squeaklings: (tsubasa - you and me)
[personal profile] squeaklings
Title: Binge Watching
Wordcount: 2156
Fandom: Steven Universe
Rating: G
Warnings: Rot your teeth fluff
Summary: The Unfamiliar Familiar has finally made its live action debut, and Steven and Connie are excited to watch it together.
Notes: Schmaltz, I am thy queen. Well probably not really, but I made myself embarrassed with the amount of fluff this thing has. Finished version below the cut. (Or well, as finished as anything I do since I consider most things beta.)

“Is everything ready?”

“All set!” Steven grins as the microwave dings and he carefully pulls out the bag of popcorn.

Steam erupts around him as he opens the bag and pours the treat into a large plastic bowl, and Connie drizzles melted butter over the top as the last kernel falls into place.

Steven’s room is quiet, the Gems nowhere to be seen and Lion outside somewhere. It’s almost weird not to have someone hovering around.

“I can’t believe we finally get a chance to watch The Unfamiliar Familiar! It was stuck in production for so long I thought they’d never release it.” She picks up the bowl as Steven grabs the drinks and she practically jumps up the stairs to his bedroom. Her sleeping bag lies folded up beside his bed, her duffel bag against it.

“And they even added an episode!” Steven’s grin is as huge as hers as he joins her on the bed, his remotes laid out before them. “Six-part miniseries!”

Connie already has the TV turned on, lying on her stomach and absently kicking her legs against the bed in half-contained excitement. She knows it’s foolish; there’s so much else going on, corrupted Gems and the threat of Homeworld are a constant presence hovering over everything. But that’s why it’s important to be excited about something frivolous and fun.

“I heard they used a real falcon for almost all of Archimicarus’ scenes,” Steven says, expertly switching between the remotes until he brings up Webflix and there, front and center, is The Unfamiliar Familiar.

“The actress playing Lisa studied sword-fighting techniques for months, too,” Connie says, sighing happily.

“I’m so glad your parents let you stay over so we can watch the entire thing.”

“Mom was surprisingly lenient,” Connie says with a grin. Her mother isn’t stupid; she can see the signs of the coming conflict as easily as her daughter can. There’s no telling how much time they have left to just be kids.

They settle down as the program starts, the flickering light of the TV casting shadows around Steven’s bedroom. All thoughts of the coming war, of corrupted Gems and spaceships and fear are drowned out by a panning shot of a young girl and her falcon familiar.

“Oh maaaan, it’s so good,” Steven gushes as the first episode ends and they wait for the second to queue up. “Even though they changed some things.”

“The practical effects are really good,” Connie adds as she reaches for some popcorn and then stops suddenly as her hand brushes against Steven’s. They both glance at each other and then quickly away, each with a handful of popcorn.

The light outside grows dim as the second episode winds down; the shadows against the walls are larger, the popcorn long gone.

“Lisa’s witch powers look so good.” Connie is sitting up now, her legs folded in front of her, elbows on her knees as she leans forward in anticipation and excitement. Steven sits beside her, their shoulders almost touching and his arms slightly behind him as he leans back.

He’s taller than her now, if only by a bit. He jokes that he has to keep up with Connie, but she’s not entirely sure he doesn’t mean it. He won’t say, but through Stevonnie she knows he’s been self-conscious about his appearance ever since his birthday two years ago.

“You think they’ll do the fight in the arctic or skip it like they did the ballroom scene?”

Connie ‘hmms’. “It’s really important so I think it’ll be in there, but they changed the location of the Bear Tribe so I’m not sure.”

By the end of the third episode they don’t even discuss; Steven skips to the next the moment the prompt appears. They’re sitting side by side with their legs pulled up against their bodies, their arms practically squished together. Connie knows they should take a break to get their dinner but she doesn’t bother mentioning it.

“It’s the spell!” he whisper-exclaims halfway through episode four, his eyes shining. Connie glances over at him, at his huge smile and curly hair and can’t help remembering him pinned beneath a copy of her in a wedding dress, professing his love of the book ending. She wonders when she began to like schmaltz, too.

They both hear her tummy grumble at the start of episode five, and Connie’s face flushes a dark red as Steven pauses the show with a laugh. She goes to stand and her legs protest, cramped from the long time spent sitting. While she rubs some feeling back into them Steven hops down the stairs to get the salad they’d left in the fridge, and she can hear him humming to himself as he cuts up an apple to add to their meal. Her mother may have been lenient about letting her stay the night, but Connie had to swear to eat a healthy meal or the deal was off.

“They introduced the spell a lot earlier than in the book,” Steven says as he presents her with her salad and a snack cake for dessert.

“And then made up a convoluted reason they couldn’t use it right away,” Connie adds as she stabs a piece of romaine with her fork. “But I have to admit, they are building it up really well.” She smirks. “Even if it is schmaltz.”

“As a connoisseur,” Steven says, waving his fork with a flourish, “I app—oops.” He scrambles to catch the piece of apple that falls off his fork and very nearly takes a tumble off the bed. Connie grabs his arm with a laugh and hauls him up, and suddenly his face is inches from hers and her cheeks feel so hot she’s afraid he feels it.

“Sorry!” They pull apart and both find their salads infinitely interesting. Connie pokes at her food, her stomach in knots, and keeps casting glances Steven’s way. Their eyes meet as he glances, too, and Connie laughs, at first self-consciously and then for real.

She’s being silly.

This is Steven. Her best friend. They’ve been through everything together. Sitting next to him and watching a show should not be weird.

But it is.

He might be her best friend and jam and battle buddy, but he’s also the boy she’s liked since she was twelve-and-a-half years old.

Episode five finishes around the same time she’s unwrapping the snack cake. It’s white and fluffy cake, and she smiles. As far as desserts go, it isn’t as bad as the chocolate-covered, cream-filled goodies Steven usually eats. And while she knows he has some of those tucked away in his room where Amethyst can’t find them, he’s eating the same plain cake as her, and that warm, knotted feeling returns to her belly.

“Moment of truth,” Steven says, his eyes wide as the final episode starts right in the thick of the action. He lies down on his stomach next to Connie and shoves the rest of his cake in his mouth. She sits with her legs folded as though sitting side-saddle, her supporting hand resting next to Steven’s shoulder so she’s leaning towards him.

The sky is dark outside Steven’s window, but the room is bright with all the explosions and magic effects from the show. While not entirely like Connie pictured it in her head, she can’t help getting caught up in the finale, in Lisa’s triumph and the moment they activate the spell to make Archimicarus human. Even the silly cake and over-the-top wedding don’t bother her when she sees Steven’s rapt expression and bright, starry eyes.

“That was so good,” Steven exclaims as the credits finish. He pushes himself to his knees, a smile on his face as he turns to Connie. “Lisa was amazing.”

“I know!” Connie sighs happily and falls backwards, arms splayed out and a goofy smile on her face. “I’m not entirely happy with some of the changes but that scene with the Witch Queen was epic. Even better than the book!” She pulls her arms into her chest as she wriggles happily. “It was so worth the wait! I’m so glad I got to watch it with you!”

“Yeah!” Steven flops down beside her. “At least they didn’t spend twenty minutes on the cake, right?” he asks with a cheeky grin.

“It wasn’t terrible,” Connie says as she rolls her eyes. “I still think it’s silly but they had good chemistry, even if human Archimicarus only had a few scenes.”

“Aww, you know you liiiiked it,” Steven taunts, and elbows her playfully. “C’mon, admit it.”

Connie laughs. “I said it wasn’t terrible, that’s all you get.”

Their noses nearly touch as they look at each other, and suddenly she’s back up on the hill near the lighthouse over two years ago, heart pounding and cheeks warm as she leaned in for a kiss. Is it ok? Is it really ok?

Oh, who is she kidding? She’s wanted to do this for years.

Steven stares at her with wide eyes as she pulls away from the quick, brief kiss. Her cheeks feel on fire but she has the goofiest grin on her face. She did it. She finally did it.

“I really like you, Steven.”

For the briefest moment she thinks he’s going to be upset—oh gosh she just kissed him without his permission!-- but his eyes go all starry and his grin mirrors her own as he presses his forehead to hers.

“I really like you, too.”

Her heart is going to burst out of her chest, it’s beating so hard, and her face hurts from smiling. Connie ignores it all and hugs Steven as tightly as she can while lying on her side and starts giggling uncontrollably in relief when he hugs her back. Steven laughs with her, the sound warm and bright.

They lay like that until Connie reluctantly sits up, her sense of propriety getting the best of her. The time on Steven’s clock reads 11:28pm, she’s still in the dress she wore over, and she hasn’t brushed her teeth since lunchtime.

“We should probably get ready for bed,” she says. She slips off the edge of the bed and kneels by her duffel bag to get out her pajamas and toothbrush and does her best to act casual. Connie can hear Steven rummage around in his dresser as she jumps down the stairs to the bathroom. In the mirror her eyes are bright and she can’t get rid of the smile even as she brushes her teeth and washes her face. With fresh, minty breath, clean teeth and her pale green pajamas on, she stops at the foot of the stairs with a start when she hears Steven still milling around.

“Can I come up yet?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah!” There’s a loud thump and Steven hisses in pain. “You can come up now.”

She ascends the stairs to find him sitting cross-legged on the edge of his bed, starry-night pajamas on and her sleeping bag rolled out on the floor in front of his TV. He’s pushed the set and his game systems back as far as they can to make room. There’s another sleeping bag beside hers, still rolled up.

Steven sees her looking at it and scratches the back of his head in that way he does when he’s nervous. “Well, I thought I’d help by laying out your sleeping bag, but then I realized that’s kind of rude to make you sleep on the floor by yourself, so I grabbed mine too.”

That warm, knotty feeling twists up her belly again. “Thanks, Steven.” She pauses. “What was that thump I heard?”

“Eh-hehe, well. The TV was a little heavier than I expected.” He hops off the bed. “Umm, I’ll be right back.”

“Oh, right.” She sidesteps to let him down the stairs, and puts her toothbrush and dress away before she kneels on her sleeping bag. Relief still makes her giddy, but she’s sure she has it mostly under control now. Staring at his sleeping bag, she can’t help worrying what her mom would say if she found out they slept beside each other. Her mother wanted them to enjoy their adolescence but Connie is sure that is not one of the things she’d had in mind.

But they would be in separate sleeping bags! That’s totally not the same as sleeping toge— side by side.

Steven comes back just as she’s straightening out his sleeping bag. He smiles and plops down on it, legs folded in front of him as he faces her. His grin is as goofy as the one she still sports. “I was thinking. Do you wanna watch it again?”

“Sure!” Steven restarts the show from episode one as they cuddle close, their heads resting together as they sit on top of Connie’s sleeping bag and lean against the foot of his bed. The episode is as good as it was seven hours ago, but they chat through most of it, pointing out differences from the book or effects they like until Connie’s words start slurring from tiredness and Steven can barely keep his eyes open halfway through episode two.

The last thing Connie remembers is Steven pulling his comforter off his bed and wrapping it around them as they fall asleep sitting up with episode three droning in the background.

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