"To bread?" Steven laughs, searching Andrew's face for approval. It's weird, he never does this around his girlfriend or any of his other friends. It seems like an exclusively Steven and Andrew thing, like a secret between them except even Andrew isn't aware of it. He prays Andrew laughs, prays he likes the pun.
Andrew's smile grows wider in slow motion. Steven can barely contain his heart within his chest, he completely forgets about the camera, about the season finale. They can just edit it out, Adam wouldn't mind. And then Andrew laughs loud, almost too loud, scaring Steven from his trance. He can barely breathe, all his blood rushing to his cheeks and neck as Andrew holds his hand out waiting for a high five or some kind of response from Steven. The impact of the blond's hand on Steven's is enough to make him dizzy from the rush, almost falling to the ground. I never get like this. I fucking never get like this-
"Steven, are you okay?" Andrew looks at him questioningly. Fuck. Steven forgets how to speak, how to breathe. All he can focus on are Andrew's lips, encasing his words. How does he do that? Speak so smoothly and confidently? Steven wants to drink in his words, lie in them like he would under the sun on a summer's day. He would give up music to listen to Andrew all day. He would give up his own speech forever.
"Steven?" Adam calls from the camera. Shit.
"Y-yeah?" Steven finally says, his mind still hazey from the dizziness and intensity of his thoughts. He probably thinks I'm a fucking weirdo. I probably said it out loud. "Sorry, it's just really hot. Let's go!" Steven tries to smile but his face is too tight, his mind too foggy. The rest of it is a blur, he recites "three sandwiches at three cities at three drastically different price points," like a mantra, stuttering each and every time. He wants to drown himself in Andrew's voice, in Andrew's gaze. He doesn't even know we're they're fucking going; Tokyo? Nashville?
Bolton's Spicy Chicken and Fish. He hopes the cameras don't catch his thoughts. He can barely concentrate on Dollye's voice, his thoughts a cacophony of Andrew.
"What is so... special about that recipe that makes Bolton's, Bolton's?" He asks, trying to ignore the way Andrew stares at him, almost smiling. He thinks I'm a fucking idiot. I'm making a fool of myself. Steven wants to cry, wants to melt down on the spot but instead he laughs, trying to fill in the gaps on camera. He tries not to stare at Andrew so much but it's hard to ignore the way his hair looks dark in this lighting, his skin and eyes almost glowing. It's hard to not pretend Andrew is smiling for him. He's almost euphoric, being this close to Andrew. He wonders why he stared at him, why he smiled. Does he like me? Does he think I'm cute? His thoughts scare him, automatically reminding him of his girlfriend. SHIT. The camera. He glances at Adam and the camera crew, his eyes begging them to not have caught him freaking out. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. He can already see the comments, the messages, the hurt. Steven feels tears threatening to brim, threatening to spill over the divide of mind and body.
Adam laughs at something the owner says, Steven joins in. They're laughing at me. They can hear me-
"If you never had a bone-in sandwich, it's a proper way to eat it." Fuck. The show.
Steven panics, looking for something to say, "there's bone IN our sandwich?" He should already know this, he's the one who chose the restaurants and the price points. "I love it," Steven says upon her reply, hoping it makes sense or seems natural, at least.
Suddenly the food is in front of them, almost as if Steven had blanked out the last few minutes. He tries to tell Andrew his Sean Evans fact without stuttering, without accidentally kissing him but he feels like he's going to explode. Like at any minute, he's going to combust into a ball of flames that engulfs everyone in the restaurant. His leg touches Andrew's under the table and he doesn't think it's the chicken that's doing it. He feels dizzy, his lips burning and sweat is running down his forehead. Andrew's sweating, too. Steven wants to wipe it off of him, kiss the spice off of his lips or something. Maybe it's just a passing infatuation, something that will look fleeting in hindsight but Steven wants this moment to last forever, the way Andrew looks at him with a mix of concern and intrigue. He feels like an excitable child next to Andrew, like he's too loud and too annoying. Steven wishes the blond would tell him to shut the fuck up, really hurt him the way the chicken burns his mouth. He wants Andrew to kiss him better, dab away at the spice in his eye delicately but he just sits their laughing at him. He doesn't know what he's saying, what he's feeling, all he knows is that he wants to shut Andrew up, kiss him right there in front of the cameras, right there in front of the restaurant.