You've been talking to this Egbert kid for months, but you've still only seen him once- when you were half blind without your prescription sunglasses, so you still haven't really 'seen' him, and you guess you'd really like to change that. So you suggested a meetup place in town, and it all went pretty smoothly from there.
TG: hey so you know that little kiddie park by the mall
GT: the one with the ridiculously large double slide?
TG: honestly i think it should be bigger but yeah that one
TG: wanna meet up there and figure out something else to do when we get there
GT: you mean you haven't figured out something for us to do already?
GT: haha, lame dave. i thought you were supposed to be good at this kind of thing!
TG: bitch pls
TG: check your privilege
TG: your fucking
TG: labeling people is wrong
GT: whatever. yeah, we can meet up there.
GT: just let me ask my dad.
TG: aw you need permission thats cute
GT: shut up.
GT: alright, well he said it was okay!
GT: also, can you add my other pesterchum?
TG: and why do you have another one
GT: some losers keep on trolling me, no big. it's just really annoying.
TG: alright one sec
- turntechGodhead [TG] ceased pestering ghostyTrickster [GT] at 11:38 -
- turntechGodhead [TG] added ectoBiologist [EB] to their chum list! -
- ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG] at 11:39 -
EB: okay, i'm going to start getting ready now.
EB: see you soon dave!
TG: hey wait
- ectoBiologist [EB] ceased pestering turntechGodhead [TG] at 11:40 -
TG: goddammit john
There was one thing you forgot about, and it was that you don't remember what he looked like. It wouldn't have been much of a problem if your eyesight hadn't been so bad, and you're sure of that.
When you get to the park, you find an unoccupied picnic table, and assume that you got to the predetermined destination first. And it's not just because you're not sure, it's because the only people here are kids with their moms and dads and pet dogs, not teens your age.
You wait a good twenty minutes before a white Honda pulls up on the curb about 30 feet away, and a (short) guy who looks to be about your age hops out. His features look different from the blurry blob of skin tone you remember, but you'd recognize those crystal blue eyes anywhere.
It takes a second before you realize what he's wearing.
If you weren't a Strider and had a calm, cool pokerface to keep intact, you're pretty sure you would've burst out laughing at how dorky he looks.
A black polo, tan skin tight jeans, and fucking Toms. And these thick, huge, dorky glasses.
He looks like a total fucking hipster douche and it's taking every restraint you have to not burst. This is the kid you've been basically thinking of as your toted for realsies bff..
As the car drives off, he spots you and just waltzes over with the goofiest, dorkiest walk you could ever imagine and gives you this huge, toothy grin.
Who are you kidding. You lose it. Your poker face shatters and you nearly double over in laughter. Jesus, who does he think he is? You glance up at him and he has a brow raised at you, hands on his hips in a showy manner.
"Uh, nice to see you too, jackass."
When the laughing dies down, he sits down across from you and folds his arms on the table and just kind of glares at you, but his face is too much like a puppy's for it to work the way he probably wants it to.
Jesus Christ this kid is adorable.
"I can say with complete honesty that I think you're fashionably late, Egbert."
"Says you, who wears flat-rimmed hats backwards anymore?"
"I don't know, someone with an actual sense of fashion?"
"Suuuure. You keep telling yourself that, buddy."
"I didn't choose the thug life dude, the thug life chose me."
"More like the thug life dropped you on your ass at birth and left you with DC and Vans."
You still can't believe the kid you've been talking to for nearly 3 months is just... This. A flamboyant, sassy, hipster-dressing tweeb with the prettiest eyes you've ever seen. Yet, somehow, you can't imagine him any other way.
Eventually you make the suggestion to go mini golfing, like, after you both stop trying to ram each other on the swings and and race down the double slide which, according to you, "should be hells of bigger. I mean fuck me, man, they need to rebuild this shit and crank up the danger."
In the end, you both ended up racing down the slide face first. And that only resulted in really hardcore friction burns on your faces from the padded ground. Like, wow. Manly and hardcore friction burns. It was almost at the point of mutton chops. One lady came up to you both and told you to be role models for the kids watching you, not morons.
You and John just observe from a distance as face-first slide racing becomes a new trend for the 3-6 year olds and laugh your asses off.
The mini golf place you had in mind was like... well actually you only have a vague recollection of where it is, "Okay so I'm pretty sure it's on the corner of 4th and 92nd but don't take my word for it."
"Dave if you get us lost I will personally punch you in your dumb pointy nose."
And then of course you end up getting both of you... well, at least you don't think you're lost.
Actually you didn't even know that this area was a part of town.
John trudges beside you, looking a little miffed, "I think now would be a good time for that punch."
"No shh, I got this."
"Dave we're lost."
"I said I GOT THIS."
"DAVE, WE NEED TO ASK FOR DIRECTIONS."
"JOHN IF I SAY I GOT THIS, THEN I GOT THIS."
Of course he finally gets fed up with you and makes you stop at a convenience store to ask someone where the fuck you both are. Instead of waiting outside you almost buy a bag of mini Reese's Pieces before John freaks out again.
"Dude no you can't buy that," he says, getting all adorably serious.
"Do you want to be responsible for me dying?"
John rolls his eyes, "I'm allergic to peanuts, you big gross monkey."
For some reason you're not surprised about this allergy. Like, at all.
You settle for Skittles.
You always thought minigolf was kind of lame but it turns out to be a lot of fun. It's even more fun since you can't see where your ball is going so you have an excuse to aim it wherever. Mini Golf places were weird and underground and dark and it's awesome. You teased John about how his teeth were glowing in the dark because of the black lights. He takes it as an offense and covers his mouth, flipping you the bird. It's not long before you end up hitting your ball into a giant fountain, and end up wading in soon after to retrieve it. John doesn't seem so pleased with your actions.
"Dave! Stop, you're gonna get us kicked out!"
"What? I need to get my golf ball dude I can't play minigolf without it."
"Just get a new one!"
"What's the fun in that?"
"DAVE GET OUT OF THAT FOUNTAIN."
"Make me, nerdballs."
John purses his lips and stomps over, carefully wading into the fountain with you, trying to pull you out. You just splash him in his stupid face, laughing. Mostly because you think he was more concerned about his shoes than his boyish visage.
He doesn't show any emotion or even give you any warning when he holds his putter up over his head and you have to step back, splashing water EVERYWHERE, and hold your ground-
This is war.
So basically, you and John had the best fucking pseudo-lightsaber duel in the history of pseudo lightsaber duels in the middle of that fountain pond. Like, sound effects and dumb movie quotes and everything. That is, until someone complained about you two causing a disturbance and security caught you and ordered you to leave. John stuck his tongue out and you threw a yellow Skittle at him. The yellow ones suck.
It was totally worth it, though.
Outside, the loud closing of the front door cues both of your laughter. You don't even remember laughing so hard before this. You're nearly doubled over, and John's arm around your shoulders didn't help. You just cackled like idiots together on the side of the road. One car passes and honks in your guys' direction.
After the laughter finally winds down, feeling sore and breathless and teary eyed, neither of you could get the huge dumb grins off your faces. You don't even try. You're just in such a good mood that you don't even care.
"Alright, coolkid," John says, "where to now?"
"Last one to the end of the street is a butthurt chinchilla."
Both yours and Johns' shoes squelch uncomfortably as you both race down the street.
You guys end up in another part of unrecognizable town in the next little while. It's completely dark out now and there aren't very many people around. It was starting to get a little cold but neither of you mention it. You just find another park to run around in. You don't even realize you're tired until John walks away from the jungle gym and collapses on a picnic table. He's spent.
Walking over to him after hopping off the top of the monkey bars, you lean on the side of the table where he was laying and look off, tilting your glasses down to see (too dark, for once) but your shitty eyesight comes back to haunt you. You're pulled from your negativity when John pats the area beside him. You blink once, twice, and then sit.
"No, lay down with me,"
"Well that escalated a little quickly even for you, don't you think?"
"Just do it."
"How can I trust you not to fondle my suteki ochinchin?"
"The only thing suteki about you is the fact that you think I'm going to touch your weird white albino dick."
"You don't know me, you don't know my life."
"Just frickin' do it."
You give in, sighing as you shoulder blades grind awkwardly against the smooth concrete.
After a moment of silence, you idly wonder what time it is. Both of you were still damp, and it was getting kind of cold. You take off your hat and card your fingers through your somewhat matted hair and sigh.
"I had a lot of fun," John says in an almost-whisper.
"That was kind of the plan."
"Can-it Strider, I'm trying to be wistful."
Secretly you're actually really glad he had fun. Of course, that was kind of the plan. Well, you didn't really have a plan at all, but you were going to make sure he wasn't bored out of his mind, checking his phone every 2 seconds or something. You're not sure why, but that would kind of hurt. You like hanging out with him, you like talking to him, you just like his attention a lot-
"Shit!" he yelps, sitting up quickly, nose almost pressed to the screen of his phone. It illuminated his face in a way that accentuated his features nicely- wait. That was really gay. Almost too gay.
You sit up slowly, peering over his shoulder at his screen, "What's up?"
"It's like 11:30!"
"My dad is going to kill me, dude!" he interjects, "Oh man, I'm going to be grounded for weeks- months!"
This would be totally hilarious if you didn't just realize your Bro is going to get really fucking pissed at you too, holy shit.
Not in the same way a normal Dad would though, like his. Obviously.
"Oh god oh god oh god he is going to be so mad at me I'm so fucked oh my god," he grunts through his teeth. John shoves his phone back into his pocket and just hides his face in his hands, displacing his glasses. You nudge him with your elbow, and keep your voice monotone.
"Just call him and tell him you lost track of time man, see if he can pick you up or something."
He lowers his hands slowly and looks around. The only light source was coming from a few stray lamps in sickly orange streams. If you listened closely you could hear the buzzing of electricity.
"What? It's simple enough. Dial him up man."
"No shit, but... where are we, exactly?"
You and John take it to the streets before he caves in and calls his dad. Apparently he had already accidentally set his phone on silent beforehand, and had actually missed a few calls. This made him freak out even more ("Oh fuck Dave, eight missed calls! EIGHT! I'm dead, I'm just completely dead. I'm more dead than when John Malkovich gets his head flattened at the end of Con Air, oh my god." "Just stop there before you start reenacting it, Jesus Christ.")
When he does call, he has to take a few deep breaths and step a few more feet away from you on the sidewalk. The street was completely dead, so you didn't really see why he needed to do this. You stick your slightly pink hands into your front pockets, and dig your nails into a bit of lint.
"Pick up, pick up, pick up... oh, Dad- yes, I'm fine... yeah... no! I'm sorry! Yes, I know what time it is... Dave and I lost track of time, I'm really sorry... mhm... what? No, that's not it at all... no, I just... yeah. I know you called... yeah, my phone was silenced... gosh, no! Can you pick me up though? Yeah?... Uhhh," John looks over at you makes a weird gesture with his free hand. You shrug and he shakes his head and points at a street sign behind you. 'What does it say?' he mouths.
You roll your eyes and step back to look, flicking away some lint from your nails and relaying the info back to John. He repeats it to his Dad, and after a quick goodbye and one last apology he hangs up and sighs, shaking his head, "He's so pissed."
You step over to him. Your feet hurt, "You were trying so damn hard not to swear, that was actually really entertaining to watch."
John grimaces and slugs you in the arm, "Fuck off dickweed," he says, pushing his glasses up at the bridge, "I'm not allowed to in front of him, and this is a really shitty situation. Not swearing is hard sometimes. It just slips out. Verbal self control is a must with parentals, ok?"
Yeah, you know how that feels. Fortunately, you generally don't get punished for bad language. It's just kind of how you and Bro communicate. It's the norm in the Strider household. Or apartmenthold. You'd rather not get technical.
You nod in his direction, stifling a yawn. Yeah, you were burning out pretty fast too.
"You gonna call your brother, or...?" John says, standing upright. He wraps his arms around himself.
"Oh yeah, should probably do that," you grabs out your own phone and unlock it. He hasn't texted you or anything. He's either really high, engrossed in making baby Muppets, or doesn't really give a shit about where you are. It's to be expected.
You just text him.
TG: yo bro
TG: you in
TG: theres been an emergency
TG: i have an urgent batch of baby batter in need of delivery
TG: wait no
TG: wrong emergency
TG: i swear im not like sexually frustrated or anything because that is a thing that i am not
TG: but yeah i was wondering if you could come find me
TG: egbert and i kinda sorta maybe got ourselves lost on the streets
TG: or maybe not lost per se
TG: we just cant find ourselves
TG: we went soul searching but came up empty handed
TG: suns up in a few and and the gods just left us stranded
TG: i gotta get home gotta get myself bed
TG: before my conscious comes back and shoots me in the head
TG: i might need to stop before my lips begin quaking
TG: my cerebellums fly but my hands wont stop shaking
TG: okay you gotta admit that was pretty good
TG: you and i should make this a thing lets do it
TG: bring us there bro we can climb this whole mountain ill do the remix even
TT: It seems you think that I should shower you with attention since you've gotten yourself into a bit of a stanky, raunchy pickle.
TT: As if I'd let you do the remix, kiddo.
TT: And I'd be laughing at how bad your vocabulary's gotten if I weren't just about ready to bitch slap the shit out of you.
Okay. He's mad. Got it. Tread lightly, Strider. You're tight rope walking and the whole world is watching, you're halfway to the other side and just as you think this will be no problem, you think your knees begin to wobble. But it's not actually you, someone is toying with the rope. One wrong move and you're falling to your certain death. John tries to look at your screen. You angle it away from his prying eyes.
TT: Restate your emergency properly before I restate one for you.
TG: ok ok ok calm down
TG: john and i wandered into an unrecognizable part of town
TG: and we dont know how to get home
TG: hes already called his pops and i wanted to see if you could pick me up
TT: I let you go out with your little shota boyfriend and you get lost on the first date.
TT: Keeping it classy, I see.
TG: john isnt my boyfriend oh my god im going to have an aneurism one day because of all this false item labelling
TG: and whatever at least i dont bring dudes home with me from clubs and bone them on the futon
TG: which is in the fucking living room
TG: every other weekend
TG: dude our place has really thin walls im honestly surprised the neighbors havent filed a complaint or a lawsuit against us
TT: Hey. I pay the bills, I buy the electronics, I get to bang whoever the fuck I want, wherever the fuck I want.
TG: then you can at least invest in some earplugs plz and thx
TT: Alright fair enough, but listen Dave, I'm tired and I shouldn't be driving, so hurry the fuck up and give me a landmark or a street name so I can pick up your ungrateful white ass before some unlucky dickslinger mistakes you both for prostitutes looking for a quick fuck'n'run.
TG: omg yes thank you
TG: justice has prevailed this time
You give him the same street name you gave to John, and he replies with a few approximate coordinates to be a smartass, and then says he's heading out and doesn't want to risk being on his phone on the road. Fair enough. You'd rather have him not getting in an accident on your account.
You and John spend a fair amount of time sitting on the curb underneath the nearest streetlamp, talking about whatever inane conversational topic came up first. The constant hum of the electricity was a good background noise, and being in the light was better than sitting in the dark.
"I just uhh..." he falters, "I just wanted to say thanks for like, inviting me to hang out or whatever, hehe."
"S'no biggie, dude."
"I know, but still. Today was really fun," he smiles, rubbing his hands together a bit, "even if you got us kicked out of minigolf... and got us lost... and EVEN if you're a total dork."
"Pfft, me? A dork? Says the hipster douchecanoe."
"I'm not a hipster!"
"That's what they all say, man."
John huffs a little bit and you both settle into a comfortable silence. It's been about 20 minutes since you both contacted your parentals, hopefully they find you soon.
"You're kind my best friend."
"You're kinda my best friend too," you reply without missing a beat. And then you realize that you just bound yourself to a best friend contract which is something you never actually thought you would be able to do.
Turns out that with John, you can.
With his arms still up and wrapped around him, he scoots over on the concrete and lays his head on your shoulder. You don't mind at all until you notice he's shaking.
"Dude, John, you alright?"
"Yeah, 'm just kinda cold." he mumbles, sneezing. Fuck, he sneezes like a kitten. Like, the adorableness of the situations causes you to not even think about how you're casually just kind of taking your hoodie off and draping it on his shoulders. It's actually the only thing you both managed to not get wet at the mini golf place. You left it in a locker you paid $2.50 for because it was way too warm in there for a hoodie. John made fun of you because of how pale your arms were but fuck it, $2.50 is worth not sweating your ass off and dying of dehydration.
"It's like, the only thing we didn't get wet, so it should keep you warm."
"Right... thanks," he pulls it closed in the front, "This thing is huge."
"Like my dick."
"Shut up, oh my god."
You both fall into another comfortable silence.
You see a car start rolling up, and you hope it's Bro's. Turns out, it's not. John looks kind of freaked out. He stands up from the relaxed jumble of limbs you both got yourself into. The car stops on the other side of the road, the window rolling down slowly. You can't see who's in it, but you have a pretty good idea.
"Jonathan Xavier Dmitri Alexander James Egbertovich III! You are in big trouble young man!"
"Dad, that's not even my name!"
"I don't care, get in the car son! You're grounded!"
"Oh my God. Dave, I'm so sorry about my Dad, he's a total joker. I'm probably not even grounded."
"You're grounded until you eat the cake I've put in your room."
"Dave, stand up and hug me before I get in the car."
"John, why were you cuddling your friend a moment ago? Is there something you need to tell me?"
You keep yourself stationary on the curb and John just shakes his fist at his Dad in the car, who seems to be looking a lot more smug than mad now. Jesus Christ, you're getting the feeling that he and your Bro would get along way too well.
You need to make sure they never ever ever meet. Ever. They are never getting together. Like, ever.
"Get in the car, John."
"Can we at least wait for Dave's brother to get here?"
"No, I have pastries in the oven."
This is literally the funniest thing you have ever seen. John is such a little kid and his Dad is the sassiest middle aged man ever, holy shit. You thought John was the sassmaster supreme, but no. You were so fucking wrong.
John starts pulling you up to your feet in your dumbfound state and hugs you, face pressed right into your shoulder, and it takes you a second to reciprocate because whoa what even is this, is this in the bro code? This is so gay what even is going on it is like passed midnight and you kind of just want to go to bed but your bffsie is hugging you and your heart just did a weird thing whoa what the fuck is going on.
He pulls off before you have a chance to say anything or even awkwardly pat him on the back and just walks off all forlornly to the passenger seat and his Dad rolls up the window after bidding you "Good night, be safe, make good choices!" ("Dad you're embarrassing me please stop oh my god.").
You wave as they drive off, leaving you alone on the street.
You're not exactly sure what your thought process is doing right now.
You think you should sit back down and wait for Bro.
But first you idly wonder why you're so damn cold, until it finally hits you. John still has your jacket.
Oh god damn it.
Instead of sitting down, you start pacing. You hate getting cold. Getting cold is the worst thing that can happen. You pace back and forth for about 30 more minutes, checking your phone every so often to check the time. It's now 1am.
Where the fuck is Bro.
"There you are, holy shit kid I needa install a fucking tracking device on you or something," he says as you open the door to the passengers side.
"Yeah, no," his truck smells like weed, "Have you been smoking Bro?"
"I bet that's why it took you like an hour to fucking find me."
"No, you're lying."
"Dude. I was standing there freezing my ass off and you were getting cozy in here with like 4 joints."
"Okay shut up there weren't that many, for starters," he says, and halfway through the sentence he just starts laughing at himself. He's still got one lit in the ashtray.
"I'm so fucking done."
"Lighten up lil man."
"Just drive and please try not to kill us in your inebriated state."
"You're treating me like a criminal, Dave, this hurts me in the heart. Like, I have one of those, didn't you know that? I bet you didn't know that."
"You're still in trouble though."
"Because it's like 1:30 in the damn morning and you got yourself and your shota boyfrando lost, so now his parent probably hates me because they think I ain't responsible for making sure you don't get lost. Especially since both of you live on the opposite sides of town. How did you two assholes even end up over here anyway?"
"Wait a fucking minut-"
"He was your guest and you got yourself and him lost Dave, that isn't cool."
"His Dad probably worried his gross old man knickers into a knot before you contacted him, did either of you even tell him where you were going?"
"Can I just-"
"If I were him, I'd o' fucking called 911 and put out a missing child report, that shit isn't okay, okay?"
You sit silently and wait for him to finish. The secondhand smoke was starting to kind of get to you, anyway.
"You are seriously in a heap of shit, Dave."
"I'm taking you back right now so you don't get sick. Your genes are already fucked enough as it is, don't need to dying of a cold."
"Don't need to rub it in."
"And I'm taking away your phone and laptop for a week."
"Any arguing and I will fucking Strife you right here. Right now."
"... You're really high, Bro."
"You wanna go, kid?"
And that was the end of that. Bro turns up the radio and badly sings along to Beyoncé, you just kind of stare out the window and think about your day. And...
God this is embarrassing to think about but... fuck it, you're kind of high now too.
Your name is Dave Strider and you think you're in love with a lameass dork named John Egbert.
wHEW HOW LONG HAVE WE BEEN WORKING ON THIS LIKE 3 MONTHS NOW
sorry for the wait, guys! but Prescription Heartsight, installment TWO is out now! go nuts hahaha
dont go peanuts
john might die oops
cries over everything its so cute oh my god don't even look at me