A/N: Holy. Fucking. Shit guys. We did it. Guys/gals/other, welcome to chapter motherfucking twenty.
This is a milestone and a half. It's been six months, twenty chapters (oh god that isn't much, is it?) and a whole fuckload of you lovely, wonderful, awesome, amazing people have flocked in to read this 1am story idea.
You guys have no idea how much this means to me, honestly, this is absolutely amazing. I'm almost crying from happiness as I'm typing this.
Thank you for all the reads, votes and the lovely comments. Thanks for listening to me rant, and thanks for understanding that things can come in the way of me and this story. Thank for for being patient for updates, thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't thank you enough.
I'm sorry that this chapter isn't very good as a 20 Chapters celebration, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless :)
This chapter is dedicated to everyone that is reading this, right now. That's right, YOU. I'm talking to you. You, you amazing wonderful amazing person you. You have helped me get here, helped me get to this point, and you have helped my writing and my confidence grow. You. Are. Amazing. And I don't know what I'd do without you.
So thank you for reading, and thank you for everything. If I could hug you and kiss you on the cheek, I would ^~^ with your consent, of course. I know some of you may not be into that sort of physical contact. But hey, that's okay :)
*gives you virtual hug* Well, I hope you enjoy! :D
No, he shouldn't be thinking that. No, no no nonononono. There was no reason in the world that he would be thinking that, there was no reason why he should.
Well, no reason, except for one. A reason that Dan couldn't speak aloud yet, especially with Phil right on the other end of the phone.
Phil was still telling him that everything would be okay, that he was there, that it didn't matter what Dan's father thought because "I'm right here, Dan, and I'm not going anywhere."
"Good," Dan whispered back, and he heard Phil giggle.
"Why on Earth would I be going anywhere?" Phil asked, and Dan faltered.
"I..." he started, trailing off.
"See?" Phil said, and Dan could almost hear that cute smile in his voice.
Stop it, Dan!
"There is no reason," Phil went on, "that I would ever abandon you, especially at a time like this."
Dan completely sagged against the door, almost going limp with happiness. "Thank you," he said weakly.
"What are friends for?" Phil said. Dan thought that this tone of Phil's voice was a little strange. It was happy, but didn't have any of the normal bounce in his tone that it did when he was happy. It was calm, almost... content. Content, just like Dan was every time he talked to the beautiful boy.
Dan didn't answer, just smiled, and somehow he knew that Phil could tell.
"Feeling any better?" Phil asked.
"Yeah," Dan managed to say in a strangled tone. "A little, yeah, thank you."
"Anytime." Phil's bright and bouncy tone was back. "So, do you want me to just talk for a while? You know I talk about the randomest things and it might help take your mind off it?" he suggested.
"I'd love that," Dan replied quietly, and he used the wall to push himself onto his feet. He slowly made his way over to the bed, feet dragging on the wooden floor, and moved his laptop onto the floor before collapsing onto the soft covers.
"Okay, so," Phil started, "you know how ny house is haunted, right? So today I heard this really creepy noise downstairs..."
Dan set his phone to loudspeaker and curled up on the bed, phone on the pillow above him. He listened to Phil chatter about anything and everything, jumping from one topic to another and somehow making it flow. He didn't seem to expect Dan to answer (which Dan was extremely grateful for), he just kept on talking. Dan felt himself relaxing, and eventually found himself dozing off.
He must have fallen asleep at some point, because he jerked awake at a knock on his door. He sat up and looked at his phone, too see that the call had hung up and there was a kik message in the notifications bar. He tapped into it to see a message from Phil.
AmazingPhil: I heard that you'd fallen asleep, so I hung up. I've saved your number to my phone, too.
Please call me again if you need anything. I promise I'll be here :) x
Dan smiled, and the gentle knock on his door came back. "Dan?" a little voice said, and it sounded too scared for Dan's comfort. "Can I come in?"
"Yeah," Dan called back, his voice groggy. The door creaked open as Dan turned back to his phone and quickly typed out a message for Phil.
danisnotonfire: thank you so much. I'm awake now, but I gotta talk to Ady first. talk soon (:
As usual, Phil typed back almost straight away.
AmazingPhil: Of course! :)
Dan locked his phone and looked over at his little brother, who looked like he was struggling not to cry, making Dan stop.
"Are you okay?" Dan asked, swinging his legs over the side of the bed.
Ady laughed a little and ran a hand through his hair, only a shade kighter than Dan's. "Shouldn't I be asking you that?" he said. "I mean, you're the one that got yelled at and all." His voice broke towards the end of his sentence, and he buried his face in his hands and groaned.
"You'd think so, huh?" Dan couldn't help saying, a small smirk finding its way onto his face.
Ady just looked hp at him, a hopeless expression on his face, and Dan's smirk fell to a small, sad smile. He held up an arm and gestured to the bed beside him. Ady walked over and sat down, looking down at the floor.
"I'm sorry," Ady said, his voice barely more than a whisper.
Dan nudged him gently. "Why are you apologising? It's not your fault."
Ady shrugged. "It's just... I've never seen him that angry before, or at least not for a long time. I didn't know what to do."
Dan just looked at him, this vulnerable to little boy that didn't know what to do with himself. In this instant, he reminded Dan so much of himself. That big-brotherly urge to protect this boy filled his heart, and Dan didn't want Ady to grow up lile he had, with no clear direction of what he wanted to do with his life. Ady had never really taken interest in relationships like most ppeople his age did (and like Dan had, if he was honest with himself), and he spent most of his time watching TV and listening to music. He'd always acted like he didn't give a fuck about anything, but at this moment, Ady looked like he really meedsd someone to point him in a direction.
Dan ruffled his little brother's hair. "There was nothing you could have done," he said gently. "It was between me and him. You weren't expected to do anything."
Ady looked up at the ceiling and leant back on his hands. "But that's just it," he said exasperatedly. "I never do anything! You're always looking out for me and sticking up for me, and for once I just wanted to help my brother out, and I fucked it up."
Dan sighed, not completely sure of what he was supposed to say. They both sat in silence for a little while. Then Dan thought of something, and he smiled.
"Y'know what?" he asked. "We've both fucked up, it's part of life. And I've been doing nothing but, well, nothing, for too many years. But recently, I've wanted to try again."
They looked at each other, and Ady gave him a knowing look. "So, why don't we both try?" Dan went on. "I will if you will."
Ady smiled, and held up a fist. Dan grinned and fist-bumped him, knowing that they both agreed.
"C'mere," Dan said, pulling Ady into a headlock and ruffling his hair up.
"Hey!" Ady said loudly, pushing at Dan's hair. "Lemme go, dickhead!"
Dan just held on tighter. "Nup," he laughed.
There was another knock at his door, and Dan looked up to see his mother leaning against the doorframe. She frowned when she saw what was happening, and then she sighed.
"Dan, let go of your brother," she said disapprovingly. Dan finally let Ady out of his grip, who shoved him sideways. Dan shoved him back, and Ann said, "Oi," in an annoyed tone, and the two boys stopped.
Ann stepped into the room and closed the door behind her. "Sorry for eavesdropping, but I heard what you said, Dan," she admitted. Dan flushed and looked away. "I'm so proud of both of you," she went on, and suddenly she had the attention of both of her sons. "I guess even as a mother, I can't do everything. Sometimes you need a brother (she looked at Ady) and a best friend (she turned to Dan) to give you that little push, I guess."
Ady suddenly coughed into his hand, but Dan definitely heard the word "Boyfriend" in the middle there. Dan hit him over the head, hard, and Ady let out another "Hey!"
Ann giggled and Ady grinned, and Dan couldn't help a smile and a blush.
"I am sorry about your father," Ann said. "I've asked him not to interfere unless absolutely necessary, and he's agreed. So I guess we'll see what happens now?"
Dan nodded, suddenly feeling happy again.
When Saturday came, Dan woke up way too early, and he'd never felt more nervous in his life.