So, I was eating noodles when I had this sudden epiphany about the parallels between Howl’s Moving Castle and DirkJane. I don’t even ship DirkJane and I thought this idea was perfect. I shall title this Dirk’s Moving Castle. This is just the first chapter and I’m definitely continuing this. However, be forewarned, I have watched and read both the movie and the book. So, you may see some scenes that remind you from the movie as well as scenes that remind you of the book. But I’m going to stick to the movie as much as I can. I’m also going to add some of my own Homestuck twists to it as well so be aware of that. Anyway, this is the cast as announced in the first chapter for now:
Jake-Prince Justin/Turnip head
Disclaimer: I don’t own Howl’s Moving Castle or Homestuck.
The smell of your father’s freshly baked goods permeates the bakery. Rows of cakes and breads are neatly displayed in a glass counter. Dressing in a bright blue dress and a neatly ironed apron, you are ready to maintain the shop while your father is out for the day running errands. It is only an hour until you have to walk to the bakery’s front entrance and switch that hanging sign to “Open.”
You don’t know why but you really don’t feel like working today.
This bakery is very popular and is usually flooded by many customers per day. This bakery, one of its own kind, operates under the prestigious name of the Crockercorp. You should feel honored that you have been selected as the heiress to such a corporate empire.. Your father has raised and taught you to think that way.
Oh, who are you kidding? You’ve been mollycoddled and protected your whole life! Your world is practically the bakery and you rarely have time to go out and explore the town! You’ve spent most of your time training to be the perfect heiress to this confectionary company of ultimate prestige. Heck, you never even have enough time to visit your best friend, Roxy. It never serves to frustrate you how sheltered you are from the world.
But, if you do leave the bakery, not only the goods will go to waste, but also your father will find out and sternly scold you with an hour-long lecture about the importance of the Crockercorp.
You feel conflicted right now but then, you remembered that Roxy dropped by your bakery last week and mentioned something about finally getting a stable job as a bartender. She made you promise that you would give her a holler and what kind of best friend would you be if you let her down? BFFsies 4Evers.
It’s settled. You are heading out to visit Roxy. Glancing at the clock, you tell yourself that you only have an hour to return to the shop and hurriedly make your way out the back entrance and across your small garden to go back into the house and grab your favorite hat. Before heading out through the bakery’s front entrance, you scrawl a hasty message on a piece of paper and tape it to the door. “Be Back in an Hour.”
Because you never been out much, it almost overwhelms you of how busy the streets are. People in an assortment of colorful clothing bustle in and out the shops for food or clothes. Some people have the courtesy to tip their heads in your direction as a sign of royal respect but you tug on your hat and look down to avoid any unwanted attention. You swipe a newspaper from a nearby stand.
As you open your the paper, you slip into the alleys to take an alternative route to Roxy’s bar to avoid the heavy traffic. There are no people here and it’s quiet but that’s the way you like it as you contently followed your alternate route through the alleys.
“‘Prince of Prospit gone missing; authorities suspect treacherous Derse involvement.,’” You read aloud. You pause for a moment. Jake…You blush at the name. You used to have the biggest crush on him. Being a member of dream royalty as well, you used to hang out and explore Prospit with him before he started drifting away from you to accompany his grandmother on diplomatic campaigns with Derse, or “adventures” as he liked to call it. You had to stay behind because your father did not want you to be drifting off from your baking studies to the dreamworld. You grew up on Prospit in a rather closed off environment. It is only because of Jake that you managed to meet Roxy who had wandered onto Jake’s ship sleepwalking by accident. Then, there was one other boy that you remember Jake mentioning a few times but his name escapes your mind.
But still, missing? And Derse is suspected of a kidnapping plot? You become weary. Most of the people in this city were Prospit dreamers and most of the people in the neighboring city, the city that Roxy moved from, were Derse dreamers. If Derse and Prospit were to fall into war, the two cities would clash as well. It’d be a literal living nightmare. To where did you disappear, Jake?
However, before you can dwell upon the ill-boding news further, a hand lands on your shoulder and two men in military uniforms approach you from both sides, each with a haughty smirk. Because of the way you’re looking down and the hat covering the top half of your face, they do not seem to realize your identity.
"Hey, looks like this little mouse lost its way," One of the soldiers drawls lazily at you.
"Well, I can assure that I’m not." But your voice cracks and gives the men an indication of how scared you are.
The two of them grin and one of them slings an arm on your shoulders. Your heart freezes at the gesture. “We can help escort you, you know. Maybe even go for a bite or a dance on the way.”
Before you can struggle to give a steady response, the arm is forcibly removed from your shoulders and another hand is placed there instead. Behind you, you hear another voice, “You heard her. Clearly, she is not interested in you at all.”
The soldiers back away slowly as if they saw something scary. “Hey, we don’t want any trouble…”
You see the flash of a sword appear before your eyes, pointed in the soldiers’ general direction. You stifle a startled gasp, slightly afraid to turn your head to see who’s behind you. You hear the mysterious man answer, “Good, neither do I. Scatter before I introduce my katana to another playmate. It’s been lonely.”
With the soldiers making haste away from you and the man behind you, the hand on your shoulder gently pushes you forward. “Come on. I’ll be your escort for the day.”
He joins your side and you finally get a good look at him. He is a man with slightly spiked blond hair. There are pointy shades perched on his nose and the most unnerving puppet you have probably ever seen hanging off his shoulders. Who is this odd individual?
He does not return your curious look and keeps on looking ahead. “Dirk Strider. Where’re you headed?”
His name sounds awfully familiar. Even though you already directing your gaze at him, he does not give any sign that he recognizes you as a member of Prospit royalty. He could be one of Derse’s civilians for all you know.
"O-oh, Cesari’s Bar," you answer, embarrassed at yourself for scrutinizing him in plain view. "I’m Jane, by the way."
"Charmed," he answers back, as if he already knew your name. He turns to you with a slight frown. "Why would you be going a bar?"
"I have a friend who just got a job as a bartender there. I want to congratulate her."
"Ah," He answers in the same knowing manner. His grip around your shoulders suddenly tightened. "…Shit, they’re still following me?"
He hastens his steps, forcing you to the do the same. “Sorry to get you involved but stay close to me.”
Before you can ask him what he means by that, you hear fast footsteps behind you. You make a gesture to look back but he stops you and instructs, “Don’t look back.”
Soon, his fast paced walking becomes full out running as more footsteps behind you begin to speed up. He quickly guides you through the alleys and sees an opening back to the main streets. He heads towards that direction, probably in hopes of losing the pursuers in a public area. However, as you head towards that opening, the sight of these black humanoids with shells flood through that opening. You hear Dirk curse under his breath.
"Those Carapacians never give up, do they?" You hear him mutter. He pulls out a sylladex and brings out what appears to be a skateboard without wheels. No, wait, there are rockets- Wait, what?!
His hand grips your waist as he powers up his rocket board. Before your pursuers can catch you, you are suddenly propelled into the sky and you hold back a scream. This is simply unreal! Why is Dirk being chased? Was he a criminal of some sorts? Good god, why did you decide to take his assistance? This was not happening at all!
"H-how are you-"
"The workings of a human mind can come in handy, sometimes," He answers with a shrug, smirking out of amusement at your astounded look. "Now, just relax. My board can hold for two. I promise you won’t fall."
You let an audible gulp when you see just how far off the ground you are. You hover above the buildings and look down to see colorful moving dots or ants, the people. You have never experienced anything remotely like this before! You hear Dirk give out a quiet chuckle at your awed expression as he loosens his grip on your waist. Suddenly, fear paralyzes you once more at the fact that your safety restraint has been removed.
He gently takes your hands and raises them slightly. “Don’t worry, I got you.”
You feel yourself calm down and relax hesitantly. The board vibrates softly underneath your feet as you two fly over the city.
"You are a natural," Dirk comments in a reassuring manner and you can’t help but smile in response.
Soon enough, you reach your destination and he lets you down carefully on the balcony of Cesari’s Bar. “Wait a while before you head out. I’ll make sure to lead them away from you,” He says with a nod and rockets off into the distance.
You slowly nod as you grip the balcony’s railing to steady yourself. You still feel a bit lightheaded and your head is still floating in the clouds somewhere. The mesmerizing effects of what happened still linger in your mind. The rooftops. The clouds. The small colorful people below. Oh! It was almost too much.
You think of the mysterious man who saved and took you on this short yet amazing experience. His blond hair. His shades. The odd puppet draped over his shoulders. His sword. You don’t even notice Roxy approaching you and asking how the hell you floated down onto the balcony.
"Shit, Janie, you looked totally outta it! What happened?"
Your name is Jane Crocker and you have just experienced one of the most wonderful thrills in your life...