[personal profile] shini_fanfic
Title: Lost And Found
Warnings: Attempted Suicide and Suicidal thoughts, depression, existential crisis, alcoholism. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
Fandom: Homestuck
Timeline: Beta Timeline/pre-scratch.
Pairings: Dirk/Roxy (Bro/Mom).
Summary: Dirk Strider and Roxy Lalonde have always been alone. Shuffled from foster home to foster home, always searching for faces in memories that both have and haven't happened yet. They're not the heroes, but even with the distance, fate manages to bring them together.

Note: Headcanon heavy. Involves them being able to remember the alpha session to some extent due to the fact that the sessions happen simultaneously, and outside of time.



You're fifteen years old and you don't know nor care where you are. It's been a few days now since you ran away. You've taken your life's savings, and stolen a bit more from your foster parents before you left. It's been enough to get you bus rides and a room in a cheap hotel for one night while you waited for another bus. You didn't really plan this out beyond that, though. Your decision to run came on a whim, tired of the looks your foster parents gave you, the way the other people at school talked about you. Your foster parents were going to send you back to the group home next week anyway, too unnerved by the strange darkness that blacks out pictures of you, the strange images that appear in windows.

You’re not sure whether or not they alerted the authorities that you’ve gone missing, but you take care to hide your vivid pink eyes under the shadow of your jacket's hood. When that fails there's a pair of cheap sunglasses in your pocket that you bought in a corner store on the way. You haven't been troubled by the police so far and you intend to keep it that way.

You were in Arkansas yesterday, but you don't know if you crossed the border or in which direction. It's much warmer down here than it was up north, but you're still cold and you wish you had a scarf. Running away in the dead of winter wasn't exactly the best plan.

But when have you ever been good at plans. Or anything, really, besides a knack for getting ahold of alcohol, fighting, and being invisible to the world.

You've got alcohol now, even. Vodka hidden in a flask tucked under your jacket. You take a swig of it as you walk along the sidewalk, letting the warm buzz wash through you. You're swaying just a bit, but you stay on the concrete.

You're not heading towards anything. You don't know what you're really doing, even, or what you hoped to accomplish. You're just a fifteen year old girl with a duffel full of clothes and a flask of vodka and a little bit of money.

Maybe you can find a job. But who would hire a teenage girl without a diploma and no skills? You could pretend to be an adult. You've got a fake ID. But you don't know where to begin. Part of you wants to start crying, and the other part wants to just stop and disappear.

You stop. Your wandering has taken you to a bridge. The wind is blowing cold air tinged with the smell of lakewater. You step a bit closer and look out at the darkness, the reflected moonlight on the water, and you feel alone, terribly alone. You don't have friends. You don't have parents. You don't have anything. You have only empty dreams.

You've dreamt sometimes of having friends, two boys and a girl who you care about so much it hurts. You dream of a city on water, and ragged people with beetlelike shells and feeling so strange and out of place. Somehow in that dream, in that place with no humans, you feel so much less alone than you do now.

You look at the dark water below.

No one would miss you. The friends in your dreams are just dreams. You have nothing. You are nothing. Nothing but a strange girl with pink eyes who is even invisible to photographs. A mysterious enigma, unnerving social workers and foster parents alike. They wonder sometimes if you’re cursed.

You wonder too.

Slowly, you set down your bag and climb onto the railing, looking at the water below, your breath painful. Some part of you is scared to end it, to never see another day. But you are tired, so very tired, and so very alone.

But when you shut your eyes to take the plunge, something stops you from letting go. Something nags in the back of your head, the voices of people who don't exist. They wouldn't want this.

Your breathing has turned to sobs. They're not there. They're not real. So why do you hesitate when you think of what they'd say? You clench your eyes tighter and try to muster the courage, but something else is stopping you.

There’s something you must do. Something you have to do, something important. You don't know what it is, but it makes you hesitate.

You don't know why you listen to that sense, but you start to climb back down from the railing.

Things don't work out. It’s rained recently and the railing is slick with water. You slip, and you start to fall towards the lake below.

Your life doesn't flash before your eyes. Instead, as you stare at the rushing river that will bring your demise, you see a lake much like this one and a flash of purple and all you can think is that you're sorry and you don't even know why or to whom you're sorry.

The back of your jacket jerks, tugging the material against your neck and chest. It takes you a moment to realize that you’re not dead.

Someone caught hold of your jacket just in time. Your vision is blurred by tears but you can just make out their shape as a warm hand clasps around your wrist. They grunt and reach down for your other hand.

You hesitate, for a brief moment, but take it and let them pull you over the railing. The moment your feet touch ground you sink to your knees, panting as you wipe your tears with the back of your hand.

"Shit. Are you okay?" he says. Your heart skips a beat. You know that voice.

You've never heard it before, but you know it. You've known that voice as long as you can remember, lingering at the corner of your mind whenever things got rough or when you slept. The voice you always heard most in your dreams.

Slowly, you look up, hardly daring to believe. You're half certain that when you look up that there will be nothing there, that you’ve finally lost it and begun to hallucinate, but your gaze focuses on dark sunglasses and pale blonde hair.

The sunglasses are wrong, just normal cheap ones. You know they're the wrong pair but that's okay because the face behind them is the same as you remember. You can't see his eyes behind the sunglasses but you know they widen. You also know they're a vivid orange, like the sunset.

You hold your gaze, pink on orange but separated by dark plastic. He slowly reaches up and pulls his sunglasses away, double checking that he really is seeing you.

Neither of you say anything for a moment, before finally, he speaks in a quiet whisper, as if he's afraid a loud noise will make you vanish. "Roxy...?"

Your heart speeds up and you want to cry and laugh and hug him all at once, but you can't move. All you can do is reply. "D-Dirk?"

You couldn't remember his name before, not until that moment when your eyes met. But it falls from your lips as easily as if you'd been saying it your whole life. You don’t know what to say or do. You’re both thrilled and terrified. Maybe you did die just now and you’re dead and this is all make-believe.

It’s never been real before, so why now?

He touches your hand carefully, like trying to see if you’re really there. And then the dam breaks and you throw your arms around his neck and hug him tighter than you’ve hugged anyone ever before. “O-oh my god. It’s you. You’re real. I’m not crazy!”

You feel his arms around you in return, solid and warm, one hand trailing down your back, both of you making sure that the other is truly real and solid, not a ghost of your memories. You’re crying softly again, but you’re also smiling more than you ever have. He’s real. He’s real and alive and you’re not alone anymore.

You sit there for a few minutes, just holding each other. You’re close enough to hear his heart beating, fast and hard just like yours is. You can feel his chest move with every breath.

Your dreams were real after all.

Finally, you pull away, but you don’t let go of his hand. Your gazes meet again and you still don’t know what to say.

He does, though. He looks at the bridge again and you feel the grip on your hand tightening. “Were you jumping or falling?” He asks in a soft voice, eyes hard.

Hot shame fills you, and you want to avert your eyes from his piercing stare, but you don’t dare. You’re afraid that if you look away, he’ll be gone like your dreams always are when you wake up. “A... a little of both. I was trying to climb back down, but I slipped.” His hand is almost painfully tight on yours. If he’d been even seconds later you would have never met.

“Why?”

“There was no one to miss me.”

He doesn’t seem to make much move, but you can tell his eyes soften. “Yeah... No one to miss me either.”

Suddenly, you want to ask: 'Why are we always alone?' but the words stick in your throat and he speaks again while you’re trying to force words out.

“You live in this city?”

You take a slow breath. “N-no. I ran away... was in a foster home in New York,” you still don’t dare to look away. He can see every emotion that crosses your face. All the hurt, the exhaustion, the emptiness. The things nobody ever notices, but he does. “They were going to send me back to the group home.”

He stands abruptly, pulling you up and putting his shades back on. It strikes you again how wrong rounded glasses look on him. They don’t suit the sharp angles of his face at all. But he distracts you by talking again, “you can crash at my place. Sorta small, but it’s better than being in the streets.”

You’re relieved for more than one reason.“Thanks...” You grab your duffle with the hand that he’s not still holding tightly.

“No problem,” and he begins to lead you down the sidwalk. Some of the tension melts. It’s hard to be truly uncomfortable around him, now that he’s here. You think you know what to ask now.

“How much do you remember?”

“Not a lot... The sea, talking to you... Two kids with black hair... Don’t remember their names.”

“Me neither,” you stare at the ground, trying to recall names and faces. “They wore glasses, I think. The girl wouldn’t believe me that...” you trail off, trying to recall, but he finishes for you.

“That we were from the future.”

Your eyes widen as the memories flicker back into place. That’s right. The future. There was sea everywhere because the earth was flooded. It’s like something out of a story, so insane you shouldn’t believe it.

But the proof is holding your hand and leading you down the darkened streets. You feel a strange sense of nostalgia and the briefest flash of an image, being led by the hand through a city of obsidian and purple. The memory is hazy, like a dream within a dream, disconnected frames from a movie.

“I remember a purple city,” you blurt. “You were leading me through it. But it’s really... blurred I guess..”

“You were sleepwalking,” he responds, voice a little distant as he attempts to sort through his own memories. “It was like... we had these other selves. Mine woke up before yours.”

“Dreamselves...”

“Yeah. That’s right. That’s what we called them.”

You’ve remembered so much in the last few minutes, but it’s all so frustratingly dim. You go over what you do know: His name is Dirk Strider, he likes puppets and history and horses. The Girl and Boy with dark hair you don’t remember the names of, but you remember being frustrated and wishing the Girl would understand and jealous that Dirk got the Boy to understand so easily. You remember cyan words telling you to stop fooling around about serious matters. You remember sitting in an empty house, surrounded by pumpkins. You remember him messaging you -- his text was orange like his eyes -- telling you to stop drinking, to take better care of yourself.

And that’s it. You remember next to nothing besides that. Nothing with any clarity, anyway.

It doesn’t take you long to reach his apartment. It’s rundown and cheap, but the inside is clean, mostly because it’s almost completely bare. There’s a worn couch in the livingroom and you see a small bed and a single box of possessions through the open doorway to the bedroom.

“I can crash on the couch if you want the bed.”

You shake your head, “S’fine. I’ll take the couch. Not gonna kick you outta your own bed.”

“You sure?” he turns to look at you. You can make out the faintest of creases on his forehead, the sligtest frown on his face. You flash to that expression shown on a screen. You see concern; he's worried about you.

"I'm sure. It's not gonna hurt me to sleep on a couch," you assure him. You plop down on the cushions, dropping your duffel beside it. You look around again. "You live alone?"

"Yeah," he sits beside you. His head is facing forward but you can see that he's glancing at you.

"No foster parents?"

"Got myself emancipated. Working part time right now while I finish highschool. Gonna graduate in the spring."

"You are? I thought you were my age."

"I am. I'm graduating early."

You stare down at your knees, ashamed of your own life. When you'd left your grades were barely passing, and you'd never worked. You could barely get yourself up in the morning.

"How do you do it?" You ask after a moment, voice barely above a whisper.

"Do what?" he turns towards you, an eyebrow raised.

You meet his gaze, your own expression lost. "Keep yourself together even though... everything is wrong."

You wonder if maybe it's not that he's strong, but that you're weak.

"I don't know," he replies.

It's not a helpful answer. Some part of you might have hoped that he'd somehow divulge the secret to not being a screw up. Stupid idea.

"What day is it?" you say instead of pressing the issue.

"Tuesday. Well, Wednesday now."

"Got school tomorrow?"

"Yeah."

You bite back disappointment. You want to talk longer but you know it's long past midnight. "Should go to sleep. Don't want you fallin asleep in class."

"I've managed on less," he replies coolly.

"Doesn't make it good for you. Go to bed. I'll be here in the morning."

He stares at you directly, trying to make up his mind. Finally, he stands, "I'll grab some sheets for the couch. Got it used and all. Bathroom's over there if you wanna shower and change."

"Thanks," a shower sounds great. The cheap hotel shower hadn’t made you feel particularly clean and sitting in a bus for hours hadn’t either. You grab a set of worn pyjamas from the duffle and get up.

"Can use my shampoo and soap if it doesn't bother you to smell like a dude," he says.

"You've always been a pretty decent smelling dude. Think I can live with that." You're startled to find that you're smiling.

He's smiling back, the straight line of his mouth curved ever so slightly. For him, he might as well be grinning. Talking with him about something so lighthearted feels wonderful.

You’d forgotten what it was like to really smile.




 
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