is imagining Michael and Jeremy at their prom. Like they don’t even go with each other but some how end up dressing in similar colors so they look it. They lose their ‘dates’ sometime in the beginning of prom and end up chilling together while everyone bumps and grinds. They make fun and Jeremy finally wonders out loud “why didn’t I just think to come with you?” Michael proceeds to shrug and respond with something along the lines of he thought about it but thought it might be too weird They end up ditching prom early, going to Mcdonalds, order a shit ton of food after having a bake in the car and wipe out Magic of the Gathering cards were they play on the tabletop for nuggets until 4am Michael drives Jeremy home and Jeremy high on life and a good time (and weed) leans in and kisses Michael’s cheek because it felt like the “right” movie thing to do but immediately realizes he’s not with his ‘date’ and he just smorched Michael’s cheek. He runs back inside and when his dad asks him about his prom night he just stutters out “it was cool”
When Caboose cares about someone, it’s with his entire being. It’s an all or nothing type of deal.
Church (Alpha) was the first person outside his hometown that he latched on to, and he knows it annoyed the man, but he couldn’t help it.
He cared with his entire being.
Tucker happened next, and while it didn’t seem like he didn’t care about Tucker as much as he did Church, he actually did. He just showed it differently. He knows Tucker doesn’t tolerate him as much, and so he lets Tucker do his thing, while he gives most of his attention to Church.
He fucking loved Junior. Junior was probably one of his favorite people in the universe, because the kid was just so adorable. He was sad that Tucker didn’t really want him around the kid, but he still loved the kid.
He lied when he said he wasn’t crying, when Tucker begrudgingly admitted he wanted Caboose to be Junior’s god-parent, and when Church said that, basically, he would care for Junior if Tucker died.
Donut hugged him when they met up on the hill, as Caboose cried.
He loved Donut, too. He made sure to find a way to hang out with the lightish-red soldier every day. Usually, it was after dark and they broke curfew. He didn’t really like breaking Church’s rules, but if he could spend time with one of his bestest friends, then it’d be fine. It wasn’t like he was giving away secrets to Donut.
When Church died, he didn’t know how to cope. Then Epsilon-Church showed up. It was kind of nice, but it wasn’t his Church. He knows that, even if they all pretend he is.
Caboose cries when Epsilon and Carolina leave, but honestly? He doesn’t mind so much. It’s not his Church, not really. He still misses him, though. And Carolina.
Even if she hates him.
Wash was different from the others. After the initial ‘what the fuck is wrong with you’ moments, Wash took moments of his day to spend time with Caboose. He may sigh in annoyance over some of what Caboose does, especially if it’s an accident, but Wash still smiles and lets Caboose hug him.
Caboose has mastered hugs with Wash, and doesn’t squeeze the life out of him. Usually, at least.
Doctor Grey is nice too, but Andersmith is the best.
He hugs Caboose with just as much enthusiasm, and doesn’t berate Caboose for saying some sentences wrong. Sometimes, Andersmith will even explain what the mission briefings are actually about.
Andersmith is amazing.
And when Epsilon and Carolina come back, Caboose is happy to have him back. And Freckles is back, too, in portable gun form, and Freckles even has confetti.
So, yeah, maybe he isn’t the smartest, and maybe he doesn’t understand how to act his age sometimes, but at least he has people who care about him, and let him care about them.
Because really, it was only a matter of time until they realized how he worked.
Jeremy has a problem. A huge one. One that consists of a red hoodie and dark perfectly tousled hair and pretty eyes and -
And he’s getting off topic now. He needs to… chill. Okay, no, he just needs to stay calm and think it all thoroughly. He’s probably just been watching too many romance-based porn videos lately or something. Yeah, that’s it. Totally.
Jeremy grips the strap of his backpack tighter as he gets closer to the cafeteria. He needs to push these thoughts to the back of his mind before he sees him. Him who has been practically the only thing on his mind lately. Him with his stupid perfect grin and stupid nice long fingers that would look perfect with his intertwined in them and -
Jesus Christ, this really is becoming a huge problem. He’s got to stop thinking about this before he meets up with him because then his face will automatically go completely red and he’ll ask, “Jeremy, buddy, what’s got you all red?” and how exactly would he respond to that? Spill everything? Lie to him? He couldn’t do that, either of them.
Okay, he’s here, the cafeteria. No more thinking, just…
“Jeremy, buddy! What’s up?” Michael says as he throws an arm around Jeremy’s shoulders. He gestures wildly with a cup of slushie and Jeremy is seriously worried there’s going to be red slush everywhere soon. “You totally missed it, man, all last night I was working on that level I’ve been stuck on for forever — you know what I’m talking about? (Jeremy nods because of course he does) — and then just when I was gonna give up, I tried one last time and I did it! Beat it without breaking a sweat, sorta anyway…”
Michael continues on about the details of how he finally accomplished success and Jeremy just watches him. He notices the way Michael is still enthusiastically moving the hand holding his slushie while his arm is still slung across his shoulders, other hand gripping lightly at Jeremy’s sweater. He can feel a blush coming from that. They continue walking to their usual table and sit down, Michael’s arm going to rest on the table instead of Jeremy’s shoulders. He frowns slightly at that.
That’s also when he remembers that he was supposed to be listening to Michael talking the entire time. Damn him and his runaway thoughts, but can you blame him? He could watch Michael talk for forever and only be focused on the way his eyes sparkle or the way he can notice a few faint freckles here and there.
“Earth to Jeremy! Hello!”
Jeremy is brought back from his thoughts as Michael waves a hand in front of his face.
“You spacing out on me? Rude. Am I really that boring?” Michael jokes.
Jeremy blushes and says quickly, “Dude, no! I was just thinking…”
Jeremy blushes again and looks away as he starts fiddling with his hands. “Uh…nothing interesting. Don’t worry about it.” Why can’t he be calm and cool about it all? Better yet, why can’t he just stop thinking all these things about Michael?
Maybe he doesn’t want to stop, though.
“Whatever, dude. Hey, you want anything from the line? I think they got fries today. The good kind.” Michael says as he starts standing up.
Jeremy nods and goes to follow him. He stops, though, when Michael puts out a hand and starts backing away towards the food line with an “Allow me, Jer-bear.”
Michael shoots him a wide grin when he sees Jeremy blushing lightly at the nickname before he turns around and walks off. Jeremy blushes harder at the grin aimed at him and finds himself frustrated at himself. Michael has smiled and grinned at him a million times, so why is he getting all worked up over them now? Why do feelings about people have to change so much? He groans and lays his head on the lunch table.
He has got to stop thinking about Michael like this.
They’re hanging out at Michael’s now, school having ended about an hour ago. Michael is currently intensely focused on Donkey Kong 64, the vintage clear controller clasped tightly in his hands. They had been playing Mario Kart 64 together earlier before Jeremy had said that he wanted to take a break. Now he’s just leaning back on his bean bag as he watches the TV screen. Well, he at least looks like he’s watching when in truth he’s not paying attention at all. He’s thinking. Again.
He’s thinking about the way the light from the screen causes shadows to play across Michael’s face. He’s thinking about Michael’s focused stare and the fact that his tongue is peeking out from his lips and oh, man, he shouldn’t be thinking about that. Then he’ll start thinking about kissing and making out and… more. Would…
Would Michael ever want to kiss him?
Maybe he’ll only ever feel platonic things towards him. Or maybe Jeremy just isn’t attractive enough? Or confident or cool or…
Jeremy sighs and slips further down on his bean bag. This causes Michael to pause the game and turn towards him.
“Seriously, buddy, what’s up? Something’s been bugging you lately and I’m starting to get a little worried. So, what’s wrong?”
Dammit, he never meant to worry him. He didn’t know he had been so obvious about the fact that something has been bothering him. He runs a hand through his hair and starts, “Well, it’s just…”
“Okay, like… there’s this, uh, person? That I like and…”
“Dude, chill, is this about Christine? I know you have a crush on her.”
Jeremy sputters, “No, no, I don’t, uh, have a crush on her! It’s… someone else.”
“You don’t? Okay, then who is she? Come on, you gotta tell me.”
“Well… it’s not exactly a… you shouldn’t use…” Jeremy tries until he finally just practically shouts, “They’re not a girl!” He blushes deeply and covers his face with his hands. “That’s all I’m gonna say.”
He doesn’t hear anything for a minute or two until there’s quiet shuffling of Michael moving on his bean bag. He didn’t realize that he was moving in front of him until he felt hands on his wrists, tugging gently. Jeremy moves his hands away but refuses to look Michael in the eye.
“Jeremy, is that what’s been bothering you so much? Did you think I wouldn’t, like, approve or something? Jeremy, buddy, nothing could stop us from being friends! I’ll support whoever you wanna date, girl or boy.”
Jeremy looks at him at the last bit and swears he can see something there. Something like… hope?
He must be imagining things.
Michael smiles softly at him when they make eye contact. Even though the room is lit up only by the TV, Jeremy could still point out every feature of his face, from the edges of his soft lips to his few freckles. He also realizes that Michael is still holding onto his thin wrists and that at this point they’re just staring at each other and smiling gently. They’re so close now that he can feel Michael’s warm breath and see that his lips are parted just slightly…
His breath hitches as he leans closer, closer, and then…
He’s kissing him.
Jeremy Heere is kissing his best friend of 12 years, Michael Mell.
His lips are soft and everything he imagined they’d be and more. His thoughts have finally stopped and stay that way even when he’s pulling back. He’s blushing so hard as he looks at Michael who’s grinning widely, a blush dusting his cheeks as well.
He figures that it’s safe to say Michael won’t ever only feel platonic things towards him.
And my mom kept telling me to lose control, but I couldn’t until you got here. Because I know you’re watching over me. Instead of me always having to watch over everyone else. So tonight is not my last night of freedom, it’s my first night of freedom.
Title:Safe And Sound Chapter: 14/14 Pairing: Michael/Reader Rating: PG-13 for the series Word Count: 4,296 Summary: Six months ago, your life was turned upside down when you won a recording contract on a singing contest reality show. It’s been a blur since then, and things were looking up for you, but people were starting to cross the line with you, putting your safety in danger. At the urging of your label, your manager found you a bodyguard that you could connect with, someone who would be a friend on the lonely nights of traveling. However, instead of getting the bodyguard that oozed masculinity, you got Michael. A/N: Oh my god, it’s actually the end! I’d like to thank everyone for putting up with me and reading this over the years. Hopefully, I haven’t disappointed anyone too much. I can already tell you this isn’t the last you’ve seen of this AU but for now, this is it! <3