Hear Me Out

Sunday, December 27th, 2015 12:00 am
sunsetmondays: salad (Default)
[personal profile] sunsetmondays posting in [community profile] mindcracklove
My Salad secret santa gift to [personal profile] peanut_emma . Enjoy your chevadus fluff. <3

Or the four times everything was okay and the one time it wasn't.

I. Rain
Normally, Sev didn't mind the rain. Sometimes, he even enjoyed it. But now, with icy wind pulling at his coat and thick dark clouds looming ominously above, the rain was the last thing he wanted to see.
The news had arrived five minutes earlier as a text from Guude: they were delayed in traffic and were going to be late. For the most part, that was fine. Sev could live with the wait, but the first drops of ran had begun falling from the sky, quickly building to an all-out downpour. This time, an extra ten minutes was the difference between being relatively comfortable and dry to being absolutely soaked.
He shivered and huddled under his coat, a chill beginning to seep into his bones.
"How much longer?" a soft but peppy voice asked beside him. At the sound, Sev brightened. At the very least, he wasn't alone in his sodden misery. Chad, bright red hair sticking to his face, was stuck out here with him, and for that he was thankfully.
"Too long," Sev replied with a sigh.
"How long is too long?" Chad whined, huddling against Sev as if he'd provide some sort of protection from the rain. Water dripped down his nose pitifully and pink tinged his cheeks in protest of the icy chill.
"Twelve inches?" he replied, lips quirking with a half-smile at his own poor attempt at a joke.
Chad pulled a face in an attempt to hide his laugh and lightly smacked a hand across Sev's shoulder. "You're terrible, you know."
"Well and truly," he said with a smile. And for the moment, being stuck out in the rain wasn't so bad after all.
II. Comfort
Spirits were high on the tail-end of PAX, and despite the early hour of the morning, the infamous Mindcrack party hadn't quite come to a close. Music still hummed softly in the background, and in the lounge, a group of Mindcrackers were gathered around the coffee table with a game of cards.
Among them and quietly nestled on a sofa of their own were Chad and Sev. This time, surprisingly, it was Sev who had yawned and stretched out across Chad's lap, eyes bleary and cheeks flushed with the warmth of alcohol. Often known for early starts and late nights, Sevadus was normally the life of the party, but a long flight and the constant bustle of the convention had left him drained.
He yawned again, arms bumping with Chad's as the red-head went to play a card. Chad laughed, eyes squinting under the bright lamp, and exchanged his card for a near-empty glass. Someone else played a card and more laughter was shared among the group, the conversation lost between Sev's tired thoughts.
Sev glanced up, blinking slowly, to find Chad watching him with a small smile. It was an earnest smile, somewhat vulnerable but entirely real. It was a nice smile, Sev decided. He returned a smile of his own.
"What are ya thinking about?" Chad asked, giving Sev's shoulder a friendly tap.
Sev attempted to shrug. It came out as a sort of wiggle and he failed to muffle his laugh. Sorting through the fog, only one thing came to mind. "It's nice here, comfortable. I think we should do this more often."
And it could just as well have been his imagination, but he was sure Chad's eyes lit up with something close to glee. "Yeah. Me too."
He was also sure he wouldn't remember any of this in the morning, but for now that didn't matter. Chad was warm, this was comfortable, and everything was right in the world.
III. Gifts
"Happy birthday!" Guude exclaimed as he came bursting through the door of Chad's apartment. Practically prancing up to Chad, he rummaged through his pack and pulled out a box wrapped in gaudy red wrapping paper and a shiny white ribbon. At that moment, stumbling through the door shortly after Guude, Sevadus looked absolutely mortified.
Oh shit. A nagging weight of 'oh god I'm probably forgetting something' had been pestering him all throughout the drive here. It made him want to smack himself. How could he have forgotten about it? Of all the birthdays he could have forgotten, it just had to be this one. Of all people in all circumstances, it just had to be Chad. Sevadus felt like a complete and utter moron.
Chad stood there with a flushed face and a small grin as Guude gave him a hearty hug before handing over his gift. The two exchanged smiles and banter while Sevadus attempted to disappear in the corner, barraging himself with a string of curses and glaring at Guude for not mentioning anything, but mostly cursing at himself.
Goddammit Sev. What kind of guy goes and forgets his best friend's birthday? Big round of applause for this guy over here. Fan-fucking-tastic.
He dared to look up. Chad was glancing at him out of the corner of his eye, looking a combination between hopeful and expectant as Guude caught him up on recent events. He could already imagine the heartbreaking disappointment Chad would wear. It was like kicking a puppy. It made Sevadus want to sink into the floor with dread. And the worst part was that Chad would probably smile and tell him it's alright and that he wasn't really expecting anything anyway. He'd be perfectly honest when he said it too.
Chad was too nice for his own good and Sevadus was a terrible friend. To make matters worse, Guude then announced that he needed to duck out for a meeting as previously planned and would be back to join the celebrations later, leaving Sevadus to face crushing Chad’s bright smile all on his own.
"Sevadus!" Chad beamed after Guude left the apartment. His eyes visibly lit up as he offered Sev a friendly embrace. "It's good to see you too. It's been a while, hasn't it."
Sev stiffly returned the hug, chewing his lip. As soon as Chad pulled away he tilted his head ever-so-slightly in confusion. Sevadus took a breath, eyes flicking down in shame. He ran a hand through his hair, forcing a smile. "Happy birthday Chad! It really is great to see you as well. I've missed you heaps." He took another breath, and his words tumbled out in a rush as he swallowed his chagrin. "And I feel like an absolute dick for doing this and I'm really sorry but I forgot to get you something. I feel like a total idiot but I promise I'll make it up to you."
His shoulders dipped and he couldn't meet Chad's eye, but the brief flash of sadness that was quickly replaced by a smile was unmistakable. Now would be the perfect time to be swallowed whole by the floor.
"It's alright. I didn't ex-"
"No, really. I feel really bad and I will make it up to you, whatever way I can," Sev interrupted. The guilt pulled at his chest and flushed his skin, but even that brief flash of sadness was enough to drive Sev to think of something. Chad simply didn't deserve to be sad. He had to make up for this.
He scrambled for ideas. Bingo. "Actually, you know that fancy pizza place you like a couple of blocks away? How about I take you there for lunch. My treat," Sev announced.
He watched Chad intently, nearly sagging in relief as Chad's plastered-on smile warmed to an honest grin. "It's a date," Chad decreed. "We can even pick out a card on the way."
"It's a date," Sev confirmed. Seeing Chad smile like that, as if it was Christmas and someone had just gifted him a kitten, almost made up for forgetting his birthday in the first place. Almost.
IV. Tension
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. In the aftermath of blindfolded lego, Sevadus was not okay. With blood roaring in his ears and his heart pounding in his chest, he felt wired, on the precipice of fight or flee. His chest felt as though it was on the brink of caving in and he wasn't sure whether he was on top of the world or experiencing the worst moments of his life. All he knew was that it was all too much.
Limbs visibly shaking, he planted himself in the quietest corner he could find (which wasn't anywhere near quiet at all) and squeezed his eyes shut, trying to drown it all out. His attempts were fruitless, and the sense of panic built within him like a thick, roiling storm. He felt trapped, almost as if the walls were closing in. He wanted to escape.
But there was no escape. In the midst of the Mindcrack Marathon, everything was a constant rush of excitement and activity. It was ceaseless in waves of broken sleep and blurs of fervid camera time. The hotel was too far and his tri-caster expertise were too needed for him to do anything but seek refuge in this exposed corner. He was going to crack and this was going to end terribly. He needed to be alone.
Too caught up in his pit of adrenaline and agitation, he didn't notice as a man came to sit in front of him, legs crossed and palms open. He also nearly didn't notice when that man then laid a hand against his knee. But he felt it: a single point of warm and jarring against his imagined bubble of isolation. It burned, searing alongside the tension and frustration, and it took every ounce of his willpower not to gather everything he felt and spit it out in acidic words at the man now in front of him.
Sevadus' shoulders tensed and his lips curled back in a near-snarl but he held it in, held those feelings close, and let them burn through his own heart instead. He sagged, defeated, and what came out instead was barely a tepid murmur. "Go away."
He glared daggers at the hand against his knee, resolute and definitely not going away. Still, he couldn't find it in him to move it away himself. Instead, lips caught in a tight frown, he looked up to see who exactly refused to go away.
Chad. The red-haired man sat with an almost shy smile up for offer. His face was flushed and his eyes hinted at a tiredness almost as great as Sev's, but he held steady. Chad was an anchor of calm in the flurry of the marathon. He was comfort, he was quiet composure, he was the epitome of over-excited kitten neatly stored away to become the aura of stillness that Sev needed now.
"Please don't go away," Sevadus rectified, and Chad continued to stay put.
"You know," Chad began, his smile quirking with amusement, "it's probably horrible of me for thinking this, considering your state, but you're kind of cute when you're frustrated. Especially when you're frustrated while wearing my underwear over your head."
It was simple. It was stupid. But the laughter came easily, Sevadus' tension slipping away with each shaking breath. Chad shrugged, letting out a giggle of his own, and something about that made Sev's heart warm. He turned the observation over in his head; poked at it, studied it, and quietly filed it away.
He fished a scrap of paper out of one of his pockets, balled it up, and threw it at Chad. "Me, cute?"
Chad nodded without hesitation. "More than you know." His smile remained but something unreadable flashed in his eyes.
Sev held a denial ready on his tongue but Chad interrupted with the oh-so-polite return of the ball of paper. It smacked Sev slap-bang in the middle of his forehead before falling between his knees. Denial forgotten, he reached for the ball, gaining a grin of his own as he held his arm at the ready.
Panic gone, tension gone, frustration gone, Sevadus and Chad volleyed the paper between themselves. It was good. It was easy. They still had another five minutes before they were needed for the next segment, and everything was going to be just fine.
V. Confession
It's dark, maybe a little too cold, and far too late at night for Sevadus to still be awake. Especially when he knows he has a flight to catch later in the morning. His roommate, Chad, still isn't back either. But in his defence, Chad lives only a short drive from the hotel used for the Mindcrack Marathon, and could theoretically go home whenever he likes.
Too soon, Sevadus concludes. He'll be leaving too soon.
The charity marathon has been absolutely amazing. It's been a chaotic swirl of excitement, energy, and a hundred ups and downs of emotional turmoil. It's been the best forty-eight hours of his life. Ever. He wants to do it all again. Even as he lays here, his body begging for sleep, he remains awake and reliving the past two days in HD-imagination detail.
He knows he should sleep, but he's tried and he can't. His heart beats too fast and everything is coated in a hazy euphoria. His thought swirl messily in his head and he blatantly ignores the electric red of the clock sitting on the table.
A rattle sounds from the hallway into the room and he closes his eyes. The lock clicks, a sliver of light pierces through the darkness, and then the door shuts with a softened thud. Sev follows the sound of footsteps into the hotel room until they stop.
"Sev?" Chad whispers, voice straining between barely audible and far too loud for this time of night. "You awake?"
Sevadus makes a conscious attempt to slow his breathing and relax his body. He doesn't want Chad to worry. They both need the sleep.
"No? Not awake then," Chad says, and Sev notices how the words come uneasy: slurred with hesitance and a lulling pitch. He briefly recalls snippets of a conversation about celebration and bars. Sevadus had gone straight to the hotel, do not pass go, as if that had helped him get some sleep.
He hears the sounds of Chad settling down for night and he makes a meaningful attempt at sleep. Again, it's fruitless. So he lays there, eyes shut, and continues to think about the events of the Marathon. Maybe if he daydreams for long enough, he'll melt into sleep and won't feel quite as shit when he wakes up in the morning.
He's almost there, caught at the ethereal precipice just before the beginnings of true sleep when something wakes him. There's a disturbance on his bed: an unusual dip in the mattress not created by his own weight. His breath hitches, bordering on confusion and fear, but he remains still.
Chad's voice breaks through the darkness, soft and warm. The name comes out almost as a sigh. "Sev," he says, and there's a rawness to it. Whether that be from tiredness, overuse, or maybe something else, Sevadus is unable to tell.
The weight shifts and Sev can hear the way Chad reigns in his breath and steadies it to the pattern of the clock. In two three, out two three, in two three... It hitches again and Chad repeats the cycle. Sevadus doesn't move.
Finally, "I know you're asleep right now but I need to say this, even just for myself or I- I just don't know what I'll do."
And Sev knows he shouldn't be hearing this. Knows he should move or startle or make some kind of noise, but there's curiosity too. It burns at the edge of his senses, and as much as he shouldn't listen, he doesn't make a move. Instead, he focuses on slowing his breathing and keeping his body soft and pliant as if he truly were asleep.
He feels fingers brush through his hair and it takes a tremendous effort not to startle, but he perseveres. Chad does this a couple more times before sighing. Sevadus can imagine him battling through the procrastination and he forces back a smile.
"Look, Sev- Matt," Chad says and the hesitance is still there, the words rasping past his lips as if it weren't voluntary.
Sevadus' heart fumbles at the use of his real name, and a thousand thoughts race past his head, outlining all the scenarios and secrets that could be serious enough to lead to this sort of confession.
"You're my best friend," Chad continues, "bestest best friend, even. And... Well I've been thinking- I've been feeling- No. This is stupid." Breathe in, breathe out. It isn't hard for Sev to imagine his conflicted expression: the way his forehead would crease and his lips would turn into a pout at the pinnacle of a major decision. He's seen it, both face to face, and through the other side of a Skype call during the times where Chad had turned to him for advice over one thing or another.
"Not stupid," Chad mutters to himself. He takes another breath and soldiers on. "I'm still trying to come to terms with it myself. I mean, you really are my best friend and I don't know how much of this is that or me reading too much into things or just not knowing how to handle myself..."
Sev finds himself holding his breath. He's uncertain, but he can almost guess what Chad wants to say. He ignores it, doesn't think about it, and lets Chad say it for himself.
"I meant it when I called you cute." There's a warmness to Chad's words - a kind of fondness that surrounds Sev like a soft blanket or a warm bath on a cool night. It's not an unfamiliar feeling. Chad seems to have made a habit out of it: making bad situations a hell of a lot better. It feels natural. It's what friends do.
Chad shuffles on the bed and Sev can hear the rhythmic tap of something being anxiously fiddled with between fingers. He tries not to think about Chad's last statement. It doesn't work. He finds himself carefully assessing his own reaction as if drawing up a table of experimental results for a thesis. This probably shouldn't be the way he approaches this, but it's familiar, and for the most part, it works.
"Matt," Chad whispers, as if once again checking to see if he's awake. Sevadus doesn't stir. "I think- I think I like you." Sevadus can hear the hard swallow and the quickening of breath. He doesn't need the explanation, but still he waits for it.
As if reading him, Chad goes on, "like, like like you- man that's a lot of likes but you get my point. Not that you're getting any of this right now. Probably dreaming of much better things than me confessing my big dumb feelings." The words come out in a rush, mincing together and falling apart.
Sevadus doesn’t breathe, doesn't move, doesn't think. The weight eases up from the bed and pads away. He remains frozen.
"There, it's out. Maybe I'll tell you this in the morning. Maybe I won't tell you at all." There's defeat there, but also a hint of relief in the way Chad's tone evens and his breathing steadies. Eventually, springs squeak on the other side of the room. "Goodnight, Sev," he says.
Sevadus doesn't say it back.
Hypothesis, method, observations, results, conclusion. He works through the steps methodically, ignoring the taunting red of the clock beside him. He analyses, compiles, extrapolates. He works through every thought and feeling like a piece of data, poking and prodding, seeing what fits. He synthesises, experiments, sorts through the words. I like you. Like like you.
His heart pounds and he can feel the tension working through his body as he tries to work this out. Rain, comfort, gifts, tension: every memory and experience they've shared. It's all there and he reads it like a report, not a single detail missed.
It's verging on 6am when he finally comes to a conclusion.
He stares at the cracks of light forcing their way between the blinds. It lights the room with a magnificent red. He nearly laughs at the irony. Then, he lets it all come crashing down over him. Every feeling, every thought, every conversation. It sears his veins and closes in on his chest.
Despite this, there's a numbness to it all when the words finally spill from his lips.
"I'm sorry," he says, and hopes to the heavens that Chad's still asleep when he leaves for the airport.
~ ~ ~

Date: Saturday, December 26th, 2015 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] peanut_emma
you broke me with the feels, this fic
Its so good, so well written, the best chevadus ive read in a LONG time, if ever

Date: Saturday, December 26th, 2015 01:51 pm (UTC)
yamina_chan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yamina_chan
As much as I don't favor the real-person-fics in general, your writing makes up for that.
It was easy to read and I like the fact that you have Sev time to think and come to a conclusion at the end instead of a spontaneous, emotionally based decision.
Well done =)

Date: Saturday, December 26th, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC)
ladiesofthrones: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladiesofthrones
<3 <3

Date: Saturday, December 26th, 2015 04:21 pm (UTC)
ruddiestbubbles: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ruddiestbubbles
Aww so cute!

Date: Sunday, December 27th, 2015 07:45 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That was magnificent. I love Chevadus, and a whole bunch of cute minifics about them is awesome. I think I liked the fourth one best, with the ball of paper. That made me laugh. Your writing is great.

-the lurkiest lurker


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