//drags self over to ketsu and puts head on their lap while making a noise like an angry cat
why does everyone SHIP IT COMPLETELY WRONG FUCKING WHY??????????????
A disturbing proportion of fanworks for this pairing depict Dirk as being obsessed with Jake “sex god with [pick one: “plush rump” or “choice ass”] and Sparkling Emerald Eyes, bastion of Strider manpain salvation” English, unable to live without him, he feels like he’ll die if Jake ultimately rejects him oh noooo
And yet, in canon? Not only does Dirk have plenty of thoughts and interests that don’t even SLIGHTLY pertain to Jake, BUT the clinical, obsessively strategic way Dirk went about trying to win Jake over is completely frigging not a function of his feelings toward Jake so much as it is one of the twisted, overthought way Dirk does things in general. Dirk brings this up when talking to Lil’ Hal much later on; he knows he’s manipulative and emotionally cold and does weird things to the people he loves, he knows it and he hates it, he’s /literally/ surrounded by himself and he’s so aware of his terrifying, dysfunctional thought processes that it hurts. Another thing that conversation made clear is that some of the more ridiculous/scary “romantic” overtures toward Jake were in fact made by Lil’ Hal - whether or not that’s effectively the same thing as Dirk having made them is up to the reader, but I tend to think they really should be regarded as separate characters with separate personalities.
Jake is NOT equipped to “save” Dirk from himself (perhaps kind of literally?) and, more importantly, shouldn’t be expected to be. People cannot be loved out of their problems, and if one party in a romantic relationship is “fixing” the other, that is really not good. Moreover, Jake has his own slew of problems and flaws! He’s essentially a sweet person who means well and tries to do the right thing, but he’s also self-involved, flaky, forgetful, passive, and has an explosive temper. He can be sarcastic. He can be aggressive. He has the troubling habit of retreating into his apparent obliviousness to avoid having to deal with things. He’s NOT stupid - he’s actually very bright when he applies himself! - but he is impulsive and impractical, and handling him evidently takes a metric fuckton of patience and understanding. He’s grown up on a terrible diet of distorted relationships and values and expectations as served up by Hollywood. (Is it really any wonder that he isn’t exactly the ideal friend or boyfriend?)
AND YET, despite all of the wonderful, terrible ways one could go with characterizing Jake, instead he continually meets much the same fate as does John in so much John/Dave fan content: the sweet salve to Strider wounds. Over and over again, Jake is no more than an ~adorkable~ box of hammers (…with Stunning Forest-Green Orbs and Good Gracious, Ass Is Bodacious) who talks like Nigel Thornberry* and loves like… I don’t know, some legendary lover. I’m not really up on these things.
I think the two of them could have a healthy, stable relationship once they’ve grown up some, but for now, it actually is better that they break up (or have broken up????noodlesnoodlesnoodles).
*Speaking of which: most of the more unusual fixtures in Jake’s vocabulary are taken from outdated American slang, as far as I can tell. He’s never said either “chap” or “chum” /once/ in the entire comic. :PE For that matter, he doesn’t use said slang nearly as often as people seem to think…