It was one of those rare times in Even’s life where he was actually getting enough sleep each night. Now having a better grasp of balancing film school with his personal life, Even was able to get all of his work done while still managing to catch some z’s. Isak, unfortunately, was not the same. He was still getting used to the difference between high school and university, and so went through periods of doing nothing and periods of working for hours on end.
It didn’t bother Even that Isak had to focus on his classes more and more these days. He was doing a medical degree, of course that was going to take up so much of Isak’s time. He also knew there was no point in trying to correct how Isak made his way through the semester — film and medicine were wildly different, and as much as Isak occasionally struggled he still got to the end with near-perfect grades. The only thing about this system that bothered Even was when Isak ran on fumes, pushing himself to exhaustion until he physically couldn’t do it anymore.
Just like he was doing right now.
They were each sitting at opposite sides of their table, Even — for once not trying to meet a deadline — drafting a storyboard for an idea he’d had the day before, and Isak loudly typing notes from his textbook into a Word doc. Isak was also wearing earphones, which Even could very faintly hear music coming from but couldn’t distinguish what song was playing.
The problem wasn’t that Isak was studying. It was that Even had found him already sitting there at 8am when he himself had gotten up, and it was now 5pm and Even wasn’t entirely sure Isak had gotten up for more than a toilet break or two.
“Isak?” Even asked tentatively, not sure if Isak would snap at him for interrupting his studying. It wouldn’t be the first time. But Isak didn’t seem to hear him, his music apparently too loud. Cautiously, Even made his way over to Isak and pulled one of the earphones out, trying to be slow enough that he wouldn’t startle Isak but failing anyway.
“Even?” Isak said, his voice cracking from underuse. Now that he was closer, Even could see that Isak’s eyes were slightly bloodshot and his eyebags darker than usual. “Did you need something?”
“Have you eaten today?” Even asked him instead. Isak blinked at that, then stared back down at his work, and finally towards the kitchen.
“No,” he whispered. “I think I forgot.”
Even pressed his lips together but didn’t say anything, just watched Isak with concern. Isak didn’t move to get up though, instead turning back towards his computer.
“Whoa, stop,” Even said, grabbing Isak’s hands and pulling him to his feet. “You’re taking a break.”
“I can’t,” Isak protested, but it was weakened by him not even trying to stand his ground as Even dragged him towards their bed. “I have a test on Monday.”
“You’ve been studying all day, and it’s Friday, which means you have all weekend,” Even told him. “Please, baby, just rest for a bit.”
At that, Isak deflated, his shoulders slumping and eyes welling up. “Okay,” he whispered.
“Okay,” Even repeated, wrapping his arms around Isak and pressing a kiss to his forehead. “Take a shower and put some fresh clothes on. I’ll make dinner.”
“You’re just going to make toasties though,” Isak grumbled, but still moved towards the closet before shuffling into the bathroom. He was completely right, of course, and Even moved into the kitchen with a smile to make their sandwiches. Just as he put the toasties on to cook Isak came in, hair damp and ruffled from his towel. He was decked out in Even’s track pants and hoodie, only leaving his toes and fingertips exposed. Even’s heart melted at the sight and he immediately wrapped Isak up in his arms. Isak huffed, but leaned into it and rested his forehead on Even’s shoulder and closed his eyes.
“You’re so cute,” Even told him, kissing the cheek he had access to without moving Isak from his position. “Adorable.”
“‘m not,” Isak said, but his sweater paws had no one convinced. “‘m badass.”
“If you say so,” Even sang. Then he sobered. “You have to stop doing this to yourself, love.” He began to sway them back and forth gently, arms around Isak’s waist keeping them both upright.
“I know,” Isak sighed, turning his head to look up at Even. “I don’t know how, though. It’s like I need the stress of a deadline to even start to get anything done.”
“And that’s normal,” Even told him. “We both know I’m like that too. But you can’t go without food or fresh air for it.” Isak shrugged, agreeing but feeling stuck. They had done this before, too, vowing to change things but never actually doing it. And Even knew it wouldn’t be the last time. He couldn’t make Isak change his ways, but he could sure as hell be around to help in the aftermath.
Even began to hum quietly, and Isak pressed his face into Even’s neck to feel the vibrations. After a minute or so, Isak pulled away and looked up at him with an unimpressed look. “Are you singing fucking One Direction?” he asked flatly, his tone indicating that he knew the answer was yes.
“Let me live, babe,” Even laughed, and at that moment the light on the sandwich press turned off, their food ready. “It’s either 1D or Gabrielle, you choose,” he said, dishing the sandwiches onto a plate.
“I’d prefer neither,” Isak grumbled unhappily, snatching a toastie from the top of the pile and nibbling at the corner. Even laughed and started to eat as well.
They ate in comfortable silence, Even still humming what Isak called his ‘trashy pop shit’ and would deny liking, even though Even knew he actually enjoyed them. The moment they were finished, Even dragged Isak back into his arms and continued to sway from foot to foot. After humming notes Even wasn’t sure even went together, Isak scrunched his face as he let out a wide yawn. Without speaking, Even slowly eased them towards the bed, placing Isak down gently before ungracefully flopping onto the mattress himself. It was probably only around 6pm by now, but Isak was mentally exhausted and fell asleep within a few minutes. He looked so relaxed, so unbothered, as he slept, and Even wished his boyfriend could look like that a little bit more often in his waking hours.
It wasn’t long before Even, matching Isak’s breaths with his own, fell asleep as well, the toastie plate lying abandoned on the kitchen counter.