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So Let The People Decide

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“Can we see your boyfriend?” Andrew squints and reads the comments coming into his Twitch stream. He pauses the game of Grand Theft Auto V he was in the middle of playing. Another comment pops up asking: “Is Will there?” Andrew hears the muted sound of another subscriber and Twitch donation again and figures his fans are helping to pay his rent, so he might as well answer.

“Ah yeah Will’s here. He’s in the other room though, probably doesn’t want to be bothered by Grand Theft Auto V though,” Andrew chuckles, “He already thinks I play it enough.”

He sees a line of “🙄🙄🙄” emojis pop up and a series of “That’s what you always say’s.” Andrew sighs and switches back on Grand Theft Auto V.

“I know you guys wanna see him,” Andrew steers a car into a building evading the police, “We’ll do a video together soon, I promise. He’s just camera shy, you guys know that.”

Someone donates $5 and their message loudly blares their message: “GIVEYOURCHANNELTOWILL.”

Andrew laughs again, adjusting his headphones, “He already has a channel. And, it’s much better than mine.”


He avoids looking at the comments this time around, instead focusing as much as he can to the game and stealing as many cars as he can. Andrew’s fanbase, embarrassingly called his Hudson Baes by his 19 year old self, was a relatively nice and funny group of people. His demographic didn’t skew young so he didn’t feel the need to scrub his content clean and his Patreon, Twitch, and advertisements were doing well enough he didn’t feel the need to make his videos on YouTube monetized. He had never had a poor fan interaction in real life either. Nevertheless, there were some choice comments here and there. Andrew knew they were always from some edgy seventeen year old behind a K-pop username or something.

But, Andrew really didn’t need to be reminded how much some people do not like Will’s content. Sure, he supposed long-form video essays on cartoons weren’t everyone’s “cup of tea,” but, God, they were better than anything Andrew was currently pulling out of his ass. His skits and commentary on bad Tik-Toks weren’t going to last forever.

Not that he needed to existentially dread about his future financial well-being though. That was for another night.

Also, Will’s voice was not weird. Andrew rolled his eyes at nothing but the thought of that one comment he had saw months ago-

But, before he can go on a tangent that should be protected under a Patreon wall (at least, $100 per month), Andrew grounds himself to return to what matters: Grand Theft Auto V. Andrew hops in a semi-truck to crash and subsequently set on fire ends the conversation about Will, abruptly changing the topic to a debate with his fans over the best Kosher fast foods.


Andrew slides into bed around midnight. It was an early stream and, overall, he had enjoyed himself pretty well. The 24 hour streams were the ones that really drug him down, but he only let himself do one of those every month or two.

Will’s waiting for him, or more like, Will is editing in bed again. The room is completely dark except for the glow of Will’s laptop screen and a small nightstand lamp Andrew bought so his boyfriend doesn’t go completely blind. He’s furiously tapping away at his Macbook’s keyboard. He has headphones on, and Andrew can hear the quiet thumping of EDM blasting from them. Andrew thinks he’s way too close to his screen again, not that he could complain, but only one of them had 20/20 vision, and it certainly wasn’t Will behind his thick-framed glasses.

It isn’t for a couple minutes before Will notices Andrew. He jumps and Andrew catches his Macbook before it tumbles off the bed (again). Will quickly takes off his headphones, the EDM now more audible.

“You scared me,” Will mumbles, “I’m in the middle of editing the Looney Tunes video.”

Andrew would call his boyfriend cute, but Will would hate that, so instead he just says “I’m done with the stream.”

“You’re done early,” Will raises his eyebrows, “Something happen?”

“Nah, just done early, started kinda earlier than usual while you were finishing up your audio.”

“Oh.”

“You know,” Andrew lays down dramatically, “Everyone still wants to meet you.”

“What do you mean?” Will saves his file and shuts down his laptop unceremoniously, “They already know me.”

“They know your channel.”

“Isn’t that enough? Half of them don’t even like what I make anyways.” Haters rarely got to Will after spending so much of his time in controversial or active fandoms. But, he was aware that there wasn’t a huge crowd for what he made.

Which was fine with him.

And he kind of wanted it to stay that way.

“Willlll,” Andrew draws out his name and Will only narrows his eyes at him more, “They don’t even know what you look like-”

“Yes, they do!”

“One Instagram selfie from 2014 doesn’t count Will-”

“You post about me-”

“And your giant ass hands,” Andrew holds one of Will’s hands, “which I love, are always covering your face or the camera.”

“I don’t get it.” Will mumbles, not pulling away from his boyfriend, but still looking vaguely annoyed.

“People can’t get to know you through video essays on Steven Universe Will, and I don’t know, the people want what the people want. You give your fans what they want, don’t you?”

“Yeah, but,” Will lays to face Andrew completely, “All my fans want are uncut ramble videos and reviews,” Will pauses, “And my Discord.”

“Please? They’ve been asking since like, Vine, and you were way more cooperative back then. Remember the Vines we did-”

“Yes, and they were fucking terrible Andrew.”

“Willlll-”

“Do we really have to do a corny couple video?” Will scrunches his nose, although he hated the Vines he had appeared for approximately one second in, they hadn’t been corny at all, just bad, “We’re going to look like David Dobrik and Liza Koshy or somethin-”

“You know I’d never do that, it’ll be fun, I promise! And it’ll be for my 100th video coming up soon and I want you to be a part of it.”

“It’s your channel-”

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without you-”

Will makes a gagging sound in the back of his throat.

“It’s true!” Andrew says defensively, “You were always supporting and stuff! Plus, you let me on your channel-”

“Andrew, you narrated. Twice. For the cow from Back in the Barnyard.”

“Yeah, two times where you haven’t been in my videos.”

“You were really good at the voice, Andrew,” Will rolls his eyes, “I don’t see what I’ll be adding to your two million subscribers.”

“You’ll see,” Andrew pecks his boyfriend on the cheek, “You’ll have fun.”

Will grimaces, but blushes, “I haven’t even said yes-”

“Good night Will,” Andrew reaches to shut off the nightstand lamp.

“I’m only doing this for your 100th video.” Will grumbles into the blanket.

“Love you!”

“Love you too.” It’s a begrudging tone, but Will couldn’t help but respond.



---

Will had entered another creative drought. He’d put in hours watching possible content to talk about, but nothing was clicking, not even Steven Universe. Sure, the show was talked to death about, but it tended to be the one show he could always go to for content. Except for today apparently, or actually, the last week. With Andrew’s 100th video approaching, Will knew he would have content to promote, but he doubted it was content any of subscribers really wanted. Although some of his fans had been kind in the Discord chat, they had seemed less than excited.

But, it might be for what they have to settle for.

At least, it wasn’t his month long drought from last year.

Bored, Will decided to sit in on Andrew’s twitch stream. Andrew streamed in his “office” space with the camera facing away from a couch that had seen much better days. It was rare for Will to lounge on the couch while Andrew was streaming. He usually only lounged on it when Andrew was editing or filming something pre-recorded. Otherwise, if Will ever listened in he tended to lurk in their hallway, hiding behind or next to the cracked door.

One day when browsing Andrew’s subreddit, Will noticed Andrew’s subscribers had made it a game to spot his shadow in the hallway. The occurrence had even gotten a spot on the Twitch bingo card after Andrew had confirmed Will’s presence drunkenly sometime last year.

“You sure you want to stay here tonight?” Andrew asked, pulling Will out of his thoughts.

“Yeah, I’ve got nothing else to do.”

“100th video’s comin’ up…do you want to give my Twitch followers a sneak peak?” Andrew raises an eyebrow at Will. Will only shrugs and Andrew goes back to preparing his equipment to stream.

Will’s experiences with Twitch weren’t awful. He had used the platform to stream a few times for live reactions of whatever his followers wanted him to react to. He had even appeared on Andrew’s streams briefly a couple of times.

Another reason why Will didn’t understand why Andrew’s followers were so obsessed with them doing a video together on Andrew’s channel.

Albeit, one of the times he had appeared on Andrew’s livestream was to bring him some cough medicine (shielding his face) and the other time had been to end the stream (covering the camera) after Andrew had taken a few too many shots during a drinking game from TikTok.

But, still, his followers had gotten glimpses. The Reddit screenshots proved so. His identity was no real secret. They had also, much to Andrew’s (sober) embarrassment, had heard Andrew be a sappy drunk to Will before he managed to end the stream clumsily.

Will supposes that only added fuel to the fire.

He sighs.


About an hour into the stream, Will watches as his boyfriend scrunches his nose and says: “Fanfiction? About me? And who?”

“You and Will, idiot,” Andrew reads, “Guys, come on, step up your game. That isn’t even fanfiction. We’re dating!”

Will stifles a laugh at Andrew’s seemingly bewildered expression.

“Anything you guys have written we’ve probably done, but not like that, perverts. Like, I don’t know,” Andrew snaps his fingers trying to think, “Like, like we’ve gone to a coffee shop or whatever the Hell you non-perverts like to write. I don’t know I’ve never been into fanfiction.”

Andrew’s eyes drift briefly to Will. There’s a teasing, but happy glint to them. Will smirks.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah send in all your fanfiction, I don’t care. DM it to me, I’ll show it to Will.”

“We haven’t done a body swap AU.” Will deadpans.

Andrew takes off his headphones and mouths, “What?”

Will steps towards Andrew’s microphone, still not facing the camera, and, much to Andrew’s bemusement, deadpans “We haven’t done a body swap AU” into the Twitch stream.

Andrew does his best to suppress his laughter, but ends up breaking out into a fit of giggles.

“I’m still working on that one.” Andrew manages to say.

Will grins before returning to his spot on the couch.

“Yeah, yeah,” Andrew’s practically beaming, “Will’s here. Looks like he’s done though,” Andrew and Will exchange looks and Andrew winks, “You guys know how he is.” Andrew rolls his eyes dramatically.

“Now let’s get back to this dating sim.”



---

“You want another slice?” Andrew points at the pizza box lying on him and Will’s coffee table. Will shakes his head, instead resorting to scrolling through YouTube on their TV. The two had been lounging on their couch and watching The Office together on Netflix, but Will had stolen the remote once they hit a filler episode.

“More for me then.” Andrew replies, picking up another slice of pizza.

“You’re going to get nerve damage from eating so much pizza one of these days.” Will mumbles.

“And you’re going to have to take care of me.”

“Bullshit.”

“Pretty sure that’s ableist…” Andrew trails off looking at the television screen and squinting in confusion, “Will and Andrew moments, huh?”

“Have you ever seen one of these?”

Andrew shakes his head. Will thinks he says something along the lines of “Why would I? I literally live with you.” in between mouthfuls of pizza.

Will scrolls until he finds a video with an impressive 100k views.

“We’re pretty popular.” Andrew quips.

Will rolls his eyes and presses play. He raises an eyebrow when the video starts with the few Vines Will had appeared in. Whoever made this must have done their research. Will cringes at the brief sight of his college freshman self.

It was a parody about the Dobre brothers. Andrew had done (and) failed to do a backflip in the college cafeteria. Will remembers it was filmed by one of their mutual friends, Kelsie. After Andrew had failed the backflip, she had panned the camera to Will who looked a mix of disgusted and embarrassed.

Will cringes so hard that he doesn’t notice Andrew steal the remote out of his hand and pause the video.

“Do you remember this?” Andrew asks.

“How couldn’t I?” Will eyes his boyfriend, “An annoying Viner started following me around and bothering me every day.”

“I didn’t bother you every day-”

“Andrew, I remember you outside my dorm window shouting do it for the Vine.”

“And you did it for the Vine!”

“Only after you took me out for dinner, asshole.”

Andrew resumes the video. The video proceeds with early videos from Andrew’s channel. He had started with vlogs and Will laughs as his boyfriend covers his face. Will hadn’t appeared in any of the vlogs. It was before they had moved in together. Will was still living in the dorms and finishing up school. Andrew had already graduated and moved into a small apartment a state away.

They had been long distance around a year. Everything had worked out fine, but it hadn’t stopped Andrew from mentioning Will in every vlog. In college, Will hadn’t liked Andrew talking about him a lot, especially online. It was out of embarrassment and insecurity and he had (mostly) grown out of it. But, when senior year hit and long distance hit at the same time, Will stopped minding.

Especially since he was binging Andrew’s vlogs as much as his biggest fans.

“Hey Will,” Screen Andrew says, his face is bright red after attempting to eat several hot peppers for a challenge, “Uh, I miss you. I can hear you calling me fucking stupid for doing this. I still hope you want to live with me after this.” Screen Andrew laughs nervously.

“And you still moved in with me!” Andrew says, pointing a finger at Will.

“Only because you stopped vlogging…” Will mumbles.

“But I’m just as stupid.”

“And I’m still thinking about moving.”

Andrew playfully shoves Will off to the side before fast forwarding through the rest of the video.



---

The premise of Andrew’s 100th video had seemed, admittably, dumb to Will. But, nonetheless, he had fun shooting it. The video began with a skit of Will taking over Andrew’s channel and running through his usual content. The video then cuts to Andrew taking over Will’s channel before, without any context, cutting to a Q&A session. It had taken a lot of prodding from Andrew to do a fan Q&A session, mostly because Will thought it was corny and too “influencer-like.” As a result of this, Andrew had forced his subscribers to only send in their “strangest” and most “niche” questions.

This resulted in Andrew and Will doing a tier ranking list for dubstep artists from 2010 Myspace (Which, in Will’s opinion, was hardly a question, but, hey, he had strong opinions) and showing the insides of their kitchen cabinets (which was 10% Little Debbie snack cakes).

Andrew estimates the video will be about an hour after editing. This elicits only a groan in response from Will.

Andrew decides to name the video “Giving the People What They Want,” only after Will tells him “Giving the Shippers What They Want” implies that they are not dating and they haven’t broken up (yet).



---

Editing for the 100th video is taking longer than expected, and after a few hours of editing, the last thing Andrew wants to do is finish editing. He figures if his subscribers have stuck around this long, they can wait a little longer. Plus, he had a Twitch stream to do tonight.

Will enters the room with another whipped coffee. He won’t admit it, but the recipe is blatantly from the viral TikToks that have been going around and not Food Network. But, Andrew could hardly complain, the things were fucking delicious and it was his second (third?) one of the day.

“You’re trying to fucking kill me with these, Will.” Andrew says, immediately taking a sip from the glass (glass!) mug.

“Andrew, it’s decaf.”

“So?”

“Your heart isn’t going to explode or something.”

“My arteries could.”

“Well, that’s your own problem, Andrew,” Will takes a sip of his own coffee, “And, Little Debbie’s.” He eyes the empty Zebra Cake box on Andrew’s desk suspiciously.

“It’s TikTok’s fault.”

Will rolls his eyes. As much as he was trying to be nonchalant about everything, Will could tell his boyfriend was stressed after a long editing session. Will had offered to do the editing himself since he was painfully used to long-form editing, but Andrew had only silently pointed at Will’s Madagascar Escape 2 Africa draft and sighed.

It had been a while since Will had heard that sigh and it looked like whipped coffee and Little Debbie snack cakes weren’t going to cure whatever Andrew was feeling.

So, obviously, it didn’t take a lot of prodding for Andrew to convince Will to join him on Twitch later that night.

After accepting the invite and blushing at Andrew’s wide grin, Will curses himself for going soft for his boyfriend, as if he hadn't been soft for the last six years.



---

Andrew tweets out “Will is going to play Mario Kart with me for tonight’s stream” and Twitter crashes for him (Will blames it on their shitty data plan, Andrew beams at him).



---

“Twitch chat goin’ poggers!” Andrew says, adjusting his streaming camera and microphone.

“Stop saying that.” Will mumbles.

“Poggers? Are you being a pog, William?”

Will’s mouth gapes open, “Don’t call me that!”

“And....we’re streaming! Hey guys!” Andrew waves at the camera. Will covers his face and mutters something along the lines of: “We’ve been streaming this whole time?” Andrew grabs one of Will’s limp wrists and forces him to wave to the camera. Will gives something along the lines of a smile and a cry for help.



---

Andrew expectantly kicks Will’s ass at Mario Kart, much to the Twitch chat’s disapproval.

“I can’t believe you guys aren’t on my side,” Andrew huffs, “You guys are my subscribers-”

“Team Toledo drop it in the chat!” Will states, making a sideways pointing motion, obviously having grown more comfortable to the stream. As bad as he was at the game, Will was a competitive motherfucker. A Virgo, after all.

Despite knowing this, Andrew still gives him a shocked expression, before dissolving into laughter at his boyfriend’s so-called “gamer rage.”

“If you want to see something Will’s good at,” As Will hypes up the chat (and the chart largely ignores Andrew), Andrew gets out of his seat and clambers over to their shared couch to grab Will’s switch. He returns to the chat holding up Will’s limited edition Animal Crossing: New Horizons switch. “Will fucking loves Animal Crossing.”

Will grabs his Switch protectively from Andrew’s hand.

“The reason Will’s so fucking bad at Mario Kart is because he’s never had a console, other than that,” Andrew points at the Switch, “And he only uses it for Animal Crossing.”

“You bought it for me!” Will inputs indigently.

Andrew reads the chat and raises his eyebrows, “Woah, woah, woah no hate to Animal Crossing. I play it. But, Will’s, like, some sort of master at it,” Andrew reaches over to grab his own Switch before pausing and thinking, “Like me and Mario Kart.” He adds confidently.

“Can they see your village?” Andrew asks.

Will shrugs, “Sure, but I’ve got to go fishing first.” Will has leaned back in his chair and already began playing Animal Crossing. Andrew only shakes his head.

“You guys,” Andrew sighs dramatically and Will snickers in the background, “I bought him the Switch for his birthday. I just thought the design was cute or whatever and next thing you know Tom fucking Nook stole my boyfriend,” Andrew shows his village to the camera, “So, of course, I had to see what this was all about, and turns out I’m just doing chores for this guy?”

“It’s not chores.” Will says the same as the chat.

“Whatever,” Andrew shows the camera a tour of his village, “Look, it’s fucking ugly. And, I’ve only gotten the ugly villagers.”

“You’re just mean to the villagers, Andrew.”

“I told one guy once I didn’t want to talk to him, and now they’re all against me!”

Will only makes a “mmm” sound before showing the stream his village. Its met with compliments and heart-eyed emojis at his rare villagers, large island, and customized decoration. He even shows Andrew’s character with Will’s own (which Andrew not so discreetly blushes at). Andrew leans back in his chair with an “annoyed” look on his face. But, deep (not, so deep) inside, he finds it endearing to hear his boyfriend talk at length about his favorite game.



---

When Andrew looks at his Twitch clips the next day, the tab is flooded with videos of him and Will, some only titled with incomprehensible key smashing.



---

The views on Andrew’s 100th video are huge, with it garnering one million views in a single day. It blows all of his other recent videos out of the water, and is only comparable to the conspiracy series he did on the Magcon boys from last year. At some point he sees a fancam of him and Will floating around Twitter and he thinks, God he really made it (The fancam is disgustingly cute and he bookmarks it for later use).

Around the same time, Will finishes his Madagascar 2 video. It does surprisingly well due to some TikTok dance blowing up using the movie’s soundtrack.

Over their joint celebratory dinner (Papa John’s), Andrew asks his boyfriend to start a TikTok account with him.

He’s only met with a BBQ Chicken Popper being thrown at his face.