The scent of marijuana and general Michael filled Jeremy’s senses and intoxicated him as he sat in his best friend’s basement, watching him play through this level of Twilight Princess. Michael had offered that they play Apocalypse of the Damned or even New Super Mario Bros., but Jeremy said he didn’t want to join in. That was a lie. Jeremy wanted to join in, he wanted to do all of the old shit they’d done before..
Before he had heard about the SQUIP. Before he’d taken that pill. Before he’d ruined his friendship with Michael. Before he’d fucked up, big time.
“Jer’? You okay?”
Jeremy felt himself jolt, then rubbed at his face. Had he cried a little? He could feel Michael staring at him, he probably thought he was weird, just sitting there and crying for no reason. Jeremy Heere is such a freak, he’s crying while watching his friend play Wii.
“Jeremy, I can hear you thinking. What’s wrong?” asked Michael, pausing the game.
But Jeremy couldn’t breathe. He could feel everything closing in around him as he covered his face. He tried to curl in on himself. Too close. He straightened out on the beanbag. No comfort. He curled in again. TOO CLOSE!
“Jeremy?” Michael set down his controller.
He thinks you’re such a freak. You’re sitting here crying and thrashing around like a fish on land, he didn’t even do anything. He should be the one freaking out, you did so much shit to him. You hurt him! You hurt Michael! And you think you have room to panic! What a selfish brat.
He was able to whimper something out, because Michael was moving to Jeremy quickly. “Jeremy, can you hear me?” he asked. The brunette nodded quickly, not uncovering his face. “We’re gonna breathe, okay? Can I touch your hand?” Michael continued. Another nod, and Michael was holding his hand and bringing it to his chest.
“Breathe in..” Michael slowly inhaled, and Jeremy followed suit. “Hold.. And out.” The two slowly exhaled together. “In.. Hold.. Out.” They sat there, breathing slowly for a while. Jeremy slowly felt himself able to breathe normally again, like he was finally back on Earth after being stranded in outer space. He sighed softly. “You okay?” Michael asked.
He couldn’t admit that he’d been panicking because he was a bad friend. Michael would only try to make him feel better, even if he wasn’t wrong about being a shit friend.
“Jer’, look at this.” Michael showed Jeremy his phone, and Jeremy watched through his fingers. A corgi was on the screen, playing the keyboard with stubby little paws as people offscreen chuckled at the puppy.
“Good boy,” Jeremy whispered.
“A truly good boy,” Michael grinned. Another corgi video. This one was of two corgis pulling another in a sled through snow, like it was a dogsled team. “Strong!”
“Strong,” Jeremy laughed softly, but choked on nothing. A small object was placed in his lap. Tissue box. Jeremy took a few and cleaned up the mess he’d made on his hand and face.
“Here’s another.” Michael showed his phone again, and a corgi ran in and out of the house while barking. He dashed across grass that was seen through a glass wall on the video, then back inside and across the carpet. “Fast!”
“Zoom,” Jeremy chuckled. He was exhausted.
Michael grabbed his hand again. “You don’t have to tell me what that was about, but do you want to stay over tonight? So I can make sure you’re taken care of and stuff. You’re probably really tired,” he rambled.
“Okay,” Jeremy murmured and squeezed Michael’s hand. He couldn’t admit what he was panicking over. He’d probably tell Michael anyway, though.
“I love you, Jeremy.” Michael pulled him to his chest.
“Love you, too.” And with that, Jeremy was asleep against his best friend.
Best friend. God, he wanted Michael to be so much more than that. He’s wanted that since eighth grade, but he couldn’t say that! Michael was probably straight and would think Jeremy was stupid for liking him like that. He’d lose his only friend. He’d be alone, since Christine had broken up with him.
That wasn’t his or her fault, though. She’d finally figured out she was aroace, which was totally okay! Christine shouldn’t change herself to make someone else happy. It still stung nonetheless. Jeremy felt selfish for that.
And what about Michael on that situation? Jeremy had been pining after Christine since seventh grade, and Michael helped him out. Maybe he just wanted to see Jeremy happy. Maybe he wanted Jeremy gone. Either way, it made Jeremy happy to know his best friend cared enough about him to help with his stupid love life (or lack of). He still had to tell Michael about the breakup. Fuck!
Jeremy snapped awake with a yelp, causing Michael to jump and look down. “Jer’, you okay?” he asked, voice low and sleepy.
“Christine broke up with me,” Jeremy muttered against Michael’s chest.
“What?! No, I’ll totally kick her ass-“
“No! It’s not what you think. Christine figured out she’s aroace. It’s fine, Mikey,” Jeremy assured him.
“Alright,” Michael yawned and leaned back against the beanbag. Jeremy bit his lip before slipping back asleep.
I love him.
But he’d hate me if he knew.