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Notes: Leo's visit to Carl is based on Indig0's beautiful short [Let Down]

 


 

He went over his calculus homework as he waited for the usual tap on his window, calculus was fucking useless but he needed a decent grade if he wanted to stay in the wrestling team, and Elijah had already told him he wasn’t going to help him cheat, the prick. 

Gavin turned on his desk lamp, glanced at the window, it was getting dark and that idiot hadn’t arrived. Gavin frowned without meaning too, Leo was not a creature of habit, he’d start something and leave it half done because a moth or similar distracted him, but he always came on Thursdays after his ice skating lessons. He’d done so since they had met in 7th grade, and from then to now at 16 It had never failed, not even that time Leo had broken his wrist trying out a jump that was too hard for him yet, the idiot still climbed up to his window instead of knocking at the door like a sane person.

If Gavin wasn’t there when he arrived, he’d come in and just live it up in Gavin’s bedroom as if it were his own, Leo had no shame, Leo didn’t really think before he acted and maybe that was the only reason they were friends, anyone who actually spared a thought to their actions wouldn’t walk up to Gavin and just start making conversation. Gavin had a total of 3 close friends, Tina who was his friend because they had known each other since they ate crayons, Elijah because he was his cousin and Gavin was going to live with him and his Aunt and Uncle for the foreseeable future and Leo, because Leo was a fool.

“Mom says she’s leaving dinner for us in the fridge” Elijah knocked at his door “You and Leo can come get it whenever, I’ll be working on my robot”

His cousin looked like a sleep deprived, sickly raccoon, same creepy long-fingered, clammy human-like hands and nocturnal habits. Gavin had been living with him for years now and he still wondered if Elijah actually slept, or ate, or did anything else that normal people did. His cousin looked around the room “Where is he?”

Gavin shrugged “Who knows, I’m not that idiot’s keeper”

“Did you have fight?” Elijah asked, this was unusual, his cousin usually avoided conversation as much as he could (unless it was about code or robots or computers) Gavin could relate to that (not the robots part), maybe it was a family trait like the coffee addiction.

“What did you do?” Elijah asked

“Nothing” Gavin huffed, at least nothing he was conscious of

“You should ask Tina what was it that you did” Elijah said

“Why the hell are you fixating on this?” Gavin said irritably

“He’s always here on Thursdays” Elijah unlike Leo was very much a creature of habit “He’s often here, but he never fails on Thursdays, mom even counts him for dinner, he was here even when he broke his wrist or last year when he got mono”

Leo’s mom had come to retrieve him 3 times ‘I don’t even feel that bad,’ Leo had said before falling asleep immediately, drooling his mono infected spit right into Gavin’s pillow covers.

“He must have forgotten” Gavin said “He’s busy with school and shit,”

“I’d ask Tina to make sure if I were you” Elijah said before closing the door to Gavin’s room.

Gavin finished his homework, glancing at the empty window far too often for comfort, he had the dinner his aunt had left in the fridge while Leo’s share remained uneaten; he prepared to go to bed putting on the old hoodie and sweats he wore to sleep. Once there he checked his email, nothing new, checked the social media accounts that Leo and Tina had made him open. Leo had no new posts.

“Did I do anything?” he texted

“U r using your words!!! Must be important” Tina replied

He usually only communicated through emojis Tina and Leo could read like hieroglyphics

“Did I do anything?” Gavin texted again

“Did you?”

“Tina…”

“What u mean?”

“Did I do anything, as in worse than usual?”

“Well you DID punch Connor in the stomach for NO GOOD REASON, and you told Mr. Anderson he stank of booze to his face, and you did throw your coffee right to Richard’s head, everyone knows it was on purpose by the way, and you pushed Simon out of your way, you can be such an absolute bully sometimes, that kid already looks like a dying victorian child”

… Tina is typing

“I don’t give a fuck about any of that, I mean to Leo and shit”

Tina stopped typing and restarted again

“Not that I know of, why? Did he say anything?”

“He didn’t come today”

“Oh shoot!” Tina texted back “It mustn't have gone great with his dad then”

Phck, Gavin had forgotten that was today.

Leo had gone on and on about how his mom was going to take him to meet his dad for the very first time this week, he was some famous, rich art geezer or something. Gavin didn’t fucking understand why Leo was so eager to please someone who’d never showed one iota of interest in knowing him. Gavin and Leo had met at a time when Leo still talked and asked his mom about his dad often, he worried about his dad often, waited for any signal of his dad often, wondered why he wasn’t good enough for his dad often, and Gavin knew he still did all of that only he didn’t say it aloud. It wasn’t good that Leo wasn’t currently sitting at Gavin’s desk babbling away about how awesome and incredible his dad was, staying up until 1 am because he had to tell every single detail of the day to Gavin as soon as humanly possible.

Gavin got up not even bothering to change out of his pajamas “I’m going out, Elijah!” He shouted as he went down the stairs, he thought he heard a muted response from his cousin. His uncle was on a business trip, and his aunt wouldn’t return from her shift until late in the morning. He went to the garage for his bike.

He pedaled through the suburb streets, it was a cool, quiet night, and Leo’s house wasn’t far. When he got there Leo’s room was dark, there was a light on in the kitchen and another in his mom’s music room. Gavin circled the house trying to find a way to go up to Leo’s bedroom window, just like Leo always got to his. He tried to stand on the porch railing to get on the ceiling. The railing gave up under his weight, but no fucking problem he had enough upper body strength to get himself up, how mad would Leo’s mom be about him destroying her house was something he didn’t bother to think about.

“You better get the fuck out of my fucking property motherfucker!,” Lorelei Martinet came out of her house charging like a viking warrior, holding a baseball bat in one hand and her cellphone presumably with *91* dialed already, in the other “I have had a day, and I’m eager to hit something, I’ll fucking end you!” she wasn’t one to ask someone to do something for her if she could get it done herself

“Miss Martinet” Gavin said sounding a bit strangled, the rain gutter was starting to hurt his hands rather unpleasantly, but if he let go he’d probably impale his leg on the splintered wood of the broken railing and there would go the wrestling team for this semester.

“Holy Fuck, kiddo!” Lorelei huffed “What the hell are you doing, I could have beaten you to a pulp,”

“Is Leo home?” he asked, trying to sound as casual as he could, hanging from the ceiling like that corny ‘hang in there’ poster the school nurse had in her office, he’d never felt more fucking stupid

Lorelei huffed out a laugh “hang in there” She said and Gavin thought that the rumors of Leo’s mom probably being a witch were true, she must be reading his mind, just like her to make fun of him, like mother, like son “I’ll bring you a ladder” she added

Gavin waited for what seemed like hours but wasn’t even a minute, with his hands killing him until he felt the relief of his weight being taken by the metal ladder “It’s late, don’t even think you are going back,” Lorelei said firmly “I’ll text your aunt to tell her you are staying over” she said, in a tone that meant it wasn’t optional.

“Fine” he said getting onto the ceiling, you had to have common sense enough to know when your opponent was much more powerful than you, especially if they were a witch

He knocked on Leo’s window, noticing that his nightlight was on; he could be such a kid at times. There was no movement in the bedroom and Gavin thought he may be sleeping, or maybe wearing his headphones. He got his phone out

“I’m outside your window, dumbass”

Finally signs of life, the glow of Leo’s phone, and then the idiot himself moving under his weighted blanket, Gavin’s phone lit up with a notification

“It’s open”

For fucking real, Gavin thought, pushing up the window and walking to the pile of blankets he assumed to be Leo. He pushed them down putting all his weight on it

“What are you doing?!” Leo’s muted complaint came from under the covers

“Checking if you are alive, dumbass” Gavin replied

“Not for long if you keep crushing me!” Leo said finally coming out of his blanket, his hair was messed up, and his eyes were puffy and red

“You sick or what?” Gavin said, getting on the bed and scooting until he could sit with his back against the wall

“Are you in your pajamas?” Leo asked sleepily

“Are you?”

“Of course I am, I’m in my house trying to sleep” Leo said “Weirdo!” Leo curled under his blanket again

“Aren’t you going to tell me how it went with your old man and shit?” Gavin said, kicking gently at the blankets, feeling he was really bad at this

“There’s nothing to tell” Leo said

Leo having nothing to say was bad news. There was a sleepy silence in the room while Gavin sat on Leo’s bed watching the teal-green sparkles from his nightlight twirl on the walls.

“If you are like cold, I’ll share my blanket” Leo said eventually, holding the weighted blanket up for Gavin to get in.

Gavin lay on the bed next to Leo, it wasn’t awkward, they had been having sleepovers for what seemed like forever, only it was usually Leo in his room and very rarely the other way around. Gavin vaguely realized, as much as a 16 year old could, that he was selfish, careless, letting Leo do all the work.

“You okay?” Gavin forced himself to ask after a while

“I don’t think he liked me at all” Leo said, sounding defeated  “I just felt so stupid all the time, he asked me about school and the things I wanted to do, and I told him about going exploring abandoned places and whatever, and he just– Everything I do and like felt so stupid and small and pointless“

“He sounds like a prick” Gavin said derisively “Don’t worry about that fucker, he gives you money, right? Who cares about anything else?”

“I just” Leo said “I just wanted him, I don’t know, I knew he wouldn’t like love me or anything but I thought he may like me a little”

“Fuck him, who gives a shit about that crusty prick” Gavin said “Your mom loves you”

“I know” Leo said sounding more like himself

“I love you,” Gavin said, “Not, not like your mom does, but I do” he said awkwardly because he meant it and he’d probably not be able to say it again in years, but even Gavin with his atrophied emotional intelligence knew Leo really needed to know people loved him today.

“What?!”

“You heard me, I’m not fucking saying it again” Gavin said daring to look at Leo’s face “Don’t fucking cry! I’m not telling you so you cry, dumbass!”

“I’m not fucking crying” Leo sniffed “You really mean it, is not like you are only saying it to make me feel better?”

“Have I ever said anything to make anyone feel better?” Gavin said drily  

Leo hugged him then, cuddling up to his chest, Gavin felt his face grow hot and he was glad Leo couldn’t see him blushing

“I love you too, like a lot,” Leo said into his chest “a lot, a lot, do you wanna go on sort of like a date over the weekend?”

“sort of?”

“No,” Leo replied “a date, date”

“We can bike to that abandoned amusement park you talked about the other day,” Gavin suggested “the one with that old merry-go-round”

“Don’t you think that would be stupid?”

“Do you think it would be stupid?”

“No… I think it would be super neat” Leo said softly “We can see if we can make the merry-go-round work” Leo added sleepily

Gavin didn’t have to answer to that, Leo fell asleep just as he usually did, all of a sudden and without warning, not surprising when he was tired and spent up from crying. Gavin drifted off to sleep as well, thinking the merry-go-round would be a great place for their first kiss; Leo was the type of sappy idiot that’d love that type of thing.