It's almost as if Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron knew we all needed a feel-good Bachelor story to fill the void.
Nearly a year after her season of self-discovery became must-see TV, we're all stuck at home with no new episodes to binge. And after buckling in for pilot Peter Weber's turbulent journey we landed in the exact same spot with nothing more than a bout of emotional sickness to show for it. (Well, except for our new star Barb, who just might end up slinging margaritas in Paradise for all we know.)
Desperate to slake our thirst for a love story, we turned to our most recent Bachelorette and boy did Alabama Hannah deliver. Unexpectedly self-distancing with Cameron, the runner-up suitor she famously asked out post-show, she's giving us a daily peek at their increasingly flirty friendship, complete with games of spin the bottle and jokes about the size of his package.
And it's not entirely in jest.
Because while a source tells E! News the onetime pageant queen and the general contractor-slash-model, who won over scores of Bachelor fans with his desirable mix of feminist views and ultra-cut abs, aren't officially together, they're not not an item. "There is definite chemistry between Hannah and Tyler," a source shared with E! News. "They both have expressed they are not in a position to date right now but do care about each other."
So you're saying there's a chance.
Which is really all we've been hoping for since that August night when the 25-year-old University of Alabama alum, newly single after dumping disappointing fiancé Jed Wyatt, timidly told the former Wake Forest quarterback, "You're an incredible guy and I'm a single girl…so? I just thought maybe we could go for a drink and just hang out."
Because before the ABC Food Tours founder spent a whirlwind two months on supermodel Gigi Hadid's arm, there was an ever-so-brief moment in time where we thought he and Brown (a woman he once referred to as "our Queen") were truly meant to be.
A mere four days removed from that After the Final Rose plot twist, the 27-year-old was photographed leaving the L.A. rental Brown was using during her ultimately triumphant stint on Dancing With the Stars.
His chaste Fantasy Suite behavior that led Brown to call him "the most respectful man i've ever been with. Ever," was fine and all, but by this point the emotional connection she had worried about during filming was strong. It was time to forgo those individual rooms.
"Tyler got to Hannah's place around 9 p.m. and they stayed in," a source said. "He spent the night with her and left this morning after 10 a.m. She walked him out to his car and they hugged and kissed. He had an overnight bag and they looked very happy together."
But then not quite 72 hours later he was squiring around a certain leggy blonde and it seemed Brown and Cameron's journey had come to an abrupt halt with Brown declaring she found it a little less than respectful that he'd move on so quickly and so publicly and with an internationally renowned supermodel to boot.
"He has every right to do whatever he wants because we were just, you know, hanging out, seeing where it goes. And I am completely fine with that," she allowed on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast in August. Still, she continued, "I have no shame in saying I had feelings. I totally did. I totally still have feelings but, at the same time, I am not tied to any man or tied to Tyler and I'm not going to be."
Really, though, it would have been cool if he'd done a little more to keep his dealings on the down-low. "The thing is...we are not dating dating, at all, we hung out, but we also had conversations of both like knowing that there's still something there," she surmised. "And when you are in the public eye, you do just have to be respectful of each other."
By September, he was comforting Hadid through the passing of her grandma, even tagging along to the Netherlands funeral service and deleting all traces of Brown from his Instagram, a death knell for any 21st century relationship.
"It got messy once Tyler hung out with Hannah right after the finale, and then immediately started dating Gigi," an insider explained to E! News at the time. "Hannah was really upset about it. Tyler didn't think it was fair since Hannah didn't even choose him in the first place."
When things didn't improve after their run-in at E!'s People's Choice Awards in November, we had no choice but to ship Brown and Pilot Pete because Alabama Hannah deserves love, damnit.
"I don't need a man," she shared on iHeartRadio's Scrubbing In With Becca Tilley and Tanya Rad podcast last month. "I want a man and I think that's okay."
But sometimes things have a funny way of working out just as they should. Following the sudden death of his mom Andrea Cameron in early March, there was Brown, turning up in Jupiter, Florida, any tension of the previous months instantly forgotten. Though this hometown date was far more platonic with her only intentions to share her sympathies and a drink at local spot Miller's Ale House March 7.
"She reached out immediately and Tyler was grateful for her support," a source told E! News at the time. "They have gotten closer recently and he's really thankful to have her around."
And not just for a one-off hang, either. With a trip planned to visit her family in Alabama, Brown made a pitstop in Florida just a week after that initial meet-up, Cameron scooping her up from the Palm Beach airport himself.
Thanks to social distancing, though, their fun weekend of beach volleyball and swimming has turned into a week-and-a-half-long stay, the pair choosing to shelter together with a group of pals they've dubbed the "Quarantine Crew".
And while couples the world over are complaining about the dearth of personal space and perpetual boredom, their gang is busy living their best lives with daily workouts and endless Tik Tok videos, each one cheekily playing up the duo's current are-they-or-aren't-they vibe.
The real answer, the source, insists is that they technically aren't. But that's far from the final word on the matter.
Between the loss of his mother and her brother's recent overdose, "They have both been through a lot recently and are supporting each other through it," the source explains to E! News. "Tyler has definitely been leaning on Hannah and it feels very comforting to have her around." What's more, continues the source, "Hannah gets along with Tyler's family and friends and everyone loves her."
His family approves, his friends are on board and we all know the chemistry's there. So, by all means, ship away. "You don't just turn off emotions," Brown herself once proclaimed on Good Morning America way back in August. "I want him to be a part of my life in some way. So I want to be able to hang out."
What happens next on this dramatic journey, well, we'll just have to keep tuning in.