- ease rating
- pg fandom
- motorcity characters/pairings
- mike / chuck warnings
- slash/BL word count
- 2,713 summary
- prompt / “Chuck is really in love with Mike, but Mike is completely oblivious to it. It's really obvious to the rest of the Burners, and all the one-sided UST is getting annoying. So they just tell Mike outright that Chuck loves him so they can frolic into the sunset together or whatever.
But Mike becomes very flustered, thinking they're just messing with him. He's in complete denial because, in his mind, he can't think of anyone who could love someone like him. Mike is terrified of romantic relationships.(possibly because of his history with Kane?)
Que it being really awkward for Mike the next time Chuck and he are together.
How this is resolved (or not) is up to whoever decides to fill this. :)”
It was Julie, of course, who brought up the conversation.
They’d all noticed the little dance Chuck would do around Mike sometimes; feeling hungry for his praise, wanting to be close to him, but knowing he wasn’t going that extra step to change his and Mike’s relationship. Julie was the first to question why Chuck, or Mike, wouldn’t say anything to each other about it. (For all of Mike’s honest personality, sometimes it was hard to read his true feelings because of the cheery attitude he seemed to mostly always maintain. At least around the Burners. Chuck was a lot easier to read. Anyone could see his face and tell he was in love with Mike more than his own life.) With input from Dutch and Texas, they came to the conclusion that Mike just didn’t have a clue about Chuck’s feelings. But it was none of their business.
For a while. Then it got a little annoying.
Then it got really
annoying. All the dancing on Chuck’s part; the staring at Mike a little too long (and catching himself, cursing himself), the accidental touching parts of Mike where he thought he shouldn’t (and catching himself, cursing himself), and the purposeful not
touching any of Mike because he thought he shouldn’t and making everything ten times more awkward (and, yes: catching himself, cursing himself).
So Julie brought it up in conversation to Mike. She may have forced Dutch and Texas to sit with her because talks of telling your friend to go get laid was potentially less awkward with two more people among you.
To Mike it felt like some kind of intervention.
“What’s up, Jules?” He asked casually in the dining room booth of the Garage.
Julie, Dutch, and Texas sat on the other side of the booth, all looking at him with intent. Julie, in the middle, was most obviously the ringleader for this particular event.
“It’s about Chuck.” Julie finally said.
Mike sat up and turned to the cars, where Chuck was tinkering away with Mutt, one hand under her hood and the other typing away on a screen. He looked back to Julie. “What about Chuck.”
Julie almost didn’t want to say it. She hadn’t quite thought about this enough to actually broach the subject with any kind of tact.
Dutch laid his hand on the table and said, “You need to kiss that kid or something before his panicked little heart bursts.”
When Mike froze, not quite understanding, Julie quickly added, “Mike, he’s hopelessly in love with you.”
“Yeah, Texas has some advice, and it’s that you totally need to kiss or something so you can frolic into the sunset together or whatever.”
At that Mike’s head whipped back to Chuck, who was obliviously typing away at Mutt’s code. When he turned back, Mike spluttered
, unable to get any words around his clumsy tongue. His mind was having a hard time wrapping around the words in love. Chuck
. In love
. With him
?? Chuck! Mike shut his eyes and took a deep breath to steady himself. The delay in response made his blush apparent.
“Listen.” Mike said, a little too tense, leaning over the table. “Chuck isn’t in love with me. You guys are reading too far into it!” He glances over at his partner. “I mean, I love him, of course I do. I love all of you guys, I really do. I can tell he loves me too, but it’s really not the way you guys are thinking.” There. That should sort everything out.
“You may not see him that way Mike, but Chuck definitely loves
you. Like the ‘I wanna smooch that guy’ love.” Dutch crossed his arms. “All of us could see it on his face, that kid can’t keep anything secret.”
Julie reached across the table for Mike’s hand, touching it reassuringly, “Maybe you’re just used to seeing those expressions on his face because you’re with him all the time, but it’s there, trust me.” She sighed. Dutch nodded his approval and Texas seemed to have gotten bored with what they were talking about already.
“Hey what are you guys all talking about?”
Julie’s hand stuttered at her surprise from Chuck’s voice suddenly, making Mike’s flinch too, and he pulled his back toward himself slowly. Chuck watched their hands retract as he approached the table, intending to slide on in next to Mike but stalling just short of the seat. He sucked in a surprised breath as he made the last few steps, barely, a little forced, but then made no attempt to sit down. Julie shoved at Texas to get him to stand and pulled Dutch out of the booth when he did.
“Hey Chuck, we were just talking about the new stuff we wanted done to our cars.” She said a bit quickly, not quite sounding as nonchalant as she meant to.
Then Texas suddenly started listening in again and started going into detail about all the stuff he wanted to add to Stronghorn.
“We’ll catch up with you later!” She said over Texas’ monologue and started pushing him down towards the cars.
Chuck stood awkwardly for another few seconds before turning to Mike and sitting in the booth across from him that the three other Burners had just vacated. His shoulders hunched and he looked at Mike through his bangs, waiting for Mike to say something.
Mike’s brain, unfortunately, was in overdrive. Making speech difficult. It was frustrating because conversation with Chuck had never been this hard. Just looking
at Chuck was a challenge, and maybe it was because he was scared of what he’d see. Mike tapped his fingers on the table surface a few times before he leaned to the side and cleared his throat, attempting to words. “Hey, buddy.” He said instinctively. “How’s Mutt? What were you working on? Something new? Anything wrong with her?” Wait no stop. That’s way too many words Chilton shut your gob.
Chuck hesitated, “Umm... no?” He squeaked. Mike being anything but casual or confident was sort of freaking him out. “I was just running maintenance checks. It’s been a whole week since the last time I did.”
“Oh.” Oh?? Get it together Mike, seriously.
Mike glanced up at Chuck who happened to brush some of his fringe from his eyes at the same time.
“Are you feeling alright?” Chuck asked, then.
Mike stared at him. He didn’t really see anything... different. He just... looked like... Chuck. He looked like he always did. Had he just always loved Mike?
Chuck let his hair fall into his face and he leaned back, hunching his shoulders. “Mikey? You’re starting to worry me, are you sure you’re alright?”
Mike shook his head and rested it against his palm. “Yeah. Yes! Yes I am... fine, Chuck I just um...” It was hard to think with Julie’s words bouncing around inside his skull. “I’m just a little tired I guess, I’m gonna get some rest so uh- bye!” Bye?? Nice, Chilton. Don’t say goodnight or anything, that would be too normal.
When he got to Mutt he sat in her seat and stared at the steering wheel for a minute, trying to readjust his brain. Eventually autopilot kicked in and he took his jacket off, throwing it over the middle console, and reclined the seat to lie down. Automatically Mike turned to face the passenger side before he purposefully rolled over and huddled against the door.
This was stupid. Chuck was his best friend. He trusted Chuck more than he trusted anyone. Of course there might be some... feelings passed between them stronger than the average guy and his guy friend. But that probably wasn’t even the case. Julie, Dutch and Texas just came to the wrong conclusion. Of course Mike appreciated Chuck as he best friend, but there was no way Chuck could actually love him. There was no way anyone could love him. He wasn’t someone that anyone should be putting their romantic feelings into.
He’d grown up in Deluxe. Mike had grown up serving Kane until far too recently. Motorcity had know him as a cadet, as the enemy, and here he is proclaiming himself its defender. He doesn’t belong in Deluxe, and he doesn’t belong here, but he stays, selfishly, anyway. Why-- how
-- could Chuck, or anyone, love him.
But if he did--
Mike turned his face into Mutt’s seat and closed his eyes. What would be different? Mike guessed they’d probably kiss, and stuff. The thought made his face heat. Would Chuck be public with his affection, giving him pecks on the cheek, giving him a kiss on the mouth before they took off in Mutt. Or would he be more subtle about it, kissing only when they were alone. Chuck could kiss him goodnight and kiss him good morning, and Mike could kiss the back of Chuck’s neck and count his freckles. Mike tried not to think too hard about Chuck’s lips.
All of that was just physical. The thought of Chuck knowing everything about him; everything he’d done and everything he liked and didn’t like and the thought of Chuck being able to look at him and just say “I love you” with ease made Mike’s heart clench and his stomach drop. He didn’t like that feeling. At all.
Eventually Mike did fall asleep, and at one point he was aware of Chuck getting into the passenger side and laying down, adjusting his legs to try and make them comfortable in Mutt’s limited interior.
Chuck was in love with Mike Chilton. He knew that he was definitely in love with Mike, and sure, he’d always loved Mike; felt closer to him than to any of the other Burners. But this was... different. Because Chuck was aware of the difference of love and in love. He’d felt it. The shift between platonic feelings for the guy you knew you trusted your life with, and romantic feelings for the guy you felt you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. It was real slow and gradual, from meeting Mike to helping him with Mutt to realizing, almost quite recently, what the heat and flush of pride and embarrassment meant when Mike smiled at him.
But Chuck knew better. Mike was headstrong and outgoing. He was confident and a little bit cocky and he always told his Burners what he was thinking. And Chuck was always looking for the signs of does-he-like-me-back, but never saw them. A part of Chuck even thought that Mike, as smart as he was, knew that his best friend felt that way about him, and made sure not to give off any of those signs. Because like Chuck, why would Mike want to wreck a best-friend-very-best-bud-broship like they had.
So Chuck didn’t mind tucking his feelings away. To let them bloom in his chest and keep them to himself.
The best thing was it didn’t hurt so bad that Mike wasn’t in love with him, because of the relationship they already shared. Mike treated him better than anyone he’d ever met before, so really, things were pretty alright overall.
Then Mike started acting weird, and awkward, and Chuck knew that everything was ruined.
Things go along (almost) like normal, but there’s always this space between Mike and him that Mike had set. If Mike really hadn’t known before, this new behavior was a dead giveaway. The most painful thing was Mike apparently didn’t trust him enough not to let his romantic feelings affect their friendship, when he’d already been trying to keep it neatly separated for months.
After a patrol, Mike slowing down from 325 miles per hour to go a leisurely 255, Chuck turned to him, trying to quell his screaming to get out what he needed to say.
“Mikey I sort of really-” He breathed deep; maybe trying to talk about anxiety inducing subjects wasn’t the best thing to do in a moving Mutt. “Sort of really really need to talk to you!”
Chuck saw him froze and tensed up himself. That was really the last thing he wanted but the air had to be cleared. He didn’t know how much longer he could take his best friend basically avoiding him.
Eventually Mike slowed down, before he just stopped entirely, Mutt’s tires skidding on the asphalt, Chuck shouting until they were completely still. He took in several deep gulps of air before he could talk.
“I know... that you know.” Chuck said eventually, still a little out of breath. When Mike doesn’t respond he shift and mumbles, “That you know that I love you. Like in not-a-bro way. I mean but I do love you like a bro, you’re my best friend Mikey!” He couldn’t stop himself from growing frantic, trying to find the right words.
“So you do... you are in love with me.” Mike said when he finally turned towards him. Mike looked nervous. His breath came quicker and his pupils were dilated more than Chuck had ever seen them.
“I am, and I’m sorry I am Mikey, it’s not just something that I can make go away! I feel that way about you but you don’t have to act like I’m going to jump you! Cause I don’t want to! No I mean wait- I do
want to but not if you don’t want me to and--! I mean! That it’s something I can deal with. I’ve been dealing with it for a long time now and I can just change who I love because it’s inconvenient. Nothing has to change. You’re still my best friend Mike and I’d rather set aside any other feelings than lose you as my best friend!”
“Chuck it’s okay, calm down you’re gonna--” Mike put an arm on Chuck’s shoulder to try and get him to calm down, to breathe. When he did, Mike was hyper aware of the heat of his palm over Chuck’s shirt. He left it there and rubbed his thumb back and forth experimentally.
Chuck squeaked. “Mikey, please don’t. Please, don’t make fun of me like that I--” He cut himself off when Mike withdrew his hand.
“I didn’t mean to Chuck. I would never do that.” Mike keeps his eyes on Chuck, no movement to start the car, thus ending the subject. “I’m scared that I feel that way about you.” He said. Mike heard Chuck suck in a breath and let it out with a shudder. “I’m scared that someone feels that way about me.”
“You serious?” Chuck let his shoulders hunch a little again. “You’re scared.”
Mike almost wanted to smile at himself, knowing that they all thought he was without fear, but he really wasn’t. He was scared of what tons of people weren’t. Mike was terrified. “Yeah.” He shifted then, turning a bit in the seat towards Chuck. “I’m scared. I don’t even know why I am, specifically, but I am. How could you even love me, Chuck.”
“Mikey, you’re kidding, right? I mean, you’re my best friend! I care about you, I do all this dangerous stuff with you, and I don’t want to see you get hurt but I love seeing you when you’re happy! The actions aren’t that different from what we have as friends but the feelings are different! I just--” Chuck grabbed onto the center console in frustration. “I want to do and feel things that I can’t as just your friend!”
Mike put his hand on Chuck’s arm again to settle him, remind him to breathe and stop panicking. “It’s okay Chuck I want to--” He swallowed, looking at Chuck directly. “I want to try. I mean, I really don’t know if I can but I really want to try to... love you back.”
Chuck’s breathes grew deeper, not really quite sure if he was hearing correctly. His face got hot and the flush spread all the way down his neck and to his ears.
“I’ve thought about... you kissing me.” Mike continued. “Will you? Kiss me?”
Mike could hear the gulp of Chuck’s nervous swallow and he shook his head at first, but then nodded quickly, tossing his hair around. “Okay.” He squeaked. Chuck leaned in and kissed Mike right on the mouth, and Mike felt his heart soar.