gjarble: A very confused dog. (Default)
[personal profile] gjarble posting in [community profile] hso2012_r3s2
Summary: The other man with the other meteor was-- no, is-- the most amazing man you've ever met.


Characters: Bro, Grandpa, Mom, Dave, Jade, Dad, Nanna (alluded to), Lil' Cal (alluded to)
Ships: Bro<3Grandpa, Dad<3Mom


Category One:
Tags Present: none
Tags Not Used: none
No other Cat.1 tags apply.

Category Two:
Tags Present: character death
Tags Not Used: none
No other Cat.2 tags apply.

Category Three:
Tags Present: none
Tags Not Used: No Cat.3 tags used.

Additional Tags: alcohol



Jake Harley's Dead reads the headline, shoots across the screen, flashes in neon,

screams inside your head.

He's hailed and respected as being an inventor, an adventurer, a scientist. But no one degrades him for being impulsive, self-centered, a fuck up.

Lived a dumbass, Died a dumbass.

You want that to be on his tombstone. They haven't found the body, but Harley's supporters are holding a funeral for "respect and closure." You have all the closure you need; you stopped caring days ago.
Dirk Strider's Dead spills the blood, weeps the sword, calls from the wind,

falls beneath your eyes.

You hardly knew him. Yet he managed to careen into your life a respectable young lad, strong, talented, determined. And maybe just a bit too intense, impolite, dirty-minded. But by gum you can't and won't hold any of that over his head. Because he died the most respectable death a man can have: a hero's death.

Hat nestled in your palms, you bend over and squeeze his hand one last time. Adjust his shades. Think about taking him with you and giving him the proper Harley family stuffing. But you're already doing that to one body and you're not sure you can bear to do it again.
"Wanna talk?" she asks, tipsy already.

You sigh into the phone, "This is the ninth time you've called."

"This is the first time you've answered," she pauses, "Are you okay?"

"Never been better."

"I'm sorry."

"Stop."

"No I'm not gonna stop." Another pause, "I'm worried about you."

You smirk but the effect is lost, so you chuckle into the speaker, "You don't get it, Rox, I don't fucking care. I didn't even know him for that long. You don't need to act like I'm going to crumple into a disfigured mass of tears the moment your abstruse gibberish stops reaching my ears."

"Dirk!"

You're not Dirk, so you hang up.
"Wanna talk?" she asks, coming over and wiping your cheek. You do your damn best to smile.

"Just a lot of death, I suppose."

"I know."

You look up. Her eyes are redstained too. And you can tell by the way she's standing that she's only just holding herself up. God damn it all, you don't want her to break. There's a battleship under your hands and spacey blackness everywhere and you don't want to break either.

"Never mind me, Roxy. You've been waiting quite a long time to be reunited with Jane's boy, haven't you? Go see him."

She smiles, gasps, looks at the fedora-clad chap.

You look at him too. He reminds you so much of Jane that your hands tighten on the wheel. You realize you should properly introduce yourself. You realize you're about to start crying again. Bitterly, you smile.

Oh your exploits and what they bring.
You'd known your favorite record store was destined to be destroyed, but you hadn't been aware that you were going to gain such a clingy fucking charge. Sweet shades are placed on his face, and you think you'd make a shitty dad, but you're going to be the raddest fuckin' big bro ever. You'll teach him irony, turntables, irony, fighting, fighting, fighting. He'll be the unstoppable killing machine that he was meant to be. That he has to be.

You throw him away from you and he flashes back. Do it a few more times, he's a yoyo. You feed him crushed up french fries because you're not in the mood to get tangled in the rancid old lady fumes that will surely await you in the baby food store.

He likes apple juice. You like him.
Jane hadn't mentioned this in her last note. She'd told you the place, she'd told you the time, she'd laughed in that unreasonably charming "hoo hoo hoo" manner, but she hadn't mentioned that you'd be adopting a new daughter.

Trusty blunderbuss in one hand, you hold her up so she's balanced in your palm. She blows a bubble and nearly loses her balance but you've got the reflexes of a lion so you manage to catch her. When you go in the shop to get milk and baby food, you come back to find her on Becquerel's back, playing with your gun. That's when you decide that you're going to be one hell of a grandpa. You'll teach her how to handle a weapon, you'll show her all the best places to explore, you'll build her robots and do anything you can to prepare her for the challenges that she's soon to face. That she has to face.
Dave's curled in one of your hats when the door knocks. You open it.

There's a man bright and old in front of you, rifle in one arm and a baby in the other. She's cute with long, black hair and he's holding her like she's a fucking briefcase.

His eyes cloud over and his breath hitches as he looks you up and down. He's either desperate for your man meat or he's having a heart attack.

"Sorry. Wrong apartment," you say. He blocks the door with the barrel of his gun.

"No no... this is the Strider residence, correct?"

"And?"

"I'm...you don't know me?"

You open the door wider and lean against the frame. You hope you've succeeded at looking as bored as possible. He swallows and tugs his collar.

"I'm Jake Harley. Legendary Hunter Inventor Millionaire Extraordinaire?"

That speech should have been accompanied with a broad chest, an arrogant smile and, god forbid, a fucking wink. Instead he looks at you like he's afraid you're going to snap his neck.

But yeah, you've heard of this guy. Your interest in pop culture is ironic and minimal but not to the point where you haven't heard of the man who steered his boat around the world twice and came back with one million dollars and about a dozen decapitated great white sharks.

You're interested. Vaguely impressed.

"Cool," you deadpan, "And why have your adventures brought you to my doorstep?"

He stands up straighter, "Not adventures, no. Meteors," he pauses, lets it sink in. You look at the girl under his arm, "It's been a while, but I believe you got one?"
You're hunting a miscreant band of butterflies when you find them. Two pad-like doohickeys with abnormal symbols decorating the tops. You step on the purple one and repress a scream as your vision goes white and you become nothing--disassemble, reassemble. Now you're wandering around a jagged purple hellpalace with dark-shelled people; the normal light rests in the shadows. And that's when you meet him.

The only human in sight. He's wearing pointed shades, partially constructed gloves, and he's in the middle of wrestling a cloaked lad for his ridiculous rainbow glitter cash.

He's perceptive and he stops instantly once he knows you're there, the cloaked bloke running away. You watch as his face falls. It was scrunched up and tight before, but now his jaw is positively hanging open and his eyebrows disappear into his cap.

"Er...hello! Boy aren't you a sight for sore eyes. I've been wandering around this place for a good twenty minutes and you're the first man I've--what the gangfucking devil are you doing?!"

His sword is at your throat and he's breathing through his nose, loud enough to deafen you to all other sounds.

"What the fuck are you doing here?"

"Excuse me--"

"Answer me, Harley!"

You blink, "How do you know my name?" He stares. You think about it for a second and smile, "Ah, so you've heard of me then? Great Scott, I didn't think my name made it all the way out here! And what about you? What's your name?"

It's not until he lowers his blade that you realize you weren't threatened by him in the first place. He's still looking at you with his head cocked, face red. His voice nearly breaks when he asks you what year it is.

You tell him: March 26, 1996. He grimaces, slices open a nearby trash can and laughs. It's bitter and hollow and you think that this man could sure use a good drink.
Guests aren't a thing that happen to you, so your place is trashed and Harley sits near-buried in a pile of smuppets. He's tossing one in his hands and playing with the long nose and you barely restrain yourself from smirking.

This guy's the first, you're the second, Roxy's the third. You know vaguely of the fourth (her son has something to do with Roxy) and he tells you she was his adopted sister. Minutes or hours are spent talking about what awaits the demons from the meteors and you smirk as you turn and see Jade playing with one of your sparklers. Dave tries to jerk it away, she kicks him. Goddamn it. Harley's amused and he laughs and you're amused at his amusement so you mentally laugh and the time ticks and he's still here and he falls back on the couch and sleeps while you take the pile of smuppets in the corner.

Dave wakes you up in the middle of the night. You squish his lips into a thin line until he stops crying. Sleep is elusive so you sit on the roof. In case Harley wakes up you stab a note through his hat and tell him where you are.

It's sunrise when he shows up, looking at you strangely while dislodging the knife from his hat.

"This hat was rather special to me. You're going to owe me a new one."

"We'll see," you snort, leaning over the edge.

He stands next to you and you watch from the corner of your shades how the lines on his face catch the light and deepen. Jesus fuck, why haven't you kicked this guy out yet?

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small packet of crackers, "Care for a square? A fellow in Finland gave me them after I wrestled a bear out of his pool."

"Breakfast?" You take one, chew, are reminded of the only time you were drunk and some douchebag clocked you in the teeth, and promptly spit it out into a mass of half-chewed goop, "That tastes like fuckin' blood."

"Nonsense, Strider! That cracker was pure perfection. It's been wasted on your juvenile taste buds."

"Unless you're going to lick the soggy leavings from my hand then I'm going to toss it on the next guy I see."

Grabbing your wrist, he drags your palm to his mouth and licks. Jesus. Fucking. Christ. Thank god Harley's not keeping eye contact, though you suppose you've been turned on by weirder things.

You wipe his spit on your pants, "You're sick, old man."

"Well of course I am. How else am I supposed to capture your attention?"
So you find a low-end establishment and slide a pint under his nose. You don't partake so you fill the space in front of you with your words. You tell him about the meteor and about Jade and even about some of your more interesting adventures.

You're in the middle of telling him about that time you scaled Mount Kilimanjaro without any obtrusive hiking gear when he interrupts you.

"Knew you weren't him. Your wrinkles aren't deep enough. Amazing what a year'll do."

You don't understand, but you figure he's probably just drunk, "What was your name again?"

"Didn't say." Then he takes out a hat. It's a safari hat, similar to yours, except white and with a bit of odd stitching at the top.

He raises his sword and slices the hat you're wearing in half, putting this new one on instead.

You sputter, "Excuse me, young man! That was a rather great hat!"

"This one's better."

"Oh is that so, wise guy?"

"Fuck yeah. And you're going to wear it."

There's something about the way he's looking at you, about the inflection of his words, and about the quite comfortable orientation of your new headwear that doesn't make you reach up and throw it on the ground petulantly.

That, and you're not a child. But this man is. Why are you still speaking with him?

You realize you're staring. You turn forwards and try to ignore the heat in your face.

"That was an unnecessarily dangerous maneuver on your part, by the way."

He smirks and you're drawn to it, you turn back to him, "Of course it was. How else was I supposed to capture your attention?"
Later you take Dave and Jade to the park. Later he cooks you the duck that he fucking shot at the park. Later you strife on the roof after formally introducing him to Cal. Later you make out and you fuck and he still doesn't leave.

Later, a year later, he tells you that he's going back to his island to collect his belongings.

You've both figured this out: there's no way you're going to live on a deserted hell island, so you're going to pool your money with his and buy out the two floors below yours. There's gonna be a puppet emporium and a wax museum and basically the most orgasm-inducing collection of Weird Shit that you've ever seen. Dave and Jade hug it out and you get a handful of Harley's ass.

And then two months pass and Harley's space-traveling beast shows up with a bloody shirt in its jaws.
Later he convinces you to try some whiskey and you wind up spitting it out all over the counter. Later you take a pleasant walk around Derse and end up engaging in a race to scale one of the buildings (he wins, but it doesn't count because who the jolly cracking fuck ever heard of flash-climbing!?).

Later he takes you to his apartment and shows you all his strange multicolored goblinmen. Later you strife. Later he tells you his name is Dirk Strider and he grabs your face between his be-gloved palms and kisses you until you stop telling him you're too old for this.

And then he leaves to fight a demon.
You sit back and put your legs on the table, foot jerking and knocking over the remote. And a bag of Doritos. And then a sewing kit.



You cuddle with Dave sometimes. You play shitty video games with your arms entwined around his body and his head pressed against your chest and you like it but you wish you could forward his development so that you could teach him how to be strong and intelligent and not fucking dead.
After you drop off Roxy and Mister Egbert you head back to the tele-pad and are numbly comforted by the sounds and smells of your island. Becquerel did a smashing job of watching Jade. She's popping in and out of space and shooting trees. You'll have to lecture her about gun safety later. But then you remember that you've got another Jade that needs tending to--that you need to replace her heart and soul with cotton.

After you finish you stare in the fireplace, count your life, consider how things could have gone better. When you walk outside and stare at the waves you realize you're a reckless, thoughtless man and things wouldn't have gone any differently. For Jane, for Jade, for Strider. You kill the local beasts and stare at their corpses.
When you open the refrigerator your swords spill out and you growl and kick them around the kitchen.

Kick.

Kick.

Kick.

After a few months you think you're sick of doing that.
You're sitting in the foyer, Jade bouncing and delicate in your lap as you let out a few tears and clutch. You take off your hat and stare.

Stare.

Stare.

Stare.

And after a month or so of doing that, you think it's about time you stopped.
Dave's turning into a little shit. You kick his ass and leave him creepy notes and make sure your smuppet traps are always functional. It's your personal mission to eliminate all of his weaknesses.

There isn't much time now.

One of the traps he launched this morning has smuppets flooding your DJ equipment. Fine, you clear them out easily. Until you run into the white soup bowl of gentlemanly fuck that is Harley's hat.

You don't know how but now you're sitting down, back to the wall. The hole's still there and you trace the frayed fabric absently. Jagged, marred.

You look down, expression not very blank but that's okay because Dave's not here. And you think, yeah, you think

it's probably about time you mend it.
You're aware that this is probably the worst thing you could do. This isn't the proper way to mourn. This is twisted and bizarre and unhealthy in every analysis of the situation.

But you've got a knack for recognizing these loops when you see them. It was always supposed to happen this way.

Jade tucked comfortably under your arm, you raise your shaking fist and knock.

He opens the door. As sly and attractive as he was when you first met him, if not a little younger around the mouth.

And you're not bitter when you think, by gum, you think

oh your exploits and what they bring.



Credits:
Writing: macca44552 (macca44552.tumblr.com)
Left Picture: happyds (happyds.tumblr.com)
Right Picture: apollosglare (apollosglare.tumblr.com)
HTML Formatting: gjarble (gjarble.tumblr.com)

Date: 2012-07-27 02:15 am (UTC)
rje: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rje
This is absolutely amazing, from words to art, I love it

Date: 2012-07-31 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] paradoxcase
Mobius double reacharound: the ship. This is perfect, and what a great response to the prompt!

The voices are great, and I love Grandpa's designation of the smuppets as "goblinmen".

Date: 2012-08-01 07:46 pm (UTC)
plaidmage: (Default)
From: [personal profile] plaidmage
"you're not Dirk, so you hang up." this is so sad and sweet, why'd that one line get me so bad

Date: 2012-08-04 08:27 pm (UTC)
adaorardor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] adaorardor
I love the parallel structure-- down to the sentence level!-- and the voices are just wonderful. Thanks for this!

Date: 2012-08-05 10:51 pm (UTC)
michiyo_seta: (dirk/jake 2)
From: [personal profile] michiyo_seta
Oh my gosh this was fantastic. What a great story and such a great interpretation of the prompt. Not only in how the stories both tuck in an out of each other but how it all visually lines up as well. Just, wow. Excellent job.

Date: 2012-08-06 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] crevangrietje
THIS IS REALLY GREAT and I always kind of shipped them together but now it's like BLAZING SHIP man the canons!!!

what a great piece of work this story is, I love the story from Strider's view, I love it from Harley's view, although I found Harley's to be a little more difficult to follow so I enjoyed Strider's more

I love the comparisons between what they do, like damn paradox space and stuff just KEEPS HAPPENING and it's just really great and wowowowow <333

the art is swell too, but I enjoyed the story waaaay way more that's for sure!!!

I love the cameos by Roxy too, she's so great... you comfort your boyfriends Roxy, go gogo

Old men and young men need to make out more often if it comes out like this that's for sure...

Date: 2012-08-09 07:25 pm (UTC)
tehstripe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tehstripe
Aaaah this is really great! I love the parallel structure you set up (especially kudos on the formatting; it looks great) and the way the sides complement each other is brilliant. (i also can't get over how cute dave and jade are in those picture)

Absolutely fantastic job!

Date: 2012-08-11 12:23 pm (UTC)
cest_what: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cest_what
Ooh, this is cool.

Date: 2012-08-12 10:50 pm (UTC)
blottingtheink: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blottingtheink
OH MY GOD, FUCK THIS TOO MANY FEELINGS.

(This was extraordinary. Really excellent--I love the slight differences in narration for both characters, and the way detail is rendered.)

Date: 2012-08-18 09:37 am (UTC)
mirroreuler: Bee standing on a crystal mountain (Homestuck2)
From: [personal profile] mirroreuler
Urrrrgh, this is so good, I love it!! Gdit, why does this ship have to be so cracky and yet so genuinely heartbreaking at the same time?! And yet somehow this captures that second part so perfectly! Amazing job, guys! <3 (And oh wow, that picture of Bro at the end... ;__;)

Date: 2012-11-10 09:15 pm (UTC)
askerian: Serious Karkat in a red long-sleeved shirt (Default)
From: [personal profile] askerian
oh wow my heart. i'm all choked up. this is gorgeous and the format does spectacular things. Wow. ;___;

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