Still thinking about Until Dawn. Still really, really invested in Mike/Sam. I haven't fallen this hard for a pairing in a while.
I was surprised to find it's a relatively unpopular pairing in the fandom - not nonexistent and not actively disliked, but nowhere near as big as I'd expected it to be. I suppose the problem is that each half is in a more popular het pairing: Sam/Josh is the second-most-written pairing in the fandom, and Mike/Jess is fourth. Mike and Sam don't really start interacting until halfway through the game, by which point people might already be invested in Mike/Jess or Sam/Josh, and it's going to be difficult to shift those preferences.
In my desperate quest for fanart, I came across one artist who said they didn't usually 'ship het but had fallen for Mike/Sam anyway. It's just occurred to me that this fits with my theory of its unpopularity. If you're not a het fan, you probably won't be 'shipping Mike or Sam with anyone by the time they team up, and therefore you'll be better able to appreciate that, objectively speaking, Mike/Sam is the best pairing ever and anyone who disagrees is a poo.
At the ending, if they both survive, he grabs her arm and just doesn't let go, just stays holding on to her as if it's the only way he can be sure they're still alive, and I can't get over it.
The thing that fascinates me about Mike/Sam is that I get the impression they would only end up with each other after the events of the game. Prior to that night, Sam would never have considered it. But they've been through hell and lost friends and almost died together, and something in their relationship has changed irreversibly. They've seen new sides of each other. They're closer now. Maybe too close, in a highly dependent 'you're the only person who knows what I've been through and I'm not sure I'd be able to function without you' way, depending on how many of their friends were killed. Maybe they're helping each other process things. Maybe they're stifling each other, unable to move on from that night as long as they're together and reminding each other of it. It's a pairing I love either way.
Unfortunately, my 'they'd only get together after their horrible experiences' view restricts what I can read or write for this pairing. I can understand why people would want to write about them getting together in a lovely AU where nobody dies or is permanently traumatised, but I just can't care about scenarios where they aren't miserable PTSD-ridden wrecks.
This is why I'm unlikely to write an Until Dawn/Pokémon crossover.