\\When I was a child, You captured my devotion. I spent so many hours, Exploring mixed emotions\\
"[Name], meet Dave and Dirk Strider. These are our neighbors."
"Welcome to the neighborhood, lil sis," Dirk said, kneeling down to your level. You partially hid behind your father's pant leg before finally nodding to the tall man. "Get over here and introduce yourself little man."
The little man he was referring to was his little brother, Dave, who was older than you were at the age of eight. You were only six at the time, but you were painfully shy, so you didn't say much at all.
"Hi there," he said softly, candy red eyes locking onto your [color] ones.
You nodded to him again, a light pink blush staining your cheeks. Whether it was out of embarrassment or simply because you liked how he looked, you'd never know. "Come on, [Name]. At least say hello."
Dirk and your father laughed as the elder Strider stood back up. "Isn't she cute?" Dirk asked, as he started conversing with your father about grown-up matters.
Dave stood awkwardly by his elder brother's side and you tentatively took a few steps over to him. "I'm [Name]," you whispered, afraid to raise your voice even a tiny bit.
"Dave," he said back, using his hands to shield his eyes from the sun as he squinted.
"I forgot my sunglasses over at my house."
"We can go get them if you want?"
"Sure. It doesn't look like big bro or your dad will be finished talking for a while." He held his hand out to you then, and you hesitantly took it. It was warm and soft, unlike your father's rough and callused ones when he held your hand.
You squeezed it gently and giggled when Dave squeezed back. "That tickled a bit," you said softly, as you both made your way through the grass to the house right next door.
Reaching up the hand that wasn't holding yours, Dave turned the knob and led you inside his home. Letting your hand go, he smiled. "Wait here okay?"
You nodded and placed your hands behind you, rocking back and forth on your heels as you waited for him. Finally the boy came up to you again, his eyes covered with dark sunglasses. "Better?"
"Yeah. I can finally see without my eyes being killed by the sun."
You laughed quietly, but said, "Perhaps the sun should hide then. I like your eyes."
Dave turned pink then, but offered you his hand again. "I think Bro will be looking for us."
"Okay. Let's go back then."
He squeezed your hand first this time as you left his house and headed back over to yours.
\\Diamond Dave, No one can hold a candle. Nothing else is quite the same. Pretty Dave, I'll always remember. I still carry such a flame\\
[>Fourteen years later]
"Bye Dad! Going to college!"
"Make good decisions!"
Laughing and tucking some [color] hair behind your ear, you left the house to begin the five minute walk over to the community college. After your mother had died when you were twelve, you and your father had to move. Which meant that you left behind your first friend, and crush, Dave Strider. You had been close when you were younger, but as the years went by, he drifted from you further.
After all, he was fourteen when you left, while you were on the cusp of teenage hood. So close, yet so far away. You didn't even tell him you were leaving, but you made sure to let Bro know. He was like an older brother to you, in some ways. You still kept up with each other occasionally, since you had left your number there for him.
You figured that Bro had told Dave that you had gone, but before you had left for good, you asked him to not make a mention of it to Dave about where you were actually going. You hadn't really told anyone where you were going, since you were a quiet child growing up. You didn't make friends that easy until you got to your new school.
Two twin girls took one look at you and decided to be best friends forever with you. Or rather, the loud blonde girl who seemed either high or drunk every day decided it. The other one, a more quiet and reserved girl who was very smart, agreed with her sister's decision. Through them, you met John who was also part of your now loud group.
You'd come out of your shell thanks to the great friends you made, and now you were all attending the same college. You were pretty satisfied with your choices that would lead you to the right career, and you were anxious to get your second year of college started. Walking down the sidewalk quietly, a loud honking made you jump out of your skin as you turned to see a smirking Roxy.
"Yo gurl. Hop in the car!"
You rolled your eyes, but walked around to the passenger side and literally hopped into the car. It wasn't that cold yet, so Roxy still had her top down on her convertible. "Rox, you know that you don't live far from the college either."
"[Name], honey, we're officially second year college students! We have to show off in style!"
"Walking with John. I left them in my dust girlie! Literally. I think I might have covered them in my tire dirt. Oh, that reminds me. What about walking with that other dude?"
"It didn't really work out Rox."
"For reals girl? Man, you have got to get yourself...well...a man!"
You didn't tell any of your friends about the friends you used to have back in your old town, so they couldn't have known about Dave. After all this time, you still had the biggest crush on him. And after seeing his mesmerizing red eyes and his soft smile all those years ago, you knew that nobody would be as good as him. Instead, all you said was, "I know."
Pulling into her parking spot, as Roxy has always dubbed it, you opened the door to get out when Rox gripped your arm so hard you were certain she left bruises. "[Name]," she breathed near silently. "Get a load of that piece of man meat."
You turned to see a boy kicking the stand of his motorcycle into place as he clicked off the engine. "You can't even see his face yet, Rox. What if he's ugly?"
"I don't care. Motorcycle, girl. Motor-fucking-cycle. He's got to be automatically hot."
You both watched as he swung his leg up and over his motorcycle, and only when he had both of his feet firmly planted on the ground did he remove his helmet. The first thing you saw was perfectly porcelain skin, followed by pastel blonde hair, and finally when he had turned a little bit, black shades that fit perfectly on his face.
"Oh fuck!" You muttered, ducking down in the seat.
"Fuck me is more like it! Phew, girl, I-what in the hell are you doing?"
"Uh, I dropped my phone I think. It might be under your seat."
"Oh here, let me look. Honestly, [Name], you are a klutz sometimes."
"Haha, sorry Rox. I found it." Looking back up, you and Roxy both watched the boy you knew to be Dave walk away.
"I have to know about this boy now."
"He's probably taken, Rox."
She pouted at you for a brief moment before her smile was back on her face. "I didn't say I wanted to fuck him. I just said I wanted to know about him."
"They're one and the same for you, Rox."
You both got out of the car and started for the front doors of the first college building. "You let me know if you're in any of his classes?"
"Yeah, I'll let you know." If I'm lucky, Dave won't recognize or remember me.
Checking your phone as you parted ways with Roxy to head up the stairs, you were surprised to see that you had missed a text from Bro. Smiling to yourself, you clicked to open the message.
Hey there, lil sis. Hope the college life is going well for you! If you didn't already know, the little man figured out where you're at and he's keen to hunt you down. Sorry; I didn't spill the beans, in case you were wondering! He's definitely been steaming for the past eight years you've been gone, so I'd steer clear of him. If you happen to run into him, tell him that I want my bike back! The little fucker took it from me and made a clean get away. Love you!
You smiled to yourself, in spite of Bro's daunting message of Dave coming here. It's only been recently that he'd been tagging his texts with 'love you' at the end, but they always brightened your day. One, you could never imagine a cool guy like Bro to do it, and two, you always thought of him like the elder brother you never had. You enjoyed being his kid sister, and yeah, you missed him dearly.
"I should go visit him," you mumbled to yourself, making a mental note to reply to his message later as you tucked your phone into your book bag.
"Yeah, you'll visit him, but not me?"
You looked up to see Dave leaning against the wall next to your first class. You froze up, stumbling over your words as you tried to become one with the sweatshirt you were wearing. Bro was right, Dave looked mighty pissed over something. His red eyes glared at you over his shades, looking like Hell's fire. "Uh-"
He sighed then, pushing himself off the wall and heading into the classroom. "Come on then, [Name]. We have class."
Turning on your heel, you rushed down the stairs two at a time and out the front door. It wouldn't hurt anybody to miss the first day. Veering to the right instead of the left to your house, your sneakers pounded against the sidewalk as you burst into the café near the college.
The barman, Karkat, looked up at you with a bored expression before it morphed into a slight smile. "[Name], what-"
"Hide me!" You gasped out, jumping behind the counter and kneeling on the floor by his feet.
Karkat didn't have any time to question you as the door flew open again, and he was greeted with the sight of a disheveled blonde-haired boy. "Did you see a girl run through here? About this tall, [color] hair, wearing a backpack?"
The barista just raised an eyebrow at the boy. "No, you're the only one I've seen run in here all day. If she's running from you, there's probably a good reason."
Dave cursed before you heard him leave. Waiting a few moments more, you breathed out a sigh of relief and stood back up. "Thanks Karkat."
"Now, is there any reason that you wanted to hide from him?"
"Oh, so that's the fucker you were talking about when you said you wouldn't be able to date me."
"Karkat I am sorry about-"
He held a hand up to you and laughed. "No need, [Name]. It's through you that I met Jade, so we're even okay?"
"Anyway, yeah that's him."
"So why the fuck were you running from him?"
"We were close when we were younger, but then we drifted apart. All the girls back then teased me mercilessly, and even though we used to be friends, he never did anything to help me. We were even neighbors, so we almost always took the same route home. I adored his elder brother as if he was my own, still do really, but I never went over to the house. I always felt that Dave was laughing at me too, from behind those shades he wore."
"Well forget his ass!"
You laughed dismally and sighed. "He was my first crush, and nobody else really even compares to him so-"
"Then you have to try harder to forget about him!"
You smiled. "I know, Karkat, but I'm pretty sure that I've loved him since I was six. It ain't gonna be easy."
"Let me whip you up some hot chocolate. It's the least I can do for you."
Both you and Karkat looked at each other and began laughing. How could you not be happy with great company?
After talking with Karkat for a couple of hours, you opened up your phone as you left the café and pressed two. Letting it ring for a bit, you were greeted with the low baritone of Bro's voice.
"Hey Bro," you said happily, a smile immediately coming to your face at hearing him speak. It had sure been a long time since you'd heard that voice.
Lil sis! What's up? I assume you saw the little man?
"He chased after me," you said softly.
All Bro could do was laugh. Ah man, does he have it bad! I might have to head up to the college there myself to get my bike back!
"Speaking of which, when did you get a motorcycle? My friend Roxy was drooling all over that thing. Well, not literally but-"
It was just one of my guilty pleasure things. Chicks dig the ride, I admit it.
"You're such a player," you teased, laughing softly.
What can I say? Your Bro is lonely by himself over here since his lil sis is gone, and his little brother went ape shit crazy!
"You're telling me! I-" You didn't get a chance to finish your sentence as someone grabbed your phone and took it from you. "Huh?"
Turning slightly, you heard Dave speak into it. "She'll talk later." Clicking it off, he stared at you evenly. "We need to talk."
\\All of the time you spent away from me. All of the missed opportunity. I'll always love you.\\
You didn't protest as he pulled you over to an empty spot in the park you were near. You didn't even protest when he pocketed your phone. However, just to be spiteful, you started in on it when he opened his mouth to speak.
"If you're here to try and be my friend again, then I won't have it."
His mouth snapped shut, his teeth clicking together angrily as he glared at you again. "You don't even know why I'm here."
"And I don't want to. Give me back my phone, and we can lay it all to rest."
He sighed angrily, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Do you have any fucking idea how crazy these last eight years have been? How much it hurt me when I realized that you were gone, and you didn't tell me? My brother had to tell me! He even had the audacity to let me know you had left your number with him! Do you know, how many times I tried to get his phone from him?"
"Why would you want to?"
He whipped off his glasses as you stared him right in the eye. His ruby irises had gotten even more beautiful over the years, if it was possible. You were jealous of his eye color, if you had to be honest with yourself. "That's why."
"What do you mean?"
He placed his glasses back on his face and grabbed your upper arms. "Because you're the only one who hasn't flinched away from my eye color. Why do you think I wear the shades? I'm a freak with red eyes, [Name]."
"Didn't look like you were freak to me back then, Dave," you answered, staring up into his shades. "In fact, you seemed pretty cozy among your friends when they were fucking making fun of me!" You shrugged his hands off your arms and pushed him, causing him to stumble back away from you. "All you ever did was stare at me while they laughed and teased. I was too shy to say anything, and you knew it! You never said a word to me after I turned ten!"
"Because girls were supposed to be disgusting!" He yelled back at you. "I was fucking always two years older than you, and all I could ever think, even at the age of eight was about you! How pretty your hair was, how much I loved your soft voice. You were in my head so consistently, that I started to hate that you were! I wanted my own thoughts back, but you took every single fucking one!"
The fight left you as quickly as it had come. "What?"
"You never saw the pain in my eyes when I had to watch you struggle to deal with those nasty girls every single day we had school. I had to eventually tell Bro who told your father, and that's why you moved when your mother passed away. It was the perfect excuse for your father to make. I knew you were moving soon, but I wasn't sure which day! And then I get to come home to see your house bare, and Bro starts rubbing it in my face that he knew where you were and what your number was."
You stood there quietly, listening to him rant.
"And then, I fucking get here. And I see you laughing and talking with your friends, and it's like a punch to the gut because you were so much more beautiful than what I remembered. I had to tell myself to breathe when you walked up. I was all ready to lay it bare for you, when you murmured something to yourself. I knew that you had to be talking to Bro, so I got even more pissed."
"You let me fucking finish, [Name], or so help me I will hold you down and yell it in your face. I love you, okay? I've loved you for years! I fucking fell in love with that wide-eyed, soft-spoken girl who cared more for a boy she just met than her own issues when dealing with people she didn't know. You easily wormed your way into my heart, and god I tried to get you out, but it didn't work. Nothing I did ever fucking worked. There. I've said my piece. I-"
You didn't give Dave any chance to speak anymore as you launched yourself at him, causing you both to fall to the ground. "You're an idiot, Dave. A fucking moronic, bike stealing idiot! I can't believe you didn't see it."
Smiling at him, you took his shades off his face. "Maybe now you'll see it clearer, but I guess I have to spell it out for you. I've always loved you. I fell in love with that awkward boy who needed his shades because the sun was way too bright for him, who took my hand within his without a second thought and didn't let go."
Dave searched your face for something, and he must have found it, because he broke out in a wide grin. "So we've both been a pair of idiots."
You had to laugh at that. "Yeah, we have."
"Good. Now that all that's over-" He drew your face down to his and gave you a searing kiss while you dropped his shades in the grass to grab his shirt. If you could have pulled him closer to you, you would have.
"What the fuck is that?" You asked breathlessly, feeling something vibrate against your hip.
"Your stupid phone. Hello?"
Now that you've kissed and made up, I want my fucking bike back!