It’s not like Gabe wasn’t happy for Sam. He was. He was really, really proud of his boyfriend for getting into Stanford. But something was just.. off, after he was accepted. Sam was getting lots of letters and emails. And Gabe was happy for him. Or at least he felt happy for Sam. As far as Sam knew, Gabe looked happy.
But he wasn’t. Gabe was happy for Sam. But not for himself. And he couldn’t just tell Sam that he was upset about it. Then Sam would be upset. But Gabe didn’t exactly know what to do about his problem, mostly because he didn’t know what the problem was. It was like being sad about something amazing to happen. Which is exactly what’s happened.
It was like losing feelings for the love of your life and not knowing what to do. Because it was.
Gabe rubbed his damp eyes as he took another drink of whatever Charlie had set in front of him. He didn’t know if it was vodka, tequila, or rum. What he did care about, was if it was something to take the edge away.
“Where does Sam think you’re at?” She asked as she sat with him on her couch.
“..Cas’s” Gabe mumbled numbly. “Having a guy’s night with my brothers” He sighed, swirling the alcohol in his glass. “I just.. I’m troubled” He muttered.
“You keep saying that” Charlie whispered, tilting her head a little. “Why don’t you talk to him?”
“Because then he’ll feel bad for being a literal genius. It’s not his fault he’s smart enough to become a lawyer” He frowned.
“No, but it might be his fault that you’re upset” She smiled.
“He didn’t do anything wrong- I’m just.. I feel stupid. I’m never gonna figure this out” He grumbled, downing his glass.
Charlie grimaced and gently took the empty glass from him. “..Have you tried talking to him?” She smiled.
“I’m good” Gabe mumbled. “I’ll live”
And he did. For about two weeks it ate him up inside and he couldn’t stand to even see Sam anymore. Sam had obviously noticed, but for some reason, hadn’t tried talking to Gabe. After pulling an all-nighter for his own school project, he understood it. Sam was going to fucking Stanford. One of the best colleges in the whole country.. while he was going to a college only a handful of people went to. His class was comprised of about fifteen people and the whole school itself was small enough to fit in his palm. And Sam was going to fucking Stanford. A college that Gabe could never even think about going to.
He felt. So goddamn inadequate. He was nothing compared to Sam. He wasn’t even the top of his class in his own college. Imagine him going to Stanford at all. He’d be at rock bottom. Rock. Fucking. Bottom. Yet Sam was riding on a full scholarship. And Gabe was sulking in so much debt he might as well sell his kidneys.
Gabe was so caught up in thought he had to take a step away from his tablet and think about life spiraling downwards. Sam didn’t deserve this shit. He shouldn’t have to put up with Gabe’s sulking and horrible well being. He was preparing to leave for Stanford in just a week. He didn’t have time to reassure Gabe and make him feel better. He needed to be studying and packing.
He could only do one thing to make sure Sam didn’t have to put up with him. Break up with him. But how?
“If I tell Sam I cheated on him, will you pretend to be the one I cheated on him with?” Gabe asked Rowena randomly.
“Excuse me?” She mumbled softly, staring at Gabe. “Are you trying to end your relationship?” She joked.
“..Yeah” Gabe mumbled softly before frowning.
Rowena frowned and put a hand on his shoulder. “If things aren’t going as planned, you should talk to him” She smiled. “It’d be easier on the both of you” She decided before taking her apron off. “Now watch the counter while I use the restroom.”
Gabe sighed and watched her go before laying a hand on the counter. She’s so full of shit. It’d be so much easier for Sam to get angry and never want to see him again.
“I cheated on you” Gabe blurted out one afternoon.
Sam was sitting on the couch, writing an email to his professor when the sudden look of heartbreak came over his face. Oh fuck. Gabe felt so much guilt. “..What?” Sam whispered, his eyes glazing over.
“Well.. I didn’t- I just said that so you’d be mad at me” Gabe mumbled softly.
Sam’s expression quickly changed to confusion as he stared at Gabe. “What?” He asked again.
“Well- I wanted you to break up with me” Gabe explained, staying in his spot in the doorway. “Because I.. I’ve never done this before! I’ve always been the one to be dumped” Gabe grumbled.
Sam frowned, closing his laptop. "So.. You.. want to break up?" Sam asked with a pang of hurt in his voice.
"No!" Gabe quickly corrected him. "I don't want to but.. I. Feel different" Gabe whispered.
"Have you lost feelings for me? Or- I, I don't know what you're saying Gabe" Sam whispered.
"I.." Gabe started before just sighing and staring down at the floor. He just had to open his fucking mouth. He couldn't have just let Sam think everything was okay and leave it like that. Now Sam had to deal with him even more. It made Gabe cry. That he was such a fucking burden. Just another problem for Sam to fix. He couldn't have that. He was going to Stanford. He couldn't have that. He was too good for Gabe. "You're-" Gabe's voice broke as he began to cry. “..I’m not..” He started and stopped again. Fuck. He sighed and reached up to rub his eyes.
“Hey,” Gentle arms wrapped around Gabe as he cried, a warm body pressed against his. “Come here” Sam smiled as he pulled back and took Gabe’s hands. Gabe reluctantly shifted and sat on the couch with him, involuntarily curling up under his shoulder to hide. “Talk to me” Sam pleaded. Gabe shook his head and hid further in, hugging his knees. “Gabe, I want to work this out” He whispered.
He did too. He just didn’t want Sam to know. “..I don’t want you to pity me” Gabe frowned.
“Then I won’t” Sam shrugged.
“I- ..I’m not like you. I’m not..smart. I’m just a nothing, I’m-“
“Stop” Sam frowned at him, putting a hand on Gabe’s cheek. “..You’re not a nothing. You’re my boyfriend and I wouldn’t be able to function without you” Sam smiled at him, rubbing his thumb over Gabe’s cheek.
“But you’re just saying that” Gabe whispered, feeling Sam brush away a tear. “I’m a nobody going to some off brand college and drowning in debt. And you- you’re.. You’ve got everything set out for you. Red carpet and all. And me? I’m.. I’m walking on a rug made out of my student loans” He whispered with a huff.
“So?” Sam frowned. “That doesn’t mean we have to break up.. I love you. And it doesn’t matter what college either of us go to. That doesn’t define us” Sam laughed softly.
“No, but.. Stanford” Gabe breathed the word like a hated person as his eyes widened. “Stanford defines you, Sam..” Gabe whispered.
“Nope” Sam smiled, hugging Gabe tightly to kiss over his cheeks. Gabe still frowned, glancing away as he rested on Sam’s shoulder. “Gabe, look at me” Gabe hummed and glanced at him with hooded lids. Sam smiled and cupped his face to kiss him. “I was just emailing the school board” He smiled, leaning over, taking Gabe with him to pick his laptop back up. “Look here” He smiled.
Gabe stared at Sam with a huff before shifting to read it.
Dear to whom it may concern,
I am thankful for the letter of admission, but I must refuse it. I know it is sudden and hope it doesn’t inconvenience any professors.
As some may know, I’m very settled in Texas with my boyfriend and just can’t leave him. I don’t have the heart to be separated or make him leave. Thank you for your kind words and acceptance, but Texas is where I’m staying
Sorry for any inconvenience,
Gabe blinked in confusion before relaxing more on Sam’s shoulder. “..You spelled your own name wrong” He mumbled softly.
“What?” Sam frowned and stared before groaning and fixing it. “Better?” He mumbled.
“But.. why” Gabe whispered, staring over it. “Why would you choose me over the best college in the country?” He frowned, sitting up more to look at him.
Sam shrugged and smiled. “..I can’t just leave you” He mumbled.
Gabe sighed softly and felt a weight lift away from him. His shoulders felt lighter. His heart didn’t hurt and he could look at Sam with the same love he had before. “..I love you” Gabe laughed gently, tears streaming down his face.
Sam smiled as he hugged him back. “..So- You didn’t cheat on me?” Sam asked.
“Oh my god” Gabe whispered, his face turning red. “No- I just said that so you’d leave me and go to Stanford.
“Oh.. Well, just clarifying” Sam smiled, laying his head on Gabe’s shoulder. “And uh, it didn’t work”
Gabe laughed before pulling back to kiss Sam. “I know” He grinned.