Do I Wanna Know? (Rating: M)
A/N: AAAAAAH THE CON TODAY WAS AMAZING!!! I had to write this as soon as I got home. Title from the Arctic Monkeys song, and shoutout to ghostrat92 for the…
Beau inhaled sharply. Isaac/Beau.
He stared at the fic summary and hovered his thumb above the Read More link, unable to bring himself to click it. Suddenly Adelaide rolled over to face him, studying his expression.
“Are you reading it now?”
“No!” Beau exclaimed, which elicited a loud shush from Isaac’s bunk. He handed the phone back quickly, terrified of being caught with such a thing.
Had people really read him that easily? Was he that obvious in the way he pined for Isaac that people were already shipping them and likening his entire character to an unrequited love song?
“Oh,” Adelaide laughed, looking back down at her phone. “You went so quiet, I thought you were diving in already. I’m like, please do! This writer is amazing. But I want my phone back, soooo, I’ll just send you the link.”
Beau chuckled awkwardly and tried to inch further back from her, but he was already pressed to the wall and unable to move anymore. “It’s fine,” he smiled. “I don’t need to read it, it’s just cool to see that it exists already.”
“I’ll send you the link,” Adelaide repeated, then threw him a little wink. “Go on! This is huge. I’m honestly stoked there’s finally something other than Adelaide/Isaac to keep them busy. It’s cute, but there’s only so many of the same coffee shop AU that I can stand to read, you know?”
Beau let out another slow breath as Adelaide spoke, and something loosened in his chest. It was true that Adelaide and Isaac were the main ship for the show, which made sense considering their lifelong friendship and the closeness they had with each other, both on and off screen. Adelaide was one of the few people that Isaac was physically affectionate with, even though his words didn’t always mirror it. They were comfortable around each other, which was easy for fans to misinterpret.
But that’s all it was. A misinterpretation, a bit of fun. Beau knew there was absolutely nothing between the two of them, because even though this was their first time on a tour bus, it was not their first time travelling together for the show. They’d had too many experiences of being crammed into a tiny van, stuffed with bags and filming equipment and a lone queen mattress for the three of them, for Beau to know that their chemistry started and ended with friendship.
So… Maybe that was the case for this fic writer as well. Maybe it was just another misinterpretation, another bit of fun.
When Beau’s phone dinged, he realised he was alone in his bunk. He rolled over to fish it out from where it had fallen down the side of his mattress, and found a text message from Adelaide with a sleeping emoji and a link to the fic.
“Goodnight,” he whispered loudly. After a beat, he heard some shuffling, then Adelaide’s fist lowered from the bunk above him. He gently bumped his own against it, then it recoiled back up and out of sight.
Beau drew his curtain to hide the light of his phone from the rest of the bus. When he turned back to it, the link was staring him in the face, glowing bright and blue in Adelaide’s message. He grimaced at it, still a little terrified at the thought of someone watching and reading him so easily, then locked his phone screen.
He laid there for twenty seconds, staring at his own exhausted expression in the reflection of his darkened phone screen, before he unlocked it again. Maybe he should read it, just to get it off his mind, and figure out if this was truly anything he needed to be worried about…
Before he could change his mind again, he tapped the link and settled into his blankets.
The story was in third person, but it appeared to be from Isaac’s perspective. As he read, Beau quickly began to smile, and by the end of the third paragraph he was grinning widely at his screen. The writing was fine, like Adelaide had suggested, but the characterisation was so… off. The Isaac in the story was like a cartoon version of his stage presence, and nothing like the man Beau knew in real life. He didn’t walk like this, or talk like that, and he certainly didn’t run his fingers delicately along Beau’s shoulder when the roadie wasn’t looking.
Not to mention the fic was about Isaac pining for Beau, not the other way around.
He grinned because it was so silly, and he felt ridiculous for worrying about it. The fic was indeed a total figment of imagination, bordering on cringey when he knew what Isaac was like in person – for a moment he even pondered how Adelaide could bear to read so much of it.
He skimmed the last half of the fic and skipped to the comment section. It had a few likes already, and one or two comments from readers who seemed to be friends with the author. Beau was glad they were having fun, and that it was truly harmless in the end.
What piqued his curiosity was the author’s note pinned at the top of the comment section. He furrowed his brow as he read the full message, stopping when he came to a link.
A/N: AAAAAAH THE CON TODAY WAS AMAZING!!! I had to write this as soon as I got home. Title from the Arctic Monkeys song, and shoutout to ghostrat92 for the photo that inspired this whole fic!! She caught a really cute pic of the boys getting lunch and I feel honoured that she sent it to me right away LOL!! Go upvote her pic [here] and TY for reading! xxxx
Beau sucked his lower lip between his teeth and tapped the link with his forefinger. The crisp white loading page blinded him momentarily, but slowly the full image came into view, and he was face to face with a photograph of him and Isaac from earlier in the day.
His breath immediately caught in his throat. He supposed this kind of thing was going to be common at conventions, but it wasn’t the invasion of privacy that had startled him. It was the way that Isaac stood so comfortably next to him as they collected their food truck meals, and the way Isaac looked at him. In the photo, Beau had his back to the camera and was staring off at something in the distance, but Isaac’s gaze was locked onto the taller man beside him. It wasn’t his stare – Isaac had always been a little intense with his eye contact – but his smile, and the relaxed slouch of his shoulders as he tilted his head and looked at his friend with something akin to admiration in his eye.
Or so the top comment seemed to suggest.
Beau squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head, scrolling away from the comment section and back up to the photo. He and Isaac were standing in line for food, and Isaac was smiling at him. That’s all there was to it. It was a classic case of fans misunderstanding, or intentionally reading into things to find content.
He told himself this, but his heart still skipped a beat when he zoomed in on the photo and admired Isaac’s smile up close. It was a harmless smile… Much more harmless than the late fic-reading session he was having, and his very intentional daydreaming about his childhood friend. But at the end of the day, he understood how a fan might make that leap, and how they might come to the conclusion that an adoring smile meant more than friendly chatter between mates.
Beau would need to be careful, he decided, as he exited the tab and locked his phone for the night. If people were going to read into every little look, he needed to watch himself closely, and be sure not to let his feelings slip in public. It would be much harder to fool thousands of eyes than it had been to fool two friends who were always busy looking elsewhere.
He needed to be calculated about how he acted in public, and he definitely needed to be careful about what he read online. The last thing he needed was some foolish fanfiction making him swoon and think Isaac felt something for him that wasn’t really there. Isaac was straight, Beau had never been an option, and that would be the end of it.
He would pine to the end of his days if he had to, but he would keep it to himself before he ever risked destroying his career and closest friendships with a misplaced confession.