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Can't Sleep

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After the first night, Cairo doesn’t put up much of a fight against Gav and his desire to cuddle and make-out. He does still try to resist, of course, this is all still new to him and he had promised his mom they would keep everything kosher.

The problem is that he’s gone from no contact because of the pandemic to finding that he craves any kind of touch from Gav. And Gav is more than willing to supply him. They hold hands and cuddle while they video call Pearl or his mom, Gav lets him come up behind him and wrap his arms around his waist and hug him while he tries to cook them breakfast, and they fall asleep in each other’s arms, legs intertwined every night.

When his week is up and he has to leave for Bukidnon to be with his family, he can barely keep himself together, especially not with seeing Gav trying to do the same.

It’s only been a week, but it seems like it’s been much longer, and to go back to nothing but video calls and texts is devastating. 

“We’ll be fine, baby,” Gav tells him when they’re sitting in the car outside at the airport, eyes wet. “We’ve done this before.”

Cai wipes the wetness from his cheeks. “But, baby, I don’t--”

“Shhhh,” Gav says, pulling Cai into a hug across the car console. “We got this. I promise. You can call me whenever you want, baby.”

Cairo nods against Gav’s chest, knowing he’s getting his shirt wet. Gav gives him one last squeeze and then gently pushes him back away from him. He cups Cai’s cheek, using his thumb to brush away another tear. “You better get going, baby. Don’t want to miss your flight.”

Nodding, Cairo inhales and lets out a long breath, trying to regain his composure. Wearing a mask while all snotty and crying is not fun and he’d rather not have to deal with the grossness it causes his entire flight. He reaches for his mask to put it on, but Gav stops him.

“Wait,” Gav intones, and before Cai can question him, Gav pulls him into a kiss. It’s long and lovely but also feels desperate and like a goodbye. Cai can feel himself start to tear up again, and he tries to push it back down. He kisses back and tries to convey they’ll be alright, that if his parents could do this for five years, he and Gav can do it too.

They break apart, and Cai gives Gav one last sad smile before he covers it with his mask. He grabs his bags and exits the car, waving goodbye to Gav before turning and going into the airport.

When he finally arrives home in Bukidnon and turns his phone on, he has several dozen messages, most from Gav, a few from Pearl. The ones from Gav are checking to make sure he’s okay, that he had a good flight, that he arrived home okay. He messages back that he’s home and that he misses him, and Gav texts him back almost instantly. He must’ve been waiting to hear from him.

He starts to text back, but as he’s typing his phone starts ringing with a video call from Gav. 

Hi, baby! ” Gav says, smiling though his eyes are red-rimmed.

“Hi, baby. I just got home.”

Oh okay, good. I’m sure you’re tired, but I’m happy to see your face. I miss you .”

Cai laughs and rolls his eyes. “It’s only been a few hours. I saw you this morning.”

I can still miss you after a few hours.

Cai smiles. “I’ve missed you too.” He hears his mom call his name, and he frowns. “I gotta go, baby. I’ll talk to you later.”

Okay. I love you, baby.

“I love you, too.” He ends the call with a sigh. It’s okay, he can do this. They did this for months before they met in person. They can do this again, and maybe his mom will let him go back to visit soon.

~

He can’t do this.

He looks at his phone for the time--it’s past midnight. He can’t sleep, as tried everything he can think of, and he knows he’s tired, so exhausted at traveling and helping his mom with everything she needed him to do as soon as he arrived. And yet he lays there in bed unable to force himself to fall asleep.

He contemplates why he can’t and thinks about how easy it had been to fall asleep beside Gav that whole week. How he thought it would be weird and uncomfortable to have someone in his space and sharing his bed while he slept, but instead it had been the complete opposite. It was like the best blanket and pillow all in one.

He kind of wishes he had that now.

After another hour, he gives up and unplugs his phone to scroll through social media. While he’s on his phone pings with a message.

From Gavreel: Can’t sleep either?

From Cairo: No. You?

From Gavreel: I’ve tried for the last few hours. Nothing’s worked.

From Cairo: Same.

From Gavreel: I have an idea…

From Cairo: ?

Incoming video call from Gavreel…

Cairo answers and flips on his bedside lamp while the call connects.

Hi, baby ,” Gav says, and unlike earlier, his voice is quieter. Half of his face is in shadow because he only has his lamp on as well and he’s holding his while he’s laying on his side in bed.

“Hi,” Cai whispers, trying to keep his voice down so as not to wake his family. “What’s your idea?”

“Maybe we can fall asleep like this.”

Confused, Cai scrunches his face, making Gav chuckle. “Like what?”

Like we’re in bed together. Only through our screens.

Cairo smiles. It’s a very Gav idea, romantic and cheesy at once. “Okay.” It’s worth a try at this point. He maneuvers a pillow and punches it just so so that he can prop his phone against it so that he can still see Gav’s face and Gav can see him.

Once they’re both settled, their phones propped up on one side of their beds, they smile and stare at each other. Cai pictures Gav really there beside him, his body a warm weight beside him in bed. Gav starts humming a soothing melody, and Cai closes his eyes and lets it lull him to sleep, finally.

When he wakes in the morning, his phone dead, he thinks maybe they can do this.

He’ll just have to make sure his phone is plugged in.