Hello everyone, just some information going into this, this will be a multi-chapter fanfiction! Not quite sure how long yet, but there will be lots of plot/character/relationship development! Later in the story there will be smut, though it wouldn't be till later on, seeing as how characters do have to develop with each other!
I plan to update once a week or so, and if there's ever something postponing the usual updates, I will definitely let you guys know ahead of time, whether here or on my tumblr (delphically-doomed .tumblr .com) and soon I shall put up a link on the side of my blog with updates on progress for anyone interested.
Thank you very much, and I hope you all enjoy Chapter 1!
You hiss as the water runs burning hot over your skin, a sudden boiling spray peppering your skin. You can hear the sound of a toilet flushing down the hall as your hands fumble to turn off the water with your blurred vision. This is one of the times you really wish you had gotten contacts so you could even see in places like the shower. Finally the water shuts off and you're left shivering in the stark change to frigid bathroom air and holding yourself pathetically, leaning against the tile.
"Karkat, what the hell!" you call out to your roommate in a slightly exasperated tone, teeth chattering. "You honestly couldn't have waited till I was out, asshole?" A snort could be heard not far from the door.
"Calm the fuck down, Egbert," he replied in his usual cynical tone, waving off the inexplicably rude action. "It's just some hot water, it's not like I was shoving ice cubes in your big boy panties like some prankster douchebag." You roll your eyes. Well, you had been in there long enough.
"You're lucky I was almost done, Mister," you say half-heartedly back, grabbing a fresh towel from the rack and beginning to dry yourself. A sigh escapes your lips after the slam of a door reverberating through the dorm fades off. God damn you're tired. Sliding into your trademark Ghostbusters slimer boxers, (which were naturally your most prided article of clothing, only next to your Ghost Rider tee, signed by Mr. Cage himself and purchased off ebay) you slide onto the toilet seat to sit and take a breather.
Last night you had really fucked things up.
Accepting the rum and coke was inevitably your first mistake. You never were much for alcohol to begin with, and if you did happen to make the stupid decision to drink, it generally resulted in a pretty shitty way, seeing as how you were never a man to be able to hold much more than a beer or two, let alone liquor. In fact, wine was a much preferred beverage when the time called for it. Yet you went against everything your gut originally told you.
"Hey man, want a drink?" he asked coolly, taking out two cheap CVS brand plastic cups and a couple of cans of Coca-cola. A small, devious smile tugged at Dave's lips as he cracked one of the cans without waiting for an answer and snatched a bottle of booze from the other side of the counter. You eyed it wit some discontent.
You had been reluctant in your answer, and had held off saying anything until the blonde had appeared to be generously measuring some of the rum into the bottoms of each cup despite no response. "Uh, yeah, sure man," you said, laughing a bit uneasily. You didn't really want to drink that particular night. Dave could obviously sense this.
"Egbert, chill out man. You can handle a little highball, can't you?" He chuckled, topping off the drinks with the fizzing soda and grabbing them both before making his way out of the kitchen and through the messy living room.
"Sorry there's no ice bro, icemaker bitched out a couple weeks ago." You shake your head that it's no big deal and take your cocktail, though you hold it and only that. Dave tosses back a slug. "And you know.." he starts, voice completely deadpan.
"Ice trays are for squares."
You can't help it, you burst out laughing. "Oh my god," you choke out in your cackling. "Dave, that is almost the worst pun I've heard from you yet!" He snickers a little bit, smiling at the goofy grin on your face. The wonderfully shitty joke had distracted you for a moment.
"Well don't be shy, drink it, shit's expensive as hell," he instead responded with, running his fingers through his hair casually. The idea of Dave's disapproval is a bit daunting, so you do so, sipping it tentatively. The taste is foreign, though you choke it down. This gains a nod of approval.
"I really have to teach you how to drink sometime," he comments, eyes watching you behind his glasses. You just sigh a little and lean back into the old couch cushions. Strider's dorm room looked like a tornado tore through it. The only area of the room that was clean and organized was the corner that held his turn tables and recording equipment. That area of the place was pristine in this pigsty.
The lighting was dim in the room, which was a small living space that was used for a living room. Connected was the kitchen, the two areas only separated by a small island bar in between. The kitchen had to be only about six or seven square feet large and had a rusty, old refrigerator in the corner. Besides the turn tables and the beat up, run down couch they were lounging on, the room had a small coffee table and an old box tv in the corner with an old red N64 hooked up to it. Can't beat the classics.
That night had been supposed to be a night for the two of you to study for your classes. It was around mid-semester now, and you had known each other for nearly a year, and yet were already best of friends. It felt awesome having such a good buddy to yourself. Dave had begun attending the same college as you starting in the fall, but the kid had come to take a tour of the place towards the end of spring semester last year. "Gotta be all up ahead of the game," he had explained smoothly on your first meeting.
It had just so happened that you, being one of the top students of his class, were selected to show the guy around as a tour guide of sorts. This was of no huge issue to you, and you didn't mind in the least meeting someone new to show them around and get to know them. The two of you met, exchanged IM handles and phone numbers during the tour, and had proceeded to talk and hang out all summer long. By the time the fall semester started, you were near inseparable.
Or would have been.
Throughout the beginnings of your friendship, you had discovered, via Facebook, that Strider swung for both teams, according to his profile. Now, this posed no problem to you at the time, and you did not mention it to him or mind in the least. It simply never came up.
So when he decided to tell you his feelings you were taken by surprise.
You had never felt any feelings of affection from him before, or if you did, must have mistaken them for something else. Being the more ignorant one to these things, you had missed many at first subtle, but then not so subtle hints and suggestions the blonde had been throwing. And apparently that you were reciprocating. After a lot of denial of what was going on, rejecting him and telling him that you weren't really into guys, in a not so polite manner, Strider had keeled down and reverted back to his stoic and solemn 'cool guy' demeanor.
He said that was fine, alright, that it was perfectly okay with him, you whole heartedly believed him and it was gone and out of your mind. Mostly. It seemed just like a little speed bump in your friendship. For a few weeks things were a bit awkward, but by now, you had kind of forgotten the whole incident, especially after Dave had gotten over his infatuation seemingly so quickly.
Except in recent months you had been questioning some things. You see, you had a few handful of friends, Rose, Jade, Karkat.. all really good and strong friendships, just like with Dave.
But with Dave.. you'd been noticing how different it was from those other relationships. This one seemed somehow more intimate for a friendship. You two were closer, more together than any other pair of friends. And now you had been starting to wonder just how intimate that was. This was a guy that you felt like you could share anything with, no matter how personal. Not even you and Karkat were quite that close.
He was always there for you, and you loved spending time with him. You enjoyed everything about him, his voice, his laugh, his adorable façade of being a 'cool' guy.. you even loved how you could make him smile. No one else could do that. Were these things you felt more than just something friends share? You couldn't be sure. But you were questioning it, no matter how much you wanted to deny it.
Not that you would ever act on it. No way, you had kept everything firmly in your head. Especially because you were so scared of the idea of well.. homosexuality in the first place. It always made you nervous, the idea of being rejected, a social outcast because of something so simple.. that could never happen to you. No way you were into guys. You couldn't be. Besides, that wasn't what it was like with Dave, you assured yourself. Never with Dave.
Unfortunately, alcohol changes a person's reasoning entirely.
Dave did very well teach you how to drink that night, and he was damn proud of it. After finishing off your fourth beverage a few hours into the evening, the blonde nearly cheered in approval.
"That's my Egbert! Damn, I never thought I'd be able to get you to down that much without puking, you prudish dork," he said in sharp approval. Giggling a bit, you wiped your mouth. Your head was throbbing a bit and everything seemed somewhat fuzzy, but at least you hadn't passed out like you usually did at this point. In fact, you had forgotten why you believed it would be bad to drink tonight.
"I'm no prude," you comment, grinning and flopping down onto the couch, your head on his lap. He flinched briefly, not used to you ever making such a motion, but soon relaxed, though more uneasy. You didn't notice. Second mistake.
He shifted a little. "Damn.. you've uh.. drunk more than me tonight, ha." His voice was a bit more unsteady now, but still chill as ever, expression remaining cool and collected. You sit up slowly and turn to him, cocking your head. You couldn't quit looking at him, and your stomach was getting butterflies, though you swore to yourself it was just the drink.
"You're always wearing those glasses Dave," you say quietly, leaning over him. Your curiosity about his eyes had been around for a while, but now more than ever. As you gazed at him, the only thing you could think about was what was behind those rims. How long you'd wished to see what was behind them. You were sure they had to be mind blowing. Your comment had made him even more unsettled, but you still didn't notice. The only logical thing going through your mind at the moment was to take them off.
"John, what are you doing?" You reached out slowly and touched the aviators, pulling them gently off his face. And you stared.
"John.." Dave's voice was wavering, uncertain, and almost scared. Just like his eyes. They were wide with shock, fear, and red as blood. Full of life, emotion, the things that the man so desperately always tried to hide. Your heart skipped a beat at the sight. They were stunning.
"Beautiful," you murmur softly, hand running along the side of his face and leaning your own closer, to Dave's much heightened surprised and unease. Your mind didn't want to listen to the growing pit in your belly right now telling you to quit this. You couldn't help but follow your basic instincts.
Third mistake. You kissed him. Not even thinking, you pressed your lips to his, kissing him deeply, only to no reciprocation. Instead, Dave abruptly pulled away, astonished, pulling himself back completely from you. He pushed you away, to your confusion, and hurt flashed across your face. It also flashed through Dave's, as well as shock, denial, and anger.
"John, what the fuck?" he shouted, scampering to stand up, and away from you, to your bewilderment.
"Dave?" you asked weakly, begging for an explanation. He snatched his shades roughly from you and placed them back on quickly, protecting his eyes again. Frustrated hands gripped at ashy blonde hair and a frown deepened on his face with a furrowed brow.
"Why the fucking hell did you do that? What were you thinking?" he demanded, hissing the words at you. You blinked, surprised, and pain spurred into your expression. Why was he reacting like this? It's not like Dave was straight or anything.. This shouldn't have been a problem. All you felt was guilt, pain, rejection, all burning through you.
"I-I'm sorry!" you blurted out in upset, trying to shrink in his presence. Now all you could feel was your stomach, nauseous and sickened, sickened by the sudden array of emotions you were feeling. You wanted to get away. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," you continue to mutter desperately, head hurting like a bitch and leaving you frightened and even more confused.
His gaze shifts and he moves to glare at you. "Leave me alone!" he spits out, and you immediately get up, hurrying to the door and gripping the handle. Your eyes flick to his face, wide and questioning.
"Just go," are the last words you hear from him before you whip your head away and dart from the dorm and out the door.
His voice had cut like knives into you. The anger, upset, desperation, pain. Those last words had been choked, forced, as if they were difficult for him to even say. It had sounded like Dave Strider was crying. Feeling tears well up in your own eyes yourself you sink to the ground, back pressed against the wall and you put your head into your hands, hiding your shamed face.
What the hell were you even thinking? Kissing Dave? What a fool you were, yet again. You hurt him. You saw the pain, the devestation in his eyes. It's your fault. Tears began to roll down your face. And not any of the big, fat waterfalls that streamed whenever you watched Con Air, or an equally sad and touching movie.
These hurt. There was a thousand pound weight on your chest constricting your breathing, and your stomach curled and clenched in pain and guilt. Each sob was forced, as you tried to quiet yourself. It was a surprise no one from any other dorm came out to yell at you. But you couldn't help it. You couldn't believe how stupid you were.
Shakily you pull your phone out of your pocket and scroll through your contacts, though your vision is blurred from both the tears, and your glasses slipping down your nose. Finally you find the number you're looking for and hit the send button, holding it up to your ear. It rang and rang, the sound hollow in your ear, when finally he picked up.
"What the fuck do you want now, Egbert? It's eleven at night," an irritated voice asks, not even bothering with a friendly greeting. Not surprising.
"K-Karkat.. can you come pick me up?" you ask, trying to stabilize your voice, but not succeeding in the least. It's obvious the other noticed, because there's a moment of silence as the other quiets.
"I'm on my way," he replied softly but tone firm, the click of the phone hanging up heard right afterwards.
A small gray corvette pulled up on the street next to the sidewalk where you stand, shivering in the cold and holding yourself to keep warm and for the moral support of your arms. You really wish you had brought your warm blue hoodie now. You step over to the car and climb in shotgun, greeted immediately by the much welcomed warm air of the vehicle. Thank god for car heaters.
"Thank you so much, Karkat," you mumble softly, keeping your head down in shame. He looks at you for a moment, obviously concerned. When you finally look back at him he stubbornly shifts his eyes to the road, pretending to not be so worried.
"Have you been drinking?" You nod and he only huffs, running a hand through his dark brown hair. Warm honey-brown eyes flick back at you for a moment before he grips the steering wheel and pulls into the road, starting to drive again.
"Thanks for calling then. I don't want you being a dumb fuck and driving after pounding the juice," he mutters in a low voice. You nod again, and he sighs.
After that, the drive is quiet. It's a rare occasion for Karkat to give you so much space around situations like this, or not question you about everything. It had only occurred once or twice before this, and you've known him for going on two years. When he parks outside your dorm block, you slowly get out of the car to wait for the brunette, and then the two of you walk side by side into the building. Getting in, you both make for your shared room, still silent.
And after you had changed and curled up in your sheets, your whole body only now settling down from the incident, your phone buzzes next to you, and your eyes flick open. Picking up the cell, you squint at the screen to read the contact. It's him.
sorry bro. give me some time. i can't handle seeing you for a bit.
You must have read the text ten times before you could really take it in, and then you can only grip your sheets and cringe, feeling like you're going to be sick. You didn't sleep much last night.
Finishing drying your messy hair off with the towel, you hang it up to dry on the rack, and move to the sink. You're almost scared to look in the mirror but you do anyways. What's the point? You gaze into the mirror and can't help but think, what a mess. The hair hasn't changed much, messy, untamable, bedhead, as always. But your eyes are dull, your face tired, and hints of dark circles under your eyes. Plus the shower didn't exactly aid your pounding headache.
You're John Egbert, college student with stunning grades, a pissy, endearing roommate, a wrecked friendship, and the worst hangover of your life. And you shouldn't have accepted the rum and coke.