It’s almost funny how ironic life can be, how one little thing could change everything.
The butterfly effect was real. One little thing can lead to another little thing and so on until one big thing happens. That big thing could be anything really, good or bad.
Like how running late to something could make you turn a corner and run right into the future love of your life. Or alternatively, running late could make you less cautious of your surroundings, and you could run across the street without looking both ways first- which ends with a car speeding through and a whole other mess.
Anything can lead to anything. Every choice in life alters the future, no matter how small of a choice it is. The tiniest thing could lead to the biggest disaster.
Dan hated it. He hated all of it.
If he had only left ten minutes earlier, forcing himself to stop giving Phil a million goodbye hugs and kisses. Or if he had taken the alley shortcut instead of walking the longer way along the busy road. Or if the guy that nearly killed him wouldn’t have been driving drunk.
So many little things happened to lead up to this big thing, and if any one of those little things were different maybe Dan wouldn’t be dying right now.
Maybe he wouldn’t feel like his body was floating and he was sinking, or he wouldn’t feel so distanced from his own mind. Maybe it wouldn’t feel like his soul was being pulled directly from his chest.
Maybe he wouldn’t be in so much pain, maybe he wouldn’t have just suddenly felt nothing.
Nothing? Why was he feeling nothing?
Dan opens his eyes and immediately panics, he felt nothing. Not a damn thing.
And there was his body, several people- nurses- rushing to save his life in the back of the cramped ambulance.
Why could he see his own body? Why could nobody see him standing here?
“Hello?!” Dan yells, nobody even acknowledged him.
“Somebody help me! What’s happening?” He was panicking, but he couldn’t feel his heart hammering in his chest. He couldn’t feel anything.
And it was fucking terrifying.
He began screaming, as loud as he could. Nothing happened.
It’s like he wasn’t even there.
“Please...” Dan whimpers, feeling himself start to cry. But no tears ever fell.
It’s like he could feel the crushing sadness and the upset emotions, but no tears could actually come from his body.
Because he wasn’t in his body- his body was right in front of him and it was beaten and bloody and didn’t look alive.
He stares at himself, feeling nothing but panic. He was so scared.
He tries to focus on the nurses, seeing if he can hear any explanation for this.
“...Oxygen levels are dropping- so is his heart rate...”
“...well there’s not much else we can do!...”
Dan was confused, what had even happened? Why was he so hurt- how did it happen? Was he dying? He couldn’t be dying!
“I’m right here!” Dan screams, his hysterical cries went unheard, “Please! Someone just look at me- see me!”
The ambulance stops and the nurses don’t waste any time unloading his body. One of the nurses walked right through him, making his ghostly form jump.
“What the fuck?!” Dan felt like he could pass out, but he wasn’t actually conscious in the first place. He didn’t even know if he was alive. He wasn’t even in his own damn body!
Dan tries to follow as his body is rushed down the long tiled hospital hallways.
“We have a code blue...” One of the nurses speaks into a walkie-talkie looking thing but her voice echoes through the whole hospital, “ICU floor two...”
Dan couldn’t focus on much, he just heard bits and pieces.
“...Young white male...”
“...struck by drunk driver...”
Dan whips his ghostly body around when he hears another voice, one much more familiar. It sounded in hysterics, unable to breathe, and highly upset.
Dan still couldn’t wrap his mind around all of this- did he even have a mind? Well he could think, he just couldn’t do much else.
“Dan! Oh my god-“
Dan turns just to see Phil rush through, seeing him suddenly stop as Dan’s bloodied body is rushed past him.
“Sir you have to stay back-“ Some large man in a security outfit grips Phil’s arm, pulling him backwards so he couldn’t follow the gurney holding Dan’s body.
Dan felt his heart constrict- he didn’t know he could feel that right now- but just looking at Phil made him hurt even more. The pure terror and fear in his eyes and the sadness and panic on his face- Dan wanted to hug him and kiss his worries away.
But he couldn’t.
“Dan!” Phil screams again, trying to fight away from the guard, “Let me go- please. I have to see him- let me see him!”
Phil’s words were rushed and full of panic, and he was fighting hard to try and follow the quick moving gurney that was now out of view.
Another security man came to hold Phil, it took two large guys to keep Phil from rushing back into the intensive care unit of the hospital.
“Please!” Phil yells, he was wearing himself out and his fighting was getting weaker. The guards just held him back with no intent to hurt him, they just kept calmly explaining that he couldn’t go back. He couldn’t see Dan.
The guards let Phil weakly punch at them and kick and scream, they had been through this all before with other people.
Phil eventually gave up, letting his body collapse to the floor. Then came the flood of tears and heart-wrenching sobs.
“Phil?” Dan yells, running to him and dropping to his knees to be face to face with his boyfriend. “Phil I’m here!”
Surely Phil could see him, Phil would be able to tell that he’s here.
“Phil please just see me!” Dan tries to reach out and touch Phil’s shoulder to console him, but his hand goes right through him.
Not even Phil could see him.
“Please Phil, please! I’m right here! God dammit I’m right here!” Dan felt the tearless cries ripping through his body.
Phil was sobbing and mumbling about Dan and how he’s scared- and ghostly Dan could do nothing but watch.
Phil’s tears were almost making a puddle on the floor.
Dan had never seen Phil so upset, literally never. Not even close.
Dan suddenly felt a pull inside of his body and he was being ripped away from Phil, “No let me go to Phil!” He yells desperately, his words were still unheard.
He was pulled until he was in the same room with his body, and he couldn’t leave. If he ran anymore than twenty feet away he’d be pulled right back.
The crowd of doctors working on him made him anxious, what was happening? Was he okay?
Dan hears something about a medicated coma, and something about how that would be better for him. How he would have a better chance to survive.
“...I really don’t think he’s going to make it until tomorrow...”
We’re doctors aloud to be that pessimistic? What did he mean Dan wouldn’t make it until tomorrow?
“What?” Dan asks, “No, I’ll be fine. I have to be fine. I can’t die!”
Dan almost scoffed, he can’t die! He has so much left to do with life, he has YouTube and the fans, he has his family, he has Phil.
He hasn’t even gotten to get married yet! He can’t die! Him and Phil had promised each other forever- forever can’t be so soon can it?
Maybe forever is meant to be this short lived...
“No!” Dan yells, “I can’t die- I’m not fucking dying!”
He thinks about stupid things, like video games and Starbucks dates with Phil and walks in the park. He thinks about the fans and how completely devastated they would be if he was gone- he can’t die!
He thinks about his family, and his family’s dog Colin. He thinks about Phil’s family and he thinks about everyone he’s ever met or talked too. He thinks about so many things.
Then there’s Phil and he thinks about the cuddles, the kisses, the stupid smile Phil does with his tongue and god- he can not die, he can’t fucking die. Not today, not anytime soon. He can’t die. Absolutely can’t.
He watches as a tube is put down his throat and he watches a million IV’s get stabbed into him, filling him with god only knows what drugs.
He watches as his more minor wounds are bandaged and he watches as he is x-rayed and certain limbs are casted. His back and neck stay held in place with braces, so nothing can move out of place.
He hears from someone that the whole right side of his body is crushed, he hears one of them say,
“...he’s not dead, but he’d be better off that way...”
Dan doesn’t know how painful it is, but he knows he’d much rather endure months of pain and live a long life than just die right now.
He had so much to live for.
The bruises and cuts and overall swollen-ness of his body made him nearly unrecognizable.
His right arm and leg were completely casted. His arm from shoulder to wrist and his leg from upper thigh to ankle.
If he magically gets sucked back into his body it’s going to suck, but it’s fine if it means he gets to live. Hell he’ll endure months of this, he just wants to make it out in the end. He’s not done living- not even close!
The nurses and doctors slowly filter out and he’s left alone, until the door opens again.
It’s a nurse and Phil, she’s talking to him about Dan’s injuries and Phil looked disoriented and upset- like he just didn’t know what to do.
Phil’s hands were shaking as he pulled a chair to Dan’s bedside, staying to his left side that wasn’t as injured. Actually its it’s like his whole body was shaking, Dan could see the wobble in his knees as he slowly sat down.
Silent tears ran down Phil’s cheeks, and he looked so broken and sad. Dan wanted to hug him and tell him it’s okay, that he’d be fine- but he couldn’t. He didn’t even know what was going on.
“Do you have any questions hon?” The nurse asks kindly, her concerned smile focused on Phil.
Phil doesn’t look away from Dan’s face. He seemed to think and think and think some more. The nurse waited.
Phil’s tongue darts out to wet his lips and a shaky breath leaves his mouth, “Um...” He swallows thickly, his mind still trying to remember how to make his mouth speak, “Will- will he be okay?” Phil asks, his voice breaking at the end of his sentence. It looked like he was about to break down again. Phil was trying so damn hard to hold it together.
The nurse frowns sadly and gives Phil a pitied look, “He-“
“Don’t-“ Phil takes a deep breath to keep the incoming sob at bay, he felt his bottom lip shaking and warm tears were still falling from his sad eyes, “Please don’t tell me he’s gonna- that h-he’s gonna...” Phil just physically and mentally couldn’t make himself say the word die.
“I’m sorry honey.” The nurse speaks, her voice still overly kind, “But it just doesn’t look good.”
Phil nods as he internally breaks, feeling his heart almost literally snap and shatter into a million pieces. It fucking hurt to hear the truth. He ducks his head and buries his face in his hands as a sob rips through his body, leaving him to hysterically cry all over again.
The nurse leaves, letting Phil have a moment to himself.
Phil’s head hurt something awful. His mind felt foggy and fuzzy like he just couldn’t think or comprehend anything. He felt like he could be sick.
He wanted to cry, to scream, to fall to the floor, to punch a wall... he just wanted nothing more than to see Dan wake up and be fine. This was just a bad dream, this doesn’t just happen to people. People don’t get hit by drunk idiots and die do they? This is fake. This is all a nightmare and Phil knew he was about to wake up. He’d wake up and be under the duvet with Dan snuggled up to him- because that’s real.
Dan is fine. Dan is okay. Dan is-
Phil slips off of the chair, his body colliding with the floor. He couldn’t take it, he couldn’t take the pain in his chest and the ache in his skull.
Dan watches Phil break and it was heartbreaking. He wanted to wake up just to give Phil hope but he didn’t know how- he didn’t even understand all of this.
Phil smacks his head on the hard floor, “This isn’t real-“ He sobs, “This can’t be fucking real-“
“Phil...” Dan mumbles, reaching out to him.
Once again, Dan goes right through him.
Phil pushes himself up to his knees, his fists colliding with the floor as he punches it, trying to rid himself of some of the pent up emotion. “This isn’t fucking fair!” He pulls at his hair when his hands begin to hurt.
Dan wanted to pull him in and hug him tight. He wanted to kiss him on the forehead and cuddle him and say “everything will be alright”.
But even Dan didn’t know if things would be okay.
Apparently he was fucking dying.
Hours passed and Phil didn’t leave. Now he was just sitting there, staring at Dan with the saddest expression he had ever had on his face. He was all cried out and his body ached.
There was a knock on the door before one of the nurses walked in, “Would you like some blankets or anything?” She asks, “The recliner in the corner is probably comfier than that chair-“
“Do you think I care about a damn recliner right now?” Phil asks, he didn’t mean to be an asshole but he just wanted everyone to leave him the hell alone. It’s bad enough he had to turn his phone off to keep people from checking up on him- he just couldn’t handle any conversation right now. He needed time, and he needed a lot of it. He needed time he didn’t have- time Dan didn’t have.
The nurse didn’t seem phased by Phil’s reply, “Well if there’s anything I can get you, just ask.”
Phil just nods, deciding not to speak. He doesn’t even speak when the nurse comes back and sets a few folded blankets and a bottle of water on the counter for him. She doesn’t say anything either, she just leaves to tend to her other patients.
Phil moves closer to Dan and gently reaches out, he was told his left arm and leg were fine and unharmed. He gently holds Dan’s left hand in his, touching him for the first time since that morning before Dan left the apartment.
Another sob tried to rip itself out of Phil the second contact was made, but by some grace of something holy Phil managed to keep it in.
“God-“ Phil lets his head drop, his tears drip onto his jeans. “Dan please-“ He takes a deep shuddery breath, “I don’t know if you can even hear me, but god dammit Dan please...”
Dan just watched, he couldn’t do much else. He felt the overwhelming sadness spread through his heart.
Phil’s hands were shaking and his breathing was shaky as well, “I-“ his voice breaks, “I love you so damn much.”
Dan looks away as he blinks away the tears that would normally be there, he looks back at Phil and mumbles softly, “I love you too.” Not that it could be heard.
More hours pass and it was now in the middle of the night. Apparently they couldn’t do anything more for Dan, they were just waiting for him to die. Not that they used those exact words, it sounded more like,
“We’re just trying to keep him comfortable, and trying to keep his pain level as low as possible until...”
Then the guy had trailed off when he saw Phil almost look pained, like someone had physically ripped into his chest and crushed his heart between their fingers.
The guy just patted Phil on the shoulder before saying, “If there’s anything I can do for you...”
Phil let out an emotionless laugh at that before speaking, “The one thing I want is the one thing I can’t have. I want my boyfriend to live- can you fucking do that?”
The guy left after his mumble of, “I’m sorry.”
But that had happened a few hours ago, now Phil was curled up in the recliner by Dan’s bed and he was wrapped up in blankets. He was crying again.
Dan just watched him, unable to do much else. If he was dying he wanted to make every second count and staring at Phil was the best thing he could do. He wished he could hug him, comfort him, tell him he loves him- but that was all impossible.
At least his last words to Phil were ‘I love you’ from that morning. The damn morning Dan just decided to leave the house before noon.
If he had even been a minute earlier or later to walk out the door maybe he’d be home, snuggling with Phil as they tried to fall asleep. Maybe he’d be okay. Maybe he wouldn’t be dying.
The second Phil’s brain decides to crash and pull him into unconsciousness, Dan feels weird.
His whole ghostly body felt cold and he felt pain creeping through him. Its like he was being sucked back towards himself.
“What the- no...” Dan sees his heart monitor get flatter and flatter as he gets sucked closer to his dying body, “No!” He screams, trying to run in the opposite direction- but it was like he was going nowhere.
“No no no no!” He screams repetitively, it didn’t stop. He felt nothing but pain as he blacked out, feeling stuck and stiff and suddenly nothing. He felt nothing.
Phil jumped awake at the sound of incessant beeping, it took his mind a few seconds to register what it was, but by that time several nurses had already piled in.
Phil was being dragged back towards the door, he felt his heart speeding up and his tired swollen eyes filling with a new wave of tears. Panic set in full force and he screamed for Dan, watching in horror as the love of his life slipped away from him.
Phil was on the floor in the hallway, leaned against the wall with his knees pulled to his chest. He didn’t know anything, apparently Dan was still alive. Dan’s pulse just got so critically low that the heart monitor decided to scare the hell out of everyone.
Phil wasn’t aloud back in the room yet, they were apparently doing more tests and scans and god only knows what else. Phil just felt tired and done, he didn’t know what to do except sit here and feel empty.
Hours passed, the sun had set and was starting to come up again. Now Phil knew a bit more.
Phil knew it was serious, apparently the doctors were trying to figure out if Dan could survive surgery or if it was even worth it.
Phil wanted to scream, they were trying to tell him that Dan wasn’t worth it. That he should just be left to die. Phil remembers yelling, “If he’s going to die anyway why don’t you just do the surgery?! Just try!”
Then they had the audacity to make it about money and say it was to expensive to waste time on Dan.
They didn’t use those exact words but Phil knew that’s how they wanted to word it, and he was quite pissed about it.
Now Dan would probably die sooner than he thought. It hurt worse than anything he could even possibly imagine when he thought that this time next week, Dan wouldn’t be with him. Dan would be gone.
Then the tears came again, Phil couldn’t do anything but cry and plead to a god he wasn’t even sure existed.
Later that day, Phil turned his phone back on. He knew he had to update everyone on Dan’s condition considering all they knew was that Dan was hit by a drunk driver on the sidewalk. And even if they called the hospital they wouldn’t get any info, confidentiality and all that.
The second his phone powers on he gets slammed with message after message, all of their friends and family spamming him with concerned texts and missed calls.
The stress was eating him alive but he knew he needed to update everyone, so he simply sends out a mass text telling everyone Dan’s condition and updating them. He also tells everyone to give him some space unless they have serious questions. He hopes that doesn’t make him a dick but he can’t handle all of this right now, he knew all of his family and his true friends would understand. Especially if they just found out Dan was dying, they would know to let Phil have some space. Phil would update them if something else happened.
Phil couldn’t stop staring at Dan, never knowing when would be that last second he’d see him alive.
He glances down at his phone when it dings, looking to see who messaged him.
Martyn: you need anything?
Phil sighs, when would people stop asking that?
He wanted to be left alone.
Martyn: mum told me to keep an eye on you, also I’m just worried about you. Just keep me updated, okay?
Phil didn’t reply, he was too busy crying all over again. He reaches out to hold Dan’s hand again, letting his phone slide off his lap and hit the tile floor. He didn’t care about it, he just cared about Dan and Dan wasn’t going to be here much longer.
Dan watched Phil from across the room, he was able to pull himself back out of his body. It was hard, but he did it. If he would have let himself go that would’ve been it. He’d be dead right now. He had to stay alive, for the fans, for his friends, for his family, for Phil.
He was trying so hard to ignore the pull his body had on him, but he wasn’t going down that easily.
Phil picks his phone up a few minutes later, after he managed to contain his tears. He wipes at his eyes and unlocks his phone.
Phil: actually can you just come here? just keep me company?
Phil tries to keep breathing steadily, he didn’t need another breakdown. He needed to at least try and keep himself together.
Martyn: I’ll be right there
Martyn got there surprisingly fast, almost like he was already on his way when Phil asked him to come. Phil didn’t say anything about it though, he just let his brother into Dan’s hospital room without a word.
“Hey.” Martyn says, unsure of what tone to use.
Phil doesn’t say anything, he just closes the door and goes back to his chair.
Martyn pulls a chair up beside Phil, keeping a good bit of distance.
“How are you feeling?” Martyn asks, unsure if Phil would even reply.
Phil scoffs, “How do you think I-“ he cuts himself off, “Sorry I just-“ his head falls back down into his hands as he desperately tries to hold it together.
“No it’s okay, hey-“ Martyn reaches out to him.
“No I’m fine.” Phil leans away from the hand on his shoulder.
“No, you’re not.” Martyn sighs, “Phil just stop forcing yourself to seem fine, you can talk to me.”
“I-“ Phil’s mind was spinning with so many different thoughts, “I’m- I’m not okay, okay? I’m not okay.”
He breaks down, all of his pent up tears falling down. He practically chokes on sobs.
Phil hears Martyn scoot a bit closer before he feels a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry-“ Phil sniffs and wipes at his eyes, it was useless though because more tears immediately fell.
“Don’t apologize.” Martyn frowns.
Phil tries to breathe but his lungs hurt and everything felt shaky, “I don’t know what to do... what do I even do after all of this? I- I don’t want to live without him... I can’t live without him.”
“I know, I know.”
“He’s-“ Another heartbreaking sob rips itself from Phil’s body, “He’s going to die... the love of my life is going to die and I can’t do anything, I-“ Phil’s speech starts to become incoherent from the crying.
Martyn blinks away tears and stays silent. Dan was his friend and this hurt like hell for him so he couldn’t even begin to imagine how Phil felt. He didn’t even know what to say.
“It feels like I’m literally losing half of myself and I just feel so empty.” Phil wipes the tears off of his face, but more tears kept coming. He doesn’t know how he hasn’t cried himself dry already, “I- I don’t know what to do... I don’t know how I’m supposed to live now, how do I just continue life when the biggest part of my life is missing?”
Dan paces the room behind Phil, it hurt like hell to see Phil like this and hear him talk like that. He just wanted to live, but he didn’t know how.
He has absolutely no clue how to just wake up, it’s like he’s stuck in this weird in-between world. Nobody could see him or hear him and he couldn’t do anything to alert anyone that he’s here.
“What if I am dead?” Dan asks himself, “Maybe that’s why I’m a ghost- or whatever the hell I am right now.”
The longer he watched Phil cry, and the more he heard Phil’s sad words- the bigger this weird feeling grew inside of him. It made him feel stronger for some reason but he didn’t know what do do with that feeling, nobody could see him so what was the point?
“I wish it was me instead.” Phil says through heavy sobs, “I’d gladly take all of this away from him right now-“
“Don’t say that.” Martyn replies, cutting Phil off.
Those words hurt Dan even more, he definitely wouldn’t want Phil to be in this position.
Dan knew he could find a way to stay alive, he was determined. He just had to fight the nagging pull his body had on him.
Martyn tried his best to calm Phil down but he knew it wouldn’t work, Phil was completely heartbroken.
Eventually Phil cried himself out, he wipes at his eyes and tries to ignore the pounding ache in his skull, “I’m sorry for crying so much...”
“You don’t have to be sorry.” Martyn replies, sighing deeply as he looks over at Dan. He fights back his own emotions. “Have you eaten anything today?” He asks when Phil seems to have regained a bit of emotional stability.
Phil shrugs in reply.
“Phil.” Martyn presses.
“No.” Phil sighs, “I just- no.” He admits.
“C’mon, we’re getting you something to eat. I’m not letting you sit here and slowly kill yourself and mum told me to take care of you.”
“I’m not four Martyn, I’m fine.”
“I don’t care how old you are and you’re not fine.” Martyn says, he grabs Phil’s arm and pulls him up from the chair, “C’mon.”
Phil looks at Dan and sighs, he steps closer to the bed and rests his hand on Dan’s, “I’ll be back soon.” He leans down and presses a kiss to Dan’s forehead, “I love you so much.” He whispers softly.
“Phil...” Dan whimpers, he wanted nothing more than to hug him and not let go.
He watches Phil leave the room with Martyn. Dan couldn’t leave, the pull his body had on him was too strong and he couldn’t get past the door.
Phil managed to eat a cookie and half a bag of crisps. He just felt sick and the weight of food settling in his stomach made it worse.
The hospital cafeteria was closed and Phil refused to leave the building, so vending machines were the only option.
“You should call mum.” Martyn says, watching Phil try and screw the cap back on his bottle of water. He could see how shaky Phil’s hands were, it’s like he was constantly having a panic attack. It was sad to watch.
Phil just shrugs.
“I mean it Phil, you should. Everyone is-“
“I know everyone’s worried about me, I see it every time I pick up my damn phone. There’s always a flood of messages asking ‘how are you’ ‘are you okay’ ‘do you need anything’ and I’m sick of it. Everyone’s just breathing down my damn neck and it’s making everything worse.” Phil lets out a shaky breath, “I know people are worried and I know they want to hear something from me. I just need space, I need time to think and be alone. I need to grieve on my own. I know I’m never going to get over this- I mean I’m losing my soulmate... but I can’t even try to feel any better if everyone is constantly pushing me about how I’m doing. Because news flash I’m doing pretty damn bad.”
“Nobody is trying to upset you. You don’t have to answer them, they just care about you Phil and they want to make sure you know that. You said it yourself you feel empty, and that’s not a good thing to feel. Everyone just wants you to know they’re here for you, we don’t want you to feel alone.”
“When I’m upset I just prefer to be alone.” Phil says, looking down at the plastic table.
“I know, you’ve never been the ‘I’m upset so hug me’ type. You’re more the ‘leave me the hell alone to cry or I will severely hurt you’ type.” Martyn says, earning the smallest smile from Phil. It doesn’t last long and immediately turns back to a frown but at least it was something.
They both fall silent for a while until Phil speaks up, Phil was never one to openly talk about how he feels but this whole situation made him realize he can’t keep it all in. That would do more harm than good.
“Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll ever be okay again.” Phil says sadly, staring down at his hands that were nervously fidgeting together on the table.
“Only time will tell.” Martyn says, knowing damn well he pulled those words out of his ass. “I know this is hard- I can’t even imagine how hard it is, but people love you and they’re here for you. Don’t isolate yourself, that will just make you feel worse and even emptier.”
“I just want to know why this happened? It’s just not fucking fair.” Phil says, almost getting choked up again, “Dan doesn’t deserve to die.”
“He doesn’t.” Martyn agrees.
“He’s one of the most kind-hearted people, he does so much for others, he doesn’t deserve this...” Phil takes deep breaths to keep himself from breaking down again, “Some asshole just decided to drive drunk and hit him and it’s not fucking fair-“ Phil’s attempt to hold it together fails and he breaks down again, laying his head in his folded arms.
They walk back to Dan’s room about an hour later, Phil wasn’t able to stop crying for a while and he ended up sobbing on the floor curled up in a ball.
“I better head home, but you can text me if you need anything okay?”
Phil nods, “Okay. Thanks.” He can’t seem to stop shaking.
“Do you need me to stay?”
“No- no. I’m- I will be okay.” Phil lies.
“I’m coming back tomorrow, just to make sure you’ve eaten something and gotten some sleep. I don’t want mum up my ass because you aren’t being taken care of.”
Phil rolls his eyes, “Okay, but I’m fine.”
Martyn sighs, “Just try to take care of yourself, I don’t want you to end up admitted to the hospital- and that’s probably the last thing you need right now. Just know I love you and you can text me if you need anything, and please just call or text mum.”
“Okay.” Phil says, looking down at the floor. He probably wouldn’t call his mother just for the fact that she’d baby the hell out of him and ask him a million things and right now Phil just didn’t want that. Sure he was a mommas boy but right now he just needed to be alone.
Martyn leaves and Phil is left in silence. He sits by Dan and holds his hand gently.
“I’m back.” Phil sighs sadly, “I love you.”
Dan watches from his spot on the floor. He was leaned against the wall just thinking of anything that could get him out of this. He just wanted to live, he doesn’t even know if he has a choice.
Dan looks up when he hears Phil start talking.
“I don’t know what to do... you know I need you.” Phil swallows thickly, “I can’t imagine my life without you and it’s so so hard. I don’t know how I’ll get through this.” Phil goes silent for a minute, waiting for the sting of tears in his eyes to go away, “Please Dan. Just- if there’s anything, any chance at all... just try. Please, you’re strong and you’re so damn special to this world. Just try to stay alive, try to stay with me.”
“I’m trying.” Dan says, “Phil I’m really trying.” He didn’t want to let Phil down, they’re supposed to grow old together.
Later that night when Phil was fast asleep, Dan paced the room. He watched Phil toss and turn, but he was so tired his body had just crashed. Phil needed rest.
Dan didn’t know what to do, was this weird half-life thing he’s experiencing supposed to make him go insane?
He felt like he was shaking and there was this overwhelming pressure building up inside of him. He wasn’t steady and felt like he could fall right through the floor.
“What’s happening to me?!” He grips at his hair and falls to his knees.
Dan freezes up, feeling everything around him stop. He looks up to see someone standing there, and they could see him.
Dan scrambles to his feet, “You can see me?”
“Yeah.” They say.
“Who are you?” Dan takes a step back, feeling his skin crawl as he looked at the being in front of him.
“That’s not important.”
“It is.” Dan says, he keeps backing up until he almost walks through the counter, “Who are you?”
That makes the skin crawling nausea feeling make sense, “What the fuck is happening?”
“I just said, you’re dying- and you’re fighting it.”
“Of course I’m fighting it! I’m not supposed to die like this-“
“How would you know?” Death asks, still not moving from their place in the middle of the room.
“Because- I-“ Dan didn’t know.
“Exactly.” Death says, “I know this all seems weird, and I’m not supposed to interfere but if you want to live you’re going about this all the wrong way.”
“Huh?” Dan was confused and felt like he could be sick and everything was so cold.
“You’re fighting your own body.”
“But if I don’t then I’ll die.” Dan says, “I got pulled back in once and my heart almost gave out on itself.”
“You didn’t give yourself time to readjust. Listen, I don’t know if you’ll live or die here- I know nothing until you actually do die. But you’re keeping yourself stuck in the empty- which is why no one can see you or hear you.”
“But how do I fix this? How do I live?”
“I don’t know if you’ll live or not.” Death shrugs.
“But you’re death?”
“I’m just here to get you unstuck from the empty. As you stand now, nothing will happen to you. You won’t live or die because your body is empty, you’ve left it abandoned.” Death explains, “You’re fighting so hard against yourself and it’s keeping you stuck here. You need to let it go, I have no idea if you’ll live or if you’ll die but if you stay here nothing will happen- as I just said.”
“But I could die...”
“But you could live.” Death says, “You see how Phil is now? How upset he is about all of this? If you never morph back to yourself Phil will be stuck here grieving over you forever when you haven’t even died yet. That would torture him for the rest of his life, knowing you aren’t dead but you’ll never wake up. But if you let this go you’ll either die, and Phil can grieve and try to move on with life or you will live and get the happy ending. I don’t know which you’ll get, that’s entirely up to you and how much of a fight you’re willing to put up.”
“So I can choose to live?”
“Yes, but you’re hurt pretty bad Dan. You might give up on yourself without meaning too and one second is all it will take for you to slip. If you want to live you need to be able to bare the pain for as long as it takes doctors to fix you- if they can.”
“I can do it.” Dan says, he looks over at Phil, “Just seeing him so broken is making this weird strength grow inside of me. Like I just want to get back to him and hug him and tell him everything is okay and that is keeping me going.”
“That strength is just your will to live. Phil obviously means a lot to you so seeing him upset over you is making you want to live even more, it’s just strengthening your will.”
“Then I can make it.” Dan nods, “I’m gonna live.”
“Once you go back into your body you won’t remember anything from the empty, so just concentrate on that strength. It might be just enough to get you through this.”
Death seemed to just disappear.
Dan felt like he was going crazy, but he felt like anything could happen considering he wasn’t even in his body right now.
He was just watching Phil, knowing this could be the last time he’d ever see him.
Dan knew he had to let his body pull him in. He couldn’t let Phil tear himself up and break down for the rest of his life while Dan stayed in a coma. He had to let life run its course, either he’d die- which was the likely option- or he’d win and he’d live.
“Phil...” Dan walks over to him, “I love you.” He places his hand on Phil’s, expecting it to go right through him. It doesn’t.
Phil startles awake when he feels his hand get grabbed, not that he was in a deep sleep anyway. That’s kind of hard to do when the love of your life is dying.
Dan squeezes his hand and Phil jumps, pulling his hand to his chest.
“Phil?” Dan asks, shocked.
Phil still couldn’t hear him.
Phil was confused, he didn’t feel scared or threatened- but he didn’t know what to do. What just happened?
He lays his hand back down on the arm of the chair before speaking nervously, “Dan?”
Dan instantly places his hand on Phil’s again, but it goes right through it. “Dammit! No no no- Phil I’m here!”
Phil shakes it off, “Must’ve been nothing. It’s fine.” He tells himself, shaking away the uneasy feeling.
Dan’s will to live suddenly grew even greater, he felt hopeful. If he could do that then he could live right?
“Phil I love you more than anything, and I will see you again.” Dan takes a shaky breath before looking at his own body. He steps closer to it. “You better fucking live Dan, you hear me?” He tells himself.
With one last glance to Phil he gives in, letting his body take over. It was now up to him to survive this fight, his body was in critical condition but his soul was still perfect. Only time would tell.
Phil jumps awake when the heart monitor rings out again, for the second night in a row. It was almost like a nightmare.
Not only was the heart monitor a mess but so was every other machine Dan was hooked too.
Phil was rushed out of the room by nurses, not a single one giving him any info on what was currently happening.
No more than twenty minutes later they all walked out, one of them coming to Phil.
“What happened?” Phil asks frantically, scared tears rolling down his cheeks.
“We don’t know.” She says, “We don’t think it was anything to do with him, we think it was an electrical short that made the machines fritz. Everything seems to be fine and is working now, his oxygen and heart rate has actually improved since I checked his vitals earlier.”
“Do you think he will-“ Phil shuts up the second she frowns, giving him that same pitied look everyone else did.
“His brain activity is still close to gone. Just because he’s breathing and his heart is beating, doesn’t mean-“
“I know. I’m just clinging to any bit of positivity I get, I’m sorry.” Phil brushes past her and goes back to Dan’s bedside.
He couldn’t sleep now.
Days passed by and Phil stayed here, not leaving Dan’s side unless Martyn came to drag him away to eat and get some air.
They had been doing more tests on Dan, they didn’t know how he was still alive. They said he wouldn’t make it past one night but it had been six days since the accident.
They had even moved Dan from the intensive care unit into hospice three days ago. They gave him a big room with an extra bed so Phil wouldn’t have to kill his spine in a chair anymore, not that Phil slept much.
Phil just kept getting sadder and sadder, emptier and emptier. Just watching Dan lay there, covered in scrapes and bruises with his casted limbs... it was heartbreaking.
Phil still refused to talk to anyone except Martyn and occasionally his mother, he just couldn’t handle talking to anyone right now. Everyone wanted to share stories about Dan and celebrate his life and talk about him and Phil just couldn’t.
Phil couldn’t share happy funny stories about Dan when he was literally watching him die. It made him want to die, and he already wanted to cease to exist enough right now- not that he told anyone.
He knew it was just the emptiness and sadness and he was down and depressed. He didn’t know if it would ever feel better but he was determined to keep going, if Dan wasn’t able to live for himself then Phil would just have to live for both of them.
“Hey.” Martyn enters the room, “I brought you coffee.”
“Thanks.” Phil replies and takes the warm drink, he was exhausted.
“Have you heard anything?” He asks. He knows they had to run more tests but that was about it.
“Nope, I’ve asked and they just keep telling me they’ll know something soon.” Phil sips the coffee, feeling it burn his throat. He doesn’t care. “They’re still saying it doesn’t look good and they told me Dan won’t make it out of hospice.” Phil frowns.
Martyn frowns as well, “I’m so sorry Phil.”
Phil shrugs and doesn’t reply. He lets his teary eyes dry themselves up as he sips his coffee.
“I know you’re upset Phil, it’s okay. You don’t have to act so strong in this situation. You’re aloud to have emotions and we both know pushing them aside won’t make you feel any better.”
“I miss him and he’s not even gone yet, just-“ Phil tries to breathe, he can’t let himself break again he just needs to talk, “I’ll never get to hear his voice again, i’ll never get to hug him again, I’ll never see him awake again... once he’s gone I’m not going to know what to do with myself. How do I keep living when such a big part of me is just gone?”
“Honestly, I don’t know. But I’m here for you and I’m sure you can overcome this-“
“That’s the thing, I can’t.” Phil says, exasperated. “I literally can’t!”
“Shut up! I’m sick of everyone pitying me and making me feel like shit, I know you’re just trying to help but god dammit all that could help me right now is if I could fucking die!” Phil yells, immediately planting his face in his hands and sobbing.
“Don’t say that...” Martyn says softly, his eyes wide with shock.
“I’m sorry.” Phil sniffs, “I don’t mean that... I’m sorry.”
“I’m just really upset and sad and I don’t know how to handle all of this. That’s all, I didn’t mean that and I shouldn’t have said it.” Phil says, letting out a deep shaky breath, “I don’t know where that came from to be honest.”
“Phil if you’re feeling that way you shouldn’t keep it in.” Martyn looked extremely worried.
“I’m not.” Phil runs a shaky hand through his hair, “Don’t worry, I’m fine- well I’m not fine but I’m not thinking about... that.”
“If you’re even the slightest bit suicidal please don’t keep that to yourself. I don’t care who you tell or who you talk to about it just as long as you tell someone that can help you. I’m really worried about you. I know you’re going through the roughest time of your life right now but-“
“I’m not suicidal.” Phil sighs, “I’m just sad and pretty damn depressed and that’s making me feel like dying would be easier... but I know the easy way out isn’t the right way in this situation. I’d never do that, Dan wouldn’t want that and I don’t want that. Once my mind sorts itself out I’ll be fine, I just mentally feel like crap right now.”
“Just don’t be scared to talk to me okay?” Martyn still looked concerned, but not as bad.
There was a knock on the door before the doctor walks in, almost saving Phil from having to talk about his feelings anymore.
“So, you’ve been wanting an update on Dan’s condition and I’ve got a pretty big update.”
Phil swallows thickly, “Good or bad?”
“Surprisingly, good.” The doctor smiles, “Everything we’ve done to treat the internal bleeding has worked, we had to give him a transfusion- as you know- and after that we did more tests and it’s gone. The only thing we really have to worry about now is the mild head trauma but I think we can move him out of hospice.”
“Wait-“ Phil’s eyes flood with tears and he feels so many things at once, “Are you saying...?”
“The internal bleeding was severe, I thought for sure he’d bleed out before we could treat it. But by some grace of god, he’s doing better. Dan’s quite a strong one.”
The biggest smile breaks out on Phil’s face and hope fills his previously empty heart, he breaks down- but this time it’s out of pure happiness. “He’s- he’ll be okay?”
“After looking into his condition more, I think he can make a full recovery. It will take a lot of time, but the major issue is out of the way so we can focus on the smaller things and get him on the road to being him again. He is extremely lucky.”
Dan is moved into a normal hospital room later that day. Phil couldn’t stop beaming, he had hope that Dan would make it. The doctor said it would take a lot of time and Dan would be in pain for quite a while, but he would make it out alive.
That’s all that mattered at this point.
Apparently Dan’s body had been fighting really hard to stay alive. They said Dan easily could’ve let himself slip and he could have died, but he’s been fighting death so much that he won. He’d be okay.
“When do you think he’ll wake up?” Phil asks one of the nurses when she comes to give Dan his pain medicine.
“We still have him in a medicated coma, it’s best he stays under until we’re sure he can handle the pain. We keep watching his vitals and seeing how he reacts to the pain meds and once we figure out the right dosages to keep him comfortable we can slowly bring him out of the coma.”
She leaves a few minutes later after she records Dan’s vitals.
Phil turns back to Martyn who was still sticking around, “I feel like I’m going to pass out.”
“Please don’t.” Martyn says.
“My emotions have whiplash. Earlier I was so sad and destroyed and now I just feel so... so hopeful and happy.” Phil says, “He’s gonna be okay.”
Martyn smiles, “He is, and it’s amazing that he made it through all of this.”
“Just like the doctor said, he’s a strong one. Something in the back of my mind knew he could do it, I knew he wouldn’t die.” Phil says, he grabs Dan’s unhurt hand and rubs his thumb over the back of it, “He is gonna be alright.”
The next day the nurses take the breathing tube out of Dan’s throat, his oxygen levels were back up and they showed that he could breathe on his own. The nurses still gave him a cannula for oxygen, one of those small tubes that go into your nose and wraps around your ears.
Phil was so happy to see Dan supporting himself and staying alive. After the past week this was all the happiness he needed, he was getting to keep Dan here with him.
Dan was going to survive.
The next day was the day Phil had been waiting for. The doctor decided it was safe to bring Dan out of the coma.
Martyn was here, just to keep Phil company as always. Phil wouldn’t admit it but he really appreciated his brother’s support and his shoulder to cry on over the past week.
They both stood back by the door as two nurses worked. Phil didn’t know what they were doing but he knew the effect would be Dan waking up so he just silently watched. He tried to be patient but he just wanted to see Dan’s pretty brown eyes again and he wanted to hear his voice and so much more.
One of the nurses was messing with the machines while the other was administering Dan’s pain medicine. They maxed out his dose, deciding to give him as much as they legally could just to minimize his pain when he woke up.
“It’s time.” One of the nurses smiles at Phil, he gets a syringe ready and pulls some medicine into it.
Phil watches the medicine flow through the IV and into Dan’s body.
“That should do it.” He says, glancing at Dan’s heart monitor to check vitals.
Phil doesn’t know what he was hoping for, it’s not like Dan was going to just jump awake. “How long-“
“Give it a few hours.” He smiles at Phil, “He has to build up strength and pull himself out of it, but he’ll wake up. Give him some time.”
Phil immediately moves to sit by Dan’s bedside when the nurses leave. He stares intently at Dan’s face.
“You know that phrase ‘a watched pot never boils’?” Martyn asks, sitting in the chair by Phil’s.
“Yeah and what about it?”
“I’m pretty sure this is kind of the same thing, you’re going to be staring for a while.”
“You calling my boyfriend a pot?” Phil snaps his head over to Martyn.
Martyn rolls his eyes, “I’m glad your happier.”
Phil smiles, “Over this past week my life has fallen apart, I’ve hit my biggest low, and now my life is piecing back together and I’m indescribably happy. I don’t even know what to do with myself.”
“I’m really glad he’s going to be okay.” Martyn says, “It’s been strange without him.”
The air falls silent until Phil speaks up again.
“I just wanna say thank you.” Phil says softly, not meeting Martyn’s eyes.
“For being here, for not just walking out on me even though I’ve been a complete asshole. I really needed someone here and just thanks for sticking around and talking to me. All of this has been really hard to go through and I tried to isolate myself and go through it alone- and I’m glad you didn’t let me do that. So just thanks.” Phil says, “Now, sappy moment over and I’m going to keep staring at my boyfriend until he wakes up.”
Martyn stays silent, knowing Phil didn’t want him to reply. Sappy moments really weren’t their thing.
A few hours pass before Dan shows any sign of waking up.
The second Dan’s fingers twitch against Phil’s, he is on high alert. He stands up, watching Dan’s face intently.
It takes a few minutes before there’s another sign, Dan’s eyelids twitch and his parted lips press together.
“Dan?” Phil asks softly, giving his unhurt hand a small squeeze, “Take your time, it’s okay.” Phil feels happy tears brim his eyes, Dan was waking up.
Dan takes a deep breath, his chest rising and falling with it. His eyelids felt like they were weighted down by concrete and everything hurt so bad. He doesn’t know what’s going on or why he’s here or why everything hurts, thankfully Phil’s voice was there to calm him down.
Dan blinks, it takes several moments for his eyes to adjust even though the room is dim.
“Hey Dan.” Phil smiles, a tear rolls down his cheek. Phil pushes Dan’s curly fringe away from his forehead, “Can you hear me?”
Dan blinks a few more times before his eyes meet Phil’s, his lips part like he was about to try and speak but he couldn’t.
“I love you so much.” Phil says, Dan could hear it in his voice that he was crying.
What was going on? Dan was confused.
Dan’s eyes close again and a pained sounding groan leaves his lips.
“Do you hurt?” Phil asks, when he realizes Dan can’t talk yet he speaks again, “Squeeze my hand if it hurts.”
Dan uses what little strength he has to squeeze Phil’s hand, because it did hurt. It hurt a lot.
“Martyn get a nurse.” Phil says, not taking his eyes off of Dan, “I’m here baby, I’m not going anywhere.” He says, trying to calm Dan down.
Phil could see the panic in Dan’s eyes as he looked around.
“Just breathe, it’ll be okay.” Phil keeps running his hand through Dan’s hair, effectively calming him, “I love you.”
Dan still feels so sleepy. It feels like he’s slept for months but at the same time he’s completely exhausted.
“You can sleep, it’s okay.” Phil says softly, seeing Dan try to fight his eyes closing, “I’m not going to leave.”
With that sentence, Dan let himself fall back to sleep.
“I heard someone’s awake.” The nurse says as he enters the room.
“I think he fell back asleep but he was awake for a few seconds.” Phil says, unable to control his happiness. Dan was gonna be okay.
“That’s normal, he’ll probably be in and out of it all day.” The nurse says as he checks the IV line and gets the medicine ready. “I’ll give him more pain meds so next time he wakes up he shouldn’t hurt as bad. They’ll make him kinda loopy but that’s for the better, it keeps him from focusing on the pain.”
“Has the doctor updated you on anything?” Phil asks, “I’m just wondering what the main concern is now.”
“Well, the internal bleeding is gone so is the concussion. The major problem is just all of his broken limbs. His right arm, right leg, and some of his ribs are broken. Also there’s the annular tear in his back, which is no doubt highly painful.”
“So there’s no reason why he shouldn’t survive at this point?”
“From the looks of it he should be fine- but he has a lot of recovery to go. His bones have to heal and he’s going to have to go through a hell of a lot of physical therapy to regain strength.”
“I’m just glad he’s going to be okay, I was so scared...” Phil says.
The nurse smiles, “Well I’m glad everything has worked out. It’s always lifting to be able to give positive news.”
Dan is in and out of sleep all day, he doesn’t say anything though. He just keeps looking at Phil before falling back to sleep.
Phil didn’t mind that Dan was still sleeping, he was awake and he’d be fine and that’s all that mattered.
“I’m gonna run to the bathroom, keep an eye on him.” Phil says before brushing past Martyn and leaving the room.
Dan’s hand opens and closes and he makes a confused noise, like he was wondering where Phil had gone and why he wasn’t holding his hand anymore.
Martyn walks over, seeing Dan looking around for Phil. He still couldn’t move his neck because of the brace they kept on him.
“Hey.” Martyn says when Dan looks at him.
“Phi...” Dan’s voice trails off, he sounded weak and tired.
“Phil will be back in a minute.” Martyn says, “You feel okay?”
Dan lifts his unhurt arm and makes a drinking motion, his throat was dry and scratchy and he knew talking would hurt because of that.
“Drink?” Martyn asks, Dan does the smallest nod to confirm that’s what he wanted. “Okay, I’ll be back.”
Martyn walks to the hallway, asking the nurse for a cup of water. She gets it for him and hands it over with a smile.
“Take this so he doesn’t spill it all over himself.” She hands him a straw as well.
Martyn returns to Dan, “Here buddy, hopefully this meets your drinking standards.”
Phil returns, seeing Martyn holding a cup and straw so Dan can drink what he assumes is water.
“Phil!” Dan exclaims, surprised at the loudness of his own voice.
“Hey lovely.” Phil says, Martyn moves so Phil can stand on Dan’s good side.
“Martyn made me drink the green tube.” Dan’s face scrunches up and he glares at Martyn.
“Okay so he’s not a fan of green straws.” Phil chuckles.
“Straws hurt baby turtles, Phil.” Dan says, his eyes drooping a bit. He forces them to stay open.
“How do you feel?” Phil asks, running his hand through Dan’s hair again.
“Weird.” Dan replies, “All fuzzy and good.”
“Mum called while I was in the bathroom.” Phil says to Martyn before turning back to Dan, “She said hello and she hopes you feel better soon.” Phil smiles.
“Oh, Kath is a cool one.” Dan says.
Martyn snorts, “Sure. I think me and Phil would disagree.”
“Hey! Mum is cool!” Phil says.
“Alright mommas boy.” Martyn rolls his eyes.
“You’re just jealous she likes me more.” Phil sticks his tongue out at him.
“She babies you and still treats you like you’re seven.”
“Yeah and you’re jealous-“
“Stop it!” Dan says suddenly, “Phil it’s important.”
“What’s important?” Phil asks.
“You need to tell her we’re getting married.” Dan says, sounding completely serious.
“Oh we are, are we?” Phil asks, laughing lightly.
“Yeah, I just need to get up-“
“Ah- no.” Phil makes Dan stay down, “You need to stay still and rest.”
“But I want to get married now.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll get married eventually. Just rest for now.” Phil says, trying not to bust out laughing.
“Okay.” Dan says, yawning. He looks at Phil with nothing but fondness in his eyes, “I love you.”
Phil smiles wide and his eyes get al teary, “I love you too.”
Dan’s eyes slip closed again and he falls back asleep.
Phil sits next to him and sighs, “He was high.”
“Oh no doubt.” Martyn laughs.
Dan was loopy for the rest of that day, Phil tried to feed him crackers since he needed to eat and he had just screamed “thou shall not eat the crunchy bread!”
It was pretty funny and Phil needed that good laugh but Dan was being complicated and wouldn’t eat anything.
Martyn left that night and Phil got comfy in the recliner beside Dan’s bed, ready to finally get some good sleep.
The nurse snuck in to make the midnight medicine rounds, giving Dan the ‘non-loopy’ meds this time so when he’d wake up he’d be him again.
The next morning Phil woke up at about 8am, he had actually managed to get some sleep that night.
Dan was still sleeping soundly so Phil tried to be quiet when leaving and re-entering the room.
“Phil?” A confused and scared sounding Dan asks at almost the second Phil sat back down.
“Dan?” Phil stands back up, he leans over Dan so he could see him.
Dan was wide eyed and his breathing was rapid, he was looking around scared.
“Phil what’s happening?” Dan asks, feeling his eyes sting with tears. He couldn’t remember anything, where was he? Why was he here? Why did he hurt so badly? Why couldn’t he move?
“Hey calm down, it’s okay Dan.” Phil says softly, holding Dan’s hand, “Do you know where you are?”
“No.” Dan says, “Am I in the hospital?”
“Yeah, you are.” Phil answers, “Do you remember anything?”
“I- I don’t know... Phil I’m scared-“
“Shh, it’s okay. You’re gonna be alright.” Phil grips his hand a bit tighter, “Are you alright? How do you feel?”
“Everything just hurts.” Dan tries to not panic, Phil was here and that was just enough to keep him calm, “But I just remember being home with you, what happened to me?”
“You were hit by a car.” Phil frowns, “A drunk driver.”
“Am I going to be okay?” He asks in a panic.
“You’ll be just fine.” Phil smiles, deciding it’s best to not tell Dan about him almost dying. It would just make him panic even more.
“How long have I been here? I’m- I’m just confused...”
“It’s been a little over a week, you woke up for the first time yesterday.” Phil says, “I missed you, I missed hearing your voice.”
“What is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?” Dan asks.
“They have to keep you stable, I can see if they’ll remove the back and neck braces so you can move. You have a broken arm and leg and an annular tear in your back. Everything else has been treated.”
“But I’ll be fine?” Dan asked, fear still evident in his voice.
“Yep, eventually you’ll be able to walk right out of here.” Phil replies.
Dan swallows thickly as he thinks, “I’m hungry.” His brain felt like it was working really slow.
“Do you want something to eat? You’re aloud to have whatever you want.”
“Do you hurt at all? They recently gave you medicine so I hope it’s not too bad.”
“It’s bearable I guess.”
Dan falls silent again and Phil ducks into the hallway to ask a nurse if they can get some food for Dan.
Dan manages to eat all of the food they bring him, he still seemed off but Phil knew he was just trying to process everything.
“You okay?” Phil asks a while later.
“Huh? Yeah... I mean I guess I am? I’m just confused, why don’t I remember anything?”
“You had some mild head trauma, but don’t worry it’s fine now- maybe that could have done something?”
“What else was wrong with me?” Dan asks.
“You had some internal bleeding, but it wasn’t bad either. They were able to fix everything, they knew you’d be fine because nothing was severe.” Phil lies, but it was for the best. Dan didn’t need to be stressed.
Dan didn’t need to know he almost died.
“That’s good... I’m glad I’m okay. This must’ve scared you I’m sorry Phil-“
“Don’t worry about me.” Phil cuts Dan off, “I’ve been fine, I knew you’d be okay.”
Dan nods, “You sure?” He remembers having this weird dream where he had to watch Phil break down and it felt oddly real.
“Yeah. Like I said don’t worry about me, worry about yourself for a change.”
“Okay.” Dan says, but it was still odd. Why did he have vivid images of Phil crying over him stuck in his head?
Later in the day the doctor decided it would be fine to remove the braces that were stabilizing Dan’s body. He said as long as Dan doesn’t jerk himself around he should be fine, he just needs to be careful with his back.
Dan was thankful to finally have the braces removed, his whole body felt weak but at least he could move a bit now, even though two of his limbs were dead weight.
“Is that better?” Phil asks after the nurses leave the room with the stabilizing braces.
“Much better.” Dan says, turning his head to see Phil, “I can actually move my head to look at you.”
“I love you.” Phil says.
Dan blushes a bit, “I love you too, are you sure you’re okay?”
“You’re really worried about me right now?”
“Why wouldn’t I be? You’ve apparently been here for a week while I’ve been unconscious. You couldn’t have been fine, Phil. I know you.”
There was a knock on the door and Phil sighs in relief, thank god he can avoid that.
“Oh hey, he told me you were up.” Martyn says, “I didn’t know if you wanted me to stick around today or not, now that he’s up.”
“Yeah you can stick around.” Phil shrugs.
“Phil.” Dan says, giving him a knowing look. It’s like Phil was trying to avoid talking about something.
They sit around and talk for a while, Phil eventually gets up to go to the bathroom and Dan takes the opportunity to ask Martyn about the past week.
“Phil keeps telling me he’s been okay... he hasn’t been okay has he?” Dan asks.
Martyn sighs, looking down at the floor. He knows Phil would probably kill him if he told Dan but he didn’t want to lie. He looks back up at Dan, “No, he hasn’t been okay. Pretty far from it.”
“Why wouldn’t he tell me?”
“He probably just doesn’t want to stress you out. It’s not my place to tell you about his feelings or anything but I’m sure he’ll tell you eventually. Just give it time, he took all of this really hard and it broke him. It might be a while before he can talk to you about it.”
Dan nods, “One more thing...”
“He said I was fine, if I was fine why was he so broken up about it?” Dan asks, “If I was going to be okay then wouldn’t he be happy about that?”
Martyn doesn’t answer, he doesn’t know what to say.
“Martyn be honest.” Dan says suddenly, “Was I going to die?”
Dan remembered weird snip-its of conversation around him, several of them saying how he wasn’t supposed to make it.
Martyn nods, “Yeah... but you didn’t! You’re fine- just you have to understand Phil’s reasoning for lying to you.”
“I know, and I understand. I’m not mad at him I just hate seeing him like this. It’s like he’s faking being fine around me when he knows he doesn’t have to do that.” Dan says. He tries not to focus on the fact that he could have died, for some reason it felt like he knew that already anyway. “He’s coming back-“
They both go silent when Phil enters the room. Dan gives Phil a reassuring smile when he looks confused.
“You guys are quiet.” Phil says, plopping himself down in the chair by Dan’s bedside, “Were you talking about me?”
“Yeah I was just telling him about the time you shoved a cheese puff up your nose when you were six.” Martyn shrugs.
Phil inhales sharply and kicks Martyn, “I did not!”
“Oh yeah you did!”
“Maybe that’s why you hate cheese so much.” Dan joins in.
“Both of you shut up.”
For the rest of that week, Dan was in and out of sleep and had to have constant pain medicine. There was one day where he did nothing but sleep, but Phil was more than happy to sit beside him. As long as Dan was alive and getting better, Phil would sit here forever.
Dan was still on constant pain meds and it was still extremely hard to move, he was getting more frustrated with each passing day.
“It’s been a week since I woke up and I still can’t move, this sucks.” Dan pouts at Phil.
Phil frowns, “I’m sorry baby.”
“Even if I could move these casts would keep me from being able to do so.” Dan rolls his eyes, “I just want out of here. I want to heal and I want to go home.”
“Dan you’re in pretty bad shape, even if we did go home I wouldn’t be able to take care of you properly.” Phil sighs, “I’d have to make sure you don’t jostle yourself and I’d have to help you up the stairs whenever it’s time for bed, it’s just better for you to stay here. At least until your ribs and back heal a bit more. Plus you’re going to be extremely weak since you haven’t been able to use your muscles for the past two weeks.”
“I know.” Is all Dan says before looking away from Phil.
Phil lets him have some quiet so he doesn’t respond.
“Hey Phil?” Dan speaks up a while later, curiosity eating at his nerves.
“Yeah?” Phil looks over at Dan, seeing Dan already staring at him.
“When I was unconscious for that week, what happened?” Dan asks, trying to keep his voice soft and tread lightly.
“W-what do you mean?” Phil was getting visibly nervous. He didn’t want to talk about this.
“Martyn told me, Phil.” Dan sighs, “I understand why you lied, I really do. But I just want to make sure you’re okay.”
Phil opens and closes his mouth a few times, not knowing how to respond. Suddenly everything hit him like a brick wall and he broke down, shoving his face into his hands.
“Phil?!” Dan reaches out, only able to touch Phil’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry- I’m so sorry.” Phil sobs, scooting closer to Dan’s bed so he could lean on it, “I’m-“
“It’s okay, it’s all alright.” Dan says softly, “You don’t have to hold it in, you’ve seemed off since I woke up. Just talk to me, okay?”
“You-“ Phil hiccups, he tries to contain his emotions but for some reason it was really hard to do. “You were gonna die, you weren’t going to make it and I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know what I’d do without you and I just felt so goddamned empty. The thought that I would have had to leave this hospital without you just-“ Phil lets out a shuddery breath.
“But I’m fine, I’m gonna be okay.”
“I know, and I’m so damn grateful.” Phil says, “But that was the worst week of my life, I love you so much. I physically can’t talk about how hard it was on me but let’s just say it was bad. I was in really bad shape. But I shouldn’t be focused on me, you’re the one that’s hurt and I’m just being a dick-“
“No you aren’t, your feelings are valid Phil. I obviously don’t remember anything from the past week but the fact that I’m okay is such a good thing. Once this is all over and I’m better we can go back home and continue life as normal, I’ll still be here to torment you. I’m gonna be here to annoy you for a long time Phil.” Dan says, giving Phil a smile. “Come here.” He holds out his unhurt arm.
“I don’t want to hurt you...” Phil says, he’s been avoiding hugging Dan for that reason.
“I said come here.” Dan says, “Plus do you have any idea how many pain meds I’m on? I can handle a little hug from the worlds best boyfriend. Come here.”
Phil gently leans over Dan’s bed, giving him the most gentle hug possible. Dan hugged him back with a little more strength than Phil expected.
“I’m okay.” Dan mumbles against Phil’s shoulder, “I’ll say it as much as you need to hear it, I’m okay.”
Phil lets his tears drip onto Dan’s shoulder, “I love you so so much.”
“I love you too Phil, with my whole heart.” Dan says.
Phil pulls back a little only to lean back in and kiss Dan softly.
Dan hums happily against Phil’s lips before Phil pulls away.
“You gonna be alright?” Dan asks Phil.
“As long as I have you I’ll be just fine.”
Days kept going by slowly, Dan started physical therapy not long later just to keep his good muscles strong. He’d need them when his casts came off.
“If I have to do any more one legged or one armed exercises I might just cut those good limbs off.” Dan says as Phil wheels him back into his hospital room.
“I know you hate it but it’ll be good for you in the long run.” Phil locks the breaks on the wheelchair.
“Yeah yeah.” Dan says, rolling his eyes, “I just hate how there like ‘exercise your leg and arm but move your back as little as possible’ like do you know how difficult that is?”
“They don’t want you hurting your ribs or back anymore, they’re already on the good track to healing.” Phil walks in front of Dan, “Ready?”
Dan let’s Phil help him up, he locks his arms around Phil’s neck so he can be pulled to his feet safely.
Phil helps Dan back into bed and Dan sighs when he’s finally laying back down.
Phil notices him wince, “Hurt?”
“I’m just sore. Physical therapy kind of hurts. Also I think the pain meds are starting to wear off.” Dan tries to keep tears from forming in his eyes, he hated how much this hurt.
“You’re about due for your medicine. They’ll probably be around soon, if not I’ll go hunt them down. Will you be okay?”
“Yeah, yeah I’ll be fine.” Dan knows he probably needs his pain meds now but he didn’t want to seem like a wimp so he lied and shoved the pain to the back of his mind, “I might just take a nap.”
“That’s fine, I’m sure you’re wore out.” Phil leans over and kisses Dan on the forehead, “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Dan accepts a quick peck on the lips.
When Dan wakes up from his nap his pain has lessened by a lot, he guesses the nurse came and gave him his meds through an IV so he wouldn’t have to wake up.
He yawns and intakes a deep breath, getting a whiff of greasy fast food.
“Have a nice nap?” Phil asks, giving Dan a soft smile when he looks over at him.
“Yeah.” Dan glances at the grease spot covered bag of McDonald’s, “Did you get me some?”
“Of course I did.” Phil says, digging through the paper bag, “What kind of boyfriend would I be if I didn’t get you any?”
Dan pushes buttons on his bed rail, adjusting the bed so he could sit up and eat, “Ive never been so happy to see McDonald’s in my life.” Dan snatches the fries from Phil and begins shoving them in his mouth.
“Wow, you’re even eating them without your selection of dips? I’m surprised.” Phil dumps out like ten containers of different dips on the small table.
Dan looks at the array of dips with almost as much love as he looks at Phil- almost. “I fucking love you.”
“Me or the dips?” Phil chuckles fondly. He loved seeing Dan happy, even if it was over the smallest thing such as dipping sauce.
“Both, but you more.”
They eat and chat for a while before Dan falls asleep mid-conversation, that wasn’t an unfamiliar thing. Dan’s medicine made him really sleepy and he was already wore out all the time from the therapy and everything else that was happening.
Phil puts Dan’s bed back down and covers him up, giving him a kiss on the forehead for good measure.
“Goodnight Dan.” He says with a soft smile before settling down in his semi-comfy chair, deciding to play on his phone until he falls asleep.
There weren’t any more extremely eventful things that happened during the hospital stay, Dan’s routine stayed remotely the same day-to-day.
Wake up, eat, physical therapy, nap, wake up to eat, chill with Phil until falling asleep. All with nurses coming in and out to check on him and give him medicine.
It was like this for a little over two months, the doctor said Dan was finally cleared to have his casts removed. That means he could go home soon, as long as he made it to physical therapy every few days.
“Are you ready?” One of the nurses walk into Dan’s room holding a clipboard.
“Yes- I want these damn things off of me.” Dan huffs, not being able to move two of his limbs made him slowly go insane.
The nurse asks him a few questions and makes sure Dan knows how cast removal worked so he wouldn’t be nervous.
“I’ll see you in a bit.” Phil gives Dan a peck on the lips, he was told to stay in the room when they took Dan to get his casts off.
“You’ll see me and all my appendages.” Dan says before cringing at himself, “You know what I mean.”
A while later Dan was wheeled back in, he had a giant smile on his face.
“Look Phil I’m a moveable person now.”
The nurse locks him in place before leaving to tend to other patients, knowing Phil was perfectly capable of helping Dan move around.
“Can you walk okay?” Phil asks curiously, helping Dan out of the wheelchair.
“Uh...” Dan tries to take a step but it was like half of his body couldn’t be supported and his leg felt like a useless noodle, “No.” He grips onto Phil for stability.
“Well you can hold yourself up at least.”
“They said ill need quite a bit of therapy before I have my full strength back, because not only were two of my limbs casted but I also laid in a bed for two weeks.”
“You’ll get there, just give it time and you’ll be good as new.” Phil kisses him on the cheek making Dan smile.
Dan was discharged about a week later, he had gotten to the point that he can support his weight just enough to go short distances. He got tired really fast but it was still better then being unable to walk at all.
Phil helps Dan into the apartment, getting him settled on the downstairs sofa.
“I could cry right now.” Dan says, he sighs happily and let’s himself sink into the sofa cushions, “I’m so happy to be home Phil... you have no idea.”
“I’m so happy that you are home, especially since...” Phil gulps and looks down at his feet, feeling an almost sick feeling rise through his body.
“Hey.” Dan says softly, “Stop thinking about that, look at me. I’m back to being healthy and happy.”
Phil lets a soft smile fall upon his lips, he shares a fond glance with Dan, “Do you need or want anything?”
“Go make some tea and popcorn. I wanna snuggle and watch a movie.” Dan says.
Phil walks to the kitchen, leaving Dan to search through Netflix for a movie.
He hadn’t been home much the past few months, deciding to spend all his time with Dan at the hospital. He hasn’t even slept in his own bed since the night before the accident happened. Usually if he needed something from home he’d send Martyn to get it for him, luckily Martyn was more than happy to help out.
There were half-empty mugs of tea that had turned disgusting from the milk Phil added to his. Phil was almost sick when he dumped it down the sink. A half eaten slice of toast was sitting on a plate, luckily it wasn’t as disgusting.
Phil didn’t have time to clean anything up before he rushed himself to the hospital that morning. His head was spinning and he was busy trying to remember how to put his shoes on, so he wasn’t really focused on the breakfast mess.
Phil smiled as he leaned back against the counter, sipping on his still slightly warm cup of tea.
This always happened, Dan would always want one more kiss which turned into one more after that. It took them at least ten minutes to say goodbye to each other even if they’d see each other again a few hours later.
“He’s gonna be late.” Phil rolls his eyes fondly, looking at the clock. Dan should’ve left ten minutes ago. Well he did try to leave ten minutes ago, then they ended up making out against the front door.
Phil sets his mug down, moving to unload the dishwasher so he could at least get something productive done before Dan got back home later.
After doing the dishes Phil sat down at the kitchen table to finish his tea.
He didn’t get to sit for long before his phone was ringing loudly against the counter, he sighs and stands up, walking to the counter again. He sets his tea down before picking up the phone.
“The hospital?” Phil asks himself in confusion, maybe it was for some appointment he forgot about- he was good about forgetting appointments.
“Is this Phil Lester?” Asked an unknown voice, there was a lot of commotion in the background. People yelling, sirens blaring.
“Yeah...” Phil couldn’t make out any of the background noise but he had a nervous feeling developing in his stomach, “What’s happening?”
“Your name is the top emergency contact on Daniel Howell’s records, I’m sorry to inform you that there was an accident.”
“What?” It felt like all of the air was punched out of Phil’s lungs, “Is he okay? Can I talk to him? What’s going on?” Phil tries to make a mental plan of the path he needs to run to get to his shoes and keys and then the front door.
“He’s in critical condition, I’m sorry sir. He’s unconscious. If you can get to the hospital we can give you more information upon arrival, we’re trying our best. Please try to stay calm.”
Phil was bolting through the house, he almost pulls his shoes onto the wrong feet, “Can you tell me anything else? What happened to him?” Phil feels his eyes sting with tears and he was stricken with panic, his heart was racing so much his chest hurt. He felt like he could pass out.
“He was hit by a car, I don’t have any information on the extent of his injuries just yet. You’ll be the first to know anything about his condition right after we do.”
Phil hangs up the phone, his hands were shaking so much he dropped it five times before successfully getting it in his pocket.
He runs through the house, not bothering to turn out lights or check to see if he left any scented candles burning. He exits the house and sprints down the sidewalk, deciding to run the mile to the hospital instead of wait for a cab and get stuck in heavy London traffic.
Phil didn’t even know what to think, he felt dizzy and sick and all of the images his mind was conjuring up of a blood covered half-dead Dan wasn’t helping his anxiety.
He was careful when he jaywalked through traffic, and when he crossed the street to get to the hospital parking lot. He felt his legs burning as he ran through the doors of A&E, almost running right into them since he was moving faster than the automatic doors.
He falls against the receptionists desk, almost collapsing to the ground right there. Anyone in their right mind would think Phil was the one needing medical assistance, he was stumbling and shaking and looked paler than any person should.
He felt like he was having a full blown panic attack and honestly he probably was, his brain was thinking a mile a minute and his chest hurt so bad and breathing was near impossible and he was shaking so badly.
“Can I help you sir?” The calmness in her tone was almost insulting to Phil’s panicked state.
Phil forces his mind to work enough to make coherent sentences. “Yeah, my name’s Phil Lester... my boyfriend Dan was in an accident and should be arriving by ambulance if he isn’t here already- I don’t know what to do-“
“Okay I need you to take a few deep breaths for me.” She says, trying to calm Phil down but to no avail. She taps on her computer, “What’s his last name hon?”
Phil swallows the lump in his throat, “Howell.”
“Okay he isn’t here yet, but my computer is telling me the ambulance is pulling in now. If you could just have a seat I’ll figure out what’s going on and I’ll explain what’s happening when I can, okay?”
Phil sees flashing lights out of his peripheral vision, the ambulance unloading dock could be seen from the window. Everything within Phil suddenly jumped into overdrive, so much adrenaline was coursing through his body he could probably battle ram himself through a brick wall and feel nothing.
Phil charges through the employees only door, unable to stop himself. He just had to see Dan for himself, it couldn’t be that bad. Dan was okay. Dan had to be okay. There was literally no way that he couldn’t be okay. Stuff like this isn’t supposed to happen, Phil’s just being silly and Dan’s just gonna have a few scrapes and that’s it. Dan is fine.
Except he wasn’t fine.
Phil freezes when he sees the gurney rush by him, out of all the mental images his anxiety pushed into his brain- it was so much worse.
The tears that had been threatening to escape had finally begun cascading down his cheeks. His whole chest went from being in pain to suddenly feeling empty and cold. He felt dizzier and sicker if that was even possible.
“Dan! Oh my god...”
Phil went to run down the corridor towards Dan but he was grabbed by the arm.
“Sir you have to stay back.”
Dan!” Phil screams again, trying to fight away from the guard, “Let me go- please. I have to see him- let me see him!”
The mix of panic and adrenaline made Phil able to easily fight away from the large guard, but suddenly he was grabbed by both arms. Two people now holding him back.
“Please-“ Phil sobs, feeling every bit of strength leave him. He suddenly feels weak, so weak that he can’t even hold himself up and he collapses to the floor.
Phil still remembers that feeling that rushed through him when he was told Dan was going to die.
Imagine the worst possible emotional pain you could feel but multiply that by an infinite amount.
Phil takes a deep breath, trying to push the bad memories of that day to the back of his mind.
Dan was okay, he was sitting in the living room waiting for Phil.
“Phil I picked a movie!” He heard Dan yell from the lounge.
He smiles but can’t help but suddenly break down.
What would he have done if Dan actually died? What if Dan wasn’t in there waiting to snuggle and watch a movie? What if- Phil couldn’t even bring himself to think anything else.
This whole situation was terrifying. Just the fact that Dan could be taken away from him that easily or vise verse.
“Phil?!” Dan’s voice sounded closer.
Phil sees Dan enter the kitchen, he leans all of his weight against the doorframe for a minute to pace himself.
Phil turns away so Dan can’t see him cry, but Dan can still see his shoulders shake.
“Phil?” Dan asks quietly, his voice almost a whisper. His eyes were soft and filled with concern as he stared at Phil.
“I’m just being stupid.” Phil sniffles, trying to keep his breathing even but his breaths were shaky and even audible, making him sound like he was choking on air and gasping. “I’m fine-“
Dan slowly walks- or hobbles- over to the counter, Phil turns around to face him and he just looked so broken and sad. It made Dan’s heart ache, he didn’t know what Phil was thinking or what he went through that day. He could take guesses but he knows only Phil knows how he himself feels now and felt then.
Dan didn’t even have to ask what was wrong to know, the two mugs that were left soaking in the sink and the plate that was covered in old toast crumbs on the counter gave away enough.
Phil suddenly steps forward and wraps his arms around Dan’s shoulders, he buries his face in Dan’s shoulder as he sobs.
It still hurt, he hates that this still hurt. Dan was okay so why was all of this still so hard?
Dan reciprocates the action and wraps his arms around Phil’s back, hugging him tight. He lets some of his weight lean on Phil so he wouldn’t have to pull away from the hug to sit down when he felt like his legs were going to give out on him.
“It’s okay.” Dan let’s his fingertips trace up and down Phil’s back, “Its all okay now, I’m okay. See?” Dan’s voice was soft and soothing and he squeezes Phil a bit tighter, “I’m right here, you can see me. I’m okay.”
“I love you.” Phil mumbles into Dan’s shoulder, his tears were soaking Dan’s t-shirt.
“I love you too.” Dan replies without hesitation, “I’m okay.” Dan would say it as many times as Phil needed to hear it, “I really am okay.”
“But-“ Phil inhales a deep shaky breath, “What if...?”
“No, don’t think about that.” Dan presses his lips to the warm skin where Phil’s neck meets his shoulder. “I’m okay, I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere and I love you so much.”
Phil pulls back just enough so he can look at Dan’s face. The bruises had faded, all the small scrapes and cuts had healed. The image in his head of Dan on the gurney was nothing like how Dan looked now. Dan looked like Dan, he looked healthy and alive. He was just a little weak for now.
“Just-“ Phil reaches up to rest his palm against the side of Dan’s face, he didn’t notice his hands were shaking until now, “Just the thought of loosing you... of having to live without you... it hurts so bad the pain of that thought is literally crippling.” Phil swallows thickly, looking into Dan’s eyes. They were open and alert, not unconscious and bruised, “I don’t ever wanna feel like that again.”
“And you don’t have too.” Dan says, “I’m standing right here in front of you, sure bad things could’ve happened- but they didn’t. Let’s be thankful for this, I’m okay.”
“I don’t ever want to have to think about living without you. It hurts so bad, when I was told I’d lose you I just felt everything inside of me shut off and it’s terrifying. What would I do if you weren’t right here in front of me now? Losing you is probably my biggest fear because you’re literally my perfect other half. Losing you is like losing myself and I don’t care if that sounds sappy or stupid but I feel like I physically can’t lose you. Not when there’s so much life left for us to live, not when we aren’t even married or in our forever home, not when we’re not even eighty and still making people cringe and laugh on the internet... we’re supposed to live a full happy life together. The universe trying to take that away from us is the sickest most cruel joke.”
Phil was still shaking and upset and it was clear his mind was moving a mile a minute. So Dan did what Dan does best, he tries to make Phil laugh- or at the very least smile.
“Okay well maybe we should check one of those things off the list of progressing our life to be the best it can be.” Dan takes a small step backwards, mischief shimmering in his eyes, “Wanna help me down onto one knee so my leg doesn’t give out, sending me face-first to the floor.” Dan suddenly gasps, “Wait where’s my manners, we need a certain piece of jewelry for this occasion.” Dan reaches beside them and smoothly opens Phil’s not-so-secret candy stash drawer. He grabs a ring-pop and Phil rolls his eyes, trying so hard to keep from smiling at the adorable idiot in front of him.
“So here we have ten thousand Swarovski crystals-“
“I would shove you if you wouldn’t fall flat on your ass.” Phil cracks a smile, “I’m really wondering why I love you, then I think deeper and realize this is exactly why I love you.”
Dan throws the ring-pop onto the counter, “I just wanted to see you smile.” He leans against the counter. “I know it’ll take some time, but we will both be okay.”
Phil steps in front of Dan and hugs him again, he takes a deep breath, “This whole thing was just traumatic and mentally scarring. But thank you- for making me feel better I mean.”
“Always.” Dan mumbles, “Now.” He says as Phil pulls away, “I’ll get some popcorn popping and you can warm up some milk, I’m in a hot chocolatey mood now.”
Later that week Martyn came over to give Phil his house keys back. Since he made all the house runs for Phil he had kept them.
Dan was napping on the sofa and Phil was in the kitchen with Martyn.
“How is Dan doing?” Martyn asks, leaning against the counter opposite Phil.
“He’s surprisingly really good. He’s taking to physical therapy pretty well and he can walk around perfectly fine, he just has to take a little break every once in a while because it’s tiring for him.” Phil answers.
“And you?” Martyn asks, giving Phil a look that makes him shrink back against the counter.
Martyn knew how hard all of this was on Phil, he witnessed most of Phil’s breakdowns in that dreaded hospital room.
He’d never say it, but he was thankful for having Martyn there. It made him feel less alone. Sure he knew their mum was the one that sent Martyn to keep an eye on Phil but he knew even if she didn’t say anything Martyn would still only be a text away. He probably just would’ve kept his distance unless Phil said he needed something, he learned his lesson when they were younger and he used to try and talk to Phil when he was upset. That led to him having pillows and video game controllers flung at his head more times than he could count, so he usually kept his distance.
“I’m better. A lot better.” Phil sighs, “It was just really hard.”
“I just wanna make sure you’re doing okay, it just scared me a bit when you made that comment about- well you know what I’m talking about.”
When Phil said he wanted to die.
Yeah Phil remembers that, he also remembers how stupid it was because he didn’t mean it, now he had his brother worried about him. He was just really stressed and his mind was vulnerable to those thoughts and he guesses he let one slip in.
“Don’t worry about that, I promise I’m okay. Now that I’m back home and Dan is here alive and well, I feel a lot better. I didn’t mean to scare you I just... It was really hard and my mind just kind of slipped in the thought that dying would be easier than having to deal with all of that. But it was a really traumatic thing to go through so of course I wasn’t fine, I never actually once thought about doing ‘that’ if you’re worried.”
“Okay good.” Martyn lets out a sigh of relief, “But if you ever do think about that just don’t keep it to yourself okay? You better not die before me.” Martyn says the last bit to be funny, breaking up his serious words with a bit of comic relief.
“Hey.” A sleepy looking Dan trudges into the kitchen, moving to lean against the counter by Phil. He grabs the pill bottle that sat behind him before unscrewing- or attempting to unscrew- the cap.
“Pain meds time?” Phil asks, handing Dan his bottle of water so he could take his medicine.
“Yeah.” Dan downs the medicine, “So what’ve you two been talking about? You gossiping about me?”
“You know it, there’s just so much drama.” Phil jokes, “You start so many bar fights and steal people’s kittens.”
“Yeah that’s me. Drunkenly knocking people out and grabbing pussy.” Dan says making Phil choke on his own spit.
“Dan-“ Phil sighs, feeling so done with his boyfriend at that very second.
Martyn was trying to hold it together.
“I mean it like kittens! Gosh you’re so dirty minded.” Dan takes another sip of the water.
“Yeah, because I’m alone in seeing the dirtiness of that joke.”
“Well on that note...” Martyn pushes himself off of the counter, “I’m gonna head back home.”
“I don’t blame you.” Phil says, earning a nudge in the side from Dan.
“Bye guys.” Martyn laughs, walking to the front door.
“Bye!” Dan and Phil reply in unison.
“I’m hilarious.” Dan says to Phil after the front door closes, signaling Martyn was gone.
“Mhmm, sure.” Phil says, turning to stand in front of Dan, “I’m sure you’re the only one that thinks that.”
“I’m also adorable.”
“Now that I can agree with.” Phil says, leaning in to give Dan a kiss.
Dan kisses back, letting it get a bit deeper before they pull away. “Cuddle on the couch? Another movie night?”
“I’m down.” Phil leans in to kiss Dan again before pulling back, a soft smile on his face, “Go pick a movie, I’ll make popcorn and I promise I won’t cry this time.”
Dan pecks Phil on the lips, before going to the lounge.
Halfway through the movie Phil realizes he’s not even watching said movie. He’s too busy staring at Dan who was laying down, his head rested in Phil’s lap.
Phil was gently playing with his hair, watching Dan doze off several times.
Dan was here, Dan was okay. Phil felt his heart fill with happiness.
“You’re okay.” He mumbles softly, Dan’s eyes open and he looks up at Phil in a sleepy confusion before realizing.
He gives Phil a tired smile, “I am.”
“Sit up for a second.” Phil says, Dan does as Phil requests and he watches Phil lay down on the sofa, “Come here.” Phil opens his arms for Dan.
Dan moves to lay against Phil’s chest, tangling their legs together.
Phil hugs him tight and kisses the top of Dan’s head, “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Dan replies quietly, his voice laced with sleep.
Phil feels Dan’s breathing slow, signaling he had fallen asleep. The warm comfortable weight of Dan laying on his chest made him so indescribably happy, this wasn’t going away- it wasn’t going to leave him anytime soon. He didn’t need to be scared, having Dan comfortably asleep on him reassured him of that.
Dan is okay, and Phil realizes he is too.