"And...and the best thing? You want to know the best thing?" Michael hiccuped, wiping his eyes as he blearily looked up at rich.
"What?" The bartender answered, tiredness lacing his voice. It was 3 am, he was tired and wanted to go home.
"He only dumped me because I found out he was cheating. I-if I hadn't known, we would've spent Christmas normally. He doesn't even celebrate Christmas because he's fucking Jewish. He was CHEATING on me and that's what hurts the most." He answered, his voice breaking as he started to sob. His teary brown eyes gave the implication that he was shattered; it was horrible to watch.
"I'm so sorry...that's awful. Getting cheated on is the worst, but being dumped on Christmas Eve? I'm really sorry for you, bro. How about I drive you home and you don't touch anymore alcohol, hmm?"
"I'm drinking to forget the shit he put me through. I loved him so much, rich. But here's the thing; I don't love him anymore. I was going to break up with him after Christmas, so that I had at least one holiday where I could pretend everything was fine. I'm not jealous of who he fucked; I'm pissed he cheated. And that he broke up with me on fucking Christmas Eve."
"I know you did, Mikey. I know. Jeremy's a dick and I'll punch him when I see him again, okay? Let me take you home."
"I don't even have a home. I'm the one who moved in with him. My moms are hours away. My life fucking sucks."
Rich frowned, anger and frustration along with pity causing his thoughts to whirl.
"I'll just let you crash at my place tonight. You're one of my best friends, it's the least I can do." He said, walking to the seats and carefully lifting Michael to his feet.
“I can't let you do that...don't you have a boyfriend or girlfriend or something?" Michael slurred, stumbling and trying to keep his balance. He turned and peered up at rich, sleepiness taking over the sadness in his gaze.
"Nope. It's just me and mochi, my cat." He answered, wrapping an arm around micheal's waist and helping him walk to the back door.
“I can't let you do this...I must've done something to be cheated on. I'll sleep in the snow or something." Michael argued drunkenly, almost tripping over his feet.
"You're an idiot. Just stay quiet and come on, silly. You're not sleeping in the snow, you'll die." Rich pulled his beanie on, letting Michael lean on the counter long enough for him to put a jacket on.
Opening the door, the wind immediately send a shiver down his spine. The snow whirled around, cascading as it flew towards the ground. Rich gritted his teeth, and helped lead Michael out and to his car.
"Sit, I just need to lock the door and then we can go." He instructed, opening the door and gesturing. Michael obliged, sitting down heavily and starting to wipe his eyes. He was crying again.
Ooh, when rich finds Jeremy he's going to knock his teeth out. He's pined over Michael since high school; and Michael had always been head over heels for Jeremy. And the fact that Jeremy CHEATED on him?? And dumped him on Christmas Eve??
He'll be lucky if rich doesn't rip his balls off.
Locking the door, he placed the key in his pocket and walked back to the car. Michael was sniffling and wiping his face with his jacket sleeve, unaware of the snow that was landing on his jeans.
"I just need you to put your legs in the car, okay? I can't shut the door if they're hanging out." Rich said gently, trying to get Michael to respond. The other boy did as he was asked, adjusting his sitting position. Rich shut the door, and quickly walked over to the driver's side, trying to hold his beanie from flying off in the cold wind.
"We'll be at my apartment soon, okay?" He asked, looking at Michael as he started the car. He didn't answer; instead, going through some pictures through his phone and sniffling. Rich sighed, turning his gaze to the road.
When they finally got back to the apartment complex, it was snowing harder than before and the wind was howling through the trees. The glow of the Christmas trees were peeking from each apartment window, casting faint, multicolored lights on the snow.
“Come on, Mikey. Wakey wakey, we're here." He softly shook his shoulder, turning the engine off with his other hand. Getting out of the car, he walked over to Michael's side and opened the door.
"Come on, get up." He wrapped his arms around michael, pulling him to his feet.
“I'm coming, I'm coming..." he murmured, leaning heavily onto rich. Michael was most definitely a weepy/cuddly drunk. Shutting the door, he helped Michael walk up the sidewalk and to his first floor apartment. He pulled the key out and unlocked the door, and led Michael in before shutting it.
“Mochi? Where are you, sweetie?" He called, glancing around the living room. The only light was coming from the Christmas tree.
A loud meow was heard, and a black cat ran from the bedroom and leaped onto Rich's leg.
"Mochi, no. You need to get down, we have a guest and I need to make sure he's taken care of first." He said sternly, pointing to the ground. Mochi purred, digging her little claws further into his pant leg and refusing to leave. Rich sighed, trying to walk with Michael to his bedroom.
He's going to let him sleep in his room; the couch is no place for a guest. Mochi finally hopped off, scampering out to the couch and hopping on it.
Sighing in relief, he helped Michael into his bedroom and helped him sit on the bed.
"I doubt anything of mine will fit you because I'm really fucking short, but I do have some of jake's clothes here because he and I used to room together while he worked toward a new apartment." He pulled a shirt and some pants from his drawers, and turned to Michael. He was barely awake, blinking slowly as he somehow managed to stay sitting up.
"Alright, here are your clothes. Come on, shirt off." He ordered, waiting for michael to do so. A few minutes later and after some slight difficulty, rich had successfully helped Michael into the other clothes and shut the door behind him.
“Alright, Mochi. Come here, darling." He cooed, holding his arms out. Mochi mewed, staring at him from the couch.
"Come here, dearest. Come on, Mochi!" He whispered. Mochi gave him a triumphant smirk, and sat down.
“Fine. No treat for you." At that, she leaped off the couch and hurtled over to him, jumping into his arms.
"I'll get you a snack and then we're going to sleep, okay? We have to sleep on the couch tonight, we have a guest in the bedroom." He whispered, pressing a kiss to her fluffy head as he walked to the counter. Reaching up into the cabinet, he grabbed a cat treat and handed it to her. She snapped it up quickly, and he pet her head as he walked over to the couch.
Sitting down, he placed Mochi next to his feet and adjusted his pillow, and pulled the blankets around him. He was exhausted; working all night and taking care of drunk Michael was a lot to handle. Tomorrow, he'd get up and make French toast for breakfast. Jake was gonna spend Christmas with Christine; they'd ended up dating again after she broke up with Jeremy. College and adult life changes people; they fell head over heels once he grew up and was able to listen.
Michael could stay if he wanted, but if he had to go to the apartment and get his stuff that was fine. And you know what? He's just going to ask Michael if he wants to stay for a while. It's no problem for him; plus, he's loved Michael for YEARS. Jeremy doesn't know what he lost and goddamn- you know what, maybe it's not the best time to say that. It's Christmas Eve, after all. Okay. And gosh darn it if he isn't going to take this chance to woo Michael and date him.
His eyelids growing heavy, he yawned again before closing his eyes and slipping into sleep.
Michael woke up, hissing in pain as soon as he gained consciousness.
"Where the fuck am I?" He whispered, sitting up and looking around the room. Like a ton of bricks, the reason why he went to a bar last night hit him.
Jeremy cheated on him with some girl.
Jeremy broke up with him on Christmas Eve.
Jeremy kicked him out of the apartment.
And...where the fuck is he??
Pushing his feet over the side of the bed, he stood up and reached for his glasses that were on the bedstand. Standing, he walked to the door and quietly opened it, peeking out.
"Oh! You're up! Merry Christmas, Mikey!" Walking out of the room, he saw Richard Goranski standing at his stove, cooking something.
"Merry Christmas. I got drunk at your bar last night, didn't I?" He asked, walking out and sitting at the kitchen island.
"Yep. I couldn't just leave you there so I brought you here. I hope you don't mind?"
"No! No, um, thanks. It means a lot that you'd do that for me."
"Dude, you were a hysterical mess. I wasn't just going to leave you to find your way home, drunk."
"I'm sorry. You shouldn't have had to do that."
"It's what friends do. And I will be ripping Jeremy's balls off when I see him." Rich placed a plate of French toast in front of him, along with a glass of syrup.
“Thanks. I appreciate it." Michael laughed softly, tears stinging his eyes again.
"I'm serious. I'm going to punch him when I see him. You don't deserve this; don't tear yourself down, okay?" Michael looked up at rich.
Rich, with his sleep-mussed hair and tired eyes.
Rich, who at this point was looking more attractive than Jeremy ever was.
Rich, whom he was sure would never cheat on him if they were to get in a relationship.
Shit. He's blushing. Not that he cares; he’s over Jeremy, anyway.
"I won't. I know I deserve better than him. But, what can I do to repay you? You let me have your bed, you drove me to your apartment, and you're serving me breakfast. What can I do to repay you?" Rich's eyes widened in shock, and he shook his head ferverently.
"Nothing. You aren't repaying me for anything. It's what friends do, and besides, I was going to be alone anyway. No use not letting you stay if I had room."
"Thanks. Merry Christmas, Richie." Rich was about to answer when an angry mewl echoed throughout the apartment. Both of their heads turned to Mochi, who was hissing at the Christmas tree and getting ready to lunge at it.
"Mochi, NO!" Rich screeched, running to pick up the cat before she caused chaos. She angrily mewled, and crouched down for the leap when Michael ran forward and caught her.
"Nice try, young lady." He said sternly, cautiously handing her to rich.
"Thank god you caught her; the last thing I need right now is for her to knock down my tree." Rich sighed in relief, before carrying Mochi over to one of the other rooms and shutting the door behind her. He then turned to Michael, some sort of uncertainty written on his face.
"Do you want me to take you back to your car at the bar or what? Cause, I can, I won't mind. The only problem is the roads are pretty hazardous right now, but that doesn't matter, I can-"
“Actually, if you don't mind, we can just watch a Christmas movie or something? It's far to dangerous for you to drive anywhere right now." Michael cut him off, rubbing his arm while he waited for the answer.
"Sure, that's fine. What do you want to watch?"
"You have to admit, that guy has some amazing acting skills."
“Mikey. No offense, and I'm sorry Jesus cause I know this is your birthday, but What. The. Fuck."
“He's just walking around and singing and talking to puppets but it looks and sounds so realistic! That's good acting, right there."
“I'm done with you."
"Oh, don't look at me like that. You remind me of Mochi."
"Fine. I could never be done with you. Happy?"
"Yes. Now, what movie do you want to watch next?"
They'd been watching a collection of all the Christmas movies rich had; and it was now almost 3. Michael was glad he had someone to get his mind off of Jeremy, and rich was just glad to have someone to spend the holidays with. For once, they weren't lonely. Sure, Jake would try and come over every year, but he usually couldn't make it past the front door while they were still in highschool.
"Rich?" Shaking his head slightly, as If to clear it, rich turned to Michael.
“You kinda zoned out on me there. What movie do you wanna watch?"
“Eh, I don't care. You choose."
"Christmas vacation it is."
"Yes." Michael brushed his floppy hair out of his face, before running at the couch and throwing himself on it, almost squishing rich.
"You're an idiot."
"Yeah, I know. After this, let's go get my stuff. I don't want it in that environment any longer than it has to be."
"Where are you going to stay?" Rich asked as they finished loading the rest of Michael's stuff in his car. Jeremy didn't even have the nerve to be at the apartment.
"Probably at my mothers's or something." Michael answered, slamming the door shut and looking back up at rich.
"Look, dude. You can stay with me, it's no big deal..if you want. I mean I'm not gonna be hurt if you don't want to, but if you do then it's 100% fine with me, I promise."
"Are you serious?"
"You're just going to let me move into your apartment. Disrupt your daily life that consists of you and your cat. Why?"
Rich looked up into those big, adorable, confused eyes, and immediately blushed.
“Because I like you. God, I know this is WAY too soon and you don't even have to like me back, but it's not a romantic thing, you can just think about it as 2 dudes who share an apartment. It doesn't matter to me, I promi-"
He was cut off as Micheal's warm lips made contact with his cold cheek; the moment being so quick, he wondered if maybe he imagined it. Looking up, and seeing Michael's lightly flushed face, he knew he hadn't.
"I still need time to get over Jeremy's betrayal. Yes, I'll move in with you and in a few weeks we can talk about our relationship, on whether or not we'll stay as friends. Sound good?" Michael questioned, his eyes shining with hopefulness. Rich quickly nodded, not trusting himself to speak. Instead, he simply hugged Michael tightly.
What started as the worst Christmas Eve turned into an amazing Christmas Day.