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Title: It's Okay to Cry
Author: Zee
Fandom: Homestuck
Pairing: Dave<>Rose
Rating: PG-13
Warning: Language
Disclaimer: Don't own the rights to anything here; i just write the fic, yo.
Summary: Dave can't keep everything bottled up forever.
A/N: another kink meme fill, with less smut. prompt here.



The coffee is cold.

Dave swirls his mug slowly, debating on whether or not he actually wants to get a refill from that weird pod, but he doesn't feel like it. It's late -- or as late as it can feel on the meteor; he's been up for hours, probably over twenty-four, and when he's tired, Dave just calls the time "late" -- and Rose is pouring over that book of hers.

He watches her, his eyes drooping occasionally as he tries to keep himself awake.

"Your coffee has developed that film, Dave."

The sound of her voice shakes Dave into something closer resembling consciousness, and he raises his head to look at Rose, his shades slipping down his nose. Pushing them back up, he glances at his mug, then shrugs.

"It was cold anyway."

"What a shame." Rose adds something in her book, then shuts it, turning her attention properly to Dave. "May I make an observation?"

"Knock yourself out, Lalonde," Dave says around a half-yawn.

Rose gets to her feet, moving to sit beside Dave, like she's ready to have a Serious Conversation with him. Fuck that.

"Your sleeping habits have been very irregular and are bordering on unhealthy," she announces, and Dave stares at her from behind his shades.

"What?"

"Your sleeping habits," Rose repeats, a little slower.

"I heard you the first time. Why's it your business?"

Rose looks momentarily taken aback by Dave's standoffish reply, and he can just see her analyzing him, cataloguing his reactions, and trying to use it for some sort of bullshit assumption.

"I'm your friend," she says finally. "I'm entitled to at least a hint of concern, am I not?"

"Yeah, I guess." Dave shrugs as nonchalantly as possible. He just wants Rose to stop asking and go to bed. He wants to go to bed. Couldn't they both just go to bed and forget that Dave has only been sleeping two or three times a week?

"You've been troubled for over a year, Dave. I can see it." She reaches out, resting a hand on Dave's knee, and for a moment, he's tempted to remove it, to pull away from her, but...he's too tired.

"Really? I hadn't noticed. Goddamn, Rose, your powers of observation haven't dulled at all. Keep up the good work," he said flatly, looking away from her as he reached under his shades, rubbing at his eyes.

"I know your brother died during the game."

That makes Dave freeze.

"Yeah. Idiot got himself killed fighting Jack. It was his own fault." Dave's voice is as smooth, as flat as he always tries to keep it, that poker face in place. He hates talking about this. He doesn't want to. He's happy going right back to bottling all of it up and never addressing it.

His Bro was a hero.

And he'd fallen.

Dave's fingers twitch on his leg, then curl in the material of the god tier trousers. "We don't need to talk about it, Rose. I'm tired; I should get to bed, since apparently I'm not sleeping like I should, according to Doctor fucking Lalonde."

"No, Dave, I think we should talk about it."

Dave looks at her from behind his shades, his voice hard. "There's nothing to discuss. He's gone. He's not coming back. Maybe I'll see him in a dream bubble or some shit, but he's gone, okay? It doesn't fucking matter now, and I swear to god, if you don't drop this, I'll--" Dave's voice broke.

"You'll what, Dave?" Rose's brow furrows, and she's watching Dave closer.

Fuck, don't look at me.

He just needs...he just needs to take a deep breath, relax, but when he breathes in, his breath catches in his chest.

"I'll--" he has to stop again, because he's shaking so hard he can't get his voice out. "I'll--"

And then Dave Strider breaks.

His breathing dissolves into desperate, escalating gasps as he tries to breathe, but he just can't feel like he can get a full breath, not with the way his chest keeps hitching, and how there are...there are tears blurring his eyes.

"F-fuck," he gasps hoarsely, pressing a hand to his eyes under his shades quickly before the tears can escape and betray his cool kid exterior more than he has already. He bites his lip on a sob, and it seems like everything he was holding back during the game, everything he bottled in and wouldn't let himself feel, he's feeling it now. It's slamming into him like a truck, and fuck, it hurts.

His shoulders shake violently as he chokes on sobs, as quietly as he can, but there's no quiet now, not with the knives digging into his heart, the weight on his chest. He wants to curl up and disappear and--

And Rose's hand is on his shoulder.

He looks up at her from behind his hand, and as he does, Rose plucks the sunglasses from his face. He opens his mouth to protest, but all that comes is a sob, and he slumps down in his seat. Rose wraps her arms around him, pressing her face to his hair, and Dave lets his arms curl around her waist, his face buried in her chest as he sobs into the material of her dress.

"I-I'm sorry," he chokes out. "I-I'm so s-sorry, I don't-- I don't know what's--"

"Shhhhh," Rose murmurs into his hair, her fingers carding through it, lightly petting the nape of his neck.

"D-don't...know what's wr-wrong with me," Dave finally manages to get out, and Rose shakes her head, kisses his blonde hair.

"There is nothing wrong with you, Dave," she says soothingly with a light kiss to his forehead.

"I'm fu-fucking...crying li-like a pus-pussy." Another fit of sobs hits him, and he pulls Rose even closer, fingers fisting in the cloth under his hands. Bro would punch him for this. God, he'd be judging so hard. He'd tell Dave to knock it off, grow a pair, get over it, and Dave just...he just can't stop crying. It hurts. "A-and I can't sto-stop!" He muffles a wail against her chest, shaking almost violently in her arms.

"It's okay to cry, Dave. There's no shame in that," she says kindly. "Stop apologizing for something natural."

"It's n-not--"

"Yes, Dave."

"S'weak," he gasps out.

"It's human."

Dave whimpers softly, sniffling as the sobs continue to shake through him. He stays in Rose's arms, letting her pet his hair and murmur quiet reassurances for almost an hour, and when he finally starts to calm down, he's limp against her, exhausted, his head hurting.

"Sorry," he mumbles weakly, sounding half awake.

"I told you, Dave: you have nothing to apologize for." Rose presses one last kiss to his forehead.

Dave nods faintly.

"You needed that."

"...y-yeah. Guess I did." More than he'd realized.

Rose slowly unwinds her arms from around Dave, smoothing his hair back into place, wiping his damp cheeks with a piece of her dress.

"Got your dress all messy. Sorry 'bout that," he mumbles.

"The dress is nothing," Rose scoffs quietly. "You should go to bed now. I'm sure you're even more exhausted now."

Dave nods, getting to his feet; his head feels fuzzy, achey, and Rose has to brace him a little.

"Hey, Rose?"

"Mm?"

"Would you..." he stops, shaking his head as he sniffles, wiping his nose on his sleeve. "Never mind."

"No, Dave, what is it?"

Dave hesitates, opening his mouth, closing it, then finally speaking. "You mind...coming to bed with me?" He still felt shaken, vulnerable, and that was...well, kind of terrifying. He is Dave Strider; he's above this.

Or so he thought.

Rose is quiet, and then she nods faintly, offering Dave a soft smile. "Yes, certainly. I'll be there in a moment, Dave."

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Zee

April 2012

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