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There were only so many blowjobs a man could endure in a day. And if anyone snorted in disbelief and said that there was no such thing as too many blowjobs, Phil would just remind them that they couldn’t judge because they had not had the experience of Dan Howell going down on them 7 times in one day.

 

Even though both Dan and Phil spent most of their time indoors, being forced to stay inside during self isolation had started getting to them both. However, Phil was able to manage that by staying busy filming, chatting with his family over Skype every 3 or 4 days, and playing endless Animal Crossing.

 

Dan, on the other hand, was going a little crazy by this point. Phil knew that Dan’s brain was a little trickier to settle down; Dan had a difficult relationship with productivity and self worth, but also Dan relied on his routines to keep his depression at bay. He had a standing appointment with his therapist once a week. He would do his morning runs and go to the gym three times a week. He would schedule a lunch or afternoon tea with a friend every now and then. All those things were necessary to keep the darkness away, and when all of those things had to be indefinitely postponed, Dan turned to his other coping mechanisms. Which brings us back to the issue of sex.

 

Dan and Phil had always had a very healthy sex life. Sex was an important communication method for them, and they both genuinely enjoyed it. But for Dan, sex was also a method of escaping reality, something to quiet his mind, and being cooped up for so long, along with the existential dread and anxiety, had transformed Dan into a horny teenager that Phil just could not keep up with.

 

“Come on Phil, I’ll make it so good for you!”

 

Dan was currently sitting in Phil’s lap, wearing only a t-shirt, and placing wet kisses on Phil’s neck. Normally, this would have been a very welcome sight, but it was only 3 pm and this was literally the 4th time today that Dan had tried to fuck him and Phil’s dick was just not having it. Neither was Phil.

 

“Dan, come on, give me at least another couple hours!” Phil tried to gently push Dan away, but Dan just kept grinding down on Phil’s lap, rubbing his hard dick against Phil’s clothed crotch.

 

“Phil…” Dan whispered in his best seductive voice, “What are we, eighty? Let’s go again, since when have you ever been against getting your dick sucked? You don’t even have to do anything; I’ll do it myself, just lie back and enjoy!”

 

One of the problems with Dan in this type of mood was that it wasn’t really about Dan getting an orgasm. That, Phil could do. Giving Dan a quick hand job or quickly going down on him, Phil could handle that. But Dan in this type of mood was only satisfied if Phil enjoyed himself. And by “enjoy,” he meant that Phil had to have a mind shattering orgasm every time, or it didn’t count. Dan treated this type of “coping” sex like a mission, and his own pleasure came secondarily. He got off on making Phil feel good, making him fall apart and lose control.

 

On a particularly chatty and intimate night after a couple glasses of wine Dan had explained to Phil that the sex was not only to have a physical pleasurable sensation, but more to remind himself that he, Dan, could bring pleasure to his partner. That it made him feel like he was worthy and accomplished, that it silenced that little voice in his head telling him he's worthless, all things that were difficult to maintain while on quarantine. And of course Phil wished Dan knew that he was worthy and wonderful and perfect without that, but brains were often not cooperative, and Dan’s brain in particular sometimes had a hard time seeing himself objectively.

 

“Dan, come on, have mercy!” Phil tried to stop Dan jokingly. “I’m not 18 anymore, I need some recovery time!”

 

“Is that a challenge, Philly?” Dan mumbled into Phil’s neck, his hands snaking down and slipping into Phil’s pajama bottoms.

 

“No, Dan, it’s not a challenge; I’m serious.”

 

The change in Phil’s voice must have startled Dan, because he sat up and looked at Phil with surprise.

 

“You really don’t want to?” he asked after a bit of a pause. Phil could tell that he was trying to sound casual, but the little notes of Dan being hurt were obvious to someone who knew him so well.

 

“Dan,” Phil brushed his hands through Dan’s sweaty curls and gave him a peck on the cheek, trying to stay calm. “Dan, come on. I am just really not up to it right now, ok?”

 

Phil could almost see the thoughts starting to spiral in Dan’s eyes. That Phil didn’t want him. That he was not attractive. That Phil was bored of him.

 

Usually Phil had the presence of mind to remind himself that these doubts Dan would sometimes have weren’t rational thoughts. That it wasn’t the real Dan doubting their relationship. That there were demons in Dan’s head that he couldn’t fight but just had to do his best to calm down. Usually it made him want to do everything in his power to make Dan feel good again. Usually.

 

But right now was not normal and Phil was tired of it. He was on edge, he was anxious, he was cooped up indoors, and he was just tired. He wanted to put on his earphones and play Animal Crossing for 5 hours and escape the world they were living in. So when Dan looked at Phil like a hurt puppy, Phil lost his temper a little bit.

 

“Dan, this isn’t about you okay? You know this. What do you want me to do, have sex with you just to prove that I love you? Do I not prove it enough?”

 

That was a low blow and Phil knew it. The moment he said it out loud he regretted it, but the damage was done.

 

Dan stood up, his hands pulling on the edge of his t-shirt as though to cover himself up. His face was white and his eyes were shining with what looked suspiciously like tears. He walked towards the door, turning his head before leaving, as though waiting for Phil to say something.

 

Phil didn't know what to say so he remained silent.

 

When Dan closed the door behind him, Phil angrily put his earphones in and turned up the volume. He knew they needed to talk. He knew that not talking it through with Dan was going to be hard for him, that Dan needed to solve conflicts as soon as possible. But right now, Phil was just not up to it.

 

***

 

By the time Phil exited out of the game, the sun had set and the living room was lit only by the screen of the TV and the lamps outside. He put down his headphones and stood up, stretching his legs and popping his shoulders.

 

He walked through the dark, quiet house to the kitchen and got himself a glass of water. Then he got the cereal out of the cupboard and slowly crunched on it while looking at the window. Putting away the box and rinsing the glass, he slowly walked up to the closed door of the bedroom and lightly knocked.

 

“Hm..?” came a muffled response and Phil took it as a yes.

 

The bedroom was mostly dark, with only the screen of Dan’s laptop illuminating his face. Dan was sitting in bed, covered in blankets, looking at his screen. Phil waited for a second for him to look up, but Dan seemed to avoid meeting his eyes.

 

Phil climbed into bed next to Dan and carefully took the laptop out of his hands and put it on the table.

 

"Come here." He put his arms around Dan and pulled him to his chest. Dan’s body melted into Phil and his head rested down on the crook of Phil’s neck in a practiced motion. Sometimes Phil wondered if they were made to fit so well together, or if it was the years that made them connect seamlessly like jigsaw puzzle pieces.

 

“I’m sorry for using you as a stress relief sex toy,” Dan mumbled into Phil’s neck and they both giggled.

 

“You know I don’t mind, Dan. Sex with you is literally the best thing. It’s just that there’s only so much my dick can take. I’m sorry for implying that you make me do something I don’t want, I’m just tired.”

 

Dan looked up to him and in the darkness of the bedroom Phil could almost feel Dan’s sadness.

 

“I just want things to be normal again,” Dan whispered.

 

“So do I, baby.” Phil pressed their foreheads together. “I miss doing things.”

 

“I miss going out on dates,” Dan mumbled.

 

“I miss mum,” Phil replied.

 

“I miss your mum too,” Dan smiled. Phil pulled him closer.

 

“I miss going to the cinema.”

 

“I fucking miss Starbucks,” said Dan.

 

“I miss Martyn and Corn.”

 

“I miss buying you flowers,” Dan whispered almost as though it was a secret.

 

“You’re a sap,” Phil chuckled.

 

“Shut up. I’m romantic.” Dan paused for a minute. “I love you, you know?”

 

“Of course I do, you idiot.”

 

“And I know you love me. I really do,” Dan continued.

 

“I know that too. It’s gonna be okay.” For some reason Phil felt like crying. Maybe he could get away with it. In the dark no one would know. 

 

“Can we have sex now?” he asked. “My dick has rested plenty,”

 

The ‘I’m sorry it’s hard’ and the ‘let me love you’ and the ‘let me show you how much I adore you’ was left unsaid, but Phil knew Dan heard it.

 

“Well, Phil, while you were sulking upstairs I wanked like 4 times, so I don’t think I can get it up right now.” 

 

Phil chuckled. “Is that a challenge?”

 

Dan placed a wet kiss on Phil’s lips and snaked his hand to squeeze Phil’s butt.

 

“I believe it is, Mr. Lester.”

 

“Bet you pizza that I’ll get you hard as rock in 10 minutes so you can fuck me,” said Phil, pressing kisses to the spot on Dan’s neck he knew would drive him crazy.

 

“Aren’t you cocky,” replied Dan, pulling Phil’s shirt off of him and nipping his ear.