I nervously tapped my left knuckles onto the front door and hopped from foot to foot as I waited for Phil to open the door. It was the middle of the night and I had forgotten my key, Dan wasn’t well.
I saw a shadow slowly stopping down the stairs and to the front door, Phil. He opened the door eventually and yawned loudly behind his palm. A sickly acid smell drifted into the unoccupied space of my nostrils and I wrinkled my nose unpleasantly.
“Morning (Y/N)” He smiled weakly at me, his hair was sticking out wildly in all directions. “Come in” He stood aside and shut the wooden door behind me. I was almost sprinting up the stairs before I could finally breathe again. The smell was stronger now, a mixture of acid and last night’s takeaway. “You might want to hold your nose” Phil advised as he followed me to the living room where I dumped my bags, coat and converse. I also grabbed a thick blanket from my rucksack.
“You’re in your pyjamas?” Phil asked curiously “Yeah I came straight her, I figured no one was going to question me in the street if I was in my pj’s at 1:30 at night.” I explained as Phil led me to the bathroom. The stench of sick was overwhelming.
“I’ve set the sofa bed up in the office if you do get chance to sleep” Phil told me stopping abruptly outside the door. Dan could clearly be heard painting heavily through the door.
“You go to bed” I told Phil, he shook his head “Honestly I’ll-“ “No, you’ve been up half the night already, go get some rest” He hugged me quickly before adding “Wake me up when it gets too much” He told me pushing the hair away from my eyes. I nodded and watched him turn and walk into his bedroom without another word.
Gingerly I pulled open the bathroom door and fell to my knees when I saw Dan with his body hunched over the toilet bowl, quivering in shock and fever. His hair hung limply over his red and puffy eyes, his tear streaked cheeks were crimson from the entire trauma and his forehead and bare back glistened in sweat. His breathing was harsh and unsteady as he sat there staring at the water at the bottom of the bowl. Out of the corner of his eye he spotted me sat cross legged opposite him, my face full of concern. “(Y/N)?” He croaked, his voice was raspy and broken. “Shhh…” I silenced him, running a gentle hand over his back. It was so hot that when it touched my skin it blistered and I jerked back quickly. Despite the situation Dan managed to chuckle “Guess I have to re-name my channel” at that moment his shivering stopped before his body lunged forward and Dan was violently sick again. Sweat ran in beads down his back and forehead and I knew I had to do something. The vulgar smell hit and battered at my senses but I pushed it away.
“I’ll be back” I whispered softly in his ear. Shakily he held his hand up and gave me thumbs up, still gripping the bowl with white knuckles.
I stood up quickly making my joints pop loudly. Running through to the kitchen I turned the tap on; filled a glass of water and added a small amount of vodka hoping it would make him sleep, then a wet cloth and a few soft cushions from the lounge.
When I returned Dan was leaning against the wall hugging his knees with his eyes closed. He sensed my presence and looked up with a painful glance which made my heart shatter into a million pieces. “Dan…” I sighed sitting opposite him on the bathroom floor; I passed him the drink and the pillow. “Just sip the water slowly”
I fluffed the pillow while he did as I instructed, I watched apprehensively wondering if the vodka would actually stay down and wouldn’t upset his stomach further.
“Sit up for a minute” My voice was like honey when I spoke. I wasn’t surprised; when it came to Dan I would do anything to make him feel better.
I placed the pillow behind his head as he sat back. He put the water down beside him then smiled at me. I couldn’t stay still; reaching out slowly I placed the cool cloth onto his heated skin. “You look awful” I whispered making him grin half-heartedly. “Thanks” he replied, his voice still hoarse and rough. I guided the cloth across his skin and saw the relief wash over his features and his he relaxed his tensed muscles. The only sound was the passing cars on the road outside through the open window and Dan’s heavy struggling breaths.
“I love you (Y/N)” He breathed, his lids closing indicating he had just drifted into sleep, most probably down to the vodka. I sat there thinking deeply about what Dan had just said. “I love you too” I let the careless words slip from my mouth, did I just say that? I looked around the small space but I knew we were alone. Friends said that though didn’t them? Me and Dan did love each other, but in that way?
I woke suddenly to a sharp jerky motion, I sat up alarmed and my eyes were met with Dan, his body was once again hunched over the toilet bowl and he was trembling uncontrollably.
“Dan, how long have you been awake?” I asked mopping the fresh sweat from his back and guiding the hair away from his eyes. He avoided my glare when he answered “a couple of hours” I frowned at him and gently pushed him back to the cool support of the bathroom wall. “Dan, I’m here to look after you when you need me…” I told him moving the cloth across his forehead. “I know but you haven’t slept much and it was unfair to keep you up” Dan croaked, his brown orbs glistened up at me with the most innocent expression.
I bravely reached out my other hand and caressed his cheek with my slim artistic fingers. He pressed his cheek into my touch and reached out for my other hand. When he found it he entwined our fingers together and closed his eyes again. His breathing instantly slowed and his lids became heavy. I had never noticed how cute he was when he slept. Although Dan could probably sleep though the apocalypse, I didn’t dare move or take my hand away. Truth be told, I didn’t want to. It felt oddly right, his hand in mine. Comically Dan had a small miniscule smile plastered onto his features; this caused me to grin stupidly to myself. After a few minutes I settled back against the other wall, still with my hand in Dan’s and still with a smile at the edges of my mouth.
I boiled the kettle whilst I prepared the mugs. Phil was getting dressed to go out and buy some medicine for Dan. I did have work that day but I had called in sick about an hour ago. Dan was far more important.
Dan actually looked relatively well that morning when he and I had woken up with aching limbs from being sprawled out on the bathroom floor all night. He was currently taking a shower; I knew this because I could hear soft singing from down the hall.
“Hey” I turned away from the quaking kettle and saw Phil’s sleepy but dressed form lingering in the doorway. When he saw I was making tea he took a seat on the counter top opposite me.
“Morning” I replied yawing loudly. “I’m annoyed with you” He announced suddenly. I whirled on him
“Whoa what’ve I done?”
“I told you to come and get me later on in the night and you never did. You didn’t leave his side all night did you?”
I shook my head and Phil chuckled a little and grinned at me.
“What?” I questioned suspiciously
“Why did you stay with him all night?” Phil smirked already knowing the answer to his own question.
“You know why genius…” I blushed turning back to the mugs and stirring each one in turn.
“I have no idea” Phil replied cheekily, the smile still clear in his voice.
“Because I love him…but you already know that…” my voice was small but Phil heard every word. “Why don’t you tell him?” “I can’t do that! Are you crazy?!” I hissed swatting him on the leg with a tea towel. “Don’t be ridiculous” I added shaking my head at him. “So you’re never ever going to tell him?”
“No (Y/N), you love Dan- if you don’t tell him how will you ever know if he feels the same way or not?”
I didn’t respond.
“I’ll see you in about an hour- maybe more” Phil told me hugging me briefly before running down the hall and jogging down the stairs. Just Dan and me…alone.
I drank the rest of my tea and took a seat on the counter top; my mind was replaying what Phil had said to me. He had a point though. Without warning I felt my eye lids gently close shut.
“(Y/N)…” I felt something soft and gentle press against my glabella- Dan was leaving butterfly kisses down my nose and his arms were wrapped securely around my tired and heavy body.
“Dan?” I whispered, my eyes opened and I was met with a pair of beautiful hypnotizing eyes staring at me with a love struck expression. “Morning…I found you asleep on the kitchen counter, you’ve been asleep for a while now so I woke you so you can sleep tonight.” His face wasn’t pale and blank like it was last night and his voice was back to normal. His body was pressed against mine so close I could feel his heartbeat that was the only thing irregular. “Are you feeling better?” I asked him, suddenly noticing our entwined fingers. “Much thanks” he kissed the tip of my nose sweetly. “Thanks for everything you did last night…I really wouldn’t have survived that without you…” I smiled and prodded his stomach lightly “You’re so cheesy Howell” he laughed. I heard a small voice in my head warning me that I was about to explode.
“(Y/N)?” “Yeah?” he looked down and blushed “you know I said last night that I loved you?” my face fell; he did mean it didn’t he? “I really mean it. You’re my everything.” He paused and added “I love you” I smiled at him “I love you too Dan”