We’ve Got This
Dan can’t remember the last time he was this nervous.
Being nervous before a show has always been Phil’s job. Of course, Dan’s faced the occasional jitters; nights where the thought of going on stage in front of a thousand-plus people has made his heart race and his stomach do flips. But it’s never been this bad. He’s always been able to pull himself together in time to meet their fans.
In time to help Phil deal with his own nerves.
Something about tonight feels different .
Tonight they aren’t just performing for a nearly-sold-out theater of people.
Tonight they’re performing for everyone .
For all their fans, both present and future.
...tonight he’s just not sure he can handle it.
They’re dressed and ready to head out to their meet and greet session, and Phil’s calm as can be.
Dan’s on the verge of a panic attack.
He doesn’t have to say anything more than Phil’s name.
His best friend, his soulmate, his always, knows what he’s feeling without having to ask.
He sits next to Dan on the dressing room couch and puts his right hand on his knee. The touch is gentle, meant to ground him, and it almost does the trick.
“Are you as scared as I am?” Phil asks quietly, and Dan jerks his head up to look at his boyfriend.
“You’re...you’re scared, too?” Dan asks in a small voice, and Phil smiles at him, squeezing his knee.
“Yeah,” Phil admits, running his fingers soothingly along the side of Dan’s leg.
“But you’re...you’re so calm ,” Dan says, feeling his chest tighten, and he wraps his right arm around his stomach in a useless attempt to comfort himself.
“I don’t know,” Phil admits. “I’m terrified, but at the same time I….” He trails off, running his hand along Dan’s thigh aimlessly. Then he reaches up, pulls Dan’s left hand off the couch cushion it’s currently wrapped around, and grips it tight. “I guess it’s because I have you.”
“Phil….” Dan trails off, not sure of what to say. He can feel his hand trembling in Phil’s grip, and he tries to take a deep breath to calm himself but it doesn’t work. “ Phil.”
“I’m here, Dan,” Phil assures him, squeezing his hand. “I’ve got you.”
Dan whimpers, the band around his chest tightening against his will.
“I don’t...I don’t know why I’m...I’m freaking out so much,” he gasps, fighting against his body’s inclination to panic. “We’ve done this...we’ve done this so many times, Phil. I….”
“It’s okay,” Phil says softly, squeezing his hand again. “I get it. Believe me, I get it.”
Dan shakes his head. “Phil...what time is it?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“No, Phil, it does. We’re late. I know we are.” He stares down at their intertwined hands, and he can feel his heartrate picking up even more.
“Dan, it’s okay,” Phil says, and he turns his body on the couch so he’s facing him. “It doesn’t matter.”
“It does. It does, Phil. We’re late, and we’re going to disappoint our subscribers. This whole night is going to fall apart and you’re going to fall off the stage and I’m going to say something I regret and it’s all going to be on film forever and-”
“ Hey,” Phil whispers, moving his free hand to Dan’s cheek, caressing it gently. “Hey, it’s okay. You’re okay.”
“No. No, Phil, it’s-”
“Dan, look at me. Please.”
It’s the “please” that does it; not just the word itself, but the hint of worry and concern behind it.
He turns his gaze toward Phil, and the sight of those familiar blue eyes makes his chest hurt just a little bit less.
“Breathe with me?” Phil asks, and he lets go of Dan’s cheek and places his palm flat over Dan’s chest, right over his heart.
Dan focuses on Phil’s hand - the firm, comforting pressure of his touch - and lets it give him strength.
He takes a deep breath in through the nose, holds it for three seconds, and then lets it out.
Then he nods.
“Good,” Phil commends him. “That’s good.”
Dan nods again, and he puts his right hand over Phil’s heart.
He feels his best friend’s heart beating strong and steady under his skin.
Then he takes another deep breath.
“Phil,” Dan gasps.
“I’m here, love. It’s just you and me right now, okay? Just you and me.”
Dan nods, continuing his breathing, and when Phil tells him he’s doing great he moves on to longer breaths.
In for five seconds.
Hold for five.
And out again.
They go through the breathing exercise together, just like they always do.
Dan tries his best not to think about how late they are for their meet and greet, but the clock he eventually spies on the wall ticks by in spite of him.
Phil tells him not to look at it. He tells him that it’s okay; that their subscribers will forgive them.
Dan tries his best, but when the clock says they’re twenty five minutes late he yanks his hand out of Phil’s, and just like that he’s gasping for breath again.
“Enough,” Phil states, his voice practically a growl, and the tone of his Phil’s voice causes Dan to look up in surprise.
Before Dan knows what’s happening, Phil gets up from the couch and moves to the clock above the makeup table. Then he reaches up, takes it off the wall, and puts it down on the table (a bit harder than necessary).
Phil turns to him, and Dan’s shocked to find that there are tears in his eyes.
He moves back to Dan, shaking his head the entire time, and when he sits back down on the couch Dan moves his right hand to Phil’s chest at the same time that Phil grabs his left hand and squeezes it tight; tighter than he has all night.
“I don’t care,” Phil whispers, and Dan watches him quietly. “I don’t care .”
“You don’t...you don’t mean that,” Dan says, his heart racing wildly in his chest.
“I do,” Phil says vehemently, looking Dan straight in the eye. “I love our subscribers, Dan. I do. I love every single person who’s willing to spend their hard earned money to come out and see us. But I love you more, Dan. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone or anything on this earth, and that’s never going to change.”
“It’s just you and me right now, love. It’s just you and me. Nothing else matters.”
“Dan , please ,” Phil begs him, and there’s fear in his voice now, Dan can hear it. “ Please.”
Phil’s heart starts to beat faster under his palm, and Dan knows . He knows Phil’s close to losing it; close to losing what very little is left of his calm.
“Okay,” Dan gasps, and he squeezes Phil’s hand tightly. “Okay,” he says, because he would do anything for Phil. Anything.
Phil nods his head, letting out a long, slow breath.
“You’ve got this. You’ve got this ,” Phil assures him.
Dan shakes his head.
“No, Phil. We’ve got this.”
And Dan doesn’t just mean this moment.
He doesn’t just mean that they can calm themselves down.
He means that they can do this .
This night, the rest of this tour, whatever the future holds.
They’ve got this.
“Yeah,” Phil agrees softly, a few tears leaking from his eyes, and if a few stray tears leak from Dan’s eyes too neither of them mentions it. “We’ve got this.”
And they do.
It takes them awhile longer.
They’re nearly an hour late when all is said and done.
But they make it.
They’re nothing but smiles when they meet their fans.
And they don’t do it alone.
Not any of it.
When Phil’s nerves start to get the better of him as they stand in front of the screen and wait for it to rise, signaling the start of the show, Dan grabs Phil’s hand and squeezes it tight.
“We’ve got this, remember?” Dan asks him.
And when Phil squeezes back, Dan knows for sure that they do.
“We’ve got this," Phil agrees.