Andrew: *promises he’ll protect Neil*
Andrew: *literally agrees on anything Neil asks him to do*
Andrew: *gives Neil car, room and heart keys*
Andrew: *lets Neil drive his car*
Andrew: *buys Neil clothes*
Andrew: *kisses Neil*
Andrew: *lets Neil touch him*
Andrew: *asks Neil to stay*
Andrew: *blows Neil*
Andrew: *wraps plastic bags on Neil’s injuries so he won’t hurt them in the shower*
Andrew: *showers with Neil*
Andrew: *chokes Kevin for Neil*
Andrew: *fights a fed just to see Neil*
Andrew: *threatens Abby because she wanted to touch Neil*
Andrew: *helps Neil through his panic attack*
Andrew: *stops taking crackers dust because Neil said so*
Andrew: *chooses Neil over his brother*
Andrew: *answers Neil’s questions about his past*
Andrew: *breaks Riko’s arm for Neil*
Andrew: *lets Neil pull him in*
sometimes i like to think about the first time neil gives andrew a key. can you believe how happy neil would get that after all this time, after andrew giving him keys to the house in columbia and the keys to his car that neil can finally give one of his own? It’s neil’s 4th year and andrew’s last year and they go out to pick his car and neil gives the extra key the dealership gave him to andrew.
“You still have my keys,” Neil reminded him. Andrew dug Neil’s keys out of his pocket and pried his car key off. Instead of handing the rest back, he tossed them after his cigarette. The King’s Men 
Andrew shuts the door behind him and tells himself that he isn’t going out of his way to be quiet so he won’t wake up Neil. He’s starting to believe Neil’s onto something when he calls Andrew a terrible liar, but he’d never admit that to his face.
Out of spite and anger at that realization, Andrew lets his keys clatter on the table as he sets them down, along with his bags from where he was travelling with his team. He only succeeds in rousing the cats; Neil sleeps like the fucking dead.
King meows noisily at Andrew’s feet while Sir makes himself at home on the kitchen table. Andrew says “no” a few times, but the dumb things keep looking at him, so he scratches behind their ears until they sniff and go away. They got the cats because Neil didn’t like being alone when Andrew was at games and cats could more or less take care of themselves if they were gone for a day. If their schedules both meant they were gone for a few days, one of the Foxes would catsit, usually Matt or Renee. They joked that they were the godparents, much to Andrew’s chagrin.
He wondered at how domestic he’d become and the clench in his gut at the thought is still there, though it lessened a bit every day. He still woke up most days waiting for the other shoe to drop and the cats moving in the middle of the night still startled him, but he feels…settled. And that scares him more than anything else.
He walks into the bedroom and it isn’t until he’s down to his tank top and boxers and is crawling into bed that Neil finally stirs with a groan. When he sees Andrew, his face breaks into a sleepy smile and he says, groggily, “You’re home.”
His Neil isn’t usually like this. Neil’s not soft, or nice, even after all these years. His Neil screams at matches on TV and tells off reporters who dare to bring up his past in interviews. His Neil pisses Andrew off to no end by stealing the covers and letting the cats on the bed and asking Andrew to go to Aaron’s wedding when Andrew wants to throw the invitation away.
They’re not soft people; they love with all they have and fight with it too. But there are moments like this, when Andrew’s tired and something in him slips and cracks, where he lays down next to Neil and brushes his fingers over the scars on Neil’s face, the most beautiful part of him, and whispers, “Yeah. I’m home.”
Neil: *stares at Andrew*
Neil: *follows Andrew around the court with his eyes*
Neil: *wears the clothes Andrew bought for him*
Neil: *goes with Andrew to Columbia*
Neil: *puts Andrew’s hand under his shirt*
Neil: *shows Andrew his scars*
Neil: *panics when Andrew isn’t around*
Neil: *nearly rescues Andrew from Drake’s incident*
Neil: *puts Andrew’s cigarette between his lips for no plausible explanation*
Neil: *kisses Andrew back*
Neil: *traces Andrew’s key on his palm*
Neil: *gets scared of losing Andrew*
Neil: *you don’t want to say that Andrew is soulless in front of him*
Neil: *he is open to drawing a map on Andrew if it makes him comfortable*
Neil: *thinks that Andrew is hot*
Neil: *going to sleep while staring at Andrew’s face*
Neil: *likes to believe that him and Andrew are something*
Neil: *he’d go back for Andrew*
Neil: *the only one he is interested in is Andrew*
Neil: *he thinks Andrew is amazing*
Neil: *traces Andrew’s key on his palm while almost dying*
Neil: *gets a bj from Andrew*
Neil: *leans in to kiss Andrew*
Neil: *asks if he could kiss Andrew*
Neil: *wants to thank Andrew for the kisses*
Neil: *thinks Andrew is his bright future*
I made an overlay mash-up of Dolly Parton and Andrew Eldritch’s versions of “Jolene” for music class and didn’t realize that they’re not in the same key. Apparently, I caused some of the more finely musically-trained students in class to experience pain, oops.
I’m going to see if I can tweak the tuning before I post the piece here, but I think I’ll continue to foist off-key post-punk pastiches on my classmates for the remainder of the semester. LBR Andrew Eldritch would be happy that I’m forcing a bunch of unwilling Harvard music students to listen to his singing.
-The Foxes rotated which house they went to for team Christmas every year between Dan and Matt’s, Renee and Allison’s and Aaron and Katelyn’s and four years after Neil’s graduation it was finally (or unfortunately) Kandreil’s turn.
-Neil’s talking on the phone to Matt, who jokingly says, “We’re just gonna buy you a Charlie Brown tree, since you probably haven’t even decorated.”
-”You think we haven’t?” The fact that they hadn’t was irrelevant.
-Matt snorted. “You live with the two scrooges.”
-Neil hums in agreement, but the second he hangs up, he’s grabbing his coat and heading for the door, throwing the keys at Andrew in passing.
-”Field trip?” Andrew quips passively.
-Resolutely, Neil answers, “We’re getting a Christmas tree.”
-Kevin, who had been ignoring this whole exchange until now, shut his laptop and quirked an eyebrow haughtily. “Where the fuck are we going to fit a tree in here?”
-Neil didn’t respond other than to flip him off and throw his coat at him.
-Andrew blasted the heat in the car as they drove, but apparently wasn’t in too bad a mood since he didn’t turn off Christmas music in the car, since he knew Neil liked it.
-They opted for a fake tree, since five minutes at the tree farm made Kevin’s pine allergy abundantly clear. Still, it was big enough. They found some cheap lights, a garland and a few sparse ornaments and headed home.
-Putting the thing up was an ordeal, since Kevin and Neil still couldn’t work together without bickering and Andrew still found it amusing to withhold help from Kevin.
-They finished eventually and ended up collapsing asleep under the light of the tree.
-They wake to find that Andrew had dropped a blanket on them at some point in the night and Neil smiles to himself at the thought of Andrew rolling his eyes at them before heading off to sleep with the cats.
-He decided to make hot chocolate as a thank you, disentangling himself from Kevin’s snoring form.
-Before moving, he takes a Snapchat of the tree with the caption, “How’s that for a tree? (Star has yet to be moved)
-He makes Matt 80 bucks, but is informed that it doesn’t count as his Christmas present, which is bullshit.
Pharma Joestar by Golby II Skid Mark by ??? White Trash Cyclonus by ??? Vogue Vos by Alex Milne Fratlord Ambulon by Brendan Cahill Brodome by Josh Burcham Bring da Painstorm by @rinpin Rat Shit by Andrew Griffith
so i made this post the other day containing all my highlights from the second half of the king’s men and specifically the whole relationship of andrew and neil and keys
it starts with neil and lola and neil becoming nathaniel:
“He traced the outline of a key into his bloody, burnt palm with a shaky finger, closed his eyes, and wished Neil Josten goodbye”
and continues with nathaniel and andrew and nathaniel becoming neil, for good:
“‘I told Neil to stay,’ Andrew said. ‘Leave Nathaniel buried in Baltimore with his father.’ … He traced Andrew’s key into his skin with a bandaged finger. ‘Neil Abram Josten,’ Neil murmured, and it felt like waking up from a bad dream”
the note i took on my phone during these highlights was as follows:
“i’ve always seen and recognized the importance of the key in neil’s life, but in this context i can really feel his connection to being neil and having a home in andrew and his trust. laid out together, these quotes really parallel each other and help me see me see the solidification of neil being neil. it also gives me the idea that this becomes a comforting gesture to neil, to draw a key on his skin with his finger”
i posted this a couple of days ago, but today i found a very interesting quote in the raven king that ties this metaphor in perfectly
“They were right when they said Andrew was the key.”
this quote is very interesting to me because (as far as i could uncover) neil is the one to call andrew a key, not the others.
in this context, he is referring to the fact that dan and matt had told him that to connect the broken halves of the team, he needed to start with andrew. but neil is the one to relate andrew to a key and kick of this association of home and safety. there is also, of course, the iconic quotes when neil gets the columbia house key and when andrew gives him a car key in which neil blatantly associates the keys with home and safety but this quote is the first time he directly relates it to andrew. the most prevalent metaphors in this series is a key, and it’s interesting that neil, of his own volition, started relating andrew to a key before had virtually any part of andrew discovered.
other quotes that could go along with this relation are:
“Neil had used Andrew’s car key often enough in the past couple of months to recognize the shape of it”
this is after neil gets back from the nest in trk and before andrew gets a new car and gives neil his key. this is another important turning point because the reason andrew lets neil drive his car while he’s gone is because he trusts him (he trusts him with kevin, of course he’d trust him with his car) and this shows the manifestation of neil returning that trust. he sees andrew’s trust in the key, and commits it to memory
“Every time Neil took his keys out of his pocket and saw the newest addition to his set he remembered Andrew’s kiss.”
this is another time he blatantly starts to relate andrew’s key to his feelings for trust of andrew. it also relates to the fact that every key on his ring represents the trust from someone, somethign he’s never had before. the ones to the court are wymack and the foxesw trusting and caring about him. the one to the columbia house is andrew and the monsters bringing them into their pack, into their space. this car key from andrew is just the beginning of their relationship trust.
(there is so much more but this is all i am putting together for now)