“Steven might not be coming in today,” was the first thing Adam says in lieu of greeting when he caught sight of Andrew coming in to the office.
“Oh.” Despite the placidity of the verbal response he gets back in return, he’s able to catch a flicker of what appears to be disappointment on Andrew’s features before they were overtaken by hints of concern and he follows up with “But what about the episode we’re supposed to be shooting today? Are we pushing the filming date back or…?”
At that, Adam allows the sides of his lips to twitch up in a subtle smile- small and fleeting but still present all the same. He knew Andrew didn’t check his phone this morning. The other had never really been the type to keep up with social media too often anyways, so this isn’t entirely a surprise. Holding up his own and switching to the worth it group conversation, he allows Andrew to briefly take his own phone and scroll through the group texts.
[Steven]: Guys I have this really bad cold ugh it feels so awful. ˚‧º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥⌓˂̣̣̥ )‧º·˚
[Adam]: oh shit. are you going to make it to work today?
[Steven]: I dunno, I’ll try to! It just feels really bad dude. I feel like every part of my body is in pain right now. (｡•́︿•̀｡)
[Adam]: okay but don’t force it and stay home if it starts getting super bad. we might be able to make adjustments to the schedule.
[Steven]: No way! The show must go on, right? I’m sure I’ll be fine with some meds and stuff. I’ll just get a ride here once everything stops spinning or something.
“So he’s still coming even when he can’t see straight?” Adam’s pleased to see his own exasperation mirrored on Andrew. He had been planning to somehow convince Steven to stay home but from the turn of conversation, it went about as well as it looked. Which isn’t well at all. Part of him is hoping that since his gentle persuasion has no effect, maybe Andrew’s occasional sternness might.
“What if-” Already, he could see the wheels of Andrew’s mind turning as he chews on his bottom lip, mulling things over. Adam nods as a silent encouragement for his friend to keep talking and he does. “What if instead of pushing things back or him stubbornly forcing himself here…what if we bring the episode to him instead?” A slow blink. Huh. He hadn’t thought about that. Andrew takes it as a cue to carry on selling the idea. “This way we wouldn’t have any delays and he won’t pass out on some random street corner without anyone knowing. We can get something that would be easy to eat.”
“Soup.” Adam supplies. “There’s probably some locations listed in the documents on Steven’s desk. We can use that.” The genuine pleasure and relief in the slowly blooming smile settling on Andrew’s face when he pitches in has Adam returning it with one of his own. He doesn’t dawdle though- they have some planning to do.
[Andrew]: Counteroffer. You stay where you are. We bring the episode over to you. You’re going to eat what we picked and you’re going to like it.
[Steven]: Whoa, Andrew taking the lead! We like a bossy Andrew. (^_<)〜☆
[Andrew]: Just be quiet and rest, Steven. We’ll see you in a bit.
[Adam]: bye steven
[Steven]: Bye! See you guys soon!
It was a blessing that they had all of their equipment packed and ready to go since the entire process of transferring to the vehicle, locating Steven’s list and getting said soups ended up taking longer than necessary. By the time they found a suitable parking stop near Steven’s apartment, it’s already 1 in the afternoon. Steven must have been keeping an eye out for their arrival because the front door opened before Adam could knock more than once.
“Hey guys.” They were greeted with the sight of a sickly Steven leaning against the wall for leverage, voice crackly and hoarse. Up close, he’s even worse off than one would expect- pale, sweating, nose as red as Rudolph. Yet despite his illness, Steven’s enthusiasm doesn’t appear to wane at all in the slightest and he probably would have offered to help carry all of their equipment inside had it not been for Andrew taking a look at his appearance and grimly pushing him back step by step into his room. That, bolstered with Steven’s spluttered protests draws chuckles from Adam as he crosses the threshold.
Once he’s more or less acquainted with the structure of Steven’s room, it becomes easier to plan the lighting and camera set up in a way that’s best for filming. Sure Adam will admit that the entire set up process took him a little bit longer than usual, what with him sneaking peeks at the duo, but hey who would fault him for that? Especially when Andrew’s managed to get Steven back in bed, tucked up and supported comfortably with a heap of pillows, laughing quietly at whatever he’d been lowly murmuring to him about. Steven’s sleep disheveled hair always made him look a lot more softer than he usually is and that coupled with his baggy sweaters made things ten times more comfier looking. They fit together. The thought warms his heart. No matter the nature of their connection, they fit. It’s nice to look at. What’s even more surprising is that Adam never once felt out of place looking at them like this. Never felt like an intruder. He fits too, in his own little way. And that’s something to appreciate as well.
As per usual, they start filming. This time, it’s Andrew that does most of the talking. Any long time viewer would notice the change in dynamics of things considering it’s different from how it usually goes. Andrew lacks the energetic exuberance Steven naturally exudes, but he makes up for it with his own passion for food. He’s dedicated to detail and places a great amount of care in introducing each bowl of soup, setting them by the bedside until they’re ready to bring it into frame. Nevertheless, the change in their usual system still works. Their bantering is as natural as ever.
By the time they’ve gotten to the second soup introduction, they went from touching shoulders together to Steven abruptly slumping against Andrew’s side, complaining that the first soup has him so content he’s ready to fall asleep. Hidden behind the lenses of his video camera, Adam has the luxury of noticing the slight widening of Andrew’s eyes and just the tiniest hint of colour resting high against his cheeks, glowing pink for a brief moment before he regains his composure.
“Feed yourself, you big baby.” There was a suspicious lack of heat in his comment despite the exaggerated sigh Andrew releases. Much like in their previous episodes, he takes a spoonful of soup and raises it to Steven’s lips, patiently waiting for him to take it. This time round though, he keeps feeding him. And Steven lets him, toes curling in apparent contentment. It’s so tooth-achingly sweet, this whole thing Adam’s currently filming. How the hell do they not notice the way they gravitate towards each other?
Adam lets the video roll on a little longer. But when a stray dollop ends up against the corner of Steven’s lips and Andrew tilts it closer to brush his thumb over it repeatedly, he couldn’t quite resist the quiet laugh that escapes him.
“So domestic.” It works as well as he intended. Steven automatically flushed, an undignified squawk leaving him and hands flailing as if he could physically dispel Adam’s point. “Domestic?! What domestic-it’s not-we’re not-!” Meanwhile, Andrew looks torn between spiritually ascending and ready to wring Adam’s neck. Except he won’t. Can’t have the internet’s cinnamon roll Adam dying here. Their reactions only made Adam laugh harder through indicating that they should roll the end scene.
They wrap up with no further incidents and before long, all that’s left to do is to pack up the rest of their gear. Full of soup and contentment, it’s not hard to see that Steven was beginning to get drowsy. “Andreeeew. Thank you.” Adam’s pretty impressed with how he managed to avoid decking said Andrew in the face when he shifts against his companion’s shoulder to sleepily drape his arms around him in a proper hug. And even though Andrew fights to look every inch the grumpy curmudgeon he fashions himself to be, the twitching of his lips and fondness behind his eyes proved otherwise.
“Adaaaam.” He steps forward when Steven lets go of Andrew to extend his arms towards him, making grabby hand gestures. Adam typically isn’t fond of too much body contact but he knows when to humour others. Especially a sick whiny Steven. So he crosses over and bends at the waist, bracing a knee against the edge of the bed for balance when arms wrapped around him. Steven’s flushed skin bordered on uncomfortable but the genuine affection behind his actions and the way he pats Adam’s back in steady circles makes up for it. “Thanks for coming all this way and doing this with me guys.”
“No problem, Steven.” Adam rights himself as soon as he’s released, waving the silent question of assistance when Andrew makes to shift. Stay. He gestured to a sleepy Steven, now fully draped against Andrew’s side, cheek pressing against his chest. He feels nice like that.
Adam works methodically, developing a pattern of packing and shifting everything into the car with repeat trips. He manages to get everything into the car before he clambered back in to rouse Steven, murmuring that he has to go. Stoic as he might be, he couldn’t help the rush of warmth he feels when Steven reaches for him and succeeds in grasping the tips of his fingers.
“S’probably late. Do you wanna stay?”
“Nah. I’ve got footage to transfer and import. Andrew’ll be here.” He shared a look with said person, teeth peeking out in a slight grin that makes Andrew swallow all his protests with a groan. “He’s a better caretaker than I am.”
“Hey I can take care of myself.”
“Yeah. Says the person who can barely walk a straight line to the door.”
Adam suppresses another snicker. There’s something precious about the way Andrew always seems to find footing in teasing Steven. Before he could be tempted into staying any further, he backs away with a “See you later”. He takes the last possible chance to tease them again by pausing only to take a picture (flash on) before he closes the door and properly vanishes from sight, accompanied by the starts of Steven spluttering again.
Later, he sends the image he’d taken of them cuddling along with “Ask him out already. Or else.” as his message text in two separate chats.