Tom was anxious.
He hated live interviews, not only for the fact that he could spoil something, but that he was completely on display.
Every word he said had to be thought through. If he made a mistake, it would go viral.
And he was spiderman. He needed to be a role model, always honest and sweet, smart and charming. Someone, kids could look up to.
Sometimes, it was just too hard. Sometimes, he would let something slip. Sometimes, he just wasn’t good enough.
He began fiddling with his sleeves, a nervous habit he carried around since his childhood. He had learned to hide his anxiety pretty good due to the big amount of interviews and red carpet events, but if he was under too much pressure, he couldn’t control himself.
At least no one could notice, was the camera focused on his body upward his shoulders.
The interview had gone good so far. He hadn’t spoilered anything and answered all of the film related questions with ease.
But then the questions became personal.
Something about his brothers, Tessa and Harrison, but mostly one person.
“So you and Zendaya are close”, the interviewer started and Tom mentally sighed. He was indeed good friends with Zendaya, but nothing more.
If the world would just believe that. Everytime he saw the rumours, how they had twisted his words or he had to answer the same question all over again, he got tired.
Tired that people seemed to care about his love life so much. He got it, he was famous now and privacy wasn’t something he could allow himself, but it was exhausting.
Not only for him, but for Zendaya and the rest of the cast as well.
“Yes”, Tom confirmed the interviewers words with a polite smile. “We have seen lots of rumours if there might be more than just friendship”. the man continued, now looking up from the card he was reading from.
His gaze was focused on the curly-haired boy in front of him, the lack of empathy covered up by an attempt of a smile.
But Tom could see through him. He had learned it over the years of acting and doing press tour.
The man in front of him wasn’t interested in him at all. All he wanted was a good story, something that could bring him a spot on the front page.
“I have seen lots of these rumours too actually”, Tom started, buying himself a little time to consider his answer.
“Zendaya is a really talented actress and fun to work with, but I can only say once more that we are just friends.”
He hid his frustration as best as he could and wore s small grin instead. He wasn’t enjoying this, but it was what everyone expected him to do. And he had to play along.
The interviewer didn’t seem satisfied, exchanging glances with someone behind the camera.
“You guys have great chemistry on and off- screen together, as many fans have pointed outat several occasions, so there might be a chance in the future”, he stated, hoping to get more out of the Briton this way.
“To be honest, there isn’t”, Tom confessed, the smile not quite reaching his eyes anymore. He was worn out from the long day of promoting the movie and slowly lost his patience with the interviewer.
“Can you explain that?”, the man asked, a satisfied grin on his face. He got what he wanted- news. A shocking reveal.
Or at least an answer he could twist Toms words from.
Tom gazed to his hands for the split of a second before regaining his posture. “I am in a relationship”, he announced, a proud smile on his face.
It was the perfect excuse for why he didn’t have any interest in his co-star and hopefully good enough to let the dating rumours go, for once and for all.
But seeing everyones face twist in shock made him realize what he had done. He hadn’t done them any favour.
Now there would be new headlines, new questions that he would hear over and over again.
Maybe he had gotten them even more trouble.
But it was too late. He couldn’t take back his words.
“You have a girlfriend?”, the interviewer asked surprised and Tom nodded in agreement, trying to appear calm while panicking on the inside.
What had he done? By tomorrow everyone would think he had a girlfriend, including the cast, Harrison and- oh no,no,no. His family.
“Can you give us a name? Any kind of information on the mysterious girl that captured your heart?”
“Actually all I can say is that she’s a close friend to me”, he nervously responded, afraid that he would stumble over his words again and reveal the truth.
To his luck the show ended a few minutes later and he could escape everyones gazes.
Quickly excusing himself, he nearly sprinting out of the studio and into his changing room.
His heart was beating rapidly in his chest and he tried to calm down, but failed.
It wasn’t the first time Tom had lied, but compared to his otherwise innocent small ones this one was big.
He could already see the headlines in front of him.
A few seconds later his phone rang. It was his mother, but he decided not to take it. If he would go trough with this lie he needed to make it as believable as possible.
The next thing he knew was that he was calling you, his best friend. You picked up immediately and before he could even say hello you had spoken up.
“THOMAS STANLEY HOLLAND, you did not just tell the world you have a girlfriend on live tv, did you??!”
Tom sighed, trying once again to calm his nerves. “I would lie if I said no”, he said, starting to pace the room.
“Apparently we had enough of that today. Or- do you have a girlfriend?”
Your voice had lost its confidence, a sudden uncertainity taking over.
“No, of course not!”, he protested and he could hear you exhale in relief.
“Good”, you commented, although he couldn’t see what was good about it at all.
“I need to make this believable”, he began, speaking a little quieter, afraid that someone could hear him.
“You want to go through with this?”, you interrupted him, surprise and shock visbile in your voice.
“I have to”, he explained, desperate for you to understand.
“Just for a short time”, he added. “Or do you have a better idea?”
“What about saying the truth?”, you suggested, but both of you knew that this was no option.
“I can’t just walk out of there and tell them that it was a mistake and I don’t have a girlfriend!”, he countered and you stilled.
“Why did you lie in the first place?”, you wondered and Tom ran his fingers through his hair.
“I freaked out! I got tired of hearing people say that Z and I should be more than friends. It makes me uncomfortable, all of us”, he explained, but he knew that you would understand.
You had seen for your own eyes how it stressed him and the tension between him and Zendaya when press was around.
“Okay”, you sighed, trying yourself to stay calm. “So what’s your plan?”
Tom stopped pacing, a little smile on his face when he realized the real reason he had called you.
“My plan is”, he began.
“That you will be my girlfriend.”