“Trashcan, I swear to fucking God-” Gavin froze, as if it would keep his black cat from moving. Trashcan’s paw hovered over the pile of brand fucking new glass plates Gavin had just bought. He’d unloaded the groceries onto the counter and turned around for a fucking second. And here he was. “Don’t you fucking dare-”
Trashcan’s paw came down onto the pile, but thankfully it didn’t knock them over the edge of the counter. Gavin breathed out a long sigh of relief. Then, Trashcan pushed them off with his nose. The sound of shattering glass filled the apartment.
“Phckin’ hell, Trashcan! Richard is supposed to be over in an hour!” Gavin rubbed his hand down his face. With a groan, Gavin walked back to the front door to take off his shoes and jacket. After putting them on the shoe rack beside the door, he scanned the apartment. It wasn’t too messy. All he really had to do was clean up the glass and then straighten up a bit. After that, all he had to do was change and get dinner started. He’d already picked out his clothes and laid them on the bed, and the stuff for dinner was out on the kitchen counter.
With a short nod and breath of relief, Gavin walked over to his radio next to his television. He could have used the Alexa, sure, but sometimes, doing it the old fashioned way just felt better. As his cleaning playlist (which was named: The Songs I Belt While Cleaning) played through the apartment, Gavin made his way to the laundry room off of the kitchen where he stored the broom. He grabbed the broom off of the hook and entered the glass covered kitchen. In all hindsight, he probably should have kept his fucking shoes on. He really didn’t have time to deal with this shit right now.
Gavin took a step forward to lean down and pick up a large piece of glass. Pain shot through his left foot. “Fuck!”
He lifted his foot and swore at the large piece of glass poking out of his sock. Red started to spread across the white fabric. Gavin lowered his foot back down with a wince and hobbled to the bathroom, keeping his foot at an angle. Crocodile Rock blared through the sound system as he set about finding the first aid kit. Pulling it out of the medicine cabinet above the toilet, Gavin let himself plop down onto the toilet seat. He crossed his foot up onto his knee and set the first aid kit beside him. Carefully, he pulled the large piece of glass out of his foot, his face scrunched tight with pain. Stinging sensations jolted through his foot as he dropped the bloody glass in the sink. Gavin tugged off his sock and held it against the cut. Not the most sanitary, but it’d have to fucking work.
When he thought it stopped bleeding, he dropped the sock on the floor and cringed. He’d be fine for tonight, but first thing in the morning, he’d need to go to the doctor to get it looked at. He threw his sock across the bathroom floor and opened the first aid kit. Gavin took out some antibacterial gel and when he reached for the gauze pads, he must’ve knocked the first aid kit wrong. It fell off of where it sat on the toilet, its contents scattering across the floor. A frustrated sound pushed through his mouth as Gavin applied the antibacterial gel to his cut. Leaning over awkwardly, with a blood-antibacterial gel mixture dripping from the long cut on the bottom of his foot he snatched up the first gauze pad he could reach. The cut was fucking massive. It almost took up the entirety of the sole of his foot.
After tearing the package open with his teeth, Gavin pressed the gauze to his foot and held it still. He grabbed a roll of ace wrap from the floor and somehow managed to wrap his foot up. Standing with a soft sound of pain, Gavin set about cleaning the bathroom up. He crammed everything back into the first aid kit and stuffed it into the cabinet. He took the glass from the sink and threw it away before grabbing towels to clean the blood off the floor. He’d hardcore clean in the morning. The apartment just had to be presentable at this point.
The blood and antiseptic were cleaned up quickly and Gavin scrambled into the laundry room to get the blood-covered towels in the wash so the stains didn’t set. When the laundry was started, he left the laundry room. As he exited the laundry room, Trashcan pushed the three fucking bags of flour he’d gotten from the store off of the counter.
Of. Fucking. Course.
The entire kitchen, including Gavin and Trashcan, ended coated in a thick layer of flour as the bags exploded. Gavin pointed at the cat. “I’m going to get fucking rid of you.”
Before Gavin could so much as move, a sputtering sound echoed from the laundry room. “No, no- Not a-fucking-gain!”
He spun around, slipping on the flour on the floor and slipping. Gavin’s feet swept out from under him and he landed flat on his back. Thank fuck there was no glass there. He laid there on the tile for a moment. Was it really worth getting up? He could just lay here until he starved. This kitchen floor could be where he died.
Water touched his right foot, which still had a sock on it. “Phck!”
Gavin scrambled to his feet, flailing about wildly. He bolted into the laundry room, sliding across the floor as he did. Bubbles and water were erupting out of the washing machine and onto the floor. “Fuckin’ piece of shit!”
He kicked the washing machine with his good foot. The amount of water and bubbles erupting out of the machine tripled. “Fuck!”
After smashing a few buttons and having it not work, he dashed out of the laundry room to see Trashcan sitting next to the carton of eggs. “No! You stupid fucking cat!”
He managed to pick Trashcan up off of the counter right as the cat knocked over the carton. It burst open and eggs shattered across the floor. He tucked the cat under his arm like a football and grabbed his keys to Tina’s. Narrowly avoiding stepping on broken glass again, Gavin threw the black cat into the sink and turned on the tap. He held the key to Tina’s between his teeth and scrubbed down the cat- who was fighting him as much as fucking possible. It ended in them both being soaked, miserable, and covered in bubbles. He wrapped Trashcan in one of the kitchen towels and left the apartment.
The walk down to Tina’s apartment was miserable. He left soapy flour footprints the whole way there. He got down to her apartment and unlocked the door. He released the cat from the towel and into Tina’s apartment. He was about to close the door when he met her wide-eyed gaze. She had a carton of ice cream in lap and a spoon hanging from her mouth. The Proposal was playing on the television and she was dressing sweats with a messy bun. “Don’t. Fucking. Ask. Just watch the fucking cat. He’s clean and a little shit. We’ll talk later.”
He closed the door and darted up to his apartment, trying incredibly hard to ignore the screaming pain in his foot. Gavin threw open the door to his apartment and kicked it shut behind him.
This could not be happening.
This could not be fucking happening.
He had fifteen minutes until Richard was supposed over and the entire floor of the kitchen had flooded. “Fuck! The music room! The streaming room!”
Swearing profusely as Hamilton blared through the sound system, Gavin scrambled into the bathroom to grab as many fucking towels as he could. He closed the door to the streaming room and pressed the towels up against the crack in the door. He was so going to have to fucking pull up all of the carpeting in his apartment. Again. He was getting wood tile this time, damn it. He hurried over to the music room and did the same thing, blocking the crack in the door with towels. Water hadn’t totally made it into the hallway yet, which was a good thing.
He stood upright and groaned when he peaked into his bedroom and saw a large hairball and cat vomit across his bedspread and clothes he was going to wear. Gavin yelled out in frustration, his hands tangling in his hair. Fuck.
Whatever. He’d deal with that shit later.
Gavin bolted into the kitchen where he’d left the broom and swore at the pain in his foot. He put his foot on a towel, trying to maneuver it to get up some of the water to make it easier to sweep up the flour and glass mixture. Using the broom, he was able to push some of the larger pieces of glass together. An itching sensation filled his eye. He fought all instincts to rub at it. He’d have to take out his contacts as soon as he got the chance. He’d already had them in for far too long and had probably gotten some flour in them.
He was doing his best to push the glass into a pile when the doorbell rang.
Everything fell from his hands and he scurried to the door. Gavin ended up sliding across the floor and slamming straight into the wood door, narrowly missing the doorknob. His hand cupped his nose as he moved away from the door. He quickly opened it and froze.
He must look like a disaster.
Gavin was soaked, head to toe. A gross mixture of flour, water, and soap bubbles coated his jeans, t-shirt, and hair. His eyes were probably red with irritation from his contacts. His one sock was soaked and the other foot was bloody and wrapped in an ace bandage. His face and hair were probably covered in flour. He blinked.
Richard stood at his door; eyes wide and mouth open slightly. He was dressed in a nice pair of black slacks and a black button up, motorcycle helmet tucked underneath his arm. Black combat boots and a white leather jacket completed the look. He blinked. Gavin opened the door for him and scrambled out of the way when he remembered the washer was still flooding. Britney Spears echoed through the apartment as Richard entered. He heard a quiet, “Oh my God” as he rushed into the laundry room.
“If you give me, like fifteen minutes to turn off the water and change,” Gavin called over his shoulder as he tried to smash buttons on the machine, “we can have our date night. It can’t really be here though.”
“Gavin.” Richard’s voice came from the kitchen. Gavin stopped what he was doing and poked his head out of the laundry room. Richard had taken off his jacket and set down his motorcycle helmet. His sleeves had been rolled up to the elbow.
“Um, yeah?” He asked, ducking back into the laundry room. Richard caught him by the arm before he could.
Gavin let himself be manhandled out of the laundry room to face Richard. Warm, strong hands cupped his face which reminded Gavin he was soaked and actually really fucking cold. He leaned into Richard’s hand, a shudder rolling his spine. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, inhaling the smell of leather and cologne. When he opened his eyes, he met Richard’s gaze. His eyebrows pulled down slightly with concern and his gaze was unbelievably soft. “Gavin, do you really think we’re going out tonight?”
Dread dropped down into his stomach.
He blew it. He totally blew it and this was it. He’d finally found a good dom and then he ruined it by being a complete hot mess on their second date and-
A sharp pain between his brows caused him to recoil some. “… Did you just flick me?”
“I could practically see your mind running in circles.” Richard’s hands retook their place on his face, holding him steady. His voice was like a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning. “You are clearly in no state to have a night out tonight, or to play the extravagant host. Now, we’re going to clean up. I’ll call a plumber and you order some take out, alright? We’ll clean the apartment and then, we’re going to sit down and talk because you look like you’re about to burst into tears. Then, if you’re feeling up to it, we can talk about the more intimate aspects of our relationship and sexual life. Do you understand?”
“I-” Gavin opened his mouth to protest, but with a single stern look from Richard, he deflated. “Yeah, okay.”
“Good.” Richard leaned forward, pressing a kiss to Gavin’s forehead. “I’m going to call the plumber. You order some takeout. I’m not picky, so choose whatever you’d like.”
“I can do that.” He nodded. The bubbling overwhelming feeling that had been building throughout the chaos started to subside. Gavin left the kitchen to grab his cellphone from the living room. He shut off the radio and ordered some Chinese takeout from the place down the road. He’d needed that. The orders. The stability. At least until he could have a full-blown freak out. He walked back into the kitchen, setting his phone on top of one of the clean areas of the counter.
Richard had disappeared into the laundry room and apparently was somehow able to get the washing machine to stop exploding. Gavin peeked in on him and saw Richard lying on his side, getting drenched in water, halfway behind the washing machine. He was speaking to someone on the phone, presumably a plumber, and following their instructions. God, he was so fucking hot.
Gavin turned back to the kitchen and grabbed the broom. He got to work sweeping up the glass off of the floor before he did anything else. It was long and tedious work, seeing as the floor was flooded. Richard finished up in the laundry room far quicker than Gavin did with the sweeping.
“Why is there blood on the floor?”
Looking over his shoulder at Richard, Gavin scrunched his nose together before looking down at his foot. “Fuck.”
Apparently, he’d bled through the bandage on his foot and was currently tracking blood everywhere he stepped, which was just mixing with the disgusting water-flour-glass mixture on the floor.
“You’re hurt.” There was an edge to Richard’s tone that sent a shudder crawling down Gavin’s body. A heavy weight settled in the pit of his stomach. He crossed over to Gavin, taking the broom from his hands. “I think you’ve exerted yourself enough for today. Go take a shower and get into a comfortable pair of pajamas, and then I’ll take a look at your foot. I’ll clean up in here.”
“No.” Richard put up a hand to stop him. He propped the broom up against the counter and embraced Gavin. “You’ve clearly had a long day. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.” His hand rubbed up and down Gavin’s back. The tension in Gavin’s shoulders slowly dripped away. “Go take a shower. Let me take care of you, sweetheart.”
It was the soft firmness in the word sweetheart that broke Gavin. He wasn’t going to cry, damn it!
He curled his arms around Richard, his fingers tangling in the fabric of his button-up. “Damn it, I was trying so damn hard to make tonight good and to make it the perfect date and then everything went to hell in a hand basket and I- I- I was going to cook and- and-”
“Shh…” He buried his face in Richard’s shoulder as the taller combed his hand through Gavin’s disgustingly messy hair. Gavin’s shoulders shook as he fisted his hands even tighter in Richard’s shirt. It wasn’t fucking fair, after everything he’d done to make sure tonight had gone perfect- He’d put so much fucking effort into all of this and he’d wanted-This was his first real attempt at a serious relationship in a long time and for it to all go to hell so fucking fast- He choked on sob and Richard pulled him closer. “Sh, Gavin, darling, I’ve got you. It’s alright. You’re okay. It’s okay. Tonight never had to be perfect, Gavin. It was just supposed to be us. We’re still going to have a good night. You’ll shower and I’ll clean up. Afterwards, I’ll take care of you, sweetheart.”
Gavin sniffled, drawing away some. Richard cupped his cheeks, wiping the tears from his eyes with gentle fingers. He didn’t start moving until Richard slowly led him to the bathroom. His hand was guiding on Gavin’s lower back. A soft sound of approval escaped his mouth. When they were in the bathroom, Richard stopped him. “Do you need me to stay?”
“No, it’s okay.” His voice came out quiet and raw. Gavin reached down and began to strip out of his clothing. He took off his shirt and shuffled out of his pants before sitting down on the toilet as Richard got the water running. Gavin peeled off his wet sock and then stood to take off his boxers. Richard pressed a kiss to his cheek and ducked out of the bathroom as Gavin got into the shower. As he was shampooing his hair, Richard briefly came back into the bathroom with some of his pajamas.
Apparently, he’d taken longer in the shower than he’d thought. When Gavin left the steam-filled bathroom in a pair of comfy flannel pajama pants and an old blue t-shirt (with a rainbow, underneath which read: Gay AF in big bold letters), everything was clean. All of the glass had been picked up off of the flour, the flour swept up, and the water mopped away. He peeked into the kitchen to see Richard getting out the pitcher of sweet tea in the fridge.
“Glasses are in the cabinet on the left.”
Richard looked up at him and set the pitcher on the counter. He moved over to the cabinet Gavin had mentioned and pulled out two blue-striped glasses. “Are you feeling better?”
“Yeah.” Gavin combed a hand through his wet hair. He scanned Richard, his attention catching on the half of his clothing that was still drenched. “You’re wet. I have some clothes you can borrow. It’s merch from my fan-shop, but I have some extras.”
“Some dry clothes would be delightful, thank you.” Gavin nodded and wandered off into the streaming room where the box of Gavcat merch was. He pulled open the box with a slight grin. Should he go ridiculous with it, or be nice?
How was it even a question?
Ridiculous. He had to go ridiculous in it.
From the merch box, he pulled out a pair of black sweatpants. Along the right leg of the pants, it read GAVCATS in bold white print. Gavin folded them and set them aside before withdrawing a blue “We’re All Sluts for Trashcan” shirt. Then, he topped off the style with one of the DanceGavinDance shimmery-backed hoodies. He walked into the bathroom and set them onto the counter before walking out into the kitchen. “Clothes are in the bathroom.”
The doorbell rang, and before Gavin could do so much as blink, Richard was at the door and paying for the food. As Richard closed the door, Gavin grumbled, “You didn’t have to do that.”
Richard set the takeout boxes down on the table and took two strides to cross over to Gavin. He cupped Gavin’s cheeks in his hands. “Let me spoil you, sweetheart.”
A light pink spread across his face when Richard pressed a kiss to his forehead. He watched Richard disappear down the hall into the bathroom. Let me spoil you, sweetheart. The words echoed through his mind, drawing a bright red onto his cheeks and holding him captive where he stood.
Two fucking dates and he was already so overwhelmed by this stupid fucking guy.
Was that really such a bad thing, though? They could sit down and talk tonight, iron things out, and really see where it was going. Maybe they could be something serious? It was already implied by the boyfriend comment, but… Well, he had to be sure.
A warm pair of arms curled around his middle. Gavin placed his hands over them and leaned back into Richard. Richard’s chin rested on top of his head. “Hey.”
“Hey,” Gavin started, softly. “What… I mean, I- Well,”
“Gavin.” Richard’s arms tightened in a gentle squeeze.
“It’s just, what is this?”
“Sweetheart, I do believe this is the hallway.”
Gavin let out a soft groan. “I meant us, you asshole.”
The warm security of Richard’s arms around him pulled away. Gavin allowed himself to be pulled along to the table. “We can talk over dinner.”
“Okay.” Gavin walked into the kitchen to grab some paper plates since the cat had fucking broken the glass ones. He returned to the table and set them down. “I pulled out my finest China: paper plates.”
A smile tugged at the corner of Richard’s mouth as he pulled out a chair for Gavin. “Exquisite.”
Gavin sat and let himself be pushed in. Richard glanced down at his foot and motioned for him to prop it up on his lap. Shoulders slumping forward, Gavin sighed. “The first aid kit is in the cabinet above the toilet.”
He was rewarded with a kiss to the forehead before Richard disappeared down the hallway. A flutter in his chest had embarrassment creeping through him. Richard returned moments later and sat in the chair beside Gavin. He grabbed Gavin’s foot carefully and used it to spin him to face Richard. Gavin’s foot was set on Richard’s lap and Gavin watched as Richard began doctoring up his foot. Warm, strong hands worked at his foot carefully. He winced as Richard cleaned the cut on his foot. Richard met his gaze with a focused expression. “Do you mind if I stitch it closed? Otherwise, I’m going to take you to the emergency room.”
“No!” Gavin threw his hands out and then stopped with realization. “I, uh, I mean, no emergency room. There should be a sewing kit in there.”
“It’s going to hurt.”
“No shit.” Gavin snorted. Richard cut him a look. He stuck out his tongue as Richard threaded the needle. Which was sixty times hotter than it should have been. Richard lifted his foot carefully and Gavin closed his eyes as the needle was slipped into his foot. A sound of pain came from his mouth. The needle wove in and out and in and out. He opened his eyes to watch Richard, but his face stayed twisted in pain. It wasn’t long before Richard had finished and was padding it with a piece of gauze. He wrapped his foot with an ace bandage.
Richard left Gavin’s foot on his lap as he closed the first aid kit. Gavin motioned for him to leave it out. “We can put it away later.”
Gavin leaned forward, grabbing the plates and serving both of them some food. He took a set of chopsticks and jerked them apart, smiling when Richard did the same. The dinner they ate was mostly in silence, until Richard broke it first.
“I noticed at the convention you bow your violin with the opposite hand of the standard. Why is that?”
Gavin shrugged. “No particular reason, to be honest. I taught myself for the first couple of years and didn’t realize I was doing it wrong until I had formal lessons. My teacher wasn’t thrilled, but ended up teaching me how to play both ways.”
They fell back into silence. Awkwardness and anticipation for their after-dinner conversation weighed on them both. After they finished eating, Richard cleared the table. When he sat back down near Gavin, he let out a long breath. “You wanted to talk.”
“Um, yeah.” Gavin rubbed the back of his neck. “I just… I guess the b-word has been said, but I- I just wanted to know how serious is this? How serious are we?”
Richard raised an eyebrow. “How serious do you want this to be?”
Gavin met his gaze, his cheeks going a bit pink. “I mean, I don’t want it to not be serious.”
An amused smile pulled at Richard’s mouth. “Let me make this easier on you: I would like for us to be in a serious relationship, Gavin. Even if things don’t work out romantically, I would still like to be a dom for you until you find yourself in a serious romantic relationship. Obviously, we have things to discuss, sexually and there’s a time for that. But, for tonight, I think we should just enjoy each other’s company.”
“I… I want that too.” Gavin said, softly.
“Good. Thank you, for being honest with me.” Richard moved to Gavin’s side. “Now, let’s go get comfortable on the couch and watch a movie.”
Leaning against Richard, Gavin got to his feet. “Have you seen Call Me by Your Name?”
“I can’t say that I have.”
Gavin threw him an incredulous expression. “We’re watching it. I can’t believe you haven’t seen it.”
They got settled onto the couch and watched the movie. After the movie, Richard ended up leaving to return home. And Gavin found himself wanting, more than ever, for him to stay.