True Colors, Ironically Speaking (Homestuck)

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1169528/chapters/2379473

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16. Chapter 16: Whoops

"And I w-would w-walk a thousand miles and I w-would w-walk a thousand more-"

"Just to be the man who walked two thousand miles to show up at your door!"

"Da da da da! Da da da da!"

"Dum da da dum dum dum da dum dum dum dum da!"

The four teenagers were laughing, each wearing their own dumb smiles as they passed the sign, "Welcome to Texas, The Lone Star State!"

"So, Jade, do any of them know-w w-what's about to happen?" Eridan questioned, his scarf discarded on the seat next to him as the AC was blasting loudly, leaving The Proclaimers to sing about their long journey behind its roar. It was actually kind of funny, his 'high and mighty' act had seemed to be wheedled down over the past day and a half, all of which had been various speeds of driving and bathroom breaks while they trucked their way through to Texas. Even Terezi had stopped bashing on him, the two of them getting along with each other to actually make the trip enjoyable.

"Nope!" She responded, practically gleefully. Behind them, the car containing both her father and John's was driving carefully, keeping perfectly in line down the street. "I never told Fef, I just suggested that she should try and make up to everyone. You know, for having to leave so early on the day that we met and all that."

"You're wicked," Terezi hissed with a grin, and Jade just giggled again as John continued to tap out a beat on the steering wheel.

"Not at all! It was just a suggestion," Jade reminded, and John just shrugged, "So, Eridan, excited about meeting Twins?"

"Of course not, it's going to be horrendous. He's been a large thorn in my side since the beginning of this experiment, w-why, I bet he'll be ev-ven w-worse in person," Eridan huffed, crossing his arms over his chest as he rolled his eyes. However Terezi just sniffed the air before lifting a hand.

"Wait, guys, do you smell that?"

"No?" Both John and Jade responded, and Terezi raised her eyebrows.

"It smells like bullshit."

The two people in the front seat started laughing as Eridan shoved her slightly, wearing his own smile even as he scoffed. "Yeah, w-whatev-ver."

-

Group meeting at the diner! Don't be late! 3:00 -FP

Dave ignored the text, glancing back at his computer again. He hadn't talked to Ecto in nearly two days. After the other day, he was expecting. . . He didn't know, but more than that. He'd sent a few messages, but he remembered that it was also Ecto's only week off. Maybe he was just sleeping.

For two days?

"Fuck it," He mumbled, glancing back at the message. Fef had been off gallivanting on her own adventures after finding out about Jade, so he was assuming this was her way of making up for ditching early their last group meeting. Not that he really cared, but if it kept Spade away and out of their business with their penpals, then he'd attend meetings fucking weekly.

can do. -DS

Sighing, he leaned back in his desk chair, wondering what he was going to be doing for the next few hours when Bro came out of his room, sliding his hat on. Glancing over his shoulder, Dave watched as he made his way to the door, readjusting the white, popped collared shirt he was wearing before sliding his gloves on.

"Where are you going?" Dave asked, spinning to look at his Bro.

"Out," He responded, shrugging as he looked at his brother before winking, sliding his shades on, "Don't know why, but I guess today is just kind of a get shit done day. It's just a feeling. Don't talk to strangers, don't do drugs, and remember, if anyone shady rings the doorbell, you know how to use a sword," He reminded before clicking his tongue, walking out the door.

"Thanks for caring," Dave called back, smirking slightly as a hand modeling a fingerless leather glove popped back in the doorway, flipping him off before the door closed.

Sliding out of the chair with stolen grace, Dave decided to take a shower, stretching his arms above his head. Well, food at three, then.

-

Bro should have been paying more attention.

Hell, he didn't know how he couldn't have been. Growing up and teaching your little bros that being aware of your surroundings is important, you'd think that he'd remember to at least pay attention the oncoming foot traffic around him. He'd just been walking, planning on going to the bank and drop off his last paycheck, or maybe get some food. Dave was practically malnourished, the kid only drank fucking applejuice for gods sake. In the back of his mind he questioned the idea of getting a new sword when it just, happened. Out of no where there was just. . . a black tie and a pipe and some dude saying, "Oh goodness, I'm so sorry," In this weirdly rich voice.

Blinking, Brodrick hadn't even realized he was still standing while this other poor fuck as sprawled on the ground. Looking down, he stopped.

The guy was a hot dad.

Or, at least he looked like a hot dad. He didn't actually have a kid with him.

But he had a dad look about him. Black hair, dark eyes, white shirt and a black tie and on the ground next to him, a black fedora.

Also, he was hot.

And completely flat on his ass in public due to Bro while the younger of the two just stood there looking at him.

"Sorry man," Bro apologized, holding out a gloved right hand. He wanted to clear his throat, because those words sounded oddly genuine for no reason and that didn't need to be a thing.

"No, it really was my fault, I should have been paying more attention. Just tired," The stranger assured, flashing Bro a smile that made him want to smile back, "Two days of driving will do that, I was just looking for somewhere to grab some coffee."

This did cause the corner of Bro's mouth to lift slightly. What the fuck? Bro Strider didn't smile at strangers. The man gripped his hand just then, and the moment they touched, the both of them seemed to stop completely.

Everything else continued, but Bro's hand ran cold and the stranger seemed to feel it too. His grip tightened slightly, and suddenly wow, the air in Texas got a lot hotter in a really short amount of time.

"Again, sorry," Bro murmured, the two of them now just staring at each other. This guy looked familiar. He looked hella familiar, but Bro didn't know how. He'd never seen him before. After a moment, the man looked away from Bro's shades, blushing brightly as he began to pull himself up. He was nearly standing when Bro's wrist suddenly felt cold, the sweatband that had been in place for eight years sliding down around his hand as the man slipped again, letting out a startled noise as he nearly met the pavement again.

Thank god for flash stepping.

Shit this guy was a clutz.

In a moment, Bro had caught the man around the waist, keeping him from slipping again as he looked stunned, holding the stranger up.

And by up he meant totally pressed against him while one hand stayed on his waist and the other pressed against the small of the dude's back.

"Do I know you?" The blonde one questioned quietly, and the older of the two cleared his throat, blinking widely as he stared at the pointed shades on Bro's face.

"I don't believe so, unless you've visited Washington recently."

Bro would ask questions for the rest of his fucking life if it meant he got to listen to that voice again.

"I'm Bro. Drick. Brodrick," He introduced, still pressed right up against this guy in the middle of the sidewalk while people had to move around them with glares and scoffs.

"James," The man breathed out, looking positively stunned and Bro could only stop.

"James?"

"Brodrick?"

The stranger, wait, correction, James, now wore the brightest smile Bro had ever seen as the younger of the two spoke, "Yeah, but usually I just go by Bro," He corrected, sliding his glasses off of his face and onto the bill of his hat, allowing him to look at James fully.

Fuck he looked even better without the tinting.

"I usually go by Mr. Egbert," He introduced, chuckling deeply and causing Bro's orange eyes to widen.

"James Egbert? I've been waiting all this time for James Egbert?"

James began laughing at this as he leaned forward, his forehead connecting with Bro's shoulder with a small 'thump', "And I've been waiting for Bro?"

"That's Bro Strider, thank you. And hey, hopefully the wait wasn't too long," Bro chuckled as well, hanging his head. The smell of shaving cream and aftershave hit him, and he couldn't help but smile. God this guy was suave. They were just about the same height, Bro just a little bit taller. Awesome. He was still holding onto Jame's waist, and god damn it he decided that he was never going to let go.

"Got anywhere to be, Mr. Egbert? Because I know a few places that we could get coffee," He asked, and the man looked up at him, again wearing that freakin perfect smile.

"Actually, my son has this thing soon, a class project, I-"

"Son?" This threw Bro for a loop. Son? This guy had a wife? Or had slept with a chick to get a son? This guy had a kid? The word didn't seem to be processing, and for a moment Bro completely forgot that he'd slipped his shades off and that everything he was thinking was playing pretty god damned openly across his face.

"Adopted," The man point out, the hand that had at some point made its way to Bro's shoulders squeezing once reassuringly, "Goodness Brodrick, you appear to have seen something truly terrifying."

Upon hearing this, Bro actually let out a relieved sigh, rolling his eyes, "Well, son, alright, I think I can deal with that as long as he's not yours biologically. Scared me for a minute, dude. But wait, is he a toddler or something? Because I already went through that with Dirk and Dave, and-"

"Dirk and Dave?"

"My little brothers." It was weird, that he was so willing to offer up information to a virtual stranger, but Bro couldn't help it. He was just so. . . . Comfortable with it. "I've been with them since they were little, not really fond of the whole, 'tearing up the house faster than I can clean it while also seeming to get sick constantly' thing."

"Ah. And no, he's not, he's twenty one, so he's already out of the house, at college."

"Twenty one?"

"Yes, why?"

"You have a twenty one year old son? And how old are you?"

James blushed brightly at that, "When I adopted him he was already six, don't misunderstand-"

"It was a compliment. You look way too young to have a kid that old," Bro assured, raising an eyebrow at his blushing mate. "But huh. Dave's twenty one too, looks like they'll at least have something in common. Dirk's twenty five and across the country, so I'm not sure how much they'll connect."

"Well it appears that ours that we're both guardians of children the same age. I'm sure John would love to meet your brother."

"Wait, John?"

". . . You did say Dave, correct?"

"Oh shit."

"Oh goodness me this is weird," James admitted, covering his mouth slightly with his fingertips as his brow furrowed. "I do believe that John may be Dave's-"

"I don't care about the fact that it's weird, I-" Bro sighed, letting his hands fall away from James before nodding towards the sidewalk, "We need to talk about something really quick."

"Should I be concerned?" James asked honestly, beginning to walk along side Bro as they made their way towards a cafe, the one that Bro knew Dave stopped at pretty frequently. Without a second thought, Bro gripped James' hand, squeezing it once as they stepped in tandem and feeling the man reciprocate, lacing their fingers together.

God it was weird that it felt so damn natural.

"Well, Dave started this extra credit thing for Psychology," Bro started, trying to find a way to put his words carefully. Fuck he should have talked to Dave when he had the chance over the past few days. He just didn't think it would be all that important, yet. How could he break it to his own mate that Dave was already rejecting his son because of some. . . EctoBiologist?

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