Fic: It’s Always Darkest Before The Dawn

In which Gavin finds out one of Michael’s secrets and has to make it okay again.

For my friend Nati, who requested mavin h/c!

Warning: Contains lots of language and mentions bullying (not graphic, but it’s still there). Do not read if that is triggering to you.

Word count: 1448


"Why the fuck are you in here?" Michael demands, and Gavin’s sure he would flip over the desk if it were possible right now. "I’m trying to fucking record myself playing some shit video game so people can laugh at me, because I’m a fucking joke.”

Are you fucking kidding me?”

It’s the first thing Gavin hears Michael yelling when he walks past the room that Michael’s been locked in for the past two hours. Gavin snickers quietly to himself, then presses his ear up to the door. The other staff members at Achievement Hunter usually roll their eyes when Michael has to record Rage Quit, but Gavin’s always found it entertaining. Sure, if Michael knew that Gavin eavesdropped and promptly ran away when the door was opening, he’d probably beat the ever living crap out of him. With practised ease, Gavin leans into the doorframe and wonders what kind of gold he’ll hear today.

This guy has some fucking nerve to - ugh, I cannot fucking believe…

Some AI character in the game has probably been riding his ass the entire time, Gavin thinks, pressing a hand to his mouth to stifle oncoming laughter. One thing Michael (and a lot of other people in the world of video gaming) hates is being killed excessively by the same person. It’s the perfect way to get him riled up, though.

Do you think this is fucking funny? Why is this dirtbag - why is this happening to me?

Gavin’s heart nearly stops at the first question - did Michael hear him laughing? There was nothing else directed at Gavin, but there was something desperate about that last portion that makes Gavin’s stomach flip. He holds his breath and waits for Michael to say something else.

"After all you fucking put me through, I can’t even -

Gavin’s just about to open the door when there’s suddenly a hand on his shoulder, making him nearly jump out of his skin. He instinctively covers his mouth, whirls around, and is met with a very concerned looking Geoff.

"Something in there doesn’t sound right," Geoff says solemnly. "Go in there. I don’t care how much he bitches, just make sure he’s okay."

"Two steps ahead of you," Gavin replies, already turning the door knob. Something crashes to ground as Gavin enters, which turns out to be a rogue Xbox controller, which was hurled across the room. Michael is at his computer, visibly seething with anger. He whips around to see who has intruded, and to Gavin’s dismay, he doesn’t calm down in the slightest.

"Why the fuck are you in here?" Michael demands, and Gavin’s sure he would flip over the desk if it were possible right now. "I’m trying to fucking record myself playing some shit video game so people can laugh at me, because I’m a fucking joke.”

Gavin winces at the statement; he’s heard Michael call himself an idiot, an asshole - just about every name in the book. But he’s never spit the words with such vehemence or…self-loathing? Is that the right emotion Gavin was looking for? He didn’t want to admit it, but it was possibly accurate.

"I," Gavin squeaks out, then clears his throat and starts stronger. "I want to make sure you were okay. You don’t sound okay."

"Well, when someone I hate more than anyone else in the fucking world decides to show up out of the blue and try to fucking talk to me, I’m not exactly thrilled,” Michael retorts, obviously annoyed and upset - not upset in a stupid way like he gets at video games, but genuinely upset, which is something Gavin’s never seen before. Gavin has discovered it takes an awful lot to get under Michael’s skin; he’ll get frustrated, he’ll yell, he’ll tell you he hates you, but at the end of the day he’s still your friend.

"What do you mean?" Gavin asks, trying to prod gently. He doesn’t know how long he has until Michael tells him to shut up and get out, but he will make the most of the time he’s permitted to stay in this room.

"Some stupid fucker who I used to go to school with, I - I thought I left him behind in New Jersey, but he found me on fucking Facebook. Stupid fucking social media. This guy, he’s a fucking shitbag. He can go choke on a dick. He messaged me and is starting the same shit he gave me ten fucking years ago,” Michael explains through gritted teeth. He’s clenching his fists so hard that his knuckles are turning white, and Gavin’s tempted to hold up a pillow just so Michael has something to punch.

"Well, someone definitely needs a life," Gavin remarks, crossing his arms over his chest. He doesn’t realise it was the wrong thing to say until it’s too late.

"Not only does he need a life, he needs to leave me the fuck alone. Does he remember what he fucking said to me? If he knew how that made me fucking feel, or how I thought of myself, or how it made me want to -…" Michael cuts himself off, swallowing visibly. Gavin’s eyes widen slightly as it all clicks into place, of what this all entails, and he has a newfound motivation to find this guy and punch him in the jaw multiple times. Michael shakes his head slowly, hands grabbing at his hair.

"I did it. I fucking let him get to me again, after I promised myself I wouldn’t. He has new shit to say now," Michael removes his hands from his hair and slams them down on the desk, making Gavin jump for the second time in the span of three minutes. "Heard you’re a faggot now." He says, a mock imitation of who Gavin assumes to be of that dirtbag. Gavin grimaces - he knows exactly what that’s about. It’s about them. Them, meaning Michael and Gavin, who have only been dating for a month and have not yet faced the world of hate and intolerance. Gavin feels slightly guilty; maybe if they hadn’t gotten together, all of Michael’s old feelings wouldn’t have been forced into a relapse.

"It’s not your fault," Michael speaks up when he sees Gavin’s face. "This guy’s a prick. The prickiest of the pricks. I’m…I’m going to fucking destroy him.” Michael’s voice picks back up in volume, and Gavin wants to flatten himself against the door to protect himself. “I’m going to hurt him like he hurt me, and I’ll make sure he’ll fucking feel it. He’ll feel  all of the shit he made me feel and - …” His anger reaches a peak. Gavin waits silently for what will come next. “And…and…oh, fucking hell.” Instead of more rage, Michael’s voice cracks and he shoves his palms into his eyes, leaning his elbows onto the desk.

Gavin takes this as his cue to sit down in the chair next to Michael’s, then tentatively rests his hand on Michael’s back. Michael shakes slightly under his touch. Gavin is taken aback - he’s never seen Michael rage himself to the point of tears, or even in tears, to start with. Michael rubs at his eyes, then looks up from his hands.

"Never thought it’d be me, huh?" Michael asks, laughing a little, although no humour is present. "Never thought someone like me would be upset like some kid because they got bullied ten damn years ago. What the fuck is wrong with me?"

"Stop it, please," Gavin says, then makes a motion for Michael to come closer. Michael gets out of his chair and situates himself on Gavin’s lap, dropping his head to Gavin’s shoulder. "It could happen to anyone, really. But you’re right - it happened ten years ago, so let that guy be a dick because you are and always will be better than him."

"Wow," Michael sniffles. "Gavin Free: Life Counsellor. Didn’t know you had it in you."

"Hey, sometimes I say intelligent things," Gavin defends himself, tightening his arms around Michael’s waist.

"Yeah, then other times you say oops, I’ve done it, oh god! et cetera,” Michael responds cheekily, mirroring Gavin’s accent in that slightly (read: very) condescending way he always does. He rubs the last of his tears off his face, then swipes at his nose. “Oh god. I am disgusting. And I mean that in the gross booger-y kind of way.”

"I figured," Gavin replies, and before he can say anything else, Michael’s arms are around his neck and he’s caught in a kiss.

"Thank you," Michael says when he pulls back, then pushes himself closer for a hug. "For everything, really."

"I’m always here to help," Gavin smiles, then nudges Michael off his lap. "Come on. You’re cute, but not when you’re booger-y, as you so delicately put it before.

"At least I didn’t ruin the moment."

"…You win."

"I always do."

2 years ago on August 25th | J | 95 notes