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“Hey Gavin?” You called, the man himself pausing. You were surprised he even heard you, you felt your voice shake and the loud thrum of the room permeate every part of your body making you vibrate in overstimulation. He turned to look at you and leaned down.

“What’s up?” He asked, totally unbothered.

“Over-” Your voice caught and you reached a hand out blindly. You could barely breathe through the fog of perfumes and drinks, the music bass vibrated your entire body and the people were crowded together so close you kept being run into. Somebody knocked a drink onto your pants early on and you thought it’d be fine but now it felt like a cold hand on your thigh- “Overwhelmed.” Your voice was weak and your eyes were unfocused.

“Oh-” You heard him get closer and then somebody’s hand wrapped around yours- you panicked and jerked it back. “Hey, it’s me. I’m gonna take your hand, alright?”

You nodded, letting Gavin do it. After a few seconds (seconds or years, you couldn’t tell) he started to move. You couldn’t exactly tell where you were going, you couldn’t think over the cheers and screams as the music changed. All you could do was hold on to Gavin’s hand and follow him, your eyes locked on the familiar sturdy denim of his jacket (even though the wild lights made the blue appear purple and pink).

 

When you could think again, Gavin was pushing a plastic cup of water into your shaking hands. The music was muffled, you could smell your own perfume and Gavin’s cologne instead of the acrid stench of alcohol.

“Can you hear me?”

You nodded.

“I’m sorry, I should have noticed you were getting overwhelmed. I know busy party bars aren’t exactly your kind of place.”

“Wanted-…” You mumble, looking down at your cup. Your words were getting jumbled up in your head, and you sighed. “F’r you.”

“Hey, a date is supposed to be fun for the both of us.” Gavin said back, leaning down. At the movement you looked up, meeting gazes with his amber eyes. You’d always loved them, how at work they could be so cold and calculating but never when looking at you. When you met his gaze, every time (especially now) they were soft, light, and overflowing with a thousand little intimacies from the way his eyelids crinkled to the way the light made them shine with gold like little gingko leaves. “I wanted it to be fun but if it’s not fun I’m not going to make you suffer.”

“I’m still sorry…”

“Hey, you want to make it up to me?” He spoke, reaching a hand up to cup your cheek. You nodded weakly, pressing your cheek into his palm. “Tell me what you want to do.”

“I always have to choose.” You mumble, “That’s why I wanted this to turn out good so bad.”

“Well I’ll choose next time. Right now,” He stood (When was he kneeling? Oh- you were sitting on some kind of loveseat, you hadn’t even noticed) and dusted off the knees of his slacks. “I want to take care of you. What I can I do?”

“Dunno.” You mumbled, “Still kinda-” You tried to wave a hand but forgot about your drink almost spilling it all over your clothes before you catch it. Gavin bless him, dropped right back down to his knees and placed his hands on yours around the cup.

“That’s alright. We’ll get out of here when you’re yourself again. Drink your water.”

“Yeah.” You mumbled into the cup, watching Gavin take his hands back and taking a long sip. The water was cool and fresh, even as flavorless as it was it just felt good. The music from the club blasted through presumably some kind of barrier, the chorus indistinguishable cheers of people partying. At that realization though you finished a long sip and looked up at Gavin, still kneeling on the floor.

“Hey- uh- Gavin?”

“Hm?”

“Where are we?”

“Oh- we went away from the music back towards the bar end, I uh-” He paused. “I flashed my badge and told the bartender you needed a place to rest for a few minutes.”

“Gavin!” You laughed despite yourself, pitching forward.

“Hey!” He replied, brow furrowing.

“No, no- it’s cute.” You said back, looking at him. “Thanks. I appreciate it.”

“Not a problem, I promised to always take care of you.” He spoke, looking up at you and smiling gently. “The badge just makes it easier sometimes.”

“You brought your badge on a date?”

“Are you upset about it now of all times?” He smiled cheekily, and you huffed a laugh.

“No, now I’m grateful. I really appreciate it.”

“For you I’d move mountains.” He spoke back.

“Such a romantic.” You felt your cheeks warm and you finished your cup.

“Only for you, everything for you.” He finished, standing again and this time not bothering to wipe the dust from his pants. “How are you doing?”

“Better, ready to get out of here and go back to my place if that’s okay.”

“Do you want me there?”

“Yeah, we can watch movies or something if you’d like.” You looked up at him, and set your cup down on some box.

Gavin’s next reply was hurried as he walked to your side and leaned down. Then in a quick motion he got one arm under your knees and the other running along the small of your back, and then he hoisted you into the air. You made some embarrassing sound as you threw your arms around his neck, and he let you nuzzle against him. “You almost fell getting back here, I don’t trust your legs at the moment. I’ll set you down when we get outside, okay?”

You stayed close to his neck, eyes squeezed shut as he started walking. He stopped, the music loud but still muffled.

“Okay?” He asked again.

You breathed against his neck in response. “Yeah.”

“This is gonna suck, but I’ll be quick.” Gavin spoke, kicking the door open. You flinched as everything overwhelming came right back to swarming you, but you just tightened your grip around Gavin’s neck and held on. When the hot air of a crowded small building changed to the cool open air of an autumn evening, you relaxed in his arms. He slowed considerably as he turned onto the sidewalk, you weren’t bouncing or jostling anymore and you went pliant against him.

When you were back to normal you looked up at him, the streetlights catching his hair and making it glow. At your movement he glanced over at you.

“You alright?”

“Now I am.”