The @ gymshark twitter account had a simple request; blow this up. whoever gets the most liked comment we’ll put on a billboard in times square #GymsharkBillboard .
Jebidah Schlatt didn’t think much of it when he saw an acquaintance of his, Corpse Husband, reply to it. But when he re-read the tweet, and realised his tweet would be featured on a billboard in Times Square - he in an instant he needed a banger tweet - and fast.
It would certainly impress Wilbur, who would be heading out to catch the late night flight to New York City on the 12th; after he finished his livestream for the evening about the new modded SMP he created. The meetup would be a surprise to all of their fans, and it would certainly gain much more popularity than the Sapnap and Dream get-together.
He considered the option of scouring through tumblr and snatching a text post from there, but he would be outed quickly by the dsmp community over there. They were a different breed of people, that’s for sure. Schlatt looked around his room for some inspiration, coming up with nothing that would actually be qualified to fit on a billboard.
And then it hit him.
What if his tweet was a love confession?
It’d be cute, seeing as people normally go wild over those. And it's at the top of the trending page in an instant, a whiplash to his friend group, and a complete shock to all his fans.
Looking down at his phone, he anxiously typed out his response to the recent gymshark tweet. His thumb hovered over the tweet button, possible outcomes of his actions replaying itself on loop inside his mind. Anxiety built up inside of him, fingers beginning to shake - and he had to place his phone down onto his broken table. Scrubbing his hands over his face, he sighed deeply.
If he did this, there was no coming back from it.
Of course, he could always play it off as a joke. That it was just for a few extra likes on twitter. Maybe it was to rile up his own fandom. Or the lamest excuse of them all, someone hacked into his account.
Deciding it was too big of a risk to take, he deletes what he’s written and types out; i like men .
He slides into his friends' dm's on discord, calling in a favor and asking for them to signal boost the tweet by replying underneath it. They do without a second thought, watching the amount of likes on his reply go up by the thousands.
Good. That’s great. Tommyinnit has even replied to his post, so there’s no way he could be possibly losing now. Corpse isn’t in the lead, just a few thousand likes behind, so Schlatt’s got nothing to worry about at the moment. He stays on twitter late that evening though, making sure his tweet stays in the lead.
It’s a peaceful evening on February 12th, suddenly disrupted by Schlatt smashing yet another keyboard over the fact that both famous youtuber and streamer dreamwastaken had replied to Corpse's tweet. He furiously curses out a stream of incomprehensible vulgar words, before grabbing a bowl of cereal and checking discord to see if anyone is online. He clicks on Wilbur’s discord icon, the small green dot in the corner of his profile picture telling him he’s online.
jschlatt - wilbur soot
jschlatt - where are you?
wilbursoot - i’m at the airport right now
jschlatt - did you get on the wrong flight or something?
wilbursoot - what?
wilbursoot - no
wilbursoot - i'm on the airplane right now i’m just waiting for it to take off
jschlatt - why don’t you fly the plane yourself?
wilbursoot - schlatt no
jschlatt - i’d still love you if you caused 9/11 part two
wilbursoot - what?
wilbursoot - i dont understand
jschlatt - you will if you’re flight would just get here sooner
wilbursoot - just wait nine hours, i’ll be there soon
wilbursoot - i’ll hijack the plane so i can get there quicker
jschlatt - don’t worry i’ll pay the bail if you don’t crash into a building
wilbursoot - awwww sweetheart you don’t have to
jschlatt - nevermind i hope you die
jschlatt - you haven’t checked twitter, right?
wilbursoot - no i haven’t. It gives me too much anxiety.
wilbursoot - why?
wilbursoot - am i being cancelled?
jschlatt - no not yet
jschlatt - im being cancelled for the hundredth time though
wilbursoot - oh no
wilbursoot - what did you do
jschlatt - my old tweet with twomad saying i had the n-word pass
wilbursoot - oh for fucks sake schlatt
wilbursoot - can you please go for a day without getting cancelled .
wilbursoot - please.
jschlatt - no promises 😘
Schlatt makes sure to send Wilbur the address of the apartment he’s currently residing in the next morning, instructing him on how to pick up a yellow cab - and no don’t go into any of the private taxis you’re going to get kidnapped Wilbur - practically jumping out of his seat when he sees a car pull up to his block.
“Wilbur!” Schlatt shouts, opening up his entrance door.
Euphoria flooded the two of them as they made eye contact, Wilbur unable to control his laughter as Schlatt nearly slipped on ice on the sidewalk. The british man steps out of the car eagerly, stepping over the hard snow and slush that coats the sidewalk, looking right back at the New Yorker with equal excitement. “Schlatt!”
Scrawny arms reach out for Schlatt and he happily accepts the warm embrace, hugging Wilbur back just as tightly. Gripping each other like a lifeline, they don’t break apart until Wilbur’s cab driver clears his throat, pointing at his luggage that’s placed beside him.
“Oh - thank you.” Wilbur says, as his duffle bag is handed to him. The guy awkwardly goes over the snow, slams his trunk closed, and goes into the driver's seat and speeds away. “Well, that was a bit rude.”
“Eh, you get used to it. Some New Yorkers are just too busy for pleasantries.” Schlatt replies, before taking a good look at Wilbur. His hair is disheveled and messily tucked into his signature red beanie, bags underneath his eyes, and wearing nothing more than jeans and a black coat. “Aren’t you cold?”
“No, not really. You’d be surprised at how cold England can get.” Wilbur picks up his luggage. “Are we going to stand outside here all day or are you going to show me inside?”
“Nah, I’d rather leave your ass in the cold.” Schlatt jokes, as he picks up one of Wilbur’s suitcases, grunting at just how heavy it is, arm protesting in pain. “Man, I knew I should’ve never shoveled my neighbors snow. I should have left it there for them to slip and die.”
Wilbur just laughs at his friend grumbling. “Such a hero, Schlatt.”
“I know, right?”
Wilbur is awoken to the sound of hollering and screaming, eyes flying open. Quickly sitting upright - aching pain shooting up his neck from sleeping in a bad position - scanning his surroundings for a moment. It takes him a good minute to realise that he’s in Schlatt’s house.
Schlatt had shown the musician around his small apartment and the room he’ll be staying in for the next two weeks. It wasn’t large and grand like Wilbur had expected, but he could tell it suited the american’s taste for the time being. He remembers flopping onto the bed and then - nothing. The New Yorker barrages into his room, grin wide on his face and a steaming coffee cup in his hands. “Morning, loverboy. Sleep well?”
“Mhm… woke up because you sounded like you caught on fire.” He hums, reaching out for the cup. Schlatt steps into the room, a bounce in his step, carefully handing it to Wilbur.
“Sorry about that. Just got really excited over something I just won.”
“It’s alright. Must’ve been a good thing if you have that stupid smile on you’re face.” Wilbur tells him, and the other man just rolls his eyes. “What time is it?”
“It’s three in the afternoon.” Schlatt informs him, nodding towards the coffee. “Hurry up and get ready, there’s something I need to show you on your first day here.”
“Yeah, if we go any later the trains will get crowded, and New York City at night isn’t exactly the warmest.”
“ Trains ? Shouldn’t we do some sort of stream to let our fans know we’re together?” Wilbur questions. “Or take a photo, at least?”
Schlatt looks at him as if he’s lost his mind. “No! It can wait until tomorrow, let's just have this evening to ourselves.”
“That...sounds nice. Where are we headed?”
“You’ll see. You’ve got 10 minutes.”
The duo rushes down the city streets to catch the nearest train, quickly swiping their metrocard and sliding through the closing doors. There’s nobody in the train cart there, but that’s to be expected when it’s a cold evening and there’s still a pandemic. Wilbur takes a good look at the train cart there, black flooring complementing the long sky blue colored seats and cold metal bars to hold onto. Bright LED lights hide behind paper advertisements tucked in plastic, lining the wall. Above the window there’s a black box telling the passengers the stops and which street is coming up next.
“Don’t tell me you’re impressed.” Schlatt sighs.
Wilbur laughs. “I mean, I’m in a different country for the first time, of course I am.”
Wilbur begins to go on a rant about London’s train system, Schlatt pointing out the similarities; before pointing outside the window. There’s a beautiful view of Manhattan city, and the british can’t help but look in complete awe; the setting sun illuminating the skyscraper windows.
When they switch trains, getting onto the A subway line, Wilbur feels as though he’s accidentally stepped into the wrong time era. The subway line is dark and dirty - jumping up in fright when he sees a rat scampering on the walkway - the faint sound of jazz further down the pathway. The lights above him are a dull yellow, worn out through years of use. Schlatt chuckles at his surprised expression when they step onto the underground train itself, beige color walls clash with yellow and orange seating, the floors a dirty brown.
“Fucking hell, it’s cold.” Schlatt mumbles, flexing his cold fingers.
“Awww, would you like for me to hold your hand?” The taller man jokes, but there’s a light blush dusting his cheeks.
“That’s gay, Wilbur.” The shorter replies, but still reaches out for Wilbur’s hand anyways. It’s fucking freezing as well, so he tucks it into his jacket pocket. Neither man commented on it any further, deep blushes on their faces.
Reaching their stop, they quickly exit the busy underground station; Schlatt leading Wilbur through calm Manhattan streets. There’s yellow cabs parked everywhere, shining signs hanging above even brighter stores. A weatherman is talking about the freezing temperatures across the street, while a child is playing in the brown coated snow.
Schlatt suddenly stops, pulling his hand away from the other man. Although right now he’s looks at Wilbur with a grin. “Guess where we are.”
“...We’re currently in Manhattan, if I’m not mistaken.”
“Yeah, we are. But do you know which part?”
Wilbur takes a good look at his surroundings. There’s everywhere, showing off ads for a multitude of different products. Just across the street there’s a news station, and a long line of digital billboards lined up in the building in front of him. “This - this is Times Square, innit?”
“Yes! Now look behind you, idiot!” Schlatt shouts.
Wilbur turns around - a couple of passersby looking in that direction as well - and his jaw drops in shock. Behind him is a tweet taken from Schlatt’s twitter with half a million likes and counting on a digital billboard. He takes one look at his friend and knows in an instant that it’s his own.
It reads; i like men .
“I - did you actually tweet that out?” Wilbur says in absolute shock. “There’s no way you did.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Well, you can ask Corpse. And Nihachu. And Ted. And Technoblade. And Phil. And-”
“How come I didn’t see this? How has no one informed me on this?”
“Maybe it’s because of the fact that you deleted twitter.” Schlatt hums. “And I told everyone to keep it a secret, because I wanted to show you in person.”
“Are you sure this isn’t edited?” He still can’t bring himself to believe Schlatt; but then again, it does seem like something he would do.
Schlatt scoffs. “Of course I didn’t edit it! If you we’re on twitter you would’ve realized that it’s the other reason why I got cancelled by a bunch of sensitive 12 year olds on twitter.”
“Hold on - let me redownload the app.” Cold fingers tapped on their separate screens, as Schlatt made preparations to make yet another tweet; this time about the man standing across from him. No words were spoken between them for a few minutes, just the sounds of the gentle flow of traffic, the sizzling of food carts cooking nearby, the roaring assortment of different conversations whizzing past them. “Finally! It's installed!”
He types in his username and password, not bothering to check his overflown notifications. Searching up Schlatt’s name in the search bar, he sees a ‘one tweet in the last hour’ above his username, clicking on his profile picture with cold fingers.
Schlatt watched as Wilbur’s eyes widened in shock, swallowing nervously. Their respective phones vibrated in the palm of their hands, notifications blowing up from the republician’s recent tweet.
Wilbur looks up at Schlatt anxiously after a moment, unable to wrap his head around his friend’s recent tweet. He sees that same frightened expression he has reflected on Schlatt’s face. “...Schlatt? Is it - what is - this some sort of game you’re playing?”
“What! No!” Schlatt reaches out to Wilbur, his cool hand a sharp contrast to those warm pale cheeks flushing a deep red. Wilbur’s body goes stiff from the simple touch, putting his defenses up, gluing his eyes to his screen. “What does it say, Will?”
“Wilbur, please don’t ignore me.” Schlatt says softly, trying to make eye contact with the reluctant boy.
“Did I do something wrong?” He starts to panic internally, mind running a thousand miles per second, gripping his phone tightly. “Come on Wil, talk to me.”
Still no response.
“I’m guessing I took this joke too far, then. I’ll uh - I’ll take the tweet down.” Schlatt pulls his hand away for just a mere second - and Wilbur’s hand is placed upon his own, keeping it there. “...Wil?”
“I’m afraid.” He whispers, and it’s overshadowed by an angry yellow cab driver blaring their horn at a bicyclist down the block. But Schlatt hears it crystal clear - as if it’s meant for anyone else but him. He doesn’t say anything, waiting patiently for the british boy to find his wording. “I’m so scared, Schlatt. If I - fuck man - this feels like a dream. As cliche as it sounds, I don’t want to wake up from it. I’d rather stay in this moment for the rest of my life.”
He slides his hand behind Wilbur’s neck, pulling him down; Schlatt resting his forehead against the taller man. “That’s a nice thought, Wil. But you wanna know something? We could have an lifetime more of stupid moments like these.”
“That’s an even better thought.” Wilbur replies. “I’d like to make that a reality.”
Schlatt chuckles. “Well... just read the tweet. What does it say, Will?”
“I like Wilbur Soot.”
Silence between the two - regular city sounds making a conversation for them. LED lights glow on their bodies, as if an artist splashed their palete on the pair. The traffic lights turn green.
The british finally moves, thumb pressing the comment button, tilting his phone screen away from Schlatt as he types out his response. Schlatt’s phone buzzes the moment Wilbur hits reply, and he looks down at the notification that pops up on his phone screen.
🇱 I like Jschlatt
He can’t help but smile from ear to ear, pressing on the notification to type something back. Wilbur’s iPhone goes off, the british looking at his screen with a stupid grin on his face.
🇱fucking look at me and kiss me already loverboy
The new yorker takes one look at those stunning brown eyes staring right back into his own. Mirrors that wide smile on his face, the two unable to help their childish giggling; as if they were middle school children with a crush. The taller man tucks away his phone, cupping the shorter man's face in the palm of his hands.
Behind them, the billboard changes the tweet to ‘ i like Wilbur Soot .’
Schlatt leans in for the kiss.
Wilbur kisses right back.