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[personal profile] pomonashearth posting in [community profile] hso2012_r3s4
Summary: Dave and Jake are both in love with their best friends, but out of desperation, chose to date each other. But their connection over the years of "dating" may be stronger than they realized.

Characters: Dave, Jake, Dirk, John
Ships: Dave<3Jake (Dirk<3Jake and John<3Dave unrequited)


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Your name is Dave Strider, and you think it often feels like a high-wire act dating your combination best friend/life-long crush's brother. You tried not to make it obvious you were dating Jake just because, aside from his haphazardly gelled hair and deep green eyes, he looks exactly like John. But, although Jake can be dense sometimes, he's had at least an inkling of your motivation all along. John may have made his rejection of your confession as quietly as possible, but Jake and John have always been close--he found out pretty fast. Then, when you asked Jake out several months later (because you needed someone, anyone, and a someone who looked like John was top of the list), Jake could put two and two together.
 
But despite being so frank usually, Jake has never really addressed the issue directly. He's never hidden implications that he knows the whole story, but he's spared your dignity and never breathed a word to anyone. Not even John. You've both gone on, letting the people around you believe whatever they want to about your relationship.
 
But sitting in the restaurant with your group of friends before heading off to prom, your relationship is clearly not what either of you seems to want. You're both largely ignoring your food--despite your usually all-consuming teenage male appetites--looking miserable. Casting a sideways glance toward John, you do your best not to let your poker face fall. He's laughing at some joke his date told, and you can't help but wish it were your joke he was laughing at. If you keep looking at your best friend, you're going to start feeling like you should punch something--or someone--so you look over at Jake, hoping to make some awkward small talk. But when you turn to him, you freeze. You glance back and forth between him and the direction he's looking, trying to make sure you aren't missing something.
 
No. He's definitely giving your brother the same helpless kicked puppy look that you were just giving John (or would have been if you ever betrayed any emotion--which you never do, of course. You're too cool for that.) It suddenly dawns on you that maybe you are the one who got played. Suddenly, it all makes sense. You've both been pining for your best friends, and the closest you could get was each other. You'd been wondering why he went along with your charade when he made no secret that he knew. Now you understand: he's been playing his own game, too, and you've been clueless the whole time.
 
As the realization hits, your stomach twists in knots. It's obviously because you feel like a complete idiot, having been kept in the dark this whole time. Jake is hardly a subtle person, so you have no idea how you could have missed it. Maybe you were too preoccupied with your own feelings for John. Maybe you didn't care enough about Jake to even pay enough attention to him to notice. But some small voice in your mind tells you that's not true. He is your friend, after all.
 
Well, he was your friend--before you decided on a whim that you needed to take advantage of that friendship to get a boyfriend. You usually tell yourself it was a strategic move to try to make John jealous or something. But if you're completely honest, it's mostly because you were lonely.
 
Sitting at the far end of the table, feeling miserable when all your other friends--even your brother--are excited and talking and laughing, you're still lonely. And even though Jake is faking it better than you are, you know him well enough that you can tell he's feeling just as alone as you. You can't let this go on. So you won't. You're going to end this tonight. Leaning over and tapping Jake on the shoulder, he turns to you, and you gesture for him to follow you as you get up and head toward the bathroom. You keep telling yourself that, as hard as this is going to be, you're doing this for his sake. Unlike John, Dirk is a homosexual. Jake has a chance that Dirk will choose him in the end. But part of you doesn't want to let him have that chance.
 
But you know you have to give it to him--you owe it to him. He would do the same for you. Sure, your relationship with him has never been real, but you're somehow going to miss it now that you've decided to end it. His straightforward nature, his energy, the way he always has some new idea for something exciting and unusual to try...
 
You run out of time before you run out of things you like about Jake, and as you stand in front of the mirror in the men's bathroom and take a deep breath, some part of you screams at you to stop. Just as the force of your feelings for him becomes apparent to you, you choke out what you know you need to say.
 
"You like my bro, and you at least have a chance with him. We should break up."
 
This is going to be your last night with him--because you can't tell him you fell for him.
 
-------------
 
Your name is Jake English, and ever since you got to the restaurant this evening, your "boyfriend," Dave Strider, has been acting kind of strangely. But admittedly, what is strange for him would be normal for most people: he's been showing many varying emotions. With anyone else, you'd say it was just nerves about prom, but with Dave, it's a different story. You wish you could just ask him if he's all right, but you know he'd never give you a straight answer anyway. You'd thought once that maybe he would come to trust you eventually and realize that, even though you're not your brother, you could still at least be his friend.
 
It's true that you didn't start out the "relationship" any more selflessly than he did. He wasn't a dead ringer for Dirk, but he was certainly better than no Strider at all. But as time went on, you started to genuinely like him. He'd always been just a friend of your brother's whom you became friends with by default, but once you started "dating" him, he quickly became much more than that. He was easy to talk to, despite his myriad oddities, snark, and egotism, and he was easy to trust, too. You rarely told even John about things that really bothered you, but with Dave, it was just natural.
 
Your feelings for Dirk haven't quite left, though, and as you glance down the table at him, you can't help but feel conflicted. You're not even sure whose sake you're keeping up this charade for anymore. If you'd known you'd actually start liking your fake boyfriend, you would have spared yourself the frustration and embarrassment.
 
Suddenly, you feel someone tap you lightly on the shoulder, and you glance over to see Dave observing you with a look of concern. Before you can say anything, he gestures for you to follow him as he heads toward the bathroom. You're not sure where this is going, but you don't think you're going to like it. You cross your arms over your chest as you stand there, opening your mouth to speak, but once again not having the chance as Dave begins.
 
"You like my bro, and you at least have a chance with him. We should break up."
 
Your mouth remains open as you try to take in what he's saying and how you're supposed to react to it.
 
"Are you certain about that, Strider?"
 
He pauses for a moment and sighs. "Yeah. No reason to keep lying about shit. I shouldn't have asked you to do this anyway."
 
You contemplate answering with an "Ok" or "You're probably right," but what comes out instead is different.
 
"We aren't lying. Or, I'm not, at least."
 
Dave looks at you, jaw dropped slightly, and you open and close your mouth, trying to figure out what you just said.
 
"What do you mean?" he asks quietly.
 
"I mean..." You sigh heavily, but as you take a step toward Dave so that you're close enough to make eye contact, you know you're making the right choice. Well, you feel pretty sure, anyway. "I mean that I've developed a bit of a 'thing' for you."
 
"Not for Dirk?"
 
"I admit I started out with the same intentions you did: to get the closest replacement for my best bro. But this all worked out rather well, and I have to say that after these couple years we've been together, I'd like it to continue. If you're up for it."
 
After a moment, Dave takes a couple quick steps toward you and gingerly places his hand on your cheek. You grin sheepishly, and as he leans in, you close the gap until your lips meet. The kiss is sloppy and as uncertain as you both are about your feelings for each other, but it feels right, somehow. You both pull back, smiling, and head back out to face the table full of your friends.
 
To them, it will seem like nothing changed. But really, this is going to be your first real night with him--because you finally told him you fell for him.

Date: 2012-08-12 11:41 pm (UTC)
jamkiske: (pic#3466934)
From: [personal profile] jamkiske
This kind of hits home for me because I broke up with someone at prom who I was dating as a replacement for someone I actually liked haha. Alas, real life doesn't allow endings as cute as the one here.

So yeah really nice concept for the prompt that's straightforward and unique.

Date: 2012-08-14 01:05 am (UTC)
rydia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydia
What a sweet little romance. ~<3 The last paragraph was a beautiful way to end the story. :)

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