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More than a full day on and the nerves are still frayed. He hasn’t slept much though he won’t admit to it, too afraid he’ll close his eyes and miss something important. It’s early morning and he lies next to Phil and in the rational part of his brain he knows he’s fine. He can hear Phil breathing and watch his chest rise and fall but he can’t seem to convince the very much non rational part of said brain that those breaths won’t just suddenly stop.

Because the fainting had been so sudden. And Phil hadn’t even fucking remembered it and Dan hadn’t been in the room and he’s sure as hell not going to let that happen again.

He’s spent most of the last couple nights lying awake next to Phil scrolling through twitter polluting his brain with American news. Phil sleeps like the dead and that’s the only thing that makes Dan feel better.

It was easy to make jokes in the hospital when the relief of seeing Phil up and about and laughing sheepishly every time the nurse would come into the room was fresh. They made each other laugh all evening, playing Mario Kart and sneaking photos of each other and just being happy that things were ok.

Things are still ok, of course. Phil is mostly fine. He was tired or dehydrated or who knows what. They’re still waiting for the doctor to call with results from all the poking and prodding and blood they’d taken from Phil’s arm for testing. He’s been tired but he’s fine, whingeing about Dan’s refusal to ignore the ban on ‘strenuous exercise’ and rolling his eyes when Kath calls him a third time in a single day.

Dan’s nerves are still frayed because it’s his worst nightmare. He can still hear the sickening thud echoing in his ears, heavy and unnatural. He reckons he’ll be hearing it a while, until it’s replaced with something worse, because his brain is a right fucking dickhead like that.

At least he’ll have something new to tell his therapist. (Not that fear of losing Phil isn’t an issue that crops up often.)

Phil makes a noise in the back of his throat and rolls over, nudging his head into Dan’s shoulder and Dan feels like his heart might burst. He knows he’s a ridiculous overthinking overreacting moron but he can’t help it. Just because he loves Phil more than he needs food to eat or air to breathe doesn’t mean the universe couldn’t decide one day to take him away.

He turns off his phone and shoves it under his pillow. His brain is rotten and he’d really like a break. Phil is fine, see? He’s right here. His hair’s a mess and his mouth is open and his adam’s apple is sharp against the stubbled skin of his throat and he looks just the same as he does every other morning.

Dan reaches up and brushes Phil’s fringe back off his forehead. He traces his finger over a pale eyebrow and smiles to himself when Phil’s mouth closes and he breathes in a little deeper through his nose. If Dan fucked off now Phil’d stay asleep but Dan doesn’t fuck off because he misses his boyfriend and he’s allowed to be a little bit selfish after two sleepless nights spent worrying about a Phil-less existence.

He leans forward and kisses Phil’s forehead. Phil makes another indiscriminate sleepy sound, breathes deep in through his nose again and stirs beneath their covers.


“You’re cute,” Dan whispers, kissing Phil’s browbone.

“What?” he says, wiggling a little and trying to squint his eyes open and just proving Dan’s point about cuteness like a million times over.

“You’re cute and you’re mine,” Dan says, kissing the side of his nose.

“What’s happening,” Phil croaks.

“Nothing. I just love you.”

“Did you sleep?”

Dan doesn’t answer. He’s not trying to make Phil worried. He hitches his leg over Phil’s hip and wraps an arm around him and pulls him close so their chests press together.

“Have you changed your mind about exercise?” Phil asks. He can’t even open his eyes fully and he’s asking Dan for sex.

Dan giggles. “You’re not even awake.”

“I’d wake up for that.”

“I don’t want you to faint again,” Dan says, contradicting himself by ducking his head under Phil’s chin and pressing his face to his neck. “You’re not supposed to get your heart rate up.”

“It’s been long enough,” Phil says, sliding a hand down into the back of Dan’s pants to cup his ass.

“It's only been one day, you berk,” Dan argues. He’s already starting to get hard. He won’t last much longer.

“Why’d you wake me up if not for sex?” His voice is so so deep in the mornings, so gravelly and sexy.

“Told you. You’re cute. I missed you.”

“Because you didn’t sleep,” Phil murmurs.

“I slept.”

“I reckon not enough.” He ducks his head down to catch Dan’s mouth and Dan laughs into the kiss because Phil is such a guy sometimes. He’d been asleep a minute ago and now he’s grabbing Dan’s asscheek and rubbing his half hard dick against Dan’s thigh and all but begging.

“Shall we go to sleep then?” Dan teases.

“Let me blow you,” Phil says, moving his hand round to the front and cupping Dan through his boxers.

“No way,” Dan says. “Too strenuous.”

“Let me fuck you.”

“Phil,” he laughs, disapproving but always so fucking fond.

“Dan,” is Phil’s response. He starts kissing down to Dan’s chest and Dan knows Phil knows he’s not going to argue again.

“Go slow,” Dan says sternly. “Nothing fancy.”

“Mhm,” Phil hums as he shimmies down under the sheets, mouth finding Dan’s cock and sucking at it gently.

Dan sighs, rolls over onto his back and spreads his legs open wide. He doesn’t even have to turn his head to find the lube, just reaches out and grabs it off the nightstand and pushes it down to Phil. Moments later there’s a slick finger pushing into his ass as Phil suckles lazily.

Lazy is good. Lazy is fucking perfect today. Phil’s thumb finds his taint and rubs against it just right as his finger pushes in and curls up and he sucks at Dan’s dick and it’s just perfect. It’s so fucking perfect.

“More,” Dan says, bending his knees as Phil adds another finger. It’s good, it’s hot and full but maybe it’s not actually perfect. Not yet.

“Come up here,” Dan says. He wants it more full and he wants Phil’s mouth on his his. He wants Phil on top of him and inside him properly and he wants to be able to see his face.

Phil climbs up and his cock is at Dan’s hole almost immediately, one hand pushing up on the back of Dan’s thigh to get the right angle.

“Nothing fancy,” Dan says again. “Go slow.”

Phil nods and pushes in firm just like Dan likes, stretching him open and filling him up and making the most gorgeous little noise of relief.

Dan holds Phil’s hips and cranes his neck, lips seeking Phil’s and kissing deep when he gets them. He loves this part almost more than any other, the part at the very beginning where it hurts a little, where the glide isn’t easy and the drag on his walls and rim are intense.

Phil pulls out halfway and pushes in again and goes a little deeper, repeating until he’s pushing in all the way. He drops his forehead down onto Dan’s shoulder and groans. “You’re so tight.”

“How’s your heart?” Dan asks, clenching purposefully around the thickness of Phil’s cock.

“Fine, shut up.” He nips at the meaty bit of Dan’s shoulder and grinds in a little deeper and it’s Dan’s turn to groan.

“We’re bad,” Dan says.

“Your mum’s bad.”

Dan kisses him to shut him up and keep him distracted. He wants Phil’s thrusts to be secondary, wants to keep him from falling into the normal rhythm of the way they fuck, because as good as it is it’s not worth the anxiety that squeezes at Dan’s chest even now.

It does feel good though. He can’t regret his inability to deny Phil what he wants too much. His cock lies hard and untouched between them and he reaches down to play with it idly as Phil fucks in and out.

“You feel so good, babe,” Phil babbles, always the babbler of praises and filth when he’s balls deep. “You’re so good.”

Dan wraps his legs around Phil’s waist and doesn’t even care that Phil’s not brushing the right spot. He can get himself off with his hand whenever he wants. He could do this all day, just let Phil use his body whatever way he wants. In this moment he’s Phil’s.

(Phil’s not the only one who gets filthy.)

They take turns biting into each other and digging nails into flesh to stave off the urge to fuck properly the way they both really want to. Dan’s impressed by Phil’s control and strangely it just makes him want the usual roughness even more.

“You ok?” Dan asks when Phil drops down off his elbows and half crushes Dan with his weight.

Phil nods. “Tired.”

“Should we st—”

“No,” Phil interrupts. “I’m fine. Just shush, let me fuck you.”

“Can you come soon?”

Phil nods again. “Can I come inside?”

Dan nods, knowing it’ll help get Phil there faster. “Come inside me,” he breathes into Phil’s ear.

Phil’s thrusts get quicker then but Dan lets him. He keeps whispering hot filth and encouraging Phil to empty himself. He’s squeezing at his own cock as Phil pounds into him and shudders as he comes.

He tries to pull out once he’s done but Dan says, “Keep going.” He can feel that Phil’s still hard and the knowledge that Phil’s just fucking his own come deeper into his ass makes him weak. He tugs roughly as Phil slides in and out and it doesn’t take long after that.

When Phil pulls out he’s half soft and a rush of come follows his dick. Dan can’t help asking again if Phil’s ok and this time Phil just ignores him, opting instead to press a kiss to Dan’s temple and flop down beside him.

Dan yawns and stretches out his legs. He actually feels sleepy now. “Would it be bad if I wanted to sleep?” he asks.

Phil shakes his head. “I do too. M’all sticky though.”

“We’ll shower after,” Dan says. The idea of getting up and finding a towel or some toilet roll is unfathomable at this point, even with warmth trickling down into his crack. “Or maybe have a bath.”

“Do you feel sorry enough for me to make me breakfast?” Phil asks.

“Literally never,” Dan says. “I’ll order you all the pancakes you want.”


Phil snuggles up and Dan holds him, enjoying the tackiness of sweaty skin pressed together and the smell of sex. Sometimes it’s nice to just be kind of gross together. It feels like a kind of deep level of unromanticized intimacy that only makes him feel closer to Phil, only makes his heart ache at the thought of not having it anymore.

“You know I’m fine, right?” Phil says, as if he really can read Dan’s thoughts. “Like you know it was never a big deal.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I feel fine.”

“Imagine if it’d been me,” Dan says quietly.

Phil’s quiet a moment before he squeezes tighter around Dan’s middle. “I love you.”

“Love you too,” Dan says, a dangerous wobble in his voice. “So much. Don’t ever leave me, ok?”

“I won’t,” Phil says softly. “Someday science will figure out how to implant our souls into robots or something and we’ll spend eternity together.”

“Still wouldn’t be long enough,” Dan murmurs, pressing his lips to the hair on Phil’s chest.

“I should have minor medical emergencies more often.”

“Don’t even say that,” Dan scolds. He runs his hand across his own stomach, gathering the cold come that clings there and then rubbing it on Phil’s chest.

“That’s disgusting,” Phil says with exactly zero conviction.

“I’m marking you,” Dan says, letting his hand drift down to squeeze gently around Phil’s soft cock. “You’re mine.”

“You’re a caveman,” Phil laughs.

“Mhm.” He closes his eyes and breathes in the smell of their unwashed bodies and plays with Phil’s foreskin as Phil strokes his back.

The next time his eyes open he can tell he’s slept. He feels heavy in a nice way and his face is smushed against Phil’s hip because Phil’s sat up with his glasses on, scrolling through his phone.

“Morning,” Phil says, ruffling Dan’s hair. “Feel better?”

Dan rolls onto his back and stretches out the kinks and aches in his muscles. He just grunts and reaches up to pull Phil down next to him again.

“I love you and all but you stink and I’m starving,” Phil murmurs against Dan’s mouth. Dan ignores him and keeps kissing. He hasn’t felt this clingy and ridiculous in years. It’s not lost on him how safe he feels in being obnoxious like that, though, in knowing Phil will just be obnoxious right back and there’s no space for doubt or embarrassment.

“D’you wanna shower together?” Dan asks.

Phil shakes his head. “I need food first. Then a bath.”

“With me?”

Phil nods. “Everything with you.”

Dan smiles, pulling his phone out from under his pillow to order them food.

He’s ordered a lot of food. Pancakes and sausages and waffles and fancy lattes and fruit and omelets and yes he’s ridiculous but also he loves the smile Phil gives him when he sees it all spread out on the coffee table in the lounge. It’s the kind of thing Phil does for Dan, after all. Dan just wants to return the favour.

“There’s no way we can eat all this,” Phil says, plopping down on the sofa and snagging a sausage.

“We can have fun trying though,” Dan says. He turns on Netflix and scrolls until he finds Riverdale. “How many Archie nipples are we gonna see today?” he muses as he hits play.

“Mm, never enough Archie nipples,” Phil hums through a mouthful.

Dan rolls his eyes. “Your taste in dudes is so basic, Phil.”

“Cole Sprouse is the most basic bloke of all time,” Phil retorts. “Gimme coffee please.”

Dan hands him one of the lattes and tucks himself up against Phil’s side. “This show is stupid.”

“Your mum’s show is stupid.”

Dan chuckles. “If she had one it definitely would be.”

“Shush, let me enjoy my stupid show,” Phil says, taking a sip of coffee. “Mm, this is good.”

“It is,” Dan agrees. He’s talking about more than the coffee.

Halfway through their Netflix and feast Phil’s phone rings and Dan already knows it’ll be Kath so he pauses the show and stands up. He stretches and waves off Phil’s apology. “Take your time,” he says, and heads to the bathroom to give Phil space to talk to his mum in peace.

He wees and brushes his teeth, staring at his reflection after he spits out the minty foam. He leans into the glass and looks at himself long and hard in a way he generally tries to avoid doing.

There’s a blue tint to the skin under his eyes and his jawline is stubbled in patches and the lines that frame the corners of his eyes seem more prominent every time he looks at himself. He’s got a spot above his left eyebrow and his lips are chapped. Sometimes he’s comforted by the physical reminders that he’s aging into a stronger, smarter, more resilient version of himself but today it just reminds him that time keeps ticking no matter how badly he may want to freeze everything and keep his happiness just as it is today, with a healthy partner and a nice life where he loves and is loved more than he could have ever imagined.

He opens the bathroom door and can still hear the deep drone of Phil’s voice. He can feel his mind on the verge of spiraling and he knows he needs to do something to quiet it. He needs to put his hands to use and make himself productive to keep the bad thoughts from taking over the good ones.

Twenty minutes later Phil finds him knee deep in Vim and scrubbing soap scum from the ring around the bathtub.

“You alright?” Phil asks gently.

“We should clean this more often,” is Dan’s reply. “It’s gross.”

“You’re right.” Phil’s tone is cautious. “D’you wanna come finish the show?”

Dan nods. “Just lemme finish this.”

Phil plops down on the closed lid of the toilet. Dan loves that. Phil could do literally anything right now but instead he’s going to sit in this bathroom that smells like cleaner and watch his grubby boyfriend clean their grubbier bathtub.

“Our bath is going to be magical,” Phil says. “Can we light candles?”

Dan nods. “Whatever you want.”


“Yes,” Dan chuckles.

“Can we make it bubbly?”

“Like a bath bomb?” Dan asks.

“No, like… like Matey. Like proper bubbles.”

Dan’s glad his back is turned. His chin quivers and heat pricks at his eyes. He’s utterly convinced in this moment that he’s the luckiest man alive.

“I’ll go to the shops,” Dan says after clearing his throat of the threat of actual tears.

“It’s ok, I’m just being silly,” Phil says. “You don’t have to leave.”

Dan shakes his head. “I want Matey now.”

He finishes cleaning and they return to their food and silly television. They eat a lot more than they should and Dan cuddles into Phil shamelessly. Usually Phil’s the touchy one but today it’s as if they’re competing for most clingy.

Dan’s definitely winning, but he doesn’t hear Phil complaining.

He leaves Phil to answer emails and take care of some merch stuff while he goes out. He finds the teal beanie Phil bought him for the pastel video and plonks it down over his greasy curls. He can only hope he doesn’t run into anyone he knows - or god forbid any fans. He looks a right mess but it’ll be worth it for nostalgic bubbles and hot wet naked cuddles with Phil in a freshly cleaned tub.

The cool November air actually feels good, as does the walk to Boots. Somehow he always seems to forget how much better it makes him feel to move his body and breathe air that’s not been recycling around their flat.

It’s nice to be alone too, just for a little while. It’s nice to listen to music and walk down the pavement and watch other people living their lives just as he’s living his. It makes him feel less like his problems are actually problems. Things build up when the walls around him are the same old walls and it feels like he’s isolated from the rest of humanity.

No one stops him for selfies and he’s so fucking glad. He just wants to listen to his music and feel the wind on his face and daydream about how many times he can make Phil come today. They’ve slept a lot of the day away but there’s still time to get at least two more romps in. They’d broken the seal on ‘exercise’ already, might as well make the most of their rebelliousness.

(It’s possible the best part of this post tour period is a resurgence in libido that aligns with space and privacy to see it through. He may feel a bit purposeless but the sex has been amazing. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism, but there are worse things.)

He takes his time wandering the isles of Boots, filling up a basket with face masks and pirate themed bubble bath and fancy lube and lip balm and chunky glitter nail polish. And sweets of course. Sweets for his sweet, love hearts about three months early for Valentine’s Day.

Phil is sat right where he was when Dan left, sunk into the sofa crease in the lounge with his laptop on his thighs and his glasses slipped down near to the end of hose nose, picking at the fruit platter from breakfast. He smiles when Dan comes in, shuts the computer right away and stands up.

“You got so much stuff.”

Dan shrugs. “Decided I really wanna make a day of it. If you want. We can, right? We don’t really have stuff to do?”

“We can make a day of it,” Phil says warmly. “I’m meant to be resting anyway, remember? Tomorrow can be a day too, if you’d like.”

“I’d like,” Dan says. “C’mon, let's have a bath.”

Dan fills the tub with water and bubbles while Phil fetches candles and matches and fresh towels. Dan sets up his phone to play some mood-appropriate music before grabbing the face masks and stripping off his clothes. He’s already in the water when Phil comes in with his supplies.

“Am I just dreaming today?” Phil asks, lighting the candle.

“Today is a dream, but you’re not dreaming,” Dan replies. “Get naked for me please.”

Phil grins and pulls off his shirt. “I know it freaked you out but I’m really happy my body momentarily gave up being conscious.”

“Shut up and take off your pants, man.”

Phil chuckles as he shucks off his sweats and Dan’s shameless in the way he stares. His boyfriend is hot as fuck and he’s allowed to look, allowed to enjoy the way his cock looks all pink and sweet hanging between his legs.

He tells Phil so. “You have a pretty dick.”

Phil reaches down and cups himself. “This old thing?”

“Mhm,” Dan hums, already feeling a tingle in his own. “C’mere.” His voice has dropped down into the tone of wanting and he gets up on his knees in the bath as Phil walks over and stands next to the edge of the tub. Phil knows what Dan wants so he just stands there and runs his fingers through Dan’s hair as Dan takes Phil’s cock in his mouth and sucks the soft loose skin.

Phil groans very very quietly in the back of his throat and Dan keeps his hands in the water as he sucks, fitting Phil all the way in without any effort at all until he feels Phil start to harden. He tastes sharp and unwashed and Dan has a moment of remembering Phil’s cock had been in his ass earlier this morning and wondering if it makes him a freak that all that does is make him more excited.

“Can I fuck you later?” Dan asks after pulling off, looking up at Phil through his lashes.

Phil just nods and pets Dan’s head and closes his eyes when Dan starts sucking again. He’s not really trying to accomplish anything, he just really likes the way Phil feels in his mouth. He likes feeling him get harder and thicker on his tongue, likes feeling very tangible proof that he can still make Phil feel like this almost a decade on.

He’d have to put in considerably more effort if he wanted to get Phil off with his mouth and right now he doesn’t. He just wants to lie back in the bubbles and be lazy and feel Phil’s skin on his skin so he pulls off with a pop and tugs on Phil’s hand. “Come in,” he says.

Phil steps in carefully and sits between Dan’s open legs, leaning back against Dan’s chest and sighing. They sit there for a long while just listening to the music and smelling the smells and soaking in the steam and the bubbles. The weight of Phil against Dan’s chest makes him feel so safe and grounded he’d like very much to stay just right here in this moment forever.

It’s cramped, the bathtub not nearly big enough for one of their long bodies let alone two, but they make do. Someday they’ll have a claw foot tub big enough to fit them both comfortably, but for now they have this and they’ll make the most of it.

“Should we talk?” Phil asks.

“Why would I wanna do a thing like that?”

Phil turns his head against Dan’s chest to try to look back at him. “Because you’re feeling weird. You’re feeling like, existential and stuff.”

“I just… don’t like thinking about losing you,” Dan says quietly.

“Then don’t. I’m not going anywhere.”

“You don’t know that. Not for sure.”

Phil sighs, picking Dan’s hand up out of the water and pressing the knuckles to his lips. “I guess I don’t.”

“Sometimes talking just makes things feel worse,” Dan says. He drops a kiss to the back of Phil’s neck. “I know it’s pointless to worry about. But I still do.”

“I get it,” Phil says. “You know I worry about that stuff too.”

“It just scares me to think like… you never know. You never know what can happen, and it can happen so bloody quick. Like one minute we’re at home and the next we’re in hospital and I’m praying you don’t have a brain aneurysm or something.”

“I’m sorry.” Phil kisses his hand again. “I’m sorry I scared you.”

“You have to take care of yourself,” Dan says. “And especially today you just have to let me take care of you, ok?”

Phil nods. “You’re doing a really good job.”

Dan smiles at the praise. “Also you have to let me touch you whenever I want.”

Phil laughs. “Is that ever actually a problem?”

“I guess it’s not. I just like… I dunno. Have this weird urge to be touching you all the time now.”

“I’m not complaining,” Phil says, guiding Dan’s hand back under the water and between his legs.

Dan’s fingers flex around Phil’s cock, not hard but not fully soft either. “What’s our record?” he asks, moving his hand down to cup Phil’s balls.

“In one day?” Phil asks.

Dan nods, hooking his chin on Phil’s shoulder.

“Shoot, I don’t even remember.”

“We’re so old and boring now,” Dan says.

Phil stretches out his neck and turns his head to kiss Dan’s neck. “I’m not bored.”

“Me neither,” Dan breathes.

“Can I make a confession though?”


“I’m kind of tired,” Phil says quietly, as if knowing Dan’s mind will jump to the worst possible conclusion.

Dan’s heart thumps a little faster but he’s determined not to freak out. “D’you need water? Did you drink any yet today?”

“I didn’t,” Phil admits. “Just the coffee.”

Dan pushes against Phil’s back a little, trying to get enough space to stand up without slipping and falling and sending them both back to hospital.

“I’m fine, Dan,” Phil says. “I shouldn’t have said anything.”

“Yes you should and I’m glad you did. What did I just say about letting me take care of you?”

“I don’t want you to leave.” He clutches tight to Dan’s hand.

“You just want me to keep wanking you,” Dan scoffs.

“It’s not about that.” He sounds serious and Dan shuts up immediately. “I just wanna have a nice bath with you and feel normal. It makes me feel like there’s really something wrong when you’re being all nice and doing all this stuff for me. It’s freaking me out.”

“I’m always nice to you,” Dan says weakly.

“Not this nice.”

Dan drops his forehead against the back of Phil’s neck in quiet frustration. “I’m not trying to freak you out. But you're
sick. You did faint, and we still don’t know why. It’s my job to make sure you’re ok.”

“I’m ok.”

Dan doesn’t say again that Phil can’t know that for sure. He kisses the slight hunch of Phil’s back and says, “I’m going to get you some water and then I’ll be back, ok? And then after you’re going to lie on the sofa and watch tv and eat the sweets I bought you.”

“You bought me sweets?”

“Course I did. Let me up.”

Phil crunches forward in the tiny space and Dan leans his weight on Phil’s shoulder for leverage. He manages to get up and out of the tub without incident and wraps a towel around his waist before heading to the kitchen.

He fills a glass up with water and chugs it down himself, taking deep breaths and trying not to panic. It’s getting harder to ignore the little corner of his brain that keeps trying to insistently remind him that there’s no guarantee. Bad stuff happens to good people sometimes.

He fills up the glass again and brings it to the bathroom, where he finds Phil stood on the bathmat stark naked and dripping and holding his phone to his ear. “Yeah… ok. Today?... Ok, I will. Yeah. Thank you.” He hangs up.

Dan’s heart is pounding, but he’s going to keep it together. He is. “What’s up?” he asks, handing the water to Phil.

“They want me back in to hospital.”

“What? Why?”

“I guess the tests came back.”

“And?” He tries not to let the hysteria bleed through.

“They wouldn’t tell me over the phone,” Phil says quietly.

“Ok. Ok, let’s get dressed then,” Dan says. It’s fine. Everything is surely fine. “Drink that water please.”

Phil actually listens for once and chugs the whole thing down in one go. “My hair’s still dirty.”

Dan wants to scream that it doesn’t matter but he knows that wouldn’t help anything and Phil is right, they both still have unwashed hair. He goes over to the tub to drain it. “We’ll have a quick shower and then we’ll go, ok?”

Phil nods.

“It’ll be fine Phil,” Dan says, as much for himself as for the man stood in front of him looking even paler than usual.

“Yeah. I know.”

They can’t know. But Dan’s hoping.

Dan runs a shower and they step into it together, washing each other’s hair and not wasting time on anything else. Dan calls for a car while they’re getting dressed and they hold hands in the back on the drive to hospital.


Dan makes sure Phil lies down on the sofa as soon as they get back home. He brings him water to take his pill and heats up the leftovers from breakfast and lets Phil pick what to watch.

Phil giggles reading through the pamphlet that came with the antibiotics. “Oh my god,” he snickers.

“What?” Dan’s sat on the other end of the sofa with Phil’s feet in his lap, massaging his thumb into the curve of one of the soles.

“One of the side effects is hyperactivity,” Phil says.

“Christ,” Dan mutters. “As if you’re not a pain in the ass already.”

“I thought you liked that though,” Phil says. He grins and sticks his tongue out a little between his teeth when Dan glares at him.

“I want a divorce,” Dan says, squeezing Phil’s foot.

“You’ll have to marry me first.”

Dan can’t help his smile. His boyfriend is an idiot but he’s an idiot who’s going to be just fine and the relief about that fact right now is overwhelming.

“By the way, I was promised sweets.”

Dan rolls his eyes but he gets up to fetch them without complaint, dropping them right onto Phil’s stomach.

“Love hearts?” Phil cocks an eyebrow. “You really were worried about me, weren’t you?”

“Shut up.”

Phil sits up and grabs hold of Dan to pull him on top of him as he lies back down. Dan goes without a fight and kisses back when Phil pulls his face in and presses their mouths together. “You don’t have to worry anymore.”

“I’ll still worry a little,” Dan murmurs.

“I wouldn’t recognize you if you didn’t.”

“You were worried too though, weren’t you?” Dan asks.

Phil kisses him again. “Don’t wanna talk about it. It doesn’t matter anymore. Sometimes talking is worse, remember?”

“Ok,” Dan says. That’s fair. “Are you still tired?”


“D’you wanna go to bed?”

“Not yet,” Phil says, slipping his hands under Dan’s jumper to rub his back. “Kinda just want you to kiss me.”

Dan lets his weight sink down onto Phil and kisses him gently. Strangely the urge for intimacy of a more sexual nature has mellowed into wanting exactly this: slow wet kisses and Phil’s fingertips tracing up and down his spine. The tv plays in the background and Phil fishes out the sweets that are caught between their bodies and drops them down onto the ground.

Dan feels a bit like a teenager again, or at least how he felt when he and Phil first met and they’d lose hours and hours to exploring each other’s mouths and reveling in the closeness. They’re not going to do this for hours - he’s pretty sure they’re both way too knackered for that - but this gentleness and connection feels like exactly the medicine they both needed.

Eventually they pull apart just enough to snuggle up and eat love hearts under Dan’s sad pimp blanket and watch tv until Phil is yawning and Dan’s eyelids are heavy.

Phil yawns again. “Reckon I should make this into a video?”

“What, us making out?”

Phil smacks his shoulder.

“I dunno,” Dan says. “Kinda personal, innit?”

Phil shrugs “I guess. But so was the hospital stuff and we already kind of told people about that. They’ll stop asking if I just make a video.”

Dan pulls away a little. It makes him feel twisty inside to imagine Phil broadcasting something so personal to millions of strangers but he doesn't know if it’s a feeling he’s allowed to have so he stays quiet.

“I’ll keep it light,” Phil says. “Make it funny.”

“It wasn’t funny though,” Dan says quietly. “It’s still not funny to me.”

Phil turns to look at him full on. “So you’re the only one who’s allowed to use humour to cope?”

It stings but Dan can’t deny the truth of Phil’s statement and the hypocrisy of his own.

“Sorry,” Phil says in response to Dan’s silence.

Dan just shakes his head.

“I won’t if you actually don’t want me to,” Phil says. “But I think it’d be good. For both of us.”

“You’ll let me help?” Dan asks.

“Course. I’ll need your help.”


“Yeah?” Phil asks, throwing an arm around Dan’s shoulders.

Dan nods. Phil yawns.

“C’mon,” Dan says, pushing Phil off of of him and standing up. He holds his hand out for Phil to take. “We’re going to bed.”

“Are we?”

“Mhm. You need rest.”

“I’ve been resting all day,” Phil says, but he takes Dan’s hand and lets him pull him up.

“You need sleep.”

Phil frowns. “You do too.”


“Will you sleep tonight?” Phil asks.

Even just thinking of their bed makes Dan’s eyes feel heavier. “I think so. I don’t have to worry anymore, right?”

“You definitely don’t. Can’t get rid of me that easily.”

They brush their teeth and wash their faces, stripping down to their pants when they get to their room and climbing into bed without thought of searching for pjs. Dan groans in satisfaction as he lays his head on the pillow. If he didn’t know better he’d swear he was actually melting.

“I love bed,” Phil sighs.

“Bed is the fucking best,” Dan agrees. “I’m gonna sleep for twelve billion years.”

“Mm, me too.” Phil rolls onto his side and smushes his face into Dan’s shoulder. “Still wanna have sex?”

“Ugh,” is Dan’s reply.

Phil snorts. “Thanks.”

“Tomorrow,” Dan says. He can’t keep his eyes open. “Wake me up in the morning and I’ll—” He breaks to yawn, long and loud. “I’ll do you real good.” His words come out a slurred and mumbled mess but apparently Phil understands him anyway.

“Ok bud. Tomorrow.”

He thinks Phil is laughing, but it’s hard to tell. He closes his eyes and when he opens them again his pillow is wet under his mouth and Phil is turned away from him, his back moving with each slow breath in and out.

Dan shuffles forward a little, enough to drape his arm over Phil’s waist. He’s not worried anymore. The urge to touch doesn’t come from a place of fear that he’s going to lose something but from a place of deep gratitude that he isn’t.

At least not tonight. And that will probably always scare him, but it’s all he’s going to get. It’s all anyone can really hope for until Phil’s dream comes true and souls really can be implanted into robots.

So until they can live out eternity together in their metallic exoskeletons, they’ll just have to take it day by day. Dan thinks falling asleep holding Phil is a good place to start.