Must Be Love on the Brain

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Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at Rating: Archive Warning: Category: Fandom: Relationship: Character: Additional Tags:

Teen And Up Audiences No Archive Warnings Apply M/M


Published: 2016-12-12 Words: 2054

SKAM (TV) Even Bech Næsheim/Isak Valtersen Isak Valtersen, Even Bech Næsheim Hurt/Comfort, Happy Ending

Must Be Love on the Brain by flowerbedofsouls Summary

On Thursday 8th, Isak follows his friends' advice and takes a bus to Even.


I wrote this before the video of the Christmas Concert got released. I sort of picked this up again and re-wrote it five times last night. Also, I don't understand why the spacing is different all the time, I haven't used HTML since I was active (like active active) on Tumblr. I have like 5 different versions of this fic, I'm sorry if it feels different than my other ones.

“No matter what I do I’m no good without you And I can’t get enough Must be love on the brain” —Rihanna with Love on the Brain


It is only when Isak steps out of the bus he notices the message from Vilde.

He frowns at the screen.

Hi Isak. I don’t want to gossip, but I just thought I should tell you, given the fact that you have a thing with him, and so you might want to know it, but I heard that Even has psychological problems/psychosis

He debates whether he should answer to that or not. It breaks his heart a little, that Even is a running gossip at school—his new school on top of that.

It takes a couple of minutes, messages being sent back and forth before he feels the annoyance rising inside his chest. Why is this even a discussion?

But he realises that that this is what he could’ve been like if he had never met Even.

The self-perception is what causes him to tell Vilde off.

Grow up Vilde, he types and hits send and shoves his phone back into his pocket.

The only thing he should care about right now is Even.

The worry (and guilt) is churning painfully in his stomach. His heartbeats are pounding loudly in his chest and his hands are sweaty even though it is quite cold outside.

He looks ahead, and then back to where he came from. Perhaps this was a stupid idea.

(But Magnus’ told him to go. He insisted and persisted his argument, and got Jonas and Mahdi to join in. They told him to do it because no situation that could possibly happen would be worse than the one Isak is in now. They called him and told him to go to Even, to tell Even what he feels. When Isak doubted their advice, they shouted and threatened to come over just to forcibly drag him over to Even’s.)

It was only Isak’s pride that got him this far. But now he needs bravery, and he’s not sure if he is brave enough to spill his heart to another person.

He is close to turn around and wait for the bus back, but it is only when he feels his heart aching worse that he decides to he stay. This is not a time for walking away.

Isak swallows thickly. He feels tears prickle his eyes. With each heavy exhale, he feels a little bit braver.


It takes many minutes before Isak dares to knock on the door. When he does, he considers running. Not because he does not want to see Even (he does, very much so), but he has no clue what he should say.

What do you say to the man you love? What do you say when the words you’ve said so carelessly might’ve struck him worse than a fist ever could? What do you say when words don’t come to you easily, and the fear of making everything worse is just as strong as the wish to make everything fine again?

He wishes, only for a brief passing moment, that Even won’t answer the door. That the door would be shut and his knock would be a lost, unrhythmic beat in the eeriness.

But Even does open the door, and Isak figures that this is what he wants so deeply. He wants to see Even, and be there for him and he wants them to exist together. He figures that every worry is just what ifs that could never make him come to Even, just as they couldn’t stop him for stay steeled to the ground.

In the pregnant, uncertain silence that falls between them, Isak notices the dark circles underneath Even’s eyes and the messy, unwashed hair. He notices the dirty t-shirt and thinks he sees some dried food spots on the cheek.

“Halla,” Isak croaks out. He tries to smile but it feels like a grimace. He clears his throat. “Hi.”

“Halla,” Even says quietly, staring at Isak as if he can’t believe his eyes.

They fall quiet again, Isak looks down at his shoes for a second before mustering up the courage again.

“I wanted to say something,” Isak says then, locking their eyes together. “I hurt so much without you. And I know I said some—some shit things before. I’m sorry. I could never mean you, Even. I—I love you too much.”

Isak takes a deep breath, and when Even doesn’t respond, Isak continues, a bit more awkwardly and less firmly.

“I was so scared last Friday. Not because of what happened—it was confusing, of course, but I wasn’t scared about that. What scared me was what could’ve happened. I was scared that you would freeze to death, or get jumped, or run over by a car—I was scared about a lot of things that night. But it was only about the thousands of scenarios that could’ve happened.

“I will never judge you,” Isak adds then. “Not because of this. I will always love you and I mean every single part of you. I mean the good and the bad and the in-betweens. I mean that I love you so much that I can’t think of not being here with you. It hurts not to be a part of your days and nights. Please, Even.”

Isak sees tears rolling down Even’s cheeks. He chokes on his breath. He never meant for Even to cry.

“Say something,” Isak croaks out, taking a step forward. A step closer to Even. A step closer to them.

“I'm sorry,” Even whispers, barely audible. “But I don’t—I don’t want you to feel like you have to take care of me.” At the questioning look he receives from Isak, he explains, “I don’t want you to start hating me. And you will because I’ll say something unforgivable and hurt you one day. I’ll cherish the time we’ve had together, but I can’t be with you only to make you hate me.”

Isak starts to cry. It hurts him, to hear Even speak about himself in that manner. As though he is the villain in their love story. As if Even could ever be the villain to any story.

“No, Even,” he snivels, wiping his face with the back of his hand. “I won’t ever hate you. I don’t care about what might happen in the long run. I don’t think you should worry about that either. I

don’t want to wake up in a few years and regretting that I never got to be with you. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

They stare at each other and a couple of moments passes before Even nods slowly. “Okay.”

“Okay?” Isak repeats, stressing his word to convey his question.

Even nods again. “Yeah, okay.”

Isak snivels again, and smiles wryly. “That’s nice,” he says. He takes another step forward and pulls Even into a firm hug. He inhales the smell of Even’s skin and he rubs their cheeks together to make sure they feel each other and not just layers of clothing.

“Can we maybe talk more tomorrow?” Even asks then, letting their noses rest against each other.

“Sure,” Isak agrees but frowning a bit. “Why?”

Even looks somewhere behind Isak instead of meeting his eyes. “I’m tired.”

“You wanna sleep?” Isak clarifies.

Even nods.

“Alright, let’s sleep,” Isak says. “It’s late anyway.”


Even falls asleep almost immediately, but Isak is awake almost an hour longer. He stares at Even, stroking the messy hair away from his shut eyelids. He stares and thinks about where they will go from here.

He knows that Even can’t help it, but he had selfishly hoped Even would be feeling better. As he thinks about it more and more, he understands that it’s because it hurts him to see Even not feeling well.

Mental pictures of Even being too tired to do anything that means to be living flashes in his mind, and his heart constricts because this is what he must see one day. And he must be strong enough to be there and watch the man he loves being stuck in the coldest, darkest and loneliest place in the universe. It burns inside his chest. It burns and burns and burns until he forces himself to think about all the other things they will experience.

Getting their first apartment.

Maybe they will have a pet one day.

And all their Christmases and birthdays and parties—they will be something that Isak will cherish.

He understands that as they progress he will evolve. He will learn Even and Even will learn Isak. They will figure out what works and what doesn’t and Isak knows that this is what he wants.

The only thing he wishes is for Even not to feel sad. He would take Even’s pain a thousand times if he could, if it meant he would see the perfect little smile tugging his lips upwards.

Isak falls asleep at the thought of Even’s smile and, God, is it contagious.


The alarm Isak put on his phone wakes him up. He hurries to turn it off. Somewhat disoriented at first, he finally realises where he is. He quickly looks at his side to find Even fast asleep.

He groans and falls back down on the bed. Almost automatically, he lets his arm fall around Even’s body and he cuddles up against his back.


Even smells so nice.


He debates if he should ditch school again but he realises his absence is already in the danger zone. As he tries to wake up he stares at Even’s hair.

Does he dare leave Even behind? Should he wake him up? Is it possible to wake him up?

He sighs softly. Of course, it’s possible. But how long will it take and will Even be angry?

Isak buries his face against Even’s back. He doesn’t want to leave Even. The thought of it is like pouring salt over his already open wounds.


Isak is late but he decided to go to school anyway. He untangles his body from Even’s and wraps the blanket over him. He makes sure to tuck him in before he turns to find his clothes.

It takes a couple of minutes before he’s done and his stomach grumbles. He licks his lips. He’s starving but there’s no time for food.

“Even,” Isak says, his voice croaky as always in the morning. When there’s no reaction, he leans down and palms Even’s cheek. “Even,” he says, a bit louder.

The long lashes flutter.

“Even,” he says again, letting his thumb stroke the cheekbone. “Wake up for a moment.”

“Wha´?” Even mumbles, opening his eyes only slightly to look at Isak.

“I gotta go to school,” Isak tells him. “But I want you to know that I’m coming back as soon as it’s finished. And if there is anything at all, you tell me, alright?”

“Don’t need a caretaker,” Even mutters, and turns around. Isak’s hand falls back into thin air.

“No, you don’t,” Isak agrees. “But there’s a difference between a caretaker and someone who loves you.”

Even looks back at Isak. “Come back,” he says, his voice nearly pleading.

Isak leans down to kiss his cheek and then his lips. “I will. I’ll text you. You stay here. No—no running around,” he says, half-jokingly.

He earns a little smile. “Alright.”

“Jeg elsker deg,” Isak says and grabs his bag on the way out.

He’s out of the room before Even can reply.


On the bus, he notices he had received a text message from Even.

I love you too, it says, followed by a heart emoji.

Isak’s heart explodes and he breathes out all the heaviness. Even loves him and it’s the only thing he needs to know right now.

He wears the biggest smile at school, regardless of the circles under his eyes. It is almost as he wishes to live in this moment forever. The only thing he wishes for more than that is for Even to get better.

But they must go through this minute by minute.

And Isak is fine with that.


“Don’t you stop loving me, Don’t quit loving me, Just start loving me” —Rihanna with Love on the Brain

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Must Be Love on the Brain

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