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A Beautiful Lie

Chapter Text

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.”

Chapter Text

It was the first day since Tom had asked you to be his girlfriend. Well, to be his fake girlfriend.

You hadn’t been convinced at first, but after he had pleaded for you to help him you couldn’t say no.

All you had to do was persuade everyone that you were Toms girlfriend. That didn’t seem too hard, considering how much time you spend together.

Just for a short time, you reminded yourself again.

7 days. That was how long Tom wanted you to be his fake girlfriend until you would “break up”.

It was just a week, a rather short time considering how big of a deal it would become. Tom Holland had a girlfriend.

A few words that had shattered an uncountable amount of girls hearts out there in just one night and a few days to put them back together.

But what would that mean for you and Tom? After the “breakup” you couldn’t be seen much with him for a few weeks until the rumours had died down and the peoples attention had focused elsewhere.

It seemed easy, pretending, breaking up, going back to normal, but you knew that easy mostly turned out complicated. And complicated was something that had never fit with you and Tom.

Would you simply shake all of this off and forget about it or would you feel the consequences of your actions for the rest of your life?

There were too many unanswered questions for your liking, but you ignored them. You tend to overthink everything, so you decided that it wasn’t worth wracking your brain.

It would be simple.

If there was one thing you could do for yourself and Tom was to keep it like that. It was the best for the both of you.

You had woken up to lots of messages. Everyone was wondering who the mysterious girlfriend was and how long Tom and her had been dating.

Who Is Tom Holland Dating? The Spiderman-actor made a shocking reveal in yesterdays live interview.

Tom Holland not single- who is the Spiderman-actor secretly dating?

Your heartbeat quickened a little at the thought that it was you, or at least everyone would think that.

Tom had even planned on keeping the lie a secret towards his family. You didn’t know if it was the right way, but you could also understand that he was completeley und utterly embarassed about the whole situation.

When he had called, you had heared his voice full of despair and tension and you couldn’t let him go through this alone.

So you would play along.

It was just a little lie, right?

The only one, who would know besides you and Tom was Harrison. He knew you too well and you couldn’t let him out of it.

So both of you had agreed to talk to him before speaking to Toms parents.

A knock on the door made you jump. It was Tom, coming to take you to his house were you and Harrison were invited for a family dinner.

Since the live interview Tom had ignored his parents endless messages and calls, but later he would have to present them the lie.

That’s why he had come over to discuss the last details of your story while pretending to be polite and give you and Harrison a ride.

“Hey”, he greeted while closing the door and sitting down next to you on the couch.

“Hi”, you smiled. Suddenly you felt shy around him. He was still the same old Tom and you were the same old (y/n), but making up this story wasn’t something that fit either of you.

Usually one of you would prevent the other one from doing things that would cause them trouble afterwards, but this time you were in it together.

“Okay so we have been dating for 2 months?”, Tom came straight to the point and you nodded.

“How did we find out that we have feelings for each other?”, he asked and you blushed a little.

“Err, we we’re watching a movie and I fell asleep on you?”, you suggested, since that had happened multiple times before.

“and we woke up cuddling?”, he added and you smiled. “Sounds legit.”

Tom smiled a little too. He seemed to sense your nervousness and although he hid it pretty good, he was tensed too.

But he was more than glad that you were doing this with him. You were his closest friend besides Harrison and it wouldn’t be hard to convince his family that you were a couple.

At least he hoped so.

“And for our first date you took me to this fancy restaurant”, you began. “But it was already crowded so we just went to Mcdonalds.”

You both laughed at the imagination. It was something that would likely happen to the two of you and sounded better than just going to the movies.

“It was still the best first date ever”, you added with the smile still on your lips.

“Thank you”, Tom suddenly said. His voice had turned serious and he studied your face carefully.

“For doing this for me. It means a lot!”

He reached forward and gently took your hand into his.

The touch was something unexpected and new.

It wasn’t like you and Tom hadn’t hold hands before, you were always touching each other, whether to give the other support or tease them, but this time it felt different.

This time it felt intimate.

And you had to admit that it scared you a little.

Your face lit up and you squeezed Toms hand in ressurance.

“You’re welcome. Besides, I always wanted to be famous and tomorrow I sure as hell will be”, you joked and Tom chuckled.

Tomorrow were the oscars and since the live interview Tom couldn’t show up alone. So you would accompany him, as his girlfriend.

“Let’s go then”, Tom announced and stood up, both of you walking out of the house and to his car.

When Tom pulled over to the hollands house you felt your heart began to beat rapidly in your chest.

Your breath quickened a little bit, but you took a long breath to calm yourself.

Nikki and Dom knew you for more than ten years now and they loved you like a daughter.

But the thought of lying to them made you feel sick.

You had planned to pick up Harrison, so you could tell him about the lie before revealing it to the family, but during the car ride he had send a text, letting you know that something had gotten in the way and he would be late.

So you had to do this on your own.

“It’s gonna be fine”, you declared, not speaking to Tom directly. He gave you an encouraging smile once again before walking over to greet his parents.

Tom was as nervous as you, maybe even more, but he was an actor.

He could pretend. You, not so much.

“Come on Tom! Spill the beans, we wanna know!”, you heared Sam whining and you knew exactly what they were talking about.

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell us anything”, Harry added while you casually walked over to them, stopping at Toms side.

“Did you know about this? (Y/n)?”, you heared Nikkis voice and you quickly looked to Tom for help.

“That’s the thing”, he started. “We didn’t plan for you to find out like this, but actually (Y/n) and I are dating”, he spoke and longed for your hand.

It felt weird, holding hands in front of Toms parents, but this needed to be believable.

You could see the surprise on all of their features, a rush of emotions mixing together, before Dom broke the silence. “See, I knew it!”, he grinned.

Nikki was still too surprised to say anything. Instead she pulled you into a hug. “Welcome to the family, darling”, she whispered and you felt a burden fall off your shoulders.

You knew Tom had a similar reaction.

“Since then have you been together?”, Sam asked, Elysia close by his side.

“Uhh, 2 months”, Tom said, surprising them once again. “Two months and you’re just telling us now?”, Harry grumbled. “After you couldn’t keep your mouth shut on televison!”

You shifted uncomfortably.

“When would you have told us, if you wouldn’t have let it slip?”

Tom tensed a little too, so you squeezed his hand a little tighter. “I planned on doing it, but it was still so fresh”, he sighed, a little dramatically, and wouldn’t you have known better, you would have believed him every single word.

“Jeez, stop cornering Tom and let him and (Y/n) have some space”, Nikki interrupted, but you could see her wearing a small frown as well.

“Yeah, how about we speak about your love life instead?”, Tom suggested with a smirk on his face. “The non-existent”, he added and Harry stuck out his tongue at him.

With that they left the topic of dating, instead talking about upcoming movies they wanted to see.

They were currently in the garden, talking about this and that when Harrison finally showed up. He wore a big grin until his gaze lowered, stopping by Tom and your interwined fingers.

“Hey”, he greeted and you and Tom jumped away from each other, before remembering that you had to put on a show in front of his family. “Hey, mate”, Tom welcomed him, pointing towards the sixpack on the table.

“Take a beer.” Harrison went to grab one, his face serious while his glance went back to you and Tom. “Have you heared the news yet?”, Harry spoke up, gesturing towards you and Tom.

“They are dating!”

Harrison frowned, his gaze lingering on you a little longer while you tried to wear an innocent smile.

Your best friends lips were pressed into a thin line and his jaw was clenched. “I figured”, he commented and then sat down next to them.

The second the others could see his face again his frown was replaced by a smile, but you knew he was mad. Or at least confused.

“So you didn’t know about this either?”, Sam wondered and an uncomfortable silence followed.

“Not until now.” Harrison acted as if it wasn’t a big deal for him, but you knew it was. You could see through him. He was bothered, to say the least.

You later found out that you were right.

After saying your goodbyes he jogged after you, holding you back by your wrist.

“I am gonna walk you home”, he stated, his expression showing that it wasn’t something he would debate on, so you sighed and started walking again.

Harrison fell in pace next to you and for a few seconds it was silent until he spoke up. “You and Tom.”

You gazed at him, waiting for more to follow, but he was silent again.

“It’s fake”, you confessed, hoping that would calm him. But Harrison only laughed dryly.

“I didn’t expect anything different. If you would have been dating for two months, you would have told me or at least let it slip.”

You nodded, regretting that you had chosen such a large number. Maybe you should have settled for something less supicious, a few weeks or so. But it was too late now.

Another lie.

“We wanted to tell you before Toms family, but you were late.” Your voice sounded a little exhausted, mirroring your own tiredness. It had been emotionally draining, trying to keep up a show for the whole afternoon.

It hadn’t taken Toms siblings long to get bored and demand more than just hand holding. Toms arm around your shoulder and his heart beating right next to your ear were still visibly in your mind.

It had been thrilling to have him so close to you, but left you with one question.

Why was touching Tom suddenly so different?

“When did you make that up though?” Harrisons voice woke you out of your thoughts and you blinked in irritation before recalling what you had talked about.

“He called me after the interview”, you explained, searching Harrisons gaze. He was quiet and reserved, something that was unusual for him.

“Wait- so you didn’t plan that beforehand?”, he wondered and you shook your head. “Of course not! None of this was planned.”

Harrison stopped walking and you paused as well. He was now meeting your gaze, but he didn’t seem relieved or understanding.

“Why did Tom mention a girlfriend in the interview then?” You shrugged your shoulders. “He was just freaking out. He wanted to shut down the Zendaya dating rumours for once and all. Might have not been the best way to do it.”

Harrison nodded, but he didn’t seem satisfied. “Harrison, what’s going on?” You had lost your patience now. What was bothering him so much? You knew this wasn’t an ideal situation, but it wasn’t the end of the world either.

“Oh come on, (y/n)!”, he groaned. “Am I the only one who sees that this is a big mistake? Stop it before it hurts even more people!”

You flinched, not in fear but surprise “Hurt even more people?”, you repeated his words, wondering who he was talking about.

No one was hurt yet, as far as you could see. “Yes!” Harrison took a step closer towards you. “You and Tom. You will both get hurt!”

You mustered him in shock, before shaking your head. “We won’t hurt each other Haz!”, you stated. “No one will get hurt. We will keep it simple. Just a week and then it’s over!”

You waited for him to agree with you or show any sign for what you had said made sense to him, but he shook his head. “Things like this are never simple”, he said dryly and that was all it took for you to turn around and keep walking.

You had wished for Harrison to support you or at least expected him to understand your decision, but not that he would stab you in the back.

Harrison jogged up to you and you sighed. “I didn’t have a choice, okay? Should I have let Tom down or what? He needs me!”

It was your last attempt to convince Harrison that you did the right thing, but he gulped. “I’m sorry (Y/n)”, he said. “But you’re wrong. He doesn’t need you, he just needs somebody to play along.”

You flinched at his harsh words, but refused to listen to him. “I don’t want you to be upset with me”, Harrison quickly explained, easily keeping up with your hurried pace.

“I just want you to realize what you’re getting yourself into before it’s too late. This is exactly the part where one of you will get hurt and as your best friend I can’t just stand back and watch.”

You kept on walking, hoping he would get the hint and just let you alone, but he didn’t leave your side. “Hey, look at me!”

Harrison grabbed your wrist, twisting you around to him. You tried to resist his grip, but he was too strong. “Please don’t be mad, okay?”

You gazed into his baby blue eyes and saw that he was truly scared that you would be mad at him. “I just wanna help”, he added softly and you slowly felt the anger fading away.

“Fine”, you sighed. “But you’re helping us the best if you stop this and just play along.”

Harrison stayed silent, but nodded. “Okay.”

You gave him a weak smile, realizing that you had reached your apartment. “Goodnight Harrison”, you mumbled, before walking inside, letting yourself sink against the wall the second the door closed behind you.

You wouldn’t give up just yet. Harrison was wrong. If you just kept this simple no one would end up getting hurt.

Right?

Chapter Text

Later that day you and Tom had been picked up and driven to the airport, where a private plane was waiting to bring you to Los Angeles.

Since your argument with Harrison only a few hours ago you still felt confused and didn’t know how to feel towards Tom.

And you couldn’t help but wonder, if he had talked to Tom as well. But it was nothing you could address, because it would just make things akward between the two of you.

And that was something you didn’t need.

Still, Harrisons words rung in your mind. “You’re wrong. He doesn’t need you, he just needs somebody to play along.”

You couldn’t deny that there was truth in them and it made you look at Tom differently. Who would he have called next if you hadn’t agreed?

What if you weren’t even the first person he had asked?

The car ride was silent, both of you too tired to start a conversation.

Eventually you reached the airport, the cold night air hitting you when you climbed out of the car.

It was your first time in a private jet and you were beyond excited. Tom was already used to it, but for you it felt special.

The plane wasn’t exactly big but not small either. The main corridor was filled with comfy looking chairs as well as a table and a television. In the back was enough space for your luggage and sleeping chairs.

Tom was already casually putting away his suitcase and getting comfortable in the sleeping chair, but you were too mesmerized to go to sleep just yet.

This plane was just for the two of you, all of this luxus for two normal kids from London. Never ever had you dreamed of experiencing something like this in your life.

Tom chuckled at your big eyes, petting the seat next to him. “C’mon we have a long night ahead of us. Try to get some sleep.”

You nodded, suppressing a yawn and sliding into the chair next to him.

“Goodnight”, Tom murmured and leant back, propping his earphones in. “Goodnight”, you whispered, before doing the same.

You put on one of your relaxing playlists. You normally listened to it when you felt anxious and needed to calm down. The familiar songs and the slightly moving plane helped you to fall asleep easily.

“(Y/n)! Wake up!”

You frowned, blinking a few times before opening your eyes fully. Tom was standing above you, his curls falling messy into his face.

But what really got your attention was the daylight which was flooding the plane.

“Wait- did I sleep the whole flight?” He nodded and laughed when your eyes widened at his response. “At least one of us won’t be tired today”, he grinned while you slowly got up and grabbed your belongings.

The way to the hotel was short. They had been picked up by a crew of bodyguards and other people that seemed somewhat important, who explained them the plan for the day again.

You and Tom would have to share one hotel room. None of you complained, knowing that it would cause suspiciousness when you asked for a second room, but the thought of sharing a bed with Tom was something worrying you.

You pushed the thought aside, instead listening to the manager explain everything. You quickly figured that everything had to be some sort of strategy. To get into the hotel, to get out of the hotel, to get you here, to get you there.

It was nerve-wracking and a little scary.

You wouldn’t be able to just go out for a run or a walk, was the risk too high that you would be recognized and followed.

You mustered yourself in the bathrooms mirror. A team of hairstylists and make-up artists had worked on you in here for the last hour while another team had worked on Tom next door.

It had been uncomfortable at first, since you had never been styled before and were doing your hair and makeup all by yourself, but everyone was understanding and funny. So you quickly relaxed and let them do their magic.

You glanced to the clock and decided that Tom must be ready too, so you opened the door and walked out of the bathroom.

Tom was sitting on a nearby sofa, dressed into a black suit, which looked amazing on him. His hair wasn’t messy anymore and he looked put together, a look which made him appear much more older and serious.

He looked up from his phone, a large smile on his lips. His gaze wandered up and down your body and you blushed a little at his examination.

A blue dress was falling down your body onto the ground. It was decorated with little diamonds and had a belt at your waist.

You could say without a doubt that you had never worn something this beautiful and expensive before. “How do I look?”, you asked, spinning around with a smile on your lips.

Your hair flew around your shoulder, but your curls had been fixed with so much hairspray that you didn’t fear them being destroyed.

“You look-”, Tom gulped, mustering you up and down again. “Good.”

“Wow, that’s all you can think of?”, you pouted playfully and moved to grab your purse.

“No, no I-”

Toms stuttering made you giggle. “Come on! Let’s go!”, you interrupted him and grabbed his arm, letting him guide you out of the room and onto the corridor.

You were surprised to find it empty, but when you walked around a corner you saw a massive group of people.

You weren’t the only ones staying here for the Oscars, so every few metres a dressed up person was standing, surrounded by a team of assistants.

You were surprised that you were still without any crew member, but when you reached the elevators someone came up to you.

“Tom Holland?”

He nodded. “Follow me!”

You followed the man and soon you where greeted by a group of managers and bodyguards.

“The car is directly in front of the hotel, okay? No time for autographs and selfies!”

Tom nodded although you knew that he didn’t feel good about ignoring his fans. But the time was cut short.

“They have waited so long and all I can do is smile towards them. That’s not fair”, he sighed and you nodded in understanding, but there was nothing you could do.

“They will understand”, was all you could say, but Tom didn’t seem any less frustrated. You reached the door and he pulled you back, interwining your fingers.

“This is intense, okay? They will shout and scream, but you have to smile, you get that?”

You nodded, bracing yourself for the moment the doors would swing open. “Let’s do this”, you smiled and Tom did the same, before guiding you out of the door.

The moment you stepped outside the screams erupted.

“Smile over here please!”

“Hey Tom, can I have an autography?”

“Just a short statement please!”

You ignored the shouting as best as you could, keeping a fake smile on your face.

It scared you a little, being surrounded by so many people who yelled at you and were only held away by a group of bodyguards. But you reminded yourself that this wasn’t new for Tom and he knew exactly what to do.

He had done this- how many times?

Tom sensed your anxiety and squeezed your hand a little.

Finally you reached the black car. A guy in a suit held the door open for you and you quickly climbed in.

As soon as Tom was next to you and the door was closed the car began moving, driving you away from the crowd.

Tom studied your face, searching for any hint on how you felt.

“How are you not deaf yet?”, was all you could mutter and he laughed.

The car ride was silent. Tom went through the speech he would deliver that evening and you gazed out of the window while listening to it. It was oddly calming, focusing on Tom’s voice.

Eventually you reached your destination.

“Ready?”, Tom asked when the limo pulled over to an even bigger crowd of people, which were held back by a barrier. You nodded, straightening your dress once more. “Remember, I’ll always be by your side”, Tom whispered and reached for your hand.

The car stopped and someone opened the door for you.

You were greeted by a bunch of screams and cheers, flashes going off, capturing the moment you and Tom climbed out of the car.

Tom seemed relaxed. He smiled and waved towards the crowd, and you couldn’t help but think that he had been born for this.

The red carpet was his arena, his moment of fame and pride. And he loved it.

So you followed along, trying your best to forget your anxiety for a second and enjoy this moment.

You smiled and waved.

Smiled and waved, on repeat. The crowd cheered and you couldn’t feel more proud.

Having a fence between them and you made you feel much safer and you slowly started to relax into the moment.

Tom was squeezing your hand and you turned your head, laughing warmly at him. It freightened you, all of this. It scared you a lot, but you were ready to face whatever was to follow.

You did this for Tom and maybe a selfish part of yourself you had never knew existed, but it felt good.

As if this was your purpose, standing here, next to Tom, waving at the fans and cameras.

As if for one second you weren’t invisisble. Here, on the red carpet, you were someone. And it felt surprisingly resfreshing.

Flashes went off, capturning your big smile and Toms chuckle at your excitement. Tom had prepared you for this. He had told you how uncomfortable it could be to pose for the cameras, people shouting at you while you had to keep a clean face.

But you had never expected this to be so easy. If you just had to pose and smile next to him you could totally do that for the rest of your life.

But soon Tom left your side, walking towards the fans. He began to sign autographs and take selfies with them and although it made you beyond proud to see how much the fans loved him, you felt out of place.

What should you do? It wasn’t as if people wanted to talk to you. They wanted Tom and all you could do was stand back and wait for him to come back.

Suddenly you realized what he had meant. You still had to wear a smile, knowing that once you allowed yourself to show what you really felt, someone would capture the moment.

You didn’t know how much time was passing. Every once in a while a celebrity you recognized walked past you.

But none acknowleged you. How should they? You were invisble again. At least until Tom would declare that you were his girlfriend.

Which you weren’t. It was fake. All the attention you would get was for a lie, something you didn’t even deserve.

You were just an ordinary girl that had nothing to do with talent or popularity.

Somehow you now realized that the crowd wasn’t just cheering. Some people were eyeing you, full of hate and suspiciousness. You had let all of this blend you at first, but now you understood what Tom had meant.

He was popular and admired from many girls. They wouldn’t like you being his girlfriend, even if it was just a show.

Somehow you had believed that the people would love you, because they loved Tom and wanted him to be happy. But you had been foolish.

Nearly every person here wanted to be with Tom and you were there, too, in the middle of the screaming crowd, wishing you had never agreed to this.

But you did this for Tom, who now turned around and finally walked back to you.

“Have you been standing there the whole time?”, he wondered and you nodded insecure. “You could have gone and talk the fans. They are dying to meet you!”, he exclaimed and you faked a smile once more.

You couldn’t disagree with him, not here on the red carpet in front of a wall of cameras.

So you just nodded and followed him over to the other side of the carpet. A group of interviewers were already waiting, holding out their microphones to get the celebrities attention, just for a second.

Tom gave you a questioning look and you nodded, signaling him that you were indeed ready for this. You didn’t welcome this, you certainly didn’t want it, but somehow, you felt ready for it.

“Tom Holland”, the interviewer, a woman in her early thirties spoke up. “Tell us, who is this lovely lady here by your side.”

Tom gave you a quick glance and proudly smiled into the camera. “This is (y/n), one of my closest friends and- my girlfriend.”

There was no going back now.

You smiled fondly as he pulled you even closer to him, his hand slowly rubbing up and down your back. At first you felt surprised at his touch, but the feeling was replaced by gratefulness, had his touch a calming effect on you.

You gazed to Tom and he gave you a wink. The interviewer had gone silent, watching the small interaction with a big grin. “So how long have you been dating?” She then continued her questions, now speaking to you as well.

“For around 2 months now”, you explained, hoping that it was okay for you to answer the question. You didn’t want to claim the attention, but you were afraid to appear like the silent and boring girlfriend. That didn’t fit you in the slightest.

Tom nodded next to you, his fingers still tracing your back. You tried to hide how flustered you were and gave the camera a polite smile.

“I suppose you wanted to keep it from the open eye a little. So why did you decide to reveal the relationship now?”

That was a good question. You gazed to Tom, whose hand had stopped moving. He was panicking, you knew that, but his expression was professional.

“We just decided that it was a good time and we were ready, you know?”, you explained. “We wanted to have some time for ourselves first before we would reveal it to the world. That’s a huge step to make, which should be considered wisely.”

You nervously watched the interviewers expression, but she seemed satisfied. “Well, congratulations then! We wish you all the best”, she smiled. “Thank you”, Tom and you simultaneously answered, making her and the cameraman chuckle.

You said your goodbyes and moved forward, ignoring the cheers that erupted once in a while.

You reached the building and went inside, being greeted by cold air and a heavenly silence.

“So much better”, you smiled and sighed in relief. Tom mustered you, not quite sure what to make out of your comment.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome out there!” He chuckled, but raised an eyebrow, waiting for an addition.

“But somewhat exhausting as well. My ears are still ringing!” Tom laughed, guiding you to a spot next to the wall where you had some space for yourself.

“You handled it great!”, he stated and you blushed. “Thanks, but it’s not like they were interested in me, Tom.”

He frowned, but didn’t have the chance to answer when a familiar voice made you turn your heads.

“You look so good together!”

It was Zendaya, walking towards you with a big grin on her face. You went in to hug her, admiring her gorgeous dress and hairstyle at the same time.

“I can’t believe I only find out now. You guys were really good at hiding this!”

She wasn’t angry nor disappointed that you hadn’t told her. Instead she wore an expression that could just be described as amused.

“Yeah, well, we have our tricks”, Tom grinned and they quickly hugged as well, a little stiff due to their surroundings.

“You really know how to make headlines, Holland”, she commented and you laughed. “And you”, she turned towards you. “have to tell me all later, I wanna know everything!”

“Promise”, you grinned and she smiled in satisfaction. “I just wish they wouldn’t try to make it such a big deal”, she sighed then and you frowned.

“What do you mean?”

She gazed around, checking that no one was listening on to your conversation. “They keep trying to make me talk about it. What I think and how I feel now, as if I was jealous”, she rolled her eyes.

“They really can’t let go of that rumours.” Tom stiffened and you exchanged glances.

“I’m sorry about that”, you confessed. You had really hoped that they would let Zendaya have her peace now, but instead they tried to pull her into something that had nothing to do with her.

Tom didn’t say anything, but you knew that he felt guilty. He had tried to make this better by saying he had a girlfriend, but now he had perhaps made it even worse.

“It’s not your fault”, Zendaya stated, already smiling again. “Anyways, we have to take a picture together! I want to remember this moment later!”

She reached for her phone in her purse and positioned herself next to them. “Cheese!”

The flash went off and Zendaya lowered her phone, looking through the photos. “Uh no”, she muttered. “We have to retake these! You guys have to do something cute, you can show now that you’re a couple, remember?”

She winked at the two of you and you laughed in embarrassment. “Right”, Tom muttered, also a little red.

You moved closer to him, not really knowing what to do for the photo. Tom didn’t do anything either and for the split of a second you just stood akwardly close to each other, none of you doing anything. You hoped that Zendaya hadn’t seen it or else it would seem suspicious.

“How about I kiss your cheek?”, you suggested and Tom nodded in relief. You leant forward, your lips touching his soft skin while he winked at the camera.

Zendaya took the photos, wearing a satisfied grin while flipping through them. “Much better!”, she grinned, before putting her phone away. “I need to go, but I will see you around”, she smiled.

“I will save you a seat”, she said while pointing towards you and left. You were relieved to hear that, because Tom would be gone since he was a presenter and you felt insecure alone.

“Please, don’t say anything”, Tom sighed as soon as Zendaya had left, his hand going up to go through his hair in frustration before remembering he couldn’t do that.

“What?”, you wondered, watching him in confusion. “I know what you’re thinking. I just made everything worse. Trust me I know that myself!”

He clenched his jaw in despair when someone called for him. “That’s my clue”, he stated, leaving you there and then.

“I didn’t”, you whispered, but you knew that he couldn’t hear you anymore.

Chapter Text

You stared after Tom for a while before turning your attention elsewhere. The doors leading to the main area where the show would take place were still closed so you couldn’t get to your seat just yet. Sighing you took out your phone, hoping that the time would fly by so you wouldn’t have to be alone for long.

You leaned against the wall and scrolled through your messages. There were a few from Haz, Harry and Elysia asking how the Oscars were going so far. But then there was also one from Jacob, congratulating you and Tom.

For a second you wondered how he already knew, but Zendaya had probably already texted him the news. You quickly answered all of them, leaving Jacobs message unreplied. You felt guilty.

You put your phone back into your purse and realized someone was making their way over to you. Glancing up you saw a young man with dark hair and sparkling eyes casually walking into your direction.

“Hey, gorgeus”, he smirked when he reached you and you huffed. “From all the things you could have said you chose that?”

You grimaced and he laughed. “Sorry, I just can’t help myself around such a beautiful lady.”

You blushed at his words and he gave you a satisfied grin. “Uh- I’m actually here with someone”, you explained, not daring to look at him. “He is one of the presenters this evening.”

You peeked into his direction to see the man still smiling at you. “I should have known that you are already taken”, he commented, but his smile had grown warmer and friendly.

“I’m Nate!” He held out his hand and you eyed it for a second before shaking it. “(Y/n).”

“I came over, because you look a little lost. Why are you here all alone?”

You fiddled with the hem of your dress before putting back on your dull smile. “As I said my boyfriend”, the words felt weird on your tongue, “is one of the presenters this evening. There are still some organizational matters for him to take care of.”

The man, Nate, nodded in understanding. “What about you? Aren’t you here with someone?”, you asked, hoping to not have to talk about yourself anymore.

Nate cringed at your question before laughing it off. “Well, my date jumped me yesterday so that kind of sucked.”

You couldn’t help but break into laughter. “Why would she do that?! It’s the Oscars”, you wondered then. “Turns out she was using me just for the fame and now found someone better to play with.”

You clenched your jaw and although Nate seemed to be completely loose talking about it, you still felt an uneasy feeling in your stomach.

For one, because you felt sorry for him, but then you also couldn’t help but project his words onto your and Toms situation.

Was he just using you for fame? Were you only something that brought him into the headlines for a while, before he decided that he had found something better and moved on?

But no, that couldn’t be. It was Tom you were talking about. He wouldn’t use you nor anybody like this.

But somewhere deep inside of you doubts were nibbling on you. Harrison’s words had planted an idea into you; something he might not even realized he had done.

“Okay I know it sounds bad, but you don’t have to feel bad for me”, Nate’s voice woke you out of your thoughts and you quickly put on your smile again.

“Sorry, I just-”, you didn’t finish. “Went somewhere else?”, he finished and you nodded in gratefulness that he seemed to understand.

“Sorry!” You felt a little embarrassed about it, but Nate quickly shook his head. “Don’t be.”

You talked to him until the doors opened a good few hours later. You found out that he was actually very funny, a little sarcastic, but what completely took you by surprise was that he seemed to have a deep side as well.

He knew that something was off, but didn’t ask any further and instead tried to distract you for a while.

You had even exchanged numbers.

“C’mere!”

A familiar voice caught your attention and you spun around to find Zendaya petting an empty seat next to her.

Relieved that you had found her this easily you slid into the seat next to her and exhaled.

“Thank god! I already thought I would never find you and have to sit alone.”

Zendaya grinned in amusement before starting to poke your arm. “Hey, I wouldn’t have let that happen! I might would have even called out for you on stage to make sure we find each other!”

You laughed and watched the people passing by, hoping to make out Tom somewhere.

You hadn’t seen him since your conversation with Zendaya earlier and you feared that you wouldn’t see him again before his presentation started.

“Searching for your lover boy?”, Zendaya teased and you giggled.

“I just wanted to wish him good luck, that’s all”, you muttered, a little disappointed that you wouldn’t be able to do it.

“I am sure Tom will forgive you”, Zendaya joked and you nodded, knowing that Tom wouldn’t be mad at you.

“But since you already started the topic.” You turned your head to meet Zendayas cheeky grin. “I wanna know everything!”

“Okay, so I think you have to be a little more specific!”, you commented and she laughed.

“Is Tom a good kisser?”

You broke into a fit of coughing at her direct question and Zendaya broke into loud laughter. “I suppose that’s a yes?”, she giggled and you shook your head in playful annoyance.

“No comment”, you smirked and leaned back in your seat. It was nice talking to Zendaya. She could always make you laugh and didn’t seem tensed about the situation.

But that didn’t mean you weren’t terrified of her questions. How should you answer the question when you had never kissed Tom?

“Have you done that yet?”

“Done what?” You frowned, trying to figure out what she meant when suddenly you realized what she was talking about.

“Oh my god Zendaya! I’m not gonna talk about this to you!”

The girl didn’t seem to mind your rejection and laughed even more.

“I can’t believe you and Tom are a thing”, she suddenly said in a more serious tone.

“Really? W-why?”, you stuttered, now insecure when Z got serious.

“I don’t know to be honest. I guess it makes sense considering how close you always were, but I can’t believe Tom kept his mouth shut.”

“I guess he didn’t have a choice or else he wouldn’t be breathing right now”, you shrugged, but Zendaya didn’t react to your joke.

“So you were the one, who wanted to keep it a secret?

You gulped, hoping that the show would start any minute and release you from this situation.

“No, no, we both wanted that”, you protested and Z turned her head to you.

“I get that you didn’t want people to know. Trust me, I really do, I just wish you would have told me before all of this chaos started.”

Your guilt was heavy, but at the same time you hadn’t been able to tell her any sooner. A part of you wanted to tell her the truth, but you had made Tom a promise.

If you started to tell more people you wouldn’t be able to stop. “Where do we draw the line?”, Tom had asked and so you had agreed with him.

But right now, looking into Zendayas disappointed chocolate brown eyes made you fill with blame.

“I’m sorry”, you whispered and you hoped that she could see how true it was.

“We should have thought about you too.”

But the girl already wore a smile again, patting your shoulder. “Don’t worry. I know how love can be sometimes. It makes blind.”

You gave her a grateful smile when suddenly the light was dimed and the show started.

It all went by in a rush. Too many impressions were overwhelming you, but although your head had started to hurt, you felt happy. Sitting next to Zendaya made you forget about everything around you for a while.

All the press and fans that would be going wild about you and Tom were out of your mind and you just concentrated on having a good time.

Eventually it was Toms turn. You knew that he was beyond nervous about his presentation, but he covered it up perfectly- just like you had expected.

Seeing him on the big stage suddenly didn’t scare you anymore, but instead you felt unbelievably proud.

You could still remember when Tom had first told you about his dream of becoming an actor. It wasn’t uncommon for kids to have such imaginations, but with him it had been different.

You had always known that it wasn’t just a phase. Tom wanted this and if he had set his mind on doing something, there wasn’t anything or anyone that could stop him from fulfilling his passion.

Tom had talent and finally people had witnessed how special he was. And somehow you were still here, by his side in all of this.

You knew that people were talking. How Tom would dump you and Haz sooner or later and choose more famous people to hang out with instead, but you couldn’t imagine it happening ever.

Tom was too smart and too kind-hearted to lose himself in fame. He didn’t care much about money nor fame. All he wanted was to act, the one thing that seemed to make him genuinely happy.

Applause erupted and you joined in, wearing the biggest smile while watching Tom leave the stage with a smile himself.

You glanced towards Zendaya to see her watching you with a smirk. “What?” “Nothing”, she shrugged it off.

You were making your way out of the hall along with a crowd of other celebrities. The show had just ended and you were hoping to find Tom somewhere.

Searching the crowd you tried to make out his figure, but had no luck. So you searched for an empty corner to wait for him.

“Here you are!”

You glanced up from your phone to meet Tom’s relieved eyes. “I just wanted to call you”, you explained while putting your phone back into your purse.

“Sorry, I had to clarify some things backstage, but now I am ready.” You nodded before reaching out to hug him.

He was confused at first, but quickly pulled you closer into his chest. “I am so proud of you”, you whispered into his shoulder, but it was loud enough for Tom to hear it.

You felt his lips curving up into a smile before he stepped back to get a look on your face. “Thank you. That means a lot to me”, he whispered. “I hope you know that.”

You smiled, nodding while your eyes didn’t leave his. For a moment you had forgotten about your surroundings, only you and Tom being important right now. “I do.”

He smiled as well and you felt how vulnerable the moment was that you were sharing. You had missed this, just being with Tom without caring about anything else. And as much you loved teasing and joking around with him, you needed these moments as well.

Moments when you and Tom were honest with each other. It reminded you that you could tell him everything, even your deepest feelings, and he would make it his mission to help you.

It was just who he was.

“About earlier”, Tom started and you knew the moment was over. You glanced to the ground, fiddling with your hands. “I don’t blame you for this Tom”, you interjected before he could say anything.

“Why? You should do it. This is all my fault!”

You sighed again, before reaching out to take his hand into yours. “C’mon, that doesn’t matter now. Zendaya isn’t mad at us and the reporters will eventually focus on a different topic.”

Tom nodded, but a frown was still covering his face. “I guess you’re right”, he stated and you grinned.

“Besides, it will allow us to spend more time together without being suspicious.”

Tom laughed at that and you were glad to relief some tension. “Now let’s go back to the hotel”, you suggested.

“You don’t want to go to the after party?”, Tom questioned and you shook your head.

“I am hella tired, aren’t you?”

“Fair point”, Tom remarked and chuckling you made your way to the entrance.

The ride to the hotel hadn’t been easy, but eventually you had arrived. You had just put on some sweatpants and a loose t-shirt when Tom returned from signing a few more autographs.

“I can’t believe they waited all this time for a signature”, he chuckled while beginning to change.

“Well I can”, you smirked, continuing to rub the make-up off your face.

“Yeah?”, Tom replied and you tried your best not to gaze into his direction. “If you didn’t know me, would you be standing out there too?”, he asked with a grin and you snorted.

“Totally!” You both laughed at the sarcasm in your voice. “I would be your biggest fan, Holland”, you added and he chuckled.

“How come I can imagine that so easily?”, he smirked and you huffed. “Oh shut up! Just because you delivered a not so terrible speech today doesn’t mean you’re irresistible.”

You turned to find Tom already in a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt lying on the bed while scrolling through his phone.

“Trust me, I know you can’t resist me”, he grinned and you rolled your eyes, but not without being able to stop a smile from forming on your lips.

“You wish”, you chuckled while awkwardly walking over to the bed, stopping in front of it in uncertainty.

Tom didn’t seem to notice at first, but then he looked up with a questioning look on his face.

“Is there anything you need?”, he asked while raising his brow.

“Yeah the bed so make some space.”

“Oh.” Tom quickly moved to the side, putting his phone on the nightstand.

“I could sleep in the armchair”, he suggested, but you shook your head. “There is enough space for the both of us”, you explained, still a little unsure about the situation.

It wasn’t like you and Tom hadn’t slept in the same bed before, but that had been years ago. While getting older you had become more aware and insecure of the situation and build walls around yourself.

But at night when you were sleeping, you were completely vulnerable. And you didn’t want to make this awkward for any of you.

Keep it simple.

“Are you sure?”, Tom wondered, visibly insecure himself. “Yeah, it’s no problem. Just don’t steal my blanket”, you tried to loosen up the tension a little.

“I will give my best”, he winked while getting comfortable. You did the same and soon Tom had switched out the light.

You woke up to the light flooding your room. Tom was still asleep next to you so you reached for your phone.

8:30

Yawning you checked your messages and social media. But all tiredness vanished when you saw the hundreds and thousands of messages and followers you had reached.

Zendaya had uploaded the photo of last night and you had to admit it looked pretty adorable.

The comments were filled with hearts and cute messages and your mood brightened up immediately while reading all the positive messages.

The people really seemed to be happy for you.

“What are you looking at?”

Tom’s voice woke you out of your thoughts. He had turned around, watching you with tired but attentive eyes.

“Social media. The people really seem to like us together”, you explained, grinning when you mustered Tom’s curls falling messy into his face.

He looked so much younger like this.

“See, I told you they would.” He had never said something like it, but you ignored that and just smiled.

“What’s the plan for today?”, you asked instead.

Tom yawned, burying his face in his pillow. “Nothing to be honest. Just relaxing”, he murmured and it took all your attention to understand his muffled voice.

“That sounds lovely”, you smiled, really looking forward to a day off.

“Tell me something I don’t know”, Tom smiled and you rolled your eyes.

Later you found yourself at the couch, scrolling through your phone again. All the comments begged for you to be seen and you couldn’t force yourself to stop reading.

“Can’t get enough of all the love?”, Tom teased you from across the room. “Ha ha”, you commented, not looking up from the screen.

“Unlike you I don’t get compliments 24/7″, you defended yourself.

It was silent for a second until you gazed up to see Tom sitting down facing you.

He hadn’t been able to unhear that you were bothered about it.

“Is that hard?”, he asked and you raised your brows. “What exactly?”

Tom cleared his throat. “I mean it somehow has become normal for me to look at my phone and see tons of compliments and lovely messages. Does it bother you that you don’t?”

You would have liked to smack him for that question, but his voice told you that he wasn’t intending to hurt you nor make you look small. He actually seemed to care about your thoughts and feelings towards the situation.

“Of course not!”, you called out, but Tom raised his brow.

A look that urged you to tell him the truth.

“Okay fine”, you sighed.

“Sometimes it might be a bit difficult to see one person get tons of love and attention while being invisible. I mean, I am happy for you and you deserve everything of that, but at times it makes one feel less of a person, like you are better than me.

When I am depressed I can’t just scroll through my phone and see all the love of people that care about me. I will just sit at home and stare at a black screen.”

You didn’t know where your emotional outburst came from, but suddenly everything you had always kept to yourself came to the surface.

Talking to Tom just had that effect on you. He always gave you a reason to tell him your deepest feelings and you knew that you could trust him more than anything.

But now, when Tom was asking this question you just felt bad. You had never wanted to say those things out loud, especially not to him, but now it was too late.

But at the same time you felt like a small burden was falling from your shoulders. All this time you were feeling like you lived in Tom’s shadow and although you were fine with it most of the time, sometimes you struggled to accept it.

How should you learn to love yourself when you were always in the dark? When your two best friends gained all the attention and you were standing in the back as if you didn’t know them?

It was silent. You had put your phone away and were facing Tom, who seemed deep in thought. He was being completely serious and you could see on his face that he was surprised by your words.

“I’m so sorry. I should have asked this way sooner, but I never really paid attention to how you felt with me being famous.”

Tom’s voice was soft and like a warm embrace. “Don’t!”, you protested while rapidly shaking your head. “Don’t feel guilty. None of this is your fault!”

Tom smiled a little, but still seemed sad. “I just wish I would have known this sooner”, he sighed.

“I should have come to the conclusion that it isn’t easy for you, but I guess I just wanted it to be easy and ignored it.”

“Tom!”, you demanded for him to stop and he stilled.

“Don’t do this to yourself! You deserve this more than anyone. I am unbelievably grateful that people see how amazing you are and show you how much love you deserve. It makes me so happy to see that people finally recognize you for all what you are.”

Tom’s eyes didn’t leave yours while you spoke and you could feel the nervousness kicking in.

Butterflies were erupting in your stomach and you did your best not to stumble over your own words.

“Thank you”, he smiled and you nodded with a smile yourself.

“You don’t have to thank me, Tom. That’s what friends are for, right?”

Tom shifted, but didn’t move away from you.

“Right.”

You smiled at him once more before trying to reach for your phone, when you suddenly heared his voice again.

“But I wanna say something too.”

You looked back at him with an amused smile on your face.

“Go for it, Holland”, you encouraged him with a smirk, but Tom’s calmness told you that he was still being serious.

So you gave up your playfulness and waited for him to continue with a serious expression.

“I want you to know that, (Y/n), you’re not invisible. You are all I’m looking for when I enter a room and everything I could ever ask for. I don’t know why you’re still here or how I got you to be my friend, but please know that I am really grateful for that.”

You felt a lump in your throat and gulped to cover up how touched you were by his words.

“I care about you! So whenever you’re depressed you text me, okay? I don’t want you to be alone and feel less worthy of love. You deserve so much more than that!”

Tom was watching you with sharp eyes, waiting for you to make him the promise.

His words felt like a cure and poison at the same time.

They seemed to make up for every moment you had spend wondering why no one seemed to be interested in you and if you were less beautiful or smart or funny than Harrison and Tom.

But simultaneously they reminded you that Tom couldn’t keep his promise. As much as he might want to, it wasn’t possible.

You remembered when you had one of the worst days imaginable. Coming home you had broken down in tears and spend the rest of the evening crying until you eventually fell asleep. But through those tears you had called Tom multiple times and send him messages.

And you could still remember his only message.

Sry, but I’m busy. Call you back later.

Not only had you found out that he had been out partying with Harrison, but also he had never called you back.

He had never asked you about the evening again, so you had just dropped it.

Or the other little moments when you had needed him and he had been unavailable; in an interview, filming, on press tour. It was always the same.

But right now that didn’t matter. Bringing it up would only make Tom feel bad about something he couldn’t control.

Well, except for the partying.

So you nodded.

He gave his best, so you should do too.

Besides, his words gave you weak knees. He cared about you. You are all I’m looking for when I enter a room and everything I could ever ask for.

Only a few words and your mind was going wild. Maybe he felt the same, maybe he was in love with you too.

The hope that you so desperately tried to ignore grew and you began imagining what could happen next.

Maybe he would kiss you.

“Thank you”, you smiled, tears in your eyes.

“You don’t have to thank me. That’s what friends are for, right?”

His words felt like a punch in the stomach. Although he was only repeating you without any bad intentions, it felt like a slap.

You were brought back to reality. He wouldn’t kiss you. Why should he? You were just a friend to him.

Before he could sense the impact his words had on you, you forced a smile on your lips and reached for your phone.

Your mind was numb, while you scrolled through social media.

You didn’t read any of the messages, was your mind too distracted to deal with the sudden rejection.

But you feared that if you stopped acting like you were distracted, Tom could talk to you again.

And right now his presence felt more like a burden than a gift.