- Main article: Uglies (book)
David was first mentioned in Uglies since he is a very important part of the Smoke. He and Shay are the first to find Tally at the pick-up point and take her to the Smoke. David teaches Tally the ropes of being a Smokie and Tally decides to stay. The night before the Smoke is discovered by Special Circumstances, David admits his feelings to Tally and they kiss. Tally then feels the same way as David, which is shown many times throughout the book.In the morning when Special Circumstances is destroying the Smoke, Shay finds out about Tally and David's kiss, and is upset because she had feelings for David before Tally did. During Tally's stay at the Smoke, she learns about the hardships of being a Pretty from David's mom, Maddy. Tally learns about the lesions that come with being a pretty and with the help of David and Shay, attempt to defeat the system. Later in the book Tally becomes pretty.
- Main article: Pretties (book)
He only appears in the end of the book, when he tries to persuade Tally to follow him and the rest of the Smokies somewhere safe.
- Main article: Specials (book)
When the Cutters crash an Ugly party and nearly capture a Smokie girl handing out the cure, David rescues her by hoverboard and leads the Cutters straight into an ambush. He manages to knock out Shay with a handheld shock-stick and kidnaps her, towing her all the way to the river in the hopes that Tally will chase them down. He urges her to recognize that her mind has been tampered with again, encourages her to think around the damage like she did when she was Pretty, but she just laughs. He signals to Smokies hidden in sneak suits to fire shock-stick arrows at her, but she catches them in midair. He's both amazed and horrified at what the city has done to her now, and sadly pushes the unconscious Shay into the river, forcing Tally to rescue her and let the Smokies escape.
Weeks later, after her home city destroys Diego's town hall and indirectly kills Zane, Tally knows she must give herself up to Dr. Cable in an effort to stop the war. As she travels through the Rusty Ruins, she gets pinged on the Cutters' private skintenna channel, but the person can't speak, only send pings. Even so, she soon finds out the person pinging her is David. He realized that with the Cutters on its side, Diego didn't need him anymore and so he decided to wait for her, knowing that she would travel through the Ruins at least one more time.
He offers to help her and gives her an injector filled with the Special cure, mentioning that after she stops Special Circumstances from warring with Diego, she may want to change herself. Then again, she has always been able to think her way around the tampered parts of her brain and so she may not need the cure. He tells her that her ability to think around brain lesions has allowed his mother to create a cure that works much safer and faster than the one Zane took. They've been able to sneak two hundred thousand pills into Tally's city, so if she can knock Special Circumstances off balance even for a few days, her city will start to change too and ultimately, free the world from the Pretty Operation.
Although Tally still feels guilty for betraying the Smoke and getting his father killed, David insists that it's not her fault and emphasizes that she's not alone; he'll be there for her when she's done dealing with Dr. Cable. Until then, he provides her with a safe place to sleep.
He waits for her for a long time, growing more worried as the weeks drag on. He eventually decides to break into the city and rescue her, but it takes him ages to find his way inside, and even then he doesn't know where Special Circumstances headquarters is. Luckily for him, a flare signals him from the Ruins, saving him from attempting to find it. He makes it to the Ruins within hours, happy to see that Tally is the one who sent him the signal.
She knows that with the end of the Prettytime, humans may start getting greedy and hurt the Earth again. She tells David of her decision to become the new Special Circumstances, dedicated to protect nature from human destruction. He asks to join her and she happily accepts.
- Main article: Extras (book)
Tally and David have been traveling all over the world and finding mysterious, empty mass drivers hidden within mountains. Andrew Simpson Smith reports to them that he has seen strange, alien-like creatures salvaging metal from the Rusty Ruins near Tally's home city, but soon after, the strange beings kidnap him. They're searching the planet for him and his kidnappers when they see Aya Fuse's City Killer story. Aya had found a mass driver filled with odd metal cylinders and discovered that they were laced with smart matter, allowing them to transform into a missile-like shape. In her story, Aya concludes that the mass drivers are a type of weapon that can launch the missiles and destroy every city in the world. Sensing an opportunity to get close to the alien-like beings, they send Aya a ping just two hours after the story kicks, warning her that the new Special Circumstances is on the way.
Tally, Shay, and Fausto use Aya and her friends as bait to get captured by the inhuman beings. David, preferring to wait outside the city, tracks them all the way to Singapore. He was going to help them break out of the inhumans' compound if they needed backup, but he teases that his real job is to bring extra equipment and a hovercar since no force on the planet could keep Tally and the Cutters locked away. When they were forced to change their plans, David waits for them at "the usual place" halfway up the tallest Ruin. He brings a special radio antenna that can transmit whatever they need to without the inhumans overhearing, in case Tally wants to call for backup, but she decides that they should be certain what the inhumans are planning to do first. She and the rest of the new Special Circumstances go out to explore the place and get some answers, ordering Aya and her friends to stay put.
Eventually, they find hundreds of missiles. The sight convinces them that the inhumans are going to bomb every city in the world, and so they begin to destroy them. They manage to obliterate a handful of the rockets before Aya suddenly pings Tally, frantically trying to explain that the inhumans are not trying to blow up the world. Instead, they're hoping to launch themselves into space where they'll live in orbital habitats. Tally, angry that Aya has disobeyed her again, is disinclined to believe her. Only when David thinks that Aya may be right does Tally call off the attack.
Later, they all go to Nana Love's Thousand Faces party to show their support for the inhumans, now known as the Extraterrestrials. It doesn't take long, however, for all the attention to make David and Tally uncomfortable. They quietly slip away to the camera-free garden, where they enjoy a private moment hidden in the shadows.
- "What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful."
- "What is it with you city kids and surgery?"
- David inherited his big nose from his father.
- According to the short story How David Got His Scar, a bear gave it to him.
- David borrows an antique jacket with bamboo buttons from Hiro Fuse to wear at Nana Love's Thousand Faces party, as he is uncomfortable with the idea of wearing clothes made from a hole-in-the-wall.