He saw it while Tommy was practicing, guitar unplugged and emitting only tinny little noises instead of full-sounding chords, an expression that looked achingly familiar and completely foreign at once. Adam didn't know what it meant. He could usually read Tommy so well, but this face was confusing him. Troubling him, somehow.
"Tommy, are you happy?" The words spilled out of him, unplanned and just as troubling for how right they felt in Adam's mouth.
Tommy looked up from his guitar, fingers stilling, frozen in a strange position on the strings. "What?" The expression hadn't faded, but as a moment passed, as Adam watched, he saw it transform into polite curiosity. Tommy wore that expression a lot around Adam; it spoke of love and gratitude and familiarity, and Adam wondered then if it had ever been real.
He moved closer to Tommy and lowered his voice even further, hoping for at least a modicum of privacy in this giant rehearsal space. "You don't have to hide, Tommy. Not from me."
At once, the curiosity dropped away. Tommy's face settled back into what Adam finally recognized as weariness, more than his own simple physical exhaustion, and it settled so easily that Adam knew this expression was common for Tommy. It bothered him that he'd never seen it before now. He hadn't realized Tommy was that good at hiding.
"Are you happy?" he asked again.
Tommy strummed his guitar absently, eyes flickering up to Adam's face to watch for his reaction. Adam recognized the melody as one of his own and he couldn't fight the quirk of his lips. Tommy mirrored his smile, bigger and brighter, but somehow sharper, too.
"Right now, I am," he replied.
Adam felt a flush of relief, and a deeper burn of pride and power, before the words had even sunk in and made sense in his brain. The weight of responsibility settled over his heart not long after.
He gave Tommy a genuine smile and hoped Tommy could pull some comfort out of it. He said, "Okay," and turned away to call his band back to work.