parodeity: pretermit @ tumblr (SUIT UP 🎧 let's go)
the dave of guy (just some dude) ([personal profile] parodeity) wrote in [community profile] lucybox2017-03-04 08:19 pm

don't let me do expositiony set up

[ dave strider's personal life has always been shrouded in mystery. this is largely because of how the man himself acts. he has a thousand and one backstories, all different, for any interview - when he bothers to answer a question even remotely straight. he'll give one answer in one interview and another in another and never confirms which was true, if either. a lot of the time he doesn't bother to answer questions normally, or even with anything related. few people seem to know him from a time before he made it big in film. he figures, eventually, that only two people really know anything approaching the real story. rose, because she knows shit without asking. dirk, because he asked, and dave knows he owes the kid so much he's never going to be able to give him, to make up for the end of the story that has always been on the horizon. when dirk asks, dave answers - when he can.

he raised himself, pretty much. it wasn't a tragic story because dave never saw it that way, but he was alone and he felt somehow that this was preferable and important and it never bothered him. he drifted a lot, but dave always had a certain sense of where he was supposed to end up.

when they were eighteen, he met rose. she was still sober then. it was some college party he doesn't remember well, years later. he rarely went to them, but that party - that party he'd been drawn to. he'd been drawn to her, and they'd spoken, and she'd told him at some point in the conversation that she was glad she liked the man she was going to die with. she hadn't meant it romantically, and dave had known that. he'd felt the cosmic click on seeing her, and she'd immediately felt more real than most people ever did, but it hadn't been like that, whatever the tabloids speculated about dave strider and rose lalonde for the rest of their lives.

she'd told him later, sitting outside on the patio of the house they'd been at, her knee pressed to his as he cradled a water (he didn't drink, much), that the world was going to end and he'd found himself saying "i know". sometimes they'd spoken in details, sometimes they hadn't. rose always knew too much, and dave found that he had instincts and feelings he couldn't explain. they'd always been there, but rose made him pay attention.

he didn't tell dirk those parts - the parts about the world ending, or the plans made. the kids were never going to have ordinary childhoods but he felt they should have something, something happy and as free of worry as it could be, because holy shit was the weight of the universe going to crash down later. and rose didn't even know all the specifics - but what she did know was enough to know that life was so, so unfair.

rose didn't exactly warn him about the kids. they were twenty. dave was where he was supposed to be because he felt like he should be. houston, texas, and suddenly he had a kid and he'd called her up and said "a little warning would've been nice" and she'd said "did you really need it?" and that was that. sometimes she'd send him snaps of roxy. she was drinking by then and he missed the sober girl who'd spoken of their inevitable demise. she still talked about that, when they weren't speaking about the kids or their cause (for the kids, for the world, it amounted to the same thing). sometimes she was sober but more often she was drunk and when he'd asked why she'd started (the visions were shit but she'd had them always, so why now, with a kid) she asked why he kept dirk's creepy fucking puppet around. he'd told her once he was getting rid of it.

so yeah, he knows why she started: she had to. whenever he thought about it, it felt right beyond the way it immediately felt wrong - the right more bone deep despite how much he hated it. the same way he couldn't bring himself to get rid of cal. he'd wanted to (learned to hide his reactions to the thing by the time dirk was one) but it had to exist. it was how the story went. it wasn't worth thinking about. it was the same weird sense that had him nick dirk's aviators when the kid was thirteen, and replace them with the weird anime shades that sent a shiver of i knew you down his spine. a birthday present, he'd said, and they maybe were, but it was making sure things didn't go wrong, too. somehow.

but the story of dave strider people knew - right. that's where we were. as far as most people knew dave just kind of appeared in his twenties when he started up the sbahj shit. by the time dirk was talking dave was famous, and rose was, too. it was a way to get out the things they had to say, and it was a living to fund the shit dirk and roxy would need, and it meant dave traveled a lot. not when dirk was really young, but more and more often as he got older, though he always came back. he rarely spoke about dirk in interviews because dirk wasn't anyone's business but his and no one needed to know anything about his brother. that's how he ended up playing it: brothers. rose had gone for mom but dave had been twenty and terrified and dad wasn't something he could handle, so, you know. brothers. he could do that. just about.

maybe it would have been smarter not to get attached when he'd known how the story would end, but it wasn't like rose did it any different. and it was dave. of course he did, immediately. he didn't really have friends other than rose - he'd always felt just a little out of place, less in an outsider kind of way and more in a displaced kind of way. it went away the rare times he and rose were in the same place in person, or chatting on the phone, or in texas in the apartment where dirk always was. there was no point in getting attached to anyone else when the world was on a timer and it was always in the back of dave's mind. he was friendly and charming to a point, but he was never real outside of interactions with a few people and this never bothered him.

the media only knew a few real things, when it came down to it. dave loved rose lalonde (but they never figured out how) and the two of them were thick as thieves; he had a weird thing for nic cage for a while that was never explained (dirk was told "someone i knew once liked him" and dave thought maybe it was true - dirk was the only person besides rose who knew about dave's quieter obsession with john egbert's works, and dave had no idea how to explain that; dad jokes were not his usual brand of humor); and his works made no goddamn sense.

dirk knew more. dave wasn't as cool as he made himself out to be without trying. he fucked up a few holiday dinners when dirk was younger until he got good at cooking (he'd never bothered really for himself, so he'd never had practice until dirk existed). he wasn't as pokerfaced as he was on camera. he'd freak out when dirk hurt himself ever and make wry sideways remarks and even laugh if he found something funny. he didn't really cry, but sometimes he'd get sad, too, although he'd rarely explain why. dave drank coffee but hated it and juice and loved it and he'd only occasionally drink alcohol but usually he didn't and when he did he'd say he missed rose (before) but that was so, so rare. he taught dirk to do everything he could think of and bought him everything he imagined the kid could need (dave had so much money, and what was the point of budgeting it when he knew the economy had an expiration date?) and tried to set rules and structure but also tried to make sure the kid would be okay if he was alone. like he would be, someday. he had to teach dirk to strife but he was kind about it, even though he didn't let dirk slack. it'd save dirk's life someday so he couldn't go easy on the kid, but dave would never push him so far it was dangerous. they took breaks. he was fair. it was the best he could do.

he answered the phone within a second whenever dirk called. it's why he picks up at thirty-six without missing a single beat. dave carries two cellphones: a work phone and a personal phone. exactly two people have his personal number, and there is nothing in the world that is more important than answering that phone; he drops everything for it, and the media knows it. so does his entire crew. so in the middle of a shoot, when dave's personal cell tone goes off, the crew stops automatically without him needing to call a break and he pulls the phone out and answers. ]

Yo. [ didn't check the screen, so not sure which of them it is, but - ]

It's time. [ rose. sober rose, for a wonder, and dave stares blankly behind his shades at the set. it's time? well. he's been annoyed as fuck all day (all week, all month) and the nagging feeling that went unnamed must have been that, he guesses. it's time? shit. there's still way too much to do. ]

Now? [ he's in california, he thought he'd at least be around for go time, but shit that was the problem with all the travel - ]

A week, perhaps. [ she's walking outside somewhere, and he wonders if she's calling from new york. did she go back to say goodbye? ]

Is there anythin' else we need to do? [ if she's calling - it's not like rose only calls when she has things they need to react to, but with how she opened this one? ]

Nothing beyond whatever you would like to do with the final week. [ she stops moving, he thinks, and dave isn't sure what rose is looking at, across the country. maybe her house? her daughter? her million cats? ] I thought this time I'd give you that warning.

Thanks. [ dave's not sure what else to say. not to rose, anyway. there's no point in heartfelt goodbyes when he's pretty sure they're slated to meet at least once more, for a final battle they won't survive. (or a million times more, because he's not sure how long they have between goodbye to the kids and goodbye to life) he'll save the words for then, and then he probably won't say them. they've spent eighteen years having the same conversation. there's never going to be a point in saying goodbye to the woman who said they were going to die together the first time they ever met. their entire friendship has been one long goodbye. ] Going home, I guess.

Be certain to be out of the house before it happens. [ a warning she's given him a thousand times, like dave doesn't know the score. but he lets her give it, because he's pretty sure she's warning herself, too. it'd suck to have put in sixteen years of effort and then trip at the finish line, dooming the kids by helping them in ways they shouldn't. ]

I know. You're sure they're gonna be ok? [ it's a question he's asked a thousand times. but he needs, every time, to hear the answer. at least let it all be worth it in the way that matters most. ]

Would I lie to you? [ shockingly, no. rose does not lie to him. not about this or anything related to it. she has never had to. ] We've done all we could and all we needed to. Do you feel any differently?

Askin' me to use the spidey senses you insist I have? [ dave shuts his eyes, thinks about it, and. well. ] ...Still feel like we're right. Dunno why.

You don't need to know why. That feeling is enough. I'll see you after everything, Dave. [ he lets her end the call. probably neither of them needs to waste the remaining time talking about how they'll spend it, and they can't really spend it with one another when the kids have to be in their respective houses when the timer hits zero.

dave wraps the film in hours and doesn't care how shitty it's going to be. it barely matters when the world is ending (has always been ending) and one more anti-propaganda film doesn't need to be that perfect. he can go back to this shit once the kids are out of time and out of this world and on their own in a place he and rose will never be able to reach. they'll play their parts to the end, and if they're lucky the kids are never going to have to see them die, even if the know about it. he cancels his appointments for the next week and doesn't bother to listen to the complaints, and he catches the first flight home.

he doesn't warn dirk about any of this, so when he comes through the front door it's late and weeks before his schedule said he should be home, but it doesn't matter any longer and dave strider has always known exactly how he'd spend his time at the end: at home with his brother trying to figure out how to make sure he hadn't fucked up the sixteen years he'd been able to give dirk, and that they'd fit in everything that would have to last dirk a lifetime. his jacket goes to the coatrack and his keys are slung in a badly painted ceramic bowl which exists solely for that purpose. after a second he tosses in his phones, too, because he's not answering them for the next week. ]

Kid? [ dirk never keeps normal hours no matter how much dave nags. ] Filmin' wrapped early. I got Chinese, you probably did not eat so I'm not even gonna ask if you did. And if by some miracle you did eat already, I guess you can just eat a second time? You're skinny enough to survive a few extra meals.

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