Chapter 4: Who You Gonna Call?
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3
Dirk ==> Hang out at work
Not your usual deal, but ok. You’re stuck waiting for Bro to come back anyway. No Bro, no assignments, no work.
In the meantime, Jake is more than happy to take on Terezi in a friendly game of pool. You watch his delicious ass sway away while you sit at the bar. You almost feel bad for him. He has no idea what a shark Terezi is at pool.
“Wvhat’s the human saying, take a picture, it’ll last longer?” Cronus says, grinning from the seat beside you.
“Like you’ve got room to talk,” you counter, nodding ever so slightly in Kankri’s direction. It’s no secret that they’ve got the hots for each other, but Cronus still flushes a deep purple at your comment.
You’d also say something about not giving himself away, but it’s not like humans come here anyway. Bro always intended for his bar to be a haven for demons and otherworldly creatures like yourself and Cronus. It’s part of the whole gig. Give the demons a place to go, and they’ll bring info with them. It works surprisingly well.
Cronus tries hard to blend in. Harder than most of you, but there’s just a bit of unfortunate anatomy he can’t make go away. Though he’s a merman, he’s older than Eridan. Cronus long ago learned how to dry off his tail and walk on two (albeit webbed) legs and feet. His fins he can hide behind his clothes and shoes. But try as he may, his gills always stick out from behind his perfectly styled greaser haircut.
Clearly, Kankri doesn’t mind, as he pours Cronus what you’re sure is the fifth free drink of the night. But it’s a sore spot with the water-dweller. Speaking of which, what you have to tell him is certain to sour his mood too. But you owe it to him. He deserves to know about last week.
You’ve never been great at breaking bad news to people, which is why you’ve waited this long to tell him. So, as usual, you go for the blunt approach. “Hey, I’ve got some bad news for you.”
Yeaaaah. Usually you’re a little smoother than that. Oh well. Too late to take it back now.
Cronus glances at you suspiciously. “Vwell don’t keep me in suspense.”
“Eridan found a way back,” you murmur, dropping your voice so low that you’re pretty sure only the two of you will hear.
“My cousin?” He gulps visibly, reaching an unsteady hand for his drink. He takes several large gulps and places an empty glass back on the table. “Did he? I don’t suppose—”
Ever so slightly, you shake your head. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t convince him to leave.”
Cronus sighs, long and exasperated. Slowly, he leans forward until his head is resting on the bar.
Immediately, Kankri’s at his side. The troll is almost the spitting image of Karkat, manager and leader of the taskforce of this place. He has the same gray skin and unruly black hair, but something about Kankri is so much softer. You get the feeling he wouldn’t hurt a fly. He probably hasn’t.
Kankri places an ashen hand atop his friend’s and asks gently, “Cronus? Are you all right? Did I give you too much to drink again? I would really hate that. The effects that alcohol has on you can be so unpleasant, especially if you drink it in excess. I am unsure of the exact mechanism alcohol has on your body, but I did not mean to cause that to happen to you again tonight. It might be best if you ceased to drink it for a while. If you want, I can make the drinks weaker or maybe replace the alcohol with water. That might stop the negative effects and—”
“It’s ok, Kan, I’m not sick,” Cronus sighs, clasping Kankri’s hand reassuringly. “It’s Eridan.”
Immediately, a knowing look alights in Kankri’s eyes, and his gaze swings to you. But you know better than to get caught up in the middle of this. Before he can open his mouth, you’re already on your feet and walking off to find Jake.
Somehow, Terezi has already fully destroyed him at pool once. Jake is aligning the cue ball just right, promising to beat her this time, when he sees you walk over. “Strider! You’re just in time. Care to play a round of two on two?”
You arch an eyebrow. “Who’s the fourth?”
“The handsome and charismatic yours truly,” Dave says, standing up from a lounge chair nearby. He spins around a pool stick in an impressively flashy way (kid must have practiced for hours) and stands next to Terezi. “Think you can take us on?”
You know it’s a lost cause before you start. Terezi is blind, but if she didn’t carry around her cane everywhere, nobody would ever know. Terezi and her sister Latula are both descendants from dragons. You don’t question how it works. As far as you know, the dark haired sisters have both always looked mysterious but human. The only things that just might give them away are their magnificent double rows of razor sharp teeth.
Something about her dragonian heritage allows Terezi to see by smell. In the beginning, she was always a couple inches off her target, but over time, she’s honed her scent-sight into a formidable precision. Likewise, while Latula lost her sense of smell long ago, she can see scents, a very useful skill when she’s sent out hunting.
Needless to say, anyone against Terezi in pool isn’t a fair game, but you grin and take up a pool stick anyway. “Do your worst.”
They do. Literally, you’ve never seen Dave play so poorly before. But maybe John insisting on sitting on his pool stick every time he lines up a shot has something to do with it. And maybe Terezi’s heckling doesn’t help him either. And maybe Dave heckling Terezi back doesn’t really help her. And maybe John determinedly getting in between the two of them doesn’t help either of them.
You observe it all (and Jake’s magnificent ass as he leans over, lining up a shot just right.) What is your little bro doing? You knew he had something with Terezi a while back, before John was really in the picture. You’re pretty sure John knows about it. With the way he’s acting, it’s almost like Dave’s trying to piss off his boyfriend.
You take your turn, sinking one ball before scratching on your next shot. Then you watch them even more closely. It’s then that you notice the tiny smirk on Dave’s face, every time he does something to piss John off. You snort in amusement.
The little shithead’s doing it on purpose.
It’s a close game, but as you thought, you and Jake are no match for Terezi. The cackling troll manages to go on a killing spree, sinking 5 balls, including the final 8 ball, all in one round.
When you finish, you glance over at Jake, who is more than fired up and ready for another round. He’s already collecting the all the pool balls from their pockets, eager to play again. You’re actually a little taken aback. You don’t think you’ve ever seen him so excited about anything before. Not even his prized pistols.
“Dude,” you say, with just the tiniest hint of an inflection in your voice.
Immediately, Dave looks over, picking up on your cue. Jake, however, doesn’t notice a thing. You guess it shouldn’t be so surprising since he has only known you for about a week. He hasn’t had a chance to learn your subtle Strider cues. You wonder if he ever will.
Dave’s eyes flick over to Jake, and you immediately want to wipe the smug smirk off his face. It looks like he’s about to say something, but Terezi takes your little bro’s moment of distraction as an opportunity to trip him with her pool stick.
Instead, you move to Jake’s side and repeat again, “Hey. Jake.”
He doesn’t react until you place your hand on top of his.
Gentle caresses, packed with suggestion, are a natural instinct for you. The warmth of skin-on-skin, feather-light touches, and powerful mental suggestions behind it are all something you do without thought by this point.
Jake gasps lightly, breathily. It’s a sound you would love to hear more. A faint flush rises to his cheeks as he trains his bright forest green eyes on you. His lips are parted in a very inviting way, and it would be so easy to lean in and—
Instantly, you realize what you’ve done, and you pull your hand away quickly.
The whole exchange only lasted a second, but to you, it felt like much longer. That’s part of the beauty and curse of your kind’s ability: you can control souls. The elders of your kind, like Damara, are more powerful and can fully control the souls of the living and dead. You’re still young in incubus terms, but even you can weave complex thoughts and desires into another’s mind through your touch almost instantly. If your touch doesn’t do it, then your eyes certainly will.
You do your best to hold it back, but sometimes it slips out unintentionally. Bro taught you and Dave to wear your shades everywhere to keep both your eyes in check. And you do wear fingerless gloves when you go out, but they don’t completely keep your abilities back.
You freeze, realizing that you’ve just placed the equivalent of a thousand sexual innuendos into Jake’s mind all at once. Oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. You hope you haven’t royally screwed things up.
“Oh!” he exclaims suddenly, dropping a few pool balls onto the table in his surprise.
Oh shit. Oh shit oh shit. You’re already coming up with a million excuses, explanations that will make it all better. You don’t dare look at Dave right now.
Jake smiles brightly at you and exclaims, “Strider, you snuck up on me!”
You blink. That wasn’t the reaction you were expecting. “No I didn’t,” you say oh-so-intelligently.
“I’m quite positive that you did!” Jake says with conviction. There’s a smile on his lips and absolutely no indication that you just hit him with a million watts of incubus suggestion. You mentally sigh in relief. You’re safe. For now.
“I didn’t sneak up on you. You just didn’t notice me,” you insist, deciding not to address your little faux pas. “What’s gotten into you?”
“Hmm? Nothing, old bean!” Jake says, far too exuberantly for you to actually believe him. “Nothing like a sporting round of pool, much like a smashing round of fisticuffs!”
There’s something very peculiar about his answer, but before you get the chance to question him further about it, Bro sweeps into the lounge. “Dirk. Dave. Got your assignments,” he announces.
You take one look at him and tisk. Though he hides it behind his orange cap, his hair is slightly disheveled, and his pale skin just a tad flushed. You would bet anything that beneath his perfectly smoothed-out clothes there are bite marks on his skin. And you know that not just anyone can leave bite marks on Bro.
You know where he’s been and why he was late tonight. “Thought you said you were gonna stop seeing her?”
Before you realize it, you’re on the ground. Bro’s booted foot is resting on your chest. “Was that a challenge, lil’ man?”
You do your best to shrug from your vantage point on the floor. “She’s not my problem.”
Bro doesn’t grace you with a response. Instead he holds out his fist above your head. You’re not sure what he’s planning to do, but you’re silently thankful when all he does is open up his hand, dropping a small piece of paper above you. It drifts down and lands neatly atop your shades. “Get to work,” he says with just the faintest hint of bitterness. It’s so small that you’re not even sure if Dave picked up on it, not that he needs to. Both of you know what’s going on with your Bro. It’s an unspoken and fairly well-kept secret between the three of you. You’re not even sure if any of Bro’s employees know.
Terezi takes your pool sticks and looks at you in what you assume is a sympathetic way. It’s tough to tell with her characteristic red shades on. She knows better than to ask about Bro.
Jake doesn’t. Or if he does, he pays it no mind and asks you about it later, when you’re driving to your target. “I know it may not be my place yet, but is everything quite all right with Bro? Those comments you made were a tad alarming!”
“Bro can take care of himself,” you murmur in response. He can. It doesn’t mean you have to approve of it, though. You get the feeling that if anyone besides you or Dave knew about it, they wouldn’t hesitate to turn their backs on Bro forever. Yep. It’s that big of a secret.
You put it out of your mind, though, because you have other things to think of.
Namely Dave, who has been incessantly kicking your chair since you left. You swat behind you blindly for the fifth time, and he curls his legs up onto the seat just in time to avoid your arm. Bro has you two working together again tonight. Not because the targets are especially difficult but because there are so few. From the looks of things, you should be done in a little under an hour.
But the sooner you can ditch the little douchebag the better.
“Dude. Hey. Hey, bro. Hey,” Dave says, poking your shoulder every time he utters a syllable.
“What?” you growl back at him.
“We always listen to your mixes,” he answers, thrusting something shiny in front of your face. “I wanna listen to mine.”
It’s a CD. The words “bitchin’ awesome beats” are written on the front in scratchy red sharpie. You sigh back at him, “only if you stop being a cocky little shit.”
“I’m never a—” he begins, but when you start handing his CD back to him, he quickly amends, “ok fine. Whatever.”
You decide to indulge him and play his music. A few seconds later, some rather sick beats are pounding out of your stereo. You nod in time to the music. It’s not bad.
You chance a glance back in the rear-view mirror and are not too surprised to see John perched on Dave’s shoulder. His tiny wings flick in the wind as he wildly throws his fists around, spazzing out in time to the music. Dave is sitting perfectly still, but there’s the tiniest hint of a smirk on his lips. You know that your bro is insanely happy right now.
A little later, you’re at your destination. It’s a small house high up on a hill in the suburbs of the city. A two-story two-car-garage masterpiece, the house sits alone amiss a field of weeds. The crescent moon is obscured by dark clouds overhead. Wind rustles ominously through overgrown and gnarled black tree branches. A black cat runs by.
This place couldn’t be more clichéd if it tried.
You’re about to turn off the Jeep when you feel Dave’s hand on your shoulder. “Dude, wait. Put on track 13. Turn it up.”
You unsnap your seatbelt and turn around to face him, arching an eyebrow up in question.
“Trust me,” he says in a way that you definitely don’t trust him.
But Jake does. He doesn’t hesitate to crank up the music in the middle of this suburban neighborhood at midnight. The light sound of phaser distortion slowly crescendos, and just before the beat drops, you hear Dave’s distorted voice say, “Who you gonna call?” You finally crack a smirk. Dave’s mixed it up, but you know this song.
The Ghostbuster’s theme song.
You bust in through the front door, kickin’ 80’s beats pumping from your Jeep at your back and a bright as hell flashlight in your hands. You’ve gotta admit, it feels a little badass. Like you’re starring in your own damn thriller movie.
As Dave’s remix permeates the house, you split up and run through each room wielding giant flashlights. Ghosts shriek and moan as you shine the ultra-bright UV lights on them, corralling all the specters into the kitchen.
Once there, John‘s ready for them. With a dollop of fairy dust and the right incantations, the specters lose their unearthly glow. He pulls out a mega-sized copy of the Holy Bible and smacks each ghost with it, screaming “PEACE BE WITH YOU!!!”
One by one, the ghosts vanish. As the last specter dissolves into the air, the song finishes.
Wordlessly, Dave holds up a fist. You bump him back.
* * *
Dirk ==> Challenge Jake to a round of Halo
Sure. Why the fuck not? You’re back early enough. You fire up the old Xbox 360, which only still works because you’ve modified it so many times, and toss a controller at Jake.
He fumbles it a bit, dropping the plastic fork he’d been using to shovel fried rice into his mouth from the Thai joint down the street. A few pieces of rice and corn get on your couch, but you don’t care. Watching Jake’s shocked and somewhat flustered expression is totally worth it.
You’ve found that Jake is amazing with any guy. Ahem. Gun. He prefers his pistols, but he kicks demonic butt with rocket launchers, sniper rifles, and shotguns. You don’t doubt that he has many more weapons up his sleeves. Someone with his experience shouldn’t have too much trouble picking up a first person shooter game.
Jake sucks at Halo.
He cries out in dismay as you beat him for the fifth time in a row. “Strider! This is completely unfair! Everyone takes far more damage than they should be able to, and this ‘needler’ is simply worthless!”
You smirk, murmuring, “maybe you just gotta pick up your game.”
Jake squares his jaw at you, looking at you with the most insanely adorably angry eyes ever. You never thought that someone so pissed off could be so freakin’ cute. “I have plenty of game, thank you very much!”
“Sure you do,” you agree.
Decades of living with Bro have made you strong. At least, it made you more aware of when someone was about to start a strife with you.
You’ve got just enough time to brace yourself as Jake throws aside his controller and tackles you to the floor. You land hard on the thin rug just barely covering your hardwood floors. Jake’s muscular frame knocks the wind out of you as he lands on top of you. This time, you were a little ready for him, and he doesn’t pin you immediately. You crash into the wooden table holding your food, and fried rice showers on top of you both.
Neither of you mind. You’re both grinning as he attempts to lock both your arms down into submission. You kick the table out of the way, earning you a few more specks of rice and an eggroll, and make enough room for yourself. In one fluid motion, you kick off the futon beside you and knock Jake off you.
He flips into the space where the table used to be, landing on the eggroll, smashing it into your threadbare rug. That’s gonna be a bitch to clean up later, but right now you couldn’t care less. As he struggles to right himself, you flashstep behind him, grabbing him from behind. You pin both his arms to his sides, leaving just his legs to contend with.
Jake has more fight in him than 100 angry pit-bulls. He kicks a bit before realizing that it’s useless. Changing up his tactic, he leans into you, and for a split second you’re extremely distracted. Jake’s body is pressed up next to yours, his fantastic ass next to your crotch. Thoughts of holding him like this for a very different reason drift through your head and damn do you want him. Being this close to him is doing things to you that it probably shouldn’t.
Especially not when you’re still in the middle of a strife. Jake suddenly rolls to the side, heaving you both into the legs of your futon. He breaks out of your hold and is suddenly atop you again. His left knee digs into your back, pressing your chest into the floor. His right shin is pressed firmly across your ass and thighs, holding them in place. His hands pin your wrists down beside you, and you know it’s all over.
“English: 2, Strider: 0,” Jake taunts. You can’t see him with your face smashed into the floor, but you would bet anything that he’s grinning like a fool. But you don’t care, because for the first time his bare hands are touching the exposed skin of your wrists. It’s finally enough skin-on-skin contact for you to do something you’ve wanted to do since day one.
For the first time, you decide to taste him.
Jake’s energy is bold. It’s full of a fearlessly powerful rich favor that makes you yearn for more. You thought that his energy would give you some clue about his nature, but it leaves you with more questions than answers. He doesn’t taste like anything you’ve ever encountered before. It confuses and perplexes you.
You want him more than ever.
“Laugh it up while you can,” you grunt as he gets off you. You’re kind of sad that he did. You were enjoying the feeling of his body crushed against yours, his energy rolling in waves across your skin.
“Looks like someone needs to pick up his game. Oh, and that someone isn’t me,” Jake says in a cocky way.
Your first instinct is to pin him to the ground, because you’re certain you could right now. He’s distracted and overly confident. With your speed, it wouldn’t be hard.
But you don’t trust what you might do after you pin him. Because you would love nothing more than to capture him with your body, feel the warmth of his skin against your own, taste not just his energy but his mouth, ever so slightly nudge his affections with a twinge of your hips, move a little lower and—
Yeah, you’re going to stop those thoughts right now.
So instead, you throw the Xbox controller back in his hands. He gives you a horrified look, his eyes widening and his mouth falling. You grin at him, on the verge of lightly chuckling at his expense. “Care to prove that?”
* * *
Dirk ==> Tinker
Tinkering is one of your favorite pastimes. Many sleepless nights (or days in your case) you’ve toiled over your prized robots in the room you use far more than your bedroom: your workroom.
What, did you think you brought your random make-outs back to your place? No no. You’re a little classier than that. Besides, you don’t want or need all that baggage following you around. Not that you’d let them remember you anyway.
Most nights, you’re perfectly happy to fully immerse yourself in your work and pump your music loud (through your headphones. You don’t want to piss off your neighbors too much.) Tonight, as you work tirelessly on crafting a robotic hand, things are a little different. Tonight, you have an audience.
Jake sits on a small wooden stool beside you as you hunch over your flat work-desk. His eyes are glued to your hands, absorbing every little detail as you work. Try as he might, he did not actually prove himself to be the Halo-master. That title is reserved for you. And sometimes Dave.
Instead of torturing your crush (because you’re not really into that, despite what people say about you and your brothers) you decide to show him your robotics workroom instead. After cleaning up the mess of Thai food left over on the floor from your strife, you introduce Jake to your own Dirk-Strider-Patented-Man-Cave. It’s a small room, but it’s all you need. Your work bench takes up the most room, and your computer sits on a desk beside it. An old tube T.V. lives in the corner. Most of the time, it collects dust, but sometimes you like the distraction while you work. The ground is littered with a maze of robotic parts that only you know how to navigate without stepping on something.
Jake instantly trips over the multitude of parts laying around on the floor and falls onto the small wooden stool beside your work table. He’s been contently sitting there for the past two hours.
And by contently, you mean his mouth has been working a mile a minute.
“Fascinating!” he exclaims for the hundredth time. “But I don’t see how any of this is going to work at all!”
“If I put this part over here,” you murmur, twisting together the frayed metallic ends of a couple wires. Instantly, the index finger of your robotic hand springs into motion, twitching up and down at a rhythmic speed.
“Bloody genius!” Jake exclaims, rocking in his seat with excitement.
You allow yourself a tiny grin. For some reason, seeing Jake this happy makes you feel just the tiniest bit of warmth in your undead heart. It’s a strange feeling, one that you haven’t had in a very long time. Or ever.
Better not think about it too much.
“Wanna see what this is for?” you ask, setting the hand down and sliding over to your computer. Though you’ve gone through many computers over the years, you’ve meticulously and carefully backed up and transferred one program every single time. A program that you would just feel guilty if you left behind.
As soon as you turn on the computer, AR springs to life. A computerized and diabolical version of your younger self, AR has quickly taken over every computer you put him into. He could ruin you if he wanted to. With his growing intelligence, you wouldn’t be surprised if he could ruin the whole world, but you know he wouldn’t do that. Because as much as you tease and chide him about it, you know that somehow, somewhere in his programming, AR does have a heart.
You’re not sure if it was there when you programmed him initially, or whether he discovered it on his own over time. But the fact that he does care is undeniable. It’s why you’ve made sure he doesn’t expire with each of your computers. It’s why you’ve decided to build a body for him.
As Jake comes into view, a small camera built into the top of the computer screen adjusts and focuses the lens. You know AR’s checking out Jake. Not that it’s anything unusual. AR can see everything you see through your sunglasses too. When you check someone out, AR checks him out. And you’ve got to admit, you’ve been admiring Jake’s fine plush rump a lot lately.
It’s not something you ever really think about. But seeing the computer lens actively focus on him brings the thought to your attention. You’re not really sure how you feel about that.
A new chat window opens itself up in the center of the screen, and bright orange text greets you.
timaeusTestified [TT] began pestering timaeusTestified [TT] at 5:12
TT: It’s been a while since you talked to me. If I had any feelings, I’d be sad right now. Who’s that? Is that Jake English?
The mic can pick up anything you say, relating it to AR, so you don’t bother typing back. Instead you say, “admit it, you missed me. And yeah, that’s English. How’d you know his name?”
TT: It wasn’t hard to figure out. I spent the last few hours analyzing all the speech patterns every person you encounter says the most frequently and compiled it all into one fucking incredibly massive database. You couldn’t possibly hope to comprehend all the knowledge I synthesized in just the last half hour.
You’re not sure where he got it from, but AR is cocky as hell. Oh who are you kidding, you know exactly where that came from. But AR also loves to beat around the bush. Maybe it’s a bad habit he picked up from Jane? You’re not even sure how much they talk to each other anymore. It takes you a moment to realize what he’s talking about. When you remember that AR can see what you see through your sunglasses, it all makes sense. “You learned how to read lips?”
TT: Hell fucking yeah. Don’t know why I didn’t put the effort into doing that sooner. I guess learning every single language was a nice distraction for a couple days. Figuring out the meaning of your so-called “life” was a fun one too.
You’re about to respond to him when suddenly Jake scrambles around, catching your attention. He sits down at the computer chair and marvels at the screen. “Oh! I remember this old program. Pesterchum, was it? I think I still have log-in identification.”
You don’t question why Jake has a Pesterchum handle. Or why he calls it log-in identification. You just watch in mortification as Jake logs in and proceeds to type back to AR in green text.
golgothasTerror [GT] began pestering timaeusTestified [TT] at 5:15
GT: Why hello there old chap! Might i ask your name?
The look that passes over Jake’s face is at first surprised. Then it morphs into a somewhat mortified suspicion as he glances at you and asks, “you?”
Slowly you shake your head. “He was me back when I programmed him a long time ago, but he’s grown into his own person since then.”
“His own person—” Jake trails off for a few moments before his eyes snap up in shock. “Why, is he a computerized program? Of you?”
“Sure is,” you nod, feeling a strange mixture of pride and embarrassment at once. “Most people call him AR.”
“Most people?” Jake questions.
“There’s a few of us,” you murmur back, not wanting to get into the details. The one who talked the most to AR in the past was easily Roxy. Since her death, AR has been oddly silent. Not once has he bothered you with his orange text across your sunglasses. You hate to admit it, but it kind of feels weird without him constantly pestering you.
“Fascinating,” Jake breathes, looking back at the screen.
It may have been your imagination, but did your computer screen just flicker? You glance at AR’s chat window, but the cursor is still blinking after his name. He hasn’t typed anything since. Curious.
TT: So English, I hear you like My Little Pony.
GT: Do i! Its simply BRILLIANT!
You watch in mild amusement as Jake talks to the computerized version of yourself for a solid ten minutes about the beauty of My Little Pony. Over time, AR’s tastes have probably diverged from your own. Statistically speaking, it’s an inevitability, and truly you don’t mind. It’d be kind of creepy knowing that there’s an identical computerized version of yourself out there, even though you’re the douchebag that created it. So really, you don’t want him to be the same.
But a small part of you is very pleased that AR still shares your love for the ponies.
Satisfied that AR isn’t going to fuck anything up for you, you let the two keep talking. You sit back at your work bench, pop in your ear buds, and return to your robotics in peace.
Hours later, you take out your ear buds and look over to find one of the most adorable sights you’ve seen in a while.
Jake is asleep at your computer. He’s laying on his left arm, his pointer finger pressed down firmly on the letter “G.” His mouth is slightly agape, his front teeth peeking out from his lips. A small line of drool is running down his arm.
Carefully, silently, you walk over to where he’s sleeping and look at the computer screen.
TT: Hey. Dude. Where’d you go?
TT: English. Hey. I see you sleeping over there. Wake up.
TT: No, don’t do this. Stop. It’s really not cool. Falling asleep on me is the opposite of cool.
Gently, you pry Jake’s finger off the keyboard. For a moment, you debate what to do next. A soft little blipping sound draws your attention back to the computer screen where AR has left a message for you.
TT: Dude, just carry him back to his bed. You know you want to.
You do. You really do. So without a second thought, you carefully collect Jake in your arms. He softly murmurs something about pumpkins but otherwise doesn’t stir.
Carefully, quietly, you carry him back to his room. Toeing open the door, you gently lay him down on the green bedspread he bought a couple days ago. You pull out of the closet a darling orange blanket embroidered with a baseball cap design. Kanaya gave it to you years ago for a Secret Santa gift.
She was too nice. That year, you gave Karkat a jar of mayo and watched him wig out about it for no less than fifteen minutes. You smile at the memory and lightly lay the blanket atop Jake.
Your faces are so close that it really wouldn’t be hard to lean in and kiss him now. He didn’t wake up when you moved him. What are the chances that he’d wake up now?
Slowly, you lean in.
Your noses are almost touching when you pull away. Nope, this isn’t right. You’re not going to be that creep.
Instead, you settle for ruffling his hair a bit and murmuring, “Goodnight Jake.”
He sighs something about biscuits, making you smile as you close the door behind you.
* * *
Hey everyone! Hope that you liked this chapter. It’s set up for things to come, so it might not have been too exciting. Promise that things will pick up soon!
Fun fact, Jake and Dirk’s chumhandles are beautiful on my computer, but I have no idea how to translate that color onto Tumblr. Sorry!