AKA twenty øne for all you top fans out there. Chapter 21!! I'm emotional. It's been so long, and we've come so far. Once again, thank you all!
I ALMOST HAD A FLUFF ATTACK WHILE WRITING THIS CHAPTER ASDFGHJKL
So I got back from camp the day that I started writing this and I was suuuuper tired and I did a super-speedy edit so please excuse any typos... but still! Camp! VicSRC Congress! SO FUN!
The fish puns in this chapter are courtesy of the amazing MatPat in one of his latest Film Theory episodes, you can find the puns in it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3b8_dQMeWw . They were too good not to use, tbh.
Somehow, despite staying up until two o'clock in the morning browsing Tumblr (the three amigos had gone to sleep early so they were awake to catch the train), Dan woke up at nine. There were nearly five whole hours until he met up with Phil, Chris and PJ.
Oh boy oh boy oh boy he couldn't wait that long.
His father did a good job of being absent that day, having organised... something, Dan wasn't too sure.
But Ann and Ady definitely noticed how much he was fidgeting, and did their best to calm him down.
In the end the three of them just sat on the couch and Mario Kart for hours, just to pass the time. Dan kept beating everyone, and it was wonderful.
But when his phone buzzed, he practically pounced on it. It was a text from Phil.
Don't have data, oops! We're almost at the Reading station, so we'll see you in a little over 30min :) can't wait!
Dan's face broke out into a wide grin, and Ady leaned over his shoulder to read the text.
"You put him in your phone as 'Philly'?" he scoffed. "That is so cheesy."
It's meant to be cheesy, Dan thought, slightly embarrassed. After all, Phil called him Danny, so why couldn't Dan call him Philly? It only seemed fair.
Dan pushed him away, and read out the text to Ann. Ann dropped her steering wheel controller on the couch next to her and waved her hands up and down a few times before running her fingers through her brunette hair and standing up.
"Okay then," she said, excitement flooding her voice and her expression. "Let's do this then!"
She pushed the button to turn the TV off so hard Dan wouldn't have been surprised if it broke. She looked so much more excited than a normal mother should have been.
Dan typed out a quick text to Phil.
Leaving home now, see you soon (: I can't wait either!!
Yay! See you in a bit!
Dan stood up and shoved his phone in his pocket, hand automatically going up to adjust his fringe. Ady batted his hand down, and Dan glared at him.
"Don't start," Ann said exaspetatedly as Dan opened his mouth. He shut it again and Ady smirked, so Dan whacked him on the head.
Ann rolled her eyes and stalked over to start pushing them towards the door. "Come on, let's go already!"
The twenty-minute drive to the cafe felt like twenty hours, if Dan was honest. When they finally got there, Dan was glad that he chose this place. It was nice and small without being too small. It was cozy, and when he pushed open the door he was immediately greeted by warmth and the smell of coffee, chocolate and pastries. Dan sat at a table for four, while his mother and brother sat on a two-person table nearby. Dan pulled out his phone and started scrolling Tumblr to pass the time as he sipped a coffee, but it did nothing to stop the butterflies in his stomach from giving him a hard time.
He kept checking the clock on his phone every ten seconds, he was that nervous. He tried to act calm, but he was sure everyone could see the way his heel was bouncing up and down. Every time the door opened he glanced up, only to be disappointed that it wasn't them.
In those ten minutes, he was abnormally aware of everything. All the sounds of people talking, of the people behind the counter calling out to each other, to the sounds of the coffee machines and the quiet music playing from a raido. He couldn't block the sounds out. He was so alert and on edge that everything seemed amplified.
But as promised, it was a little over ten minutes later when the door opened and Dan looked up and was immediately frozen as he stared into a pair of ocean-blue eyes.
He just looked at Phil, taking in everything about him in just one second. The way his eyes shimmered. His hair so black it stood out against his pale skin. The nice jacket he was wearing, the amazing clothes. And his smile, bright enough to rival the sun.
Dan came back down to Earth long enough to feel a huge grin forming on his face, and he saw Phil walking towards him. He stood up and only got to take a few steps before he met Phil in a deep hug. Phil was taller than him by a few inches, so he had to stretch up. Sadly, the hug only lasted a few seconds before they pulled away from each other, standing a little way apart.
"Hey Dan," Phil finally said, and his voice was even more perfect in real life.
"Hi Phil," Dan replied. He could barely breathe and his heart was going so fast.
"Hey, Dan!" another voice chimed in, and they both looked around to see a grinning Chris pulling along a grinning PJ by the hand. "Do we get a hug too?"
Dan smiled, and Chris pulled away from PJ long enough to pull him into a brief hug.
"Aw man, it's so cool to finally meet you!" Chris said, moving away after a second.
"Y-you too," Dan stuttered slightly, a little overwhelmed.
Thankfully, PJ just held out his hand, which Dan (awkwardly, being a lefty) shook. PJ smiled. "Nice to meet you, Dan," he said, and Dan replied in kind.
They all sat around the table that Dan had been sitting at, and Dan noticed that Chris and PJ were once again holding hands. They were an even cuter couple in real life.
"So!" Chris said happily. "What do we do to make this less awkward?"
PJ rolled his eyes, and Dan awkwardly smiled. "Just talk about something," PJ said. "You and Phil are the conversation experts, I'm sure you can come up with something."
Chris raised his eyebrows. "What so you want to talk about, fish?"
Dan raised an eyebrow. "Oh no, then I would be forced to bring out all of my fish-related puns."
"Oh no," Phil said.
"It's pretty obvious that it would be a turtle disaster, I know," Dan went on, trying to stop a wicked grin.
"I like you," Chris said.
"You mean you didn't like him before?" PJ asked, and Chris rolled his eyes.
Phil was staring at Dan with a complete 'Did you just' look on his face.
"I'm sorry," Dan said, "I swear I didn't do that on porpoise!"
Phil smiled and shook his head. "I think you need to clam down, Dan," he said, and all four of them broke down into quiet laughter.
"Oh, the hu-manatee," Chris added with a wink.
PJ grinned. "We need to stop these puns, I think it's time to call a sturgeon."
Dan was shaking with silent laughter. This felt like the most he'd laughed in too long.
And like they did on Kik and Skype, their conversation just kept going, switching subjects naturally, and Dan took every chance he could to look at Phil when nobody was looking. He admired everything about this boy, absolutely everything.
Phil was just too good to be true, in his opinion.
After a couple of hours of aimless chatter, he excused himself to go to the bathroom to clear his head. When he got in there, it was thankfully empty. He leant against the sink and looked at himself in the mirror. He was smiling, his dimples popping out. He looked... happy. He didn't remember looking at himself and thinking this for a long, long time. He felt like it was a good thing he felt this way.
Not to mention that fuzzy feeling he got in his heart whenever Phil spoke, whenever Phil looked at him, whenever their skin brushed against each other... He could barely breathe around that boy.
The door to the bathroom opened and Dan glanced over to see none other than Chris Kendall walk in, a smirk on his face.
"Heya, Danny," he said, leaning sideways against the sink.
"Hey, Chris," Dan returned. "What's up?"
The smirk didn't waver. "You know what's up," he said. When Dan raised an eyebrow, he went on, "You're not very subtle, Dan. I see you looking at Phil, and so does PJ."
Dan suddenly felt himself going very red, and he put a hand over his face.
"And I can see the way you're looking at him," Chris continued. "You look at him like he's a work of art, like he's an angel, like he's something too beautiful to belong to this world."
"Is it that obvious?" Dan mumbled, rubbing his eyes.
Chris shrugged. "Maybe. I jut know because, well, that's how I see Peej."
There was a short silence as Dan digested this information.
"And yes, it is so fucking obvious."
"Shut up," Dan moaned into his hands, and Chris laughed.
"When will we hear the happy announcement?"
"When's the wedding?"
"Can I be your best man?"
"Chris! Shut up!"
Chris just laughed, and Dan couldn't help grinning.
"And don't worry, you'll get to stare at Phil even next time we come down," Chris said, smirk turning into a grin. "Cause fuck it all, we're coming back whether your son of a bitch dad likes it or not!"
Dan smiled. "Thanks, I'd like that."
"And PJ and I support you and Phil, no matter what happens."
"Nothing is happening."
"What are you even saying?"
"I'm ship captain, that's what I'm saying!"
"Oh god, Chris, you're as bad as my mother."
"Okay, I have to talk to your mother now."
Dan sighed, and Chris broke down into laughter. Chris wrapped an arm around his shoulder, giving him a brief one-armed hug.
"You're one of us now, Dan, and we're keeping you," Chris said, and Dan smiled. He finally felt like he belonged somewhere, even if it was with three other people he accidentally met on the internet.
Without waiting for him, Chris walked out of the bathroom. Dan hurried to follow behind, back to their table.
To Phil and PJ.
To his gorgeous blue-eyed angel.
A/N: I HOPE THAT SUFFICED SHOOT ME IF IT DIDN'T
Also! To all readers! An announcement!
1. I am in the process of writing a little extra for this story and I am going to make something for it! So! If you are willing, please drop your name or a name you'd like to be called in a comment here and it will be put in a thing at the end of the book :) thanks!! :D
I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and I hope you have a wonderful day ^~^