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Through The Years

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Stockholm, Sweden
December 2016

After seventy-nine shows and almost two years of travelling, exploring and staying in a variety of hotels across the globe, the last ever TATINOF show was finally happening. I had been by my boyfriend's and best friend's sides the entire time, documenting the entire thing as the official tour photographer/merch booth monkey for The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire.

It had been one of the best experiences of my life, watching two men that I love so, so much perform a stage show they had poured their hearts and souls into. Despite being at every show, watching the same thing night after night, I was never bored. It hadn't all been perfect though, in fact it had been extremely trying at times, what with Dan and Phil being so damn exhausted the littlest thing would set them off into a meltdown, or props going missing hours before showtime, or fans getting a little bit too crazy at the meet and greets, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

You'd think that being cooped up in a tour bus for months on end, spending every waking minute of the day together would have seriously damaged mine and Dan's relationship, but in all honesty, I think TATINOF has brought us closer together. Sure, there have been times where we've wanted to smother each other with the shitty hotel pillows, or push each other off the moving bus, but what couple doesn't argue? Without the option of slamming the bedroom door shut and sulking, we've learnt to just talk it out, and move on, and things have just gotten better and better. We had just celebrated our 4 year anniversary in Berlin last week, and Phil was constantly teasing me, telling me if I didn't get a ring this Christmas, he and I could just run away together instead.

Of course, Dan had gotten super salty at the joke and ignored both of us for a good hour or so, before grumpily mumbling about 'pressure' and something about poisoning Phil with cheese.

As it was the last night of the tour EVER, Phil had contacted an old school friend and asked him to come out and take pictures during the show, as he knew I would want to sit back and enjoy the show, rather than watching the whole thing through a lens like I had been for the last year, which I was grateful for. I had taken pictures during the meet and greets, and a few backstage for my Instagram and various other social media platforms, but my camera went back into its bag and stayed there once the 5 minute beginners call echoed through the dressing room. I had kissed Dan, hugged Phil and left to go find my seat up on the balcony.

Both of the boys' families had flown out to Sweden to support them on their last night, and as they danced and sang their way through 'The Internet is Here' for the final time, I noticed the tears slipping down Dan's cheeks. It wasn't until Dan's mum reached over and grabbed my hand, squeezing it tightly, that I realised I was crying too, and it evolved into almost full on sobbing as I watched the entire audience hold up signs that read 'It's supposed to be cheesy', a reference back to the first Phil Is Not On Fire video, and a reminder of just how far my two best friends have come. Dan whispered 'thank you' as he gazed out amongst the audience, barely audible through his microphone, and it almost broke my heart.

When the show was over, and the boys had come off stage, myself and their families rushed backstage, and I launched myself at them both, not caring how disgusting and sweaty they were. We hugged for what felt like forever, all three of us crying on each other. When we pulled apart, I kissed Phil on the cheek and hugged him once more, whispering to him how proud I was of him, before he went to see his own family.

I turned to Dan, and he pulled me back into a tight hug.

"Hi," I mumbled into his neck. "I'm so, so proud of you, you were amazing."

He doesn't respond, he's still crying, holding onto me as if someone was threatening to take me away from him. "Babe, what's wrong?"

"I love you so much," he whispers, his voice wrecked from the show. "Thank you."

"Dan, you don't need to thank-"

"Yeah, I do. You've been there from the very start, and you've worked so hard and been so supportive. We...I...couldn't have done it without you." He sniffs, wiping his eyes. "Tonight was the first night I've actually been able to see you from the stage, and knowing you were actually there, right in front of me, like, everything from the past year and a half just went through my head and I could see Phil smiling at me, and the audience and I just..." he trails off, at a loss for words. I kiss his cheek.

"You're such a soppy git, Daniel James Howell." I tease him, but he knows I'm joking.

"Shut up, you were crying too." He laughs, poking me in the side gently. I poke my tongue out at him and he crosses his eyes in response, before his family comes over and he spends a few minutes catching up with them, before we head back to the hotel to freshen up and change for dinner.

We meet up with the families for a few celebratory drinks in the hotel restaurant, before Phil and his family break away to go eat and spend some time with each other. Dan and I go for dinner with his parents, choosing a quaint, traditional restaurant in the city centre.

We order a few drinks and our food, and Dan happily chats away with his parents, catching up on family stuff from where he's been away. They ask me how my family are doing, how my photography and YouTube stuff was going, and I chat with them for a while, whilst Dan is listening with a smile on his face and my hand in his.

"So, when are you two going to make us grandparents, hmm?" Dan's mum asks, sipping innocently on her glass of wine. Dan's face flushes crimson and I almost choke on my drink.

"Mum!" He groans, absolutely mortified as I recover from almost dying, and let out a nervous laugh. "Calm down! I'm only 25, plus I'd want to get married first." Dan looks at me with a smile, and my heart skips a beat as he squeezes my hand.

Dan's parents share a 'look' with each other. "What?" Dan asks slowly, looking suspiciously at his mum and dad.

"Nothing, we're just wondering what happened to change your view on marriage and kids? Ten years ago you swore you would never get married!" His dad chuckled.

"Ten years ago I was 15, you can't really trust anything a 15 year old boy says, Dad." Dan rolled his eyes. "I dunno, I just think it wouldn't be such a bad thing now."

He smiles at me again and this time it's my turn to blush. Dan and I had spoken about marriage, and kids, but as far as I knew, it was something that wasn't going to happen for at least another five or even ten years. I was fine with that, I just knew that I didn't care as long as I was with Dan. I wasn't in any rush, and neither was he.

Thankfully, his parents drop the uncomfortable topic and our food arrives, and the conversation slows down a little. After dessert, Dan is visibly exhausted, I'm worried he's going to fall asleep sitting up, so we bid them goodnight and goodbye, as they were flying back to England before us in the morning, promising to visit them in Reading in a few weeks for Christmas, and we go back to our hotel room.

Dan jumps into the shower, whilst I change into my pyjamas (basically his Sexual Fantasies shirt and my underwear) and get into bed, transferring some images from my camera to my iPad and editing them a little before uploading them to twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook. I then continue to watch a few YouTube videos, until Dan gets out of the shower.

I can't help but bite my lip in appreciation as he comes back into the bedroom, a towel around his waist and his hair in full blown hobbit mode. He makes his way over to his suitcase in search for a pair of clean boxers. My eyes scan over his tanned bare torso, his broad shoulders, sharp collarbones, toned arms and his perfect, ever so squidgy stomach with a dusting of dark hair disappearing into the towel. He feels my eyes on him, standing up and turning around.

"What?" He smirks, stifling a yawn. I return his smirk, stretching a little.

"Nothing, just admiring my boyfriend. That alright with you?"

"Shouldn't I be the one staring at you like a pervert when you get out of the shower?" Dan jokes, quickly pulling his boxers on under his towel, pulling it off and hanging it back up in the bathroom, before crawling on the bed and collapsing on his stomach, sighing heavily.

"And I thought you didn't believe in gender roles, Daniel, who says men have to be the creepy ones in a relationship?"

"Oh my god, actually shut up and fucking cuddle me," he laughs, turning onto his side, pulling me down and wrapping his arm around me. I cuddle into him, burying my face in his neck. "M'too tired for your smart arse right now."

"You like my smart arse." I grin into his skin, and he chuckles, the sound rumbling in his throat.

"I like your smart everything," he mumbles, kissing the top of my head. I sigh in response, enjoying the feeling of him cuddled up to me. "M'so tired and sore, forgot how much I actually have to move around during a show. It's bordering on exercise, and this makes me sad."

"Maybe you should join me on my evening runs, now the tour's over, can't have you going back to getting out of breath every time you climb the stairs at home." I smile, ghosting my fingers over his back. He scoffs and gives me that look like 'are you fucking kidding me'. "Well, I'm just saying. Is it your back again?"

"Mm. Hurts."

I untangle myself from him and roll off the bed, rummaging through my suitcase until I find the baby oil I always use to keep my skin moisturised after a shower. I shake it up as I walk towards the bed. "On your stomach, babe."

"Literally the most terrifying thing you could say to me whilst holding baby oil." He eyes the bottle in my hands suspiciously, but does what I've said anyway.

"I believe that would actually be 'face down, ass up and just relax'." I smirk, climbing back on the bed, straddling his legs. He groans dramatically, making me roll my eyes and laugh. "You're such a drama queen, bear." I open the bottle and pour some of the oil into my hands, rubbing them together to warm it up before pressing my palms against his shoulder blades. I apply just the amount of pressure that I know he likes, rubbing his flawless skin. "That okay?"

He responds by letting out a quiet moan of approval.

"How did I get so lucky?" Dan groans into the pillow as I continue to rub his shoulders and upper back, trying my best to work out the knots in his muscles. I smile, placing a kiss to the back of his neck that makes him shiver slightly.

"You elbowed me in the tits on the Underground and made me spill my coffee all over myself." I chuckle, adjusting my position on his legs so I could massage further down.

"Also known as the one time in my whole life that my clumsiness has actually worked out in my favour." Dan's voice is muffled by the pillow, but I can tell he's smiling. He grunts in pleasure as I knead his lower back gently.

"Meh, you're just lucky I thought you were hot AF." I teased, gently poking him in the sides. He chuckles softly. "And you were, and still are, so socially awkward, it was endearing."

"Mm, love you." He mumbles, and I know he's slowly falling asleep by the way his body is relaxing beneath me.

"Love you too, bear." I whisper back, moving off of his back and into bed next to him, pulling the covers over both of us. I push his fringe back from over his face. "Always have, always will." I kiss his temple and turn off the bedside lamp, letting him sleep off the post show exhaustion whilst I take advantage of the good selection of TV channels the hotel has.

A few hours later, I'm still awake and on my phone, scrolling through Tumblr, the TV long turned off. I'm laid on my side facing away from my currently snoring boyfriend. Dan grumbles in his sleep and rolls over, moulding his body around mine and spooning me. I feel something poking me in my lower back and smirk to myself, wiggling my butt back against him.

"Hmm, you still awake?" Dan whispers, his voice rough with sleep and exhaustion, one of his hands running over my thigh.

"Mm, I didn't wake you up, did I?" I reply, shivering in delight as his lips graze my neck. I roll over to face him, and he moves my leg on top of his, moving our bodies closer together as he kisses me hard, his hands wandering around to my ass and squeezing it.

Oh.

I see where this is going.

"Are you sure you're up to this, Dan? You're exhausted." I say quietly, trying my best to control my breathing after we break away. Thanks to our busy schedules, it been at least two weeks since we'd last had sex. We snuck in whatever we could, but mostly it was just heavy make out sessions or occasionally a hand and/or blow job to help with Dan's stress levels. I was practically soaked already and he'd barely touched me.

"Never too tired for you," he mumbles, pecking my lips softly, and slowly lifting up the hem of my (his) shirt. "Off?"

I nod, and we both work together to rid me of the oversized shirt. "C'mere," he grunts, rolling me on top of him, his hands on my hips as he looks up at me.

"Lazy," I tease, my skin feeling like it's on fire as he runs his hands up my sides.

"Beautiful." He responds, giving me that little smile that makes my heart melt every time. It's a smile that only I get to see, and it's during our intimate moments like this that he smiles like that, and I fall in love with him all over again. I hum and lean down, kissing him passionately, our tongues dancing around each other. His hands return to my hips, pushing them down against his crotch as he lifts his hips up, and the friction and heat makes us both moan. I nibble on his bottom lip, which I know drives him crazy, before moving to kiss his jawline and neck, another G-spot for him. "Fuck..."

"Well, if you want, I mean, I was just gonna suck you off and then take care of myself," I grin against his skin, and he responds by slapping my ass lightly. In return, i bite gently on his collarbone, and he grunts, the noise going straight in between my legs. "What do you want, Dan? Tell me."

"Wanna fuck you," he growls, turning his head and capturing my bottom lip between his teeth and tugging gently. "Wanna be inside you so bad, baby, please."

I whimper, nodding. Foreplay would have to wait for tonight.

I sit up and awkwardly peel off my underwear, throwing it somewhere in the room, deciding I'd find it in the morning. I gently palm Dan's cock through his boxers, making him gasp and moan my name loudly, before pulling them down his legs, and he kicks them off his feet. I take him into my hand, squeezing gently and stroking him a few times. "Please, baby, m'not gonna last long..." I'll let him off for that, it really has been forever since we last did it. I reach across to the bedside table, grabbing a condom from my makeup bag and tearing it open. He holds his hands out to put it on himself, but I slap them away, rolling it on him as slowly as possible, making him grit his teeth, grunt and buck his hips slightly.

Deciding to be a bit more of a tease, I hover above him for a few seconds, grinding down ever so slightly. He grips my hips so tight there will definitely be bruises in the morning, and he bites his lip, whimpering and cursing. I decide to let him off, because I want this just as much as he does, and I place the head of his cock at my entrance, slowing sinking down onto him. He throws his head back and moans, a little too loudly, as do I. "God, I missed this...missed you."

"I missed you too," I sigh, placing my hands on his chest, giving myself a bit of leverage before I start to move my hips. "Fuck, Dan, you feel so fucking good..." as much as I want this to last, I know it won't. I can already feel my orgasm growing as I grind down against him. He bucks his hips up, his cock brushing my g-spot. "Oh my god, Dan!"

"Fuck," he growls, his breathing heavy. "Faster, baby, please, I-" he cuts himself off with a moan as I obey. "Ngh, fuck, mmm!"

"You're so loud," I giggle breathlessly, gasping as he places his thumb on my clit and rubs in time with my thrusts. "We're gonna get noise complai-AH, FUCK, DAN!"

"I'm the loud one, am I?" Fucking asshole.

"Shut up," I gasp, as he sits up, wrapping my legs around him and attaches his lips to my collarbone, sucking and biting as we move together. I can tell he's getting close from the way his breath is coming out in pants, and his moans are getting higher in pitch and more desperate sounding. He rests his forehead against my shoulder, and I run my fingers through his curly hair, and he looks up at me.

"Kiss me," he whispers, and of course, I do. "M'getting close."

"Me too," I whisper back, and he reaches between us to stroke my clit. "Dan, I-"

"I know."

The room is filled with our moans, and heavy breathing as we both get closer and closer to the edge. Dan moves his hand and lies me down on the bed, so he's on top. He winks at me, and smirks as he puts my legs around his waist, and his hands either side of my head. He ducks down and kisses me softly before moving his hips, fucking me hard and fast, the way he knows I like it.

"Oh,my god Dan, I'm gonna cum!" I moan, digging my nails into his back.

"Do it, wanna feel you cum for me," he groans, and all it takes is him angling his hips just right, and I'm coming, moaning his name probably way too loud, my whole body shaking. "Oh, fuck, fuckfuckfuck, mmm-!" Dan stills, pushing his cock inside me one last time as he cums into the condom, hard, his head dropping onto my shoulder as he whispers my name, telling me he loves me. I say it back, stroking his neck gently as he collapses on top of me, his head on my chest. "You're amazing."

"No, that's Phil." I smirk, unable to hold back my laughter. "I can't steal his branding, despite how awesome I am in bed."

"See that window? Jump out of it." Dan grumbles, although he has a small smile on his face.

"You're so romantic," I roll my eyes, poking him in the tummy.

"Mhmm, you're very lucky. I mean, I even talk to you whilst playing Guild Wars now, if that's not true love, I don't know what is." He pulls off the condom, tying it and throwing it into the bedside bin.

"I'm so proud that you finally learnt to multitask!" I laugh and kiss the top of his head, rolling out from underneath him. He pouts, reaching out for me with grabby hands. "Dan, as much as I'd love to cuddle right now, I seriously need to shower. Wanna come with?"

"Depends, you might have to roll me, you've worn me out." he yawns, sitting up on the bed. "Besides, I already showered. Can't you just give me a sponge bath or something so I don't have to move?"

"Again, lazy. And I know you already showered, but if you think I'm cuddling with you when you smell like sweat and sex, you can fuck right off." I tease, grinning with my tongue poking between my teeth like Phil. I turn around, heading into the bathroom and turning on the shower. After waiting for the water to warm up, I step in, relishing the warmth cascading over me. A few minute later, I feel Dan's arms wrap around my waist and his body pressing up against mine. We stand in silence for a few moments, letting water fall down over us. He then turns me around his arms so I'm facing him, my arms around his neck.

"Y'know, we could have just done it in here, that way we could be cuddling in bed right now." He says, flicking his wet hair out of his eyes. I run my fingers over the short hairs at the back of his neck as he leans his forehead against mine.

"Hey, I'm not the one who decided to shower by himself and then fall asleep."

His face falls a little. "I'm sorry, I've been kind of a shitty boyfriend recently, haven't I?"

"What are you talking about?" I frown up at him, his beautiful brown eyes avoiding mine.

"Well, just with the tour and everything, and how busy we've been, I haven't had time to just...be with you, y'know?"

"Dan, we live together, we travel together, we're with each other every day almost-"

"That's not what I mean, like, we haven't been on a date in literally forever, I had to perform on the night of our anniversary, and Phil was with us all day before that, for fucks sake!"

"Phil's with us all the time, babe, his name is on the tenancy agreement too. Plus he's our best friend, I don't care! Turn around." I say, squirting some shampoo into my hand and massaging his scalp. He sighs.

"See, this is what I mean. You do all this nice stuff for me, like the back rubs, the food runs, the surprise BJs-"

"Which I do because I want to, not because I feel like I have to." I take the shower head off the wall and rinse his hair out, before running some conditioner through it. "I love you, and I know exactly what being with you entails. What kind of girlfriend would I be if I got salty about everything?"

"A normal one." Dan retorts, turning back around and gesturing for me to turn my back to him so he can wash my hair for me. "And I'm glad you're not, I just feel bad. You do everything for me and I can't even give you five minutes recently."

I don't respond, revelling in the feel of his fingers on my scalp, massaging in the shampoo. I hum appreciatively. He rinses out the shampoo and runs conditioner through my hair, making sure to cover every inch. "When we get home, I promise I'll make it up to you."

"Dan-"

"Please? We can go out and celebrate our anniversary properly, dinner, ice skating, a movie, whatever you want."

I turn back around to face him. "What I want, is to stay in, play some Mario Kart and Guitar Hero, finish Avatar and fall asleep on the sofa with you and our best friend. Dan, you don't have to take me out, or buy me shit to make me feel like you love me. I know you love me, without all the materialistic crap, okay?"

He said nothing, instead he looked at me, his eyes looking a little misty. He was an emotional mess tonight, but I couldn't really blame him. He blinked a couple of times, and kissed me on the nose.

"Turn around, you spork." He mumbled, giving me a small smile. He basically meant 'stop before you make me cry' in fewer words. I laughed softly, before turning back around so he could rinse my hair and his. Once we're clean, we step out and dry ourselves off, and I steal Dan's shirt again, this time pairing it with some pyjama shorts. I quickly dry my hair before getting back into bed, settling down with my head on his chest and his arms around me. "See, isn't this better than standing up and actually moving?"

"Mm," I sigh, already feeling my eyes getting heavy. "I miss our bed though."

"Same, when we get home we are gonna cuddle so fucking hard in bed for like a week." He mumbles into my hair.

"What about food and stuff?" I look up at him, raising an eyebrow. He laughs.

"Of all the things you're worried about, I love how food is at the top of that list. I fucking love you." He kisses the top of my head and switches off the bedside light. "Maybe we can persuade Phil to like, bring us breakfast in bed."

"Oh yeah, I can totally see him being okay with that," I laugh, my hand resting on Dan's stomach. "If anything, Howell, you owe him breakfast in bed."

"Meh, probs." He yawns. "Knowing Phil, though he'd spill pancake syrup all over his bedsheets or something."

"I can already imagine the Phanfiction for that scenario. 'Oh, Dan, I'm covered in syrup!' Phil cries, jumping out from his colourful bed, the golden nectar dripping down his pale and bare torso. Dan licked his chapped lips slowly. 'Let me help you with that, Philly'-"

"Actually shut up, right now or you're sleeping on the couch."

"Y'know, I would read that. Fuck it, I should write it! I could finally put my fancy English A-levels to good use, imagine how many reblogs on my super secret Phan Tumblr I'd get!"

"Fuck my actual life, my girlfriend is #1 Phan Trash..." Dan groans, rolling onto his stomach, his face in his pillow as I laugh, covering my mouth.

"I'm kidding, I'm kidding."

Chapter Text

London, England
August 2012

"-mum, I've really got to go, I'm running late...yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll call Gran and say happy birthday, okay? Bye, mum, love you!"

I hang up the call and groan in frustration, shoving my phone in my bag with one hand, balancing my coffee and my Oyster card in the other. I manage to get through the gate without causing too much of a hold up, bolting down the escalator to my platform.

"Fuck!" I growl, as the train I was running for left the platform within seconds of my feet touching the ground. I sigh, taking a seat on the grubby bench and waiting for the next one, which, thankfully what with this being London and all, wasn't long.

I jump up, protecting my bag and coffee as I get on the already insanely crowded train. I look around desperately for a seat, of which there were none, so I stand in between a very miserable looking middle aged woman and a six foot plus guy with brown hair and dressed head to toe in black. He has his back to me, engulfed on his phone, as I squeezed in and took a hold of the bar above my head as the train began to move.

I stare awkwardly ahead of me, sipping my coffee with my free hand, being careful not to bump brown haired guy with my arm. As the train approaches my station and slows, people scramble towards the door. I wait patiently rather than getting caught in the sea of people.

I don't notice tall guy next to me moving his arm to put his phone in his back pocket, and before I know it I've been elbowed in the boob at a rather vicious velocity. The pain that follows makes me want to cry.

"Fuck!" I hiss, and the knee jerk reaction to jump away from whatever has just hit me causes me to spill my 'travel friendly' coffee cup and its contents all over my jacket. The cup crashes to the floor and everyone stares. "Oh shitting hell!" I curse, staring down at my ruined jacket.

"Oh my god, oh my god, I am so sorry! I didn't-I-it was an accident! Are you okay? Oh fuck, shit, here let me-"

The guy bends down and picks up my cup, handing it back to me. I look up from the damage to my jacket and into the most beautiful pair of brown eyes I've ever seen. Granted, they were almost entirely covered by this guy's floppy fringe, but he flicked it out of the way as he stood up.

"Thanks," I mumble, taking the cup back from him. The next thing I know the doors have closed and the train is moving again. "Oh goddamn it!"

"I am so, so sorry!" The guy next to me says again, looking extremely guilty as coffee practically drips off me. Luckily, a sweet old man hands me a pack of tissues, and I thank him, dabbing away at my clothes as best I can with the hand that wasn't holding my cup and bag. "Please, let me help, it's the least I can-"

"It's fine, really," I say, a little too quickly, and he looks a little hurt. I sigh, passing him my cup and bag. "If you run off with my stuff, I can't be held accountable for what I do." I warn him, and he chuckles, shooting me a smile that literally makes me knees go weak. Even though he almost de-boobed me and potentially ruined my favourite jacket, I can't help but think he is fucking gorgeous.

"I wouldn't blame you, to be honest," he says, once again flicking his fringe out of his eyes. "Is it fucked?" He asks, his eyes flicking to my jacket.

"I dunno, if I'd have gotten off at my stop I would have been able to get home quicker to throw it in the washing machine and hope for the best," I sigh, almost reaching the end of the pack of tissues. A look of guilt flashes across his face again. "Sorry, I didn't mean to-"

"No, it's fine, I just feel really bad, it's a nice jacket." He bites his lip as i give up trying to dry myself with the tissues, and take my stuff back from him. The train pulls into another station, and i figure i might as well get off here, and try to get home another way.

"Yeah, it is, but don't beat yourself up about it, accidents happen," I give him a reassuring smile, before getting off the train.

"Wait!" He yells, and I turn around on the platform, seeing him fight his way through the crowd of boarding and departing passengers. He stands in front of me awkwardly. "Um, listen, let me get your jacket dry cleaned for you, to apologise?"

I frown slightly.

"Honestly, it's fine..." I trail off, realising I don't know his name.

"Dan. And please, it'll make me feel less guilty for basically assaulting you."

I sigh, unable to stop a smile spreading across my face. He really was too adorable.

And hot as fuck.

"You're not going to take no for an answer, are you?" I smirk, and he returns it.

"Nope."

"Fine," I roll my eyes dramatically, peeling off my jacket and handing it to him.

"Can I get your number?" He asks, and I'm a little taken aback at his confidence.

"Excuse me?"

"I-I'll need to let you know when it's clean and stuff, so I can return it to you," he's blushing now, and I swear my heart is melting. "That's all, i swear I'm not some random creep."

"Hmm, I'm pretty sure a random creep would say he's not a random creep to try and persuade people he's not a random creep," I muse, and he laughs, loudly. "But, I'll trust you."

He grins, handing me his phone for me to put my number in. Once I'm done, I pass it back to him and he puts it in his pocket. "Okay, well, i should really get going, but thank you, Dan. Just drop me a text or something and I'll meet you to grab my jacket back. It was nice to meet you, despite the whole GBH thing." I tease, hitching my bag up on my shoulder, offering my hand out to him. "I'm Kate, by the way."

"It was nice to meet you too, Kate, sorry again." He takes my hand and shakes it, and i can feel my heart speeding up. "I'll speak to you soon."

--a few days later--

'Hey :D it's Dan! Just to let you know your jacket is ready to pick up from the dry cleaner's, if you wanted to meet me in like twenty minutes?'

'Hi! Yeah that's great, thank you so much!'

'It's cool. If you don't mind, i was thinking (ironically) maybe we could go for a coffee or a drink or something after we pick your jacket up? It's okay if you don't want to though!'

'Haha, coffee sounds great! You can replace the one you made me spill ;) I'll be there soon!'

-- a week later, September 2012 --

"I'm freaking the fuck out."

"It's just dinner at Zizzi's, Kate. It's not like you've never been out with a guy before!" My best friend and flat mate Josie is laid on my bed, currently watching me pace up and down my bedroom, chewing my nails as I do. "I swear to god if you don't stop chewing those nails I slaved over, I will end you."

"Sorry, sorry!" I quickly stick my hands in my pockets, sparing Josie's hard work. "This isn't just some guy, Jo, he's like...really hot. And cute. And funny. And he's a massive nerd. Like, we had a two hour conversation in Starbucks the other day about the lack of father figures in the Pokémon games. It wasn't even planned, he walked in as I was walking out."

"Holy shit, it's a match made in nerdy heaven!"

"You're just jealous because you don't have anyone to talk nerdy with right now." I tease, laughing as she flips me off. "He lives with his best friend, maybe if tonight goes well we can double date?"

"If you set me up with anything less than a six foot tall, funny, geeky guy, I'm going to hurt you."

"I've seen a picture or two, he's pretty cute, black hair, blue eyes, pale as hell," I laugh, holding up a fitted grey tank top, an oversized black cardigan, and black skinny jeans. "With my leather jacket, black knitted scarf and ankle boots?"

"Perfect, it shows him just how soulless and depressing you really are. And you are getting me a date if it kills you, I need my nerdy Casanova too."

"Ugh, that sounds vile. I'm unfriending you when I get home tonight." I mock retch before heading into the bathroom to change.

Forty minutes later, I'm dressed and ready and in the back of a taxi headed to Zizzi's, my heart feeling like it's going to burst out of my chest and my stomach churning with nerves. My phone vibrates in my hand, it's Dan just texting to say he was already at Zizzi's, waiting for me in the lobby. I swallow hard, before texting him back that I was on my way.

The taxi gets me to the restaurant exactly three minutes before 7.30pm, when our table was booked for. I spot Dan immediately as I step inside the building; he's dressed in black skinny jeans, a pair of smart looking black shoes with zips on, and a crisp black shirt. His hair is immaculate and I kind of hate him for that. He looks up from his phone when he hears the door open and his eyes meet mine, and we both simultaneously break out into a grin.

"Hey," I walk over to him and give him a hug, as per our usual greeting. His usual cologne surrounds me, but it smells a little stronger tonight. He hugs me back just as tight. "We match."

"We do. I'm glad I finally found someone else with a soul as dead as mine." He grins and I laugh. "You look really nice though."

"Thank you, so do you." I can feel my cheeks warming a little to my utter frustration. Something about Dan always turned me into a fucking giggly schoolgirl on the inside, but on the outside thankfully, I managed to play it off. "Can we go get food now? I'm fucking starving."

Dan laughs loudly.

"I knew there was a reason I liked you."

***

"So, seeing as all our interactions have been totally random and unplanned, I think I should be totally cliché and say, tell me about yourself?" Dan smiles as we pass our menus back to the waiter, having just ordered our food.

"Well, I mean, I don't wanna send you to sleep before the food gets here." I joke, sipping on my glass of water. Dan chuckles, doing the same.

"That's fine, just wake me up when it does get here," he winks and I roll my eyes laughing. "No, I'm just joking, come on, I wanna be creepy and know stuff about you. Like, what do you do for work? How long have you been living in London?"

"So basically you wanna play 20 Questions?"

"Yep, now go."

"Ugh, fine. I'm a junior retoucher for a photography studio in Central London, I've been living in London for a few years as I went to Uni here, but my friend Jo and I have been renting a flat from her uncle for a few months now, since we both graduated. I have a degree in Editorial Photography, I'm originally from The Cotswolds, I like video games, horror movies and music...that's all I can think of right now...what about you?"

"Um, ha, this is gonna sound really weird but I make YouTube videos for a living." He says, looking almost embarrassed. "So does my best friend Phil, who I live with. We moved to London a few months ago to be closer to our other YouTuber friends, and we've had a few job offers with Radio 1 and stuff so it just made sense. I dropped out of Uni to do YouTube full time."

"Wow, that sounds amazing! You must be doing pretty well to be able to do it full time!"

Dan nods, and his smile gets bigger the more he talks about it.

"I've got just under 500,000 subscribers, which is mental, I never thought it'd get this big. But I love it, I love what I do, I've never been happier."

I can't help but mirror his smile. The waiter comes back with our food and tells us to enjoy.

"So, I'm having dinner with an internet celebrity right now?" I tease, raising my eyebrow and smirking at him. He rolls his eyes and tells me to shut up, but he's smiling.

A few hours later, our main courses and desserts long gone, we're still sat in the restaurant, deep in conversation. We've covered everything from our childhoods, our favourite movies, tv shows, our families, video games, music, food, Tumblr, memes...even dogs. As the restaurant closes, we call the waiter over to pay the bill. I rummage around in my bag, pulling out my purse.

"Don't let her pay you." Dan says to the waiter and I glare at him.

"Dan, its fine-"

"Hey, I asked you to come out with me right? Therefore I am paying." He argues, handing over his card to the extremely bored looking waiter, who disappears to get the card machine. "Don't look at me like that, what kind of prick would I be if I expected you to pay on a date?"

I say nothing, but I smile at him, putting my purse away. "If you really want to, you can pay next time."

"There's going to be a next time?" I ask, a teasing tone to my voice, but my inner giggly schoolgirl has practically dropped dead from excitement.

"Well, only if you want, I've had a really good time tonight." He admits, quickly pausing as the waiter comes back and prompts him to enter his card details. "Plus, I still feel guilty for the whole tube thing. But that's not why I asked you out. Fuck, that came out wrong-"

"Dan, its fine, I know what you meant," I laugh, as we stand up, putting our coats on. We head outside, and he offers to walk me home, and we continue our discussion about everything under the sun, and more. The whole time, my heart would not calm the fuck down, and I was actually worried he could hear how hard it was beating, especially when his hand accidentally brushed mine.

He pulled his hand back quickly as if he'd been burnt.

"Sorry!" He mumbles, looking as guilty as he did when he elbowed me on the Tube. I can't help but laugh, reaching out and linking my fingers through his.

"There, the scary part's over." I wink at him and he immediately looks relieved, giving my hand a small squeeze. We continue to walk hand in hand to my flat, stopping in front of the steps when I inform him that this was my apartment building. "Thank you for tonight, it was really nice."

"You're welcome," Dan smiles, his fingers still laced with mine. His eyes drift upwards and slightly to the side. "I'm gonna guess that's your roommate?"

I follow his eyeline and sure enough, Jo is sat in my bedroom window, waving down at us, a shit eating grin on her face. I groan, rolling my eyes and flipping her off.

"I'm so sorry, I'm gonna murder her," I sigh, feeling mortified as Dan waves back, laughing loudly. "Don't encourage her!" I grab his waving hand and hold it by his side, failing to keep an angry face as I start laughing along with him. "Fuck, I'm sorry, you must think I'm so weird."

Dan raises an eyebrow at me.

"You do realise you're speaking with someone who makes a living from being weird, right?"

"Well actually no, I don't as I've not watched your videos, so there," I grin, poking my tongue out at him. We eventually say goodnight, and he gives me a hug, which I note lasts a few seconds longer than usual. He lets me go, and I slowly walk up the steps to the main door. "Oh, Dan?" I call out as he begins to walk away. He stops and turns.

"Mm?"

"I'll pay next time." I smile, before heading inside and closing the door.

Chapter Text

September 2012
London

A few days after my first date with Dan, Jo and I are sitting on our sofa watching a movie, when my phone alerts me to a new message. I reach for it, pausing as I notice Jo smirking at me.

"Yes?" I ask, raising an eyebrow at her.

"Is that Dan?"

"It might be," I grab my phone and move so she's unable to read it over my shoulder. "It might not be, why the sudden interest?"

"Just curious, that's all." She shrugs, turning back to the tv with that stupid smirk on her face. I poke her with my blanket covered foot.

"Tell meeeeee!" I put on the whiniest voice possible whilst still poking her. She slaps my foot away, laughing.

"God, you're annoying. How has a loser like you managed to score with a super hot YouTube star?" Jo teases me, shooting me a wink so I know she's just playing around. "Did you check out his videos yet?"

I sigh.

"Not yet, no, but I presume as the super annoying and protective best friend you have Googled him within an inch of his life?"

"Duh." She reaches for her laptop on the coffee table and pauses the movie, typing something frantically into her search engine, before turning the screen towards me. "Watch and learn about your new boyfriend."

"He's not my boyfriend," I mumble, taking the laptop from her. A video called PERSONAL SPACE begins to play, and Dan comes onto the screen. I can't help the small smile that breaks out as he describes accidentally invading a woman's 'personal bubble' on an escalator, and performing a little skit about it. "This is really good..." I mumble and Jo nods.

"Just keep watching."

"-so yeah, I'll try to work on not accidentally assaulting people-" my stomach twinges excitedly as I remember our meeting on the underground, how he described him accidentally elbowing me as 'basically assaulting' me. "-but let me know in the comments if you have any personal space issues, or have any funny stories of accidental touching incidents that maybe I could laugh at so that I spend less time going: why god?! Why did you make me this way?! And I will see you next Thursday. Stay classy Danosaurs and don't change for anyone..." it then cuts to a shot of Dan wiggling and thrusting his hips into the camera, which makes my cheeks flush a little. It then shows a really handsome blonde guy touching Dan's neck and Dan freaking out. I'm laughing still when Jo takes the laptop back from me, clicking the description box underneath and expanding it.

"Look, he's mentioning you in his videos without directly mentioning you, what a sweetheart." Jo grinned, highlighting a strip of text from the description, something about Dans elbow being perfect boob height for women. My face flushes a little and my stomach does that weird clenchy-excited thing. "Ugh, you're disgustingly cute right now."

"Shut up," I grin, rolling my eyes and loading up the YouTube app on my phone. I find Dan's channel and click 'Subscribe', ignoring Jo's fake gagging noises. I flip her off before opening the message from earlier.

'Hey :D so I have next Saturday and Sunday completely free if you wanted to do something? I had a really good time the other night, but I've probs said that already'

'You did, but I did too and have def said it already, so I'll let you off :P and next weekend sounds good, what were you thinking?'

'Well, I don't know if you know this but I'm a giant nerd...'

'What?! You are?! Complete surprise, wouldn't have had a clue...;)'

'I know, I hide it well. Anyway, I was thinking of the Natural History Museum, possibly the Science Museum too? X'

I can't help the stupid smile on my face at the 'X' on the end of the message. Jo rolls her eyes and resumes the movie, poking me with her foot to pay attention.

'Sounds great! I love those places! Do you fancy getting lunch too? My treat this time remember x'

'-_- you won't let me pay will you? X'

'Nope x'

'Ugh fine D: so, let's say Saturday at 11? We can meet outside the NH Museum and go from there? X'

'It's a date, danisnotonfire x'

'Excuse me whilst I cringe so hard I combust, please tell me you haven't watched my videos?! X'

'So far, only the most recent one, but don't worry, I plan to binge watch them all this weekend and embarrass you from here on out ;) x'

'Goodbye cruel world...' I burst out laughing at his over dramatic text and Josie sighs pointedly.

"Oi, if you're more focused on your YouTube man than the movie I'm gonna turn it off," She smirks from the other end of the sofa. "I can't handle you smiling like that, it's gross."

"Fuck off," I smile back, throwing a pillow at her.

***

A week later, I'm stood outside the Natural History Museum in the late September sunshine, absorbed in a particularly intense game of Candy Crush as I wait for Dan. Granted, I got here almost half an hour early, but only because I couldn't stand sitting in the flat for much longer, watching the clock tick.

Yes, I was nervous, okay?

"And there was me thinking I'd get here super early and impress you," a voice says from behind me, making me jump and whirl around, almost knocking an amused Dan over. "Jesus, sorry! I didn't mean to scare you." He laughs, flicking his fringe out of his eyes.

"You twat," I gasp, laughing as I clutch my chest. "You're lucky I didn't roundhouse you or something, Jesus!" I hug him and he squeezes me back.

"To be honest, I would have loved to have seen that," he smirks, glancing me up and down. "I am kind of a giant."

"You'd be surprised how high I can get my legs when I want to," I laugh, completely missing the innuendo. Dan bursts out laughing and I suddenly want the ground to swallow me. "Noooo!" I wail, my cheeks flushing bright red. "That's not what I meant!"

"Sure, if you say so," he teases as we queue up to get inside.

"Oh my god, I'm cancelling to go home and drown myself," I cover my face, laughing. The two of us just have looked insane, uncontrollably giggling, but we didn't care. I literally couldn't remember the last time I felt this...happy.

As we walked around the museum, we ran into a couple of Dan's subscribers. I'm taken aback by just how much they seem to love him, one girl near hysterical as he hugs her and poses for a few photos. He had warned me beforehand that this might happen, and that his subs could get a bit crazy at times, but it didn't bother me too much.

"Are you Dan's girlfriend?" One of the girls sporting a Danosaur shirt asks me, looking me up and down and suddenly I feel extremely uncomfortable. I glance nervously at Dan, who is occupied with taking a few more photos.

"Uh, no, we're just friends," I stutter, following it up with my best attempt at a convincing smile.

"Really? I thought his only girl mates were Bryony and Louise? How long have you known him?" Another girl asks, her tone almost vicious and accusing.

"Uh, I-"

"It was so nice to meet you all!" Dan cuts in, flashing his winning smile and practically turning all the girls to jelly. "We really should get going now, enjoy the rest of the museum guys!" With a last round of hugs, we manage to escape, but I can feel the girls glaring at me from across the lobby. "Shit, I am so sorry about that."

"It's fine, I mean...it's to be expected right? You're Internet famous after all," I wink at him and he rolls his eyes.

"Actually shut up, you make me sound like some jumped up twat," he laughs, flicking his fringe out of his eyes. "You handled it really well though."

I shrug, waving it off.

"Come on, lets go look at some danosaurs- oh, whoops, I mean dinosaurs," I smirk, a teasing tone to my voice. "Sorry, my mistake."

"Jesus Christ, excuse me whilst I throw myself down the stairs."

"Fine by me, more food for me later."

The rest of our trip is, surprisingly, uninterrupted. We get a few glances from people who may have realised who Dan was a few seconds too late but other than that, we were left relatively alone.

We never ran out of things to talk about, discovering that one was just a big a nerd as the other, especially when it came to dinosaurs. Both of us adored the Jurassic Park films and had spent most of our childhood reading as many dinosaur books as possible. By the time we had walked around the entirety of the museum, we were both starving, so I pulled up directions to a pizza place I had read about nearby, and we headed over.

The restaurant was a short walk away, and the sun was still shining as we emerged outside, so we took a slow walk, still chatting away. Dan was incredibly funny; his dark, sarcastic and witty sense of humour had me constantly cracking up, and apparently it was the same for him with me. We talked about his YouTube career, he mentioned a few ideas for videos he had planned out, and I embarrassed the shit out of him by saying I'd be the first to watch them.

We remained extremely close as we walked outside, although Dan had been extremely apologetic about not holding my hand. I completely understood; the fan girls had almost jumped on me in the museum for just being within five feet of him, god knows how they'd react to hand holding. I didn't mind, I understood and, in all honesty, I wanted to keep my limbs attached to my body for today, so I wasn't going to to risk anything.

"So I hope you're okay with pizza, I figured it was a pretty safe bet," I said, as we approach the restaurant. Dan looks at me, almost looking shocked.

"You're kidding right? Look at me, I live for pizza. Besides, who doesn't?!"

"Good point," I giggle as he holds the door open for me. "Wow, nerd and a gentleman."

"I know, I'm too good to be true." He jokes, and I laugh, still playing it cool, but mentally I am agreeing with him in embarrassingly enthusiastic screams. We end up ordering a half and half pizza to split. "As much as I am having a really good time today, part of me is completely disgusted with you for only having cheese on your pizza."

"Hey, leave me alone, I'm boring when it comes to pizza, although I won't turn down a slice of pepperoni if the situation occurs." I grin, reach over and taking a piece of said pepperoni from his slice.

"Wow, look out, she's absolutely fucking mental," Dan smirks, playfully slapping my hand away. I succeed in stealing and place the pepperoni in my mouth, chewing it slowly. "You thief."

"Hey, I might be a thief, but at least I didn't order pineapple on my pizza, right?"

"If you did, I would have had Phil call me with a fake emergency so I could GTFO." Dan winks, actually fucking winks at me, and I can't help but laugh.

"Well, at least I know how to make you disappear." I shoot back, and he smiles, his expression softening.

"I hope you don't use that to your advantage any time soon," he says quietly, his cheeks flushing as he reaches across the table and subtly takes a hold of my hand. "I really like you."

My turn to blush now.

"I really like you too," I admit. I squeeze his hand gently and my heart is racing a million miles an hour. "Don't worry, I won't scare you off with weird pizza combos just yet."

"Not weird, just plain wrong."

We finish the rest of our meal at a comfortable pace, still never shutting up. When the waiter comes along, I ask for the bill and Dan takes out his wallet. I raise an eyebrow at him. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Not being a complete and utter twat and offering to split the bill?"

"Dan, I said it was on me, it's fine, I promise. And besides, you accepted this whole not paying thing via text, see?" I wave my phone at him, displaying the text. Dan rolls his eyes and puts his wallet away.

"Wow, rude. I can't believe you used my own text against me." He says, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms across his chest, but he's smiling.

"As a former law student, I thought you would know better than to leave incriminating evidence that can be used against you," I tease him as I pay the bill and we stand up to leave. Dan laughs.

"Good one, as if I actually learned anything at uni other than to give myself a fucking migraine from stress."

By the time we leave the restaurant, it's around 7 and it's beginning to get dark. We walk slowly towards the tube station, neither of us wanting the day to end.

"So, um, do you want to get dessert or something?" Dan asks as we reach the entrance to the station. "Phil's gone back up north for the weekend so if I go home now I'm literally going to sit on tumblr for most of the night and tomorrow morning. Or until I start googling shibe pictures. Whichever comes first."

"Dessert sounds good." I laugh. "My flat mate is out too, so I know the feeling. I have a good supply of Ben and Jerry's and video games, if you wanted to hang out for a bit longer?" Was I being too forward? Is he going to freak out? As soon as the words left my mouth, my brain started chugging out all these scenarios of what could happen next. Fuck, nice one, Kate, you've really fucked this up, you absolute fucking-

"You may have Ben and Jerry's and video games, but do you have Guitar Hero?" Dan smirks, raising an eyebrow at me. I roll my eyes as if the answer was obvious.

"Please, what kind of console owner do you take me for? Of course I have Guitar Hero, and I will kick your arse at it, I'm very well practiced."

"Challenge accepted, take me to your girly home."

***

"I honestly didn't think it was possible to find an apartment nerdier than mine and Phil's but...fucking hell, I think this is a strong contender. The only difference between your place and mine is the house plants are in better shape." Dan is currently standing in mine and Josie's living room, with a look of fascination on his face. "Holy shit, I need this in my life." He says as he catches a glance of my gold plated limited edition Pokémon card, on display in a half open giant Pokéball. "That's so fucking cool!"

"Thanks," I smile, feeling relieved he wasn't laughing at how incredibly lame I was right now. "My grandparents in America got it for me, they don't really get the whole Pokémon thing but, I think they came through."

"I think your grandparents may have just outranked my grandma in the 'cool grandparents' poll." Dan laughs, looking at me. "Seriously, this place is really cool, it's very you."

"Very me? Are you calling me a nerd?"

"Biggest girl nerd I've ever met."

"Aw, that's the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me," I grin, clutching my chest and swooning sarcastically. "But don't over do it, I might vomit."

"Don't worry, all the cliché, cringe worthy romance shit isn't my specialty, you're safe." Dan smirks, and I pretend to wipe my forehead in relief, heading into the kitchen to grab the ice cream. I come back into the living room with two bowls, two spoons, a tub of Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream and some chocolate sauce. "Chocolate sauce, hmm?" He wiggles his eyebrows at me in a suggestive manner. I roll my eyes, laughing.

"Strictly for eating with ice cream only," I say. "As if I would waste perfectly good chocolate sauce by smearing it all over some Internet nerd's chest." I follow up my teasing with a wink, so he knows I'm joking. "And besides, I would come up with a much more creative way to participate in food play."

"Oh? Keep talking," Dan grins, sitting next to me on the sofa. I shove him gently.

"Shh, you."

We eat our ice cream in silence, watching a couple of episodes of Tokyo Ghoul, which we discover we have a mutual appreciation for, as well as most anime. If Jo had been there, she would have been making sarcastic and cringe comments about how we were made for each other or something. I was extremely grateful she wasn't here.

"So, ready to be annihilated by the Guitar Hero master?" Dan strikes what I presume is supposed to be an intimidating pose as I hand him one of the controllers.

"You're challenging someone who has weekly tournaments with their flat mate, plus numerous hours of practice when said flat mate is at work on weekends, I think you should just be a little less cocky, yeah? Wouldn't want your Danosaurs to know you got your butt destroyed by a girl." I wink back, throwing the strap of the guitar controller over my head. Dan burst out laughing, as do I when I realise what I've said, or rather, how I phrased it. "Fucking hell, you're terrible."

"I can't help it, I'm actually 12." He says, matter of factly.

"You're actually a dork," I say fondly, as we begin to scroll through some songs and eventually, after a decent amount of friendly bickering and Dan criticising my love for cheesy 80's rock, come to an agreement on our 'set list'.

Turns out that Dan is extremely competitive. Like, almost bordering on crazy competitive. But apparently, I'm too whipped already to even care; in fact, it's kind of cute how sulky he gets when he loses, or how arrogant and self righteous he gets when he wins. My apartment is filled with shrieks and cursed from both of us, as well as friendly insults, banter and laughter.

"Ffff-NO!" Dan shrieks as we engage in a particularly vicious guitar solo battle and he drops behind by a few points. "Fucking come on!"

"Ha!" I yell, raising my arms above my head in victory as the song ends and my points top his.

"I let you win, date etiquette and all that," Dan grumbles, shoving me gently as I do a little victory dance in front of him.

"Uh huh, sure."

"100%. And there's no way you'll beat me on this song," Dan seems to regain his confidence as he selects 'Dead!' by My Chemical Romance. "The guitar solo on expert, I will destroy you."

"Wanna bet?" I raise an eyebrow. "You're talking to a former emo child of 2005 here, obviously this was the first song I perfected on this game." I pause. "On hard."

"Ha! In that case, I bet you can't beat me on expert, and if you lose...You owe me something." Dan adjusts his guitar strap, then holds out his hand for me to shake. "Or are you scared I'll beat you?"

"Pfft. Please." I shake his hand. "But if you lose, I have to think of something for you to do. My kitchen is looking a bit on the messy side..."

"Fuck right off, there's no way I'm losing this one."

Five minutes later, I'm hanging my head in shame as Dan has absolutely thrashed me and is currently rubbing it in my face. "Told you, I am the actual master of Guitar Hero!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, alright fucking Ray Toro," I laugh, turning off the console and putting the controllers back in their place behind the TV. "What's my punishment then, what do I owe you?" I fold my arms across my chest and look at him.

"I'm still thinking," Dan smirks, walking over to me. "In the mean time, I will offer you one hug as a consolation prize."

I laugh loudly as he wraps his arms around me and squeezes me. "You're so generous." I say, but it mostly sounds muffle against his chest.

"I know, but, and don't tell anyone this, I mostly just wanted to hug you again. How lame is that?" Dan sounds like he's a little embarrassed that he's confessing this, and I look up at him. Sure enough, his cheeks are turning a little red.

"Incredibly lame, but it's okay," I smile up at him. "Don't tell anyone, but I wanted to hug you too."

"Of course you did, I smell amazing." Dan winks done at me, causing me to bury my face in his chest and laugh once more. "Hey, I thought of what you owe me for losing."

"Ugh, what? You're gonna take my gold Pokémon card aren't you?"

"No, something better." He says, his voice dropping slightly lower and softer. My heart is beating so hard in my chest I swear he could probably hear it. "I mean, if it's not okay you can tell me and stuff but I-"

"Dan." I can't help the smile that's breaking out over my face, as I think I know exactly where this is going. "Just come out with it."

"Ugh, fine." He says, but instead of actually saying the words, he tilts his head down and kisses me softly on the lips. It's just a simple kiss, closed mouth and innocent, and it doesn't last for very long, but honestly, I've never felt anything like it. He pulls back and looks at me, as if expecting me to hit him or something. "Was that okay?"

"More than okay." I smile, pulling him back down for another kiss.

Chapter Text

October 2012
London

"Happy birthday!" Jo bursts into my room dead on six thirty am, just as my first alarm is blaring away, her arms full of balloons and neatly wrapped gifts, which she dumps on my bed before launching herself onto me at an alarming rate. "21 today, ugh my baby is growing up so fast!"

"Jo, I love you and all but I may kill you if you don't get off of me right now." I mumble, my face squished into my pillows and duvet under her body. She laughs, sitting up and pulling the duvet off me, pinching my cheek.

"You're so gwumpy in da mownings, bubba." She teases, a shit eating grin across her face as I slap her hand away gently and sit up, yawning and stretching. "Wow, your hair is a fucking mess."

"Hey, you're supposed to be nice to me on my birthday, back off and gimme," I grin, gesturing towards the presents, which she throws at me in response.

After opening presents and having the traditional birthday breakfast of French toast as cooked by the non birthday girl housemate, I shower and quickly get ready for work. As I'm finishing off my eyeliner, my phone vibrates and pings on my dresser.

From: Dan
Happy birthday! Hopefully you see this before you get to work and appreciate how early I woke up just to send you this...I'm going back to bed now xD have a great day! xx

I laugh, quickly tapping out a reply and sending it, before bidding Jo goodbye and rushing out of the flat to get to the Underground station.

As per usual London standards, I arrive at work five minutes late, but luckily, nobody seems to mind, because as soon as I step through the front door to the studio, I'm greeted with an explosion of party poppers, balloons, confetti and my co-workers all yelling 'Happy Birthday!' at the top of their lungs, scaring me shitless.

Once I've recovered, I'm promised cakes and presents this afternoon, and my day of work begins. I laugh in disbelief as I notice my desk upstairs in the editing suite has been wrapped in wrapping paper, and everything is also covered with a layer of birthday confetti that I spend a good hour tidying up. My phone, although on silent, continues to light up with messages from friends and family, and I feel so sickeningly loved, it's unreal.

The studio closes for lunchtime, and I'm treated to a really nice pub lunch by my boss, with a quick stop on the way back for cake. Once I've divvied out numerous slices of chocolate cake to my colleagues, and received a few gifts from them, my afternoon settles back into a normal rhythm.

"So, how does it feel to be 21?" My co-worker and fellow editor, Alice, asks me, leaning over the desk divider.

"Exactly the same as it did to be 20, to be honest," I laugh, saving the current photograph I was working on and opening up the next image to edit. "I'm still the youngest here though, so I mean that's a plus." I tease her, my tongue sticking out between my teeth.

"Oh fuck off, just because it's your birthday, doesn't mean you get to be a bitch," she laughs, flipping me off.

"Yeeeeeah it does," I smirk, laughing as she throws a ball of scrunched up paper at me. The doorbell to the back of the studio buzzes and Alice gets up to answer it as per usual. About five minutes later, she comes back upstairs, carrying a beautiful bouquet of purple flowers. "Wow, what did your boyfriend do this time?" I smirk, raising an eyebrow at the size and quality of the bouquet.

"I can give you a list another time, after you're done explaining who 'Dan' is." She grins, setting the bouquet on my desk. "They're for you, birthday girl."

"What?!" I gasp, reaching out and reading the label:

To Kate,
Happy birthday! Hopefully you like these, I know purple is your favourite colour ^_^ have a good day!
Love,
Dan xxx
P.S hope this isn't too disgusting and cliché for you!

My heart swells in my chest and I can't stop grinning.

"Oh my god, this is serious isn't it?!" Alice squeals and a few of our other colleagues come over to inspect and interrogate. "You've kept this so quiet!"

"We've only been seeing each other for a month or so," I feel my face flushing. "He's...he's nice."

"Nice?! Only bloody nice'?! Christ, I've been with Christopher for three bloody years and I never get flowers! I'm lucky if I get a card on my birthday from him!" Alice leans in and inspects the flowers. "These are fucking beautiful, Kate, he really fucking likes you."

"Shut up," my cheeks are burning now, but I can't stop fucking smiling. "I've only know him for like...maybe two months?"

"Doesn't matter how long you've known him, judging by these, mysterious Dan is clearly very into you. Tell me everything." Alice perches herself on the edge of my desk. I tell her everything, bar the part about him being a YouTube personality, including how we met, which she finds absolutely hilarious. "That's fucking brilliant, considering you're the one who can't normally make the tea rounds because you trip over your own bloody feet, how the tables have turned!" She squeals like she's just seen a litter of puppies when she sees some of the texts we've exchanged, and is immediately onto me about seeing a picture of him. Truth is, we haven't taken any pictures together, and I sure as fuck wasn't going to google him. I make up a lie about how we're not comfortable taking pictures together or posting stuff like that until everything is official, and right now we're just happy doing what we're doing. She, thankfully, seems to understand, and we chat a bit more before returning to our work.

To: Dan
For someone who claims to not specialise in cheesy, romantic cliches, you've done pretty well today! Thank you for the flowers, they really are beautiful, but I can't promise they'll survive more than a few days with my track record! Xx

From: Dan
Well, it's a special occasion, and I thought flowers weren't too over the top, I'm glad you like them ^_^ do you have plans later? Xxx

To: Dan
No they're pretty tame, although if you'd have sent a barbershop quartet to sing me happy birthday I may have stabbed myself in the eyes with pencils! Nope, Jo is working late, I'm not seeing my family until the weekend and I'm pretty much a loner. How come? Xxx

From: Dan
Tbh I wouldn't blame you, slightly offended you think I'd be that cringe XD don't worry you're safe. I was thinking I'd treat you to a nice birthday meal? Snazzy cocktails and/wine included ofc, anywhere you want to go xxx

To: Dan
Well, shit, there goes my plans of eating popcorn in my pjs tonight...

From: Dan
:( I mean same, but...

To: Dan
I'm kidding you spoon, I'd love to have dinner. You can pick the place, as long as there's food, I'm good xxx

From: Dan
My self esteem can't take another knock like that js. How does sushi sound? There's this awesome place Phil and I found last week, it's really nice xxx

To: Dan
Excuse me whilst I dribble on my phone, it's like you read my mind! Text me info, and I'll see you later xxx

I suppress a delighted squeak when he texts me back '<3' at the end of his last text, and despite being busy with work, I'm now counting down the minutes until I get to leave and see him again. I know that's kind of creepy and weird, but I honestly cannot remember feeling this way about anyone, at least not recently. My last boyfriend was in college, and to be honest it was more of a friends with benefits than actual dating, and my last boyfriend before that was in my last few years of school, and the most we ever did dating wise was go to the cinema.

The studio closes at six, and I race to the Underground and eventually get home, leaving me around an hour to get ready before I have to meet Dan. About five minutes before I have to leave, the buzzer for the door sounds throughout the flat, and I automatically open the door, thinking it must be Jo coming home from work early.

Then there's a knock at the front door.

I frown, quickly lacing up my boots and open it cautiously, my frown immediately switching to a grin as I see Dan stood on the other side.

"Oh thank god, I was convinced I had the wrong door," he clutches at his chest dramatically.

"And I was convinced you were Josie until you knocked, then I was convinced you were an axe murderer." I laugh, stepping aside to let him in and closing the door behind us.

"Not an axe murderer, I promise," Dan chuckles, holding his arms out to me. "Happy birthday!"

"Thanks," I smile, and we hug tightly.

"Have you had a good day?"

"Way better now," I smile into his chest, fuck he smells good, and he chuckles again, moving a little so he can tilt his head down to mine, and kisses me softly. My arms move from around his back to around his neck, and he kisses me harder, tracing his tongue along my bottom lip. We stand there for a few minutes, kissing and holding each other, until he pulls away, looking slightly flushed and breathing a little heavier than before.

"We should...we should go, I booked the table for like, ten minutes time, and we need to get a cab." He gives me an apologetic smile. "As much as I'd love to stay here and do that, my stomach might digest itself in a minute."

"Yeah, same...to both," I laugh, pecking his lips one last time before grabbing my coat and bag.

"Come on birthday girl, let's go eat sushi until we have to be California-rolled out of the restaurant."

"...I hate you."

"I'm sorry."

***

A couple of days later, I'm on the train to Kemble as I travel to see my family for the weekend. I close my eyes happily as the sound of Muse fills my ears, and let the gentle movement of the train lull me to sleep.

Until my phone vibrates in my lap.

And it doesn't stop vibrating.

I open my eyes, raising an eyebrow in confusion as I stare down at my phone screen. My Twitter, Instagram and Facebook notifications are completely blowing up with mentions, follows and direct messages. They're all coming in so fast I can't even see what they're all saying, so I unlock my phone and turn off all notifications for the mean time, deciding I'll check them all when I'm connected to my mum's wifi.

From: Jo
are you there yet? X

To: Jo
My train left like forty minutes ago, so no x

From: Jo
Okay, but have you seen this????

Attached to her last message is a picture. I open it and I swear my heart stops.

It's a blurry, dark picture, but once you zoom in you can clearly make out Dan and I, walking hand in hand out of my apartment building on the night of my birthday.

Oh, shit.

From: Jo
Mate, Dan's subscribers are going MENTAL online, someone has done some serious stalking and found out your name and everything.

To: Jo
That explains why my phone nearly just had a meltdown from all the notifications...I can't check them atm, I'll have to wait until I'm at mum's

From: Jo
Alright, call me when you get there, yeah? X

To: Jo
Np x

The rest of the journey has me on edge, and it seems to go by so, so slowly, and the fact that I haven't heard from Dan at all today makes me incredibly nervous.

Fast forward a few hours, and I'm in my childhood bedroom, loading up my laptop and shakily dialling Josie's number.

"Hey," she picks up on the first ring. "Have you checked yet?"

"I'm just doing it now...Jesus I've gained almost 500 followers in one day on Instagram," I sigh, scrolling through the list to see that they are mostly 'Phan' accounts, something Dan had mentioned a few times. "People have been commenting on my pictures too..." I trail off as I scroll through some of the comments.

omg surely Dan has better standards than this?! Who tf is this fat bitch?!

ugly

wtf dan is way out of her league

she looks like she could crush dan omg

WHAT ABOUT PHIL OMG DAN WHY

her nose ring looks so trashy

Slut

THIS BITCH BETTER BACK THE FUCK OFF DAN DESERVES WAY BETTER UGH DIE PLS

Most of the comments on any recent pictures are pretty similar, a rare few nice comments mixed in. I check Twitter and people are re-tweeting the picture, mentioning myself and Dan and demanding to know everything. I have to admit, there are a few nice accounts, congratulating Dan and wishing us all the best, saying what a nice couple we were etc but they are seriously outweighed by the hate. My personal Facebook has been flooded with friend requests and message requests, telling me to fuck off and die, to back off because Dan is THEIRS, and calling me a home wrecker for ruining Phan. The one message that gets to me the most is one telling me to hang myself. I let out a shaky gasp, and tears begin to fall down my cheeks.

"Kate? You okay?" Shit, I forgot Jo was still on the phone.

"Y-yeah, I'm fine," I sniff, wiping my eyes with my hoodie sleeve.

"Don't lie to me, I've seen the comments, Kate, you'd have to be a soulless monster to not be okay," Jo is using her mum voice now, and it just makes me cry harder. "Don't listen to them, yeah? Make all your social media private. Has Dan said anything to you yet?"

"No," I hiccup. "I haven't heard from him since yesterday, but he's doing a live show tonight I think, in about ten minutes, so I won't text him until after."

"Okay, well, just ignore all this shit okay? It's not worth your time or your energy, they're just crazy 14 year old kids with nothing better to do. It's jealousy and boredom."

"Yeah, yeah," I say absent mindedly. I just want to crawl into bed and sleep for the next five years until this goes away. Jo and I say goodbye, and five minutes later, I click on the link Dan has tweeted for his live show.

My eyes well with tears again as I watch him; he's usually so happy and sweet to his fans but tonight he is coming across as really on edge and irritated, despite trying to cover it up with his usual sarcastic humour.

"Dan, can you talk about your girlfriend? asks Lolly," Dan visibly tenses, and I cringe as I watch the chat box flood with questions about me. "No, Lolly, i won't talk about anything like that, you guys seriously need to ease up on the fucking stalking. Honestly guys, please stop spamming me or anyone that I know with hateful comments and stuff about my private life, cos I do see it all and some of the stuff I've seen today has been awful. I'm really disappointed. If I was in a relationship, I'd hope you guys would be supportive and respectful, and some of you have been but most of you have been really nasty, so let's put a stop to it yeah?" He snaps, looking physically exhausted as he runs a hand through his hair.

I sigh heavily, closing the lid of my laptop and sitting in silence, chewing the skin around my thumbnail. I knew everything with Dan was too good to be true. He'd warned me about his subscribers but I never thought I'd be receiving death threats and messages telling me to kill myself over simple hand holding.

About an hour and a half later, as I'm mindlessly scrolling through Tumblr, a Skype video call request from Dan pops up in the bottom corner of my screen. I accept, of course, and force a smile as it connects and he's there in front of me.

"Hi!" God I sound way too happy, dial it back a bit, Kate, Jesus Christ.

"Hey, you made it safely then?" He smiles, and I feel my gut wrench with sadness.

"I did, welcome to my childhood bedroom." I smile, gesturing around me even though he can't see much. He laughs.

"Sorry I haven't text you today, I met up with some friends and then I was working on a new video...guess I lost track of time and I didn't want to harass you with endless messages, I know you're with your family."

"To be honest, I've been in my room for like the last few hours ignoring everyone so it's just like old times," I laugh, pulling my hoodie over my hands like paws. "How has your day been?"

Dan sighs. Oh fuck.

"Pretty shit to be honest, and I guess yours has been the same?"

I nod silently, cursing myself as I feel my eyes watering once more. I quickly wipe at them. Dan looks incredibly concerned. "Kate, I'm so sorry...I've seen the shit on Twitter and Instagram-"

"It gets a lot worse," I mumble, avoiding looking at him. "People found my Facebook too. I never realised hand holding with someone from YouTube warranted death threats and teenage girls telling me to hang myself ."

Dan looks like he's going to be sick. "You're joking?"

"I really wish I was."

"Fuck...I'm so sorry...this is completely my fault-"

"Is it though? I'm the one they're targeting, not you. I don't wanna wake up every morning to messages like this, Dan, I can't. Maybe it's best if we just...don't do this anymore." The words taste bitter as they leave my mouth. In all honesty, that's the last thing I want but the level of viciousness I've experienced has terrified me. "I don't want to cause drama for you, this is your career-"

"Y-you don't want to see me anymore?" Dans voice is heart breaking, and I look at him in the tiny Skype window. He's turned incredibly pale and looks as if he might cry. "Kate...please...w-we can make this work, yeah? We just have to keep it more private, we can do date nights at my place, or at yours, we don't have to go out anywhere, I know that's shit but it's still early days, I really like you and I don't want this to end, once we know each other better, it'll be okay, they'll just have to except it. I don't care what they say, I like you and that's all that matters, I'll do whatever it takes-"

I cut him off by promptly bursting into tears. He looks absolutely terrified. "K-Kate? I'm sorry, I-"

"No, it's not you," I sob, covering my face with my hands. Fuck, he's being so fucking nice and I just tried to push him away?! What the fuck am I doing?! "Fuck, I'm a mess, sorry Dan, you don't need to see this..."

"It's okay," he says softly. He lets me cry for a few more minutes, waiting until I'm at the horrible snotty and hiccupy stage before he speaks again. "What do we do now?"

"I...don't know." I mumble, avoiding his eyes. "I just need some time to...to think."

"Oh, o-okay, sure, yeah, of course," I can hear the fear in Dan's voice and I feel so guilty. "Can I see you when you come back to London?"

I nod. "I'll text you when I'm back."

"Are you going to be okay?"

I hate myself.

"I'll be fine, I'll see you in a few days, okay?" I give him the best smile I could muster at that point. He smiles back sadly.

"Text me if you need to."

"Bye, Dan."

***

"And you left it at that?! You haven't spoken to him since?!" Jo screeches at me from the end of my bed, where I'm currently laid, burritoed in my duvet and attempting to hide from the world.

The nasty, hateful comments hadn't stopped over the last few days, although they had depleted in volume. I guess people had gotten over the picture now and it was kind of old news, but it didn't stop people expressing their thoughts. I made my Instagram and Twitter private, and declined any message requests and new friends requests on my personal Facebook, which was also made private. What I couldn't make private, however, were the comments on Dan's Twitter, Instagram and even his YouTube channel. It was so embarrassing, but there was nothing I could do to stop it.

"I didn't know what else to say, Jo! He looked so upset and I was sat there bawling my eyes out, god I'm such a fucking idiot-"

"Okay, you're gonna need to surface if you want to talk to me, I cannot understand a word you're saying when it's muffled by your duvet, babe."

I poke my head out of my cocoon, and Jo is looking at me with a mixture of sympathy and pity. I must've looked a state to be fair; I'd been back in the flat for two days and all I'd left my bedroom for was to find food and use the bathroom. "You're a mess."

"I'm aware. I'm also trashy, fat and ugly, in case you wanted to throw those in there too." I snap and Jo frowns.

"That's not what I meant and you know it. And you're none of those things, Kate, stop it." She leans over and hugs me, despite how bad I must stink. "I love you but you're being a twat right now. You need to call Dan, text him, whatever, and you need to decide what you're going to do. You can't leave him hanging, it's cruel."

"But what do I do?" I mumble into her hoodie.

"Well, I know you like him, so I think you'd be stupid to sack this off over a few stupid 14 year olds. You guys can still have a relationship or whatever without it being public. Think about it like this: what if Dan was just a normal guy, a non-internet famous guy who you'd been seeing. He's a good looking lad, he'd be bound to have someone fancying him; what would you do if said someone came up to you in the street and starting laying into you because they were jealous?"

"I guess I'd just...ignore them," I say quietly, sitting up and rubbing my hands over my face. "Walk away and carry on being happy."

"Exactly. So why are these jealous fan girls any different? Ignore them, and carry on being happy." Jo shoots me a small smile. "Admit it; you miss him."

"I do," I sigh, flopping back on my bed. "I'm such a twat."

"Yes, you are. Well, good thing I invited him over tonight isn't it?"

"WHAT?!" I screech, sitting bolt upright and staring at my soon to be ex-best friend. "Jo, please tell me you didn't, I haven't even text him yet-"

"I know you haven't. Which is why I decided to do some damage control and tell him to come over. I will make myself scarce and you are welcome. You have about two hours before he gets here, I suggest you have a shower and sort your life out."

"I hate you," I groan, hiding under my duvet once more. I feel her plant a kiss to my duvet covered head.

"I know."

An hour and a half later, Josie has kept true to her word, and buggered off out somewhere, leaving me freshly showered and clean, freaking out as I attempt to get ready. Jo, being the angel that she is, has tidied the flat and left some scented candles burning so the place doesn't smell like self-pity, red wine and Doritos, and I'm stood in the kitchen in my Pokémon pyjama bottoms and a black vest top, with my hair wet and wavy and no make up on, when the door buzzes. I choke on my cup of tea and internally groan. Well, if Dan hadn't already decided to ditch me for being a complete and utter bitch to him, he would take one look at me now and run for the door screaming. I press the button to open the main door to the building, and then wait for his annoying musical knock he always does on the front door.

Sure enough, two minutes later, there's four taps on the door, and I unlock it, my heart practically in my throat.

Then it sinks to my stomach when my eyes settle on him; he looks awful, like he hasn't slept in days, or eaten much. But as soon as he sees me, his face lights up in a smile. He looks almost...relieved?

"Hey," he grins, and I can't help but return it. "You're back."

"Hey, I am." I step aside to let him in. Once he's shrugged off his coat and kicked his shoes off, we stand awkwardly in the hallway.

"Is it incredibly lame to say I missed you?" Dan mutters, rubbing the back of his neck. I shake my head.

"I missed you too." I admit, feeling my cheeks warm. "Dan, I'm-"

"Don't, you don't have to say that. Just...tell me if I should kiss you or just give you a friendly hug? Cos I don't really know where I stand right now."

I think back to what Jo said earlier, and I smile.

"You should definitely kiss me."

Chapter Text

December 2012
London

 

I checked my phone again, making sure this was the right address as I rang the doorbell. My heart pounded in my chest as I heard Dan's voice coming through the small speaker.

"Hello?"

"Hey, it's me," I responded, a small smile on my lips. "I brought pizza and wine!"

"Oh my god you are definitely allowed in, come on up!" The door buzzed, and I let myself into the building, following Dan's instructions to get to his apartment. He was waiting for me at the door, leaning against the door frame with his arms folded across his chest. He was wearing a black shirt with a white circle on it and grey jogging bottoms. "Hey," he grinned, leaning down to kiss me on the lips. We had been 'seeing each other' for two months or so, and, although we had been on numerous dates and stuff, tonight was the first time I had been invited to his place, and it was also the first time I was meeting his best friend, Phil. I was incredibly nervous as I was going to be staying over, due to my apartment being on the other side of London, Jo being out with some of our friends and unable to pick me up, and our plan was to consume a fair bit of wine with dinner.

Needless to say, I had some pretty decent underwear on. Y'know, just in case.

We hadn't gone much further than a fairly PG rated make out session on my sofa just last weekend, where hands wandered a little, but nothing too drastic, so I was pleasantly surprised when Dan kissed me pretty damn passionately, probably to calm me down. It felt...different. But good.

Really good.

"Mm, hi." I smiled as we broke apart, my cheeks flushing already. He had that effect on me, and apparently I did to him too, as I detected a hint of a blush on his cheeks. "How are you?"

"Way better now, you?"

"Nervous, like, really nervous," I admitted, with a small laugh. Dan chuckled and shook his head.

"Don't be silly! Phil's really excited to meet you, he's super nice, you guys will get on great!" He leads me into the apartment, offering to take the shopping bags, my overnight bag and my coat for me. I follow him up the stairs and onto the main landing, and I take my shoes off, leaving them next to the collection in the hallway. He then leads me into the kitchen, chatting to me as he puts the wine on the side and turning on the oven for the pizzas. "This is actually Phil's favourite wine, so you'll get serious points for that." Dan grins, straightening up and taking my hand. "Come on, he's in the living room."

"Okay," I nod, disguising my crippling nerves with a smile. He squeezes my hand and leads me into the living room.

"Phil, this is Kate, Kate, this is Phil!" Dan says happily. Phil gets up from the sofa, pausing the episode of Buffy he was watching and approaching me with a smile.

"Hi! It's good to meet you finally! Dan's told me so much about you," Phil gives me a friendly hug, which I return. "Well done for putting up with him for this long." He gives me a cheeky smile, and I laugh whilst Dan glares playfully at his best friend.

Phil invites me to sit down with him whilst Dan puts the pizzas in.

"So, Dan says you're a photographer?" Phil asks, taking a glass of wine from Dan as he comes back into the lounge. I take my own and take a sip, nodding.

"Well, I have a degree in photography, but right now I'm working as a junior retoucher in a family portrait studio, so I learn a lot on the job. I do a lot of my own stuff in my spare time."

"That's awesome, Dan showed me some of your stuff, you've really got a good eye!" Phil sips his wine, and I feel my cheeks warming slightly. "And good taste in wine," he looks at Dan. "I like her!"

Dan chuckles from the chair opposite us, and I smile at him. "Good, I'm glad you approve, Phil."

"So, Buffy, huh?" I grin, gesturing at the screen in front of us. "I love this episode! Willow and Tanya are my OTP for life."

"You watch Buffy?!"

"Hell yeah, it's one of my favourite TV shows!" I pull out my phone and show Phil a photo. "My best friend and I went to LA last year for a little holiday and we actually somehow managed to spot Sarah Michelle Gellar out in the wild."

"Oh, Jesus on a boat..." Dan sighs, laughing. "Not you as well..."

Neither of us notice him leaving the room.

"WHAT?! You SAW her?! What was she like?!" Phil practically snatches my phone away to stare at my screen. It was an awful photo, extremely pixelated from the zoom but you could definitely make her out, alongside her husband at a restaurant in downtown LA.

"She was so tiny and perfect! Like, I almost missed her from where I was sat, and she was eating a salad of all things!! I mean, there I was with my Hulked out, supersized burger and fries and she's there all perfect and small, chewing on some leaves-"

"If you guys are done fangirling, dinner's ready," Dan interrupted, placing the pizzas on the coffee table in front of us. "I'm glad you guys are getting along and all but...Wanna include me in the conversation?"

"Soz, mate," Phil giggled, his tongue poking out between his teeth as he looked at me, and I couldn't help but smile. We ate our pizzas and watched the rest of the Buffy episode, the wine going down way too well. Before I knew it, we had made it through the bottle I brought, and two of the boys' own bottles, the conversation flowing effortlessly. I felt like I had known Phil for years, and it was obviously a big deal to Dan who, despite making jokes about not feeling included, had slipped his fingers in between mine and squeezed my hand gently every time Phil and I laughed about something.

A few hours later, I checked my phone and realised just exactly how long we had all been talking for.

"Oh damn, I've been chewing your ear off for like four hours now, I am so sorry!" I gasp, feeling incredibly bad for keeping them up so late.

"You don't need to apologise! To be honest, it's not usually we have people over and just hang out, this has been really nice!" Phil insisted, his smile making me feel at ease again.

"Basically what Phil's trying to say is that we are massive losers with no friends," Dan laughed, draining the last of his wine from his glass. "But, honestly, it's totally fine, we would have kicked you out by now if we didn't want you here." He grins at me, shooting me a wink. I giggle, finishing my own wine. Phil also finishes his glass, before standing up and yawning.

"Well, I hope you don't think I'm super rude now, but I think I'm going to head to bed. That wine has made me super sleepy," he says, an apologetic tone to his voice. He hugs me and tells me how nice it's been to meet me, and I say the same back. He then heads into his room and shuts the door, leaving Dan and I alone in the lounge. Dan quickly darts out of the room, coming back in a few moments later and smiling at me.

After clearing up, Dan and I scoot closer together on the couch, and he puts his arm along the back of it, just barely touching my shoulders.

"So that went well," he says, the smile evident in his voice. He also sounded slightly relieved.

"It really did. Phil is awesome, he's so sweet," I nod, smiling. "I think he and Jo would get on very well."

"I think you're right about that," he smirked, having properly met Jo himself a few weeks ago when he came to my place and for a change, she hadn't made herself scarce. "Maybe we should-"

"Definitely." I agree, knowing immediately what he was going to say, and we both laugh quietly to ourselves. "But seriously, thank you for having me over, it's been really nice."

"Don't thank me just yet, you still have to survive a night with me." He winks, and I raise my eyebrows, smirking at him. He then realises what he's said, his face changing from smiley to absolutely horrified. "Oh my god, ohmygod, no, wait, I didn't mean it like that-"

I burst out laughing, rolling around on the sofa as Dan turns practically purple with embarrassment. "Actually shut up, you know I didn't mean it like that." He's laughing as he says it.

"I-I'm sorry," I giggle, covering my mouth in an attempt to stop my laughter. He fake glares at me and I lean over, kissing his cheek. "I'm not laughing at you, I swear."

"Guess you'll just have to make it up to me," he smirks, pulling me close to him. I smile up at him as he presses a soft kiss to my lips.

"Hm, I guess I will," I mumble against his lips, and kiss him back. The kiss starts out soft and innocent, both of us not really sure how far the other wanted to go. I assure him that I'm comfortable, swiping my tongue over his lower lip. He groans, opening his mouth against mine and the kiss deepens, growing more intense. He shifts us mid kiss, lying me down on the couch and holding his body above mine, similar to last weekend at my apartment. He breaks the kiss and looks down at me.

"Is this okay? We don't have to do anything you don't want to." Dan says sweetly, brushing some hair away from my face. "If this is going too fast-"

"Dan, it's okay, it's more than okay," I whisper back. "I want this, if you do?"

"You're kidding me right? I've wanted this since I first saw you," he admits, a blush creeping over his cheeks. "I just didn't want to rush anything and ruin it all, like I normally do."

"You haven't, don't worry," I assure him once more, capturing his lips in a quick kiss. "Promise."

"Good, cos...I really like you, like, a lot." Dan sits up, pulling me with him and into a hug.

"I really like you too. Even if you did ruin my jacket."

"Hey! I got it dry cleaned didn't I? You said it was fine!"

I laugh again and Dan pokes me in the side, realising I was joking. "Y'know, I was gonna ask you to be my girlfriend but if you're just gonna be mean..."

I'm taken aback by his comment. Obviously the shock must have been evident on my face as his face quickly switches from his cocky smirk to panic. "I-I mean, you don't have to say yes I was just going to ask...I know we've been seeing each other for a little while now, and I really like you, and I want to like, make it official and stuff-

"Dan."

"-and the stuff with the fans, like, I totally get it if you don't want to be official, god, I hate that word why the fuck do I keep saying i-"

"Dan."

"-and Phil really likes you so that's the most important thing, but if you don't want to then that's okay, I might just need a year or two to get over the crushing rejection-"

I roll my eyes as he's blabbering away to himself, and silence him by grabbing his tshirt and pulling him into me, practically smashing our lips together. His body immediately relaxes against mine, and he kisses me back.

"So, is that a yes?" Dan breathes out against my mouth. I laugh softly.

"What do you think?" I reply, brushing my nose against his before re-attaching our lips.

We kiss passionately for a few minutes, getting lost in each other. Hands begin to wander on both parts, and Dan lets out a quiet moan, gently rolling his hips forward into mine, which in turn causes me to also moan into his mouth. He quickly pulls away.

"Shit, shit, sorry, I'm getting carried away," he stutters nervously, running a hand through his fringe. "I'm such a twat-"

"Dan, relax, you haven't done anything wrong." I squeeze his hand that's still resting on my waist. "In case you didn't notice, I actually liked it, hence the embarrassing noise I made."

"It wasn't embarrassing, at all, it was...really hot actually." Dan chuckles, and both of our faces flush bright red. I wasn't used to hearing stuff like that from a guy, let alone a guy as good looking and sweet as Dan. "I just don't want my apparently 15 year old hormones to push you into something you don't want to do."

I sigh, smiling as I roll my eyes and push him back into the sofa, straddling his lap. "If anything, I just pushed you. Now, please kiss me again?"

"Like you had to ask," Dan smirks, obviously feeling a lot more confident now I had assured him things were okay. His hands rest on my hips as he leans up and kisses me once more. My hands tangle in his hair as we drink in each other's quiet moans and soft sighs. We weren't quite ready to go all the way yet, but it was clear that tonight could be the night we went a little further than we have. To ensure him I'm still okay, as Dan is all about that consent life, I take one of his hands and place it on my chest.

Surprisingly, he doesn't stop kissing me, but instead groans beneath me, his palm gently touching and squeezing my boob as his other hand slides further down onto my bum. I experimentally rock my hips downwards slightly and Dan gasps into our kiss, his hand grasping my bum tighter.

My mind is focused on nothing but Dan, Dan, Dan as hands wander and his mouth explores mine, but then his lips trail down my jaw and neck softly, and my grip in his hair tightens as sparks shoot through my entire body. "Dan..." I gasp, my voice some kind of cross between a whisper and a moan.

"Mm," I feel him grinning against my neck, and my brain just flatlines. I pull him back up to my mouth, kiss him for a few seconds and then I copy his previous actions, placing slow, gentle kisses along his sharp jaw line, to just below his ear-"Fuck!" He gasps and swears a little too loudly and his entire body tenses. I immediately pull back.

"Did I do something wrong?!"

"N-no, it's just...fuck, my neck, I've got this thing about my neck being touched, especially in a situation like this, it's like a fucking external g-spot, is that weird?" Dan's face is bright red, it's actually really cute. I shake my head.

"Not weird at all, but I can avoid it if you want, y'know, if it really affects you that much."

"No, no! I mean...it felt like, really good..." he chews his lip in a nervous manner. "Um, just, if you keep doing it..."

"Oh....oh." I suddenly realise what he's saying. Of course, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hugely turned on as well. "Sorry..."

"We're so lame," Dan chuckles, and I giggle with him. "You don't have to apologise. But, I think we should maybe not do this on the sofa, at least, not this time." He winks at me and I roll my eyes, pecking his lips softly and rolling off of him. He stands up, adjusting himself in his joggers, and I bite my lip to control my nervous giggles as I notice it hasn't done much to conceal anything. "Wow, way to kick my pride right in the balls."

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at your...pride," I laugh. "I'm nervous and I get giggly, I can't help it."

"Don't be nervous, we don't have to do anything you don't want to," Dan says sweetly, pulling me up from the sofa and kissing me softly. "Come on, let me show you my nerdy Nirvana."

"I am never coming into your room if you call it that again." I tease as he links his fingers through mine, turning off the lights and leading me out of the living room and down the small corridor. Dan opens a door right next to what I assume is Phil's bedroom, and I step inside. The smell of Dan engulfs me immediately, mixed in with some sort of scented candle that I can't quite put my finger on. The room is softly lit with some fairy lights along his bed's headboard, and a weird but cool looking amber lamp on top of a chest of drawers on the other side of the room. There's an old looking piano just by the door, which I almost walk in to, and a desk by the window. I can just about make out a white chair- "Dan, is that a...butt chair?"

"It's a butt chair, dont furniture shame me." Dan says softly, closing the door behind him.

"Not at all, just asking." I shrug, smirking at him. "I like it. Your room is bloody massive, makes my apartment look like a flipping shoebox."

"Yeah, we got pretty lucky with this place. I mean, don't get me wrong, it definitely has its pros and cons. Like the neighbour downstairs who has really aggressive and loud sex with his girlfriend every morning at 8am, the constant drilling out the back, the traffic-"

"Wait, wait, wait, what?!" I stare at him. "What did you say?"

"The...traffic?"

"No, no, the first one!"

"Oh, the aggressive and loud sex havers directly below my bedroom? Yeah, every morning at 8 without fail, it's kind of gross and concerning. It's not normal sex noises either, it's like-" he then proceeds to make extremely over the top moans and grunts, and I laugh, clapping my hands over his mouth as my cheeks flush.

"Oh my god, shut up, shut up, shut up, I get it!" My cheeks must be luminous in the soft lighting by now. He licks my palm and I immediately pull it away. "Dan! You're so gross!" I laugh, trying my best to keep my voice down.

"I'm gross, but I'm your boyfriend so you have to like it," Dan smirks and I roll my eyes. "That sounds weird, doesn't it?"

"A little," I let him wrap his arms around my waist, and mine immediately go around his neck. "Hi."

"Hello," he says softly, leaning down to press his lips to mine. The kiss starts out soft, but quickly grows a lot more heated. We break for air, and Dan asks "Do you...want to get comfy?"

"Yeah," I whisper, feeling incredibly nervous all over again as he leads me over to his bed. We sit down on the edge together, and resume our kissing, even more passionate than before. We quickly adjust ourselves so we're lying down, our hands roaming all over each other. My hands don't go any lower than his stomach as I don't want to overstep my boundaries. I whimper as Dan's hands skim my boobs; I'm so turned on it's actually pathetic.

"Fuck, you make the hottest noises," Dan almost growls against my neck as he kisses it. He gently nips below my ear and I gasp, my back arching slightly, and my thigh brushes against his crotch. I feel how hard he is through his joggers, and my whole body is practically aching to touch him. Suddenly the room feels far too hot, and I just want to feel his skin against mine.

"Can I...?" I whisper, tugging on the bottom of his tshirt, and he knows exactly what I'm asking. We both sit up and together we remove his tshirt, throwing it somewhere in his room. I bite my lip as I look at him for the first time; he is perfect. "Okay, I'm having serious lack of body confidence right now." I whisper, as I touch his soft skin. He shivers and curses under his breath. I decide to be brave, sitting up and peeling off my top, leaving me in my (best) bra and jeans. Dan's eyes rake over me and suddenly I felt overly aware of how I looked with less clothing on; I wasn't fat, but I had curves. My stomach could be a little less soft, my ass could be a little bit more round, my boobs could be more perky-

"I can practically hear you thinking," Dan smiles kindly at me, brushing some hair away from my face. "You're beautiful, so fucking beautiful." He kisses me again, much harder and deeper, making us both moan into each other's mouths.

After kissing and touching and basically just exploring each other for a good half an hour, both of us are panting and flushed. At some point, Dan's joggers and my jeans were removed and discarded somewhere in the abyss of his room, and we'd moved on to some serious heavy petting.

I wrap my hand around Dan's cock through his boxers as he unclips my bra, gently pushing the straps down my shoulders. Once that's off, he ghosts his fingers over my nipples, making me mewl and grip him a little harder. "Dan...please..." I shiver as he runs his fingers down my body, stopping just above my underwear. "Please..."

"Yeah?" He whispers, and I nod, and he slowly dips his hand into my underwear. "You can if you want," he gestures to my hand, and I nod once more, slipping my hand under the band of his Calvin Kleins. I resume stroking him and he gasps and bucks his hips into my hand. "Ngh, mm...!" I smirk at his noises. Okay, so he's a loud one.

I moan quietly in response as he runs a finger over me. I grab his wrist with my free hand, moving his hand to where I need him to touch me. "You feel so good," he breathes, shifting closer to me to continue our make out session.

Once we've found a good rhythm, I start to kiss his neck softly, running my tongue over his pulse point. He moans loudly, and smashes his mouth to mine. Our kiss is barely a kiss now, more teeth biting lips as we move our hands on each other faster. "Close," Dan gasps out against my lips. I don't stop moving my hand on him as I kiss his neck again, making him swear and shudder. I gently bite just underneath his ear and he grunts, his body tensing. "Fuck, fuck, I'm gonna-" is all he manages to get out before he groans and shudders once more, coming all over my hand and on the inside of his boxers.

The sight of his orgasm face, the way he sounds and looks, plus his fingers touching me in just the right place has me coming quickly after him, and he kisses me quickly to muffle my moans as my back arches off the bed.

Dan continues to kiss me softly as we try and catch our breath, our hands and bodies still touching each other. He then grimaces.

"So this is not sexy at all, but I should clean up..." he looks down at his now stained boxers, with my hand still in them. He manoeuvres himself to reach for some tissues on his nightstand, and hands them to me. When we've cleaned up, he lets me wear his tshirt to go to the bathroom in, where I brush my teeth and change into my actual pyjamas, and then I quickly head back to his room, where he's already in bed, scrolling through his phone. I close the door and place my things in my bag, standing awkwardly by the bed. "You can get in, you spork." Dan laughs, throwing back the covers and patting the bed beside him. I do so, lying back down next to him. "You okay?" He asks, putting his phone down and turning to face me. He puts an arm over my side. "Was it...was everything alright? Was it really terrible?"

"I mean, you made me come using just your hands so no," I laugh, my cheeks warming. "You're the first guy to ever do that, so it was definitely good." He looks extremely proud of himself. "What about you?"

"Are you actually kidding me? I don't remember the last time I came that quickly, embarrassing as that is. For a first time, I think we did pretty well."

I smile and kiss him softly, before yawning. We talk quietly for a bit longer, before we decide to go to sleep. Dan's arms wrap around me, holding me close to him. I link my fingers through his, feeling completely relaxed and happy. "Dan?"

"Mm?" He mumbles back, half asleep.

"I really hope Phil was asleep, otherwise I'll never be able to look him in the eyes again."

"Oh my god."

Chapter Text

January 2013
London

 

"I am shitting myself."

Once again, I am pacing up and down my room in my pyjamas, in a blind panic, trying to pick out an outfit for tonight. Dan and Phil were going live on the radio for the very first time, and both of their families were in London to support them. Plans had been made for dinner afterwards and Dan had invited me along to meet his parents, as apparently his mum wouldn't stop badgering him about meeting me.

Jo rolls her eyes from her position in front of my wardrobe.

"Honestly, you need to calm down. If Dan wasn't sure that his mum and dad would like you, he wouldn't invite you to meet them, right?" She says calmly, picking out my nicest 'dressy' pair of black skinny jeans and laying them on my bed. She then follows with a long-ish black oversized and distressed jumper , and places my black Dr Martens alongside it. "Then you wear the new coat your mum got you for Christmas, kay?"

"The military one?"

"The military one."

"Okay." I take a breath. "Fuck I still have to do my hair and makeup and ughhhhhh!"

"Jesus, you're a mess. Sit your ass down and do your makeup, and don't fuck it up." Jo smirks, and I flip her off.

"Okay, RuPaul, leave me in peace."

*

Jo and I watch the show online together as I'm getting ready, and words can't describe how proud I am of both Dan and Phil. They killed it, and I was already looking forward to next week's show.

Dan texts me about an hour after the show has ended with the restaurant information, apparently R1 was paying for it all as a sort of congratulations on their first show, and I quickly Google the restaurant, internally shitting my pants when I realise how fancy it is. He reassures me that nobody is dressed for a place as fancy as that, so I wasn't to worry, and to text him when I was outside so he could meet me.

"Okay, so, I'm gonna go, wish me luck!" I grin nervously to Jo, who hugs me and then practically shoves me out of the front door.

"Good luck, hope they don't hate you!" She calls as I make my way down the stairs. I flip her off before heading out of the apartment building. My taxi is waiting outside, and I hop in. Luckily the taxi journey isn't too long and I text Dan once again about fifteen minutes later to let him know I was stood outside the fancy restaurant, freezing my tits off.

"I hope your tits aren't frozen off cos I would miss them," Dan chuckles as he pokes his head outside, making me jump. "Nervous much?"

"You have no idea," I grimace, stepping inside. He chuckles softly, kissing my cheek and taking my coat for me.

"Relax, they'll love you. My mum is like a kid at Christmas though, you'll have to excuse her."

"It's fine," we step into the main restaurant and I swear quietly under my breath. Dan links his fingers through mine, leaning in to whisper.

"I know, right? It's snazzy as hell."

He leads me through the crowded restaurant, taking me into a private room at the back, where a group of people are sat talking amongst themselves. I make eye contact with Phil, who gets up and hugs me in greeting, and I wave to his brother Martyn, who I've met once or twice. There's a petite, stunning red headed woman next to Martyn, who I presume must be his girlfriend that I've heard about. She smiles kindly at me as Dan introduces me to her. I'm then introduced to Phil's parents, who are the sweetest people on earth, and finally Dan walks me over to his family's end of the table. He was right - his mum looks absolutely delighted as I smile at her.

"Mum, Dad, this is Kate, Kate, this is my mum and dad. Oh, and that's my brother Adrian on the end there." Dan says, looking slightly nervous himself. Dan's mum and dad get up to greet me, whereas Adrian (who looks so much like Dan it's actually scary) gives me a friendly smile before going back to his phone.

"Oh, it's so nice to meet you finally! Dan's told us all about you!" His mum grins, enveloping me in a friendly hug. She pulls back, holding me at arms length. "But he never mentioned how beautiful you are! Daniel, you're way out of your league, my love!"

My face flushes, but I stutter out a thank you. Dan is also bright red.

"Alright mum, that's enough." He grumbles. Dans mum sends me a cheeky wink and I know straight away that I love this woman. Dan's dad also gives me a friendly hug.

"It's good to meet you Kate, I hope you're keeping this one in line? No more smearing your face in hundreds of pots of yogurt or shoving ice cubes down your pants, eh, Dan?"

"What?!" I burst out laughing, looking at Dan, who currently looks like he wants to die.

"Dad, please..."

"I'll tell you all about it later," Dan's dad grins at me and I nod eagerly.

"Please do."

We sit down to order our food, and I immediately feel so welcomed and comfortable around both Dan and Phil's families.

"So, what did you think?" Dan asks me as everyone is talking amongst themselves. "Did you like it?"

"I loved it, you guys were amazing. I'm so proud," I jokingly pinch his cheek. "And don't worry, your hair looked perfect for the entire thing."

"Ah, I feel so much better about it all now." Dan grins, flicking his fringe away from his eyes. "What about the music?"

"Perfect. Good mix of stuff, and the last song-"

"I know it's one of your favourites," Dan smiles. And he was right; Fireflies by Owl City is one of my guilty pleasures and I can't help but love it. When they had played it, I had to try my best not to cry or squeal with delight. Dan had discovered my love for the song by accident, when he had snuck up on me in his kitchen one day dancing and singing along to it at the top of my lungs as I did the washing up. I had stayed over the night before, and Dan and Phil had a meeting at Radio 1 the next morning. Dan had left at 9, leaving me in bed until about 11, but after playing a few games for a while, I was bored and decided to tidy up. They were done a lot quicker than I thought they would be, and because of the volume of my iPod I didn't hear them come in. It was also extremely mortifying because I was wearing my incredibly short pyjama shorts so my bum was basically hanging out for the world, or in my case, Phil, to see.

"It is, and it was really sweet of you to choose it," I smile, leaning my head on his shoulder. He kisses the top of my head, and we resume talking with everyone else.

A few hours later, after much food, a fair few glasses of wine and cocktails, and hilarious stories about teen Dan from his dad, we all begin to say our goodbyes. Dan's mum practically begs me to come back to Reading with Dan for her birthday celebrations in a few weeks' time, and his dad seems just as enthusiastic about it. I agree, as they are extremely lovely people, and Dan gives my hand a subtle squeeze. Adrian doesn't say much, but he smiles at me and waves as they leave the restaurant. Phil's family is next to leave, and Phil goes with them as he's travelling up north for a few days for his grandparents' wedding anniversary celebrations.

"Make sure you don't leave all the lights on this time, Dan, it's my turn to pay the electric this month, so don't read CreepyPasta at 2am, yeah?" Phil winks at Dan before he gets into a taxi with his family, all of them waving goodbye to us.

"Well, seeing as I'm not allowed to leave the lights on all night, do you want to come back to the flat and protect me from Slenderman?" Dan asks, grinning at me. I nod; I already had some overnight bits at his place so I didn't need to go home at all.

It's not until we're in the back of a taxi that I suddenly realise something. Dan and I had never had the opportunity to be alone in his flat over the past few months. At least, not for more than ten minutes when Phil goes downstairs to collect the takeaways we've ordered, which was plenty of time to sneak a few kisses in, but nothing else. Sure we'd done some stuff both in his room and mine, but nothing more than...using hands.

I smirk to myself; maybe tonight was the night I could really show Dan how proud I was of him. I place my hand on his skinny jean-clad thigh and rub it affectionately. He looks down and smiles, giving me a wink before turning to look out of the window once more, both of us sat in a comfortable silence.

As soon as we step inside the door and take off our coats and shoes, I practically pounce on him, kissing him hard and pushing him against the wall. He makes a noise of surprise, that quickly turns into a soft moan as I gently bite his bottom lip. "What's this for?" He chuckles softly, as I trail kisses down his jaw and onto his neck, making him gasp and shudder slightly. "N-not that I'm complaining or anything..."

"Just wanted to show you how proud I am of you," I mumble against his skin. "You were amazing tonight, so I wanna do something for you."

"Y-yeah? Like wh-FUCK!" Dan curses loudly as I palm him through his jeans.

"Shh," I giggle, pecking his lips softly. "We might be alone but you still have neighbours."

"They won't hear anything when we're upstairs, come on," Dan takes my hand and practically sprints up the stairs and down the hallway to his room. We undress each other in a mad frenzy (or as quickly as we can without Dan stopping to light some candles for 'a cringe romantic aesthetic'), and finally collapse on his bed in just our underwear. He pulls me on top of him and we resume kissing deeply and grinding against each other.

"Can I...do something?" I breathe against his lips, and he nods, his hands squeezing my ass tightly. I smirk, pecking his lips once more before starting to kiss down his neck and chest. I teasingly (and gently) bite his right nipple and he hisses softly, arching his back slightly. "Sorry," I giggle, kissing it apologetically as he playfully glares at me. "I'll make it up to you..." I start kissing his stomach softly, moving lower and lower-

"Woah, woah, hey, you don't-don't have to do that, if you don't want to," Dan sits bolt upright, looking almost...embarrassed? I sit up too.

"I want to, but apparently you don't want me to?" I question him, and he sighs, rubbing a hand over his face. "Dan, is something wrong? Do you not want-"

"No, nonononono, that's not it at all!" He shifts uncomfortably. "God, I really want this, you have no idea, it's just...ugh, this is so cringe, my ex girlfriend from like...four or five years ago, she never-she didn't...well, she did it, like, once and hated it-"

"Dan, it's fine, I get it." I lean over and kiss him softly. "I want to, okay? If you want it as well, of course."

"Yeah, god yes, please," Dan pants, relaxing a little and allowing me to push him back onto the bed. I smile; he was too cute. I kiss his stomach once more, trailing my tongue along the skin just above the waistband of his boxers. He swears under his breath, his hips jutting up of their own accord. I look up at him, hooking my fingers in his boxers and slowly pulling them down his legs. Once they're off, I stroke him slowly, making him moan loudly before taking the tip of him into my mouth and sucking gently, making sure to use my tongue piercing to its full advantage. "Fu-oh, my god," he balls the duvet up in his hands and tries to refrain from thrusting upwards into my mouth, and it's the hottest fucking thing I've ever seen in my life. The flavour of him blurts out over my tongue and I moan softly in appreciation as I take him down further.

Dan is a mess. As I hollow out my cheeks and move my head, he's moaning, cursing, grunting and speaking complete gibberish. I look up at him as he hits the back of my throat and I swallow around him, and he shudders violently, his head falling back onto the pillows a few seconds after we make eye contact. "Fuck, s'good, don'wanna come yet," he breathes out, mostly to the ceiling. I pull up a little, sucking the head of his cock softly once more. Dan sits up and breathes out a few swear words as he watches me. "Can we...I-I mean are you...do you want to-?" I know exactly what he's trying to say.

I pull off of him completely, staring at him. My heart is thudding in my chest and I feel my whole body tingle in excitement. "I want to," I whisper, a small smile on my face. "But only if you do?"

"Yeah," he pulls me up so I'm straddling him once more, cupping my face in his hands. He kisses me hard, apparently not caring about where my mouth had just been. "If you're ready, I am too. But, first-"

I squeak in surprise as he moves us so that he is now on top of me. He unhooks my bra and throws it off to the side somewhere; I'm pretty sure I hear it land on his piano, which makes me giggle.

A few minutes later, however, I am not laughing. In fact, I'm moaning louder than I've ever known myself to, as Dan peels off my underwear and immediately puts his mouth on me, swirling his tongue across my clit. One of my hands grips the bed in a vice grip, and the other is tangled in his hair, tightening considerably as he pushes a finger, and then another, inside me. It doesn't take long before I'm calling out his name, my back arching off the bed as I come, harder than I have in a while. Turns out Dan is very, very good with his mouth.

"Was that...okay?" Dan moves up to lie next to me, a proud smirk on his face. I'm panting and trembling still as I gently shove him. "Guess it was." He winks and quickly wipes his mouth before kissing me again. I tremble under him.

"Dan...please," I whimper against his lips. Honestly, it's kind of embarrassing, but right now I'm so turned on and ready for him I don't even care. I reach down and wrap my hand around him once more, pumping him slowly. I nibble his bottom lip. "Please..."

"Yeah, god, yeah, just...give me a sec..." he grunts, allowing me to push him flat on his back as he reaches across to the drawer in his bedside table, rummaging around whilst I pepper kisses over his neck and chest. He moans softly as I swirl my tongue over his nipple. He finally finds the foil packet he was looking for, tearing it open. "You're sure about this?" Dan pauses to look at me. "We don't have to tonight."

"Dan, I'm 1000% sure I'd like you to fuck me right now," I smirk, taking the condom out of the packet and rolling it down his cock, making him gasp and buck his hips slightly. "Okay?"

"Okay, yeah, fuck, yes." Dan moves so he's holding himself over me, settling in between my legs. He stops again, looking at me. "You're...really beautiful, you know that?"

I blush. "You are too." I mumble, pushing his hair away from his eyes. He smiles, leaning down to kiss me softly. I gasp into the kiss as I feel him pushing slowly into me. He hears my gasp and pulls away, looking panicked. "Don't stop." I beg, and he nods, our eyes locked as he continues to push into me.

"Oh god...feels s'good," Dan pants. "You feel amazing, fuck..."

I moan in response, my whole body feeling like it's on fire. My fingers dig into his shoulders. It had been a while since I'd been with anyone. I was no virgin, but Dan was definitely the biggest by far. And it felt so good.

"Dan," I gasp out as he begins to slowly move, the drag and push of his cock making my eyes roll back in my head and goosebumps erupt all over me. "Fuck!" I cry out as he lifts my hips up slightly, the angle changing and allowing him to hit my g-spot.

"There?" He breathes, thrusting forwards once more and hitting the exact same spot.

"Fuck, yeah, there!" My moans start to get higher in pitch and louder in volume as Dan moves faster, deeper. I can already feel my orgasm hurtling towards me, and before I know it I'm crying out his name once more as he fucks into me. I pull him down to kiss me, which he does, hard and passionate.

"Oh my god...m'not gonna last," He breathes heavily against my lips. "I'm gonna-"

"It's okay, I want you to come for me," I pant, moving my head to gently suck on his neck. I feel his whole body tense, and his head falls onto my shoulder as he lets out an extremely loud and breathy moan, thrusting slowly as he comes, pulsing inside me. As he comes down from his high, he goes limp, lying on top of me as we both pant. We're both grinning like idiots.

I run my fingers gently over his bare back, drawing small circles and he shivers, making a soft noise of appreciation. "You okay?" I ask him gently, and he nods against my skin. He groans dramatically, rolling off of me and onto the empty side of the bed, pulling the condom off and tying it before throwing it into the small bin across the room.

"C'mere," he says, trying to stifle a yawn as he pulls me towards him, and pulls the duvet over us. I rest my head on his chest, listening to his heart beat. He kisses the top of my head. "That was...so good, you have no idea."

"I think I do, I was there as well," I smile, kissing the bare skin of his chest, turning and looking up at him. "But you're right, it was. You're amazing."

"No, that's Phil," Dan chuckles as I roll my eyes. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding."

I laugh, sitting up fully and clutching the covers to my naked chest. I look down at him and smile, and he smiles back, gently pushing my hair away from my eyes. And that's when I realise it.

I'm in love with Dan Howell.

*

When I wake up the next morning, I'm still naked and alone in Dan's room. The spot where he had slept last night was cold, signalling he had been out of bed for a while. I yawn, sitting up and stretching until everything's clicked and popped the way I like it, before dragging myself out of Dan's warm and extremely comfy bed. I find one of his tshirts and throw it on, then slide a pair of clean underwear on as well, before heading out of the room.

I hear music coming from the kitchen, as well as the wafting scent of bacon that makes my stomach grumble. I peek in the kitchen and see Dan in a tshirt and boxer shorts stood at the sink, washing up a couple of plates whilst some bacon and pancakes fry away on top of the stove. I recognise the music as Muse's Origin of Symmetry album, and he's softly singing along to it, his voice taking a hilarious pitch to try and match Matt Bellamy's.

"I don't think you should give up the YouTube thing to become a singer," I giggle, stepping into the kitchen. He jumps, turning around and splashing water on the floor and all over himself.

"Jesus on a fucking bicycle!" He shouts, and I burst out laughing. "Holy shit you scared the crap out of me!"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," I laugh, struggling to breathe at how funny he looks with water soaking his boxers and tshirt. "I didn't mean to scare you."

"You should be sorry, you ruined the surprise," Dan sighs dramatically. "I was going to bring you breakfast in bed."

"That sounds horrifically cliché and disgusting, I'm okay with it." I grin, walking over to him and hugging him, kissing him softly. He groans, his hands squeezing my bum, and pulls me flush against him, kissing me harder and deeper. "Morning."

"Morning," he grins, looking me up and down. "You look perfect."

"Perfect? Jeez Dan, I think the hunger is making you delirious." I laugh, gently pushing him away as my cheeks flush and warm.

"I was trying to be nice to my gf but fine, you look a mess, get out you trash bag."

I clutch my chest dramatically, making my voice wobble and crack as if I was crying. "That's the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me!"

"I know, I'm amazing."

"Actually, that's Phil." I wink, taking one of the mugs of coffee made up on the side and winking at him as I take a sip. He snorts and shakes his head, groaning at my terrible attempt at a pun.

"You're fucking terrible." He says, but he's smiling.

 

*

February 2013
London

A month later, I'm sat at work watching the clock tick away the hours on a particularly disgusting and wet Monday afternoon. After the Christmas rush, January and February were pretty quiet on the photo editing side, so I had been given the task of designing the new promo for the studio's Valentines shoots they were offering, and needless to say, I was bored out of my mind.

"You should bring your official boyfriend in, have a cute little couple's shoot for Valentine's," Alice smirks as she hovers over my desk, inspecting my work. "Then I might finally get to see what he looks like."

I scoff. "Dan and I would rather throw ourselves off the London Eye than do anything like this." I gesture to the screen. "Besides, we both think Valentines is a bunch of bullshit anyway."

"Ugh, you're so miserable," she teases me and I roll my eyes. My phone suddenly vibrates from a call on my desk and I eye it suspiciously. "Speak of the devil..Emergency?"

"Dan never calls me at work...I'll be right back," I scramble up out of my chair, grabbing my phone and dashing to the privacy of the smoker's balcony outside. I pull up my hoodie to shield me from the rain and wind. "Dan? Is everything okay?"

"Shit, I'm sorry, Kate, I know you are work but oh my god I had to tell you-"

"Dan, slow down, tell me what?"

"I hit one million subscribers!!" Dan practically yells down the phone, sounding so elated and happy. I gasp in shock, almost dropping the phone.

"What?! Dan, that's incredible!! Congratulations! I'm so proud of you, well done!" I'm grinning like an idiot and bouncing around on my toes; I must look fucking insane.

"Thanks! I'm kind of, like, in shock...how?! How has this happened?!"

"Because you are funny and extremely talented. And I guess you're kind of alright looking too." I smirk and he chuckles down the phone. "And you're really genuine, you don't come across as a dick, or up your own arse, y'know?"

"I'm sure there are still some people that see me as some posh twat with a stupid haircut-"

"-and they don't matter, Dan. What matters is 1 million people, and probably more, appreciate you and your content! This is a massive milestone, honestly I'm so proud, and you should be too!"

"Yeah, I guess I am, it's just not really sunk in yet. We're gonna order a celebration Chinese later, wanna come over?" Dan's voice lowers into his 'seductive' tone he uses both ironically and seriously. I can practically hear his smirk down the phone. "And maybe you could stay?"

I scoff, laughing softly despite my cheeks warming and my skin tingling ever so slightly underneath my jumper. "You're lucky you're so talented, Howell. You know I'm only in it for the fame, right?"

"I mean, why else would you be with me?" He jokes back, and we share a little giggle.

"No idea, you're a bit of a loser really," I grin, and he laughs loudly, telling me to fuck off. "And off I shall fuck, my boss is watching me so I better get back to work. I'll see you later, text me on the sly, yeah?"

"Of course, see you later, I lo-um, I mean, I'll, um, text you memes and stuff," Dan says quickly before we hang up. I head back into the office, grinning like a massive twat and continue with my mind numbing work.

*

"I fucking hate Valentines," I grumble as me and Josie push a shopping trolley around our local Tesco, doing our food shop for the week.

"I know, you've told me, like, ten times today." Josie isn't even bothering to hide how bored she is of me telling her about my disdain for the holiday. "At least you have a boyfriend though, think of us poor lonely souls who have to put up with this lovey dovey crap in every single shop for weeks on fucking end, reminding us how sad and lonely we really are. Thank god at midnight tonight it'll all be over for another bloody year."

"I may have a boyfriend, but he also happens to feel the same way as me. Hence why tonight we will be playing retro video games and watching an intense and violent horror movie to ward away the pink, fluffy feels of this corporate and money grabbing event." I say, gesturing to a display of flowers, chocolates and teddy bears on the end of an aisle. "Down with the patriarchy!" I yell out, punching a bear off the shelf. It lands at the feet of a horrified looking child. "Um...sorry, I'll just-" I mutter, bending down the pick it up and place it back on the shelf before scuttling away with Jo in tow, laughing her fucking head off. "Shut up."

"Does Dan know you're this much of a twat?" She winks, grabbing some tins of beans off the shelves. "Tick beans off the list."

"Ugh, why can't we just order online? I hate coming outside," I whine, dragging my feet along the floor.

"Because tonight's grocery shopping is like a bonding thing, before you ditch me for your lover yet again," Jo says, and I freeze, staring at her as guilt washes over me. She frowns. "Jesus Christ I am completely and utterly joking you overly sensitive spoon."

"Fucking hell, Jo, you arse," I mutter bitterly. She kisses me on the cheek before skipping down the aisle ahead of me. I shake my head and laugh.

Less than an hour later, Dan is ringing our doorbell, and I greet him, practically yanking him inside the flat as we kiss each other enthusiastically. Josie clears her throat from the living room, making us break apart.

"I mean, you guys are cute and all, but please, try to refrain from rubbing your perfect relationship in the faces of the painfully lonely." She smirks, tugging on her jacket and hat.

"Where are you going?" I ask, my eyebrow raised. She laughs and scoffs.

"Please, did you really think I was going to sit around and watch you two suck face all night? The girls from the salon and I are going to an anti-Valentines night at some club. Basically we're going to get shit faced and complain about being spinsters." She puts her bag on her shoulder and winks at me. "And don't worry, I'm crashing at Tilly's tonight so I won't interrupt you two lil love birds." She pecks me on the cheek and gives Dan a friendly wave as she passes us. "Stay safe kids, use protec-"

"Haha, bye Josie!" I say quickly, pushing her out of the door and closing it behind her, locking it.

"I have my key you know!" She yells from the other side of the door, before I hear her giggling and walking off down the hallway. I groan and lean against the door. Dan is doing his best not to laugh.

"Shut up," I gently kick him, and he bursts out into laughter.

"She's brilliant," he said, and I roll my eyes. "Seriously, the two of you would make a killing on YouTube."

"Sure," I say sarcastically. "Hi, by the way."

"Hello," he smiles, reaching into the bag he was holding and producing a small, potted cactus. "Happy Valentine's Day, I know you didn't want me to get you anything because you hate today, and to be honest I do as well, but I saw this and...it reminded me of...you?"

"Small, green and spiky?"

"Well I was thinking more along the lines of cute and misunderstood," he gives me a cheeky wink, making me laugh.

"I love you, you dork." I giggle, and then immediately cover my mouth, realising what I've said. Dan looks shocked. "Oh fuck, fuck, I'm so sorry, I mean-oh, fucking hell-"

"Do you really?" He asks quietly, rubbing the back of his neck. "Love me?"

I sigh, might as well come out with it now. "Y-yeah, I do," I'm speaking so quietly, it sounds like a whisper. "I know it's way too early, I'm so sorry, I'm an idiot-"

Dan says nothing, drawing me into a gentle hug and pressing me against his chest.

"If you're an idiot for saying it then I guess I am as well," he looks down at me. "I love you, too. I was freaking out because I thought it was too early but...yeah, I love you." He kisses me softly, and I burst out laughing once more. "What?!"

"We're the lamest, aren't we?" I chuckle. "We both hate Valentine's Day, yet it's the first time we've ever said 'I love you'. What a mess."

"Oh god, its such a disgusting cliché, I think I might actually vomit," Dan grimaces dramatically. "You better feed me before I empty my stomach bile on your hallway carpet."

"Wow, slow down with the romance, Dan, you're smothering me," I joke, taking him by the hand and leading him into the living room. I pull him into a kiss. "I have a present for you too, but you have to wait until later to have it." I nibble on his bottom lip teasingly. He lets out a little moan against my mouth, rolling his hips against mine. We hadn't seen each other for a few days, so he was probably as desperate as I was. I smirk and push him onto the sofa, straddling his lap. "Or maybe now."

"I changed my mind," he groans, as I strip off my hoodie, revealing the first half of the underwear I had bought earlier this week. "I fucking love Valentine's Day."

Chapter Text

Hi, hello, how are you

Apologies for not updating in like two years (yikes) but believe me, I want to continue this fic .

However... In light of Dan's most recent video uploaded on June 13th, I'm having second thoughts on continuing to write this story. I am beyond proud of Dan finally embracing who he is and no longer being afraid to show his true colours, and I am also so, so proud of Phil for supporting him and (kinda?) coming out too.

That being said, I don't want to upset anyone by continuing this work of fiction where Dan is straight, or even bi. Dan has outright said he is gay, and likes guys, and the thought of this fic offending/hurting anyone, ESPECIALLY DAN AND/OR PHIL, breaks my heart. I wrote this purely for my own entertainment and as a creative outlet. I never wanted to assume anything about Dan's sexuality, or Phil's for that matter. Their personal lives and relationships are just that - P E R S O N A L. And Dan's recent admissions shouldn't change that in any way, shape or form. If you're a Phan shipper, then good for you, but please don't take Dans video as an opportunity to harass him on whether or not he and Phil are together. If you're here for the het, then also good for you, but don't be salty that this work of fiction is exactly what is says on the tin. I guess what I'm trying to say is, no matter Dan and Phil's sexuality or relationship status, we can at least take solace in the fact that they are happy and comfortable just being them. Dan finally admitting to something as huge as this does not change the way I feel about him or Phil. I have loved and supported them both from day one, and that will never, ever change. Unfortunately I am a pathetic fangirl with a massive crush on Dan and I can't help myself tbh

If people want me to continue this, I will, as I have a few more chapters written and ready to go. But if people would rather I didn't, then that's totally fine. Please let me know what you would like.

Thank you for sticking by this fic. And happy pride 💜❤️💙💚💛🧡