i'm so tired but my thirst for sweet gabe/jack cannot be stated by sleep, so here i am. 644 words. no proof reading.
If someone were to ask Gabriel Reyes if he had a crush on Jack Morrison, his answer would be no. It’s not a thought he’s ever considered any more than one might consider breath. Oblivious until it’s pointed out, and then uncomfortable in acute awareness.
Gabriel hadn’t put thought into it, into the years of slow but solid building friendship. To light, casual touches no more out of place than a shift in posture and easy smiles akin to blinking; fluid and secondary in nature. More than anything it’s comfort. An easy state of being even when he’s sore from drills or tired from more mundane daily frustrations. Jack is almost like an incense in that way, soothing if Gabriel allows himself to bathe in his presence and easy to get used to after a while.
And it’s something he doesn’t realize until he’s alone in a hotel room and Jack is heading back off to the army and all Gabriel has is an honorable discharge and a long-time crush who apparently got married in the years he’s been gone.
All the things he likes about Jack, possibly all the things he loved about him, quickly become the things he hates—or the things he hates himself for missing.
The way he’d watch him when he spoke, as if there was nothing better to do with his time than soak in the words. The way he’d smile at the smallest provocation, how he’d laugh at his jokes even if Gabriel didn’t quite think he’d deserve it; because it was sincere, always sincere—sometimes Gabriel wondered if Jack didn’t know how to give a pity laugh or if he’d simply never needed to. The way he’d let Gabriel lead him, both in word and in hand. Following along stories and crazy ideas with equal vigor even if the outcome was obvious sometimes. The way he’d always been by his side in one way or another, and the way he wasn’t now.
Each day that went by made him regret ever asking Jack to come with him in the first place—for all the good it did. When they met again, really met again; not terse correspondence letters nor Ana’s funeral, none of that changed the way Gabriel all but leapt at the offer to live with him. A calm, drawn out consideration and a same-week acceptance had been the best he could manage, and even that felt like a crumbling resolve.
He swore Jack fucking Morrison was not going to just waltz back into his life so easily. Gabriel was not an easy person and he had no intent to make exceptions, even for someone who had jumped those hurdles with flying colors once before. He didn’t tell him about Jesse, he demanded a room, he connected quickly and openly with Fareeha; practically flaunting her in front of Jack. He called him names, he made barbs, took cheap shots and still.
Still Jack gave him a copy of the house key. It drove him absolutely mad in a way that kept him clinging desperately onto his shreds of anger.
Some mornings he woke up in Jack’s bed, Jack himself sleeping downstairs on the couch for him, and Gabriel wanted to drag him up with him. It wasn’t fair and Jack was as unbelievable as ever.
In the sea of crashing, wind whipped and rough emotions that was Gabriel Reye’s hang ups over his best friend it was fondness that proved to be the easiest ember to rekindle.
So by the time he had his own place—in the same neighborhood and right down the street; a house he barely seemed to even bother living in for as often as he was in Jack’s, it was beyond worth asking or even thinking about if Gabriel had a crush on him. It was beyond all of that.