You wake up with a start. It’s the next morning, and you’re sleeping on the bathroom floor. School. School is a thing, a thing that you are so completely late for! You’re late! You try to get up, but the instant you move you groan and look around. When did you go to the bathroom again? With much effort you somehow manage to sit up and look down at your battered body. Of course now that you can feel your head, it feels unnaturally heavy and foggy behind a huge headache that’s coming on. Looking down at your body, blue and black all over with bruises you have one singular article of clothing on. It’s your underwear.
What even happened yesterday?
Instead of trying to recall you force yourself to your feet. Your hips protest strongly, threatening to buckle below you. In the mirror you take a look at your face, almost wishing you hadn’t. Usually your Dad was careful about your face, but here you are; one black eye, deep bruises covering your left cheek and the area between your eye and cheek on your right. Shit, no wonder you’ve got such a horrid headache. You make a breathy noise of anger before your hand goes to your throat and a puzzled look crosses your face. The fuck? Why does your throat feel like it’s raw and swollen closed. You attempt to talk, feeling rather surprised that your voice comes out. It’s scratchy and a little painful, but it still comes out. You puff out a sigh and slowly, painfully make your way across the hallway to your room.Your clothes are up here, why does that surprise you so much? Well whatever. You dig around in your pants pocket until you find your phone. It’s pretty low on battery, so you plug it in and check the time. Only you don’t really get the chance as Dave calls you. You answer bringing the phone to your ear.
“That’s me.” Your voice breaks and you clear your throat before wincing. “What’s up?”
“The fuck you mean ‘what’s up?’ Dude why aren’t you at school?”
“I…” Why aren’t you at school? Why were you in the bathroom again, what the hell is going on with today? “I don’t know?”
The a small pause. “John, are you okay?”
“I think so? I can’t really move.” It’s the honest truth, you’re so damn bruised it’s head to do much more than breath. “I fell asleep in the bathroom and missed my alarm for school.”
“I’m coming over, right now.”
“What-no!” You pull the phone away from your ear and cough before bringing it back, “Dave you’re in the middle of school, you can’t just leave!”
“I’m coming over.” He insisted.
You sigh in defeat. “Yeah. Okay.” He tells you he’ll be over in a bit and you mutter a goodbye before he hangs up. In the little time you have you pull on a shirt and pants before going through what else in on your bed. A bible? Is it yours, no, you have one but it’s already in your bookshelf. Fucking, Dad. You sigh and place it off to the side and keep looking. Dave clothes are still here at least.The clothes you had on yesterday are there too, you pick them up and examine if they’re too wrinkled to re-wear again maybe tomorrow. Oh joy there are holes in them. Wait. Those don’t look like holes, they’re too ragged to be holes. Upon further examination you find they’re ripped. Your nice clothes are fucking ripped. You sigh in frustration and throw them to the side of your room as the doorbell rings. Dave. There’s a brief struggle before you get to your feet as he bangs on the door. “I’m getting there, calm your crap Dave.” You yell, not that it comes out that loud. Whatever you’re still moving as fast as you freaking can, which is a snail's pace. You pause at the stairs. Those fucking stairs. With a sigh and extreme pain you begin your descent down the godforsaken things. You’re about halfway down when the back door open and Dave rushes in looking around frantically before calling your name.
You raise an eyebrow and take another step down, “Dave, I need you to calm down. You’ll kill your cool kid facade.”
Dave whips around and runs to the base of the stairs, just staring at you. God what a sight you must be; your face bruised to hell and desperately clinging to the stair rail so you don’t fall. He comes up instead. You don’t get much of a chance to react before he’s hoisting your body over his bony shoulder, causing you to cry out shapely. He apologizes immediately, but continues downstairs and to the couch where he sets you down as gently as he can.
“John what the fuck happened to you?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Can you try?” He moves your head to get a better look at your face.
“Not with this headache of mine.” Then you feel his hand ghosting up your shirt and it feels so wrong you could swear something inside of you bent and started stirring up memories as you shove him away with all your might and yelling at him not to touch you.
Then everything is dark and painful. It’s hard to breath.
Dave’s hands are ghosting on your shoulders, his voice distance as he tries to get you to somehow ‘come back.’ You don’t understand, because you never left. He’s still calling for you so you try to find a source of light.
“Open your eyes, John, you gotta look at me.” Oh. You didn’t know you were closing your eyes in the first place. You do as he requests and open them.
His shades are off and his eyes are filled with concern and confusion. “John, baby,” He reaches for your hands and you don’t hesitate to put yours in them, “You gotta tell me what’s going on. What happened?”
You shake your head, “I don’t now. I don’t know, I don’t know!” The volume of your voice starts getting out of control, are you crying? No, you don’t think so, but you can feel your eyes stinging with the effort to keep in the tears.
“I’m taking you back with me okay? You’re going to stay with me for a few weeks, months even. That sound good?” You nod, sniffing and going to wipe your eyes. “Can I assess the damage?” Another nod and he’s lifting your shirt again. You don't know why you freaked out and reacted like that, and frankly, it bothers you. You blow out a sigh as Dave starts gently poking and prodding at your bruises. This isn't the first time he's done it, and if you keep living here, it certainly won't be the last.
You whine and hiss at all the pokings, but don't start wailing in pain, which means nothing's broken, you think. Dave instructs you to still as he goes up and grabs some stuff. You nod and tell him to make sure to get long sleeve shirts and phone charger. A few minutes later you hear the garage door opening, but just barely. Fuck it scares you. You yell at Dave to hurry up, right as he's coming downstairs.
"Dad's here. Now." That's all it takes for him to sling the duffle back over his shoulder, grab your backpack and shoes, and pick you up before making a mad dash for the back door, Both the front and back doors open simultaneously.
"John? A yellow truck is sitting outside. Is that Strider boy here?" You don't answer as Dave very quietly closes the door and locks it before sprinting out to his truck and setting you down as as possible and literally ripping off your bags and throwing them in the back. You take that time to force yourself to freaking move and buckle yourself in as Dave gets in and straps in himself.
The front door opens again. "JONATHAN ELIZABETH EGBERT!"
Dave jams the keys in the ignition and pulls the car away in a hurry as your Dad starts running at the car. The whole ordeal nearly gives you a goddamn heart attack and you slump in your seat and let out a breath of relief. Dave starts chuckling, and you look over.
"Fuck yeah, take that you old man." You grin at him. "You doing okay there John?"
"Yeah." You pause, because you actually feel great. "Yeah."
"Good, cause you'll be living with us for awhile."
"I like the sound of that."
"Damn right you do. No one can resist the Strider charm." You snort at him. "What was that?" He leans an ear towards you.
"You're such a dork."
"Wow. So rude." You giggle and he continues driving at full speed to his apartment with Bro. Once there and actually parked he grabs all your stuff and you again and takes the "metal death trap" or elevator up, knowing he can't carry you upstair and you can't even carry you upstairs. Once on the destined floor dave kicks his front door until Bro answers it.
"I'm going to need every vegetable bag we've got stat." Is really all Dave says, but Bro doesn't budge. "Bro? I need to get in." After a minute of still nothing you whimper slightly and wiggle. Dave sets you down immediately, offering his apologies and the elevator dings.
Out steps your Dad. "John." He's seething, and you clinging to Dave, can you breath? You don't know, you're too busy freaking the shit out to comprehend anything. Dave has one arm around you for protection, even though you know it's useless. Bro is suddenly right there. He grabs your Dad by the collar and slams him against the stone wall.
"What did you do?" He growls out and you feel Dave shiver.
"Shit." He mutter and picks you up again. You whine in protest, but he refuses to acknowledge that. "Stay here, I'm going to go get Bro before he kills someone."
Dave is just out the bedroom door when you hear Bro bellow, "What did you do?!"
Dave starts running again.
What have you done?