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holding my thoughts in my heart

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His dark hair is swept across his face, the ends of his long fringe skimming his eyes—eyes whose beauty and depth are lost in the grain of their dodgy internet connection. He’s not wearing a shirt and the long curves of his neck flow into those sharp collar bones and broad shoulders, taunting Phil from the other side of his laptop.

His shrouded eyes are dark and heavy-lidded as they stare back at Phil. Dan looks tired, as far as Phil can tell. He sounds it too, his voice huskier than usual.

He’s beautiful, almost breathtakingly so, and Phil’s heart aches for him. It’s only been a week, but he feels keenly every minute of separation that passes.

“I can’t believe I finally have a boyfriend and I still have to spend valentine’s day alone.” It feels like a great cosmic injustice, like the universe really is taunting him.

“Valentine’s day is a bullshit holiday, Phil. It was invented to sell chocolate and greeting cards and flowers.”

“If you were here I’d buy you chocolates and a greeting card and flowers.” He would. He wishes he could.

“I don’t want that shit,” Dan says. “I just want you.”

It’s been a number of months now, but still every articulation of affection that slips from Dan’s lips send butterflies fluttering throughout Phil’s whole body. He does try not to give himself away that much, though. At least not all the time.  

So he fights the urge to say what he really wants to say, something like I love you so much, or I’m so happy to have you in my life, or you are the best person in the world . Instead he laughs and says, “You don’t want chocolate? Not even maltesers?”

Dan’s answering laugh is breathy and fond. “Ok, maybe I want chocolate. I want you and chocolate.” He flicks his long fringe out of his eyes and drags his teeth across the pink swell of his bottom lip. “I want you to feed me maltesers naked in bed, that’s what I want.”

“You already have me,” Phil says, lowering his voice. His parents could potentially be just a few rooms over and they really don’t need to hear this.  “And maybe I want to put something else in your mouth, since I’m gonna be naked and all...”

Dan doesn’t miss a beat. He’s disturbingly good at this dirty talk stuff. “You’re not even ready for all the things I’m going to do to you when I get back there. You’re not ready for all the places I’m going to put my mouth.”

Phil closes his eyes, dropping his head back and thunking it against the wall behind his bed. “Shit. I think I am actually. Why don’t you tell me?”

Dan groans. “Fuck.” He must be shifting his legs, because the image of him on Phil’s laptop is just a choppy blur. Perhaps Phil’s not the only one with the beginnings of that telltale swelling between his legs.

When he’s visible again, Dan’s head is lower down, resting against the crisp white of his propped up pillow. “We can’t do this again, Phil.”

Phil whines. “Why not?” He’s already got a hand rubbing over the bulge in his boxers.

“Adrian could come in at any second. I don’t need him walking in on me with my dick in my hand.”

Phil pouts. “I can’t believe you don’t have your own room.”

“Not all of us are as rich as you, Lester.”

Phil ignores him completely. “Where is he, anyway?”

“He ran off to my parents room.”

“Why? Were you being mean to him again?” Phil asks gently.

“What are you my mum? Besides, he started it.”

“I don’t understand how you can guys can argue so much.”

Dan rolls his eyes. “That’s because you actually like your brother, Phil. Mine’s crap.”

“He’s twelve, Dan.”

“Exactly. He’s an asshole.”

Phil just shakes his head. It makes him sad to hear Dan talk about his brother that way, but he knows it’s not really his place to judge Dan for it. “I’m not going to survive another week without you,” he says, hoping to change the subject.

“We do it all the time,” Dan says sadly. It’s true, they do. They’re no strangers to waiting weeks before they can be in the same room together again.

“Yeah but I usually at least get to watch you stroke that pretty cock for me.”

Dan brings a big hand up and covers his eyes. Phil wishes he could see the flush he knows has settled in Dan’s cheeks then. “Fuck, Phil. You’re just a dirty old man.”

“You love it, though.”

“I do. I love every single fucking thing about you.”

That’s all it takes for Phil’s emotions to do a complete one-eighty. His heart thumps against his sternum and he’d swear he can feel a little Dan-shaped hole there. It’s not right. He shouldn’t be so far away from someone who can make him feel like this. “Come back please.”

“I want to. So bad.” The melancholy in Dan’s voice is clear and almost enough to match Phil’s. “I miss you.”

“I miss you more,” Phil says. He’s not even trying to be funny, but Dans grins, and despite the image being grainy and dark, Phil can just make out that dimple he loves so much.

“I miss you most,” Dan says smugly.

“Well I miss your face,” Phil says. Two dimensional and digital and illuminated only by a shitty hotel lamp half a world away is a poor approximation of this boy’s gorgeous features. He’s no stranger to pining for Dan through the filter of his laptop, but for some reason it feels extra hard right now. Maybe the fact that they’re seven and a half thousand kilometers apart has something to do with it.

Dan rolls his eyes. “You’re looking right at it.”

“It’s not the same. I can’t see your freckles.”

“I don’t have freckles.”

“You do,” Phil says. “On your nose. They’re very cute.”

“Well yours are cuter.”

“They’re not, they’re just more… abundant.”

“If you were here you’d be nothing but a big freckle. It’s so hot and sunny. I’m gonna be, like, black by the time I come home.” Dan angles the camera down and Phil can see his stomach, long and flat and obviously tanned, even in the thin yellow glow of that shitty tabletop lamp.

Dan’s hand appears in frame and pulls down on the waistband of his pants a little, giving Phil a good view of the striking tan line that cuts across his hip bones.  

“It looks like you kind of already are,” Phil mumbles, trying not to be so pathetic as to get turned on again just from a quick flash of the trail of dark hair leading down from Dan’s belly button. He clears his throat. “Can’t really tell though, you’re basically just like five pixels right now.”

“I know, the wi-fi here is so fucking crap.”

As if on cue, the image on Phil’s screen freezes.

“It’s better than nothing, though,” Phil says gently. He hates it just as much as Dan, but sometimes he has to check himself. Sometimes he has to remind Dan to see the silver linings.

Sometimes it scares him to think that without Phil, Dan’s world might be little more than a constant roll of dark grey storm clouds. It also makes no sense, because Dan lights Phil’s world up like he’s the goddamn sun.

“Stop trying to make me look on the bright side all the time Phil,” Dan says. “Just let me be sad about missing you.” His face is still just a blur on Phil’s screen.

Phil wonders if he’ll ever get used to the way Dan can seemingly read his mind.

“But just think,” he says, once he can see Dan’s face moving again, “only one more week and then I’ll get to kiss each and every freckle on your body.”

“Not if I kiss yours first.”

Phil smirks. “But that will literally take forever. We won’t have any time left for what comes next.”

“And what’s that?” Dan asks. His voice is so deep tonight. “What comes next, Phil?”

Heat floods Phil’s gut, desire curling a pit there and he curses himself for being, as always, completely powerless to resist Dan’s charms. “You wanna know?”

“Yeah,” Dan croaks.

“I wanna see you again.” Phil shuffles down further, opening his legs a little, pushing his feet flat against the mattress. The back of his head rests uncomfortably against the wall behind him, but he doesn’t care right now. He doesn’t even notice. “I wanna see more of you.”

“Fuck’s sake, Phil,” Dan breathes, but he doesn’t sound annoyed. Just tempted. Tortured even.

“Just for a minute. So I have something to think about later when you’ve gone to sleep and left me all alone.”

“Why don’t I just send you a photo later. At least then I could go to the toilet and lock the door.”

Phil’s head swims at the thought. He breathes heavy through his nose, but shakes his head. “Wanna see it in action.”

Dan groans. “Fuck you, Phil. You’re selfish.”

Phil slides his hand into his boxers and wraps it around himself. He knows he can’t get off right now, but he can’t help touching himself just a little. Just a squeeze or two, maybe a few slow strokes… it won’t hurt anyone. Dan doesn’t even have to know. “Yep. It’s your fault though, not mine. You need to stop being so pretty.”

“Excuse me, I am rugged , ok? I’m manly .”

Phil gives himself a tug, his eyes fixed on Dan’s. “So show me your manly cock already.”

“You know as well as I do that if I pull my dick out right now I’m screwed.”

Phil smirks. He definitely does know that. Technically Dan is still a teenager, and sometimes it really shows. Namely anytime Phil so much as looks at him, let alone touches him. He’s probably already rock hard and leaking under those tight black Calvin’s. “What are you waiting for then?”

Dan bites into his lip again, looking off to the side, probably towards the door, because what he says next is, “What about Adrian?”

Phil stills his hand, squeezing around the head. Even just knowing that Dan is considering it is exciting. “We’ll make it quick,” he promises. “It’ll be fun, like a super tame kind of public sex thing.”

“I hate you,” Dan says, but Phil can see his arm moving and a second later, his eyelids flutter shut. “You’re a terrible influence on me.”

“I’d never done anything like this before I met you. I reckon it’s you who’ve corrupted me .”

Dan grins. “You might be right.” He tilts his head back a little and stretches his neck out and Phil is once again struck by the sheer beauty of him, by how much he wishes they were in the same room right now.

“Lemme see you,” he whispers.

Dan gives his head a little shake. “You first.”

Phil flattens his legs against the bed and pushes his computer back to sit on his thighs. He’s already far enough along that he doesn’t feel any trepidation pulling himself out of his pants for Dan to see. “Your turn,” he says, voice low.

For a good while Dan just stares. Phil can see his bicep flexing so he knows Dan’s working himself over at least a little bit as he watches Phil doing the same. The thought sends a rush through him and he knows he’d be able to finish quickly whether Dan moved his laptop down far enough to reveal himself or not.

Just this would be enough, just watching Dan’s long dark hair falling into his eyes, hearing his breathy little noises escaping through slightly parted lips. It’d be enough, but he wants as much as Dan is willing to give, always. He wants all of Dan.

“Dan, lemme see you. Please.”

Dan giggles and pushes his own laptop back just as Phil had done with his. He’s already pulled himself out and Phil gets a rather pornographic view of Dan’s impossibly large hand wrapped around himself.

Phil misses those hands. He misses holding them and kissing them and feeling their fingers in his hair and stroking across his chest and squeezing his ass. He hates being away from them. He never gets to keep them for long enough. The stolen weekends holed up in his bedroom with Dan are never enough. It feels like they’re always doing this, pining for each other through screens and promising that someday it will be different.

He doesn’t need to think about that now, though. Right now he just needs to focus on following through with the pyrotechnics Dan inspires inside him. He needs to focus on Dan and get himself off because Dan’s right, Adrian could walk in at any moment and he doesn’t really want that to be the image Dan’s little brother has of him.

He can’t deny that it excites him a tiny bit though, the threat of being caught, and that, combined with how devastatingly good Dan looks and how long they’ve been winding each other up tonight has him teetering on the edge after only a few minutes.

“I wish you were here,” he says. The longing he feels in this moment is painful. He can feel it in his chest and he honestly can’t recall having ever wanting anything more.

“Don’t get all sappy on me now, Phil,” Dan laughs. “I don’t get off on being sad and you promised we’d be quick.” His wrist twists and he lets out a little grunt and that’s enough to pull Phil right back into the heat of the moment.

“Say something dirty to me,” Dan says.

Phil spreads his legs open a little wider, as much as he can without knocking his macbook off his lap. “Uh… I miss… the way you… taste?”

Dan laughs. “I said dirty, not awkward.”

“I can’t help it,” Phil says through gritted teeth. “I’m not as good at that as you are.”

Dan smirks. “You were last time.”

Phil’s stomach swoops, remembering. The pit in his gut coils a little tighter. “It’s different when we’re together.”

“Come on, Phil. I wanna hear your voice when I come.”

“Are you close?”

Dan nods. “Tell me what comes next. You never said. What comes after kissing my freckles?”

“Biting your neck,” Phil croaks. This he can do. He can list all the things he wants to do to Dan next time they’re together.

A week, he tells himself. Only one more week and these promises can become reality. He watches Dan’s eyes close, hears a quiet, pitchy moan in the back of his throat.

“More,” Dan whispers and his strokes start to speed up.

“Sucking your nipples,” Phil continues. “Licking your--”

“I’m gonna come, I’m gonna come.” Dan’s eyes are squeezed shut, his chest flushed.

“Come for me Dan,” Phil whispers and he watches in awe as Dan goes silent, spilling over his fingers. It’s a sight that knocks the wind right out of Phil’s lungs and has him reaching his own peak just moments later. He keeps his eyes fixed on Dan and pulls at the sheets with his toes as they curl up tightly, spasms wracking his body.

He slumps back against his pillow when the searing waves of pleasure have subsided, letting himself melt into the mattress as his breathing returns to normal.

“One sec,” he hears Dan say.

He opens his eyes and looks at the screen and smiles when he’s faced with Dan’s old teddy bear from Harrods, the one with the big red bow around its neck--the one Dan still sleeps with every night to this day. Every night but the lucky few he’s gotten to spend with Phil, that is.

He sets his computer aside too and hauls himself up to fetch some tissue. He feels kind of tired now and it’s not even that late. He can’t even imagine how exhausted Dan must be.

“How late is it there again?” he asks, once they’re both laid back down in their respective beds, their laptops more conservatively angled again.

Dan yawns. “It’s like 3am.”

“Oh crap.”

“Yeah,” Dan murmurs. “I’m really tired now.”

“Don’t leave me,” Phil says automatically, though he knows it’ll have to happen eventually.

Dan chuckles, his head resting against his pillow. “Don’t be surprised if I fall asleep. I’m knackered.”

“Well can I be sappy now, then? Before you leave me all alone?”

“Stop saying that, Phil. I’ll never leave you and you know it.”

“I just miss you so goddamn much.”

“I do too.” Dan yawns again. His eyelids look so heavy, Phil almost wants to tell him to go to sleep. But like Dan had said, he’s selfish. He’s not ready to say goodbye.

“Can I say something embarrassing?” Dan asks.

“Of course. You can say anything to me.”

“I still sometimes can’t believe I get to skype wank with AmazingPhil.” His eyes are half closed and his voice is loose and quiet and Phil feels quite sure that he wouldn't be saying that if he wasn’t deliriously tired at this point.

Phil can’t help laughing. “I reckon you’ve done a lot more than skype wanking with AmazingPhil.”

Dan smiles. “Oh yeah.”

“Plus, AmazingPhil is literally in love with you.”

Dan’s smile gets even wider, his cheek sinking in the middle. His hair is fanned out over the pillow and Phil thinks he looks almost angelic. Probably that’s ridiculous and just as embarrassing as Dan’s confession but it’s ok. He’s allowed to think it because he’s young and in love and coming down off an improbably forceful orgasm.

“Plus I’m not really AmazingPhil, I’m just Phil.”

“I can’t believe just Phil is even better than AmazingPhil and he for some reason wants to hang out with me,” Dan murmurs.

“I can’t believe danisnotonfire is such an idiot who won’t love himself the way I do.”

“Well you’re right about that, danisnotonfire is definitely an idiot.”

“Shut up.”

Dan yawns again. “Why don’t you come over here and make me?” There isn’t even an ounce of conviction in his words.

Fondness bursts in Phil’s chest. He still can’t believe he gets to call the strange, glorious creature his . “You’re so adorable when you’re sleepy.”

“‘M not.”

“To be fair though, you’re always adorable.”

“I can’t believe AmazingPhil is calling me adorable.” It’s possible that Dan is already half asleep at this point. His eyes are closed and he has his blanket pulled all the way up to his chin.

“I can’t believe you won’t stop calling me AmazingPhil.”

“Sorry,” Dan says, reaching up and pushing his fringe out of his eyes. “My fangirl ways die hard, apparently.”

“Also I can’t believe I’ve said I love you twice in the span of like two minutes and you haven’t even said it once.”

“Hmm?” Dan hums. He’s clearly falling asleep.

Phil’s chest tightens a little, knowing he’s going to have to let Dan sleep. It’s silly and ridiculous and so clingy he can scarcely believe himself, but he always hates saying goodbye. Even if he knows Dan will text him the moment he wakes up, and throughout the day, and that they’ll skype each other again as soon as the sun’s gone down in India.

It’s just that he knows he’d gotten lucky tonight, lucky that Dan and Adrian had argued long enough that Adrian had retreated to his parents’ hotel room, leaving Dan with an empty room all night. Phil had gotten Dan all to himself for an obscene amount of time, and it’s not likely to happen again tomorrow, and that thought makes Phil cling to every last second of this call.

But he knows it’s about time to let this call come to an end as Dan tries to force his eyes back open.

“Hmm? What’d you say?” Dan mumbles.

“I said I love you Dan.” He lets his quiet voice drip saccharine with affection, knowing Dan isn’t even really listening anyway.

“Mmm. I love you too.”

“It’s time for you to sleep now, ok?” Phil murmurs.

Dan nods against his pillow. “K.”

“I’m gonna hang up now.”

Dan doesn’t reply. Phil watches him for a minute longer, watches his slow deep breaths, watches his hair slowly fall back over his face and into his eyes. He’s a little tired himself, but mostly he’s just in love. He feels like he’s being swallowed up by the strength of the love he has for this sweet sleeping boy.

“Goodnight Dan,” he whispers to the serene quiet on the other side of the screen. Reluctantly he presses the red hang up button and feels a twinge as he watched Dan’s face disappear.

He pushes his computer off his lap and stares up at the ceiling. His mind is still racing with thoughts of Dan and just how bloody happy they’ve been in these last six months. He thinks of how many memories they’ve managed to make together, how many laughs they’ve had and videos they’ve filmed and first times they’ve shared. He thinks of just how much more life he’s lived since he started replying to that cute, funny, persistent guy on twitter with the weird username.

He sits up, pushes his duvet off, swings his legs over the side of the bed and plants his feet on the floor. He stands, walks over to his closet and grabs the first clean shirt he can find—unsurprisingly it’s a blue plaid button-up and he decides it’ll do just fine. He throws it on and buttons it up and goes over to the corner of his room where his camera sits atop its tripod.

He drags it out and sets it up in its usual place and plonks himself down in front of it, cross legged on the floor in the middle of his bedroom.

He takes a deep breath and hits record.

“Awrf. Hi Dan.”