Everyone was doing their own work and minding their own business. It was a quiet, normal day at the office. Way too quiet and way too normal. But it happened, sometimes the Community Team had a lot of free time on their hands, and sometimes they didn’t even have time to go to the bathroom.
But thanks to a quality called effectiveness, everyone was relaxed and doing their jobs.
Tom was busy replying to some comments in a recent episode that had just been released. So concentrated he was, that he almost flinched when he felt two arms wrapping around his chest from behind.
“What are you doing?” a voice whispered playfully on his ear.
Tom smiled in spite of himself, and leaned his head backwards, on Eric’s shoulder. “My job, what else?”
He could sense a grin forming on his boyfriend’s face, for his cheek was touching his.
“I know that”.
“Then why do you ask?” he chuckled.
“Could you please let me flirt with you?” Eric said, faking indignation.
Tom turned his head and kissed his cheek. “My apologies, go on”.
Meanwhile, Tori and Julie were having some coffee from the little coffee machine in a table in that office. They looked at the couple, who kept whispering at each other.
“What do you think?” Tori asked.
“They are so made for each other” Julie replied. “I knew it from the very first time I saw them interact”.
“I know, right? I’m really glad for them”.
Back to the couple, Tom couldn’t help but laugh loudly at something Eric had said in his ear, when Tori approached them.
“Sorry to interrupt” she mocked. “But Tom, they need you in Studio 2”.
“On my way” Tom said, as Eric let go of him to let him stand up. He turned to him. “Be right back”.
Eric just grinned at him as Tom followed Tori outside. Once they were out of sight, he quickly sat in the desk and started looking through Tom’s backpack.
“Um, Eric?” said Julie, who was back at her computer. “What are you doing?”
“Looking through Tom’s things” he casually replied.
“No, I know that” she said. “But, why?”
Eric looked at her. “Oh, relax, it’s not a trust issue or anything. I’m looking for a flashdrive he has, which is very old but he still uses it. I wanna see if there are any old pictures of him I can use for something I’m making for him”.
“Why not just ask him?”
“‘Cause it’s a surprise, Julie, duh!” Eric chuckled.
“Oh right” she said. “Then you might want to hurry, he’ll be back soon”.
“Yup” he replied. “Ah, here it is”.
He took out a small flashdrive and put it in the computer. It was full of stuff, recent and old. Pictures, archives, videos, new and old. He even found the picture they had taken the day they met.
“That photo is everywhere already” he thought.
As he scrolled up and up, he got amazed to see not only the amount of content that flashdrive had, but that he could recognize all of it. Except one thing. A video.
“Now what’s this?”
The name of the archive was “Demo reel”. He hadn’t seen anything like that before. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to watch it or not. It could be something private and he didn’t want to intrude. But then again he knew of everything else in that flashdrive so it wouldn’t hurt to know one more thing. How bad could it be?
Almost eagerly, he put on his headphones and clicked on the video.
It started with Tom’s name and some phone numbers in white letters on a black screen. Then, it changed to his (very) brief appearance in the show Criminal Minds, and then changed to a few scenes of the movie Marty’s Call, and finally, it changed to Teens React.
Though Eric did know of all that filmography, he hadn’t actually watched it, due to lack of time (or just oblivion). It was good, and felt proud. He wanted to talk about it with Tom so bad, but he couldn’t just tell him he had been snooping around, he could get mad.
Taking out the flashdrive and putting it back where he found it (after finding the picture he was looking for), he decided to see if there was any chance that video was somewhere in the Internet. And so, he sat on his own chair, and looked in YouTube. Oh, surprise. It was there.
“Well, no kidding”.
“Hey” he heard someone say. He looked up to see Tom was back. “Miss me?”
Eric grinned at him.
That evening, Tom and Eric were in Tom's car (Eric's was in the shop) going home. As they got to Eric's house, Eric unbuckled his seat belt and leaned down for a kiss, which Tom gladly did.
"Thanks for taking me home" he smiled in between kisses.
"My pleasure" Tom said with a grin. "Go now, don't keep your mom waiting".
"Hush" Eric chuckled.
Eric got out and went to his house door. He turned around, for he knew Tom always waited for him to enter the house before leaving, something Eric also did, and grinned.
Tom smiled back at him, and watched how the door opened and Eric's mom's head popped out. She even waved at Tom, who waved back, but they didn't enter the house.
He frowned as they just talked outside, and frowned even more when Eric pointed at him for a moment. His mother entered the house and quickly got out again, and gave Eric something square-shaped and really small Tom couldn't see, but apparently freaked Eric out, for Tom heard a slightly loud "Mom!"
His mom just shrugged, but put the small object away. After some more talking, she nodded, waved at Tom again and entered, and Eric returned to Tom's car.
As he got in, Tom frowned. But Eric just buckled his seat belt and sat expectantly. When Tom kept looking at him instead of starting the car, Eric finally turned to him.
Tom gave him a look. "You wanna explain?"
Eric tilted his head for a second. "Oh, right, I told her you invited me to spend the night".
"Which I didn't" Tom said with a chuckle, as he started the car and drove away. "So, what do I owe the pleasure?"
Eric looked at him, slightly offended. "I thought you'd be a little more enthusiastic about me having a sleepover at your place".
"Oh, trust me, I am" he replied. "Why wouldn't I be? I get to have you all for myself. But I just wanna know".
"Ok" he said. "There's something kinda important we need to talk about".
Eric and his big mouth. As soon as he finished that sentence Tom stopped the car so abruptly Eric swore he could have flown out of the car had he not used the seat belt.
"Tom!" he scolded.
"Oh my God" Tom said, ignoring him. "Oh my God, this can't be happening".
"Please don't!" he pleaded, literally throwing himself at Eric. "Whatever bothers you, I promise, I can change!"
Eric frowned. "Huh? Tom, no, I..."
"I can change, I swear! I can be a little more observant, I can compliment you more about how cute you always look..."
"Tom, you don't get it..."
"We haven't even had a fight in so long!" Tom exclaimed. "That's it, right? A couple needs to fight to stay strong, right? Fine, we'll fight. I, I don't like your puns! No, that's a lie, I love your puns and you make me laugh and you make me so, so happy..." He cupped Eric's face. "I love you so much".
Eric smiled despite his confusion and couldn't deny Tom's little meltdown was kind of adorable. That didn't mean the big kiss that followed didn't catch him off-guard.
They stayed that way for minutes, and finally separated after a while, gasping for air.
Tom looked at Eric's eyes, still holding his face. They were full of passion. But that wasn't enough.
"Move in with me".
Eric frowned again. "What?!"
"You'll sleep in my bed and I'll sleep on the couch!" Tom exclaimed, obviously still freaking out. "No, better, I'll sleep on the floor next to you so I can be the first thing you step on when you wake up! I, I'll kiss the ground you walk on. I'll lick the floor, no matter how muddy it is, I'll lick it!"
"Ew, no, Tom, stop!" Eric said, already fed up. "You sound ridiculous!"
"Oh my God, I am ridiculous!" Tom lamented, and slammed his face against the horn.
Eric started looking around, embarrassed someone could be watching them, but that wasn't the case. He hated it, but since there was no other option, he pinched Tom's arm.
"Ow!" he complained.
Eric glared at him. "I'm not breaking up with you".
"No! Now obviously you are in no condition to drive for a few minutes so why don't you pull over?"
Tom breathed calmly...
"Don't stop in the middle of the road, stupid!" a voice yelled from another car that passed next to them.
"Go mind your own business!" Tom shouted back.
Eric sighed in dismay. "Pull over the car, please?".
Tom exhaled again. "Ok, ok".
Once they pulled over and turned off the car, Eric rubbed Tom's arm. "Sorry I pinched you".
"Sorry I made a scene" he replied.
Eric smiled at him. "Feeling better?"
Tom nodded. "Yeah".
“Ok. I wanted to talk to you about something I found this morning”.
“I, um, was looking around YouTube” Eric explained. “I was actually looking through videos of you to take a screenshot of your face doing some weird expression I could use in a vlog”.
Tom chuckled. He knew how witty Eric was. It was actually one of the things that first attracted him.
“Well, I found this video called ‘demo reel’”.
Tom sighed. "My, uh, my mom uploaded it".
"Yeah, I figured" he said. "I had never seen it before".
"Sorry about that, I forgot. But you know about those clips, that film..."
"No, no, it's not that" Eric said. "It's um, I was just wondering what happened".
"I mean, it's been a while since you last acted in something" Eric said. "What changed?"
Tom smiled at him. "All these things had their moments. It's like my friends. Some are gone and some remain. My love for acting still remains. And I have acted lately and I’m still planning to keep doing it. Remember those sketches? That movie?"
"Oh, right" Eric said. He had totally forgotten.
"But I also love the work we do in FBE" Tom continued. "I got to meet incredible people. Like you".
Eric smiled. "I am pretty incredible".
Tom chuckled, and started the car again. "And that's our cue to leave".
“Just so you know” said Eric, as Tom drove, and kissed his shoulder. “I am happy too. I love you”.
“I love you too” he smiled.
“And I didn’t find that reel in YouTube” he confessed. “I actually saw it in your flashdrive. I wanted a picture of you and took it and snooped without your permission. Sorry”.
“Oh, I know. Julie told me”.
“What? That traitor!”
Tom chuckled. “She said you were looking for it for a vlog, like you said”.
Eric nodded, thankful Julie at least hadn’t told Tom about his surprise. “Ok”.
They stayed silent for a moment.
“Just one more thing” Tom said, as they got to his place. “What was that thing your mom tried to give to you? Maybe I saw wrong, but it seemed to disturb you”.
Eric grimaced. “You don’t wanna know”.
“Oh come on!”
“Let’s just say she doesn’t want mini Erics or mini Toms around yet”.
Tom frowned for a second, taking a while to understand what Eric had said. Until he did. And he gasped.
“That’s not even possible!”