Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13
Chapter 14: Dave Strider
Your boyfriend is gone.
For half a second, you think about how your heart may never be whole again.
But then the half second passes, and you realize that you have a terrifying world-eating monster on your hands.
Lord English is every bit as frightening in real life as he was in those horror stories Bro used to scare you with when you were little. And by scare, you definitely don’t mean he scared you or anything. Nope. You didn’t hide in your bed until Bro came to get you later or anything. Not you.
The demonic being is repulsive, both in appearance and aura, and everything about him screams for you to run away.
But you can’t do that. You can’t ignore Jake’s last words, pretend they didn’t exist. He did this so that you could survive.
Jake died for you.
Well, you suppose he technically isn’t dead quite yet. There’s still something you have to do first.
You swallow as you clench the gleaming firearm that your boyfriend gave you. It looks like it should be holy, but it isn’t hurting you at all to touch it. You aren’t really sure what’s going on with it, but you trust Jake.
One shot, through the heart. That’s all it will take.
The haunting memory of Jake’s words comes back to you, and your grip on the gun tightens. You remember Jake’s instructions. Follow Lord English to safety, then kill him. Simple.
Except that it isn’t simple. Not at all.
Lord English glares at you with those fucking creepy eyes, flashing every color of the rainbow at seizure-inducing speed. The monster opens its maw, and a loud roar that you somehow can only equate with a honk comes out. Then, he turns away from you, and with razor sharp claws, he swipes the air in front of him.
It tears a hole in the fabric of space and time itself. You don’t know where it leads, but you know it’s your ticket out of here.
Without giving you so much as a glance, Lord English steps through the tear.
Immediately, you see the rip beginning to heal, to close. Quickly, you flash-step through, barreling headfirst into the unknown.
Like when Jake put you in his Sylladex, you feel yourself being pulled from your core, warped and squished like an accordion and then pulled out like taffy. Colors flash around you. Darkness surrounds you. You feel euphoric bliss. You’re so nauseous you want to retch.
You don’t know how long you’re spinning and spinning as you stand perfectly still.
And then suddenly you land on solid ground. You’re wobbly after your trip, but you manage to stay on your feet, on the lookout for the monster that brought you here.
It isn’t hard to find him. Lord English is right in front of you. He keeps looking at you, with those unnerving eyes. Instinctively, you bring Jake’s gun up in front of you, cocking the hammer and placing your index finger on the trigger.
You aim for Lord English’s heart.
You aim for Jake’s heart.
You take a breath as time slows down around you.
Lord English reaches for you, his claw sluggishly coming your way.
If you kill him, you’ll stop the tyranny of the most dangerous demon in existence. Somehow you know that you will save the lives of thousands.
It’s so simple. Jake made it so easy for you. Just point and shoot.
Except that it isn’t easy at all.
If you kill Lord English, you kill Jake.
Your heart will never be whole again.
It’s selfish as fuck, but…
You can’t do it.
You can’t kill Jake.
And suddenly, he’s reached you. Lord English grabs the gun and swipes it from your hands, pinching it between his claws and pulverizing it into bits. He grins a malevolent and wicked grin.
Oh fuck. What were you thinking? That he wouldn’t destroy the very gun that could kill him?
Lord English drops the broken shards on the ground, then fixes his horrendous stare back at you. You hesitate the half a second that it takes for him to grab you by the neck with his giant claws.
And then you hear it. An awful, grating sound akin to nails on a chalkboard in your head.
DIRK STRIDER. BECAUSE OF YOU. HE LET ME FREE. WATCH YOUR WORLD BURN.
For a moment, you stare into the demon’s eyes, watching the colors quickly shift from one to the next. You wonder if Jake is still in there somewhere. If he can see you. If he’s disappointed that you didn’t kill him.
But, you don’t have long to wonder these thoughts. A second later, the monster swings his head forward, cracking his forehead into your skull.
* * *
Dirk ==> Wake up
You have been knocked out enough times in the past month that this is starting to become a habit. A habit that you would rather break.
When you come to, Lord English is nowhere in sight. At least, you don’t think he is. But you’re not exactly thinking about him right now. You’re a little distracted by the sharp sword being pressed against your neck.
A sword that Dave is holding. He’s on top of you, pinning you to the dirt. You can’t move any of your limbs. Damn it, you’re really getting tired of this.
You guess you should have been prepared for that, but usually he isn’t the one to start your Strifes. Nor do you usually start strifes when one of you is unconscious. You’re about to say that, when you notice that Dave isn’t smiling at all. He’s not even smirking his typical little smug grin when he (rarely) gets the upper hand on you.
Dave looks pissed off. By some rare fluke, he isn’t wearing his sunglasses, so you can fully see the cold menacing look in his red eyes. There’s a snarl on his lips, and when he speaks, his voice is a dangerous growl, “who the fuck are you, and why do you smell like my son?”
Before you can answer, he’s lifted you up and pushed you back down onto the hard earth below, jarring your shades slightly crooked on your face. You stare at him incredulously and manage to choke out, “Dave? When did you have a kid???”
“How do you—,” Dave begins to murmur but pauses. He looks surprised for a second, but his expression quickly melts back into a hardened scowl. Dave presses the sharp end of his katana further against your neck, lifting it up to your mandible. “You had better think hard about your next answer. Because it might be your last.”
Holy fuck, you’ve never been so frightened of Dave in your life.
Once again, you find yourself at a loss for words and time, but you’ve got to force yourself to think. If you die now, then there’s no way you’ll be able to save Jake. You have no idea how you’re going to do that, but you are certain it will be impossible if you don’t survive.
First thing is first. Who is this guy? Because even though he looks like the spitting image of your younger brother, and he seems to have his name, he doesn’t know you.
Either Dave lost his memory at some point, or this guy isn’t your little bro. And you’ve tormented Dave with your smuppets enough to know that he could never ever forget you.
Clearly, this isn’t the present day. And you highly doubt it is the future. But if this isn’t the future, then where did Lord English bring you?
You take a breath, and you smell the earth around you. The smell of wood-burnt fires. Horse manure. Pesticide free grass and the crisp scent of leaves in the winter air.
No automobile exhaust. No factories.
It hits you suddenly.
You’re in the past.
And you were so hung up on this guy being Dave that you neglected to notice that there are subtle differences between the two of them. His hair is a tad paler, and it fans slightly in the back in a way you know Dave would work for hours in front of the bathroom mirror to avoid. The color of his eyes is even more vibrant than your brother’s. The deep color reminds you of the time you found Dave half-dead in that Derse cell. Though his eyes are similar, the deep set lines beneath them are telling. This Dave is stronger, older, and exudes more confidence than the one you know.
This Dave is not your brother. In fact, now that you are thinking about it, you’ve seen him before. You don’t know how you missed it.
Damara has conjured his soul in an attempt to torment you twice now.
This man is your father.
Dave’s eyes widen, and his grip on his blade falters. But quickly he regains his composure and keeps the blade against your neck. “I am waiting. Do not lie. I will know if you are lying.”
“I’m from the future,” you murmur. “I swear I haven’t done anything to your son. Nor do I intend to. I only mean to destroy the monster, Lord English.”
His eyes narrow at you for a moment. Then, he releases you and stands, waiting for you to get to your feet. “Then you have a lot of work to do, kid,” he murmurs.
As you get to your feet, you finally notice your surroundings. You were so distracted by Lord English that you haven’t even had a chance to properly mourn Jake, let alone really take a look around.
You are standing on the grassy field before a village. Or at least, what used to be a village. That burnt wood you smelled earlier? That would be the village.
It’s in pieces. Chunks of homes are strewn all across the field. What looks like it was once a stone chimney is shattered not ten feet away from you. Noticing the debris by your feet, you see the sharp shimmering pieces of the gun that Jake gave you. You wince slightly, realizing that you weren’t strong enough to do it.
You didn’t have the heart to kill Jake.
Carefully, you gather all of the pieces together and shove them in your pocket.
When you finish, Dave finally offers you his hand and says, “Dave Strider. Though you already seem to know my name.”
“You look like someone I know,” you respond, taking and shaking his hand. “Dirk Strider.”
It takes him a moment to release your grip. It’s all you need to read him. From your bare fingertips touching his, you taste his energy and somehow, you know that you were right.
This isn’t your brother.
This is absolutely your father.
His energy is more powerful, more chaotic than your brother’s. His soul is a darker color, that of a true incubus. He tastes like regret, passion, and despair. Well, now you know where you got those delightful traits from.
From time to time, you wonder what it would have been like growing up in a “normal” household. As normal as it could be with an incubus for a father. You don’t remember too much of your childhood, but you do remember Bro. Always there for you. Always a silent sentinel if you ever needed help. Or an asskicking.
Bro provided for you and Dave. He must have done a decent job, because you’re both still around today. At least, you hope that you both are.
It’s been a while since the attack at Haven, but you still wonder about Bro and Dave. You hope that they are alive. You hope that Bro was able to fight off the Midnight Crew and whoever else might have attacked. You hope that for once Dave thought with his dick and stayed the night at the fairy land with John.
You wonder what this man thinks about you, if he knows that you are his son. Like you and your bros, he has the characteristic practiced Strider mask. And though you haven’t known him long, the slight shift in his expression is telling. It seems like he has come to some conclusions about you as well. You wonder if he is going to say anything about it, but as he takes his hand back, he only says, “you have come a long way. I wish there was time to chat, but as you can see, we are in the middle of a war.”
“Who’s winning?” you ask.
“The monster is,” he responds lowly. “The one you call Lord English. You are the only survivor in this town. That makes me very suspicious. Why did he let you live?”
Jake. Is there still a part of him in the monster somewhere? Did he—?
You swallow as a heavy lump forms in your throat. No. No no. You can’t let yourself think about that just yet. “He wants me to watch the world burn,” you respond quietly, thinking of Lord English’s words.
“How kind of him,” Dave says dryly and begins to walk away from the village. “Though Lord English seems to have a soft spot for you, it is not safe here. There are other dangers. Come with me.”
Dave leads you off the beaten path and into a wooded area. You wonder what other dangers he is referring to. You’re about to ask when he answers your unspoken question.
“Did you forget that there is a war? It is not safe to discuss this here. We have a long way to go. How fast can you run?” Dave asks.
Your think of all the flash-stepping training Bro gave you in the past. “Pretty fast.”
Dave smirks. “See if you can keep up.”
* * *
Dirk ==> Try to keep up
Holy shit if your father isn’t the fastest incubus you’ve ever seen. He’s even faster than Bro. It takes all of your flash-stepping skills to mildly keep up with him. As you run, he often stops and waits for you to catch up, but he never waits long. You’re thankful for the abundant energy that Jake gave you, because without it you wouldn’t hold a candle to keeping up with this guy.
A few hours later, you finally arrive at the outskirts of a small village. This one hasn’t been touched by Lord English yet. The sun has just dipped below the horizon, and the tiny flickers of candlelight illuminate the windows of the village’s wooden homes.
Dave leads you to a secluded home in a glen a short distance away from the village. Unlike the other homes, this one is crafted largely of stone. It seems a bit larger than the other homes as well, with an odd double chimney design.
He knocks on the door with a peculiar rhythm before opening it and walking in.
Inside, you are immediately hit with a strange sense of nostalgia. The warmth of the cabin, the cedar scent of the support beams overhead, the smell of the cast iron pot bubbling with stew on the hearth.
You can’t find any other name for this place than home.
“Daddy!” A small, high pitched voice exclaims from somewhere beneath you. You feel a rush of wind by your ankles as something tiny quickly runs past you.
“Hey there, lil’ man!” Dave chuckles. When you turn to face him, you can’t hold back the gasp.
The little boy in Dave’s arms, that is happily climbing up on to his shoulders, is not even three feet tall. Despite the lack of styling products in his hair, the shock of spiky platinum blonde hair is distinctively your just-rolled-out-of-bed style. He has your tangerine eyes, and he smiles with a toothy grin that you have long since abandoned.
Dave smiles and asks, “were you a good boy today?”
“The best!” the child responds, throwing both his hands into the air happily. He finally fixes you with his large curious eyes, points a finger at you, and asks, “who is that?”
“He works with me,” Dave responds simply, strolling across the room. “Now I think it is someone’s bedtime.”
The little you cranes his neck furiously to keep looking at you, even as Dave walks into the next room. “Daddy, he looks funny! What is he wearing? Daddy no! No bed! Not tired!”
Despite his protests, Dave shuts the door behind him. You can only assume that the younger version of you has been put to bed, like it or not.
Suddenly, you feel something sharp being pressed against your back. Instinctively, you tense.
“Who are you?”
The voice is female, rich in tone, and it flows off her tongue like honey. Though her words are innocent, the intention behind them is clear. Again, you recognize this voice. Across the span of centuries, you know without a doubt who is threatening you.
“My name is Dirk,” you murmur quietly, standing still so as not to alarm her.
The sharp thing is pressed even harder into your back. “By what form of sorcery do you look like my son? Dave may trust you, but I do not. I shall ask again, who are you?”
You’re really getting sick of people not believing you. Especially when they’re your own parents. You take a deep breath and quietly sigh, “I assure you, this is not sorcery. I look like him because I am him. I have followed the demon, Lord English, from the future; I am here to destroy him.”
For a moment, you sense her hesitation. Finally, she relinquishes, and you feel whatever was poking you leave your back. Slowly, you turn around.
Soft blonde hair curls into a short bob by her neck. The golden strands are held back by a dark handkerchief folded into a band shape across the top of her head. Her eyes are lavender and piercing. In her hand is a wicked looking wand, which you assume she was pointing at you. Somehow you know that the wand isn’t just for show.
It’s your mother. Rose.
Your very human mother.
And she’s extremely pregnant.
You’re struck for a moment about how similar she looks to the Rose you know in the present day. The Rose that is good friends with your little bro. The Rose who is dating Kanaya at Haven. You have no idea who Rose’s parents are, but with the similarity in looks, you wonder if reincarnation is actually a thing.
Though Damara has tried to torment you with this woman’s ghost time and again, it never did anything to you. But now, as she stands before you in the flesh, you’re suddenly struck by the same nostalgia that you felt when you entered this home.
You’ve never been one to run crying to anyone. When things got tough, Bro always taught you to suck it up and deal with it. Life wasn’t going to hand out lollipops for being a crybaby, but if you actually worked hard to solve your problems, then maybe something might happen.
Bro was a firm believer in tough love. You’re kind of glad that he was, because you actually learned to stand on your own two feet and do things for yourself.
But something about standing here, in front of this woman, makes you want to run into her arms and cry.
Jake’s gone Jake’s gone Jake’s gone…
The thought plays through your head. A broken repeating loop in time. With a heavy heart, you push it away. You’ll think about Jake later. You’ll get him back, you WILL. But for now, you have other matters to attend to.
Your mother assesses you critically, her shrewd eyes taking you in from head to toe and back up again. For a few moments, she says nothing. Then, she softly murmurs, “you are here to kill the monster? And how do you suppose you will do that?”
“I’m not sure,” you answer honestly, pulling out a piece of the broken gun that Jake gave you. “I had this, but he destroyed it.”
Rose glances at the fragment sharply, then she looks back at you and says, “what makes you think you will be able to kill him this time?”
She says it in a way that tells you she knows you failed before. You aren’t sure how she figured it out, but somehow she did. You shove the fragment back in your pocket almost shamefully, and your brows furrow slightly. “I—”
But before you can answer the question, she’s closed the distance between you. Carefully, she reaches up and removes your shades. You let her. She places a worn hand on your cheek. Her palms are rough, and they are telling of the hard labor she’s done over the years. “Dirk, you really are my boy.”
You don’t answer her. What are you supposed to say to that?
“What happened that made you so sad?” She asks, searching your eyes carefully.
But before you can answer that question, Dave reemerges from the bedroom, gently shutting the door behind him. Rose glances coyly at him. Her hands leave your face and instead she holds out her arms to Dave. “My, he fell asleep very quickly. It is almost like you influenced him to sleep.”
“Darling, you seem just as talented. Why, it is almost as if you put a spell on him every night,” Dave grins, stepping carefully into Rose’s awaiting embrace.
When you look at the two of them, their smirks look like two halves of the same smile. It’s not hard to imagine how they could be happy together.
Your parents. What a weird thought.
You wonder how often Bro used the same sleeping trick when you were little.
Thinking of Bro, you wonder where he is. You glance around the home, but you don’t see any signs of him. Huh. You suppose he was always a loner. He’s probably out doing whatever the hell he did back in this time.
“So, it seems you have had a chance to speak to our visitor,” Dave says. He looks at you, and suddenly he is all business.
“Yes,” Rose replies, handing your shades back to you. “Dirk seems to have quite a bit on his mind.”
“He really should not,” Dave responds quickly. “There should only be one thing on his mind. Lord English. And how to take him down.”
Rose gives him a glare, but Dave doesn’t seem to react to it. “Dirk is a very important person, and I am certain he would not mind a little sympathy.”
“Really? Because he just looks like another incubus to me,” he responds expressionlessly.
Rose’s lips twist into a frown. “Words. You and I are having them later.”
“Later is a swell time to have them,” Dave agrees then quickly transitions the topic. “How is the baby?”
“He is doing fine,” she replies, gently resting a hand atop her pregnant belly. “Any day now.”
“I wish I did not have to leave,” Dave says quietly. “I want to be here when he is born.”
“I know, but you have to go. For the sake of everyone,” Rose responds softly.
For the sake of everyone. You know how heavy that phrase can be. Your mind immediately flies to Eridan, the friend you’ve had to kill a few times already. To Bro, who made sacrifices you’re certain you’ll never know so that you and Dave could live. To Jake, who you just may have to kill for the sake of the world.
You really don’t want to think about that, but you know it’s a possibility. If you can’t figure out any other way to stop Lord English, your boyfriend will have to die.
Dave glances at you and sighs. “I fucking knew it,” he mutters under his breath, brushing past you on his way to the other bedroom.
“Geez, attitude much?” you ask, rolling your eyes before you remember that he can see that without your shades on.
He turns to glare at you sharply. “You had better figure out exactly where you stand. Soon. When we face Lord English again, there will not be time for you to think about whether or not you can kill your boyfriend.”
Oh shit. Your dad can read minds too, can’t he?
“Unfortunately, yes,” he spits back. “Your mind is such a disgraceful mess that I feel repugnant just hearing your thoughts.”
Dave disappears into the bedroom and closes the door, leaving you alone with Rose.
Her arms come around you softly, tenderly, before you realize what she is doing. Despite the era, she smells clean, like soap and lavender. Her arms are warm around you, and she pulls you as close to her body as the baby growing within her will allow. “Please do not mind him.”
“I guess being a douchebag runs in the family,” you mutter.
Rose doesn’t seem to understand your colorful phrase, but she catches your drift. With a knowing chuckle, she responds, “he has his peculiarities. We all do.”
She gently tugs at your waist, guiding you to sit on a rug by the hearth. You sit comfortably beside her, watching the wood-burning fire crackle and send dark tendrils of smoke up the chimney. The rug is made of durable yet soft cotton, clearly crafted with care. There are lilac and deep blue hues that clue you in to your mother’s handiwork.
“Did I hear that you have a boyfriend?” she asks gently, pulling you from your observations.
“Had. He kind of turned into Lord English,” you murmur, not taking your eyes from the fire. You don’t want to look at your mother right now. You never thought you would have to give your parents the “hey, I’m gay!” speech. Bro made it clear that he didn’t give a shit. Quite the opposite. When you were old enough, and he didn’t feel like feeding you every day anymore, he threw Rufioh at you to teach you the ins and outs of lovemaking.
“Oh. Well that is quite the dilemma,” Rose responds carefully. “What is his name?”
“Jake,” you breathe his name, a little embarrassed to find your lips quivering when you say it. Damn it, why is this shaking you up so badly?
“Do you love him?” she asks gently.
“More than anything,” you whisper. You chuckle softly, bitterly. “I’ve lived for centuries, but I knew him less than a year. Logically, it should be impossible to fall for someone so quickly. But I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. Jake is—he’s different.”
Rose doesn’t say anything. She just lets you continue.
“I had the gun in my hands. I could have killed him. I could have stopped all the destruction it sounds like he’s already done, but—but I,” your voice falters and you finally turn to face her. Your mother. The one who should have all the answers. “I can’t kill him. I just can’t do it.”
But Rose doesn’t have any sagely advice. Instead, her arms come around you again.
And you know what? That’s more than enough.
You let yourself lean into her embrace and slowly relax in the warmth of your mother’s body. Logically, it makes no sense. You barely know this woman, so how could you possibly find comfort from her?
But she’s mom. And something within you instinctively knows that. You were once that little boy that you saw run into Dave’s arms. You loved her, and you know that she’ll make it better somehow. She’ll make it better.
“You will figure it out, my dear. I believe in you,” she whispers.
“How do you know?” you ask, staring again at the fire. The depths of the flames are so bright that you feel like they’ll consume you. You kind of want to jump in. To not have to think about this entire mess at all.
“You are from the future, correct?” she asks. When you give an affirmative hum, she continues. “The world still exists, does it not?”
“Yeah. It’s not perfect, but it exists,” you answer quietly.
“Then that means that you will do something right,” your mother responds softly.
You’re starting to understand now why Bro was so affected by your mother’s ghost. You love her, and now, somewhere deep in your soul, you remember loving her. A twinge of remorse hits you as you remember more of the past.
There was a reason Bro raised you. Not your parents.
You aren’t sure where to begin, but you start with the phrase, “in the future—”
Rose quickly interjects, “I do not know what the future holds, and I do not want to know. It will not change anything that I will do. It is enough for me to know that you and your brother are safe.”
You think about Dave, and nod your head. “Yeah, he’s safe.”
She’s silent for a couple moments before she amends, “and—is he happy?”
“Yes. He has a pixie boyfriend named John. They have their issues, but they love each other more than anything,” you murmur.
“That is wonderful.” You can feel Rose’s warm happiness when she hears your words.
You’re about to continue and tell her about Bro. Even though you don’t think he’s been as good to himself as he should be, Rose would probably like to know about her eldest son. But the words catch in your throat as you feel Rose slowly easing herself away from you.
Gently she sighs, “regretfully, I am exhausted after dealing with the younger you today. And carrying an incubus in my womb is not without its challenges. He kicks like the dickens. I must retire for the evening.”
“Ok, I’ll just sleep on the—” you look around for a couch before you realize that there isn’t one. Damn, you didn’t think there was a time before couches.
Rose understands and says, “there is a guest bedroom next to the baby room. You may use that.”
“Thank you,” you respond softly, standing and holding out your hand to help Rose up.
She takes it gratefully and you pull her to her feet. “Dirk, I want you to know something. I realize I may not have been around for the majority of your life. I am human, after all. But I want you to know that I am so very proud of you. I am proud of the man you have become.”
It hits you in the chest. Your heart is instantly aglow with a simultaneously warm and remorseful fire. “Thanks mom,” you murmur again.
“You are welcome, sweetie,” she says with a tired smile. “Good night.”
* * *
Dirk ==> Sleep
You try to, but the beds are a lot harder and lumpier than you remember them being back in this era. Also, now that you have no other distractions, your mind is finally free to think about what you had been avoiding all day.
You grit your teeth and swallow back a growl. How could you have been so stupid? How could you have let him do that to himself?
You wrap your arms around yourself, wishing that it was Jake beside you, as he has been every night for the past few months. You miss the warmth of his body, the flavor of his soul when his skin brushes against yours.
You bite back a whimper and pull the sheets to you tighter. He told you what he was. He finally told you his secret. Right before he decided to leave you forever.
No, not forever. You won’t let yourself believe that. You will find a way to get him back. You WILL. And what Rose said really does make sense. The future is bleak, but it still exists. Lord English hasn’t destroyed everything, which means that somehow you stop him.
But what if you stop him by killing Jake?
You cringe into the mattress, pulling your body into a tight ball. No. No no no no no. You could never. You could never. You could NEVER—
The voice catches you by surprise. You sit up in bed suddenly. It takes you a moment to recognize the silhouette of your father as he stands by the door. How did he open it so stealthily?
“Your thoughts are so loud and frantic that they are practically screaming in my ear from all the way across the house. Congratulations. Nobody has ever done that before,” he mutters, taking a seat at the foot of the bed. “I take it you cannot sleep?”
“No,” you reply quietly. It’s not like this is exactly an unusual occurrence. You’ve spent many sleepless nights working on your robots before, but here in the past you don’t have any robots to take your mind off things. You have nowhere to turn but to the inner turmoil of your soul.
Dave sighs and mutters under his breath, “Rose you were supposed to calm him down.” He faces you and sighs, “I joked about it earlier, but she has been using less spells on you lately. Something about not wanting it to stunt your growth.”
You actually smirk a bit at this and ask, “so I take it you believe me? That I’m from the future?”
“Thoughts like yours do not lie,” he agrees. Then he reluctantly says, “tell me about Jake. Wait, no. Your thoughts already shouted everything I need to know.”
“Are you just trying to get me to talk about my problems?” You ask. “I don’t need a therapist.”
“I disagree. But believe me, I am not qualified,” Dave responds, but he doesn’t deny it. “No, I know. Tell me about the future.”
You arch an eyebrow at him. “You really want to know?”
“Maybe Rose would like to be left in the dark, but if something is coming, I want to know about it. Maybe I can do something about it. And if I cannot, then you better believe I am going to make the most of the time I have left,” he reasons in a way that sounds slightly reminiscent of Bro.
You actually smile for a moment before you register exactly what he is asking of you. Then, your expression slowly turns somber. Where do you even begin? “I can’t promise I know all the details. As you can see, I’m what… three right now?” You ask, gesturing toward the other room.
Dave nods. “Almost. Your birthday is coming up.”
“So I don’t really remember much, but I recall that this war was really—scary. You don’t live. Neither does mom,” you murmur softly. “I don’t remember why.”
Dave’s expression hardens. His brows furrow and his lips draw into a hard line. “Are you certain?”
“We never had a funeral service or anything. You know holy doesn’t mix well with our skin,” you murmur. “But I know that you aren’t alive in the future.”
“Who is we?” he asks, leaning in a bit closer to you, eyeing you carefully.
“Me. Dave. Bro,” you list.
Suddenly, your father sits back, a little floored. “Dave? She names the baby Dave??? Why would she—”
“Was I not supposed to say that?” you ask, finding his expression a little humorous.
“No, I just, ugh well whatever. I told her it was her choice this time,” Dave sighs. “She was not exactly keen on me picking Dirk. I guess Dave is fine.”
“You chose—?” You begin.
“I chose,” he finishes quickly.
You both sit in silence for a few moments. What do you say to him? You had so many questions you wanted to ask him when you were younger. But over time, those slowly went away. You grew into your own, and eventually, you decided that you didn’t need all of those answers anymore.
Dave looks at you sadly, and you remember for the billionth time that he can read minds. Shit. But he doesn’t seem upset. Instead, he simply asks, “do you usually have trouble sleeping?”
“Yeah,” you agree reluctantly. “It got better once Jake came around, but now—”
“I understand. Lay down,” he says. Lightly, he presses on your shoulder, urging you to lie down. You’re really not sure where he’s going with this, but you do rest back on the uncomfortable mattress.
When he catches you with his wine red gaze, you suddenly feel completely at ease. You don’t have anything to worry about at all. You can trust him.
“That is right,” Dave agrees with a soft smile. “Sleep, Dirk.”
A few moments later, you’re lulled blissfully into slumber.
* * *
Finals kept me from updating on Update Thursday this time, but I wanted to get this chapter out this week! So I guess we can have a temporary “Update Saturday.” ;)
Also, it was really weird writing Dave and Rose. So weird. All the weirds. But I promise that there is a point to it all!
As always, thanks for reading!