the thing i think about the most is how exactly they deal with, like, everything that Happened between them. like its benreys fault he got his arm cut off, man. even if (theoretically, in my personal headcanon) benrey doesnt exactly Grasp a lot of the shit he did that pissed gordon off (like ok taking the whole “what happened to your arm???” thing at face value, instead of as the (obvious) joke that it is? it makes me feel like he didnt understand the consequences of his actions as much as.....like.....somebody who Gets human shit would), they still gotta like talk about that shit eventually if they wanna get to know each other as anything more than enemies, or frenemies, or “dudes with a fragile detente in place who sometimes play video games and fuck”
and like.....i feel like the way benrey doesnt Get things isnt necessarily, like, entirely in good faith either......if that makes sense.....he seems like he deliberately doesnt Get things, and he can be kind of malicious about what he decides to wrap his head around and what he doesnt. like, hes deliberately obtuse, bu then sometimes hes actually obtuse, and i think that can be difficult to deal with as like......a real trait, instead of just a “haha funny improv character” trait.
his method of just completely dropping a topic if he doesnt know how to riff off it/make it funny (as an improv thing) is also something that is not super conducive to building a Real Relationship if you go full “death of the author” and interpret it as, just, not giving a shit about topics that dont interest him/are emotionally difficult
and gordon is like. Neurotic. hes anxious, hes depressed, hes got PTSD, hes graying at 27, etc. (okay like 2 of those things are just headcanons but whatever, they fit.) he probably isnt coping well with jack shit after black mesa! (and thats, yknow, how i write him.) before he can handle, like, a capital r-Relationship, he really needs to work on his own shit instead of fucking a dude with a massive crush on him. but, uhhh, too late, lmao. you work with what youve got. and, like, theres a lot of......working around each other that they would need to learn how to do if they ever wanted to be anything more than “friends with benefits who sometimes feel a certain way about each other”.
benreys got like that distinctly non-normative way of viewing the world and interacting with people (and, you know, i know that this is just a personal interpretation of an amalgam of behaviors primarily intended to be funny, but im already in this deep so why pretend like im not taking this a little seriously) and he also seems like he just gets a kick out of fucking with gordon.
and gordon thinks his off-beat behavior is so fucking funny, which is like, the foundation of why he likes benrey so much (and come on. weve all watched the same shit. weve all seen how much hes like “its not like im worried about benrey or anything but also oh god where the fuck is benrey”), but again, when theyre not, like, forced to be around each other by circumstance, that means that theyve actually gotta........learn to bend around each other. theyve gotta tear down whatever stupid acts theyre putting on and figure out how to just be Genuine with each other
and thats why i think it would take a good long while post-canon for them to figure each other out and really develop solid Feelings-feelings for each other. that shits hard. they clearly both like each other a lot but they also clearly love getting under each others skin (which is what i, personally, love about them). i like writing shit where theyre committing to the bit, right? putting on an act, playing the game.
being vulnerable is a lot fucking harder and thats why im starting that shit with benrey and gordon getting crossfaded and gordons Massive Emotional Repression being torn down and just letting all the bad feelings out. its gotta get worse before it gets better. benrey tried to kill him man. even if it may not have meant the same thing to benrey that it did to gordon, they still gotta, like, deal with it, man