anyone else still sometimes catch themselves thinking about how after all those years of idolizing dave strider and after all that time in the void session wondering and anticipating and nervously awaiting this theoretical possibility that he might get the chance to meet him, dirk finally fucking sits down with dave one on one hours from the final battle and like wow fucking surprise motherfucker
he gets to find out his literal worst fears were ACTUALLY true! the version of him that dave knew actually did, in fact, do his level best to ruin dave’s life and was an abusive, toxic influence from day one and throughout to the point where dave can’t even look at him without flinching!
this coming at a time when dirk is already horrendously low on himself, his relationship with Jake literally just blew up like 3 hours ago and if the AR thing went down even remotely the same way there was also that and holy hell dude what a time to be informed about the existence of Bro Strider. Dirk is sitting there thinking he was a toxic influence to Jake from moment one and probably all of his friends the whole time and here Dave is confirming everything from a parallel perspective?
you can just see this horrible gut clenching moment when this utterly defeated Dirk just meekly accepts that this other version of himself is reflective of his true innermost self and has justifiably ruined any chance he ever had of impressing or even knowing Dave
– and then you see Dave just immediately lift it off him, even get kinda angry at him for having the audacity to even try accepting it that way, you can FEEL Dave’s fucking confusion because he went in guns blazing expecting a confrontation with someone as impossible and inscrutable as Bro was. Dave went in expecting to punch a brick wall and get nowhere, and instead he got Dirk “you’re absolutely right and I’m so fucking sorry I ruined your life” Strider
and from Dirk’s pov, listening to this, watching this, having this realization that this dave isn’t an untouchable, aloof, mysterious and mythical heroic figure of legend at all, but that only makes him MORE worthy of idolization in all the ways that genuinely matter – and simultaneously thinking that he’s already sabotaged himself out of the chance to know him at all.
It’s like, god, you know those hyperrealistic nightmares people have sometimes that are so fucking scary because they’re indistinguishable from real life, the ones where after you wake up it takes a long time for the understanding that it was actually just a dream to hit you and then you want to cry with relief?
For Dirk this had to have been so much like that, the whiplash between being 100% sure that Dave was just going to say what he needed to say and then never speak to him again (and knowing Dirk would have considered it completely justified and never questioned his right to do so jesus christ) followed IMMEDIATELY by Dave just being like no you don’t get it, THIS you, this version of you, what I am looking for deep down in my fucking SOUL is for this you that you are right now to be a person that I can have in my life to tell me that I’m okay, that you’re okay, that WE’RE okay – and after fifteen minutes talking to you I can already immediately tell that you ARE that person.
Dirk’s friends were always only interested in denying the possibility that Dirk could ever truly become a monster, they could never have possibly understood just how DARK Dirk is at his most self destructive, and that’s part of why their reassurances were always hollow for him – they didn’t GET IT, right, they never could have followed the rabbit hole all the way down, so what did they know? But this guy, Dave Strider, has literally seen Dirk at his worst, has lived through the actual reality of the worst things living inside the full-picture potential of Dirk Strider, has dealt with that to great personal detriment and is fucking STILL sitting here telling him “I can tell that you are different, I can tell that you are better, and I am willing to trust you and help you to become a better person than the guy I knew because at the end of the fucking day, you are too important to me to give up on”
like yeah confronting dirk with all of that was what dave needed absolutely but BEING confronted and ultimately forgiven by dave was what dirk needed too, just as much
in conclusion homestuck is good