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Stay With Me

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Michael jolted awake the instant he felt the vehicle screech to a halt, using about half of his mental will power not to groan as his car door swung open, his father looking down at him expectantly.

Michael lifted a hand, running it through his gelled hair and flicking it back down, having it swept to the side rather than the huge quiff his mother styled for him earlier in the morning. He swung his legs over the side, moving out of the car and shoving his hands into his pockets, gaze shifting before landing on the building set before them.

It was about what he had expected of them. It was... big, to say the least. Shaking his head, he made his way up to the door, walking in and taking a moment to eye his new surroundings. It was a lot nicer than their last place, at least. It had a nice pearly white wallpaper, and in general everything seemed much more organized.

Michael dragged his feet across the ground gradually, a soft sigh heaving from his lips as he swung open what he assumed would be his room. 

The room had already been set up and cleaned, most likely from the previous owner. He gave a simple roll of his eyes at the Obama poster on the wall, stepping close to it and tearing it off, rolling it up and tossing it to the side.

“Thanks, but I don't need any ex-presidents watching over me while I sleep.” He spoke to no one in particular. Shaking his head, the boy purposely let his body fall limp. He leaned to the side, collapsing on the bed and letting his eyes become fixated on the ceiling above him.

Just as Michael felt his eyelids growing heavy, he heard his mom call out his name. It didn't take a genius to note the obvious excitement lacing her tone. And so, with a brief chuckle, the boy hoisted himself back up, eyes lowered to the ground as he walked.

Michael watched his feet take steps across the glossy tiles, his dusty canvas sneakers next to the shined and polished floorboards that would make it more than easy to slip and fall. The thoughts caused him to slow his pace, eye twitching uncomfortably before his chocolatey eyes fell on the open door leading outside. Of course, there were his moms, both chatting happily with someone outside.

His shorter mom, Jane, seemed to take notice of his presence first. She waved at her son, smile growing wide over her face until she was practically radiating. "Michael! Come see who it is!" She urged.

' What does that mean? Do we know them? '  He questioned in his mind. Upon noticing his reluctance, Jane nudged her wife, murmuring something inaudible from where he stood before the both of them stepped to the side, revealing the two at the door.

Michael felt his breath hitch in his throat as he eyed them. There was an adult woman, most likely about in her mid-thirties, and despite her age, there seemed to be no wrinkles forming on her skin. She had dark, storm gray eyes, her gaze locked on Michael as the corners of her lips flickered upwards into the smallest of smiles. He knew her. He recognized her.

And so, of course, he turned to look at the shorter boy behind him. He had a mirrored grin painted over his lips, hand lifting to wave over at the Filipino boy. "Hey Mell," He greeted half-heartedly.

With a chuckle, Michael neared the boy, arms spread to awkwardly offer a hug. With almost no second wasted, they were embracing each other with about three years of platonic emotion behind it. "Hey Dustin." He hummed. Dustin pulled out of the hug, hands still placed firmly on his shoulders. "Dude! I haven't seen you in three whole years and all you have to say it 'Hey Dustin'?!" He scoffed, feigning a look of utter betrayal.

With a quick roll of his eyes, Michael folded his arms over his chest, his smile morphing into that of a smirk. "Speak for yourself, man." He said blandly. Shaking his head, Dustin's annoyance faded from his face, as he began to ever so slightly bounce on the spot. "Anyways- Dude you cannot believe how awesome you living here is gonna be! You gotta show me around the house!" He insisted.

"We just got he-" Michael started, cutting himself off as he saw the all-too-familiar glimmer in those big caramelized eyes of his. Huffing, Michael turned on his eyes, beginning to lead him farther into the building.

Michael took his time with exploring what would be considered his new 'home' for however long his mother decided to stay. It really looked like it was made just for them... Everything in each room could be matched up with either one of the three, from his parents' room to the TV set up in the basement.

As of right now, the two teens had taken luxury to a couch that had been set smack dab in the middle of the basement. Both boys had sprawled out across the furniture, taking in the sickeningly sweet smell of weed intoxicating the room. A silence had fell between the two, and whether it was tense or not wasn't very clear. Michael's eyes would flicker down at Dustin from time to time, but otherwise, they were doing nothing but just... Lying there.

"You know we aren't living here permanently, right?" Michael finally managed to choke up. For a moment, Dustin didn't respond, leaving Michael to think he had fallen asleep, but soon enough, he heard his voice confidently break the temporary silence. "Yeah.." He sighed.

At his response, Michael immediately felt a wave of regret crash over him. Dustin sounded so weirdly empty, calm. It didn't sound natural. Before he could dwell on it any longer, he watched him rise up, a grin decorating his face once more. "But that doesn't mean we can't just enjoy some quality bro-time, right? Mell and Kropp, going infinity and beyond!" He exclaimed, hands frantically waving around in the air to express how genuinely pleased Dustin was.

Michael snorted. It was brief, and he was confident it made him sound like a pig, but his friend didn't allow him to think back on it and make it a big deal like he was so used to by now. Instead, Dustin turned on the couch, eyes glued to the dark screen of the TV in front of them as his teeth dug harshly into his bottom lip. "Come on, I think the other owner left some games behind. Wanna play?"

Michael rolled his eyes behind his black-rimmed glasses, rising up to his feet and rushing over to the small cabinet filled with game cases, both empty and- well, not. He grabbed one game, reading the title over again and again in his head before nodding, turning to look at Dustin.

 

"Game on, Kropp."