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taste like the fourth of july

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1.

“Hit the button, Gavin, the fucking button, come on!” Michael shouts, crowding into the far corner of the hotel elevator with an armful of Geoffrey Ramsey’s clothing.

Geoff’s shout of “Where are you dicks?” is loud when it echoes through the lobby, but not loud enough to drown out the frantic click click click of Gavin frantically pressing the button for their floor. When the doors finally close, it’s on the image of Geoffdripping wet and wearing a very small bathing suitadvancing angrily toward them through a crowd of extremely nonplussed tourists. Michael would feel bad, but if Geoff’s going to buy and wear a Speedo for comedy purposes then he needs to be prepared for the consequences. Also, Michael has a policy against feeling bad for most of the things he does six beers deep.

Gavin crows in triumph and throws his hands in the air as soon as the elevator starts moving, more than halfway to blackout himself. Taking shots in the hot tub had been, when Michael thinks about it, both extremely fun and extremely effective. “That was the best damned idea you have ever had,” Gavin grins, swaying across the elevator and bouncing excitedly on the balls of his feet.

Michael’s reached the stage of drunk where everything is a little brighter than reality, the lights of the elevator bleeding and fuzzy at the corner of his vision. He tips his head back against the elevator wall, making a token effort at regaining his focus. “We should throw his pants off my balcony,” he says, hoisting the clothes he’s still holding.

Gavin’s eyes are shining with the same adrenaline Michael feels, the joy of narrowly getting away with causing trouble. Leaning into Michael’s space, Gavin grabs his face roughly in both hands and does his best to look directly into his eyes. “You’re a genius, Michael Jones,” he says, and he punctuates his declaration with a firm closed-mouth kiss, pads of spindly fingers pressed to Michael’s temples.

Michael likes being drunk and likes kissing and likes being kissed, so when Gavin pulls away after his half-second barely-there kiss, Michael laughs and drops Geoff’s clothes so he can reel Gavin back in with a hand on the back of his neck. Kissing is fun and fucking with Geoff is fun and Gavin is fun, and Michael is drunk and unconcerned with anything besides the fact that the noise Gavin makes when Michael bites his top lip is hilarious. Michael can’t help but giggle at that, and it’s not until Gavin pulls back after a few seconds, hands on Michael’s chest, that Michael thinks he may not have made the right move there.

“Michael, are you” Gavin swallows and shakes his head a little bit, like he’s trying to clear his vision. “Are you taking the piss?” Michael can’t quite read his expression, but there’s something in his eyes the same color as fear, and that’s enough for him to go on.

“What? No, idiot,” he says, and leans in to kiss him one more time, quick and not particularly dirty. Gavin’s hands fist in his t-shirt and then let go, and Michael reaches up to ruffle his hair as the elevator doors ding open to their floor. “You worry about weird stuff, dude,” he says, and then they grab Geoff’s clothes off the floor and tumble out into the hallway.

“You know,” Michael says as they half-jog down the corridor, shoulders bumping, “I don’t actually remember if I have a balcony or not.”

“D’you think he’ll get into trouble?” Gavin asks as they reach the door to Michael’s room. “For wandering around starkers, I mean.”

“Nah,” Michael says, fumbling in his pocket for his keycard.

“Damn.”

“It’s Vegas, dude,” Michael says, grinning over his shoulder as he gets his door open. “Shit like this happens all the time.”

 

2.

Burnie throws both of them jumpsuits and then points them toward the bathroom. “Go get changed into those, then come out to the parking lot and we’ll start filming. Try not to die between now and then, you goddamn lightweights.”

“It’s your” Gavin hiccups, leaning heavily into Michael. “S’your fault. Made us drink.”

“We’re just very responsible like that,” Michael chimes in, slurring a little. “Very responsible employees. Fuckin’...employees of the month. Right here.” He points vaguely at himself and Gavin. “Fuckin’ raises for both of us for our, our goddamn commitment. To the job.”

“Yeah, yeah, every thousand views this episode of Immersion gets, you two can have another dollar added to your salary for exemplary drunkenness, whatever,” Burnie says, turning to leave.

“Really?” Gavin calls after him, perking up. Michael can’t do math when he’s sober, much less now, but he’s pretty sure that would be...that would be some dollars. Several.

“Nope!” Burnie yells, already out the door.

They stumble into the bathroom, and Michael leans against the sink, trying to focus on his reflection. Shit. He is goddamn blasted. It’s for an Immersion experiment, Burnie and Gus had just told them what is was, but he can’t quite remember. Something about killing enemies while drunk. Something from Bioshock, maybe? They definitely were gonna kill some dudes. He hopes they’re made out of melon like the ones Griffon had made for the last season.

He turns around, leaning back against the counter. Gavin’s already stripping out of his t-shirt. “Gav. Gav. We’re gonna fuck up some melon dudes, Gav. Team Nice Dynamite. Fuckin’ melon massacre.”

Gavin isn’t listening to him, looking past him into the mirror instead. Suddenly he bursts out laughing, falling back against the bathroom wall with his hands over his face. Michael is still thinking about melon death. “Melon massacre,” he says to himself, ignoring Gavin. “Melassacre. Yeah.”

“I just thought,” Gavin says, still laughing, “When you said Team Nice Dynamite, I thought, I looked at myself in the mirror and I remembered that time I was in here just wearing the creeper necklace you bought me.” He’s a little bit hysterical, and Michael grins back at him.

“Fuck yeah, where is it now?” he asks. He wants to see what it looks like, but Gavin just shakes his head, chest still shaking with laughter. “Are you not wearing it? What the fuck, bro?” Michael reaches under his own collar and hooks a thumb through the chain of his diamond necklace, pulling it out where Gavin can see. “I wore mine, dude. Way to leave me hanging.” He tries to look as sad as possible, but it’s hard not to laugh when Gavin has a look of cartoon shock and dismay on his face.

Gavin is apparently drunk enough to fall for it, though. “Noooo, Michael,” he says, sliding down the wall. “Michael, I’m sorry. Team Nice Dynamite, Michael.”

“Hey, I’m all about it; you’re the one who abandoned me,” Michael says. “It’s cool, I get it. I’m not enough for you anymore. You’ve moved on. You’re over it. I can take a hint.”

“Nooooooo,” Gavin says again, hanging his head. “Say you forgive me, Michael.”

“It’s too late, dude, you ruined it,” Michael says, shaking from trying not to laugh. “I’m nothing to you now.”

Gavin squawks angrily and scrambles up off the floor. “Michael,” he whines, invading Michael’s space and crowding him up against the sink. “You’re my lovely boy, Michael,” he says, and starts peppering kisses vaguely in the area of Michael’s lips.

Maybe it should be weird, but mostly it’s fucking funny and a little bit sweet. Gavin’s an evil little shit, but Michael can’t pretend he isn’t easily won over by his occasional moments of sincerity. He wants to keep the angry facade going, but he can’t help but grin against Gavin’s mouth. “I don’t know,” he mumbles, interrupted when Gavin actually manages to land a kiss accurately. “I’m feeling pretty rejected right now.”

Gavin nips at Michael’s chin and then pulls back, fixing him with a stare that might have been serious if it weren’t a little cross-eyed. “Michael,” he says again, tangling one of his hands in the chain of Michael’s necklace. “Stop being horrible, Michael.”

Michael is entirely ready to list all the ways he is not the more horrible member of this particular team when there’s a pounding on the door. “Stop jerking off and fucking get changed, assholes,” Gus yells through the door, and they dissolve into giggles, Gavin snickering against Michael’s neck with his fingers still wrapped around the chain.

 

3.

Michael stares down into the cooler, brow furrowed, and tries to understand why it is that there are no beers inside. He turns to yell at Gavin, because this is almost certainly going to turn out to be his fault, but then he remembers that Gavin has been asleep for the past half-hour, spread out poolside in the sun in his trunks. Whenever they come day-drink at the pool Michael has to fucking marinate in sunscreen, but Gavin and his goddamn Italian genes can fry on the concrete and all that happens to him is a tan and a nice nap. Next time Michael is going to draw a dick on his stomach in sunscreen.

He wanders over towards him, intending to kick him until he wakes up so he’ll help Michael get more drinks from inside. When he reaches him, though, Michael pauses and just looks down at him for a moment, head spinning from the beer and the heat. Gavin looks perfectly at peace, so relaxed that he might actually be melting. “Fucking kitty-cat bullshit,” Michael mutters, dropping down onto his knees and shaking Gavin’s shoulder. “Wake up, dipshit.”

Gavin’s skin is hot and a little bit slick with sweat under his hand. Michael squeezes his shoulder again, and then slides his hand down Gavin’s arm to his wrist. His fingers reach almost all the way around. Michael doesn’t really have a lot of experience judging wrists, but he thinks this one is probably pretty nice, overall. Whatever.

He reaches up with his other hand and tugs at the hair that’s lying across Gavin’s forehead. “Wake up, Dickie Bitch, we’re out of bevs,” he says, louder this time. Gavin finally stirs, his eyes fluttering open only for him to groan and squint them shut again against the sun. “What, you don’t care about bevs anymore?” Michael says teasingly, pulling back on his wrist when Gavin tries to roll away from him. “Are you dead? Did you drown? Do you need mouth-to-mouth?”

Gavin’s eyes slit open again, his head still lying flat on the ground. He fixes Michael with a considering look, the sort of look that usually means he’s about to do something innovatively stupid. “Couldn’t hurt,” he mumbles, raising his eyebrows.

It could sound like a challenge, like the limit-testing dares that Gavin’s so fond of normally, but Michael doesn’t feel tested. He feels invited.

Leaning down to kiss him feels less like a decision and more like an indulgence. If Michael can’t have a cold beer then Gavin’s mouth is no poor consolation prize, lips opening up easily for Michael’s tongue. It feels like an extension of the rest of the afternoon, warm and languid and lazy, no goal but doing what feels good.

Michael isn’t in the habit of making out with his male friends in the middle of his apartment complex, but they’re the only ones there, and even if they weren’t, who cares? Michael isn’t in the habit of making out with his male friends, period, but right now most of Michael’s critical thinking abilities are focused on trying to figure out what it is that Gavin is doing with his tongue. Anything more complicated that that sounds like a problem for sober Michael to deal with. And after all, it’s Gavin. Nothing about Gavin has ever been scary, even if Michael’s pretty sure whatever it is the two of them are doing should make him nervous about crossing lines and ruining friendships. Being nervous is boring. Gavin’s fingers trace lightly against his forearm where Michael is still holding onto him, and Michael hums happily.

After what could have been five minutes or fifteen, Michael pulls back, lips feeling heavy and slick. “You revived yet or what, you lazy fuck?” he asks, and Gavin laughs.

“Yeah, all right, I guess that deserves a beer,” he says, heaving himself upright and managing not to stumble over his own feet.

Michael makes an affronted noise as he struggles to his feet as well. “You guess?” he says, all faux shock. Gavin makes an obnoxious face at him in response, nostrils flaring. Michael looks over at the nearest table, confirming that both their phones are well away from the water, and then tackles him into the pool.

 

4.

Michael and Gavin pile into the back of Geoff’s car, leaving behind the noise and crowd of the bar. “If I’d known taking you in would just make one more person I’d have to DD for,” Geoff says, buckling his seatbelt in the driver’s seat, “I would have fucking sabotaged your immigration papers.”

“You love me,” Gavin says, leaning his head against the car window. Michael leans against the opposite window, enjoying the way the cool glass feels against his forehead.

“Yeah, well, I also love the Longhorns, but you don’t see me fucking carting them around in my goddamn backseat, do you,” Geoff grumbles, pulling out of the parking lot.

“You shall not dampen my spirits, Geoffrey,” Gavin says grandly. “Today is a day of victory, and I plan to enjoy it.”

“If Ray got wasted every time he won a Minecraft LP, he would,” Michael pauses, frowning. “Well, you know. Have to drink.” He’d had a joke planned there, he’s sure of it. Pounding that last double before they left had maybe had more of an effect than he’d planned.

“You,” Gavin says, pointing at him, “are just jealous because I snatched the Tower of Pimps out of your little bear paws right at the end.”

Geoff snorts up front. “Seriously, dude, that was shameful. What the hell happened to Mogar?”

“That was the worst fighting I’ve ever seen!” Gavin needles. “You even had a diamond sword you weren’t using, you donut! I picked it up after you died. What’s wrong with you? So intimidated by my skills that you lost your head?”

Michael turns his face towards the glass and tries to hide his grin. “What can I tell you? Off day, man.” He’s not usually one for willingly giving up a victory, but the way Gavin lit up from the inside had been worth it. Not that he’d ever say so. Gavin’s enough of a sore winner as it is.

When he glances to his left he can see the gears turning in Gavin’s head. “You weren’t using your diamond sword,” Gavin says again, eyes narrowing.

Michael can feel his mouth twisting as he tries to keep from laughing. “Rookie mistake?” he tries.

Gavin’s eyes go wide as saucers. “Michael Jones,” he says slowly, articulating as clearly as he can, “did you let me win?”

Michael just shrugs. When Gavin keeps staring at him, he throws up his hands. “It had been a while! I thought you were due.” Gavin just keeps staring, and Michael shifts uncomfortably, crossing his arms. “Better than fucking Jack winning again.” When Gavin still doesn’t say anything, Michael throws up his hands. “What? I did a thing, it’s not a big deal, don’t make it weird.”

Suddenly all the breath is forced out of his body, his back is up against the car door, and he has a lapful of Gavin. Before he can say anything, Gavin kisses him, both his hands on Michael’s face. Michael’s arms flail, not sure what to do with his hands.

“Jesus fuck,” Geoff yells, swerving a little. “Hold up, no, no way, no boning in my car if I’m not involved, fuck that."

Gavin pulls away to say, “We’re not boning, Geoffrey, please,” but he’s cut off when Michael finds a place for his hands, hauling Gavin closer by the waist and shutting him up with his mouth. All night Gavin’s been like this, mouthing off and pinballing around the bar; quieting him down is a pleasure on several levels.

“Look, it’s not that I’m not, uh, rooting for you crazy kids or whatever,” Geoff coughs, “but I’m not going to listen to your gross mouth noises all the way home, I don’t care who did what with a sword.”

Sighing, Gavin falls backwards, lying across the backseat with his legs in Michael’s lap. “Fine, Geoffrey,” he says, curling up into a fetal position and letting his eyes fall closed. “Thank you for letting me win, Michael.”

“Anytime, Gavvers,” Michael says. A moment later he thinks about what he just said. “Actually, no. Not anytime. Fuck no. That was a one-time-only deal.” He lets his hand fall onto Gavin’s calf and squeezes. “Never again.”

Gavin smiles, his eyes still closed. “Little boy,” he mutters, and then doesn’t stir for the rest of the ride.

When they pull up to Michael’s apartment complex, Michael moves to open his door, but finds the childproof locks are on. When he looks up, Geoff is staring at him in the rearview mirror.

“Michael,” he says.

“Geoff,” Michael replies. “Fancy meeting you here.”

“You two know what you’re doing?”

Michael thinks about that. “Not even a little.”

Geoff sighs. “Well, as long as you know that you don’t know.” He presses a button and the doors unlock. “Remember: Griffon owns a chainsaw, and she’s way scarier than I am.”

“Duly noted,” Michael says, giving a salute.

 

5.

Barbecues at the Ramseys’ tend to start out relatively tame and slowly devolve; this one is no exception. Anyone who had to be home by a reasonable hour has already left, the lights have been turned off, the food is gone, and the drinks have been out from the beginning. Miles and Kerry are in the corner, attempting what looks to be the lift from Dirty Dancing. Barbara and Chris have jointly challenged Griffon to a drinking contest in the kitchen and seem to be getting their collective ass handed to them. Monty has taken over the playlist and is alternating between dominating the dance floor and trying to teach Jordan and Caleb some sort of complex choreography. Michael has mostly been standing back and observing so far; in an hour or so the level of intoxication will reach critical mass. That will be his time to shine.

He’s trying to figure out if he can put drink parasols in Jack’s beard without him noticing when a heavy weight drapes over his back. He doesn’t need to turn to know who it is, especially not when long arms wrap around his shoulders and teeth gnaw gently at his shirt. Especially not when he’s been keeping track of the person in question out of the corner of his eye all night. “Doing all right, Gavin?” he asks.

“Michael,” Gavin says seriously, “I am doing fantastic. I am tremendous.” He lets go of Michael’s shoulders and spins him around. “How are you doing, Michael? Are you enjoying the party?”

“Yeah, I’m good,” Michael says, feeling his mouth quirk upwards as he takes a pull on his beer. “You know me. Easy to please.”

Gavin looks at him for a second, then grabs his arm. “Come with me,” he says, and starts toward the back door.

Michael leaves his beer on a coffee table and follows after him. “Where are we going?”

“I am going to show you a thing. Orwhatever. I'm going to something.”

“Informative,” Michael says. He catches Griffon’s eye as they pass through the kitchen, but aside from her raised eyebrows no one else seems to care where they’re going. They walk through the backyard into what Michael still thinks of as the workshed, even though Gavin’s been living there for months now. Gavin pulls him into his bedroom, shuts the door, and then looks at him, swaying slightly on his feet.

“Hello, Gavin,” Michael says after a moment. He wonders if Gavin has a plan or if he’s just playing it by ear. He takes him in, cheeks flushed and collar in disarray. He looks at the long line of Gavin’s throat and has a lot of thoughts about it. “How drunk are you?”

Gavin considers the question for a moment. “I am no more than moderately pissed,” he decides. “And not as pissed as I might be, for the record.” He looks at Michael for a moment longer, and Michael just stands there, hands in his pockets. “I thought I wouldn’t have to get drunk at all, because you’re not scary, you’re Michael, but I still” He trails off, and Michael wants so badly to interject, to take over, but another part of him, quiet but insistent and desperately hopeful, wants to hear what Gavin has to say even more. Needs to hear in Gavin’s own words what he thinks is going on here.

“You just,” Gavin starts again, fidgeting and suddenly looking everywhere but at Michael, “It’s so annoying because you’re just there all the time, you know? You’re there with your, your body just all the time and it’s like, what is it? A bowling ball on a rubber sheet, right? That’s how gravity works?” He swallows thickly and leans against his dresser for support. “It’s like you’re just more than anything else in the room and I’m the moon. Like space changes around you or something. Like I can’t not be aware of you.” He swallows again. “S’bloody rude, is what it is.”

He seems to have run out of words for a moment, and Michael takes his chance to interject. “Are you hitting on me by telling me I’m like a bowling ball?”

“I’m telling you that if I didn’t pull you out of that room I probably would have kissed you in front of everyone we work with. Couldn’t help it, to be honest,” Gavin says, and okay, fair enough. Michael knows the feeling. He thinks about wrists and legs and figures he knows a decent amount about being distracted by someone’s body being there all the time.

You’d think making out with someone a handful of times would make the fact that they want on you less exciting, but Michael is still buzzing in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with alcohol. “You could have, you know,” Michael says, stepping closer and grinning. “Kissed me in there, I mean. I wouldn’t have stopped you.” Saying it out loud makes him feel giddy, no matter how obvious it probably was. It still feels like getting away with something.

“Jesus,” Gavin says in a rush of breath, reaching out to fiddle absently with the buttons on Michael’s shirt. “You’ve made it worse, now, you prick. What else am I supposed to think about when you’re there?”

Michael snickers. “Sorry for, uh, existing at you.” He’s not even a little sorry.

“Damn right,” Gavin says, and bends his head to press a kiss to Michael’s mouth.

Michael hadn’t been aware of holding himself back until he let go, dragging Gavin in close by the belt loops and making a pleased noise when Gavin’s mouth opens up to him. Gavin’s hands come up to cup his jaw, one sliding down his neck and slipping his fingers under the collar of Michael’s shirt. The points of skin-to-skin contact feel white-hot and absolutely inadequate, and Michael feels a surge of not-quite-fear at how much he wants all at once. He still doesn’t know exactly what it is that they’re doing, or what it is that Gavin wants, but he knows that moving whatever it is they’re doing to the bedroom is absolutely a step in the right direction.

“One benefit of not doing this in the living room,” Gavin mumbles, clearly on the same page, “is that this room has a bed.”

“In a bedroom? No shit,” Michael says, backing towards the bed and pulling Gavin along with him. He stops short, though, when the back of his knees hit the bedframe. “One thing first, though,” he says, stopping Gavin with a hand on his chest.

He almost loses his train of thought when he sees Gavin watching him expectantly, swollen lips and blown pupils, but forces himself to refocus. “This is likeI don’t really fool around with dudes, and as far as I know you don’t either” Gavin shakes his head, confirming Michael’s suspicions, ‘“so we’re probably gonna freak out about this later, which is fine, but this can’t be, like, some awkward thing we don’t talk about, okay?” Gavin cocks his head and looks confused. It’s a look Michael is familiar with. “I mean neither of us gets to pull any bullshit where we act like this never happened, okay? I don’t really know what this is yet, but it’s not nothing.”

Gavin’s face softens, and he leans in to kiss the corner of Michael’s mouth. “You worry about weird stuff,” he says. “I mean, yeah, you’ve got a dick, and that’s different, but. It can’t be nothing, no matter what it is. You’re Michael,” he says, looking so pleased with himself that Michael has to kiss him to get that expression off his face.

Gavin pushes him back onto the bed and crawls on top of him, kissing him all teeth and grins. It is different, hard planes and stubble not what Michael’s used to, but other things are the same. The awkwardness of kicking off shoes and socks is the same, though easier because Michael is very experienced at laughing at Gavin but still wanting him.

The wanting is the same, too, the way he feels like all of his nerve endings are on high alert. He slides a hand up the back of Gavin’s t-shirt and the expanse of skin makes him shiver. Gavin’s hands are everywhere, flitting from Michael’s hair to his chest to his thighs and back again, and after a few minutes of Gavin squirming on top of him Michael gets a leg around and rolls them over. He thinks for a moment that maybe that’s part of what this all has been about: getting Gavin to hold still for a second, getting his full attention.

Michael braces himself up on his forearms but lets most of his weight rest on Gavin as he bends down to kiss him the way he wants to, slow and a little bit filthy. Their legs are tangled together, and when Gavin shifts his thigh presses up against where Michael is hard in his jeans.

“Fuck,” Michael grinds out, pulling back from the kiss. This, here: this is still different, at least right now. It’s one thing for him and Gavin to make out; it’s another thing for Gavin to feel the line of his dick against him, and Michael doesn’t know how far they’re taking this tonight. He looks down at Gavin and sees pure shock in his face.

“Shit,” Gavin whispers, and for half a second Michael is sure it’s all gonna go to hell. But then Gavin presses his thigh up again, and Michael can’t help but roll his hips into it, his head dropping against Gavin’s shoulder. “Shit,” Gavin says again, and this time his hands drop to Michael’s ass and stay there, not letting Michael shift away.

“Is thisI don’t want to make you” Michael breathes out against Gavin’s neck.

“I like it,” Gavin says, sounding surprised. He pushes up against Michael again and makes a pleased sound when Michael grinds down against him. “I likeI like being able to feel how much you want me,” he says, sounding sheepish.

Small explosions go off behind Michael’s eyes at that, and there’s nothing he can do but lean back up and kiss Gavin hard, biting down on his lower lip. “Yeah, I want you,” he says, as if there was any way Gavin didn’t know, and he can’t help but smile at the way it makes Gavin shudder underneath him. When he shifts again, he can feel that Gavin is hard too, and he feels an echoing rush of pride and amazement and absolute desire that soon has their hips finding a rhythm together, fire shooting up Michael’s spine every time Gavin pushes up to meet him.

Michael wishes he could record bits and pieces of Gavin for posterity: the way his mouth falls open, slick and red, when Michael grinds against him just right; the way a bruise blooms beautifully on his neck when Michael scrapes his teeth against it; the way his legs hook around Michael’s and the way they start to shake when they both get close.

Maybe he should be embarrassed that he comes first, but Michael honestly couldn’t care less. He shakes apart on top of Gavin with a shout, hands fisted in the sheets, and collapses off to the side, too blissed out to do anything about the fact that his boxers are going to be unbearably gross inside five minutes.

He still has work to do, anyway. His fingers are shaking, but he manages to get Gavin’s jeans undone and slide a hand inside. Gavin’s cock feels solid and heavy, even through his pre-cum-soaked briefs, and the way it twitches at his touch is a little strange and a lot awesome. He starts to jack him through the cloth, but then mutters fuck it to himself and slips his hand under the waistband. The way Gavin’s eyes fly open and his hips snap up is more than enough positive reinforcement, and it only takes a few fast, strong pulls of Michael’s hand before Gavin's coming, making tiny broken noises and striping his own stomach where his t-shirt is rucked up.

There are a few moments of afterglow, Gavin’s chest heaving as he recovers his breath, before he gathers his strength to speak. “Well,” he says, pausing to think over his next words. “Shit.”

Michael snorts, wiping his hand on Gavin’s side of the bed. “Yeah, that sounds about right.”

“We could have been doing that for months,” Gavin says, staring at the ceiling.

“Hindsight is 20/20,” Michael says. “Speaking of which, can I borrow some boxers?”

Gavin snickers, rolling over on his side and getting in Michael’s space. “I made you come in your pants,” he says, smirking.

“You’re an asshole, and I’m taking your underwear,” Michael says, rolling out of bed. As he rummages through Gavin’s drawers, he hears Gavin’s obnoxious text tone go off.

“Geoff says you’re helping with breakfast tomorrow,” Gavin says as Michael finds a pair of Batman boxers that will do just fine. Yeah. This will work.

 

(1)

“Hey, look who clawed their way back into the land of the living,” Geoff says. Michael turns away from the stove to see Gavin tottering into the kitchen in boxers and a Grifball shirt. His hair is everywhere and he looks a little bit like death. Michael wants to give him a noogie and then touch his dick again. Life is weird.

“Eurgh,” Gavin responds, collapsing into a chair at the kitchen table next to Griffon, who just laughs and goes back to her newspaper.

Michael takes a fried egg off the skillet and puts it on a piece of toast, then turns and drops it onto the plate in front of Gavin. “Here,” he says, “eat a fuckin’ egg and stop whining.”

Gavin takes a bite, chews, and then gives Michael a grin. He has yolk on his teeth. “You’re the only good person left in this world, Michael.”

“I know, right?” Michael says, “Making you breakfast even after I found out you fucking kick in your sleep. My shins are bruised to shit.”

“That’s fucking precious,” Geoff says through a mouthful of his own egg.

“You hear that? I’m precious,” Gavin says to Michael, sticking his tongue out at him. Michael smacks him upside the head before turning back to the stove.

A few minutes later, as Michael finishes up his and Griffon’s eggs, Gavin sidles up behind him and wraps his arms around his waist. “Thank you for my egg, Michael,” he sing-songs into his ear, rocking them back and forth. Michael isn’t fooled; this isn’t his first time at the Gavin rodeo.

"You want to eat mine, too, don’t you?”

Gavin doesn’t reply, just kissing Michael on the cheek as Michael puts the eggs and toast on their respective plates.

“You absolute prick,” Michael laughs. “I’m up here, slaving over a hot stove while you sleep the fucking day away, and then you mmph-” he’s cut off as Gavin reaches around to kiss him hard on the mouth. He’s caught off-guard, kissing back on instinct, and he only realizes what’s happened when Gavin’s already halfway across the room with one of the plates in his hands.

Gavin!” Michael yells through a grin, “I’m going to fucking destroy you!” Gavin flees to the backyard, stuffing food into his mouth as he goes, and Geoff and Griffon don’t even look up as Michael goes chasing after him with a murderous smile on his face.