strider. Jake thinks about Dirk, smiling at the fond memories that come to mind only to frown when he realizes that the last he saw of the man was when Dirk was plowed into by that horrid 18 wheeler truck. Jake tries not to worry to much since he had really just met the man, but it's so easy to worry when you see it happen right before your eyes.

"Hey, Jake!" a cheery voice says causing Jake to jump at the feeling of a hand on his knee. He breaths a sigh of relief when he sees that it's his good friend, Jane Crocker. "Are you okay there, Jake?"

"Sorry, I guess you could say I'm a little on edge today," Jake says closing his eyes to relax a bit.

"I know how you feel. I was this way when I submitted my first article to the chief too," Jane says with a small laugh leaning towards Jake a bit.

"It's not just the article, Jane. It's something else too," Jake says scooting away from Jane in order to face her with a serious look on his face. Startled, Jane looks at Jake waiting for him to continue. "I met this man the other day, well, ran over this man with my car the other day-"

"Ran over?" Jane shouted causing other workers in the office to look at them. She gives a sheepish smile before everyone turns back to work.

"Shh, it's alright. He didn't get any injuries, at least not major injuries, but that's not the point! The point is, I treated him to lunch after we left the hospital and we chatted for a while. He's a swell guy, Jane. He really is. But anyways, as we were leaving the bistro I usually go to, a giant 18 wheeler truck plowed right into him! I'm so worried, Jane, and I know I shouldn't be... Would you be worried too?" Jake asks biting his thumb, a bit of his Australian accent showing through his worry.

"Wow, Jake. That's horrible! I would definitely be worried, but I don't know if I'd be worried to the extent that you are now. How do you even know that this really happened anyways?" Jane asks skeptically.

"Because it did, Jane. I can recall every detail. Him appearing in the street out of no where, me taking him to the hospital, those shades, and his strange eyes, I remember it all, Jane! I'm not asking for much here, Jane. I just want to know that he's at least safe," Jake sighs, huffing some of his dark brown bangs away. They sit in a bit of an awkward silence before Jane notices something around Jake's neck.

"Oh, that's an interesting wooden carving around your neck. Where'd you get it this is the first time I've seen it before," Jane says with a smile, pointing to a little wooden carving of a skull hanging by a black string around Jake's neck. Jake looks down at the carving and smiles.

"You've never seen this before? Jane, I wear it everyday," Jake gives a small fond laugh.

"Well I guess I never noticed it before. Where'd you get it?" Jane asks, leaning in closer to Jake to inspect the small carving.

"Hmmm... I don't quite remember where I got it... All I know is that it's a gift from someone, someone important, so it's a treasure I hold dearly," Jake says although a bit confused as to why he can't remember something he says is important to him.

"Well whoever made it is an amazing artist. It's really detailed," Jane says pointing out the different ridges and grooves making the skull's intricate features on the crown of the head.

"They really are," Jake smiles before he's called into the chief's office. He looks to Jane with a large smile. "Wish me luck!"

Dirk stands on the edge of his roof warily, looking over the edge with nervous eyes. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. "Ok, let's do this, cowboy." He looks back to Cal who is situated on his AC unit currently and gives him a shaky smile. "Wish me luck, Cal. I hope I'm right about this." Dirk takes another deep breath before leaning forward and falling off the platform. He holds in a shout as the air rushes past him quickly. He shuts his eyes in anticipation, but the ground never comes. He opens his eyes to see that he's fallen quite a long way already and there hasn't been any time change. Letting out a loud curse, Dirk pulls out the katana at his side and sticks it into the metal siding of his apartment building, holding on as the sword slows down his fall before stopping it completely. Dirk swings himself to jump onto the floor below him and lays down on the ground to collect himself.

"Shit! Damn, that was scary! I thought I was gonna die!" Dirk shouted gasping for breath. He finally composed himself enough to sit up. "Well, I guess that means my hypothesis was wrong." Feeling a bit dejected, Dirk stands and lets out a sad sigh. He walks around slowly, his feet scuffing the floor as he walks. "I wonder if that really was a dream after all." Dirk begins the slow descent back to his apartment, his head down as he walks. Suddenly, Dirk finds himself in a lighter area. Curious, Dirk looks up to find himself in a well lit hallway. He looks around him to find that there are actual rooms with doors now. He smiles to himself and he looks around. "I did it!"

"Strider, is that you?" a familiar voice asks. Dirk spins around to be met with Jake along with a woman behind him. She has short black hair and bright blue eyes which Dirk had to admit he found quite charming. She was a bit plump but not to a noticeable point which only added to her cuteness. Jake smiles and runs up to Dirk, his face showing his shock and his hands moving at quite an alarming speed with no particular pattern or reason.

"It's good to see you too, Jake," Dirk says trying to hide his smile at Jake's antics. Jake's jaw falls and Jake suddenly wraps his arms around Dirk.

"Good to see me? I was so worried. I thought you had died! It looked like that truck hit you right on," Jake said shakily. Dirk awkwardly pats Jake shoulder not sure of what to do in a situation like this. He looks over Jake's shoulder to see the woman Jake was with giving Dirk an odd stare which was starting to make the man feel uncomfortable. After a while, Jake pulls back, color once again returning to his face. He sees Dirk eyeing Jane suspiciously, so he lets out a short laugh at himself. "Oh my. Sorry for the antics here. I seem to have completely forgotten about the introductions needed here. Dirk, this is Jane Crocker, my best friend in life and a co-worker at the newspaper company I work for. She writes wedding announcements and overviews much like the lad in 27 Dresses."

"You know I don't like that movie, so stop bringing it up!" Jane pouted causing Jake to laugh.

"Right, right, sorry. Anyways, Jane, this is Dirk Strider, the man I ran over last week," Jake says with a smile. Dirk stiffens and does a double take to Jake.

"I-I'm sorry. Last week? It's been a whole week since I last saw you?" Dirk asks stepping back a bit as he does so. Jake looks to Dirk a bit curiously.

"Yeah, more than a week actually. We ran into each other last Tuesday. It's Friday of next week now," Jake says.

"Oh... So it is... Sorry, I guess time just got away from me there," Dirk laughed nervously. Are these time jumps at random? I know I wasn't unconscious for a week in my time since all of my data and clocks were right, Dirk thinks as he smiles nervously at Jake. Jane steps forward a small frown on her face.

"Well, I had better go Jake. I've got cookies and cakes to bake and whatnot," Jane says giving Jake a smile. Jake smiles at her and gives her a big.

"Well, if you insist, but I guess I don't mind since I have Strider here to keep me company," Jake says smiling brightly and Dirk which Dirk returns with a small smile of his own. Jane leaves and Jake looks to Dirk with bright eyes. "So would you like to come over to my house for a bit, Strider? It's right around the corner from here, and it will give us something to do. Plus, I wouldn't mind getting to know you a bit better."

"That sounds cool," Dirk says following Jake to the elevator at the end of the hallway. Dirk glanced around the elevator, experiencing the novelty of it since the elevators in his time never worked. A smile soon worked its way on his face unbeknownst to Dirk. Jake glanced up at Jake and smiled.

"Any reason for the smile there, chap?" Jake asks. Dirk looks at him in confusion then realizes he was smiling.

"Oh... I guess I was smiling. Sorry, this is my first time in an elevator. The ones where I come from don't work," Dirk explains. The elevator doors open up and Jake leads them out.

"Don't work? Where are you from?" Jake asks.

"Not exactly sure. Let's just say that it takes a long time to get there from here though," Dirk says smirking to himself slightly. Jake just nods and leads him to the apartment building's parking lot.

"We don't technically have to drive to get to my house, but I came here after work with Jane so I kinda need to get my car back to my house," Jake says opening the door to his car. Dirk nods in silence and gets in the car with Jake. He takes a deep breath before remembering to put on his seat belt. He runs his gloved sweaty palms on his pants, his nervousness taking over. "Still afraid of cars, huh? Don't worry. We don't have far to go." Jake smiles at Dirk which oddly enough calms his nerves slightly. Jake starts the car then starts to pull away.

Soon enough, the car stops again only after a minute or so of driving. Jake unbuckles his seat belt and starts to leave. He glances over to Dirk only to see that he's still firmly in his seat and laughs. "Come now, Strider. This here is my house. Get out and I'll show you around." Dirk nods and leaves the car looking at a house that no longer exists in his time.

It's a very pleasant house, small yet homely and white with green shudders covering the windows. The front yard is a very lush green grass that Dirk has only ever dreamed of seeing let alone stand in front of it and at the end of the yard is a small white picket fence which only adds to the homely appeal of the small cottage home. Near the front door is a wooden deck laden with lounging chairs and a white railing. In front of the porch beside both sides of the stairs is a very beautiful and colorful garden bursting with blooming flowers. Dirk stands still with awe in the marvelous beauty the house had. Jake gently pats his shoulder, shocking him from his awe.

"It's a beautiful house isn't it? I'm lucky to have it. It used to belong to my grandmother, but she passed away a few years ago. I didn't want the house to go to some random stranger when I've lived here the entire time I've been here in America, so I decided to live here. I was living in an apartment across town, but I didn't mind moving here for the house. I even kept up my grandmother's gardens! Isn't this one great? There's a better one in the backyard we can see later if you want," Jake says. Dirk only nods, still unable to say anything at the shock of seeing such lush vegetation. Jake gives a chuckle and pulls Dirk inside of his house. "Let's get on with the tour, shall we?"

Soon, the tour had finished (Dirk really loved Jake's house) and now the two sit on the deck in Jake's back yard chatting and drinking tea that Jake had made shortly after the tour. It was still late afternoon, the sun still high in the sky with a cool breeze blowing to keep things cool.

"I have to say, Jake, this place is pretty cool. Never knew a house could look like this," Dirk says taking another sip of Jake's tea.

"Thanks, Strider. I do try. This place is my greatest treasure. It has a lot of memories from my childhood in it," Jake says with a fond smile.

"Let me here some of these memories," Dirk requests only realizing how that might sound after saying it. "I mean, if you want. I'm just curious as to what a normal childhood is like."

"I don't mind at all, Strider. I'll tell you about some of my favorite things to do as a kid. My grandmother loved to collect guns, and she was quite marksman too. Because of her influence, I ended up loving guns. I like skulls to, but only because we would go on archaeology excavations together. It was really neat. So I'm pretty much an adventurer now because of her. I love guns and temple finding and all that stuff. I'd love to go on a grand adventure one day, but now I'm stuck here working a page job in the newspaper company. I turned in my first article today, but it's going to get shot down. I just know it," Jake's enthusiasm starts to dwindle towards the end of his small speech and Dirk feels the need to cheer him up.

"I wouldn't be too sure about that, bro. You seem pretty cool. I'm sure your article will get published," Dirk says, placing a reassuring hand on Jake's shoulder. Jake smiles up at Dirk through his bangs and Dirk feels his heart speed up at the look. He clears his throat to calm himself down and lounges back in his chair breaking the contact between him and Jake. He awkwardly drinks more of his tea, finishing it off in the process.

"Oh, here, let me get you a refill, Strider. I'll be right back, mate," Jake smiles and grabs Dirks cup, going into the house. Dirk looks around boredly before standing and walking over to a large shrub with flowers growing from it. He takes in a deep breath, inhaling the sweet aroma of the flower. He reaches out for a white and purple flower, plucking it away from the others. He smells it again giving a happy sigh at the pleasant smell. He returns to the table just as Jake returns with a full cup of tea. Jake sets down Dirk's cup then eyes the flower Dirk has curiously.

"Is there any particular reason you have that flower?" Jake asks.

"No reason... I just liked it. I've never even seen real flowers before, so this is amazing to me," Dirk says.

"Oh, well you're welcome to come by and take any flowers you want. Tell me though, you don't seem to know a lot. How old are you?" Jake asks sipping from his untouched tea.

"Oh, I'm 24. My memory only goes back to when I was 14 though," Dirk answers.

"You lived in solitary for 10 years? Where are you living now?" Jake asks focusing on not choking on his tea in shock.

"Right now? At the moment... I'm not too sure, but I'm sure something will open up in the future," Dirk says dodging the real answer to the question.

"Then where have you been this past week? Surely you haven't been living off the streets have you?"

"No, I guess you could say I was staying with a friend. I don't really come here often."

"Oh, I see. That's good then. But you aren't planning on staying there? Why not just stay with your friend?"

"It's complicated. I don't want to be a hindrance to anyone with my previous amnesia. Plus, I don't have a job."

"Oh, I see. You don't seem like a hindrance to me though, Strider. If you ever want to chat or hang out, I'll be here. Well, maybe. I might also be at office. Gotta work and all, but my hours at the office aren't that bad. I usually leave around 3 or so. It could only be a better job if it had more adventure in it, but I guess I get enough of that in life. I did meet you not under normal circumstances after all," Jake chuckles. Dirk smiles at Jake's mirth and sighs.

"I'd like to take you up on your offer but not now. We can talk about it later when I'm actually ready to move or whatever," Dirk says with a hint of sadness. Dirk stands and looks to the sky. He takes of his sunglasses to get one last true look at the blue sky strewn with white puffy clouds.

"Are you leaving, Strider?" Jake asks sadly, gaining Dirk's attention again. Dirk looks down at Jake trying not to crack at the pout Jake is unknowingly giving him.

"Yeah, I need to go. I don't want to leave, but I have some things I need to work out," Dirk says reluctantly.

"Alright. Do you want me to walk you out, or are you fine?" Jake asks. Dirk shakes his head.

"No, I'm fine. Thank you though. Hopefully I can see you soon and time won't get away from me again. Later, Jake," Dirk says walking towards the house again. Jake quickly grabs Dirk's wrist stopping Dirk. Dirk looks back to see Jake glance away sadly.

"Um, I know we just met and all, but I wanted to clarify some things. We are friends right?" Jake asks hesitantly. Dirk smiles and lightly punches Jake's shoulder.

"Of course we are, bro," Dirk says walking away from a brilliantly smiling Jake. Now... how do I get home? Do I go back to the apartment building? But what floor was I on. I didn't pay any attention to that, Dirk thought worriedly placing his shades back on his face. He walked through the house and out the front door, but instead of appearing outside, he is welcomed by his familiar apartment room. Dirk stands shocked before returning to his computer desk to check the time. It's just a little after midnight, almost 12 hours after he left. Dirk ran a shaky hand through his hair.

"So I lost that much time here, huh? I wonder if my time spent there corresponds to how much time I miss here? Or is it just as random as these temporal shifts?" Dirk asks sitting in his computer chair getting ready to log his experience. Jake is my friend now. It feels great to have another friend other than Roxy. I wonder what friends do around each other, Dirk thinks as he starts up his log.

Yay! Next chapter is out! Sorry for the long wait TT^TT I suddenly got swamped with end of the year projects TT^TT The next update should hopefully come soon but after that this is going on a short break since I will be going to Japan after my school year ends with my school for an exchange program. I'll be gone for about two weeks but after that I belong to the internet! I want to thank all of the reviewers from last chapter too. Thanks for the reviews! They mean a lot to me. Even a simple "Nice chapter" means a lot. See you guys soon hopefully! I still have lots of work to do so hopefully I can update again before my trip so cross your fingers!