Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

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Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:40 am

For most of his life, the defining trait of Dave Strider was that he had an older brother. That, of all the things about him, was the most significant fact of his life. In his eyes, his brother was perfect. The ideal man in every way. Bro was all that Dave aspired to be, for most of his life.

Then, after a while, something changed.

Dave began to branch off from the path his brother had paved for him. He found other interests. Photography was one. Art, another. Not that his brother wasn't an excellent artist, that certainly couldn't be contested, but it wasn't exactly one of Bro Strider's defining traits.

And then there was music. Music, it seemed, was what Bro Strider lived for. In that, they did not differ. They even started off in the same genre. DJing and mixing was their specialty. As Dave got older, they even would co-DJ at shows, to great effect. People loved them... together. But Dave found himself wanting to be more than just the sidekick to Bro's unmatched perfection. He started doing shows on his own, but they didn't draw anywhere near the crowd that Bro's solo shows did, even with the reputation he'd established with them working together. It was frustrating, to say the least.

He started experimenting with different kinds of music, going to different kinds of venues to see what people liked. At one bar, that he only went to on a lark, he stumbled upon what was to become his one great love in life. The one thing that he'd always ironically teased his brother that he'd become famous for, and never meant a word of it. The one thing that would mortify Bro Strider beyond all belief if he were to find out: country and western music.

At first, he was legitimately ashamed that he enjoyed it so much. He'd come out as gay and only felt the faintest hint of embarrassment about it, and that was something that was actually frowned upon by society at large. This was about something as small and stupid as his taste in music, and here he was, feeling like a traitor to his family name.

He started small, tentatively. He listened to every note of country music he could get his hands on, through his headphones, memorizing every song that he could, and then started hopping the karaoke bars in neighboring small towns. He would usually only sing one song a night, towards the end when almost everyone had left, but he was slowly building up his confidence.

He became a regular at those bars. He made friends. Genuinely got to know the sort of small-town good ol' boys that listened to all the country radio stations that played in Texas. It was hard, at first. He was a city boy, through-and-through, and obviously out of his element, so no one really trusted him at first. But, out of sheer determination, he made himself a household name around those parts. There were people he hadn't known existed six months prior who would buy him a beer the minute he walked in the door, clapping him on the back harder than was necessary and hollering "howdy!" It was... charming.

He was charmed and delighted by these quaint people, with their simple lives, who didn't worry about appearances or reputations or even proper manners, most of the time. He stopped even going to city bars, unless he was playing a show, which he did less and less. He started to notice himself picking up his new friends' quirks, and letting that trademark drawl creep into his voice at times.

Dave wasn't generally a person who liked being around people, unless he was the center of attention, but, for some reason, these people made him feel at home, at ease. He could sit at the bar, making casual conversation and sipping a beer for hours, not get hit on a single time, and still go home happy.

One night, after an open mic night where a local band completely stole the show, he finally made the plunge from the shallow waters he'd been wading in, straight to the deep end of the pool. He asked if someone could teach him how to play the guitar.

Of course, everyone was delighted that he'd even asked. He'd told them plenty of stories about his high-profile life of DJing in the big city, and here he was, humbling himself before them, to learn a simple little acoustic instrument, when, if he wanted, he could easily just replicate it with a soundboard. His lessons started the very next night.

For a month, he only went home to sleep, because home was the one place he couldn't practice. He didn't even want to risk his brother seeing him with a guitar. Sure, he could play it off as trying to be "ironic", but he was sure Bro would see right through that lie. He could almost always see through Dave's lies.

Of course, even Bro started to get worried, when he only saw his life's work for about ten minutes a day, before he locked himself in his little man-cave to sleep. He nagged; Dave rolled his eyes. He asked questions; Dave avoided them. He made accusations; Dave threw a punch. And, with that, the longstanding Strider household was broken up. Dave moved in, temporarily, with some friends from the bar.

He got his own place, in a small town about an hour outside of Hosuton. He lived, he learned, he played an absolute fuckton of music. He got... good. Not even just "pretty good". He got good enough to make a demo, but he needed a pseudonym. Something that wouldn't get him immediately recognized by his Bro, if he should somehow make it to the big time. One of his friends jokingly suggested "Tex", and Dave loved it. It stuck.

The demo was made, sent out, and immediately picked up by Sun Records. Which was, you know, kind of a big deal. He made it pretty big. Went out on tours. But no matter how much money he made, he kept coming back to his little, podunk town, about an hour outside of Houston, and drinking with his friends, and singing karaoke in shitty dive bars. He only thought about his previous life intermittently, and usually only to wonder what his old friends were up to, and if they knew his big little secret yet.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:15 am

John wasn't particularly smart, but he was passionate. When he set his mind to something he followed through, no matter how long it took.

When he promised his best friend he'd get accepted into a school down by where he lived he thought he'd get it easy enough. He found a school with a good reputation that offered profession he was interested in and he went for it, only to fail spectacularly. He wasn't deterred and he studied hard, brought his grades up his senior year and applied again. The second rejection letter hurt more than the first. He stopped talking to his friends as much, only dropping the occasional message to Dave as he worked hard to see his goal through: he went to a secondary school to boost his credits and he wrote essay after essay to apply for scholarships. He was going to prove he could do it, he could prove himself worthy.

Finally he was accepted. Everything he needed was done. His father was nothing but proud of him, and all his friends that he had neglected as he took the necessary steps congratulated him and told him they knew he could do it. The only person he hadn't told was Dave. He was waiting to make it special. He wanted to tell him in a way that told him that John did it for him, because he wanted to be near him, by his side.

His Dad helped him move into his dorm room. His roommate wasn't the nicest. John had a sneaking suspicion he was racist by the way he kept eying his obviously-Asian-of-some-sort dad and the way he gave John (who you could really only tell had foreign roots because of the shape of his eyes) the stink eye every time his dad left the room. After their heartfelt goodbye, John went to the school's campus sign and made sure to pose with a grin at a good angle that captured most of the letters.

He sent the selfie he took to Dave with the note:

dormblock 4 room 13
come find me mr strider
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:32 am

Dave was in his tiny kitchen, making himself a simple lunch, when he heard his phone go off from the other room. He didn't often get text messages, but when he did, it was usually an invite to go out drinking, or to let him know there was a karaoke party going on. He didn't think it was anything urgent, so he finished building his sandwich, poured himself a glass of apple juice, and plopped himself down in front of the teevee before grabbing it.

When he finally did open the messaging app, he nearly had a heart attack just from seeing the sender. The message contained within took him so much by surprise that he almost threw his phone across the room. He didn't actually do that. He caught himself just in time and, instead, only fumbled it around for a few seconds before getting his grasp on it again.

holy shit what
are you for real
dude i am so excited
ill be there in like ten minutes
i just gotta put on pants
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:47 am

John was already halfway back to his dorm when he got the response and he couldn't help but laugh loudly, causing several people on the green to give him odd looks.

oh yes, pants please.
i'm pretty sure my roommate is hostile,
if not a bit racist.
i really loathe to think of how unpleasant he'll be if he finds out i'm gay.
just to be clear that means a shirt is required too, no matter how hot it is right now.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:53 am

okay
wait
ten minutes might have been an understatement
try like
thirty
i kinda forgot i dont live in town anymore there for a sec
also
you think this is hot
this aint hot
just wait john
youll get to experience a real texas heat wave soon enough


"Shit, did I just type 'ain't'? Goddamnit."
Dave rolled off the couch and yanked on his jeans, feeling self-conscious about his appearance for just a moment. John hadn't seen him since he was the 'coolkid'. What would he think of the new Dave Strider? What would he think of "Tex", when he stolled in there in his flannel shirt, bootcut jeans, and cowboy boots? ...Should he wear that belt? He probably shouldn't wear the belt. The belt might be a little much. He should probably leave the hat at home, too. There would be plenty of time for those things later.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:00 am

did you and bro move or something?
you never said anything
but don't remind me about the heat
as you saw from the picture i'm already in my thinnest shirt
and my lightest shorts.
if i go any lighter i'll be in nothing but my skivvies
and no body wants to see my pasty ass


John grinned as he stepped into his room, ignoring his roommate's stink eye. Brandon or Briton (It was something that started with a Br- he remembered that much) could kindly go fuck himself for all he cared at this given moment. If he proved to be an issue, John wasn't afraid to pull the racist hick defense card, especially with the looks he was getting after not being here a day.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:05 am

oh
uh
well i moved
just me
but thats a story for another day
today is all about you
and how amazing its going to be to see you
and how hard im gonna hug your ass when i see you
because holy shit for real


He finally decided on a normal belt that did not have studs or an enormous buckle with his name on it, and a pair of plain brown boots that did not have either rinestones or snakeskin. As much as he loved his hat, it stayed at home.
He jumped in his fire-engine red convertible mustang, the aviators John had gotten him years ago flashing in the afternoon sunlight, and took off towards the city, towards the college, towards his friend.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:15 am

jesus
don't hug my ass
hug my upperhalf
like a normal person!!
can't wait to see you in person
i mean, its been forever!!


John flopped down on his bed, still grinning like a schoolgirl. Maybe Dave'd want to get drinks later. John was legal now anyway. Barely. Thankfully he wasn't that much younger than Dave or most of his other friends.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:25 am

Dave roared into the parking lot in his mechanical beast of a car and pulled up in front of the dorm block John had specified. His heart was pounding so hard and fast he half thought that other people must be able to hear it. What if John thought he was lame? He certainly wasn't a cool kid anymore. Then again, it was John. Even if John did think he was lame, it couldn't affect their relationship too much. ...He hoped.

He pushed his shades, the shades John bought him, up his nose as he entered the building, wishing that he'd brought his hat after all. He always felt like people were staring at him when he went out in public places, and his hat at least would have allowed him to hide his face and have some anonymity. The last thing he needed was for someone to recognize him as Tex while he was out with John. He wasn't quite ready to take that leap. Not yet.

He took the elevator up, because it gave him less opportunity to pass people in the hall. He was the only one waiting to use it, so he didn't even have to awkwardly stand next to someone for the fifteen or so seconds the trip took. John's room was only a few feet down the hall. He took a deep, steadying breath, then knocked firmly on the door, three times.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:34 am

John's roommate got up to answer the door, a twenty in hand. Apparently he had ordered pizza while John was out on the green. Didn't stop John from looking up when he opened the door. As soon as he saw Dave's face, he was on his feet, pushing past Bradon into the hall, grinning like a maniac.

"Dave!" he practically cheered, grinning up at him. "Man how long have you been taller than me?"
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:39 am

"Dude, I grew, like, a foot when I turned seventeen," Dave drawled. He put his hands on john's shoulders and held him out at arm's length to get a good look at him. "When the hell did you get better lookin' than me?"
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:50 am

"I think it might be my Asian genetics" John admitted with a shrug "But I'm not really all that handsome, more like a dime a dozen. You're the handsome one, all Texas tan and blonde hair" he teased "And don't get me started on how much I like those jeans"
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:04 am

"The jeans?" He turned slowly in place, letting John get a good 360 degree view. "Yeah, I s'pose they're alright. They're just, yanno, everyday jeans. Ain't nothin' fancy er nothin'. Anyway! How long've you been in town? Did you just get in today? When're you gonna be ready fer the wild Texas party life?"
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:13 am

"They look nice on you" John replied before shoving his hands in his pockets. "And I've been here a few days, only got everything settled at the dorms today. I mean, if you're inviting me out to a bar I think I can manage that" He stated cheekily "I don't start school for another week or so, so I think I can afford the hang over"
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:00 pm

"I ain't invitin' you anywhere, John. I'm takin' you on an adventure that you'll never forget. It's gonna be interestin' to say the least... You've got such a, uh, city boy look to you, my friends'll be on you like a pack of piranhas." He grinned and offered his hand. "I think we're annoyin' your housemate, though, so maybe we should get to hittin' the dusty trail?"
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:17 pm

"I"m pretty sure he hates me already for nothing I can control" John replied. "Anyway, just let me grab my keys and a jacket and we can start this grand adventure" He ducked back into the room for a moment and returned wearing a well worn jacket. "Okay, where to?"
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:06 pm

"My place first," he replied, steering John down the hall with his hand planted in the middle of the younger man's back.

"That jacket have sentimental value, or can I buy you a new one?" he asked as he led John out the door of the dorm block and to his painstakingly shiny red convertible. "And don't worry about me spending money on you, either. As you can see, I've got it to spare."
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:28 pm

"This thing? Not really no" John admitted, letting Dave's hand press more firmly to his back. "I mean, its basically the lightest Jacket I have, best one suited for Texas. All my other ones are essentially coats."

He smiled at the car. "Normally I don't let people buy me stuff cause it makes me feel cheap. But if you wanna aim to be my sugar daddy, Who am I to stop you" John teased.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:41 pm

Dave rolled his eyes, opened the door, and practically shoved John into the seat. The key was already in his hand when he got in on the driver's side, and a few seconds later the engine roared to life. He over at John and hit a button, making the canvas top roll back and slowly collapse in on itself, collecting in a divot behind the backseat. He was going to give John the star treatment.

Without saying another word, he pulled out of the parking lot and headed towards home. John's college was toward the outside of the city already, so it didn't take as long to get there and back as it would if he'd gone to one of the ones in the heart of downtown. He didn't actually tell John he was living so far outside the city, he just figured he'd put two and two together.

When they finally hit the long, empty country roads, lined by acres and acres of farmland, he shifted into overdrive and hauled ass down the road, his hair (which he had recently started growing out) streaming out behind him and a big dumb grin on his face.

Without looking over, he reached out and furiously ruffled John's already windswept hair. He was so happy to have his best friend there with him, at last.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:50 pm

John laughed, closing his eyes and relishing the feel of the wind, and Dave's fingers in his hair. "Must be a nice place out here. I take it you moved out of the city to stop getting noise complaints?" he teased.

He looked over at Dave. "You are still making music right? You were so passionate about it, I can't see you doing anything else really"
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:54 pm

Dave swung the car into his driveway and shut off the ignition. The engine died with a mechanical hum.

"Well, uh.. Yeah. I still do the music thing. Just, yanno, not exactly the way I use'ta." He tried not to sound self conscious, and failed horribly. He may have embraced the southerner inside himself, but that didn't mean he wasn't still a little embarrassed about it.

He went around to John's door to let him out. "Come inside. We can talk more when we're in the air conditioning. I want you to see my fortress of solitude."
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:26 pm

"Alright Superman" John grinned. "Guess its a good thing I wore my Batman briefs today. Or I could be your Louis Lane" He slid out and started up to the porch. "But trust me, these legs may be little but they do not rock a skirt. I'm too skinny in general to rock a skirt. Sometimes I can rock a dress, but not generally." John nodded.
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:18 pm

Dave was unlocking the front door, but paused a moment to turn and look John up and down. He made a face and shrugged as he turned away to swing the door wide.

"I dunno. Tailored right, I think you could work it. Anyway, this is my home base. Uh... 'Pologize for how... embarrassing it is in here. Hope you don't mind it too much."
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  THISLOSERHERE on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:29 pm

"Dude, I still have movie posters up in my room back in Washington. I dunno if you saw, but my roommate has a borderline pornographic poster of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders up on his side of the room." John replied walking in past Dave.

"Tailored how you think? I mean, I know I have some fine hips, and my tush is nice if I do say so myself, but my chest isn't very chestish and I know I've got chicken legs. I got to hear the taunts all through high school." John glanced around "I mean I'm pretty girly, but not girly enough."
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Re: Tall Handsome Stranger (Theta Dave/John)

Post  Ezikeel on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:38 pm

"Shit if I know a damned thing about clothes, I just know a good tailor can make you look good in anything. Maybe I'll introduce you to mine, sometime."

Dave shut the door behind them, locking it just in case of paparazzi (that would be the last goddamned thing he needed right now), then awkwardly gestured around the room.

"This is it. The lair of a legendary Strider. Just, uh, pretend it's not a disaster or anything."

The house wasn't actually terribly messy. Dave had lived with piles of smuppets and an inaccessible fridge for so long that he almost compulsively cleaned up after himself. It was, however, strewn with various acoustic guitars in varied states of being modified or re-strung, cowboy hats, leather belts he liked and was reworking the leather so that they would actually fit him, and other such embarrassingly country-esque things. Had he had more forewarning that John was coming to town, he'd have cleaned every scrap of that part of his life out of the visible parts of the house. He was sure that John was going to think he was the dweebiest dweeb that ever dweebed, and he was slightly mortified, which manifested itself as a light dusting of red across his tanned and freckled cheekbones.
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