Description- A tired grump session accidently turns into coming out about Arin and Dan’s relationship on camera.
He thought he had plenty of sense left in his mind to get through one last session of video games without dwindling down into a slurry tired mess. Arin was horribly wrong as both him and Dan started tiredly dying of laughter over the walk cycle of some low-poly character in a low-budget game for the PlayStation.
Both men were finally back from the Rock Hard Tour with TWRP, it only being a couple days since their last show. Both of them wanted badly to sleep for the next week, but scheduling for Game Grumps didn’t deem that allowable.
They were leaning close together, heads periodically lolling onto the others’ body.
Arin wasn’t the one to be playing the game this session, Dan taking it upon himself to allow Arin’s hands a rest after three other long sessions of him playing.
He glanced over at Dan and noticed his baggy eyes and extra unruly hair, and his facial hair which was growing out more than Dan usually allowed. They’d been dating for almost a half year, and Arin realized with a tired but full heart that he felt the same butterflies he always did when he first came up to Dan with his romantic feelings.
Dan whipped his head towards Arin, finally realizing he was being stared at by a lovestruck and drained version of his best friend.
“what-chu looking at ya’ tasty bab-bitchh” he slurred, turning his head back to the TV screen, eyes squinting.
“Nothing man. Just kidding, I was looking at you, you handsome little, little uh, uh… Yeah, I was looking so what?” Arin replied, bumping his forehead into his boyfriend, resting it there for a long enough time for his eyes to droop close.
“I love you, babe” Arin said, not fully aware that they were recording Grumps at the moment.
“I love you too, baby bear. Matt, Ryan, whoever, edit that out. ” Dan chuckled, lightly shaking Arin out of his resting place.
“Why do they have to, huh? Might as well tell them right? Do you want me to?” Arin said, preparing to wake up to deliver the news to his audience. Out of his head fuzziness, Arin realized the weight of asking that question. He could royally fuck their channel over, if there were too many people who didn’t like the kind of people they truly were. He started to shake a little bit, but not completely willing to take back his question and pretend this whole thing didn’t exist.
Dan looked over at Arin. He had a troubled look on his face, as if debating the odds of acceptance. He looked back at the game, and then suddenly paused it to look back at Arin and nod, signally the O.K.
“Okay, listen up lovelies.” Arin paused, trying to keep his hands from quivering. Words just fell out of him as soon as he opened his mouth again.
“Me and Dan have been super duper friends right. So like, now we are friends but like better because we kiss and hug and like it’s great and I am so looking forward to sleeping now that I think about it. But like, yeah, don’t worry Suzy is okay with it, even though I don’t think that that’s any of your business anyway so like uh-” Arin rambled, out of anxiety and sleep deprivation. Dan had taken his phone out of his pocket, paused in thought, then hit record on his camera. He waited for Arin to stop talking, but Dan figured he was too flustered and nervous to stop. He uttered a “baby doll” to get his attention. Arin rattled on senselessly, talking about topics that had barely to do anything with them dating, deaf to his boyfriend’s calling.
“Arin.” Dan spoke louder, attempting to get his attention once more. Succeeding, Arin stopped mid-sentence of talking about Mochi to look at Dan.
“Just shut up and kiss me on camera so they know we aren’t fucking around, dude.”
Arin felt pressured and scared, but so very excited to not need to hide anything after this. All his feelings lurched to his throat as Dan leaned forward as soon as Arin turned his head diagonally to avoid mood-breaking knocks to the nose. Their lips connected so softly, just like any other time. Arin stopped worrying for just these few seconds, and just focused on the loving connection they had. Their lips parted with a soft smack, and Arin glanced at his boyfriend’s phone which was pointed at both their faces. He avoided eye contact with it, and chose to look at its holder. Dan was giving the softest of smiles, reeling from the pump of dopamine. Arin knew that he was just as scared as him, though his facial expression did not show it.
“Alright babies, hopefully that gives you more of a reason to write more fanfiction about us” Dan said proudly, pointing the camera at him so as to talk directly to the audience.
“Next time on Game Grumps?” Arin asked, trying to use Dan’s bravado to rid of his anxiety.
“Next time on Game Grumps, probably with a different game, who knows! ” he pointed the camera towards Arin, who was smiling. Dan leaned forward to kiss him again.
Arin went to go turn off all the equipment that needed to be turned off, making sure the timestamps were filled out, trying to will his brain to be empty and focus on packing up rather than the future.
The next day, it was Ryan’s turn to edit that particular game session, and he ushered Arin over to ask if he really wanted to put all that stuff in the episode. He nodded, fully aware of the fact that this was his last chance to back out. He asked Dan to send the phone video to Ryan for him to edit it in, and so it was done.
Two weeks later the episode went up, and Arin was too terrified to be on social media. It wasn’t until his wife said that he needed to go check twitter that he gained enough courage to look. There was, of course, the people who despised this new truth, whether it be for religious reasons or the classic “things were better when Jontron was around”, but those messages only contributed about 1% of responses from fans versus the 99% messages of complete support. Words of awe and congratulation were in heavy supply, the posters of Egobang exclaiming that they knew it all along and so on.
It was all so heartwarming and cute, and Arin couldn’t resist waiting till the next grump session to spill the news to Dan. Equally excited, they both gushed to each other about how happy they were, and the next time both of them were recording they immediately expressed their thanks to those who supported their relationship. Arin made his own comment to those who weren’t as kind, explaining his understanding and tolerance to even those who chose not to accept them.
Suzy came up to the both of them on break, saying she had plenty of messages of support for even her, as Arin’s wife and Dan’s friend. Arin kissed her, loving her even more than ever after these anxiety-inducing times, thanking her for calming him when he began to worry too much, or too saddened when the first few hate messages began to appear.
Arin was on the car ride back to his home alone, Suzy having to continue working on things in the office. He reflected to himself that he probably should’ve figured that so many people were accepting because they were pretty nonchalant to each other about suggestive homosexual encounters all the time. Of course people weren’t going to care now because they were very close in that way for years, the only difference now being that it was not really for shits and giggles any more.
It was almost freeing to see things that way, and it made Arin laugh at how funny his reasonings were. His shoulders finally released the tension that had built up since they first recorded that video, and he went home very happy, anticipating his wife’s return so that he could hug her and finally not regret putting himself out there for the world to see.
Lucas: Acknowledges that while Maya loves to make fun of him, she cared about his safety in Texas (so much so that she was willing to blow up their friendship to keep him safe, if you recall). Maya believed Lucas was someone to be proud of WITHOUT having to risk his neck on the back of a bull he didn’t truly want to ride anyway. Maya didn’t want Lucas on that bull because she cared so much about him and his safety (more than anyone else in that rodeo tent, tbh). In his conversation with Katy, Lucas attributes Maya’s delight in teasing him as well as her CARING NATURE (which is part and parcel of a capacity for love) to her mother’s influence.
Josh: Thinks Maya voluntarily gave up her identity in order to “become Riley” so she could get to know Lucas the “same way” Riley does and “understand Riley’s feelings.” (lol). He thinks Maya did this to “protect Riley” and that it’s evidence of what a great friend Maya is. (Josh isn’t wrong that Maya’s a great friend, but his reasoning is a bunch of nonsense.) Josh attributes this utterly insane scenario to Maya’s father abandoning her. Josh thinks Maya has never “felt that love,” and that’s why her capacity for love was great enough for Maya to “become Riley” to “protect her.”
Josh is basically telling Maya that her positive growth as a person in S2-early S3 (embracing hope, getting up and fighting for the arts, liking a teacher, appreciating what she has, doing better in school, forgiving herself for her father leaving, etc) was simply a Riley impersonation all done in service of “test driving” Lucas for Riley. Josh is saying that everything Maya did in S2-early S3 was about Riley rather than about Maya herself, that it was a product of “being Riley” because Maya was abandoned, and he is ADMIRING that behavior (which would be CRAZY UNHEALTHY if he were actually correct, btw). Yikes.
Josh also believes that Maya talking about Lucas as if he is an object Riley owns is an “adult way of thinking.” 🙄
He also “doesn’t know everything.” He’s also a college student confessing romantic feelings to a 14/15 year-old high school freshman. I get that he feels what he feels and he’s in a weird place and a state of flux maturity-wise at the moment, but this dude clearly doesn’t have the best judgment.
Look: ONLY ONE of these guys can be correct about Maya. Either Maya’s feelings about Lucas (caring deeply about him and his safety even though she loves to make fun of him) are something she learned from her mother and felt for herself in Texas (and before/after), or she was simply “impersonating Riley” because her father abandoned her. Either Maya was herself in Texas (a product of her mother’s influence), or she was a “Riley clone” because her father left.
Either Lucas is right that loving to make fun of him while also caring deeply about his safety is something Maya learned from her mom (and logically felt for HERSELF), or Josh is right that Maya “became Riley” and absorbed Riley’s exact same feelings for Lucas because Maya’s dad abandoned her. It can’t be both.
The writers presented us with both points of a view for a REASON. Logically, they cannot both be correct. It’s either Lucas or Josh. Either Maya has her own feelings and they are influenced by her mother and NOT her father, or Maya “became Riley” because of her father.
Considering how Maya and Riley had POLAR OPPOSITE reactions to the bull ride once the danger became clear, considering how Maya still believed Riley & Lucas to be siblingesque as of Texas 2 even though she’d allegedly “been Riley” since Hurricane, considering the STARK difference in the SL1 movies, and considering that Lucas has been around Maya almost every day for 2+ years while Josh has seen her maybe five times…I’m gonna say Lucas is the one who’s actually got it right.
Too bad Josh is the only one who actually said anything to Maya’s face.
Anyway, unless Disney Channel royally screwed GMW (which I doubt), I’m quite, quite confident that eventually they’ll clear up the contradiction here—in Lucas’s favor.
And no, I don’t think it’s “just bad writing.” I think the writers know exactly what they’re doing—and they’ve got a lot of people eagerly eating up Josh’s insane “explanation” even though Lucas’s take on things makes WAY more sense. “Turning into someone else to feel what they feel in order to protect them because you love them so much because your father left” is not a Thing. That’s not real. Prince Baji isn’t real, you guys—and he’s not sending $30 million.
(And yes: I acknowledge that Maya herself put forward a version of Josh’s explanation in the SL Bay Window with Riley, but Maya searching for an explanation as to why she “became Riley” hinges on it being true that Maya ever “turned into Riley” to begin with. Just because Maya’s been shouted down and talked over into believing her growth wasn’t her own doesn’t mean she’s right to believe it.)
Don’t take an irrational explanation as truth just because it’s convenient to the point of “too good to be true.” Don’t fall for Jexica. Think critically and trust the writers to make things clear/right in the end. They already admitted that the characters didn’t make the right decisions in SL2, and I highly, highly doubt the series will end before the characters learn a big lesson about the consequences of those wrong decisions.
(This post is brought to you by The Campaign to Move Everyone to Brooklyn Until Mr. Jackson Teaches Riley Matthews There’s a World Beyond Purple Cats.)