Happy (A Boyf Riends One-Shot)
Notes: I spent FOREVER on this. And I know it’s very clunky at parts. But I hope you enjoy this.
WARNING: LOTS OF MENTIONS OF SELF-HARM AND SUICIDE ATTEMPTS
Michael always thought that you should be happy with yourself and who you are. Who cared what other people thought? As long as you, yourself, was happy. Why the hell did it matter?
Which he knew that this kind of out-look on life wasn’t shared by his best friend. But Michael understood. It’s easy to see what others think and ignore yourself. That didn’t mean that Michael didn’t try to change that.
So what? They were losers. Weren’t well liked, weren’t popular. To Michael he was just happy to be himself and to have Jeremy. Jeremy was the best person in the world. Michael knew that the day that Jeremy defended him all those years ago.
Michael could always be himself around Jeremy. That he could tell Jeremy anything. Jeremy didn’t care that Michael was living by himself, that he was gay, or that he was Filipino. So in turn, Michael accepted himself.
But when Jeremy fell out of the formula, Michael didn’t expect that the equation would break completely.
Jeremy got what he wanted, his own formula, the squib. Jeremy had gotten what he wanted. And Michael couldn’t lie with the fact that he was glad that Jeremy was happy.
Jeremy was better off without him? So be it. Michael could live with that. Michael could live with being the loser. But as the days went on. He would periodically check his phones for texts. Weeks, he would somehow show up to his house after school before turning back. Months of him just trying to TALK TO-
So, it turns out being the loser wasn’t as great without someone being one with you. Michael always considered himself lucky to have a friend as cool as Jeremy. But it looked like that luck ran out for him.
It always seemed to do that.
Now, Michael doing research wasn’t because he thought Jeremy would come back to him. Well, mostly. He knew Jeremy was changing himself. To be chill. And those moments when Jeremy looked like a single bit like himself, there would be a second of shock. Then Jeremy would be sitting straighter, voice lowering, and barely have his eyes open. Not giving a care about the world around him.
He also began to notice Jeremy not eating as much as he used to. Sure, Michael was barely at lunch or the rest of the day anymore (spending it at 7/11 rather than sitting next to a lab partner who ignored you sounded a lot better). But was it possible for Jeremy to get any skinner than he was?
So it started with just asking once, curiously, cautiously, on a server. But then it grew, the stories, the news articles. It was all there. No more bullshitting. Michael didn’t care anymore about having his best friend back. He just wanted him ALIVE AND-
Well, it never seems to work that way. Sneaking to the party? Easy. But talking to Jeremy again was the hardest thing he had to do. And no preparation could’ve helped him with what happened.
“Get out of my way.”
“Move out of my way. Loser.”
With a capital L.
He was no longer Michael, no longer His Favorite Person, no longer Player One.
Michael used to always think you should be happy with yourself. But what was even the point if not even your best friend liked you anymore?
He wished that he burned along with the house.
He wished that the firefighters hadn’t find him.
He wished that Jeremy would’ve came to see if he was even alright.
If Michael died, maybe someone would give a damn.
But Michael didn’t die, but he tried. The burns covered his arms, they didn’t even look natural anymore. It didn’t really matter though, his arms were already ugly enough before.
But he was surprised to see Rich at the hospital the day that Michael was allowed to go home. Rich was a mess. He looked around nervously, his body tensing several times a minute, despite being in a full cast. Michael could see all the pain in his eyes, his face.
Michael then remembered his Mountain Dew Red, the one he had brought with him to the party. For Jeremy. Still in his pocket.
He remembered walking in, Rich looking at him with panic in his eyes. Michael took off the cap.
“Rich, I know it’s hard for you right now. But I NEED you to swallow this.” Michael said. Rich looked at the bottle, and nodded frantically.
Michael slowly poured the soda into Rich’s mouth. He knew he needed more based on how long he had his Squip. Drinking half the bottle, before his head snapping down. Michael almost freaking out when Rich let out a huge yell. He backed away as nurses came to check on him, taking this as his opportunity to leave.
Michael hoped Jeremy wouldn’t end up like that.
Michael didn’t care for the medicine they gave him. Let his arms rot. It’s nothing compared to what he feels already. It didn’t really matter anyway.
It turns out that no one knew that it was him who was left in the house that night. More people were focused on Rich and about him not being drunk when he set the place on fire. Really, Michael didn’t give them a reason to notice. He showed up to school that next Monday morning, big red hoodie covering his new burns. Jeremy didn’t spare him even a look. Michael didn’t know if he was relieved or disappointed.
But somehow despite his ignorance to his medicine, they already healed within two weeks. Well, healed to be scars a color paling to his skin that he knew would be there forever. But as he stared at his horrid limbs, he saw the almost ruined pacman tattoo. He was surprised to even see it intact. But faded, and holes in the yellow face.
Michael knew that Jeremy always wore those long sleeves to cover his half. Who knows, he might’ve gotten it removed by now. Michael wouldn’t be surprised. It was all just pointless now. The tattoo, the video games, their friendship, his silly little-
No. It was all worthless. Worthless to Jeremy. Worthless to him. So worthless… y'know? Michael was tired of looking at it, his arms were damaged enough anyway. While he was at it, needed to burn some stuff too.
But Michael didn’t expect to see Jeremy’s dad. He didn’t know how he knew but he just, he had to get rid of it, rid of all of it. Rid of all the memories, the emotions, the feelings. He had to get rid of-
God, Michael just knew that he loved that boy more he could ever love himself. He had to get up, get his pants on. He knew that maybe Jeremy would never feel the same. But Michael had to support him.
Michael kept one new bottle of Mountain Dew Red with him. Even as he walked into the auditorium, sitting in the front row. Michael wasn’t looking forward to him trying to talk to Jeremy again after the show. But he was excited to see Jeremy in the show. He bet Jeremy would be great. This was pretty good for a school play.
Before Michael had time to think about what he was doing, he got out of his seat and ran to one of the doors that led backstage. He couldn’t help but shout to his appearance, was he high? Maybe. But Jeremy’s face and hearing his own name on Jeremy’s lips. Made Michael the happiest he had been in months.
But Michael didn’t expect Jeremy to run after him. He thought he was gonna get one of Jeremy’s special hugs that Michael hadn’t had in so long and-
“Look out!” He heard Jeremy yell. He snapped out of his thoughts as he moved to see that Jeremy was trying to push him.
“Dude! What the hell?” Michael questioned.
“It’s my Squip dude!” Michael didn’t know how happy hearing the word ‘dude’ could make him.
“What do you want me to do?” Michael asked.
“Get me to drink it! Force it!” Jeremy yelled coming closer. His walk, however, was powerful unlike Jeremy. The way Jeremy’s body held himself scared Michael to taking a step back. But Jeremy grabbed his arm. Michael winced, almost dropping the bottle, pain shooting up him as Jeremy’s hand held him in tight grip.
“Michael? What’s wro-” but suddenly Jeremy’s face stopped. It was his face, but Jeremy wasn’t there. This face was confident, sneaky, and not anyone Michael had seen before.
“So, it was you. I had my suspicions, but best friend killing himself over a fight? A little cliche if you ask me.” The voice, it wasn’t Jeremy’s. Michael almost had tears coming out from the pain he was in.
“Y-you bastard.” Michael muttered.
“Imma cut you a deal. If you drop that bottle, I’ll give you what you want. Everything you wish for.” The voice said.
“W-wish?” Michael asked.
“Ah, Michael, Michael. Don’t think I didn’t notice. I may have had Jeremy blocking you, but I could see it. You love him.” Michael didn’t say anything, he needed to focus.
“I can give him to you.” Focus. Pull away, you need to save him-
“Michael.” Suddenly, everything was frozen. It was his voice. In that tone that Jeremy used when he talked about-
“Michael.” His face, so relaxed. So happy to be here. With him. The grip on his arm loosing. Another hand coming up to his face.
“Mikey, I…” That nickname, he hadn’t used it since they were kids! He didn’t know that he missed it so much!-
“I love you.” God. I was like everything Michael hoped for. Wanted. Dreamed.
“Jer…” Michael didn’t notice the many tears streaming down his face.
“Put the bottle down Michael… lets go get stoned in your basement!” He smiled, his grin… it was… off. It wasn’t as big. His eyes, almost too green and not enough blue. His hand on his cheek not having the slightest of shakiness.
This. Wasn’t Jeremy.
And it broke Michael’s heart in more ways than one.
“Mikey…?” It sounded so confused and worried…
Michael brought his hand to Jeremy’s. Held it, trying to memorize the feeling. It warmth. “I’m so sorry Jer-Bear… God, you almost lost me.”
But before anyone knew it, Michael twisted the cap off took Jeremy by the neck and put the bottle to his lips. Michael stared forcefully into Jeremy’s eyes.
“Jeremy! If you can hear me!! Swallow it!!!” He felt Jeremy’s hands take his arm again. Squeezing it tightly as Michael let out a yell of pain.
“Jer!! C'mon!! I know you are in there! Snap out of it!!!!” Jeremy’s eyes for that slight second flickered blue as he heard Jeremy swallow, then going limp.
Taking the bottle from his lips. Both of them collapsing, Jeremy on top of Michael. Then, Jeremy shooting straight up, and like many other students letting off a scream. All Michael do was hold Jeremy close before the ambulance came to get him.
The couple of days that Jeremy was in the hospital, Michael didn’t want to see him. All the guilt. God, he almost let everyone get Squipped because of his silly little crush.
God, he didn’t deserve to live.
But his legs carried him to his room anyway. To see him. He wanted to hold that hand again. But he couldn’t. Jeremy, Squiped or not, had a better life without him. But the one day that Jeremy woke up, Michael couldn’t resist coming over.
“Dude, what happened?” Jeremy asked.
What happened indeed, Michael needed to skip that part. “Oh man, it was genius! They were communicating with each other - they were linked! Which means… when you consider the kind of high frequency sonic disturbance needed to wipe a system that powerful…”
“Michael. My head still hurts.” Oh. Maybe not that much detail.
“Right, ah… turns out we didn’t have to destroy every Squip. Just the one. And the rest… boom boom boom!” Michael said imitating explosions. Hoping to make Jeremy at least smile.
Jeremy didn’t, he looked at Michael with a confused look that made Michael question if he was remembering what happened.
“I don’t get it. After everything I did…” Michael’s hand immediately went to his arm to rub it softly. He could still feel each scar through his sweater. “You were still there for me. Why?”
Because I love you.
“I can’t take all the credit.” Michael forced himself to say. “Your dad can be shockingly persuasive.”
Michael was glad to see Jeremy’s dad wearing pants. Having a serious discussion with his son until…
“… Who is this Christine person?”
The one, Jeremy, he…
“H-hey Jer? M-Mr. Heere? I g-gotta go.”
“What? Where?” Jeremy asked, surprised.
Michael took a deep breath, and gave a smile. “I’ll see you later Jer.” And walked out before anyone could stop him.
Michael was surprised on how easily the school could fix itself. How just a week later, it was like nothing ever happened. Sometimes Michael wished he could do that.
And he could, he had to. This is Jeremy’s first day back. Just be Michael Mell.
“Michael!” He turned to see him, Jeremy wearing his favorite sweater and shirt. It made Michael very happy inside.
“Jeremy! My man, how you feeling?” Michael asked. The way that Jeremy’s face lit up, Michael knew he must’ve been doing something right.
And he was.
They were friends again. And it was like nothing changed. Well, almost. Jeremy still liked to hangout with the cool kids. Which was fine, Jeremy was not on the bottom anymore. Michael was happy about that. But he couldn’t deny that he was much happier with the fact that Jeremy mostly just spent time with him. Like when they decided to play video games almost every day after school.
“And I think Brooke and Chole are thing? I don’t really know.” Jeremy did like to talk about the cool kids. Michael didn’t really mind… but he just didn’t know what to say about it.
“Then… um… go ask if they are dating? Or ask Jake and Rich? I don’t know what to tell you dude.” Michael said.
“I guess you are right. But, I don’t wanna be rude.” Jeremy being nervous was a welcoming sight for Michael. He was glad that he was back to normal.
“C'mon dude, they’re your friends. I’m sure they’ll understand.” Michael said putting a hand on Jeremy’s shoulder in comfort. Jeremy smiled his small smile that made Michael’s heart beat slightly faster.
“Hey, there having this celebration that Rich is finally getting out of the hospital. Wanna come?” Jeremy asked.
Michael pulled his arm back, and turned to pick up a controller. “I don’t know Jer, I not really friends with them.” He shrugged.
“Rich likes you. He… said that you helped him.” Jeremy said.
“Oh…” Michael remembered the memory coming back. “Yeah, it was the least I could do. I had a bottle on me and-”
“Why were you at the hospital?” Jeremy asked, he seemed nervous to ask. As if this was something he was meaning to ask before.
“I… was just…” Michael tried to find some excuse.
“Michael…” Jeremy said.
It was almost like when he said it when-
“Was what the Squip said true?” Michael froze. The controller going ridged in his hands.
“Y-you remember that?” He asked.
“Michael.” No, he couldn’t get distracted, he had to…
“J-jer, I was j-just there. I helped him out. E-end of story.”
“Mikey…” Michael felt himself freeze again.
“D-don’t use t-that name against me J-jer. D-don’t.” Michael said as he put the controller down with shaky hands. He then stood up from the bean bag.
“I’ll g-go get s-some food ok?”
“Michael, no.” Suddenly Jeremy stood up and grabbed his arm. It wasn’t tight, but Michael still let out a hiss mixed of the slight pain and surprise.
“Michael? What happened? What aren’t you telling me?!” Jeremy said.
“Jeremy, it’s not your problem. It’s just my stupid-” but before Michael could say more, Jeremy lifted the sleeve of his hoodie and-
“Oh god.” He only lifted it to his elbow. But you could clearly see the damage.
The scars from the fire and the scars from his pocket knife that he kept now in his room. Jeremy gently held his arm.
“Please tell me that this… is the worse of it.” Jeremy pleaded. God he was so innocent. Taking his left arm, no. That was the one that didn’t have…
Michael’s tears then leaked out. Man, was he that weak? To hurt himself just because his best friend called him a… a…
“You remember… they mentioned someone being in the house… after the…”
“Michael, you didn’t-”
Michael looked to the floor.
“Michael, tell me the Squip was lying! Y-you were locked in there! Y-you weren’t t-trying to…”
“Oh god Michael.”
“What the hell do you have to sorry for!?” Jeremy looked into Michael’s eyes. Tears spilling out, if only Michael had just-
“God damn it, this is all my fault!” Jeremy said, looking to his arm.
“Jeremy, it was my-”
“Let me see the rest of them.”
Michael held a breath, but knew he couldn’t deny the request.
Michael took his arm away from Jeremy, to zip down his red hoodie to reveal only a black tank top. Taking off his hoodie.
Now Michael couldn’t deny his slightly muscled arms. But that didn’t matter, they were destroyed with the pale scars that now decorated his body. And the darker scars that more towards his wrist. He held them out to his best friend for 12 years. He looked to the ground, nor bearing with the look that Jeremy probably had on his face.
Michael felt Jeremy’s warm hands caress his right arm. He knew that he wouldn’t find what he was looking for. All that was left would be the bits of yellow of what pacman used to be.
He the warmth disappear but could feel Jeremy walk between his arms until Michael could see Jeremy’s shoes only a couple inches from his. He then felt a warm hand on his cheek. He brought his eyes to Jeremy’s face as Jeremy’s other hand grabbed his hand.
Michael still had tears streaming down his cheeks to his neck, but Jeremy didn’t seem to care.
“I’m sorry.” Jeremy whispered.
“It was my mistake Jer, I did this to myself.” Michael said quietly. Bringing his other hand to where Jeremy’s was. Holding it.
“But I called you a-”
“Don’t say it. Please.”
“But, I’m sorry.” Michael said.
“What could you even be sorry for?” Jeremy asked with a hallow chuckle.
“I almost… dropped the soda Jer. I almost caused the freaking apocalypse.” Michael took a deep breath. “Just because he was saying all those things.”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“I-I thought it was so easy-”
“Why would you ever think that?!” Michael gripped Jeremy’s hands slightly. “You calling me that, in the same voice that you use when you talk about…”
“Christine.” Jeremy was silent. “Jeremy I couldn’t handle it, I would’ve done it. Believed him. Saying that I could have you. God… I’m so selfish. You even said that you…”
“You said that you loved me.” Michael whispered. “I could’ve thrown everything away just because you said that. God Jer. I’m so pathetic.” He loosened his hold so he could pull his hand away.
“No! You’re not.” Jeremy said, gripping his hand even tighter. “I almost just let him take over me. Because he made you so happy…”
“No… it was never him. The moment I realize led it was when he smiled. It wasn’t you. And… I just couldn’t live with it.” Michael said, looking into Jeremy’s blue, so blue eyes. “I couldn’t live without you.”
Jeremy didn’t say anything as he stared back at him. But before Michael could say anything else. Jeremy pushes likely to his toes to reach his lips.
Michael was surprised, but closed his eyes to enjoy the sweet moment.
But a moment became more as Jeremy moved his hands to his neck and opened his mouth slightly. Michael bringing his arms around Jeremy’s back, bringing him closer.
It was everything Michael dreamed of and more, he didn’t want to pull away just in case this was some cheap prank. It didn’t matter that his big glasses were pinching to his face, but that Jeremy was sucking on his bottom lip, letting out tiny moans, and playing with Michael’s hair.
But soon enough, Jeremy pulled away. Michael didn’t know how out-of-breath he was until it ended. Almost gasping for air. But it looked like Jeremy felt the same way.
“Michael… Mikey…” Jeremy chuckled. “I thought you hated that nickname.”
“No, it was just that other kids…”
“Hey. I get it.” He smiled, “I can’t live without you either. I’m sorry it took me forever to realize that.”
“Well, it looks like you’ll have forever to make it up to me.” Michael said, slightly pulling Jeremy closer.
“That I do.” And smashed there lips together again.
Michael wasn’t happy with himself, and it would take a long time for him to be. He cared about what people thought. But who cares? As long as Jeremy was there. Why the hell did it matter?