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waiting to be found

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His name is Dan.

That's really all Phil knows.

His name is Dan and he's tall and he doesn’t care how badly Phil dances. He has nice hands and a nice mouth and he's touching Phil's dick right now and Dan, Dan, tall Dan with the nice hands, is his favorite person in the world right now.

(Phil might be a little drunk, but it's mostly from how turned on he is.)


Dan is loud when he comes, making someone in the stall beside them laugh hysterically. "You nutted, mate!" The man, who sounds far, far more drunk than Phil is, cackles.

"Fuck off," Dan shouts, loud in Phil's ear as Phil giggles, his face pressed against Dan's neck. Dan rubs a hand up and down Phil's back. Their jeans are still undone, dicks out and softening against each other.

Phil pulls back. The world is spinning and everything is happy. Dan's hair is wild, and he's smiling. He's got a dimple. Phil can still hear the music from the floor of the club outside.

Phil opens his mouth to ask Dan - to ask him what? For his number? To come home with him? On a date? He’s not sure the protocol.

But Dan's phone starts to ring and he fishes it out of the pocket of his skintight jeans, then squints at it and sighs. "Fuck, gotta go. Thanks, though. This was great."


Phil finds Bryony at the bar just where he left her twenty minutes before.

He asks the bartender for a glass of water. The bartender rolls his eyes, and Phil shrinks back.

"Phil, you dog," Bryony says, because she can take one look at him and just tell.

(Of course she can.)

"Shut up," Phil says.

He's not very eloquent at the best of times, particularly not so after he's just come his brains out.

"Where'd lover boy go, then?" She asks, peering around. "You two were glued to each other before."

Phil shrugs, face heating a little. "Dunno. Gone, I guess."

"One and done?" She gives him a sympathetic smile and pats his arms. "Nothing wrong with that. Come on - I've ordered us more shots."


The London streets are cold and quiet compared to the sweaty throbbing bustle of the club. It's early, not even midnight. Bryony's still there, but Phil had barely stuck it out half an hour after -

After Dan.

He isn't too far off from his flat, but he takes the long way 'round because he's not ready to disappear back into the quiet familiarity of his life.

He feels new, right now. He feels different. Not like himself.

He feels like someone who kisses boys because they're pretty, who lets himself be kissed back hard and felt up and pulled down a hall into a toilet.

But it'll fade. He'll step foot in his front door and blink his eyes and wonder who that person was. He'll wake up in the morning and find his every action from the night before a mystery.

He pulls his coat tighter around himself. Coffee, he thinks - he'll get a coffee, and he'll sit, and he’ll let himself be this version of himself for just a little longer.


A thought floats through Phil's head; his mum and how she says coincidences don't happen, that sometimes the world just needs something to be, whether you'd like to have a say in it or not.

Coincidence, he tells himself.

No, his heart pounds.

Because he's standing in front of the coffee shop half a block down from his flat and he's staring inside.

At Dan.


Dan's alone. He's at the counter, waiting on a drink.

He looks different than before. Younger, but not in a bad way. Just - vulnerable, maybe. His arms are wrapped around himself and he's tapping his foot and there's a spot on his face that's pink.

The girl behind the counter says something to him and he looks flustered.

Phil thinks about walking away, but coincidences don't exist and Dan tasted like sugar before. Maybe he'll taste like coffee now.

He pushes the door open.


Dan notices Phil just as he's reaching for his drink. His hand jerks sharply in surprise and coffee splashes out of his cup.

"Did you follow me?" Dan demands.

"No!" Phil asks, holding his hands up. "I swear. I live near here, I was just walking home."

The girl behind the counter glances over with a lazy kind of interest. Phil realizes after a moment that she's also waiting for him to order. He normally goes for something sweet but tonight he just says, "Large coffee, leave room for milk."

Dan makes a face. "Nothing in it?"

"Are you judging my coffee?" Phil asks. "I'll add sugar."

His drink doesn't take long for her to pour. He walks over to the little table where the milks and flavors and sugar packets are all lined up.

Dan follows him. "You really live near here?"

"Really," Phil says. His heart is still racing. "Do you?"

"No," Dan says. He's watching Phil stir in first one sugar, then a second. "I got a bit lost trying to find the train station, and I needed to charge my phone. She said I had to buy something."

Dan nods over to a table. His phone sits on it, charging cable leading from it to the wall.

"Can I sit?" Phil asks. "With you?"

"Thought you were going home," Dan says.

He sounds - wary.

"I'd rather have a coffee with you," Phil says.

There's silence. Dan's thinking about it, properly thinking.

Then he nods.


Dan doesn't make a lot of eye contact, and he spends half his time typing things into his phone.

He has nice fingers. Phil gets distracted by them. He gets distracted thinking how not quite an hour ago, those fingers were wrapped around his dick.

"So what do you-"

"No small talk." Dan sounds slightly pained. "I don't want to talk about uni. I don't have a job. I don’t have any hobbies. I spend a lot of time on the internet.”

“Oh. Me too.” Phil is thrown, but only momentarily. "So, do you like dogs?"

Dan's answer is immediate. "Who doesn't like dogs?"

"I saw this video of a poodle stuck under a house-" Phil opens the youtube app on his phone and goes to find the video.


He blinks and it's one in the morning and the coffee shop is closing and they've been talking for an hour.

"I can't believe she kicked us out," Dan says, shooting a glare at the door.

The door is unsympathetic, much like the girl behind it was.

"You could-" Phil hesitates. "I really do live just down that way, you could come in for a bit?"

Dan looks at him. "Is this a sex thing?"

"Do you want it to be a sex thing?" Phil asks, because he doesn't know what the right or wrong answer is, he just doesn't want to say goodbye.

"I don't know," Dan says. There's something peculiar about his voice, something distrusting but hopeful.

Phil holds a hand out. "Come home with me."


"I haven't slept in two days," Dan admits, sinking into Phil's sofa.

"Why?" Phil asks. He's poured them two drinks. When he sits down beside Dan, he crosses one leg under him and angles his body inward.

"Just can't." Dan tips his head back and stares up at the ceiling. "Thinking about things. Meaning of life."

"I think about whether or not I've left the oven on," Phil says. "And how mad the landlord would be."

"I think about whether or not anyone would care if I burned to death in the night." Dan's tone doesn't change. "Whether my existence on this planet has left a lasting impact on anyone. My mum would cry, but would it really change her life?"

"Dan," Phil says, because this makes him uneasy but he doesn't want to ignore it.

"Sorry." Dan laughs grimly. "Too much. That's how I am."

Phil reaches out and brushes Dan's hair off his forehead. He doesn't know why; it's just an impulse he fails to resist. "You've already left an impact on me."

"An orgasm is not lasting impact," Dan says.

"It is if it's a good enough orgasm," Phil says.

Dan catches Phil's hand with his own, brings it down and presses it to his cheek.

Dan does look very tired, Phil realizes. He looks tired and small even though he's not and Phil's chest goes tight with something strange that he hasn't felt in a very long time.

He leans in and kisses Dan.


They kiss -

Just kiss.

For ten minutes, fifteen, twenty.

They change position in small ways to accommodate for comfort, but they stay sitting upright, mouths opening and closing against each other, tongues wet and soft, hands stroking hair and cheeks and Phil just barely touches under Dan's shirt before moving back out and up again.

He feels drunk again even though his drink is almost untouched, the ice already melted. This is chaste compared to what they've already done, so why does Phil feel so cracked open and exposed?

"You should stay with me tonight," Phil says, when they finally part. Dan's lips are red and he can't stop looking at them. He leans in to kiss them again, a soft press mostly just against the bottom one. "I'll buy you breakfast in the morning. We won't make any small talk. You should stay. "

Forever, Phil thinks with a wild abandon. Because this feels predetermined, like he read it in his grandma's tea leaves, like a decision made by someone else. He's just seeing it through.

(Dan doesn't believe in coincidence. He'll say years on down the line, when Phil tells people how they met. It wasn't fate, it was a club hookup, it was a dead phone battery and a limited number of coffee shops in the area. It was life, throwing people together, and it just happened to get this one right, he'll say, with a mix of exasperation and that fondness that always lingers just beneath the surface.)

But here and now, Dan just yawns and says, "I'll stay."