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swore i'd never do this again

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Swearing you’ll never do something again is all well and good until the something is right there, looking like everything you’ve ever wanted. Phil and eager go hand in hand, but also him and Dan could go hand in hand - he has two hands, after all. 

He’s at least reverse Google searched the photos this time, that has to count for something. He keeps telling himself that counts for something. That his mum should be proud of him. He’s grown exactly one brain cell in the last three years, and maybe it’s about to wither and die because he’s Skyping Dan and all he’s getting right now is a pair of arms. Good arms, yes, but he’s seen good arms in the past and he still doesn’t know if the past was - incest? The milkshake still confuses him, but so does all the gingerness. He doesn’t know. He doesn’t want to know. 

So he’s seeing arms and they’re tan and he’s hearing a voice and it at least sounds like it could match up to a picture of Dan’s face. The alarm bells don’t ring immediately, but they’re somewhere off in the distance. A flashback to a dream he had about being murdered between a Subway and Mcdonald's by Sexy Arms No Face

“Shit, sorry,” Dan says, posh and cute and - fuck, Phil hates arms. “I’ve got my quilt stuck in the laptop hinge. Is it a hinge? Fuck, give me a second. So fucking stuck.”

Phil gives him a second, and then a minute and it’s a lot of struggling noises. He wonders if this is all just a really good show, to make Phil believe it’s really technical difficulties as opposed to a pair of arms that want to scam him into being in love. 

Not that he’s in love with Dan, even though that might be a lie because he’s quick to fall and even quicker to wrap his heart up in a neat little bow and hand it over to the cute emo boy on the bird website. He can take the piss out of himself, at least, but this had felt different. If this isn’t real he genuinely has no idea what he’ll do - renounce love? Finally listen to his mother at the grand old age of 22? 

“I glued my laptop shut once.”

“What?” Dan shrieks, and the view is different - legs. Best legs Phil has ever seen. He’s spent a lot of time imagining Dan, how he’ll be, how he’ll act, how he’s - pretty. “How the fuck do you do that?”

“I tipped glue on my laptop and in a panic I just slammed it shut?” Phil is asking Dan, but really he should be telling Dan - it’s his stupid story. “I panic very badly, brain starts crying and then I just do the opposite of whatever is good.”

“S’alright, once I tipped coffee on my keyboard and my instinct was apparently I should drink that,” Dan laughs, and that’s a laugh that has to belong to a real person. “My mum walked in on me with my keyboard up in the air and fucking tilted into my mouth, don’t think we’ve ever recovered from there.”

It’s more - real? Maybe? Dan’s telling him personal stories even if he’s just some knees pushed up against a laptop camera. He doesn’t think he ever got one personal detail out of Luke, just a lot of questions about his hopes, his dreams - his bank account balance. 

“I think all germs are stored in a keyboard,” Phil says. “You know how they’re like oh… toilet seats?”

“Toilet seats, yeah,” Dan giggles, and Phil’s heart does something that means he’s in trouble - can’t even see a face, just a noise getting him all imagining their future. “Home of every germ on planet earth. Are you saying your keyboard is rank? Ranker than a toilet seat?”

“No!” Phil protests, hiding his blush behind his hands. He’s trying, really trying, to make a good first impression but he’s just going around telling people his keyboard is full of - shit? “No, shut up, I eat a lot over my laptop. There’s probably like bread crumbs and ermm… particles? Just saying people’s keyboards aren’t that clean, maybe.” 

“Probably right, do you ever tip it upside down and smack it and…” Dan murmurs, trails off. It’s progressed to a set of hands - huge ones, make Phil’s look small. “How the fuck did I even do this?”

“Pull really hard.”

“That’s what she said."

“That doesn’t even make any sense!” Phil yells. “What am I pulling?” 

“I dunno,” Dan shrugs, or at least Phil imagines he shrugs from the slight movement Phil is seeing. “Ah, there? There? Yeah… there.” 


“Just one…” There’s shuffling and a quilt being set free, or a least Phil thinks that’s what the small cheer of victory is for. 

He braces himself, takes too many deep breaths - enough to make himself feel a little bit sick. 

There’s a face, the best face Phil thinks he’s even seen. Partly because it’s actually really Dan, and mainly because Dan is hot. Because Dan looks just as excited about this as Phil feels - all squirmy, all can’t sit still. 

"Hi,” Dan smiles, dimples and flushed red cheeks - the everything Phil has ever wanted.