Tavros is doing better. He's still down, and you get that, but he won't be able to recover if he gets outright depressed, so you try to keep him cheered up. It's actually a damn good thing you've been in a fairly consistent good mood these past few days, or everyone would have just sat around moping all day.
Unfortunately most of your humor is based around things that he doesn't have enough of a clue about to understand. He seemed kind of nerdy, so you try a couple of things on him, but a mention of playing a 3/3 flying goes completely over his head and so do the terms "zerg rush," "hex code" and "shoryuken."
You resort to the occasional Harry Potter or Pokemon reference.
You resolve to teach him a thing or two once he's recovered so he can better appreciate your vast array of knowledge.
In the meantime, your humor is greatly compromised.
You have found a solution.
Tavros is in dire need of your hilarious self but is sadly lacking in nerd cred; so you'll just have to draw from a different source.
The answer comes to you serendipitously today when Tavros is trying to move a little more energetically than usual.
He trips, nearly beans you with a still-splintery horn, and hasn't quite gotten the apologies out of his mouth.
"Woah there," you say, dodging, as he tries to catch himself. "I know you're enthusiastic about getting assorted body parts in my face, but try to be gentle."
Tavros laughs shrilly, as if he's pretty sure he's supposed to laugh but feels a little awkward about the sentence.
You're pretty sure Equius actually clicked his tongue at you in disapproval, and Tavros looks somewhat uncomfortable, but whatever; they'll get used to it. You are nothing if not awesome at bad pick-up lines and intentionally awkward advances, and you have made many a friend cheer up with these methods.
Tavros Nitram will not be depressed on your watch.
Your brilliant plan is working.
Tavros realized pretty quickly that you were joking, and he relaxed. He laughs when he stands and you make an exaggerated visual sweep of him, or when you wiggle your eyebrows at him after he says anything that could possibly be construed as sexual.
There's a bit of a downside to this, and that is that you're beginning to realize you might not be joking. Okay, well, yes you're joking, if you wanted to flirt with someone seriously you wouldn't act like this much of an idiot, but when you pretend to check him out you can't help but notice, oh hey, he actually is pretty attractive.
It's a little weird, since the age difference is a bit more than you're used to, and although you'd started thinking of him as a friend you always assumed he'd be more of a "little brother" friend or a "someone you're responsible for" friend than an actual close friend, let alone one you find a little bit attractive.
And then you realize it's not just that you find him attractive, it's that you're actually attracted to him, which is an entirely different situation and considerably more serious.
You realize most of this one day after not having realized it for almost three, and you're not entirely sure what to do with the information.
You decide to put that information in storage. On your external harddrive, hide the files just in case; no need to use any additional security measures because Tavros, you've gleaned, knows next to nothing about programming and couldn't crack a code if it were a windshield he'd just rammed into horns-first.
It's not like this will make you forget about it, but you'd rather he not find out, for a number of reasons ("You're not his type" goes through your head and you quickly replace it with "this isn't that serious" and "you wouldn't have tried to have a relationship with him anyway, that's dumb, you're dumb, god just stop existing").
The good news, however, is that besides the fact that Tavros is laughing a lot more easily again, he is also walking more easily. True to his prediction, he can also dance better—okay, no, you're going to retract that: his dancing is more natural, but he is still a complete dork and isn't going to be winning any contests any time soon.
It's still strangely endearing.
That is entirely beside the point, however, so you go ahead and hook up that terabyte drive again and stick that thought in there with all the movies you'll never watch again but don't want to get rid of.
You might need them someday, who's to say?
No, actually, on second thought you're pretty sure you won't ever need those movies again, because if you might need those movies you might also have a need to bring those other thoughts back to your main drive, and that's not something that's likely to happen soon.
Probably. No, wait, definitely. Definitely the thought that he's attractive does not need to be brought to the front of your mind, you have very little use for it and things won't ever come of that.
Even if it might be nice.
Shit, no. Damnit.
Wow, would you look at that! Tavros sure is walking.
Equius isn't there when you get to the clinic, so you and Tavros just talk about his legs for a while. You both look up when he comes in.
"Megido is still unresponsive," he tells you, and you feel your face fall because you know Tavros will be upset.
The rider makes a quiet, "oh," and falls silent.
There's a long pause before he speaks again.
"… I think she'll be okay."
Equius looks like he's about to say something about how it's not a good idea to be so optimistic in case she isn't okay, and there's a very low likelihood that she will be, but you don't want Tavros to be sad again. You worked so hard to make him happy, and you don't know how to handle him when he's upset.
You try to give Equius a look but he doesn't see you—and in the half-second before he speaks you resort to sealing his lips psionically. He gives you an indignant look and you shake your head at him before releasing him. There's a long moment where he gives you a look that you're not entirely sure how to interpret, and honestly it makes you a bit uncomfortable.
Tavros looks up with a brave smile, clearly trying to look optimistic. You return the look as best you can.
You don't have work today so you go to see Tavros early.
You had stopped by a cheap coffee place and picked something up—you guessed what Tavros would like—and you open the door with your elbow and shoulder when you get to the clinic.
Equius isn't there, which is just as well since he wasn't getting any coffee anyway.
Tavros looks up from the computer he's using. "Oh! Hey Sollux, I didn't think you'd be here this early."
There's a bad sex pun in there somewhere, but you're a little too slow to pick up on it and you've got other things planned anyway. "You busy?"
"Nope," he says with a smile. Then he notices what you've got in your hands. He doesn't hide the curious look on his face, but he probably realizes he's not supposed to ask if the extra cup is for him.
"Here." You hand him a cup to end his inner turmoil, and he takes it, pleased. "I was going to ask you out for coffee but I wasn't sure if you could walk all the way to the nearest place so I just brought you some."
Wait shit. Shit, shit, that didn't come out as playful over-the-top flirting, that came out like a considerate gesture.
You're losing your edge.
Also maybe you wanted it to be more sincere than normal, which is unfortunate because you don't actually know how to deal with that.
He laughs, though, which you think is good, and smiles up at you. You do your best to smile back and try to ignore the sudden thought that he has the cutest smile.
"We should, do that then. When I can walk better."
You're pretty sure he's just playing with you, just joking back. You hope he's just joking. You hope he's not joking. God you're not really sure what you hope but you are such a sucker for dimples and you're pretty sure if he smiled at you like that and told you to go use internet explorer on dial-up you'd… okay you probably wouldn't go do it, you'd probably laugh and call him a weirdo, who even asks someone to do that, but you'd also be melting on the inside.
A second too late, you realize you've snickered and said "You're on," and he practically beams.
Oh damn, what a bummer, your external harddrive is all full of terrible movies and old projects, you can't fit any more of these thoughts onto it. Looks like you're stuck having a dorky-ass crush.
Tavros is too young for you, if not by societal standards than by your personal preferences, doesn't understand your humor because he doesn't really share your interests, is probably not attracted to you at all; there is almost no chance anything would ever work out between you, and you almost don't care.
Ten minutes later he expresses concern that your coffee might be cold, and you realize you had any in the first place.