A/N: Once again, I know nothing about English geography, SORRY~
Also, this is it! The end of my cross-posting! There are usually updates every Saturday/Sunday, but sometimes I miss a week, so don't get too angry at me, haha XD
Hope you enjoy~ :D
It took a long time, but they finally settled on a time and place to meet, as long as Dan's dad didn't flip his shit.
Which could, of course, very well happen.
They'd chosen a little cafe about twenty minutes away from where Dan lived. Phil, Chris and PJ would catch the tube from Manchester to Reading, and then walk the few streets to the cafe where Dan would be waiting. They'd settled on about 1:45 PM as their meeting time, and the three of them would (unfortunately) have to leave at about 5 o'clock. They'd have a little over three hours together, which seemed pretty reasonable for a first meeting, in Dan's opinion.
But in Dan's secret opinion, three hours wasn't nearly long enough.
They were still on Skype to each other, Phil still smiling and Chris still leaning his head on PJ's shoulder. Good god, Chris and PJ were the most adorable couple ever.
"I can't wait," PJ said with a smile as he combed his fingers through Chris's hair.
"Neither can I!" Chris said loudly, with a wide smile on his face.
"Me neither," Phil added with a grin. Dan couldn't get enough of that beautiful smile. He could barely stand having to wait until the weekend to see it in person.
Dan smiled. "Me either," he said.
"Three whole hours," Chris said, sighing. "Not long enough, in my opinion."
Was Chris a freaking mind reader or something?
Dan raised his eyebrows. "Any longer than that and I'll start deteriorating into the most awkward little shit you've ever known," he laughed, "so maybe that's a good thing."
Phil laughed, his tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth slightly. PJ grinned, and Chris waved a hand dismissively.
"We'll love you whether you're awkward or not," he said passively. "Don't worry so much, Danny-boy."
Suddenly, Chris twisted around and whispered into PJ's ear. PJ's grin fell and his mouth formed an 'o' shape.
He whacked Chris over the head. "Chris!" he exclaimed. "You do not say stuff like that!"
Dan was immediately worried. So was Phil, evident by the way his smile fell like a sack of bricks.
"What?" Chris replied innocently. "You know it's true."
"You still do not say things like that!"
"Say what?" Phil asked.
"I can say it if it's true!"
"There are some things better off unsaid until the appropriate time, Chris!"
"Guys?" Dan tried, but it fell onto deaf ears.
"I didn't say it loudly, give me some credit!"
"What did he say?" Dan and Phil ended up yelling in unison.
Chris and PJ stopped bickering long enough to fall into quiet laughter, Chris leaning into PJ.
"Some things are better off unsaid, apparently," Chris said in between giggles.
PJ's hand was back in Chris's hair, hugging Chris into him. "That they are," he laughed.
Dan was thoroughly confused by this point.
Chris and PJ were saved from further interrogation by a knock on Dan's door. Dan looked over as Adrian walked in shyly.
"Hey," he said, a small smile on his face.
Dan smiled back. "Hey, Ady," he replied. "What's up?"
"Hi, Adrian!" Chris called out, and Dan turned the laptop so Ady would see the wave.
Ady gave a small wave back, his smile widening slightly. "Hey guys," he said in greeting.
"Hi," Ady replied.
"What's up?" Dan asked again, turning the laptop back.
Ady bit his lip, and Dan's heart sank to his stomach. "Mum and Dad want to talk to you," Ady finally said quietly, and Dan noticed him wringing his hands nervously. "Dad looks kinda mad," he continued. "Mum's trying to calm him down but I'm not sure if it's working and he's pacing up and down and I don't know what's going on!" He stopped, taking a deep breath.
"Is everything alright, Dan?" Phil asked.
Dan looked back at them and the three of them immediately tensed, seeing Dan's face.
"I have to go," Dan said. "I'll message you guys when I'm back, okay?"
"Okay," Phil replied quietly, before looking down.
"I'll come down early to punch him in the face if you want!" Chris offered. PJ rolled his eyes.
"Good luck," he said.
Dan placed a small smile on his face. "Thanks," he said. "Seeya." And he hung up the ca and closed his laptop.
His phone buzzed, and Dan saw that it was a kik message from Phil. At first, it was just a line of numbers, before Dan realised that it was-
AmazingPhil: My phone number.
Just in case.
Dan smiled, his heart racing as he typed out a reply.
danisnotonfire: thank you, Phil
I mean it
AmazingPhil: No worries :) call me later if you want.
Good luck <3
Dan smiled despite the situation. He looked up at Ady, who had a small, knowing smile on his face, too.
"It's Phil, isn't it?" Ady asked.
Dan didn't even bother denying it; he just smiled and looked down. Somehow, Phil giving him luck filled him with that little bit of hope and courage and determination he needed.
Ady came over and sat beside him on the bed.
"Whatever happens," Ady started, then swallowed. "Whatever happens, I'm here for you, okay? I just wanted you to know that. You're my brother."
Dan just looked at his little brother, who was staring at the floor, his hands gripping the side of the bed. He wrapped an arm around the kid's shoulders, and Ady leaned into him a little.
Suddenly Ady started trembling, and Dan was terrified.
"I don't think I've ever seen Dad like that," Ady whispered.
Dan chewed on his lip. "It's gonna be okay," he said. "I promise it's going to be okay in the end."
"How do you know?"
Dan didn't answer for a while.
"Dan!" came a masculine roar from downstairs, and the two brothers flinched.
They stood up, and Dan prepared himself. He and Ady walked downstairs together, side by side.
Ann and Desmond were in the lounge where Dan had left them. His mother was looking distressed, his father a mix of angry, confused and deadpan.
Ann came over to him. "Dan," she said softly. "I've tried, I really have, I promise, but... your father still doesn't really understand."
"No, I don't!" Desmond said loudly. "Why should you be going to meet some strange people you met on some website or something?!"
Dan didn't really know what to say. "Because I want to!" he said. "I've been wanting to for ages!"
"And this Phil character that you keep talking about-"
"He's not a character!" Dan shot back.
"And how do you know that?" His father was nearly yelling now, and Dan could feel Ady shrinking back behind him.
"Phil is my best friend!" Dan's tone raised to match his father's.
"He's an imaginary person that could be dangerous!"
"He is not dangerous!"
"Those other two you mentioned might be!"
Dan resisted the urge to roll his eyes and walk away. "They are not dangerous! I've Skyped them so many times and they are the best people I've ever met!"
"They are characters behind a screen, Daniel!"
"They are not characters!"
"They're really not," Ady finally spoke up, and all the attention turned to him. "I've talked to them too. They're good people."
Desmond pointed to Ady threateningly. "You are not part of this conversation, Adrian" he warned.
"I am now," Ady retorted.
"Please, stay out of this, Adrian," Ann begged.
"These are my brother's friends, Mum!"
"Enough!" Dan found himself yelling. Everyone fell silent. Dan stared at his father, breathing heavily. "That little brown cafe, about twenty minutes from here? One forty-five PM, this Saturday. That's when we're meeting."
At that, Dan turned on his heel and stormed out of the room.
"Dan!" his father called after him, but he ignored him, pulling his phone out of his pocket. He copied the number into his phone and called it as he took the stairs up to his room two at a time.
It rang once, twice as Dan flung open the door of his room and slammed it behind him, turning around and leaning against it.
Finally, someone picked up. "Hello?" Phil's beautiful voice rang through the speakers, and Dan slid down the door in relief.
"Phil," he breathed. "It's Dan."
"Dan!" Phil's tone was much more urgent now. "Are you okay? What happened? Is Ady okay? Is everything alright?" He kept firing question after question in typical Phil fashion, and Dan smiled despite himself.
"No," he said, tears threatening to fall. "I'm not okay."
Dan told him. He told him every detail, from start to finish, and by the end tears were rolling down his cheeks.
"I'm scared, Phil," he said.
"It's okay," Phil said softly. "I'm here. It's okay, you're okay, everything will work out, I promise. It's okay."
Phil kept saying those little promises for what could have been hours afterwards, gently reassuring Dan. Dan wanted to say them back so badly, but he couldn't find the energy or the strength.
"It's okay, I promise. I'm here for you."
I love you.