George drifted in and out of consciousness, curling into the soft warmth that was partially wrapped around him.
After what could have been seconds, minutes – even hours – he awoke. His mind was hazy, but even without opening his eyes, he felt Dream beside him. Not only beside him — over him. The man’s slender bare arms were draped over George’s shoulder and waist, and George’s face was pressed into the crook of his neck.
Peeling his eyes open, George risked a glance at Dream’s face. The early morning light filtered in from the window above him to illuminate his features. His eyes were shut, dark honey-coloured eyelashes just barely brushing his cheekbones. The weak light shone through Dream’s hair, making the strands look pale golden among the floating dust motes. His mouth hung half-open in relaxation, and his breathing was deep and even. George could feel the slow rise and fall of his chest, bare and warm against George’s tank top.
He let himself stay there for a moment, revel in the peace, warmth, and security their embrace provided. He could even smell Dream’s minty scent, knowing it was from the shampoo he’d borrowed from George. It filled him with a strange sense of satisfaction knowing that they shared the same shampoo. That they smelled of each other now.
Though this was somewhat enjoyable, George knew he needed to move.
Slowly, as not to wake him, George shifted away from Dream’s warmth and over to the side of the bed he had started off on, ignoring the slight twinge of regret when Dream’s arms slid away from him. Letting out a sigh of what was mostly relief (George still hated physical intimacy, even if it was just a hug – so why did he feel at home in Dream’s arms?), George let his eyes fall shut, and sleep found him once again.
He squinted his eyes open to see that Dream was still shirtless, and currently staring down at him, an unreadable look in his eyes. The bright light of midday flooding in despite the blinds emphasized the crystalline formations in Dream’s irises even from a foot or two away, and George was captivated by them.
“‘Morning, sunshine,” Dream grinned. “How’d you sleep?”
Dream’s morning voice was really something else. Deep and husky, it incited a thrill of excitement in him. George wasn’t sure why he would be surprised – anything Dream did was attractive somehow. To everyone.
Though, how anyone could smile in the morning, let alone speak full sentences, was beyond George. He was the opposite of a morning person, and hated interacting with anyone before noon. That being said, Dream was an exception for a lot of his internal rules. So, George gathered up his energy and smiled back. The smile immediately dissolved into a frown again when he felt something crusty pulling at the corner of his mouth. He aggressively wiped the dried drool away with his hand, pulling a disgusted face, and Dream laughed at him.
“Good, thanks. Howbout you are youfeelin better?” George could only mumble.
“Much,” answered Dream. He hesitated, looking down at his hands. “Thank you for last night.”
Right. Last night. George had been hesitant to go in, knowing the type of commitment that was required in person this time, instead of over the phone. He knew that Dream needed him, though, so he’d opened the door and prepared to comfort him. Seeing Dream shirtless, however, had momentarily stalled him, until he’d looked at George with the most excruciating expression. Then, worry had consumed him.
Sleeping in the same bed as Dream, however shirtless, felt strangely natural to George. Being best friends, it seemed, was removing a lot of his subconscious apprehension about intimacy, and sleeping next to someone was intimate in its own right.
“No problem; mm glad I could help,” George answered honestly, still barely moving his lips. He rubbed at his eyes, hoping to wake up enough to carry out a proper conversation.
They were quiet for a second. Dream played with a fraying thread on the comforter; George watched him do it.
“So, what are we doing today? After breakfast, of course,” Dream added with a grin. George grinned back.
“Of course. Umm… I sort of made a list?” He didn’t know why he phrased it as a question, only that he thought it seemed a little weird when admitted aloud. “We can pick something to do from that whenever we’re out of ideas.”
“Look at you,” Dream teased. “So prepared. You’re like a mom.”
George was beginning to get uncomfortable with the amount of times Dream had compared him to a mother. “That’s, like, the fifth time you’ve called me that. Mommy issues, Dream?”
Dream made a face, his cheeks flushing. “No way,” he defended with an uncomfortable chuckle.
George giggled at the other man’s expression. “Whatever you say, Dream. Don’t worry, everyone’s got some issues.”
Dream shook his head at him in mock frustration. “You’re an idiot. So, should we get some breakfast? We need to get ready, too, if we’re going anywhere.”
George snorted at the quick subject change. “Sure.”
After they’d eaten breakfast and Dream had met Tiger (she’d been much too scared to emerge the day before, preferring to hide underneath George’s bed until he was safely in the guest room), who warmed up to him pretty quickly, the boys got ready and reconvened at the kitchen counter.
They slid onto stools next to each other and George propped his phone up on the countertop between them. He’d added to the list since he first started it, and now they had more possible activities to do.
“So,” he began, swiping to the Notes app, “I came up with going out – for dinner or something else, doesn’t matter – uh… having a movie marathon, karaoke night, arts and crafts, a card game –”
“Hold on,” Dream cut him off with a lifted hand, already wheezing. “Did you get these off the internet?”
George pressed his lips together, feeling his cheeks redden. “No…”
Dream threw his head back and cackled. “You definitely looked up ‘things to do with friends,’ didn’t you.” He took one look at George’s face and wheezed again at whatever he saw. “That’s rich!”
“Shut up,” George grumbled. He went back to reading the list. “Go for a walk? No, let’s remove that one… I think that’s it. Which do you like better?” He asked, risking a glance at Dream. Thankfully, the other man had composed himself somewhat and was already looking at George.
“Hm… I kinda like the karaoke idea.” Dream grinned widely. Shit.
“No way,” George protested.
“Yes, way. Karaoke is on the list; I want to do it. Unless you’re going back on your word?” Dream raised his eyebrows knowingly.
George grumbled. “I don’t even know why I put that on the list. Of course you would choose karaoke, out of all of the perfectly good options.”
“Karaoke is a perfectly good option. Plus, I want to hear you sing.” Dream grinned, nudging George’s shoulder with his own.
This would not go well, George knew. Still, he forced a smile and said, “Just warning you, I’m sort of shit at singing.”
“That’s fine,” Dream replied, winking. “I’ll pop off enough for the both of us.”
“Perfect.” George rolled his eyes.
“When do you think we should go? Maybe after dinner?”
“Sounds good, I guess.” George checked the time. “While I wait to embarrass myself… You up for some Minecraft? Sapnap is streaming, and Karl and Quackity probably aren’t up to joining yet. I’m sure his chat is begging for us, anyway.”
“True,” Dream agreed with a grin. “Can’t wait to freak chat out again by talking through the same mic.” He winked.
“Really.” George raised an eyebrow. “You’re going to try to fit your computer on the desk next to me?” Dream nodded. “Good luck with that.”
Dream stuck out his tongue in reply and pushed off the stool, heading into the spare bedroom to retrieve his computer. Meanwhile, George went to his room to boot up Minecraft.
Once he was successfully logged on and DMing Sapnap for the server IP, Dream entered, lugging a chunky 2000s-looking computer along with a bundle of cords. He grunted as he set it down on the floor next to George’s desk.
“Oh my gosh, how old is that thing?”
“Eh, ‘few years.”
It looked more than “a few years” old, but George kept quiet. “...Okay then. Set up, and we’ll join the world and Sapnap’s call.”
“Alright, Mr. Bossy,” Dream snarked.
“Mr. Bossy?” George broke into laughter, glancing up at Dream, who stood behind him. “What are you, two?”
Dream chuckled, dark blond hair falling over his forehead as he crouched under the desk to plug everything in. George turned back to his monitor as he entered the IP Sapnap had provided.
Dream’s bare arm brushed against the exposed skin of George’s ankle, and he reflexively shifted his leg away. Dream gave no indication that he’d noticed, continuing to plug cords into the outlet power strip.
Finally, after a few seconds – that felt like minutes, since George was hyper-aware of his closeness – Dream straightened up just to the left of George. “God, George, your desk is a mess.”
George shrugged without looking up, focused on the loading screen.
Wheezing, Dream said, “George! You’re not even gonna help me? Clear some of your shit off!”
“Um… I’m good!” George stated brightly. He started on his way to find Sapnap in-game, who had fled several blocks away from spawn after hitting George with his bare hand right off the bat.
SAPNAP JOIN VC, he typed in the in-game chat. A second later, his other monitor bleeped with the noise of Sapnap joining the Discord call he’d been sitting in alone. As this happened, Dream dragged in a stool he’d retrieved from the kitchen and set it up beside George.
“Sapnap!” George yelled, directly into his microphone.
“What’s up?” Sapnap asked, his deep voice sleepy-sounding, as it usually was.
It was at this moment that Dream chose to unceremoniously shove everything off of half of George’s desk to make way for the monstrosity he called a computer. Pens, batteries, his cricket ball — all went tumbling to the ground with a clatter. The mess of papers, Dream gathered into a neat stack, then dropped them unceremoniously atop the clutter too.
Well, at least he hadn’t shoved them off like everything else. Then there would be a serious problem.
George gaped at him, fingers flying off the keyboard as his hands hovered just above in shock.
“Dream! What the hell?! My- I had-” He couldn’t form a proper sentence. His jaw hung open, his eyes were wide, and he was sure it looked ridiculous.
Dream looked at him for all of two seconds before he started wheezing, doubling over – confirming George’s thought.
“What just happened?” Sapnap asked, laughing already.
“Dream just – knocked all the stuff off my desk!” George was partly frustrated, partly amused – more frustrated, though. “To make room for his stupid computer thing!”
Sapnap giggled into the call.
“‘Thing’? What do you mean, ‘thing’? It’s still a computer, George,” Dream argued through his laughter. Sapnap laughed even harder, and George could see that Sapnap’s stream chat was ‘LMAO’-ing along.
“Alright, alright, enough! Let’s just play the game.” George rolled his eyes. “You’re cleaning that up later, Dream.” George set his gamemode to Creative and started running aimlessly, placing blocks underneath him all over the server.
“Of course,” Dream answered as if it was obvious, finally sitting down on his stool. He could tell it had been a struggle to lug the “computer” onto the desk from Dream’s laboured breathing and grunts, and it gave him some amount of satisfaction.
George had doubted the ability of Dream’s “computer” to run the game, but it seemed to be running fine so far, if not slowly.
“This is still my stream, just to be clear,” Sapnap stated. “You aren’t allowed to steal the show anymore, okay Dream? I’m the main character here.”
“No promises,” Dream smiled into George’s mic, partially leaning in front of him. As expected, Sapnap’s chat was freaking out again, hearing Dream speak that closely into George’s mic. He shifted it closer to Dream so he wouldn’t have to lean so far over.
“Are you going to join or what? George is only interesting when you’re here,” Sapnap joked.
“Shut up, Sapnap,” George shot back. Dream chuckled.
“I’m joining, I’m joining. The computer that I brought isn’t exactly as high quality as my PC.”
“Oh, like you, a millionaire, can’t afford a good computer. Yeah, right.” Sapnap’s eye roll was almost audible.
“You know what, Sapnap?” Dream started.
“...Fuck you,” he mumbled. George and Sapnap burst out laughing.
“Nice one, Dream.” Sapnap’s character shook his head in George’s view.
Finally, Dream joined the game, and they convened at spawn.
“So boys, what should we do?” Sapnap asked. His chair creaked through his mic as he shifted.
“I don’t know,” George answered unhelpfully.
“Umm… We could do, like, a manhunt. For fun.” Dream suggested.
“Hmm, all right. I’ll run, you guys hunt. Gogy is useless, anyway.” Sapnap ran away while George sputtered in objection. Dream laughed at him, glancing over. George had almost forgotten they were in the same room; it already felt so natural.
“Oh Sapnap,” Dream sang out, already closing in on Sapnap, who had paused to get wood.
“Ah!” He shouted, abandoning the tree and hopping away.
An hour or two later, Dream had slain Sapnap so many times that the other man refused to acknowledge the number (by George’s count, it was thirteen). After the Texan had loudly complained – well, whined was a better word – for the hundredth time, the boys had given up on the manhunt side of things, just running around in Creative. Karl had joined VC, and he and Sapnap were cajoling Quackity to join as well. Restless from their hours of Minecraft and excited - or nervous - for the night ahead of them, George and Dream took their leave, laughing at Karl’s passive-aggressive jabs and Sapnap’s blatant begging for them to stay. Quackity joined at the last second to say “Fuck you, GeorgeNotFound,” and “Goodbye, Dream” in a truly shit British accent.
Once they both logged off, he and Dream looked at each other and burst into laughter.
“So, pretty much as we predicted, huh?” Dream asked once they’d both calmed down. George nodded.
“We know the fans too well. They’re thirsty.” He grinned at Dream, who cackled.
“That they are.” He checked his plain black digital watch, which sat on his left wrist alongside a rubber bracelet. “It’s almost six. Should we get ready for dinner?”
“Sure. Want to just order in? Or we could go out and grab something at the karaoke place,” George suggested.
His stomach had a pit in it just thinking about what tonight held in store. Sure, karaoke with Dream would be fun, but he didn’t think he could get up on that stage and – and sing in front of whoever was there. Part of him, the part of him that knew Dream better than the back of his hand, knew that Dream was just as nervous, and he’d only chosen karaoke to mess with George. Dream never thought about the aftereffects of his own decisions on himself. Still, George knew he’d go through with it, give it his all, because that’s what Dream did. If Dream could, George would do the same. He’d just have to try a little harder, that’s all. Some alcohol wouldn’t hurt, either – or lots of it.
“Okay,” Dream agreed. “Eating there sounds good.”
“Great.” George swallowed. “I’m gonna go shower,” he said lamely. Dream smirked, nodding.
“Gettin’ all dolled up for me, sweetheart?” Dream drawled in a crappy Southern accent. “Don’t worry, Georgie darlin’, you’re plenty purdy already.” He grinned cheekily, giving an exaggerated wink.
“That was horrible,” George shot back disdainfully. Pushing out of his chair, he walked past Dream, who was starting to unplug his… machine. “I hope you plan on cleaning up your mess first!” George called out as he walked into the bathroom.
Dream heard the shower turn on. Frantically, he reached for his phone and opened Discord.
Sapnap: dude, im still streaming wtf do u want????
Dream: me and George are doing karaoke tonight
Dream: SO i only picked it to fuck with him and now i might have to sing in front of a crowd, with GEORGE, of all people
Sapnap: ok so suck it up dream, u picked it
Dream: ugh, i know
Dream sighed, leaning back on the stool. Why had he just had to pick karaoke, of all things? Not even that was worth making George squirm. Although… there was the possibility of him hearing George actually sing. He wouldn’t dare do that obnoxious singing voice in a bar full of people.
Dream: what if we sing a duet, he speculated to Sapnap. And, okay, there may have been a little bit of hope in his chest.
we could have a moment at the end of it, like in the movies
Sapnap: do u even know if he likes guys?
Dream sighed again.
Dream: no, he answered dejectedly.
Sapnap: i suggest finding that out first, mr. hopeless romantic, Sapnap shot back.
if its meant to be, itll be
Dream: don’t quote Florida Georgia Line at me smh
… have a good rest of ur stream pls dont tell quackity or karl about this
Sapnap was the only person he was out to, and he wanted to keep it that way.
Sapnap: i promise, dude, i wont
have fun at karaoke cutie ;)
Dream shook his head, smiling, and turned off his phone. Leaning over to survey the mess on the ground, he turned back to his computer. Pushing back the stool, he stood and strained to pick it up off the desk. He let out an oof as he brought it to his chest and finally set it on the ground with a less-than-elegant thud. Dusting off his hands, he started picking up the various papers and knicknacks he’d tossed on the floor earlier.
Still, he worried about karaoke. Drinks would be involved – he didn’t drink, but he knew George did. God, another thing to be wary of. Drunken George. When George was drunk, he got bold, and when George got bold, Dream got bolder. He let things slip that he normally wouldn’t, say one thing where he usually would have held his tongue.
Dream couldn’t help but wonder: Would tonight be the night he came out to George?