"'Show me your true colors in their blinding brightness. Like they glow in the night, when you are dreaming. Forget about the others, the unbearable lightness of our being'."
Reading the Wiki-page over again, Dave scoffed, "What the hell is this, the new national anthem for the assholes trying to justify the fact that they have no fucking say in who they get to love?"
"Would you get off the fucking computer? You can only read so many articles before midnight," Bro sighed, leaning against the couch with an annoyed expression, "Which, need I remind you, is in two minutes."
"Hey, seeing as you're offering positively no help, I'm finding shit out on my own," Dave shot back, shutting his laptop blindly and standing. Beginning to pace, he continued to glance down at his wrist, shaking his head. This was dumb, not to mention something totally lame to lose his head over. It was just a name, something that should hardly mean anything but was all that people seemed to care about.
So why was his heart beating so quickly?
To him, it was stupid. He didn't even get to choose the chick he was going to spend the rest of his life with? What kind of fate was that? A doomed one, that was what it was. Why should he get positively no say? What if she yelled all of the time? What if she hated him? There were so many things that could go wrong, that would go wrong, Dave could practically feel that it was gonna turn sour and he was going to have to deal with it.
The room was silent as he continued to walk back and forth, the sound of bustling Austin streets spilling in the window and disappearing as he forced himself to move. This was dumb, this was dumb, this was-
Snapping his head up, he looked at his Bro, who was looking at his phone, watching the time. Looking down at his wrist, Dave wet his lips nervously. Psh, wait, no. Not nervously. They were just dry, Striders didn't get nervous. That was ridiculous.
Actually, correction. What was ridiculous was Dave's reaction when the invisible tip finished spelling out the name on his wrist.
For the first time in his life, Dave Strider lost his cool.
Dave was the coolest person in the history of ice (Well, that wasn’t completely true. He was only behind two people, Bro and Dirk, both of them being older therefore ‘more cool’, as they say). Sick beats, killer raps, white blonde hair and a nice face made for the perfect combination of the perfect guy. He could walk into any room and at some point the women there would curse the name on their wrist for not being his, and that attention was loved and also kind of hilarious.
However apparently that attention died the moment he found out his soul was as flaming as Freddie Fucking Mercury.
He’d always grown up thinking that it was gonna be a girls name. Fuck, why wouldn’t it be? That was perfectly normal, he’d always thought that he was gonna find the perfect girl, storm the castle, slay the dragon, and win the game of life.
That was, until he'd turned 19 and realized that it was fucking stupid to place all of his trust in a stranger all because their name appeared on his skin.
He’d grown up under the care of Bro, his oldest brother. Apparently he’d only started living with him when he was about five, but he didn’t remember much before that so he always said that he’d been raised by his Bro. And it was true. His Bro was a fucking boss, raising both him and his brother Dirk from the age 14 and teaching them the ways of life. Well, that and sword fighting, but that was kind of beside the fucking point. Point being he’d always grown up being told that, “You’ll get your girl someday,” from his Bro in the same assuring tone whenever he felt lonely. Even in his early teenage years, when he’d gotten his heart crushed by some girl, he was always reminded that, “You need to forget about them. Your girl is out there somewhere.”
Welp that turned out to be the biggest lie since the 'lasting' flavor of Zebra Fruit Striped Gum.
Dave had packed up and went to college at the age of 18, like any normal human (bar Dirk, he was off on some traveling robotics gig and didn’t find the need for it, seeing as he was already working his dream job) and had officially become the coolest kid on campus within a week. He watched as people on campus would study and obsess about these names, and after a while he became slightly cynical to the idea. Why should he be forced to love someone that he probably wouldn't have even liked before their name was slapped onto his skin?
From that point on, he'd sworn that he wouldn't let himself get caught up in the hype. He'd find out the name, and, if he was lucky, he wouldn't have to meet whoever it was until he was on his fucking deathbed and they turned out to be his nurse or something. He could live a life of turning tables and partying if he wanted to, and he wasn't about to let some stranger force him into a suburb and slap a tie and suit on him.
And now all he’d done was come back for fucking Christmas vacation and he was having an existential crisis.
Time: 12:02 AM Date 12/3/13 Importance: Finding out that his soul was linked to a dude.
"Oh my god, it’s a guy. Holy shit, Bro, it’s a guy, I’m paired with a fucking dude. Even if I find this asshole, I can’t even pretend it’s a chick, because there’s a dick, fucking piss, help me. Fuck, how do I-"
"Little dude-" Bro was sitting back on the couch, his arms crossed across his chest as his white wifebeater stuck to him due to the Austin humidity, even at 12:02 AM in winter.
"-even do this? With my luck I'll wake up tomorrow and run into him in the fucking hallway. I am going to spend the rest of my life with a guy. An owner of a dick, much like myself. Shit. Shit shiiiiiiiit.”
"What if he’s a biker? Oh my god what if he’s one of those dudes who dresses in pink and has one of those ridiculous ass lisps?" Turning to look at his older brother, his eyes went wide behind his shades as his hands gripped the edges of his long red sleeves, his heart pounding under the broken record symbol on the chest of his shirt. "What if he’s lame?”
"Dave, fucking sit down and listen to me," Slipping off his own pointed shades, Bro pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes.
Flopping down to sit, Dave covered his face, resting his elbows on his knees and feeling himself breathe. The name on his wrist was fucking haunting him, and it had been two minutes. Wow, who knew four letters could fuck up your world that badly? The room was quiet, minus the whir of the fridge and the rattling of the AC in the back corner of the living room.
"You calm?" Bro asked, his hand falling away from his face to look at Dave with bright orange eyes.
"Fuckin peachy, Brodrick,” Dave challenged, his own eyes narrowing behind the tinted plastic as he practically spat the name. He hated it when he was ordered around like a little kid, he should be allowed to panic, damn it. Bro just rolled his eyes before sitting up a little bit.
Clearing his throat, the older of the two closed his eyes for a moment before lifting up the edge of the black sweatband covering his right wrist, looking down at his brother. “I know it’s not written in crayon, so you may have a hard time understanding-” This earned him another glare, “-but can you read what name that is?”
Dave looked at the black script and nodded, looking down at the ground slightly. Shit.
"What is it, Dave?"
"It’s a bynm.…" Dave mumbled, now feeling almost sheepish. Except Striders didn’t get sheepish. There must have just been something in his throat. Yup, that was it. Blocking his larynx and shit.
"Say that again, but this time don’t puss out halfway through."
"It’s a boy name," Dave repeated, looking up at his Bro. The name was still exposed to the world, but at the moment Bro didn’t seem to care.
"Yup. It’s a dude. Do I look like I give a shit? Fuck no. I find myself lucky that I don’t wake up in the morning and that name is gone because whoever it is croaked in the night. There is someone out there that was made for me, and I’m lucky enough to have their name as a hint. I’m guessing whoever they are is electronically inept, because they don’t seem to exist on any social media site, but I don’t give a shit. Sure, I didn’t find him when I turned twenty one, but I’m gonna find him someday. And when I do? You can bet your ass I’m not gonna be stalled over something as dumb as gender."
Standing up, he walked over, tapping the side of Dave’s head with two fingers, “I didn’t raise you nor Dirk to be narrow minded. Now stop being an asshole. Now listen. I have my mystery man, Dirk has Jane, and you have this John kid. Count yourself lucky, alright? I know you've been pissy over the idea of this for a while, but finding someone who's going to be willing to put up with your shit is a goddamn miracle, so treat it like that. You may not meet him today, or tomorrow, but when you do? The fact that he has a dick is going to be the last thing on your mind.”
Standing up with a final small nod, Bro turned on heel, beginning to walk to his room. Dave couldn’t help but notice that his Bro touched the name on his wrist almost fondly before covering it again.
"Whatever," Dave huffed out, covering his face again.
“‘Whatever’ me all you want, you know I’m fucking right,” Scooping up a smuppet without looking, Bro chucked it at Dave, hitting him square in the head and earning a disgruntled cuss as Dave's glasses were hit askew his face.
He knew he was being an asshole, which almost made it worse. There he’d been, bitching about finding out that his match had been a boy to his older brother who’d never even found his own soulmate. He also knew that Bro was right about the fact that he was lucky, too, as much as it gutted him like a prize fish to admit it. Some people didn't get a name at all, even though at this point he'd prefer that. He hadn't even wanted one in the first place, and now he was stuck with. . . this. Looking at his Bro's door again, he raised an eyebrow. He didn't expect Bro to say much on it, but it seemed kind of important to him. Maybe he wanted to live out finding his own mate vicariously through his brother. Maybe it was because he didn't think Dave would do well on his own. Perhaps it was because he just wanted Dave to stop acting like a fucking idiot over the matter and face the music. Whatever the reason, it was enough to push Dave off of the ground with a sigh and lead him over to his laptop, straightening his shades.
Looking down at the name again, he almost found a small smile tugging at his lips before fighting it back. No. He was angry about this, damn it. Observing it a bit closer, he let out a huff. Script. Huh. He was probably a total dork. Rolling his eyes, he flopped down in front of his laptop with a dramatic groan, lifting up the top before pulling his sleeve over the name. Alright. John. Good thing it was such a unique name.
"Alright asshole," Dave muttered, fingers beginning to fly across the keyboard, "you want a match, you have one."