[personal profile] shini_fanfic
Title: Loss
Fandom: Homestuck
Rating: T for death and blood and language.
Timeline: Alpha. (Written before 4 century revelation)
Characters: Dave Strider, Rose Lalonde, Her Imperious Condescension
Summary: Your name is Dave Strider, and you are about to die. 



There is water everywhere, and it feels wrong.

You used to like water well enough. It rarely rained where you lived, so every downpour was a welcome change of pace. A blissful respite from the searing heat.

Now there is nothing but ocean, and you hate it.

Because it means you've already lost.

It's been exactly four hours and thirteen minutes to the second since the drones attacked you. Sweat is running down your skin, smudging your shades but you don't take them off, and you're starting to get tired from the nonstop fighting.

Anyone else would have lost track hours ago, but not you. You can feel the flow of time ticking away, vibrating in the air, in the ground, in your blood.

You can feel your own time running out, but you pretend you don't feel it. You've got shit to do. Places to go. People to see.

People to protect.

Another drone is pierced through the middle. You rip your sword through and kick it away, moving on. You have to stop the drones here. You could run, but it wouldn't work-- they'd just track you down again. If you went home, you'd lead them straight to their real goal.

So you keep fighting, trying to work your way to the buildings you see in the distance. There was a mountain here, perhaps, because you spot a bit of green around the buildings.

Grass. Jeezus, you can't remember the last time you've seen grass.

You slaughter the drones in the air and make a landing. You captchalogue the rocketboard and make a run for the inside. The buildings are old and abandoned, but it doesn't matter. You've got a generator with you, all you need is a computer to plug in.

A flash of red catches your eye, a fresh bloodstain on the ground, and you hesitate. You think you see something in the corner of your eye and your heart speeds up. It takes all your willpower to keep going, to try to move on, even as you end up following the bloodstain through the building.

You find a computer and get out the green cube to provide power, but before you plug it in you feel time shudder. Someone's time has stopped – you know who it is but you don't want to believe.

That's stupid. She's just doing her weird blackout shit. She's fine. She's not dead. You try to tell yourself, but then a voice speaks from behind you, and the blood drains from your face and time feels like a tremor inside your body.

“Hello, human.”

She sounds satisfied. You know she thinks she's won. You know she has won even as you turn around and raise your sword. The Witch smirks at you, double bladed trident only half aimed in your direction. She knows she doesn't need to fight. You can't win against her and you both know it.

For a split second, there is silence. You are going to die here. You will never make it home. You wonder how long it will take for your brother to realize that when you left, it was the last time he'd ever see you.

Somehow, the fact that you're going to die calms you. You are no stranger to death, and it's not the first time you've died. You knew this would happen.

But you're not going down without a fight.

“Nice of you to show up,” you find yourself saying. “Thought I'd have to track you down myself. Saved me the trouble.”

“Oh really? And what did you intend to do when you found me?” She laughs, a wide, manic grin crossing her face and exposing sharp teeth.

“Well for starters, I was thinking I'd avenge Glover and Stiller. And all the other people you had assassinated. Then maybe I'd chuck your corpse into a volcano.”

The Witch laughs again. It's a smug laugh, one that says she knows something you don't.

That irritates you. “You find that funny, 'Betty'?”

“Oh yes. Just your priorities in vengeance. But then, I suppose you don't know.”

Don't say it.

“The fuck are you talking about?”

“There's another person on your list of people to avenge,” she has something in her hand that you hadn't noticed before, until she tosses it at your feet.

It lands with a faint clatter and your heart skips a beat when you realize it's a bloodstained purple headband.

You know that headband.

You know what it means.

You are the knight. You are the one who is supposed to protect.

You failed.

Blood rushes in your ears. “You. Fucking. BITCH!” Your cool has broken away and there is nothing but rage left. Your hands clench tightly around the sword's hilt and you lunge. You want to see the Witch's blood on the ground more than anything in the world right now.

Your reaction only delights her as she dodges your attack with careless ease. A half-hearted counter attack sends your shades flying and you don't even care for once in your life. You're going to die but you hope desperately you're going to take her with you.

“She died well, if it's any consolation.” She giggled, knowing perfectly well it is only making you angrier and relishing your fury. “No pleading, no crying. She protected the children to the last. It'll take time for me to be able to track them again-- but I will find them.”

“SHUT THE FUCK UP.”

“You've lost, human.”

The trident plunges into your stomach and for a moment you don't even feel it. Then, mingled with your rage comes the pain and the loss of blood makes you dizzy.

The Witch removes her trident from your gut as freezing pain spreads throughout your body, and smirks. “You should be honored. You two are the only humans I have bothered to kill personally.”

Your only response is to glare and spit blood at her face. She kicks you in the bleeding wound and you fall to the ground, coughing up even more blood. You feel the bloodstained trident touch your neck, forcing your head up to meet her gaze.

“Enjoy your death, Dave Strider.”

You wait for her to plunge it into your vulnerable neck, but instead she steps back.

She leaves you to bleed to death.

Your head falls forward and you see the blood pooling on the ground and remember that some of it was there when you arrived. You move without thinking. You can feel your blood slipping away, feel your time coming to an end, but still you force yourself back to your feet. Your breaths come out in heavy pants as you grasp for the current of time, and you find it.

You find yourself in the same room, only the pool of blood around your feet has vanished. More blood begins to drip from your wound in its place, and you start walking. You push the pain aside even as more and more red trails on the floor in your wake.

You make it to another room with a computer and plug it in. It takes only ten seconds to upload pesterchum's phone application. But it feels like forever to you.

The ringing sound starts and you hope desperately for an answer.

And then, to your relief, you get it. Static crackles for a moment before you hear her voice, so faint you almost can't hear it.

“Dave...?”

You struggle with what to say as you turn up the volume to hear her better. It's getting hard to see now, and you feel cold. Finally, you settle for, “Hey Rose.”

“She... got you too... huh?”

“Yeah...” You struggle to keep your eyes open. “I couldn't... go back any further. I'm sorry.”

Her only response is a sad, “I know...”

“Are... Roxy and Dirk safe?”

“For... now...”

You hear her voice getting weaker, even as you hear drones in the distance. You feel the terrible, terrible irony in the fact that she managed to protect them to the end. You're the knight, that should be your job. You're a failure.

“Does Roxy know?”

“I... sent... a... message...”

It's almost time, you realize. You know, somewhere, wherever she is, her eyes are closing for the last time. You can hear movement in the house.

“Rose, I--” Your throat closes up. You don't know how to do this. You don't know how to tell her how important she has been to you. You don't know how to tell your sister that you love her.

You don't know how to say goodbye.

“I... know...” Rose laughs faintly “I...”

For once, you smile, even though it's weak. “I know.”

You hear a faint breath, then static. You feel time stop for her for the second time.

With what's left of your strength you switch the windows and type out a final message to Dirk.

witch got us stay inside stay safe

That is all you can manage. You hit send and finally let your eyes shut as blackness creeps into your vision. It's cold, and you think of the two times you've seen snow. Once when you visited Rose in New York, and once in another life you once believed to be a dream, on a planet covered in frost..

John, Jade... Rose.

Be there soon.


Your name is Dave Strider.

And you are not the first to die for this cause.

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June 2012

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