Michael stared at the posters across his bed. His moms didn't want to hang them since he always had a particular way he liked doing this. But he couldn't even reach up to hang them, not while in the chair. None of his posters had been hung up yet and he had been staring at them for almost half an hour. Well, not a full half an hour since Sunny needed to be let out in the backyard and given food, but close enough to it.
There was a knock at the door to his new room. “Hey, Mikey! Can I come in?” Jeremy called, sounding far too happy for Michael’s melancholy mood.
"Yeah," Michael called, rolling away from his bed (rolling himself around was tiring).
Jeremy opened the door and poked his head in, smiling at Michael sweetly. “Hi! I’m here to help with the posters since I’m clearly the only other person who can understand your complex artistry.” He grinned, coming into the room and wandering over to Michael. He bent over and gave Michael a sweet peck on the forehead.
"Thanks." Sunny came in, bolting over and nuzzling against Jeremy then Michael. He couldn't feel her head against his legs before she hopped up into his lap. "Hi, baby girl."
Sunny yipped excitedly before leaning her head against his shoulder, asking for cuddles. “Something tells me she’s feeling as affectionate as I am.” Jeremy chuckled as he picked up the first poster and started putting the blue tac on the back of it. Michael didn’t even need to direct Jeremy before he was putting up in the exact perfect place.
"I guess so," Michael murmured as he wrapped his arms around Sunny. He rested his head against hers as he watched Jeremy work, feeling bad for not being able to help or, well, do anything.
“Stop that,” Jeremy said, telling him off with a light and playful edge to his voice even if Michael could tell he was being serious. “You’re being mean to yourself again. You gotta stop it. You promised , Mikey.”
Michael looked over at Jeremy as he got some more blue tac. "How can you even tell that I'm doing that?"
“I have no idea.” Jeremy shrugged. “I just get a feeling when people aren’t being positive about themselves, but it’s especially prominent around you.” He put up the next poster, still talking as he did. “It’s like this nagging tingle at the back of my head. Not painful or anything. Just weird and uncomfortable.”
"Well, you're a fallen angel now," Michael said as Sunny nuzzled against his neck. "Maybe that has something to do with it? I dunno..."
“Well, Squip said he was making me into a pride demon, so that’s probably a factor.” Jeremy shrugged. “I was part of the way through the transformation when I ‘died’ so part of it probably lingered. Maybe the good parts though, so I can help people hopefully.” He got to work on the next poster.
Michael hummed as he tried and failed to think on what that might mean. His brain wasn't working at all. "And... you do that by knowing when I'm mentally talking bad about myself?"
“I can sense when you’re tearing yourself down so I can intervene and help rebuild the pride you’ve lost for yourself,” Jeremy explained patiently. “It’s strongest when I’m near you, but I’ve caught dad and Mama both being mean to themselves too.”
"I had pride to begin with?"
Jeremy snorted at that. “Yes, you did. I knew that even before I got these powers.” He moved on to the next poster. “It was a quiet, reserved sort of pride, but pride nonetheless.”
"Huh." Michael pet Sunny's back and cracked a smile at how she growled oh so happily.
Jeremy glanced over and shot Michael a wink, grinning at him brightly. “You make Sunny so happy, Mikey. And you make me beyond happy too.” He hummed casually as he kept working,
Michael felt his cheeks warm up a little as he held Sunny just a smidge closer. He glanced to see the work that Jeremy was doing. Somehow, he knew exactly how Michael wanted his posters hung. It was different from how they looked before, but Jeremy somehow knew where he would have placed each one perfectly.
Jeremy glanced over at Michael as he went to grab the next poster. “I know how you want them because I know you , Mikey.” He chuckled. Michael could only gape at him. How did he know...? “I can read your expression, Mikey, not your mind.”
“Am I really that easy to read? I thought I wasn’t but I can’t really see my expressions when I’m talking or thinking or anything.”
Jeremy giggled and walked over to Michael. He rested his hands on the arms of Michael’s chair as he bent down and kissed Michael’s forehead. “I’ve been reading your expressions for twelve years now, hun. I’ve had plenty of practice.”
“Yeah, that’s true,” Michael murmured with warm cheeks. “Just like how I’ve had practice with you.”
Jeremy booped Michael’s nose gently. “Exactly,” he hummed with a grin. Since when was he so relaxed and confident?!
Michael pulled a hand away from Sunny, who only whined for a moment, to reach up and cup one of Jeremy's cheeks. "This is a new side to you. It's relaxed and comfortable with yourself to the point of seemingly being confident. What happened? Not saying that this is a bad thing or anything, but I'm honestly curious."
That sent a little color to Jeremy’s cheeks. He didn’t stop smiling though as he leaned into the touch. “Well that’s an easy one: I have you. You like me back. How could I
feel better about myself knowing that the best person in the whole world likes me enough to want to date me?”
"Oh my god, you are such a sap. You're going to give me cavities or something," Michael said around a laugh. "I mean, I can argue about the part when you say that I'm the best person in the whole world, but that won't get us anywhere."
“Not at all, since it’s you.” Jeremy kissed Michael’s wrist. “It’s always been you. You’re the reason I’m alive, Mikey. And you brought me back to life as an angel. You’re amazing and clearly the best.”
Michael shook his head. "Your love and devotion brought you back to life, and you saved my life many times, before you literally brought me back to life. Like I said though, this won't get us anywhere because we won't budge on our points."
“I guess you’re right.” Jeremy chuckled, pulling back. He turned to go back to sorting out the posters.
Before he left to continue, Michael reached and gently held onto Jeremy's wrist. "Thank you, Jeremy."
Jeremy quirked an eyebrow and smiled before kneeling down next to Michael. It set them at about their former height difference, which was sort of painful but also familiar and nostalgic. “Of course, Michael. You’re my favorite person, always, and you deserve to feel just as special as I know you are.”
Michael sniffled as he nodded, gently squeezing Jeremy's wrist. "Still, thank you."
Jeremy leaned up to kiss Michael’s cheek. “Can I... kiss your lips please?” he asked softly.
"You can, but I don't know if Sunny'll bump you or anything," Michael murmured, gently squeezing the dog as she let out a huff.
Jeremy chuckled at that. “I think she’ll be okay.” With that, Jeremy leaned closer and hesitantly connected their lips. The kiss was soft and sweet, testing how it was. They hadn’t really kissed yet, only a couple of brief times.
Michael shut his eyes, but he quickly opened them as their glasses clanked together. "Ow, okay, I keep forgetting about that," he murmured, ignoring the huffs Sunny let out that vaguely sounded like laughter.
Jeremy chuckled and lifted off first his glasses, then Michael’s. He reconnected their lips a bit more easily.
After shutting his eyes again, Michael let himself focus on the soft feeling of Jeremy's lips against his own. It was nice and sweet, though Michael couldn't see himself doing this for hours on end like books and movies and TV showed. This felt like a nice reminder of who he had and their feelings, but he couldn't lose himself in this. Well, maybe he could, but not right now. This was too sweet and nice for Michael to lose himself in.
When Jeremy pulled back, he was grinning dazedly. “Wow. That... that was really nice.”
Michael nodded in agreement. "It really was." Sunny shifted herself against Michael to whine. "What? Did you not think it was 'cause I stopped petting you?"
Jeremy giggled and stroked Sunny for a moment before putting their glasses back on. “There you go, Sunny. He’s all yours.”
Sunny growled happily as she nuzzled against Michael's shoulder. "Geez, she's so greedy," Michael almost sang before pressing a few kisses to Sunny's face.
“She is,” Jeremy agreed happily before standing back up and heading over to the new, low desk where the rest of the posters were. “But she’s amazing so she’s allowed to be.”
"I mean, I can agree to an extent ," Michael said as he pet Sunny's sides.
Jeremy snickered, picking up Michael’s Apocalypse of the Damned poster before nodding and sticking it up above his bed.
"You're going to have to help me make something else though," Michael said before pointing to a section on the wall. "I want that area free for the thing I'm planning on making."
“Sure. Just instruct me, hun, I’m yours to command.” Jeremy grinned as he grabbed the next posters. It was the collage of pictures of them through the years which Jeremy had made him for his sixteenth birthday. Jeremy stuck it next to the window, which was in line with the direction Michael would face when he woke up. That was perfect.
"Well, I wanna try to do something artsy there. I dunno what yet, but I want it to be something that means a lot to me."
Jeremy nodded. “Well, when you’re ready, just let me know. You know I love doing custom projects.” He grinned.
“Yeah, that’s partially why I wanted your help,” Michael murmured as he nuzzled against Sunny. A slight wave of exhaustion washed over him, probably from all of his negative thinking and overall bad mood from before. Plus, Sunny was just so snuggly and warm.
Jeremy glanced over as he finished up the last poster. “You wanna lie down and nap for a bit, Mikey?” he asked gently after a moment.
“Yeah. I’ve already worn myself out,” Michael explained, biting back a negative statement he was going to add. He didn’t need that. It was alright that he was tired.
Jeremy didn’t comment on it, instead just smiling and wandering over to Michael. “Do you want some help getting all tucked in and cozy? And would you be opposed to another bedmate? Since I know Sunny is a given.” He kissed Michael’s forehead again before playing with Michael’s hair.
“Yes and I wouldn’t mind,” Michael said before holding onto his wheels. He rolled himself over to the edge of his bed, though didn’t deny help from Jeremy to get into bed. He still hadn’t gotten the hang of that yet. “Thanks, Remy.”
“Of course.” Jeremy smiled as he toed off his shoes and climbed in, curling up next to Michael with a happy sigh. Sunny hopped up on Michael’s other side, lying across them both.
Michael shifted his arms around to get comfortable, but he took off his and Jeremy’s glasses to put to the side. “Mm... What time is it, by the way? Ina said she’s bringing food home for dinner, though it’s gonna be us three. Mama’s got a night shift.”
“It’s only about four-ish. We have time.” Jeremy hummed softly, closing his eyes. “Hey Mikey? Can I just... ask you a weird question, please?”
“Yeah, of course,” Michael said as he shut his eyes as he let himself relax.
“Do you think it’s strange I can feel a sort of... pull to you? Like, almost a physical feeling in my chest.” He sounded vulnerable, but Michael found his chest warming up. He understood that feeling; if he focused, he could almost feel it too.
“I mean, I can feel it too now that you mention that. Maybe it’s a thing because of the whole fallen angel thing?”
“Maybe.” Jeremy hummed. “But it also feels much older than that. I like it,” he confessed quietly. “I like feeling so connected to you. It makes me feel good. I’m sure there’s a better word for it but I can’t think of what I mean properly right now.”
Michael hummed in understanding as he tried to think on what Jeremy might have meant. “It makes you feel... whole?”
“Yeah! That’s it.” Jeremy nuzzled against Michael’s shoulder.
“Well, glad to know that the feeling’s mutual. Granted, I just realized that I have this feeling, but still.”
“Yeah.” Jeremy giggled sleepily. “Hey Mikey? I love you.”
“I love you too, Remy,” Michael murmured as he nuzzled against Jeremy.
Jeremy was feeling squirmy and uncomfortable. It had been a few days since he last saw Michael, and he really felt... off. Like his insides had shifted two inches to the left while the rest of him stayed where it was. He really didn’t like this. It was like he was fading away.
Which was why he decided to go and visit Michael. It was spring break and Jeremy knew Michael would be home.
After walking to Michael’s house without incident, Jeremy knocked on the door and waited. His stomach churned as he waited, though he heard Sunny’s barking and the sound of Michael wheeling over. “I’m coming.”
As soon as the door opened, warmth flooded Jeremy’s veins and the ice he didn’t realise was forming in his chest melted. He almost slumped over in relief.
“Hey Mikey,” he breathed. “How are you?”
“Hey Remy. I’m doing alright but I’m feeling a bit lethargic,” Michael admitted as he smiled at Jeremy. Sunny barked happily as she walked in place. “Sunny also says ‘hi.’”
“Hi, angel baby,” Jeremy cooed, running his hand through his hair. God, he felt so much better already. “I’ve been feeling kinda shitty too, if I’m honest. That’s why I figured coming to see you would be the cure.”
“Well, why don’t you come on in? Playing video games can only entertain me for so long in one sitting.”
Jeremy managed to grin at Michael and followed him inside. “So, what’s been bothering you to make you feel lethargic?” he asked, flopping down on the couch.
“I... have no idea. I just have been feeling like that,” Michael explained as he parked his chair next to the couch and managed to sit next to Jeremy.
Jeremy wrapped his arms around Michael, feeling even more settled than before. “I mean, same here. I’ve felt... gross. And colder than usual since yesterday,” he admitted, tugging Michael onto his lap. Hey, if he was gonna have super strength from being a fallen angel, he might as well enjoy it, right?
“You’ve felt colder? I mean, I’ve been feeling grosser, but not colder,” Michael murmured as he rested his head against Jeremy’s shoulder. Sunny huffed and sneezed before jumping up and sitting next to the two of them.
“Yeah, it’s been... not nice.” Jeremy sighed, resting his forehead against Michael’s shoulder. “I haven’t felt that cold in weeks, actually. Not since I became a fallen angel.”
“Well, that’s interesting. I...” Michael sighed as he looked at Jeremy. “Is there any weird magic reason for this because I’m feeling a lot better now that you’re with me. Well, I’m starting to feel better but... Yeah.”
“Same here.” The ice in his chest was still in the process of melting, but it was happening. “Hey Sunny, is there a magic reason for this or are we just codependent?” He was genuinely curious to figure out her answer to this. She couldn’t exactly speak English, but she was an Angel. If anyone knew, it would be her.
Sunny looked up from where she settled to look at Jeremy. She sneezed once and seemed to nod as she scooted closer to the pair.
“So there is? Good to know.” He hummed before realizing something. “Was I cold because the demon magic was trying to re-energize itself?”
Sunny seemingly nodded again before resting her head on Jeremy's thigh.
“Well shit!” He started stroking her gently. “And... was the magic that made me an Angel sort of going unstable because I was away from Michael? And that’s why he’d felt gross too, since it’s that magic that brought him back?” She might not have been able to talk, but Jeremy was pretty sure this knowledge wasn’t in his head a moment ago. Sunny was pretty damn talented.
Again, Sunny nodded before shutting her eyes. "Holy shit. How did you know all of that?"
Jeremy looked down at Sunny questioningly. She glanced up at Michael before looking at Jeremy and nodding. Then she got comfy again and closed her eyes. “Sunny told me.” He sighed, squeezing Michael. “She’s the expert here.”
Michael blinked as he looked between Sunny and Jeremy. "But... how? I know she's my guardian angel, that's still weird to think about, but she wasn't talking."
“I think she did some angel magic.” Jeremy shrugged. “I just knew.”
"Oh wow, that's impressive," Michael murmured as he looked down at Sunny. "Just how powerful are you?" A series of sneezes was the only response Sunny gave.
Jeremy chuckled at that. “She can’t be giving away all her secrets.” He sighed. “But, I guess this just confirms what I already knew. I need to be close to you.” He pressed a loving kiss to Michael’s temple.
"I didn't think that I was that important, but I'm glad to know that we're sort of bound by magic now." Michael pressed a kiss in return to Jermey's cheek.
“Oh, I’ve known this long before I became an angel, Mikey. I’ve needed to be close to you since the day we met.”
"Aww." Michael rested his head on Jeremy's shoulder once more before grinning giddily up at Jeremy. "You're so sweet. Seriously, you're lucky my moms have dental for me."
Jeremy chuckled. “You think I’m joking, Mikey, but I’m not. Being close to you, knowing you’re happy and safe, they’re as essential to me as breathing,” he murmured. “Sure, this has made it stronger, but even before the magic appeared, I knew I needed to be near you.”
Michael let out a laugh then, one of slight confusion. “Is it bad to say I sort of get what you mean? Because all of this totally doesn’t sound healthy. It sounds like unhealthy codependency.”
“Just a little bit,” Jeremy admitted with a laugh of his own. “But yeah. Something tells me that there is something bigger than either of us can understand going on with all this. Why we feel this way and all the strangeness and stuff… I’ve got a strong feeling that maybe we’ll find out answers soon, even if we don’t want to.” He sighed heavily before moving on.
“In any case, at least we’ve grown in the past few weeks. We actually have an existence outside of each other now, since I’m not dependent on you to literally survive school anymore. Now it’s just surviving the boredom and crowds.”
“Well, it seems like we have to be near each other to literally survive as well. Well, to comfortably survive, which I’m completely alright with,” Michael admitted as he fiddled with his new hoodie hem (it was a new yellow hoodie).
“So am I. Like I said, it’s as important to me as breathing.” Jeremy got an idea to help break the tension a little. “Speaking of-“ He squeezed his arms carefully around Michael and buried his face against his hair, taking a deep, long, loud sniff in the most comical way possible.
After a few moments of silence, Michael just burst out laughing. Jeremy hadn’t heard him laugh like this in ages. He was snorting and grasping at his stomach as he almost doubled over. “Oh- Oh my god , Remy. I haven’t washed my hair yet! That’s nasty hair right now!” Sunny stared at Michael as he laughed, head cocked to the side as her tail wagged oh so fast.
Jeremy curled around him some more, leaning so his face was still against Michael’s hair. “No! Don’t move away! I need that sweet, sweet Michael smell!” he cried dramatically, taking another long sniff, then sniffing wherever he could reach in the same way Sunny would, still keeping it loud and comical.
“It’s gross, sweaty hair! You’re nasty,” Michael cried in return as he snorted a few times and tried to move. “You’re a nasty, creepy boy who enjoys sweat!”
“Come here, Mikey! I need to snoof you!” Being careful of Sunny, Jeremy wrapped his legs around Michael’s, tangling them together before rolling onto his side, bringing Michael with him. He stopped his sniffing and had to take a second before he could speak. His laughter didn’t stop, fueled by Michael’s own laughter.
“You’re god damn insane, Jeremy Heere,” Michael managed to say between his first of laughter. “Sunny, help!”
Sunny watched from where she moved at one end of the couch, barking and yipping at Jeremy before curling up. “That did nothing! Traitor!”
“Of course I’m crazy, Mikey.” Jeremy grinned, nuzzling against the back of Michael’s neck and relaxing. “I’m crazy about you .” He pressed a kiss where he was before he gently started rubbing Michael’s stomach, knowing that when he laughed a lot, Michael could sometimes strain himself there. It had been a while since he’d laughed so freely, so Jeremy wasn’t taking any chances when it came to making sure this remained a good moment.
Michael flinched at first, as his stomach was always sensitive, before relaxing. “Yeah, you’re crazy for me and just crazy in general,” he muttered before pouting over at Sunny. “Seriously, you did nothing to help me. And you’re supposed to be my support animal and guardian angel.” He just got a sneeze and Sunny cuddling near his head in response.
“Maybe it’s because I’m your angel too. Your fallen angel.” Jeremy hummed, closing his eyes.
“Maybe, but still. I call bullshittery.”
“You caught us.” Jeremy snickered. “We’re in allegiance. Our goal is to both snoof you as much as possible.” He did a couple more playful sniffs where he was, and Sunny even joined in, sniffing Michael’s hair and ear before lying back down and cuddling up against him.
“You two are im possible, honestly,” Michael muttered, but Jeremy could hear the smile in his voice.
“I’m a weirdo and she’s an angel. It’s kinda a given,” Jeremy teased softly. “At least we’re both entirely yours.”
“Yeah, at least there’s that.”