"I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE ANY MORE!" "I DON'T RECOGNIZE MY SELF!" That's in all caps because I see it as screamed. Can you do that for boyf friends sorry I'm so awkward and used to being able to hide behind anonymous but I've fallen in love with your writing lately. Only if you want to you don't have too
I FINALLY DID IT AH! So sorry it took me so long, I could go on about exams and all that shit but I’m sensing you will hopefully get the picture.
Regardless, thank you for the prompt/request!
It was a Saturday night and the boys were spending their time wisely - playing video games in Michael’s basement. They weren’t sure how long they had been in there but neither bothered to care.
Finally, after hours of waiting, Jeremy was released from hospital. After the eventful school day on Friday Michael had offered that Jeremy stay at his house that night to catch a break, and Jeremy whole
-heartedly agreed. As soon as they arrived home, Jeremy collapsed onto Michael’s bed and fell asleep, exhausted from all the questions he had received that day. Michael soon followed suit and before they knew it the two woke up at 3am on a Saturday morning.
Now, with nothing else to do, the boys were still playing video games. Eventually, the inevitable red with white text ‘GAME OVER’ flashed onto the screen, ending the particular match.
“Awe come on!” Michael complained, setting down the controller and flopping onto the beanbag behind him. Jeremy sat adjacent, frowning at the TV. “I thought we were finally gonna beat that one!”
“Y-Yeah…” Jeremy replied, still staring at the TV. After a few seconds passed, Michael sighed, hoisted himself upright and went to eject the disk from the console.
“Woah Michael, we were playing-”
“Not anymore,” he announced, returning the disk to its place on the shelf. “I wanna play something I know we can win.”
Before Jeremy could question him, Michael pushed an unknown disk into the slot and bounced back into his beanbag just in time to see the words ‘Apocalypse of the Damned’ appear on screen.
“Oh…” Said Jeremy in response.
“Come on dude,” Michael cheered, grabbing his controller off the floor and hitting play. “This one is no match for us.”
An hour later and Michael was seriously starting to worry about Jeremy. Not only had they not gotten past their usual warmup match but had been stuck in the same God damn area for 60 whole minutes. And Micheal knew something was up when Jeremy didn’t respond to his usual code words for 'Zombie, right behind you’ or 'Use the axe not the riffle for this one’ - the list went on. Eventually, he jammed down on the pause button and turned to face his best friend.
“Ok, what happened?” He demanded, snatching the controller from Jeremy’s hands.
“W-what?” Jeremy stuttered in response, completely oblivious to his best friend’s reasons for questioning.
“Something’s up, I can tell. You’re usually great at this game bro! Even better than me. But something’s off tonight.” Micheal shuffled closer and rest his head in his palms. “Don’t think I haven’t noticed.”
Jeremy shifted awkwardly on the beanbag, trying not to meet Michael’s gaze.
“I..I-it’s nothing really I just-”
“It’s the Squip isn’t it,” Michael said, instantly recognising the type of hesitation he was being given. For the past few hours Michael had tried to ask Jeremy about the Squip but all that he received was the same 'it was nothing’ stammer each time.
Jeremy looked up, something shifting in his demeanour.
“I don’t want to play this anymore.” He stated, slowly and every words feeling like a drop of venom.
“W-what?” Michael said in response.
Jeremy locked eyes with Michael and arched his back so that he was sitting upright. He spoke even clearer.
“I don’t want to play this anymore”
“Yo Jeremy, dude, calm down.” Michael started, reaching out to his best friend. But Jeremy flinched backwards, slapping Michael’s fingers away.
“D-don’t touch me tall ass!” He cried, falling off of the beanbag and into the floor. Instantly he recognised the words that he had spoken, covering his mouth with his spare hand. But Michael had already heard them.
“W…what did you just call me?” He stammered, slowly rising from the beanbag. Jeremy climbed off of the floor to meet him, stuttering an attempted apology.
“I didn’t mean- that’s not what I - fuck - Michael I, that- that wasn’t-”
“T-Tall ass?!” Michael cried, stepping away from Jeremy. “What the hell dude?”
“No Michael I-”
“What happened to you?” He questioned, louder this time. “What has he done to you Jer? Was it worth it? Making you popular but turning you into… this?”
“Dude I don’t know who you are anymore-”
“I DON’T EVEN RECOGNISE MYSELF!” Came Jeremy’s answer. Michael flinched at the sudden increase in volume, eyes flying up to meet his best friend’s. Jeremy’s bright blue eyes soon began to fill with tears as he slumped against the wall.
“He’s gone Michael… but he won’t go away…” he muttered, head flying into to his hair. “Everything I do, I can still hear that voice in the back of my mind telling me what I’m doing wrong, mirroring his exact words. And I do it! I listen to it, because that’s what I’ve been programmed to do.”
“And you know what the worst part is Michael? That voice isn’t even real! It’s inside my head, because it’s my voice. It’s me telling all those things. I CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT MICHAEL! I-”
Jeremy was interrupted by the sudden feeling of arms wrapping around his waist and pulling his close into Michael’s chest. The boy hung on tightly, head hidden in the crook of Jeremy’s tear-stricken neck. Soon, his hands lowered from his hair to return the hug and the two slowly slid against the wall onto the floor.
No words were spoken between the two, just the action of each other being there was enough. The soft hum of the console filled the basement, the smell of candy and Mountain Dew carried through the air.
Eventually, Michael spoke, breaking the silence.
“I don’t care what he told you Jeremy, but you will always be my player two and nothing will change that ok? We’ll fight this, and we’ll come through stronger.” He tightened the hug between them. “I’ll always be here for you Jer.”
The tall boy smiled, returning the pressure of the embrace. He couldn’t help the shift in his smile as he spoke:
“That’s what friends are for yeah?”
Michael’s expression wavered as he responded.
“Yeah… best friends.”