Anonymous said: I hope you learn to spot fanservice at 31 better than you could at 30.
"It’s time for our contractually-obligated monthly cuddle," Michael says grumpily, slinking over to Luke. It’s the worst time, Michael just hates snuggling so much. It’s torture whenever they have to do it, leaning up against Luke’s broad warm body, Michael can hardly bear it. But it has to be done, otherwise the fans won’t like them. Stupid girl fans just believe anything they see instead of constantly questioning the legitimacy of every show of affection, and that’s what they’ve built their career on.
Luke sighs, opening his arms but looking sad about it. Luke’s so brave, he’s a great pretender at stuff like this, better than any of them. You can hardly ever see the agony in his eyes in the numerous pictures and videos of all of them cuddling him and lying in bed with him and gazing at him, even though he finds every fanservicing touch to be a burning torturous reminder of how they’ve signed their souls and bodies over to management in exchange for fame. Michael just hopes he can stay as strong when they have to date Taylor Swift, all of them at once, a contractually-obligated harem of boyfriends for her. Michael had hoped they’d never get famous enough to have to fulfill that clause, but apparently they’re just too great at fooling the fans into thinking they like each other. They’re doomed to be actors for the rest of their lives now; they’ve simply serviced the fans too well.
"I hate you so much," Michael tells Luke, lying down across his warm sprawled body, slipping his arms around Luke’s waist. He holds Luke close, hugging him and rubbing his face against Luke’s collarbone, wishing he could be anywhere else in the world.
Luke trembles under him, putting his arms around Michael like it hurts him to do it, hating every moment of this lie of affection. “I wish you were a penguin,” Luke says, tears in his voice.
"You can do this, guys," Ashton says, aiming his iPhone camera at them, anguish on his face as he gets the perfect angle to capture their agonized noncon snuggle. "You have to, otherwise we’ll have to pretend we hang out in bed with each other all morning like in London again. Do it for all of us." Michael nods, clinging to Luke as if he actually wanted to do it. They have to be good, they know the consequences if they don’t. They might be forced to go on a beach roadtrip with each other on their time off like Calum and Ashton had to last year, and Michael just couldn’t bear it. What if management made him get a tan?
Ashton finishes posting the picture to Twitter, telling them, “It’s up, guys, we’re good until next Tuesday’s giggling flirtation at the meet and greet,” and Luke shoves Michael away, hiding his face in his hands as he starts to cry. Michael wants to yell at him, he hates it too after all, but when he opens his mouth to speak a sob comes out, helpless and sorrowful at the hideous lie they’re all living every day. They all break down crying, keeping their distance from each other, sobbing alone because comforting each other would be super gay, and they definitely only do that shit for the fans.