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[personal profile] jabberwockyx posting in [community profile] hso2012_collabs1
Summary:

Characters: Bro Strider, Dad Egbert, Dave Strider, John Egbert
Ships: Bro<3Dad


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While sitting there in the cab on the way to his apartment, you think about what circumstances brought you there, as you watch your son excitedly shift on his seat, asking the fateful ‘are we there yet?’ question every minute or so.

You are just as excited, but you are doing a better job at hiding it than him. You can’t really blame him, though, he’s only a kid and he has all the right to fidget like that.

Now, what brought you here…

As expected, you came in contact with this man thanks to the fact that your son is friends with his little brother. This is a common occurrence, for guardians to come in contact with each other through their protégées. Nothing extraordinary there.

As for the man in question…

Well, there is no way you can say he’s completely ‘ordinary’. That would be a straight out lie. But he isn’t a complete ‘weirdo’ either. That’s pushing it too far.

To put it simple, he’s rather… unique. Yes, that’s the best term you can use to describe him. The initiative of getting to know each other began with you. Like any other concerned father, you wanted to know what kind of person took care of that boy named Dave your son never really stopped talking about. You were actually really happy that your son found such a good friend, even if he lived a couple of states away from you. The fact that he wasn’t exactly very keen on making friends at school made you worry for some time.

So, to soothe your mind, you got in contact with the kid’s guardian.

Your first exchange was a very brief one, through the phone, and from what you gathered from his voice and the way he talked, he seemed like a really lax and cool kind of guy. You couldn’t say you didn’t like that. Most people often took things far too seriously and, even though you were demanded a certain degree of seriousness thanks to your job, people needed to know how to unwind and take it easy.

You also couldn’t help but notice the rather high count of swear words included in his vocabulary, and even though that was something you’ve always frowned upon, you couldn’t just tell him not to do it. You just met, after all. You didn’t feel like you had the right to reprimand him on his vocabulary. At least not yet.

The second time you talked, it was a bit longer, and you decided to use webcams to actually get to know each other a bit better. Video chatting was in no way a total novelty to you, but you’ve never really done it all that much. You agreed to do so mostly because you were curious to know more about the other man, apart from his voice.

That was a conversation you won’t forget any time soon…



















-------------------------

“Bro?”

You snap out of the memory of your first video conversation with Mr. Egbert to find your little bro standing next to you, looking exasperated. You’ve been leaning against the window frame, watching the street below for a yellow cab. Dave had been doing so as well, at least until he had gotten distracted by his rumbling stomach. One piece of cold pizza later, he was back next to you.

“Yeah?”

“He said they'd be here any minute, right? What's taking them?”

A smile creeps up on you, and you pat his back, walking away from the window. You can’t help it. You know he’s excited beyond all measure of how excited anyone can possibly get, and that he is using every last bit of willpower to hide that fact. “Probably just caught in traffic or something, I’m sure they’ll be here soon.”

“Right, cool. Okay.” Dave goes back to the window while you plant yourself on your futon. You find it strange that you haven’t accidentally sat on something, like you're used to doing. The apartment is a little cleaner than it normally looks, though you mostly just stuffed smuppets into small spaces to give the illusion that you had cleaned up. Cal helped you vacuum, though, and Dave’s job had been to throw away trash that had collected in various areas of the apartment.

Dave is back at the window, and you shake your head. “Waiting at the window ain’t going to make them show up any faster. In fact, it’ll take even longer.” He groans and pouts a bit, looking at you. “A watched pot never boils, Dave.”

“Fine.” Dave wanders over to your TV and starts playing Brorito while you check your iphone for messages. Nothing. It’s a little worrisome, because the Egberts should have arrived by now. What’s taking them? Not much longer after you’re thinking this, not five minutes even, there’s a knock at the door. The two of you must have just missed them pulling up to the building. Dave pauses his game as you get up and go to the door, opening it to find Egbert and his son John. You beam at the two of them, Dave coming up beside you with his hands in his pockets..

“Welcome to the Strider abode. May I take your jackets?”

Egbert chuckles warmly at your greeting. “But we’re not wearing jackets, Strider. It’s the middle of summer.” The two boys were already chattering away to each other. Your shrug casually at his point, stepping aside to let your guests in.

“Just being polite, you know me, I’m a damn gentleman, I- oh fuck, is that what I think it is?” You happen to notice a square shaped box in Egbert’s arms, and this is where Dave interrupts.

“John, is that seriously one of your Dad’s cakes? One of ‘the’ cakes?”

“Yeah, yeah.” John laughs at the two of you and your shock and amazement at cake that’s available at his house everyday. It’s not long before the four of you are absorbed in conversation, all about the trip the Egberts took to get there, and how excited they were to all be talking to each other face to face. You feel as though the conversation is flowing naturally, like old family has come back to visit for the first time in years. This isn’t a feeling you are really familiar with, never having much family to look forward to visiting, but all the same, you decide you like it.

After a while, the kids go to see Dave’s room, leaving you alone with Egbert sitting on your futon. You watch the kids scamper off, John spouting off a mile a minute about something (you try to discern what he's talking about but you're not able to keep up with him) and Dave, silently nodding in agreement to everything he's saying.

“They're getting along as well as ever.” Egbert's smooth voice comes from behind you and you turn to him with a quirky smirk, shrugging with your hands behind your head.

“'Course they are, those two are like peas in a pod, or I don't know...Jay and Silent Bob or some shit, inseparable, right?”

“I'm sorry?” He doesn't know who you are talking about.

“Ah, great philosophers.” You wave it off, and Egbert only eyes you with a hint of amusement. He glances back down the small hallway and back to you before speaking again.

“And where's your room, Mr.- ah, just Strider, right?”

“Right, and why, you want to see it?”

That could have been taken innocently, but the way it comes out, there is zero chance you meant it that way, and he just lets your joke roll off once again with a chuckle. Egbert's just as easygoing as he always has been over the few video chats and over the phone; you're not entirely sure what the fuck you were even worried about in the first place.

You're not stupid, though. You're aware of how easily you can scare people off with your eccentricities, and besides the fact that you've grown fond of talking to Egbert, you also have Dave in mind. If you did manage to do something that would offend, John gets taken away along with Egbert and Dave has never been one to make friends easily. So you're treading carefully, mostly for his sake. This visit wouldn't even be taking place if the squirts hadn't met first, after all.

Egbert interrupts your train of thought. “I was just curious, because I see an open bathroom and Dave's door, and no other door.”

“Right, this is a one bedroom place, I sleep right where we're sitting.”

“Do you really?”

“Yeah, it's not like it's uncomfortable or nothing.”

“So you...gave Dave the only bedroom?”

“Well, fuck yeah. 'Course I did.” The way he's looking at you makes your stomach flip several times, like you might have just presented him with a brand new pipe. You know the man loves his pipes. It's then that you notice the cake box still sitting square in his lap. “Shit, why are you still holding onto that cake, we can put it aside for later, you know? I was going to order pizza for us, you guys like pizza, right?” You stand up and he does too, and you walk with him behind you to the kitchen. Peeking back at him, you see him examining the weapon covered walls with an unreadable expression.

“We do like pizza, are you sure you don't want me to help pay for it? You've already paid for the ride here and for hotel accommodations-”

“No sweat, Egbert. Don't even fret the cost. I don't want to hear a word.”

“If you insist...I'll be sure to make it up to you when you and Dave visit us.” He walks past you as you turn to the counter, wondering where you can even begin to make room for this cake.

“You sure will. All of that talk about home cooked meals, you've laid down some high expectations from us.”

As you start to move things around, you hear the fridge door open behind you and freeze up.
“I'll just put the cake in the refrigerator, do you have room in here?”



You let go of Egbert's shoulders, taking a deep breath, and sighing it back out.

“...Strider...” Egbert chokes out, still appearing somewhat shaken. “...there are swords in your refrigerator.”

“I know.” The fact that he says it as if you didn't know they were there almost makes you smile. “That's where I keep 'em. Not really a lot of space and all.” You shrug it off, even though inside, you're cringing a bit.

“You moved so fast to get me out of the way, though. That was pretty impressive, I have to admit.”

“Shit, that wasn't nothing...” You've become uncharacteristically sheepish, but shake it off quickly. “Look, I should've said something, I sure didn't mean for your tie to get ruined, or fucking worse, I mean...”

“No problem.” Egbert nonchalantly pulls out his wallet, and then from the wallet pulls out a brand new tie. Silently you wonder how many more ties are in there, but before you can ask he's bending down to pick up the swords, even with the cake still in his arms. You stop him by extending your arm in front of him, and squat down to gather them up yourself.

“I've got this. Go put the cake on the counter, I made some space.”

With a nod, he does as you say and lets you pick up the swords, it's not like Egbert would have been able to balance them back in there just right like you had them. Once he puts the cake down, he's looking around the kitchen, seemingly curious about how you have it arranged. By the time you have most of them up, he's wandered over to the turntables next to the hallway, where a purple smuppet is sitting innocently on the record you left on it.

“So these must be some of your puppets I've heard about.” He's trying to make conversation, which is good, because you weren't sure what to say after almost killing him with the contents of your fridge.

“Heh, right, that's a smuppet, designed by yours truly.”

“Smuppet, huh?” It just as he's picking it up that something about that smuppet starts to tug at the back of your mind. But it's too late.

That smuppet was planted for Dave, you now recall, as Egbert lifts it up to get a better look at it. Around this particular red smuppet's neck is a fishing line, and this string is connected to a mechanism planted underneath the turntables. The nearby marionette hanging above contains a hidden camera, which activates, along with a hidden panel in the ceiling. Above Egbert, the panel opens, and here comes the mini smuppet avalanche along with it. You feel the urge to bury your face in your palm and never show it again. Maybe If you push into your hand hard enough you will somehow vanish. That would be ideal, but you know it won't happen, so you don't bother trying.



About ten or so smuppets now lay on the floor around Egbert, and one has landed perfectly balanced on top of his head. How could you have forgotten to cut the trigger on the fucking smuppet trap? Seriously? Before Egbert even has the chance to look down you are flashing around to get them up off the ground.

“What just happened?” Egbert pulls the smuppet off his head as he tries to keep up with your movements.

You stop, arms full of smuppets. “Well-”

“Was that a prank you set up for me?”

“It was-”

“I love pranks, Strider.”

“You, uh, you do?”

You are dumbfounded. You expected some sort of gross reaction, but instead, he's just laughing. His laughter is infectious, and you can't help laughing with him. Fuck, if he wasn't just...you swallow that thought, it's too soon to be thinking anything anywhere near that. You're not going to touch that with a ten foot pole.

“Don't worry, either, I'll be returning the prank back with full force.”

Your laughter dies a little bit, and you smirk. “I'll have to see what you have in store for me, then.” As you're calming down, the two kids have emerged from Dave's room. You see Dave is clutching Cal in his hand, oh, of course! You had almost forgotten to introduce Cal in all the excitement. How could you?

“I was trying to play my new mix for John when this buttmunch appeared and scared the shit out of him.” Dave moves to shove Lil Cal in your arms, and you drop all the smuppets to take him from Dave. “Keep Cal with you.”

“Cal?” Egbert looks to you with obvious confusion, causing you to look back at him with equal confusion. “Your friend, Cal, that you told me about?”

“Right, I told you all about Cal, remember? My best fucking friend.” You hold up Cal to Egbert. It is immediately apparent this was not what he expected, as his blue eyes glance between you and Cal, appearing unsure.

“Seriously?” John asks Dave incredulously, and Dave shrugs at him, not really giving an answer. Just when you felt like things were going better, the awkward bomb drops and blows up right in your god damn face. Too many experiences with assholes who just do not understand how important Cal is to you. How important he is in general.

You aren't sure what made him do it, but Egbert easily transforms into father mode, giving John a stern look. “John. That was quite rude, you should apologize to Cal”

“Dad, are you-”

“You heard me.”

“...sorry, Cal.” John sighs out, and Egbert seems satisfied enough with this response, looking to Cal.

“It's nice to meet you, Cal. I've heard you and Strider are quite close.” Egbert offers a hand to Cal, smiling right at him. You calmly, very calmy, have Cal shake hands with Egbert. This man just launched up your respect ladder, blasted off the top of it, and flew off into space. You are pretty sure no one has treated Cal that way before besides you, not even Dave, who has lived with Cal his whole life.

Dave and John look at each other, not getting it, and Dave pipes in to change the subject. “Hey, Bro, you said pizza tonight, right?”

“Sure fucking did. We're not getting it from the cheap place though, we're getting the real deal. Real American Italian food.”

“Oh shit yes.” Dave holds a fist up for you and the two of you bump over it before you turn to Egbert and his son.

“So you guys hungry?”

“Starving.” John groans before Egbert can speak. Egbert smiles, ruffling John's hair before nodding in agreement. John tries to get out from under his hand with an embarrassed half smile and biting his bottom lip with prominent front teeth. “No, Dad, c'mon, stop...”

“We haven't eaten since this morning, well before our ride here.” Egbert notes, letting his son go free.

“Let's head out then. We'll show you guys around some places on the way back, it's still pretty early.”

The three of them all agree this is a good idea, and that's exactly what the group of you do, heading out in your beat up but well loved '69 Pontiac with the hood down. The air conditioning in it is broken, but the wind sure ain't. Egbert sits with you in the front, holding his fedora in his lap and watching the scenery pass by, while the boys are in the back, once again chatting up a storm, this time Dave having more to say. Your meal at the restaurant goes much better than you feel like the rest of the day has gone, and it's already so easy to talk to not just Egbert, but John as well. Your pizza is excellent (it always is at this place) and everyone agrees the four of you will simply have to come back again.

You drive them around for a while, showing them various places you and Dave frequent, some interesting buildings, and then head home. The kids head in to play games, and you plan to join them, but first, you and Egbert are both ready for a smoke. You take him up to the roof of the apartment, and the two of you lean against the large air unit, him with his fancy pants smoking pipe, you with your cheap, already crumpled cigarette.

“This is quite a view up here.”

Egbert motions to the distant sunset with his pipe as he makes his comment, and you glance out at it as well, giving a curt nod.

“Ch'yeah...I come up here about this time, pretty much everyday. This time of year it's damn artistic. You'd never think you could see a view like that in the middle of a big city like this.”

“And you strife with swords up here with Dave too, isn't that what you told me?”

“Yeah, sure do. I know you're probably thinking that it seems dangerous and all, but we're careful and know what we're doing, I can assure you of that, Egbert.”

“I believe you.” And it really sounds like he does. You hope that he's not just good at acting. “With the way you've talked about Dave, I don't think you would put him in any real harm.”

“I want him to be able to hold his own when he's older, you know? I plan to be around for as long as I am able, but I won't be around forever, nobody is. Fuck, it's not like I'm worried about him though. He's strong. He'll be just fine, and I'm damn proud of him. You know the other day, he fucking nicked me, right in the arm, he moved fast enough to get me. Me! I don't know anyone that can keep a damn step up with me, but he managed to do it anyway, that means he's getting faster, maybe I'll even be able to teach him to flashstep like I can, not everyone is able to learn it, but I bet you anything he could...”

You trail off as you realize you've gone off on a tangent, starting to talk with your arms even as you got excited, and you stop to turn and look at him. His face says everything, a wide grin being the only thing keeping him from laughing at you, at least, that's how it looks to you. “...sorry. I go off like that sometimes, heh, and I don't know when to stop.”

“You have no reason to apologize, I assure you.” A soft chuckle, and another puff of his pipe follow.

“Well, I mean, I know I...agh, I just hope you enjoyed yourself today and shit. I'd hate to have brought you all the way out here for nothing.”

“I also assure you that isn't the case. I have had a lovely time today, and I'm sure John has as well.”

“Yeah?”

“You're an...interesting man, Strider, but you're also a good man.”

“Am I?” Your chest feels tight.

“Yes, you are. Does that surprise you?”

“A little.” You admit, and the two of you are laughing again. He goes on to tell you that he and John will definitely be visiting again, and that he hopes you and Dave will be able to come to their own house as well. You agree, of course...he finds you 'interesting'. You're not sure if that means...strange, in a bad way? Or maybe he means he really does find you interesting, and wants to become better friends with you. Who the fuck knows? The only thing you know is, you damn sure want to stick around long enough to find out.

-------------------------

“Are we there yet?”

“Yeah, okay, this isn’t ironic anymore, this is as annoying as fuck. Not yet, dipshit, you’ll know when we get there when the car stops moving.” You take one gloved hand off the wheel long enough to punch Dave in the shoulder. After about 30 cumulative hours on the road in a shitty rented pickup with your little brother and Cal, you are about ready to do some sort of acrobatic fucking pirouette off the handle. You guess it’s your fault for choosing to drive all the way to Buttfuck, Washington, but the trip to visit the Egberts was a spontaneous decision, so there wasn’t enough time to snag plane tickets. Besides, you hate flying, which you know is irrational for someone who gets his jollies thrashing up some mad stunts on a hoverboard and strifing on rooftops, but still. Airplanes aren’t your thing.

“Man, who pissed in your cornflakes?” Dave says sullenly, rubbing his arm and shooting you a baleful look from behind his shades.

“...Sorry,” you say after a minute, rolling your tense shoulders back and rubbing a particular stubborn knot in your neck. You’re not used to spending such a long-ass time cooped up in a cramped little vehicle, and at this point, you want nothing more than to be at the Egberts’. Partly so that you can get the fuck out of this car, partly because you hear that they have air-conditioning and you are so ready to get in on that (not only does your shitty apartment have a broken A/C, but the air-conditioning unit of the borrowed pickup truck died a slow and painful death before you even left Texas. Needless to say, you are quite literally sweating your balls off), and partly because you are ready to engage in some sloppy makeouts.

It’s been several months since the Egberts came down to Texas, and you have been talking with the elder Egbert on a habitual basis. Somewhere down the line, Egbert began calling you “Broderick” instead of “Strider” as the two of you grew closer and fell into a natural routine of texting or calling regularly. And somewhere down the line, you realized that, welp, you were falling assbackwards in love with him. You had blurted out the fact to him one night when you were video-chatting, only to get a smile and a simple, “I know, Broderick, and believe me, your feelings are reciprocated,” in return. You had mumbled something about how this would be the perfect moment to dip him into a dramatic, sweeping kiss -- and now that you’re going to be seeing him in person again, you are more than ready to make good on that promise to sweep him off his feet.

A few minutes of silence pass before Dave smirks and opens his mouth to casually let slip, “Are we there ye--”

His sentence is promptly cut off as you throw Lil’ Cal at his face, and he squawks in surprise. In the ensuing scuffle to get the puppet away from his precious mug, he “accidentally” (or so he later claims, but you know that that’s bullshit. The little shit has had it out for Cal since he was six years old and tried to flush him down the toilet) knocks off his baseball cap, which gets sucked out of the open window by the force of the car’s velocity, hurtling down the highway at 70 mph.

The rest of the car ride is spent in sullen, betrayed silence.

Dave is the first one out when the rusted pickup finally pulls into the Egberts’ driveway, leaping from the passenger seat like it’s a capsizing ship and throwing his hands in the air. “I’m free!” he proclaims dramatically before carefully resetting his poker face and squaring his shoulders in preparation to cooly greet his best bro.

“You’re a humongous bag of dicks, is what you are,” you inform him as you slam shut your door and grab the overnight bags from the bed of the pickup truck. As much as you love your old ‘69 Pontiac, you knew it wouldn’t survive the trip to Washington, so you pulled a few strings to loan a truck from one of your coworkers at the club where you DJ. Not that it was much better, the thing was a heap of junk, but hey, at least it got you here. You unceremoniously dump the red duffel bag on top of Dave and sling the other one over your shoulder, sneaking a look around you to scope out the place. It’s a quiet, unassuming house with an immaculate front yard, a white picket fence, and tire swing hanging from the tree in the front yard. The perfect scene of suburban domesticity. You’re not too surprised that this is where Egbert and his kid live, it makes sense that they’d live in a normal little house in a normal little neighborhood, as opposed to the clusterfuck that is your tiny high-rise apartment back in Houston.

You know it’s ridiculous to be nervous about seeing Egbert again, but hey, it has been a long time since you’ve been together in person. Still, the miniscule part of you that is nervous is easily overwhelmed by excitement, so you push Dave out of the way and beat him to the front door. You ring the doorbell, and you can hear John shouting from inside, “I got it!” and the telltale thumping of him taking the stairs two at a time.

The door flings wide open to reveal a grinning John Egbert. “Hey, Dave!”

“Yo,” Dave answers, lifting his chin in a subtle nod before letting out a strangled noise as John grabs him and pulls him into a one-armed hug.

“Dude, I totally saw that,” John stage-whispers. “Jumping out of the car and doing that, I mean! Mr. Cooooool!”

You tune out whatever the boys are good-naturedly squabbling about, distracted by the elder Egbert’s appearance. He looks pleasantly surprised, with an apron tied around his waist and a bowl of batter tucked in the crook of his arm, and fuck, there was no denying the way the sight of him made Bro’s heart soar.

“Well, it’s good to see you, Broderick! And Dave as well, of course. I must say, I wasn’t expecting you for another hour or so...” he says, gesturing at himself somewhat apologetically.

“Yeah, well, I kinda floored it the last several miles or so...” You shrug nonchalantly. “I couldn’t stand being all cooped up in that damn pickup truck. This bird’s gotta be free, you can’t keep a Strider contained like that, it fucks with his brain something awful.”

Egbert laughs and shifts the bowl to his other arm so that he can take his pipe out of his mouth and get a proper look at you. You meet his gaze with a grin and for a split second, it feels like a scene straight out of one of your Japanese animes.





Then Egbert breaks the spell by stepping aside to usher you into his home, and you shake your head a little to clear your mind of shoujo sparkles and roses, fully aware that you are being ridiculous. “Well, come on in, I don’t mean to keep you waiting on the doorstep!”

“Right.” You step through the door, and there is a moment of stupefied silence as you take in your surroundings.

Cakes. And harlequins.

Everywhere. On every possible surface. Fuck, there’s even a life-size jester doll sitting primly on the couch with a gargantuan frosted cake perched on its lap. You feel like you have entered the twilight zone, and you turn to Egbert, eyebrows in immense danger of disappearing into your hairline. “...The fuck is this?” you ask, and then you notice the smile tugging on the corners of his mouth and the way John is dissolving into hysterics next to an equal baffled Dave.

It occurs to you that you have probably just been punk’d. Or prank’d, rather. “Jesus dick, man, I didn’t know it was possible to make these many cakes. I mean, not that I’m gonna say no to some sweet-ass cake, not when you’re the one who’s made it...” You reach out to scoop up a dollop of frosting from the nearest cake, unwittingly triggering a booby trap that sends the artifact of confection flying spectacularly in your face.

There is a moment of silence before both boys start cracking up, and you’re pretty sure you can Egbert chuckling in there too. Not that you can be sure, given that you can’t see shit because of the gobs of icing and cake guts that have smeared your outrageously awesome shades. “...This is payback for the smuppet thing, isn’t it?” you ask, voice muffled with frosting.

Egbert graciously slips off your shades for you, and you catch sight of John dragging Dave upstairs to play video games, but your kids are suddenly the last thing on your mind because Egbert is wiping off a clean patch on your cheek and kissing it. “Perhaps,” he answers enigmatically, and he takes you by the hand, nodding in the direction of the kitchen.

You unwind Lil’ Cal from around your neck and settle him down on the couch next to the large harlequin doll. “Here you go, buddy, make friends with this dude here while I go get cleaned up. Just stay awake from that cake he’s got there. Don’t trust anything that fucker gives you, it is clearly an agent of evil if it’s working for Mr. Prankster over here.”

Egbert rolls his eyes and smiles at you, tugging gently on your hand, and you leave Cal behind to converse with the jester. In the kitchen, he hands you a towel, and you scrub at your face to remove the remnants of vanilla cake and buttercream frosting.

“You missed a spot,” Egbert points out, reaching out to wipe off one last spot.

“Sweet, thanks.” You slip your shades back on and pop up your collar, giving him your most dazzling grin and fluttering your eyelashes in spite of the fact that he can’t see them. “How do I look?”

“Positively dashing,” Egbert tells you, and the smile he gives you makes your stomach do some kind of ridiculous somersault, as if it’s trying out for the Olympics, or some shit like that. You’re not really sure how the Olympics work anyway, sports aren’t really your “thing.”

“Pfft. Of course I’m dashing, I’m the most handsome individual to ever grace this planet, what with my roguish good looks and charming personality.”

“Charming is a word for it,” Egbert teases, and there’s a mischievous twinkle in his eye that never managed to translate across webcam.

“Damn straight it is. But, y’know, as charming as I am, I’m nothing compared to you, you’re like the epitome of the perfect gentleman.”

“Well, thank you, Broderick, that’s very sweet of you.”

“It’s true,” you press on. “Seriously, I meant every word when I said I loved you--” You break off when Egbert reaches for your hand and places a finger to your lips.

“I love you too. May I kiss you?”

You laugh out loud; it was so typical of him to ask first. “I thought you’d never ask,” you quip, leaning in to kiss him. You’ve been waiting for this moment for way too long, and it’s everything you thought it’d be, as he places his hands on your hips and pulls you in closer to him. It suddenly occurs to you that you have a promise to fulfill, so you dramatically dip him at the waist in an over-the-top kiss worthy of an MTV Movie Award.

When you pull away, you’re a little breathless and, all right, you’re gonna be honest here, a little weak at knees, as much of a pansy as it makes you feel. “Yeah, don’t think I forgot about that little promise I made to sweep you off your feet ”

“Well, I’d say that you succeeded there,” Egbert says, laughing a little as he straightens out his fedora. “Now, we’ll have plenty of time for kissing later--”

“Fuck, yes.”

“--but right now, would you care to give me a hand with preparing dinner?”

Something tells you that Egbert isn’t the kind of man who just casually allows someone to cook in his kitchen, and you’re strangely touched that he is willing to trust you with that privilege. Of course, you can’t cook for shit, but you’re willing to try. And you know, deep down inside you, that you’d do anything for him, even if it puts you outside of your comfort zone.

“Hell yes, I can do that.” He flashes you another warm smile and hands you an apron --you can appreciate the “World’s Best Dad” logo emblazoned on it, ironic or not-- before pulling out a cookbook. You fall in beside him and dutifully listen to his instructions, and you have to marvel at how natural it feels, being with him, together at last, and you never want to leave his side again.

-------------------------

You look over at the man standing beside you, and can’t help but smile a little. He’s not doing anything special, just looking out at the yard, smoking one of his cheap cigarettes. It’s the fact that he’s so important to you that can make any little thing he does seem wonderful.

He turns to look at you, and you can tell you’ve caught his eye behind his shades by the way he half-smiles at you. His fingers creep along the railing in a totally nonchalant manner, and they brush against yours before intertwining with them. Your own smile widens, and you know you couldn’t stop it if you tried.

When you stop and really think about it, it’s a little strange to reflect on how you got to this point. It’s not necessarily that you thought you’d spend the rest of your life alone, but you were content with being a father, and not exactly looking for a partner. You certainly never expected to fall for a man that was so unlike yourself. He’s the definition of eccentric, and fairly obnoxious, but also charming in his own way, and very, very unique. He’s immature, and some days it feels like you have to take care of three teenagers, but he’s also worldly in a way that can only come from being a single parent at a young age. More than all of that, he is yours, and you wouldn’t give him up for anything.

“What’s got you so deep in thought, Darlin’?” Bro takes a final drag from his cigarette, then crushes it out.

You shrug, and your smile turns a little sly as your eyes briefly roam over his body. “Nothing really. Just...enjoying the view.”

He chuckles. “I thought that was my line.”

“Yes, well...I suppose I’ve been around you too long. You’ve been rubbing off on me.” Bro opens his mouth to a comment, and you quickly cover it with your free hand. “Not a word. I know where you’re heading.” He laughs again, and licks your palm. You retaliate by wiping your hand off on his shirt.

Sometimes, it’s hard to think about the fact you two would have never met if your then-thirteen year old boys hadn’t become friends. You had lived so far away, it was unlikely you would have ever found each other. You never regretted making the effort the get to know him better, starting from those first somewhat awkward webcam conversations that became more frequent and less formal. You had enjoyed spending time with him during trips you each took across the country so your boys could hang out.

Those had been interesting on their own, since an incident that happened the first time you met had started a bit of a prank war. It soon became obvious you were superior at pulling pranks, especially after you nearly had him convinced he was going crazy by periodically moving around cakes you had set up around your house, and conspiring with the boys to pretend not to notice. It ended when he tried getting you back by sneaking up and scaring you, and you punched him in the face by reflex. You normally didn’t react that way, but he hadn’t even been in the room, and suddenly there were fingers grabbing at your sides and someone yelling close to your ear.

He was laughing between pained noises, holding a bleeding nose. You apologized profusely as you helped him clean up, and he just told you that you hit a lot harder than he would’ve expected. His nose was still a little crooked, and sometimes you would kiss it and tell him how sorry you were. He’d always tell you it wasn’t a big deal, and assure you he had been through worse.

“Hey, you alright? You should stop spacing out so much, it’s starting to creep me out.” Bro’s eyebrow is quirked in a way that shows he’s concerned.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Promise.” You nod, and smile at him again. He tugs on your hand, and pulls you closer to him. You eagerly step into his embrace, wrapping your arms around his shoulders as his go around your waist. You sigh happily, and lean against him. “I love you, you know that Broderick?”

He makes an amused noise, and you can tell by the sound of his voice he’s smiling. “Yeah? That so?”

“Of course it is.”

“Good. I love you, too.” Bro then kisses you deeply, and it feels just as wonderful as the first time.

Yes, it has definitely been a long, strange journey that led to you two being together, but you would gladly do it all over again.

Date: 2012-08-21 02:57 am (UTC)
ramus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ramus
Well, that was far better than I expected. The writing is cute and flows well. Everything feels like it had so much effort put into it and so looks great. Everything was very enjoyable, thank you.

Date: 2012-08-22 10:51 pm (UTC)
raakelh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] raakelh
Haha, that was super cute and had me squeeing several times. XD And your cosplayers are soooo very adorable! Thank you for this. : )

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HSO 2012 Collab Round Sector 1

August 2012

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