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Creeper Boyfriend

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Life is pretty good.

I’m living in Achievement City with all of my closest friends, playing games, drinking alcohol, and just having the best time ever. But the best part is that I now have the most perfect boyfriend to top it all off.

Well, I don’t really know if you could call him perfect.

Gavin’s still just as annoying as ever. Doing things like waking me up in the early hours of the morning, screaming made up words at the top of his lungs, and doing things just to annoy all of us. He’s recently learned that pouring lava into Jack’s house is apparently a lot of fun. Luckily the only person to be annoyed by this is Jack, and the rest of us all get a good laugh out of it.

Other than some teasing remarks, my relationship with him has been going really well. I mean, it’s the exact same as before. We both overreact if we think the other is in trouble, we’re still always within a few feet of one another, and he still tackles me with hugs all of the time. The only difference now is that I don’t have to feel guilty or nervous about it. The whole kissing thing is also a big plus.

We’re still in the early stages of a relationship. Where your mind is filled with constant thoughts of them. Whenever Gavin’s standing next to me I always put an arms around his shoulders to hold him closer to me, or interlock my fingers with his. Simple and sweet kisses that mean nothing but everything at the same time. It’s slow and sometimes slightly frustrating, but also comfortable.

But then Gavin started acting weird.

*

After being here with us for two whole months, Griffon’s going back to Slomoville.

Seeing her leave is always pretty depressing because we all love her like a sister. Geoff usually takes it the hardest and spends as much time we her as possible before the leaves (which you wouldn’t think would be possible after seeing how much time he usually spends with her when she’s here.)

But it was a huge change of pace to see Gavin freak out when she said she was leaving. He didn’t want her to leave, and even clutched onto her leg like a small child as if his weight would keep her in one place.

"Gavin, I’m sorry!" she says, guilt evident on her face, "You’ll see me again soon. I’m never apart from these idiots for very long anyways."

Gavin just looks up at her with a crestfallen face, and for a moment I think he’s going to cry.

"Just let her go, Gavin," Geoff rolls his eyes and tries to pry his arms from around her leg, "You’re just making it harder."

"No!" he cries, and tries to hold onto her tighter.

But, of course, Geoff is a lot stronger than him, and soon he’s holding the boy in a straight jacket hold as he fights against him relentlessly.

"Is he going to be okay? Why’s he freaking out like this?" Jack asks, but none of us really know the answer.

I’ve never seen Gavin get so wild. He was totally fine when we left to go home from Griffon all those months ago.

I’m actually really worried about him right now, but I know it’s best not to interfere because he might actually start crying if I assist in holding him back. It hurts my heart to see him so frantic and terrified at the thought of her going back home.

He needs to learn that just because Griffon’s leaving now, doesn’t mean she’s leaving forever. Explaining it to him won’t do any good because we’ve tried to dumb down the sentences in every way possible. Either he doesn’t understand, or he refuses to accept it as the truth.

"You’ll see me again, Gavin," she tries to say to him, but he’s still struggling, "I’m not going away forever."

"Griffon! No!" he yells, still not caring to listen to her reassuring words.

She and Geoff share a look of sorrow at his response, so instead of trying to convince him any further she just presses a kiss to Geoff’s lips, and then another to the top of Gavin’s head.

"Bye, everyone!" she says, forcing a smile, "I’ll see you all again soon!"

I’ve never seen Griffon look so torn. Even as she turns around to leave Achievement City she seems hesitant and nervous to leave Gavin in that state.

"Don’t worry, we can handle him," Geoff reassures her, but it’s obvious he wants her to stay too.

We never want Griffon to leave. There are many advantages to having our little city far away from everybody else, but the biggest disadvantage is Griffon’s home being so distant. Usually when she leaves it’s a little sad, but we always know that it won’t be long until she’s back. Now it’s hurts even more just because of Gavin’s refusal to cooperate.

Even though Griffon was joking about her and Geoff adopting the creeper boy back when they first met, it seems to have come true. Maybe that’s why it hurts a little more, because Gavin considers the two to be like his adoptive parents and he doesn’t want to lose one of them.

Gavin screams out her name again, and Geoff winces at the volume. We watch her leave, and she waves to us one last time before she’s completely gone from our view.

"Should we tie him to a fence post or something until he calms down?" Ray asks sarcastically.

I shoot him a look, “No.”

"I can make him a hole to stay in-" Ryan starts but I cut him off immediately.

No.” I state once again, turning to glare at him.

Gavin quiets down once he sees that Griffon is gone, and he goes limp in Geoff’s arms.

"You okay, buddy?" Geoff asks in a tone usually reserved for babies or small animals, "It’s gonna be okay. You want a piece of chicken?"

When he lets him go, he expects Gavin to stand up on his own, but he just slumps to the ground in a depressed heap.

We all share a look of concern and pity before I go over to kneel down next to him.

"Gav?" I whisper, resting a hand on his shoulder.

I hear him sniffle a little and when he looks up at me the expression on his face forces me to engulf him into a hug immediately. He allows it to happen, relaxing into my arms and simply pouting unhappily at the recent events.

He doesn’t let out loud agonizing sobs like he did that night I found out about his creeper family, but I can still feel the depression radiating off of him. I press a kiss to his temple which succeeds in making him snuggle into my chest more.

"Think it’ll be like this every time we have to leave Griffon?" Ryan asks.

"I sure as fuck hope not," Geoff scratches the back of his neck while looking down at Gavin and I on the ground, "It’s difficult enough saying bye to her. Watching Gavin get like this just kinda adds to the heartbreak, ya’know?"

Jack smirks, “And you say you’re not fatherly toward Gavin.”

"Shut the hell up," he rolls his eyes and refuses to acknowledge the comment any further.

*

Life continued on after Griffon left.

Eventually Gavin stopped moping around and was back to his old regular self. I’m not sure if my attempts to explain Griffon’s departure by drawing it in fourteen different ways helped or not, but he seemed to be doing better.

I’m still teaching him more English and he seems to be getting better at putting together sentences. It’s reached the point where almost every single inch of space on his walls is covered with our finger paintings and words. I’ve started trying to teach him how to read, but he’s completely uninterested in learning that.

It didn’t take that long for him to bounce back from his sad state. He was back to being silly and excitable within a day or two, much to the relief of everybody else.

But there was still something slightly off about him.

He was about a week after Griffon left that Gavin was glued to my side a little more than normal. Usually we’re always close to one another anyways. Especially since we’ve started dating I usually have an arm around his shoulders, he’ll be sitting in my lap, or we’ll hold hands every once in a while. Just dumb cute shit that causes everybody else to tease but it fills my head with such a soft warm feeling that I’m willing to put up with it.

But now it’s like he’s kicked that up a notch by twenty percent. Not that I’m complaining, if Gavin wants to be an affectionate little shit then who am I to stop him, right?

We’re sitting in his house, wool dye cans are scattered around us, and our hands are stained with multiple different colors.

"Look," I make a smudge on the wall, "What color is that?"

"Green!"

"Yeah," I nod, "Now what’s this?"

He tilts his head in confusion, and furrows his brow in concentration. “Uh… Pink.”

"No, it’s purple."

His shoulders slump in defeat, and I smile at him.

It’s hard to come up with words to teach him. Usually I have to wait until we’re in a circumstance away from learning where he doesn’t understand what something is.

Like the other day when Geoff told me I needed to teach him colors because it’s getting difficult to ask for certain things during Let’s Play buildings. I hadn’t even realized that I didn’t teach him color names yet, and I still feel like an idiot for it now.

"It’s alright," I snicker, finding it cute how annoyed he is at himself for getting it wrong, "This is your first day learning colors, you’re bound to get some wrong on your first attempt.”

He looks up at me, his eyes still shining with disappointment, and I smile warmly before giving him a quick peck on the lips. Poor little thing. He’s so used to memorizing all of these things right away. It’s not very often that I have to correct him. He smiles when I pull away, and I know I have to continue to keep his mind off of things that will make him sad.

"Come on," I dip my fingers into a different bucket and then smear the walls with it, "What’s this color?"

Instead of hearing an answer, I feel something nuzzling me. I look down to see Gavin softly rubbing his cheek against the side of my shoulder.

"What the hell?" I lean away from him a little, trying to get him to stop. When he doesn’t I chuckle a little out of amusement, but mainly confusion, "What are you doing?"

He moves away to look at me, his eyes wide with oblivion.

"Gav?" I question.

"Michael?" he responds before leaning back down to continue rubbing his cheek against me like he’s some kind of cat.

"No, stop," I take hold of his shoulders and hold him almost at arms length, "What is that?"

"What?"

"That nuzzling against my shoulder thing. What are you doing?"

It’s apparent that he doesn’t understand the wording of my question, and I feel guilty once I notice the small amount of dissapointment in his eyes. Which sucks because I don’t really understand what’s happening, so I can’t fix it.

"Gavin?" I question again, as though he’ll start explaining.

His shoulders slump a little, but he recovers within a split second. He smiles at me and kisses my cheek before getting up from his place on the floor. “Sleep.”

I’m almost disoriented by his quick change of mood, “Sleep? You want to go to sleep?”

"Yes," he nods, helping me up.

"I don’t know if I really want to leave you alone right now. Are you sure you’re okay?"

He nods slightly, and then pecks me on the lips before going to sit on his bed. “I am good. Sleep, Michael.”

"Okay…" I respond hesitantly, "If you’re sure… Goodnight, Gavin."

"Goodnight, Michael."

I walk to the door and before I leave, I throw out an “I love you!”

But he doesn’t say it back.

*

It’s still really early in the morning when I wake up on my own. This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often, and the only reason it’s happening now is because Geoff and Gavin are out building the new Let’s Play.

But when I walk out of my house I see that they’re back. Geoff is chopping wood into planks across the town from me, and Gavin is behind him.

He seems cheery and content. Maybe he’s forgotten about last night, or has brushed it off. I still don’t really understand what was going on, so I’m happy that he’s back to normal this morning.

"Geoff!" Gavin tries to get his attention.

"Yubba?" Geoff responds lazily, not looking away.

"Geoff!"

"Yubba?" he repeats as he finally looks away from his work and towards Gavin.

He pulls a bone from behind his back, a huge grin on his face as he does so. “You want a bone?”

Geoff’s face breaks out into a grin once he realizes what Gavin’s doing, easily decides to play along, and crouches down eagerly as though he’s a baby wolf. “Oh! I want a bone! I want a bone!” he cries, and then continues to repeat the words in a less coherent a more playful tone each time.

Gavin waves it around and over Geoff’s head, and they continue making those weird baby-talk noises to one another.

And to think that Geoff didn’t want Gavin around when they first met. If any of us brought up how close the two are now, Geoff would still deny it until he was blue in the face though. It’s honestly the cutest thing ever.

"I do! I do!" Geoff cries, and finally Gavin lowers the bone to his reach. He grabs at it and hugs it to his body. They’re both giggling like little children at their impossibly stupid game.

"You’re my trained-Geoff," Gavin states.

He recently learned that in order to get a wolf to be friends and not attack you during the day, you simply have to give them a bone. Of course, he went completely over board with this knowledge and tried to train every single wolf he came across for a few days. We ended up having to sit down with him and have some kind of intervention type thing.

I snicker at their antics, and continue to watch.

"So, uh…" Gavin wracks his brain for the right word for a moment until he finally finds it, "Sit!"

Geoff does so, and I hear Ryan laugh from his spot next to his own house where he’s watching too. Ray and Jack are gone to collect coal, so it’s only the four of us in town right now.

"Good boy," Gavin nods satisfied, "Wait there."

He takes a few steps back as though testing to see that Geoff will stay. When the man doesn’t move, he laughs out loud. Geoff chuckles along with him from the ground.

"You’re free," Gavin points at him, still smiling wide.

"Thank you. Phew!" Geoff says as he gets up, "Thought I was going to be there forever."

Gavin giggles, but his head snaps over to look in my direction when he hears me laugh. Even though he’s already grinning, his entire face brightens up even more at the sight of me. I can’t describe the feeling I get when he looks at me like that. As though just my presence is enough to make his entire day.

"Michael!" he cries, and begins running to me, "Hug!"

This happens often, so I’m prepared when he launches himself at me and wraps his legs and arms around me.

It’s weird to be so happy. It almost feels like it’s unallowed and that I’m breaking some kind of rule. Is this what Geoff feels like all the time when he’s with Griffon? No wonder it’s so hard on him when she leaves. If Gavin ever had to leave I’d probably react the same way Gav did when Griffon left last week.

He presses a quick kiss to my lips then pulls away to exclaim, “Kiss!”

"Okay, okay, asshole!" I hear Geoff call out, "Leave your little boyfriend alone and come help me with this fire wood."

Gavin unravels his limbs from around me but pulls me by the arm when he begins to walk back over to Geoff.

Even though it’s pretty ridiculous, I’m kind of like his trained-Michael.

*

It isn’t very long until everybody was in the middle of Achievement City, standing on the logo, all fully awake and ready for the day.

Geoff’s telling everybody what their little duties are today, when we should be done, and how afterward we can just relax for the rest of the day. We were busy all yesterday doing things, so it’s great to be taking it easy.

It’s nice to start off days like this. Just peaceful and quiet. All thoughts of being worried about Gavin’s behavior last night has drifted away from my mind.

I’m only reminded of it when he begins doing it again.I look at Gavin to see that he’s once again rubbing the side of his head against my shoulder. I quirk an eyebrow but before I can stop him, everybody else seems to notice as well.

"Dude, what the hell?" I hear Ray question while snickering.

"Gavin, quit it," I state, nudging him a little.

He just hisses something in creeper and continues with it.

"I swear, Gavin," I threaten, on the urge of smacking him, "I will punch you in the face."

"What’s he doing?" Jack questions.

I shrug, “I have no idea. He did it last night too, and it’s getting really annoying.”

Ryan’s laughs loudly and I raise an eyebrow at him, while my attention is focused elsewhere, Gavin goes back to nuzzling against me.

"That’s adorable," Ryan laughs, "He’s cheeking you."

"He’s what-ing me?”

"Cheeking. It’s something creepers do." he explains, thoroughly amused by Gavin’s actions, "When a creeper has a mate they show their love by rubbing the sides of their faces against the other, much like how he’s doing to you."

Although the explanation is ridiculous, it makes an incredible amount of sense. There’s about a beat of silence until everybody bursts into laughter.

They all crack up, making stupid mocking noises at the fact that Gavin’s being so openly affectionate with me. I roll my eyes but their laughter is contagious and even I have to chuckle a little.

I have to admit that I feel a swell of pride at that fact though. Gavin’s showing true affection to me in the best way he knows how. I’m sure he’s been taught all of his life that that’s how you love your partner, and now that he’s doing it to me, it makes me feel all fuzzy inside.

"You guys are dicks," I mutter.

Once their laughter begins to die down, it doesn’t take long for Geoff to jump into slightly serious mode. “All jokes aside, you’ve got to stop him for doing that.”

"Why? What’s the harm?" Ray questions, still finding it highly amusing.

"Because Gavin’s not a creeper. He can’t keep doing these creeper things and thinking that it’s okay. He needs to be doing people things.”

"He’s right," Ryan points out, "It’s not healthy for him to continue with this creeper behavior."

"Well, how am I supposed to stop him?" I practically growl, and then shove Gavin away from me, "Quit it!"

He looks at me in confusion and then hisses something at me in creeper, and I can tell that it’s to voice his confusion. Without waiting for me to respond, he goes back to nuzzling my shoulder.

"No, Gavin." I state, holding his shoulders and looking him directly in the eye, "Stop.”

Everything is quiet as we all wait for his response. I’m expecting him to just hiss at me with annoyance and then go back to cheeking, but instead he just nods slightly and backs away a little.

My eyes widen when I realize that it actually worked this time, and I look up at the others. “That was pretty easy.”

Or so I thought.

*

For the next few weeks Gavin continued trying to cheek me.

It didn’t matter what we were doing. Sometimes it would be during a Let’s Play, while teaching him English, during a chore, etc. Some mornings, instead of waking up to him screaming and pounding on my door, I’d feel him nestled into my side, cheeking my shoulder again.

It’d always end in the same way, me pushing him away and telling him to stop.

Whenever Geoff saw it he’d tell me again that we really need to put a stop to all of Gavin’s creeper behaviors.

I agree with him. Gavin’s aware that he isn’t a creeper anymore, but he still acts like one. It’s pretty damn annoying too.

Sometimes I’ll be out in the woods with one of the guys, and Gavin will jump out and scare us while screaming “Boom!” as though he’s an exploding creeper. He gets very easily distracted by anything within a sixteen block radius of him. He easily forget that creepers don’t automatically trust him anymore, and always hisses at them in an attempt to have a conversation.

And we also discovered that he’s scared of cats. We came along an ocelot one day while exploring the jungle, and Gavin immediately started backing away from it. Any attempts to convince him that it’s okay did not help in anyway.

All of these are traits shared with creepers, which is expected. I mean, he grew up and was taught by creepers his entire life. But now that he’s living with us it has to stop. Not only is it a huge annoyance, but it might end up being a danger one day.

He needs to understand that he isn’t a creeper and that he isn’t living among them anymore.

I’m teaching him English a few weeks later when the familiar feeling of his cheek rubbing against me comes back. I groan to myself before shoving him away. This has gone on for too long, and it’s getting really irritating.

"Gavin." I growl, gripping him by the shoulders and looking him straight in the eye, "Stop. No more cheeking."

"Why?" he finally responds. I feel relieved that he’s stopped ignoring any requests about quitting the bad habit.

"Because cheeking is what creepers do. You and me?” I release my grip on him to point between us, “We’re people.”

"People no cheeking?"

"No. People do not cheek. That’s just some weird shit creepers do. We aren’t creepers, so you have to stop."

"Oh," his eyebrows furrow together in concentration, and it’s only when I notice how understanding he is that I begin to feel a little guilty for getting so annoyed.

It’s not his fault. He didn’t understand. It’s just been frustrating to keep having to repeat myself over and over again while he just continues to ignore the information.

"Do you understand?" I question, putting an arm around him as though that will somehow ease my guilt.

"I understand," he nods, his voice sounding slightly hesitant.

"Okay, good," I kiss him lightly on the cheek, and when he smiles I know that this whole thing has already blown over.

I decide not to focus anymore on it. Gavin has been acting pretty weird lately, so this isn’t all that strange.

*

Gavin’s dumb made up lingo has already begun to grow on us.

Whenever he doesn’t know the English word or doesn’t know how to pronounce it, he’ll just make up his own.

Like if we have a bunch of belongings, he calls those “gubbins.” Instead of mouth, he’ll say “gob.”

Of course, this leads to me always being very frustrated and annoyed with him while everybody else laughs uncontrollably.

"I found original start point," Ray says, while we’re in the middle of a Let’s Play.

Or-eig-inal start point?” Gavin questions, not knowing what the words means.

"Shut up, Gavin. For fucks sakes, I want to punch your fucking head off!" I yell at him, too annoyed with this Let’s Play to take pity on his shitty language skills.

"Michael, Why!?"

"You’re the only one here that doesn’t speak English!" I stop playing in order to scream at him, "It’s just you!”

Geoff’s holding his stomach as he laughs from the sidelines, his high pitched giggles makes everybody else join in. Except for me, because I’m still very annoyed at my boyfriend.

Gavin falls down and into the water due to his poor footing and uncontrollable giggling at my anger, and this only succeeds in making Geoff laugh more. “Oh, did you gaff?” he asks, mocking Gavin’s made up words.

"Gaff is a place!" he exclaims while trying to pull himself out of the water.

"You use gaff for anything!” I yell, then begin mocking him in a bad British accent, “It’s like ‘Oh I just did a gaff! Did you see that gaff! Let’s go out and have a gaff!’”

"No!" he cries

Then Geoff joins in, “Oh, he’s gaffed it again!”

Oh! He’s gaffed it!”

"You can’t have a gaff!" Gavin tries to defend his word, but I refuse to actually make sense of his stupid made up language.

You can do whatever you want because you make shit up as you go along! You don’t fucking speak a real language. You speak Gavin! It sucks!”

"I just won!" Ray calls out, and we all turn to see that he’s at the end.

"God fucking damn it!" I scream, and everybody elses laughter fills the air.

Ray throws roses at all of us in celebration, and everybody cheers jokingly.

"Come on," Geoff grins, "Let’s go back to Achievement City and erect the tower in front of Ray’s shitty house. Then if I’m feeling nice, I’ll allow you guys to have some drinks from my secret stash."

"Dibs on water!" Ray calls out, sarcastically.

While leaving the Let’s Play area, Gavin bounces around me, trying his hardest to tackle me to the ground or wrap his limbs around me. Even though I’m not actually mad at him, it’s fun to see him attempting to get back on my good side.

He’s been a total asshole to me all day, and judging by that grin on his face, he’s extremely proud of that fact.

He jumps onto my back, forcing me to give him a piggy back ride. I roll my eyes but hold onto his legs anyways, figuring that I’ve pretended to be annoyed at him for long enough.

"You’re lucky I love you," I mutter, and he squeals excitedly.

"Aww, Michael!"

Aww, Mi-cool!” everybody else mocks him.

*

A few days later, Gavin’s odd behavior begins again.

It starts with him coming to my door with an armful of red roses. I quirk an eyebrow at the sight, wondering why he’d go through the trouble of picking so many roses, when I notice the bloody mess his arms and hands are.

Something about seeing Gavin and blood together makes my protective instincts kick into high gear.

I take his arms gently, prying them away so that the flowers drop to the ground. There are a few tiny thorns sticking out of the little wounds that are covering his arms and hands. It’s like he can’t go one day without injuring himself. I swear, he’s going to be the death of me one day.

"Gavin!" I scold, "Are you okay?"

"Yes! I got Michael roses!" he cries happily, but then flinches when I pull a thorn out of his arm.

"Dude, we need to get you patched up. Why the hell would you go pick roses, you bumbling idiot?"

"Owch, Michael!" he cries when I try to take another out. They’re too tiny for my fingers, so I know we’ll need to go over to Ryan’s and let him take them out with tweasers. We’ll probably need a healing potion too so that the cuts won’t get infected.

"Come on," I pull him out of my house so that we can go to Ryan’s.

"But roses!" he cries, trying to fight against me so that he can go back and get them.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I mutter, "We’ll go bring them to Ray later."

Gavin pouts for the rest of the day.

*

About a week after the roses incident, Gavin and I were on iron duty together.

We’re out digging in a cave together with diamond pickaxes, trying to collect as much as we can. It’s not very often that we run out of iron, because we always make sure to have stockpiles of it back in town.

But it’s been a particular slow day in regards to chores/jobs. So Gavin and I opted to just go mining, hoping to maybe come across diamond if we’re lucky.

It’s only when I turn around, because my pickaxe has broken, that I see that I’ve been buried inside that I realize something is wrong.

At first I think that Gavin’s de-mined me, which is this game/trick that he and Geoff play on each other sometimes. But when I look up and see that he’s staring down at me from an opening from the top, I realize that he’s actually just trapped me in a hole.

"Gavin, what the hell?"

"Edgar!" he cries cheerfully.

I’m literally in a hole like Edgar. I’m trapped in a 2x2 hole that is two blocks deep. Gavin’s grinning down at me with a torch in his hands, and although the whole situation is amusing, I’m too annoyed to laugh.

"If you don’t get me out of this hole right now, I am going to skin you alive."

He just throws his head back and laughs, probably not understanding my threats but recognizes my expressions well enough to know that I’m annoyed.

After a few seconds he finally relents and mines all of the cobblestone he’s placed around me. I let out a chuckle when he launches himself at me in a hug.

"Free Michael 2013!" he cries, and that makes me laugh even harder.

After pulling away from the hug, he puckers up his lips, wanting me to kiss him, but instead I just push away his face with my hand.

"Fuck you, you trapped me in a hole,” I smirk, “I am not kissing you after you trapped me in a hole.”

He frowns in annoyance, and tries to kiss me himself. I dodge his attempts and he moans unhappily.

"That’s what you get, asshole."

*

The next morning I’m awoken by the familiar pounding on my door.

I’m too used to this kind of thing to be annoyed by it anymore, but I’m still incredibly tired when Gavin bursts through the door without waiting for me to say come in. Still not up to code on manners yet.

"Michael!" he cries happily, bouncing up and door.

I raise an eyebrow when I see that he has two beer bottles in his hand, unopened and the liquid sloshing around as he jumps.

"What the hell are you doing with that?" I question him.

"Here!" he holds them out to me, expecting me to take them, "Bevs!"

Bev is his made up turn for beer because he always forgets how to pronounce beverage. Just hearing him say another one of his stupid words make my annoyance double.

"What…" I take them but only because I fear he’ll drop them and make a mess, "Where did you even get these?"

"Geoff’s house!"

My eyes widen, “You stole Geoff’s beer? Do you want to die?”

"They’re for you!"

I quirk an eyebrow, “I don’t want beer this early in the morning, are you insane? I’m literally not even out of bed yet.”

His shoulders slump in disappointment at me not wanting his gift. “Michael doesn’t want bevs?” he questions quietly.

"No," I roll my eyes and get out of bed, "Let’s go put these back before Geoff wakes up and kicks your ass."

*

Since Griffon’s favorite pastime and job is carving sculptures out of wood, she often requires a lot of it. Seeing as how Geoff is ‘the best goddamn boyfriend in the world’ (his words, not mine), he always goes out of his way to collect different kinds of woods for her.

Slomoville only has one kind of wood in it’s forest, and that’s oak. But we have many different kinds of forests surrounding Achievement City. In order for her to get different kinds of wood other than oak, she’d have to travel pretty far from home.

Besides being far from us, that’s another disadvantage to her living in Slomoville. Geoff hates when she travels out on her own to get different kinds of wood. Although we all know Griffon can handle herself out there, you never know what could happen. So instead of letting her risk injury and danger, Geoff always has a stockpile of wood for her to take when she leaves.

He’s been planning on going to visit her next month, and staying there for a few weeks. It’s been a long time since it’s just been the two of them and they don’t have to worry about taking care of us brats. Ray made a joke that it’s like we’re giving them a free vacation.

Since he wants to get her some acacia wood, we all offered to go with him. It’s about an hour walk to get to that forest, and we’ll be able to collect more faster with all of us there.

"Why wood?" Gavin questions, watching me chop down a tree with an axe.

He tagged along mainly just because he loves going on ‘adventures’ like this, and we can’t trust him in Achievement City by himself. He’d probably end up pranking us. We’ve entered our houses many times to find that he’s either dumped lava or planted an entire tree in there.

But he still doesn’t know how to properly use weapons or tools. I’ve been busy trying to teach him English, and Jack’s been teaching him how to build houses. He’s already learning enough things at once, I think it’s okay to wait a while until we teach him about weaponry.

I can’t explain to him that we’re here to get wood because of Griffon. We still aren’t sure if he understands that she isn’t gone forever. If we mention her name he might get upset again, and we don’t need to deal with that when we’re out in the middle of the woods.

"Geoff wants to give it to somebody," I inform him, "Like a present."

"Present?"

"Yeah." I shrug, "Something that you give to somebody else to show them how much you care about them, I suppose."

He nods slowly, thinking over the explanation with a thoughtful expression on his face.

After I continue cutting down wood, I see Gavin shuffling around out of the corner of my eye. I don’t bother paying attention to it because he’s probably desperate to do anything rather than stand around and die of boredom.

When I feel him tapping my shoulder I turn around to see that he’s holding out a chuck of wood for me.

"Oh, thanks," I take it and put it with the others.

He scrunches up his face in annoyance, and picks it up again. Handing it to me with more persistence.

"What?" I question, "What’s wrong with the wood?"

"Michael’s!" he states while pointing at it.

"I don’t need wood," I say slowly. Maybe he didn’t really understand my explanation earlier, "We’re getting it for Geoff so that he can give it to Gr- Uh, somebody."

Gavin sighs and rolls his eyes, obviously frustrated. I assume it’s because he wasn’t able to understand my explanation on the first try. I snicker before dropping the wood back into the pile, and then affectionately ruffle his hair.

"Don’t worry, buddy," I smile at him, "You’ll get the hang of it eventually."

*

Instead of waking up to the sound of my boyfriend running into my house like a wild maniac, instead it’s the sound of screaming.

I sit up in my bed, immediately awake and alert once I recognize the voice as Gavin’s.

"No!" he’s screeching and the top of his lungs, "Stop!"

I throw the blankets off of me and run out of my house, not even thinking clearly enough to take my diamond sword in case Gavin’s in serious trouble.

But instead of seeing him being attacked by a zombie or something of the sort, I see Jack roughly dragging Gavin towards Kung-Fu house. He’s struggling against him, trying his hardest to fight back and escape his grasp.

"No! I don’t want to be Edgar! Stop! Let go!" he continues to cry out. When he catches sight of me he goes even crazier, "Michael! Help!"

"What the fuck is going on!?" I shout as I run over to them.

Jack releases Gavin and the boy falls from his arms. He runs into my arms immediately, still whining pitifully.

I look up to glare at Jack, his intentions still unknown. Although I think of him like a big brother and I trust him with my life, it’s kind of suspicious when you’re awoken to the sound of your boyfriends screaming as he’s being forcefully dragged around town.

Jack puts up his hands in mock surrender, “I wasn’t actually going to put him in Edgar’s hole, I swear. No need to go Mogar on me.”

"What happened?"

"I woke up to find him trying to steal diamond from my house." Jack explains, but there’s no hint of annoyance in his eyes.

"Stealing? You were stealing?" I glare at him, his eyes widen in panic.

"No!" he shakes his head quickly.

"What the hell did you need diamond for?" I question. We have plenty of diamond tools and armor, so if he needed something he could have just taken that. Plus he doesn’t even know how to craft things on his own.

"Diamond for Michael!"

I groan, realizing that this is another one of his stupid attempts to give me pointless and unneeded gifts.

"I don’t want diamond! Why are you constantly trying to give me things?"

He pouts unhappily before removing his arms from around me. Before I can grab his arm he jumps away from me. I call out after him as he sprints to his house, not giving us any reason as to why he was stealing from Jack’s.

"You gonna go see if he’s okay?"

"Nah," I shrug, "It’s still early. He’ll be over it by the time I wake up again."

He wasn’t.

*

This time instead of waking up to Gavin’s screaming or excitable morning attitude, I’m awoken by Geoff stomping into my house with a murderous look on his face.

“What did you do to Gavin?” he demands.

My eyes widen in fear and I think for a moment that he might pull a diamond sword from behind his back and attack me. “What!? Nothing!” I jump up from my seat when I register his question, “Wait, why? Is something wrong with him!?”

"He won’t stop moping around! It’s fucking depressing. He won’t talk to me. He’s just ignoring everyone and refusing to leave his house."

"What!? Why!?"

"How the fuck should I know!? That’s why I came here to ask you! So go fucking fix the kid before I shove a pickaxe up your ass!"

"And you say you don’t care about him,” I mutter.

"Just go fix you’re boyfriend, dickweed." Geoff states before he leaves, slamming the door shut behind him.

He and Gavin have been hanging out a lot lately. Every second that he isn’t spending with me, he’s spending it with Geoff. Following him around, helping him, and saying dumb jokes to make him laugh. I don’t know how he’s done it, but it’s almost like Gavin wormed his way into Geoff’s heart.

Not like that’s a difficult thing to do, but it seemed pretty unlikely when the two first met.

So it’s weird that he’s spending the day inside of his house, ignoring Geoff when normally he’d jump at the chance to hang out with him.

Is he really upset from this morning? Nobody actually got mad at him. All I did was ask him if he was stealing diamond. Gavin never gets upset over somebody yelling at him. I’ve yelled at him way louder and harsher before, and he’s always just laughed it off.

I feel guilty just at the thought of doing something that’s upset my boy. But as much as I wrack my brain I can’t think of anything that I’ve done wrong. I’ve been treating him the same way as I always do.

There’s no denying that Gavin’s been acting really weird lately. His odd behavior is really starting to piss me off. Is this some kind of creeper thing that I’m not aware of? Who knew having a boyfriend raised by creepers could be so much work.

Obviously Gavin is upset by something, and it’s up to me to fix it. As much as I’d like to deny it, he’s worth the trouble.

I promised myself all those months ago that I’d never let him frown again. That he’d never have a reason to be sad or upset. I’m pretty shitty at keeping my promises apparently, even though I have no idea what I’ve done to break it.

Something is up, and I know if I go to him to find out, nothing good will come of it. I need to go to a better source of information. One that actually knows English and has an extensive knowledge on pretty much everything.

*

"Ryan!" I demand as I stomp into his house, throwing the door open so harshly that it’s slams into the door.

He raises an eyebrow as he stares up at me from behind his book, “Come in?”

I completely ignore any thought to be polite, “You know a lot of shit about creepers, right?”

"I know a lot of shit about everything."

I roll my eyes, “Then help me! What the hell is going on with Gavin and how the fuck do I make him stop?”

He sighs and closes his book, almost as though he was expecting me to come asking him this, “I have a theory.”

"Which is?"

Ryan’s the smartest in Achievement City. We all have our negatives and positives, and his biggest positive is his brain. The negative is the fact that’s he’s incredibly creepy at times and buries woodland creatures into holes in his spare time. Even as I’m standing in his house I’m trying to avoid stepping onto the glass floor containing Edgar and not make any eye contact with his prison. But I think of him just as much as a big brother as I do Jack and Geoff.

It’s no surprise that he already has theories on Gavin’s behavior, and I’d have to be a fool to not believe them.

"The whole cheeking thing. That’s just how creepers work. That’s how they show affection. It represents that they want to stay together and not go on to find a different mate. But if they do it and the other creeper rejects them, then that means they aren’t interested in them romantically. So when you told Gavin to stop, I assume he became worried that you weren’t interested in him anymore."

"But I am!"

"I know, but then you told him that cheeking is a creeper thing. That he couldn’t do it because you and he aren’t creepers. So he was probably desperate to find the human equivalent to that before you lost interest in him entirely."

Realization and guilt begins to creep up my spine.

Goddammit.

I fucked up.

"…So all of the gifts and stuff?"

He sighs once again, and this whole situation reminds me of how smart Ryan really is. He’s the best at observing things and I was right to come to him for advice.

"You have to understand that Gavin’s never been around people before us. He was raised to act and be like a creeper."

"But why would he be doing those things? How is that equivilant to creeper-cheeking?"

"He doesn’t know normal human customs, so when he sees us doing dumb affectionate things for one another, he doesn’t understand that it’s just a joke. Ray showers us with roses when there’s a game win, Geoff shares his beer when he’s feeling generous, he collects wood to bring to Griffon, and I bury shit in holes. It’s just how we operate around here."

"So me rejecting all of that and getting annoyed at him?"

"Probably makes him think you don’t like him anymore."

"Well, fuck."

*

"Hey, Gavvy?" I knock on his door loudly.

After leaving Ryan’s I bolted straight over here to Gavin’s house. No wonder he’s been so quiet and timid lately. I’ve brushed off every single attempt to confirm our relationship and now he thinks I hate him.

I’m probably the biggest idiot in the world. When one dates a boy that was raised by creepers, there should be a handbook given to you or something. It would sure make things a hell of a lot easier.

There’s no response, which isn’t exactly a good sign. I close my eyes and rest my head against the door before finally just walking in.

Gavin’s sitting on his bed, his arms wrapped around his knees that are pulled to his chest, and his back leaning against the wall. He looks up as I enter, but as soon as he meets my gaze he looks away with red cheeks.

"Hi, Gavin," I close the door, wincing a little when it shuts too hard.

His shoulders just slump a little more, and he becomes very intrigued by a spot on the floor. Much preferring to look at that than me.

"Can I talk to you?" I ask quietly, sitting on the corner of his bed.

He nods a little, and the look on his face seems to feed the guilt that’s eating me alive. It’s quiet for a few moments, and I know I should talk but I’m too busy trying to figure out what’s going on through Gavin’s head. Does he really think I don’t want him anymore?

"Gavin, you know I love you, right?"

He finally looks me in the eyes, but they shine bright with disbelief and heart break. I can’t take it anymore and scoop him up in my arms, he doesn’t fight against it much, and just relaxes his head against my chest. He’s so feeble, as though this doubt is actually affecting his health in some way.

I kiss the top of his head, “Because I do. I love you, Gavin.”

It sucks having to actually remind him. I don’t like the fact that he no longer believes me when I say it.

I love you,” he moves away from my chest to look me in the eyes.

"I know you do. We both love each other, right?"

"No."

I sigh, “Gavin, you have to believe me. I didn’t know what you were doing.”

That apparently does not succeed in reassuring him. He starts hissing in creeper, and I don’t bother to correct him to say that I don’t understand. I just let him get it all out before he eventually switches back to English.

"-Michael hate cheeking. Michael hate roses. Michael hate wood. Michael hate bevs. Michael hate diamond. Michael hate all!" he cries, looking down and away from me once again.

"Shhh," I try to soothe him, feeling like I’m currently taking care of a small child instead of my boyfriend, "It’s okay."

"No! Not okay!" he shakes his head, "I want Michael to stay! Stay with Gavin!"

"I’m not going anywhere," I reassure, trying to pull him closer to me, but he fights against my grip so that he can look me in the eyes. I can see the desperation within them.

"Griffon’s gone!" he cries out, his face scrunching up in pain, "She’s gone and Geoff’s alone! I don’t want Michael gone."

Then it’s all pieced together.

That’s why Gavin was so upset about Griffon leaving. We were right about him thinking she was never coming back, but he was also scared that she left because she didn’t like us anymore.

He thought she wasn’t happy with Geoff and the rest of us, and so she decided to go on to find a new partner.

That’s why he’s been hanging out with Geoff so much, because he thinks he’s totally heartbroken over Griffon’s departure.

That’s why he was so desperate to prove his love to me, because he didn’t want me to go away like Griffon and leave him all alone.

And that’s why he’s so distressed now, because he thinks my ‘rejection’ of his gifts was my refusal to continue seeing him.

I feel like such an ass.

"Shh," I whisper again. When I see his eyes watering I pull him close to me so that I can bury my face into his hair, "Nobody left I’m not going to leave. Everything is okay, I promise."

"Griffon?"

I suppose all of that explaining I did to him before was useless. He was so set on thinking that Griffon was leaving forever that he just completely disregarded any explanation telling him otherwise.

"She’s gone home. She’s going to come back to visit. Maybe we’ll even go visit her ourselves. Geoff still loves Griffon, and Griffon still loves Geoff. They just live far away from one another."

He sniffles a little, and uses my sleeve to wipe his runny eyes and nose. I wince a little in disgust at that but don’t end up saying anything to stop him. Gavin’s wiped worse things in my sleeves after all.

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"Michael stay?"

"Of course I’m staying."

"No leave?"

"If I did leave, you’d be coming with me," I smile and kiss the tip of his nose, "As if I could ever leave my creeper boy behind."

He giggles at the name, and thinks over my words for a few moments until he finally nods, “Okay.”

Relief washes through me as soon as he says that word, “Thank God.” I murmur. He smiles and kisses me on the nose back.”But no more gifts, okay? I almost had a heart attack when I heard you screaming this morning. You scared the shit out of me.”

"Okay," he nods, seeming to understand, "Cheeking?"

I groan in annoyance. Of course he feels compelled to show his love in some kind of way. Although I originally found it annoying, I must admit that now I understand the feeling behind it. When he snuggles his face against my shoulder it isn’t to be a pest, it’s to present that love in a way without words.

Geoff won’t be happy if he sees Gavin acting like a creeper, but I’ve already put my boy through enough. What’s the harm in letting him have one thing that can be shared between the two of us.

Just because cheeking is a creeper thing, doesn’t mean it can’t also be a Michael/Gavin thing.

"Okay, fine," I relent, "But only when we’re alone. Geoff’s going to kick my ass if he sees you doing it.”

He squeals loudly and happily before excitedly hissing something. I’m practically thrown back against the bed when he wraps his arms around me and hugs me so close that I think I’m going to choke.

"Okay, okay, Gavin! I get it!" I chuckle, "No need to deprive me of oxygen."

He doesn’t even pay attention, and just begins snuggling his face against my shoulder, already taking advantage of the cheeking exception.

I smile, no longer feeling annoyance towards the action. He’s just trying to show how much he loves me. I can’t believe I was so stupid and tried to stop him. It’s no wonder why he thought I was rejecting him. I still can’t swallow down the guilt burrowed deep inside of me.

"I’m sorry for making you worry," I say quietly, and he stops his nuzzling to look up at me curiously, "I’m stupid, okay?"

He shakes his head quickly, “Not stupid.”

"Yes, I am. I’m stupid because I made you feel unloved."

That was stupid. But Michael’s not stupid.” he states again, nodding his head in an all business fashion.

I smile, “Oh yeah? Then what is Michael?”

"Michael’s lovely," he smiles, kissing me on the cheek.

I roll my eyes at the term but decide to play along, “You’re lovely too.”

He grins but it’s interrupted by an adorable yawn and he’s forced to rub his fist against in eyes. His eyes look more dreary and tired when he opens them again. “Sleep?”

"Yeah, of course," I nod, and I’m about to get off the bed but he latches his arms around me. I raise an eyebrow at him but he just gives me a pleading look. It’s so easy to read his facial expressions at this point.

Is this how all couples feel around one another? The overwhelming desire to protect and be near each other all of the time. If not I feel bad for everybody else out there for not getting to experience this, because life must have been so boring for me before I met Gavin all those months ago.

"Fine, fine," I pretend to act annoyed, "We can have a sleepover."

He claps excitedly and burrows down into his blankets.

"I love you, Gav." I murmur, as I lay down next to him in the bed. He smiles and snuggles closer to me, humming contently at my words.

"I love you," he whispers, and we don’t speak anymore throughout the night.

Gavin affectionately rubs his cheek against my shoulder, so softly that I can bearly feel it, until exhaustion overtakes him and he falls asleep.

It’s nice to see him so relaxed again, especially after all of the stress and worry he’s been put through lately.

I chuckle quietly to myself before pressing a soft kiss to his forehead, then nuzzle my own face into his shoulder and letting myself fall asleep there.

Life is still pretty good.