The Youtube thing wasn’t meant to be that big.
It started out innocent enough, really. Lara Jean has always been a big fan of Instagram, if only to showcase her baking goods. She likes the precision that comes with food photography -- finding the best light, the best props, the best setting. If baking takes her mind off things, food photography helps her sharpen her eye for details. She can spend hours just preparing muffins then displaying them in the most delicious way. And it pays off. Her Instagram account gets fairly popular, fairly quickly, all on its own. She’s quite proud of it, to be honest.
And then Kitty gets a new camera for her birthday, and decides to make it her life’s mission to turn Lara Jean’s little side business -- she’s starting to get promo deals with some cooking brands, it’s great -- into something bigger. So, after hours of begging and argumenting and convincing, she manages to force Lara Jean to shoot their first cooking recipe and to put it on Youtube.
The production value isn’t all that great at first -- Lara Jean is awkward in front of the camera, and Kitty’s editing skills aren’t exactly that polished. Looking back, it makes for some pretty cringey videos. But it is only the beginning. Her Instagram followers start flocking to her Youtube account, people like and subscribe, and she gets more comfortable with the talking-and-showing thing. Kitty even takes a filming class during the summer, and learns so much that it quickly shows on screen.
Before either of them truly realise what is happening, it gets big.
Bigger than big.
And then Vidcon happens.
Well, Lara Jean’s third Vidcon happens, really, because she’s been twice already and it’s always been fun. Meeting fans, meeting other Youtubers she only knew through Twitter and Instagram, talking about what she does and the projects she’s working on, where the adventure will lead her next. It truly is an exhausting experience, especially for her who spends most of her time in her kitchen with nobody but her sister and her agent, Trina, but. It’s good fun, too. That’s how she met Chris, two years ago, which led to a lot of fun collab videos between her channel and Chris’ gaming channels. Lots of video-game-inspired cookies, too.
Lara Jean barely puts one foot inside her hotel’s reception hall that Chris is already barrelling at her like a wild animal, with a loud scream as she pulls her into a hug that makes Lara Jean yelp in surprise when her feet leave the floor. She returns Chris’ hug, a mouthful of dyed pink hair in her mouth -- that’s definitely new.
“I’m so happy you’re here, LJ!” Chris exclaims.
Which is always fun -- seeing Chris’ real persona, not the aloof Youtube one she puts on for a video. Chris is the queen of deadpan on the web, known for her flat-yet-deadly comments when she plays online and famous for her wit. To see the most open, bubbly side of her when the camera is not rolling is always quite the whiplash.
“I’m too!” Lara Jean replies, and means it. Chris is her only real friend in this world, instead of a business partner. “Remember Kitty, right?”
Chris steps back, if only to hug Kitty too. “Yeah, course!”
“Is it true you’re part of the Kavinsquad now?” is what Kitty chooses to start the conversation with.
Kitty is more up to date with all the Youtube politics than Lara Jean could ever be. She says it’s for research, looking at other people’s videos and taking inspiration from their style, the angles they choose, their editing process. But it’s most for the drama. Kitty lives off it, and knows everything there is to know about everyone and their brother. Which comes in handy when Lara Jean has to network; she knows who to avoid, who to be polite to, who to work with. Not particularly healthy on Kitty’s part, but definitely helpful.
Chris flips her hair back, looking more smug than she ought to be about a glorified friend group filming each other do stupid things. “Started tagging along because of Gen. She left, I definitely stayed.”
“That’s soooo cool,” Kitty replies, stars in her eyes. “Is the squad house really that big?”
Lara Jean kind of tunes them out as she goes through taking her keys from reception, being shown to their room and shoving her bags on her bed. The bedroom Trina booked for them is small but nice, just enough for crashing at the end of a long day. Based on Chris and Kitty’s animated discussion still going, it’s starting to look like they’re not going to get a lot of sleep in anyway.
“I’ll see you at the Female Youtubers and Gender Roles panel?” Chris asks, all chipper.
Lara Jean raises her head from her Instagram feed, only now realising the both of them have stopped gushing over some vlogging dude’s abs to stare at her. She blinks, once, twice, and shakes her head slightly as she puts a smile on her lips. “Yeah, of course!”
Chris doesn’t need more, giving them a lazy salute of her fingers on her temple before she goes back to her own bedroom. Lara Jean sighs deeply as she lets herself fall on her bed, not surprise in the least when Kitty comes to lie by her side. They have an hour before all the madness starts, which gives her ample time before she has to dress, put some makeup on, and otherwise look nice. The PR aspect of her job truly is exhausting.
“He’s got seventeen millions subs,” Kitty comments, holding her phone high above her head.
Lara Jean opens her eyes and turns her head to frown at her sister. “Who?”
Kitty scoffs. “Peter Kavinsky. Have you listened to anything we said?”
Lara Jean waits three full seconds, before she shakes her head. Kitty scoffs again, before shoving her phone in her face. It’s opened on Peter Kavinsky’s channel, showcasing a bragging 17.3M in the red box and a ridiculous amount of videos. He does daily vlogs, she thinks. She doesn’t really know what happens on Youtube outside of the cooking community, and the occasional beauty or fashion blogger. The dude side of Youtube is a scary place, truth be told.
“So?” Kitty echoes, a little high-pitched. “Imagine what’d happen if you were in his vlog for like, five seconds. People would come to your channel in mass.”
“Yes, because 14-year-old kids who like yelling man-boys love cooking channels.” When Kitty only offers her a deadpan stare, she sighs, “We’ll see if Chris introduces us, okay. Don’t get excited over nothing.”
Eight hours later, Kitty gets excited over a definite something .
It goes a little like this: Lara Jean starts the day with a signing session, then has lunch. Her afternoon is the panel she’s doing with Chris and a bunch of awesome female content creators, before she has a bunch of interview with a bunch of websites and news outlets. It’s exhilarating and exhausting all at once, her cheeks hurting from smiling and talking so much, her feet killing her after so many hours in heels. And then, just when she’s about to call it a day and go back to her hotel room, slip into something comfy and maybe go out for a drink later, someone comes toward her in the VIP section.
He’s familiar in a way everyone at Vidcon is -- someone she’s vaguely aware exists on Youtube, or Twitter, or Instagram. A Face she’s definitely seen somewhere, dark skin and beautiful cheekbones, but couldn’t really associate to a name if she was asked.
“Lara Jean, right?” he asks her as way of greeting, holding his hand out to her. “I’m Lucas. Chris told me I’d find you here.”
“Oh, hi,” she replies, more surprised than anything else. He must be part of the squad too, a small mirrorless camera in his jeans’ front pocket and a tripod in the back one. Vlogger, then. They always tend to have smaller equipment to run around easily. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware we were meeting here?”
“Nah, it’s fine. She said, and I quote, ‘She won’t know what’s coming but you need to force her to come to the party anyway’ so. Here I am. Kidnapping you?”
He’s almost apologetic in the way he says it, which only makes Lara Jean laugh. He looks like the kind of dude she could be friends with, definitely has that chill-and-nice vibe she goes for most of the time too. And, well, it’s Vidcon. She can indulge in a little party tonight, and rest all of next week. They have a bunch of videos scheduled anyway, the business will be fine with extended naps for a few days.
“Let me just text my sister first so she knows where to meet us,” she replies, and grabs her phone. Kitty really wanted to go to some workshop about thumbnails and clickbait, so she disappeared a while ago. “She’s my cameragirl slash editor slash person who loves to boss me around.”
Lucas laughs. “Yeah, sounds like Peter.”
She texts, Party with that guy’s squad? Meet me in hotel lobby.
Kitty replies immediately with seven shocked cat emojis.
“Mind if I change first?” she asks Lucas. “Those shoes are killing me?”
He grins and claps his hands. “Oh, let me help! I love a good makeover!”
In the end, they settle on a simple skinny-skirt-and-graphic-shirt combo, with white sneakers. Lara Jean even lets her hair down from its signature ponytail, which Lucas approves with some comment about ‘If I were into girls’ that makes her snort a little. She grabs a small handbag, just big enough for her phone, mirrorless camera and room key, before they go back downstairs to meet an over-excited Kitty in the lobby. She already knows Lucas by name, and excitedly tells him she adored his series of vlogs about Prides around the country.
Lucas leads them down the street to another hotel, then all the way up to the penthouse. Because of course they’re staying in the penthouse. Seventeen million subs could buy them the entire hotel if they put their mind to it.
The music is loud even from the hallway, and then the penthouse is a rightful mess. People dancing in the main room, chatting and laughing on the balcony, making out in every corner. Booze everywhere. Two dudes shamelessly smoking pot while sitting on a table. There’s even a dog, running from one person to another and yapping like crazy.
This is so not Lara Jean’s scene that she just backs down before even entering the room. Kitty stops her with both hands on her back and pushes her inside. “Can’t leave before you’ve said hi to Chris.
“I’ve said hi to Chris twice already!”
Lucas is cackling like a maniac as he drags them across the room. A bunch of people clap him on the back as he walks by, and he replies with a few words of greeting or a laugh, a wink. It comes so naturally to him; Lara Jean will never understand extroverts.
Thankfully, they find Chris in another room, sitting on a couch with a bunch of dudes. Once Lucas closes the door behind them it’s way more quiet -- the music still loud, but not so that you have to yell to be heard.
“Laraaaaaaaa,” Chris exclaims happy, half-standing up to grab her wrist with both her hands and pull her toward her.
Lara Jean falls on top of Chris before she manages to squeeze hersel between her friend and a guy she doesn’t know, legs half on top of Chris’s. “How drunk are you?”
“I’m not drunk. You just have a sexy twin.”
The guy next to Lara Jean chuckles loudly, and she turns her head to look at him. It doesn’t take a genius to recognise him, with his curly hair falling in front of his eyes and his merch hoodie. Peter Kavinsky himself, self-crowned king of vlogs. He flashes his dimples at her, and her heart misses a beat.
“You’re chocolat cookies girl!” he says as way of greeting. “Gabe loves to try your recipes when he’s drunk. Almost burns down the house every time.”
“It happened once! And it was an accident!” another guy yells, while everyone else bursts into laughter.
Lara Jean’s eyes move from guy to the other, watching them laughing at their private joke in confusion, before she looks back to Peter again. He winks at her, and settles a little more comfortable in the couch. There is something so casual about him, like nothing in life every bothers him -- like calling his friends out in front of stranger is just an habit, at this point.
“Anyway, some high quality content you’ve got. I’m impressed.”
“That’s all my sister’s magic,” she replies with a nod toward Kitty, who’s now playing a game of Jungle Speed with Lucas and the guy she recognises as John Ambrose. Who she may or may not have kissed during a Vidcon party last year. Gosh, talk about embarrassing yourself.
“Might have to steal her from you,” Peter jokes.
She pokes her tongue out at him, the picture of maturity, and he laughs. Then asks her how her day’s been and, before she knows it, they’re deep into a conversation about quality vs quantity, and how the algorithm is killing smaller channels, how demonetisation has affected so many of them in the past few months.
They talk and talk and talk, until the music switches to something softer and the mood changes a bit. The penthouse isn’t so crowded anymore now that it’s well into the night, and she spent it all talking nerdy with Peter Kavinsky. Huh. Unexpected.
Kitty is dozing off on a loveseat in a corner, which Lara Jean takes as her cue to go back to their own hotel room. They have a busy schedule in the morning, and all the coffee in the world will not do if they don’t have at least a few hours of peaceful sleep. So she says her goodbyes to Peter, and to Chris and Lucas, before she shakes Kitty’s shoulder and helps her up. Their walk back to their hotel room is slow but steady, and Kitty plops head first in her bed without even bothering to take her shoes or clothes off.
Lara Jean quickly gets rid of her makeup and puts on a nightgown before she hides under the blankets. She opens Instagram for her last check of the day when she sees the notification, from only six minutes ago.
p_kasinsky started following you.
Vidcon goes on faster than Lara Jean can cope with. There are more interviews and panels and signings, a Q&A, a meeting with her fans and even a photoshoot. Chris drags her to another party at the penthouse, because of course she does, and to a bar where most big Youtubers meet to have a drink. Then there’s a cooking workshop, a photo session with fans, and half a dozen more activities to keep her busy.
Lara Jean is so beat when she goes back home that she sleeps fifteen hours in a row and still feels tired when she wakes up. She has five missing calls from Trina, a couple messages asking her to call her back, and more emails than she wants to deal with. So she calls Trina.
“What did you do?” is her manager’s first question.
Lara Jean isn’t awake enough for that. “What.”
“You gained almost 8k subs overnight and it just keeps going up. What happened?”
She moves to the living room, tapping Kitty’s shoulder over the couch as she goes and moves toward the kitchen island where he laptop is waiting. “I don’t know. It always goes up after Vidcon, right?”
“Yes, but never quite like that. Anything standing out that you didn’t tell me about?”
“Not that I can remember,” she replies as she logs in to her account. And yeah, here it is. Even Kitty’s eyes widen at the obvious spike in subscribers in the last few hours. She scrambles for her phone, typing away in a fury, while Lara Jean can only stare at the screen.
“It’s Peter,” Kitty says. “He linked you in his video’s bio.”
“Oh my god, what?”
“Facetime, honey,” Trina tells her, so she does.
She points her phone at Kitty’s phone, and Kitty starts the video. It’s your usual ‘Yay Vidcon!’ vlog, with behind the scene footage and Peter joking around with his friends. There are shots of the panels, fans yelling, fans waiting in line for signings and pictures. A bunch of scenes from the parties Lara Jean attended, and it doesn’t really comes as a surprise when she appears there.
She remembers it from the second party at the penthouse, when they’d been playing beer pong with Gabe and Chris. Lucas was filming them for a bit, and that’s what made it to the vlog. Peter’s arm thrown over her shoulders, the both of them yelling when he’d taken a shot and the ball had landed straight into a cup. He’s jumping, and she has her hands on her cheeks; they look particularly cute there.
In the video’s bio, he lists the usual -- his Instagram and Twitter, link to his merch, music tracks used in the video. Then the names and channels of everyone else in the video. Including her, apparently. For a five-second shot in a six-minute video.
“Okay, I need to get hold of his manager,” Trina announces, no joke all business. “I’ll call you back later.”
“See you,” Lara Jean replies, still a little stung. She updates her statistics page on her laptop. Her subscriber number has gone up 2 more thousands already. “This is too much.”
“Wait until you read the comments,” Kitty replies.
Lara Jean chances a look her sister’s way, only to find Kitty grinning at her like the Cheshire Cat. She sighs and grabs her laptop, before she goes back to lock herself in her room, unable to deal with her sister’s teasing right now. She’d rather be alone for what can only be described as a walk of shame through the comments section.
KavinskyForLife 2 hours ago
who’s the girl with him at 3:26?????
View 13 replies v
badbeach 3 hours ago
*Gen has left the chat*
View 8 replies v
MrsKavinsky 1 hour ago
omfg is that SONG BAKERY with Peter?????? ARE THEY DATING?????
View 23 replies v
CrazyCatLady 2 hours ago
so he’s dating LJ now? I mean, I don’t mind cause Gen was a massive bitch anyway. couldn’t fucking stand her in the vlog with her negative attitude all the time. from insta diva to cute baking girl what a fucking glo up amirite??
View 35 replies v
GamingChris ✓ 1 hour ago
LIKE THIS COMMENT IF YOU THINK LARA JEAN SHOULD BE IN THE KAVINSQUAD
View 98 replies v
Lara Jean slams her laptop close.
Lara Jean rarely ever goes to Trina’s office. Trina usually comes to her house when they need to talk business or, more likely, they handle things over the phone. It always makes her feel like this whole cooking channel is more important than it is, when she has to go all the way to central LA to meet Trina. Her Gold Play Button is on display in the manager’s office, along with a couple others. Not Diamond Button, though. Sometimes, Lara Jean dreams about getting one of those, too.
Peter has a Diamond Button. Peter is also sitting next to her, along with his own manager. Discussing business arrangement. Discussing a contract that is so ridiculous Lara Jean wanted to laugh about it when Trina explained it the first time around. But it sounds serious, and Lara Jean isn’t laughing so much anymore.
“So we are talking one collab every month and a half on Lara Jean’s channel, and two appearance every fortnight on Peter’s,” Trina outlines after half an hour of discussion of agreed terms. “As well as five pictures each per month on Instagram.”
“Sounds perfect to me,” Peter’s manager agrees.
Because that is Lara Jean’s life now. Drafting a contract not just for a collaboration with Peter, but for a fake dating arrangement between the two of them. And, look, Lara Jean is not stupid; she gets it. Lots of celebrities date for PR, and she even knows a Youtuber or two who had sketchy relationships for views. She just never really thought she would be one of those people, though.
“What about the content, though?” Peter asks. He looks so serious, so unlike the boy she partied with only a week ago. “How far do we go in the whole pretending schtick?”
“Well, Lara Jean’s channel is PG,” Trina starts slowly, thinking as she goes, “So going a little too rowdy would not fit her audience…”
“No kissing,” Lara Jean chimes in.
Peter’s eyes widen. “How are we supposed to sell it if I can’t kiss you?”
“Plenty of couples don’t kiss on camera. MatPat and Stephanie don’t, and they have a kid. David and Liza didn’t…”
“Woah, woah, woah, too soon,” he stops her, with a smile. “Okay, we’ll keep the PDA to a minimum. It will draw comments, though.”
“Maybe I remind you we’re doing this to soften your image?” his manager adds. “The whole point is for people to notice.”
That’s where Lara Jean is lost, to be quite honest. She understands how beneficial it will be to her channel -- they’re already predicting her reaching three millions by the end of the month. But for Peter? They keep talking about his image, which apparently hasn’t been so good since his breakup with Gen, Instagram model and Chris’ cousin. Something about a nasty breakup followed by a video from Gen making some very accusatory comments.
Not to mention the many scandals happening all over Youtube with squads not unlike Peter’s.
So, that’s where Lara Jean is needed. Good and nice by association. Put Peter next to a cute, well-behaved girlfriend to put him in a new light, to make people forget about the Gen scandal and the bad rep that followed. It makes sense, on an intellectual level. Lara Jean isn’t all that certain that she’s the best person for the task, though.
“How long do we have to do it?” she asks.
A very important question, after all.
“For now, we’ll keep going on until Christmas,” Trina replies, smooth as ever. “Then we’ll meet again, see the results, and reassess.”
Lara Jean nods, lips drawn into a fine line. She’s done collabs before. She’s been on Chris’ livestreams before. And she is used to Instagram sponsored posts too. When you come to think about it, this is not so different. One day of shooting for her video every few weeks. Only a few seconds in his vlogs once in a while. Pseudo-candid pictures. It’s all just acting, no feelings attached. She can do that.
“I want a ‘boyfriend does my makeup’ video,” she decides as she turns toward Peter.
He blanches, just a little. But then he grins, too, and holds up his hand for her to shake. “You’ll regret it, but agreed.”
His fingers are warm against her skin, but not as warm as Trina’s grin. Lara Jean already sees dollar signs in her manager’s eyes.
If you go back Lara Jean’s channel, the first videos were shot in her family kitchen, the video shaking with Kitty and the only light coming from the large windows. Before any of them knew about tripods, light panels, or reflectors.
When they made it -- truly, properly, ‘pay the bills and then more’ made it -- Lara Jean wanted to buy a house for their father. He refused. Moving out, selling the house where their mother had lived, was always out of the question. It was love that kept him single all those years, and sentimentality that had him kept the house.
So instead Lara Jean and Kitty moved to Los Angeles, to a house so big the rooms echoed from the lack of furniture, and a kitchen so perfect it kickstart so many new projects in Lara Jean’s mind. Her video schedule is solid now; a new recipe on Tuesdays, a cooking tutorial or tip on Thursdays. The occasional slice-of-life video when something interesting happens, which is not all that often.
The kitchen is less a kitchen and more a filming studio, and Peter looks definitely impressed when he first steps in. The tension leaves his shoulders when Lara Jean steps on the box that makes her a little bit taller for the camera, though, and by the time she’s done explaining how everything works and each step of the video to him, he’s far more relaxed.
(He even colour-coordinated his shirt to her outfit, which nobody will fail to notice.)
Kitty switches on the camera and checks the white balance, before she gives them the thumb up. Lara Jean sighs as she closes her eyes, before her camera-ready smile settles on her lips.
“Hello everyone! Today is a special video as you can see, because we have….” She raises her hands toward Peter as if to fram the upper half of his body, and he grins at her in reply. “Peter joining us to cook with us. I asked him what he wanted to bake and his answer was…”
He immediately leans closer to the camera and exclaims, “Fruitcake cookies!”
Lara Jean wrinkles her nose a little. “Because there’s not account for bad taste, right?”
He turns toward her then, leaning into her personal space with his bottom lip tucked between his teeth. The flirty thing is so convincing that she holds her breath a little, letting it out in a shaking giggle when he replies, “I’ll have you know I have amazing taste.”
It’s all just faking, she reminds herself as she pushes him away a little, before she moves around the kitchen to get all the ingredients ready for the next take. Peter tries to help but she shooes him away -- there’s an order to those things, and she will only be satisfied if it’s done just the way she likes it.
It gets easier after that. The banter and flirting is still all over the place, but Peter is such a disaster when it comes to cookie that she spends more energy on making sure he doesn’t turn her kitchen into a war zone, and less on letting her anxieties run wild. They have to do so many retakes that they almost run out of flour -- half of it ends up in her hair, for some unknown reason.
It takes longer than one of normal videos would, but they manage to get all their footage in one day, with only a small break for lunch and Kitty ordering pizza. By the time of the final reveal, the kitchen does kinda look like a war zone anyway, so they waste half an hour cleaning to make it look somewhat presentable.
“So here we are,” she smiles at the camera and claps her hands, before Peter dramatically lifts the silver cloche to reveals a pile of cookies, “Homemade fruitcake cookies!”
“And don’t they look perfect!” he adds for emphasis.
She bumps her shoulder against his with a grin. “They do look good but I’m not sure they can taste good, even made by me.”
“You’re such a snob,” he gasps at her, before focusing back on the camera, “Guys, don’t listen to her, fruitcake cookies are amazing and underrated and you should try them out!”
They bicker a little bit more, then taste the cookies -- not as bad as she made it out to be, but still not to her taste -- and do the usual outtro with a reminder of all the links in the description, and don’t forget to subscribe and hit that bell.
Peter is still shoving cookies in his mouth once they stop recording, and Kitty bursts into laughter. “You’re the worst,” she comments. “Even Chris was, like, decent at it.”
“They’re really good,” he manages to say around a mouthful.
Lara Jean grins. “Who are you trying to convince here?”
But truth be told, she had fun today. Peter really is a nice guy with a good sense of humour, despite what the over-the-top talking-extra-loud videos will have you believe. He’s charming and quick-witted, able to hold a decent conversation, and not looking down at her channel’s content and aesthetic for being too girly. He even puts some music on his phone and helps with the cleaning, putting everything in the dishwasher while she wipes the counters.
It’s awfully domestic, especially since Kitty has run to the edit room to work on the raw footage, leaving them alone in the kitchen. Lara Jean has never been really big on dating, too busy working on her channel to really take the time, but she imagines that it would look like that. Two people simply enjoying each other’s company, simple and easy.
“So when is the video gonna be ready?” he asks as he closes the dishwasher.
“I mean, she’ll probably put an all-nighter because that’s her thing, so it should be good in the morning,” Lara Jean explains. She drops the sponge in the sink before wiping her hands so she can grab a cookie, only to make a face at the first bite. Still no. “But I’ll move my posting schedule around so it’s up and running next week.”
“Good.” He leans against the kitchen island, hands grabbing the edge. It does things to his arms she’d rather not think about. “Gives us some time to introduce our relationship in the vlog.”
“Oh.” She pauses, and looks down. There’s flour all over her floor too, and it looks like Winter Wonderland down there. “How scripted is it going to be?”
She knows most vlogging channels like his are way more planned and scripted than they look, to appeal to their audience and offer interesting content. Lara Jean just isn’t certain how good of an actress she is compared to the people in his squad, how easily she will fit in there when she needs to film with him.
“Depends, really. Most of the pranks, that’s improv to get a genuine reaction out of the dudes. But mostly everything else is planned in advance and rehearsed a little. Makes it flow better and more naturally, ironically.”
“So,” she pauses again and bites her lip, “If something is too much or…”
“Yeah, you can say no to anything, I won’t take it the wrong way. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable or do something you don’t like. It’s supposed to be fun for everyone.”
She sighs in relief. A quick view of his channels, and what his ex girlfriend used to do on the camera, had scared her a little. There was a lot of cleavage involved, which she has absolutely no problem when it’s other girls doing it. Not for her, though.
“Tell you what,” he goes on. “We’re filming tomorrow so you can just drop by and play some Mario Kart with Chris or something, and that’s it. Ease you into it little by little.”
“Sounds good, yes.” She nods a little, letting silence stretch between them. “Today was nice.”
He laughs, and it sounds pretty and kind. “Yeah, it was a nice change. And fun, definitely.”
He leaves not soon after, yelling his goodbye at Kitty who echoes it from across the room, and stealing the last cookies off the plate. Lara Jean doesn’t realise she’s still staring at the door for a while, then shakes herself out of it. He’s long gone once she remembers she hasn’t taken any pictures of the cookies for Instagram, and then it’s too late.
Peter texts her his address in the morning.
He simply forgets to mention he lives in a damn mansion. Which, okay, makes sense when you remember he’s one of the biggest Youtubers today, and he shares the place with half a dozen people. And that same place is also his working place. But, still, Lara Jean does a double take when her GPS tells her she’s arrived to her destination, because it can’t be right.
The kiddy pool in the front yard and the half broken basketball hoop helps a little, though.
Shooting goes exactly as Peter had explained the previous day. She’d quickly baked a tray of chocolate brownies at night, not to arrive empty-handed, and Gabe grabs the box from her before she can even explains anything, claiming loud and proud in front of Peter’s camera that “This one is a keeper, Peter! You’ve outdone yourself, bro!” Which will do, as far as relationship announcements go.
She soon finds herself playing Portal with Chris, which is a lot of fun. But playing video games with Chris is always fun, even though Lara Jean is always terrible at all of them. At least she’s participating, and Chris laughs a lot at how inept she is with a controller, and Peter films a bit of it with a grin on his face.
Then Lucas is showing her around the house while the other guys are doing some weird stuff in the garden, before John Ambrose orders Chinese for everyone. They gather in the living room to eat, Lara Jean sitting on one couch with Peter at her feet, leaning against her legs. Chris snaps a pictures and sends it to him, and he tinkers around with it a little bit before asking for her approval, and then it’s Instagram official.
She spends the rest of the day with Chris and Lucas, watching some crappy show on Netflix in Lucas’ room and laughing way too much, until Peter comes looking for her. He grabs her hand as he drags her along until he finds an empty room. Or perhaps it’s just his bedroom, but she’s not brave enough to ask, to confirm the implications for his audience of being there with him and his camera.
“You mind doing my outtro with me?” he asks, puppy eyes and all.
It would be heartless of her to say no. So, “Yeah, of course.”
He grins and bounces on the balls of his feet a little, before wrapping his arm around her shoulders. He’s so tall she finds herself pressed against his chest, but Lara Jean can’t say that she minds. Not when he’s so warm and solid against her, a comforting presence by his side.
“Oh wait,” she stops him before he hits the record button. “Do you want some footage that will make people go ‘awww the way she looks at him’?”
He pauses, surprise obvious in his eyes before he grins down at her, and presses a quick kiss to her forehead. “You’re awesome.”
And it’s not all that hard, looking up at him all cute and adorable, when he’s been so nice to her for two days in a row, attentive and careful. She smiles a little, hoping it’s not too much. People will eat that up anyway, but she’d rather not make it too obvious when they’ve officially only started dating a few days ago.
“And that’s it for today’s vlog, guys! I hope you enjoyed and if you did, smash that like button and make sure you subscribe! Also I’m here with Lara Jean so make sure to check her channel, cause something amazing is coming your way really soon.”
“Spoilers,” she chimes in with what she hopes to be a teasing smirk, “Peter has terrible taste in cookies.”
“I have amazing taste in cookies, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about!” He laughs, just a little. “See you guys on Friday, ciao!” He switches off the camera before turning to her, “Not letting me live it down?”
“Never,” she grins.
“I mean, it’s okay to have bad taste.”
And perhaps it’s being around his squad all day, or perhaps it’s a testament of how comfortable she is around Peter, but she finds herself replying, “Yeah, you should see my boyfriend.”
His face alone is priceless, but she bursts into laughter when he says, “Wait, wait, wait, hold on, say that again on camera!”
Fake-dating Peter Kavinsky turns out to be way easier than Lara Jean had believe at first. She brainstorms easy, beginner recipes for him to try on camera, playing off the Ratatouille ‘Everyone can cook!’ idea to show her audience they don’t have to all be Gordon Ramsey to bake something nice. Peter gets a little bit better at it, even though he can never remember the right terminology for anything. And he’s so weirdly fascinated when she explains that her main sponsors are actually clothing brands, because people always want to know what she’s wearing in her videos.
And filming at his house is always an adventure of its own. She’s thrown into the swimming pool more times than she ought to be, learns to shoot a paintball gun and runs around the house chasing Gabe, lip-sync to songs in the drive-thru at least once a week. By the end of the first month, she’s so used to Peter’s camera in her face that she forgets to be shy around it. Especially since the squad loves her and adopts her fairly quickly, and she’s comfortable around them even when they’re messing around. It helps that it allows her to spend more time with Chris too, the two of them planning a new collab for the following month.
And, obviously, the whole thing is working nicely for her numbers. Her channel has never been that popular before, and her video with Peter finds its way to the Trending page only an hour after she posts it. She reaches a new Instagram milestone too, which means more time filtering troll comments but also more blushing at reading adorable and supportive comments. All in all, Peter’s audience seems to like her, she thinks.
CovinskyIsLove 2 hours ago
omfg the way she keeps looking at him in the outtros my heart can’t fucking take it guys!!!!!
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BananaManana 5 hours ago
Anyone noticed how much more relaxed Peter is now? Like, I don’t want to catfight or shit, but he never really looked happy with Gen? It’s so nice to see him acting like himself again!
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SapphoBitch 4 hours ago
guys i’m living for all that LJxChris content finally the positive female relationship we deserves on the kavinsquad!!!
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MrsKavinsky 1 hours ago
LJ’s look of horror at 1:26 oh you sweet summer child you cinnamon roll too beautiful too pure
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