Phil is sick in more ways than one. Can Dan help him?
Phil stayed silent and hoped Dan would drop the subject. He sat on his bed, leaning against the wall, staring at Dan.
”What’d you put in your drawer?” Dan asked. He knew he was being nosey, but it was up to Phil how he took it.
”You can go check if you want.” Phil didn’t want to have to admit to Dan that he had a problem.
Dan pulled himself off his bed, his curiosity getting the better of him as he wandered it. He looked at Phil briefly before pulling it open. He found a few pens, and a large razor. His eyes opened wide, picking it up tentatively and turning it over in his hands.
Phil wrapped his arms around himself and hung his head in shame.
Dan let it drop back into the drawer, shutting it closed softly. He sat on Phil’s bed again. “Where?” he asked quietly.
Phil played with the hem of his shirt. He didn’t really want Dan to see his mess of a body.
Dan bit his lip, guessing Phil was subconsciously letting him know where by playing with his shirt. “I know you have to cope somehow but please don’t do that.” he said, holding out his hand again.
”What do you do when the memories get too much?” Phil was getting defensive, he didn’t want to stop hurting himself.
Dan thought for a moment. “Make better memories to over-ride them?” he offered, not sure if Phil was asking him what he personally did or not.
”What could override the mental abuse my parents gave me? Being called a filthy faggot everyday affects you. What could possibly override the physical and sexual abuse my classmates used to inflict on me? Having to keep that a secret was hell. Practically being kicked out by my parents for finally finding someone that cares and calling them mine? That’s why I’m here basically. I’ve tried before Dan. It doesn’t work.” Phil had tried. He’d tried to think of positive things, but he’d gone to extremes in the wrong direction as well.
Dan listened to Phil speak, mostly stunned at what he said. “I’m sorry,” he offered, now seeing his suggestion was stupid. He was still a bit too shocked to say anything back, not wanting to degrade or patronise Phil’s feelings.
”So what would you do Dan? If you were in my situation. I’ve tried to think of happy things. It never worked. I tried to escape from everything too, didn’t succeed so well. If I had? Well, this room would never had Phillip Lester as a resident.” Phil was too far gone for crying. He had taken to picking at his arms, scratching every so often.
Dan watched Phil, wanting to comfort him but not knowing how he could. “I don’t want to patronise you by answering that. I haven’t been through it, and I can’t imagine what it was like for you Phil.” he decided on saying, wincing as Phil picked at his arms.
”Nobody could ever know what it’s like. I was known as the school slut, even though I’m a virgin, because I was forced to blow boys everyday. I was caught cutting in the school bathroom once. They didn’t try to stop me, they actually yanked the blade out of my hand and did it for me. You have no idea how many times I’ve tried to end it, finish myself. I’m sorry I’m not perfect like you.” Phil knew he sounded like he was mad at Dan, he wasn’t. He just needed someone to listen, someone he could vent himself to.
”You shouldn’t hold yourself to ideals, Phil. Nobodies perfect.” he answered, letting Phil blow off his steam and mustering up a supportive demeanour. He wanted to hold Phil but didn’t think now was the right time.
”No Dan. There are perfect people. I’m with one right now. The people who did all of those things? They were apparently perfect and I wasn’t. I’m always the last resort. Never someone who people look up to." Phil turned and lashed out, punching his fist into the wall behind him.
”Those people definitely weren’t perfect.” Dan answered. “Just because you don’t think you’re perfect doesn’t mean others don’t. Opinions are subjective.” he added, hoping that wasn’t patronising.
Phil nodded. He clutched his sore hand and leaned into Dan. “I’m sorry for everything. Maybe I should just try again, get out of your hair.”
”Don’t be sorry, and don’t leave. I want you to stay.” Dan said, taking Phil’s hand in his own and gently running his finger along the already red knuckles.
”Really? No-one’s ever said that to me before. Ever.” Phil looked up at Dan with what could only be described as admiration in his eyes. He couldn’t believe that somebody actually wanted him.
”Really, I want you to stay.” Dan repeated and confirmed, looking back at Phil and bringing his knuckles near his mouth, lightly blowing on them.
Phil wrapped his free hand around Dan’s waist. “Sorry if this is too far, but thank you.”
”It’s not, and I didn’t do anything.” he mumbled, moving into Phil’s touch and continuing to sooth his skin with the blowing.
Phil shook his head. “You did. You made me feel important. Thank you.”
”You are important.” Dan replied, meaning that Phil should feel important anyway.
Phil froze. “I’m not Dan. Can we go do something?”
”You’re important to me. But what do you want to do?” he asked, looking at Phil tenderly.
”Something distracting? That’s what I was hoping for.” Phil said quieter than he meant to. He just needed something to take him to another place.
Dan bit his lip, trying to think where there weren’t too many people. “There’s a TV in the library where we can watch a movie?” he offered.
Phil nodded. “Lead the way.” he giggled as he pulled Dan up with him.
Dan slipped his hand into Phil’s properly when they stood, pulling him towards the door and through the hallways until they reached the cosy library.
Phil stood awkwardly in the doorway, not knowing where he could go. He assumed Dan knew what was going on and just let him do what needed to be done.
Dan turned around as he headed to a corner with a TV and a few beanbag type things. “You coming in?” he chuckled, looking back at Phil.
Phil stayed in place and tilted his head to the side. “Where are we going?”
”…to watch a movie?” he asked, furrowing his brow, now confused at Phil.
”I know that silly. I’m lost.” Phil pouted as he explained himself.
Dan walked over to him and held out his hand for Phil to take, still a bit confused.
Phil wrapped his hand in Dan’s and allowed him to lead the way.
Dan pulled Phil through into the library, leading him towards the relatively small collection of DVDs. "Take your pick love." he offered, turning on the TV.
Phil chose some random movie, not caring enough to look at the titles. "This good enough?" Phil held up the case to Dan. He was shaky, still amazed at how Dan took everything. He was sure that Dan would've hated him. His hatred and guilt evident in his eyes, he made his way over to where Dan was standing.
"If you like," Dan answered, putting it in the player and sitting on a bean bag. He held his hands out for Phil, gesturing for him to join him on it. "Come on," he said, and smiled warmly.
Phil shuffled over hesitantly and lowered himself onto the soft blob of fabric and stuffing. He tried to keep some space between them as he played with his sleeves, occasionally adding new welts to his wrists.
Dan watched as the movie began, then glanced at Phil. "Can I hold your hand?" he asked quietly, not wanting to shock him and offered his own out.
Phil nodded and slowly reached for Dan's hand. He was still shaking, but he was trying to get himself under control. He was scared that he would suddenly wake up and he would still be at home, with his hateful parents and having to go to his personal hell of a school.
Dan laced his fingers with Phil's, squeezing them gently. He brought Phil's hand to his on mouth, lightly peppering kisses across the back of his hand as he felt Phil trembling next to him.
Phil couldn't believe Dan was being so nice to him. He had to make sure this was real, so he pinched himself. Hard. Phil winced and realised that this wasn't a dream, that Dan was being nice to him. This produced one question in his head. "Why?"
"Why what?" Dan murmured, still brushing his lips lightly over Phil's hand, flicking his eyes over to the boy softly.
"Why are you being so nice to me?" Phil said quietly, tears starting to form in his eyes.
Stranger: Dan frowned a bit. "Because I like you." he answered simply, watching Phil's eyes grow glassy.
"You l-like me? How?" Phil didn't understand. His confusion caused the tears he was trying to hold back so desperately to fall.
Dan chuckled a bit, using the thumb from his spare hand to wipe the tears lightly from Phil's face. "Because you're adorable and nice and all round a lovely human being." he answered.
"And this isn't some sort of sick joke? Because I like you and I couldn't handle it if you were joking." People had done this to Phil before. Pretended to like him and humiliated him for their own amusement.
Dan shook his head, almost a little shocked. "I'd never do that," he answered honestly, looking Phil in the eyes to show he meant it.
"People have done it before Dan. And it tore through me. Destroyed me." Phil couldn't keep himself under control. He was trembling and sniffling and crying.
Dan wrapped his spare arm around Phil's shoulder, pulling him closer. "I'd never do that," he repeated, holding him close.
Phil turned into Dan, crying into his shoulder. He had held all of this inside for so long and was finally letting it out.
Dan ran his hand up and down along Phil's fore arm, letting him cry all he wanted to and gently squeezing his hand every so often.
Phil looked up at Dan with watery eyes. "I'm sorry Dan. I didn't mean to put all of my problems on you." Phil's thoughts turned into those of "Stupid boy. Pathetic boy. Dan doesn't really care."
"It's okay love, I want to hear them. You tell me anything you like." he answered, meeting his eyes with Phil and smiling reassuringly.
You: Phil nodded, but his mantra kept repeating itself in his head. He found himself verballising his thoughts and clapped his hand up to his mouth.
Dan frowned, pulling Phil's hand away from his mouth. "I do care." he answered. He repeated it a few times, the same amount of times Phil said had said he didn't.
"But Dan, how am I spose to know? People have done this before, then reject me outright once they got sick of forcing me to blow them." Phil's hands had fallen on top of each other and he punished himself for spilling everything.
Dan thought for a moment. "I suppose you'll just have to trust me. I promise you that I won't do anything like that. But you'll just have to take my word for it, I suppose." he answered, moving Phil's hands away from each other and holding one again.
Phil nodded and nestled his head back into Dan's shoulder. He'd only been this close to one person. Alex. Tears hit Dan's shoulder as the memories of Alex raced through his mind.
Dan used his spare hand to stroke Phil's hair lightly, running the locks between his fingers and was amazed that anyone had this many tears.
Phil started to voice his thoughts. Remembering how Alex used to play with his hair and how he kissed and how he cared. Phil's mind couldn't think of anything but him.
"He sounds nice," Dan answered, listening to Phil talk intently and continuing to hold him.
"He was nice. I loved him." Phil tightened his grip on Dan as his grief came flooding back.
Dan bit his lip, realising Phil was using past tense. "Loved?" he asked, hoping he wasn't being too nosey.
"Yeah. I wasn't enough to make him stay." Phil pressed himself further into Dan.
"I'm sure that wasn't it," Dan answered, holding Phil closer as he pressed into him.
"I couldn't save him Dan. The bullies, they tortured him and they drove him to.... to..." Phil couldn't finish his sentence due to the heaving sobs that overtook his body. He had no more tears, but he needed to cry. Which just resulted in the dry, heaving sobs that controlled him.
Dan gathered what he meant and held him as close as he could. "I'm sorry Phil," he said sympathetically, feeling for the boy.
Phil stayed curled into Dan for a long time. By the time he looked up, the credits were rolling on the screen. "He's the only other person who has treated me like this, so, so you remind me of him."
"I'll take that as a compliment then, love." Dan answered, kissing the top of Phil's head.
Phil melted into Dan. "My parents forced us apart and that was the final straw for him." Phil whispered, so quietly he wasn't sure if Dan had heard him.
"He's gone, isn't he?" Dan asked quietly, running his hand through Phil's hair again.
Phil nodded. He couldn't force himself to say it. He bit his lip, probably harder than he should have.
Dan sighed, he had already guessed but Phil's confirmation was what was needed. "I'm sorry," he announced again .
"Just please don't leave me." Phil whispered as he yawned. He was tired from all of his opening up he had done.
"I promise I won't." Dan answered confidently. "You tired love?" he asked, leaning his head into Phil's again.
Phil nodded. "You'd be too if you'd cried your heart out."
"You're right, I probably would. Do you feel better for it though?" Dan asked, hoping it had helped.
Phil nodded. "Yeah. I think I do." He snuggled into Dan's neck and closed his eyes. Just savouring the moment between them.
"That's good," Dan mused, playing with Phil's hair again as he cuddled into him.
A question popped into Phil's head. "What if I fall asleep on you?" He was already half asleep and his words came out slightly slurred.
Dan giggled. "You can if you like, I'm happy sitting here holding you." he answered.
You: Not long after Dan giggled Phil drifted off. He felt so safe. Soft snores emitted from his mouth as his breath hit Dan's neck.
Dan sat contentedly, listening to Phil's breathing and watching his chest rise and fall. He soon got lulled asleep by the repetitive noise.
Phil was woken by flashes of light as the librarian turned on the neon lights above them. He stirred and realised he was in Dan's arms. Phil pressed a soft, but innocent kiss to Dan's neck and sighed.
Dan blinked awake at the movement, and at the harsh neon lights above them. He groaned, stretching and making squeaky noises before melting back into the bean bag, tightening his grip around Phil again. "Hello," he said sleepily.
"Hello. I think it may be food time. Eh, food." Phil tried to wriggle out of Dan's grip so he could get this stupid ritual out of the way.
Dan let Phil get up, then pulled himself up and off the beanbag. "Okay, let's go." knowing Phil would want to get it over and done with.
"Do I have to? I know you must be hungry. I could just try to find my way back to the room..." Phil really didn't wanna eat. He had already eaten too much already.
Dan frowned. "You don't have to," he answered. "I can take you back to our room, if you really don't want to join me." he offered.
"I will if I have to. But I've already eaten heaps." Phil hung his head, knowing what he considered heaps and what Dan considered heaps were two completely different things.
"You don't have to do anything you don't want to love, and I certainly don't want you to be sick again." Dan replied, moving closer to Phil and wrapping his arm around his waist, leading him out of the room.
Phil hadn't eaten all day and his stomach rumbled in protest. He melted into Dan and allowed him to whisk Phil away.
"Do you want to come and just have a few bites of mine?" Dan offered as he moved through the hallways. "No pressure, of course."
"Ok. Just a few." Phil agreed. He knew he shouldn't be worrying about his weight and food but he did and it was eating him away.
Dan nodded, "Just a few." he agreed, knowing that too many more would make him sick. He lead them towards the dining hall again, and to the same table they occupied before, same seats.
Phil was a bit shaky again as he sat down. He just held onto the table, knowing that Dan wouldn't approve of his other coping.
"I'm here," Dan muttered quietly, trying to reassure him as the food was placed on the table again.
"Yeah, but so is everyone else. And theres food and..." Phil trailed off. He was scared, it was like something from a nightmare.
Dan patted his thigh lightly as he spooned some of the days meal onto his own plate - lasagne. "Try to ignore it the best you can love,"
Phil nodded, as he picked up the fork in front of him. "I'll try, but it's so hard." he pouted
"That's all I ask," Dan replied, spooning some of it into his own mouth and keeping his hand on Phil's thigh.
Phil put a tiny bit of food onto his fork and just looked at it. He wasn't sure if he could make himself eat it.
"Just do one for now," Dan whispered. "That's all." he added, taking another bite himself.
Phil slowly raised his fork to his mouth and put the food in his mouth. He clung to the table as he forced himself to chew and swallow when all he wanted to do was spit it out.
"I'm proud of you," Dan said, squeezing his thigh, and eating some more of the food.
"Please don't patronise me. I'm not a child." Phil mumbled. Over the course of dinner he proceeded to eat about a quarter of Dan's meal, knowing that he'd throw it up when they got back to the room.
Dan frowned. "I wasn't trying to, I genuinely am." he replied as they finished up the meal. "Let's get out of here?" Dan suggested, soon after finishing.
Phil nodded, eager to empty his stomach. He was trying to hurry them along, feeling sick. Phil jumped out from the table and waltzed out the door. He turned to the right, entirely unsure if he was going in the right direction or not.
Dan got out the door and saw Phil heading in the wrong direction. "Phil?" he asked, a smile playing on his lips, "It's this way love."
Phil blushed and ran to catch up to Dan. "Sorry, whoops. Can we just get back already?"
"We can only go as fast as our legs will take us," Dan giggled, wrapping his arm around Phil's waist again as they walked.
Phil tried to pull Dan along. "Come on! You're such a slowpoke." he pouted as he started to feel sicker and sicker.
Dan increased his pace. "Why so eager?" he asked, trying to keep up with Phil as he basically ran to their room.
Phil had to quickly think of an excuse. "It's cold Dan." he pretended to shiver as he walked along.
"Poor baby," Dan teased, pulling Phil in closer to him, but trying to keep his pace up to please Phil.
They got back to their room and Phil distangled from Dan. He made his way to the bathroom and laid face down on the tiles. It was like he was trying to put up throwing up for as long as he could, the cold tiles soothing him somewhat.
Dan let Phil go to the bathroom, thinking it was just that, and got out his laptop to check his emails while he waited for Phil to join him again.
Phil dragged himself upright and retched into the bowl. It took a couple of heaves for the lasagna to make it's way up.
Dan heard strange noises coming from the bathroom, and got up, lightly rapping on the door. "You okay in there Phil?" he called through the door.
Phil's body retched a few more time before it let him stop. "Yeah, I think so." he said as he pulled himself up and washed his mouth out before making his way to the door and leaning against the wall as he opened it.
"Did... did you just throw up?" Dan asked, taking in Phil's pale skin, so pale it was almost translucent.
Phil didn't answer. He didn't need to. He pushed past Dan and sat ontop of Dan's bed. Phil knew it was probably inappropriate, but he needed it somehow.
Dan followed him through and sat beside him. "You're beautiful Phil." he announced, not knowing what the comment would do and took his hand.
Phil shook his head. "I'm not. But I tried with dinner, I really did. But I tried too hard and my body hated me." he frowned and curled into himself.
"I think you are," Dan muttered. "I know you tried, I saw. We'll take it slower next time?" Dan offered.
"Yeah. I'm sorry Dan." Phil threw himself sideways so he was now lying on Dan's bed. The smell of Dan overwhelmed him and his mouth started to curl into a smile.
Dan moved so he was leaning his head and back against his own headboard. "Don't be sorry." he answered, patting Phil's upper arm lightly. "You tried."
"But I feel so guilty Dan. I tried to postpone it. I really did. But it came to either being sick into the loo or being sick all over the floor." Phil grabbed his arm, the opposite one that Dan wasn't holding, and squeezed. He got some pain out of it, but it was only a little pain and probably unnoticed by Dan.
"That's better than just outright doing it. You tried." he repeated. "That's what makes the difference."
Phil closed his eyes and hummed in agreement. "When do classes actually start?" Phil asked, scrunching his face up at the thought of classes.
"Sunday tomorrow, so on Monday. Bright and early, 9:00am." Dan replied, not wanting to think about it.
Phil groaned. "Ew, classes. Maybe the kids will actually be nice to me here." Phil mused. He hoped they wouldn't be so cruel that he wanted to attempt again. Not that Dan would let him, but he would probably try anyway.
"They will be. You tell me if they're not," he said confidently. He wasn't going to let anyone treat Phil like shit, not if he could help it.
Phil nodded. "Ok, I'll try. But what if I can't? What if it gets so bad that I want to copy Al-Alex." Phil's voice cracked as he said his late lover's name.
"I won't let that happen love." Dan answered simply. "I'm not going to let that happen." he said, almost more to himself.
"Thank you. But you can't watch me 24/7 Dan. You just can't." Phil adjusted his hand so that the flesh of his arm was being stabbed by his fingernails, drawing blood. He got a lot more satisfaction from that than just squeezing.
"I know that. But I trust you Phil. I don't want to guilt trip you, but I'd feel incredibly lost if you left. You've made quite an impact on me in the short time you've been here." Dan answered, not noticing Phil's actions as his gaze was on the ceiling. "Anyway, this is all hypothetical. The boys here are fine, they'll be nice to you."
"Are you sure?" Phil was referring to both Dan's feelings about him and the behaviour of the boys at the school.
"I'm sure," he answered truthfully, hoping Phil could comprehend the complete honesty lacing his voice.
"And there isn't any initiation things?" Phil had been initiated at his old school. They had forced him into the bathroom and had been beaten to a pulp. His parents didn't even care.
"We're not a gang," he chuckled. "It's mostly rich poncy kids here anyway, far too interested in studying and trying to be top of the class."
"At my last school, I was a bloody pulp by the time they'd finished with me. I never told you I went to St Pius did I? So, sorry if I don't believe that rich poncy kids are innocent. If kids from the top school in the state can hurt me like they did then why would the kids here be any different?" Phil squeezed harder, enough to earn himself a quiet gasp. He quickly tried to cover it up, unsure of whether he was successful or not.
Dan turned his head from looking at the ceiling to look at Phil. "Are you hurting yourself again?" he asked, hearing the gasp.
"Would it matter if I was?" Phil asked defensively. "I'm going to get some form of 'new kid shit' on Monday anyway."
"It'd matter to me." Dan answered, then added "You'll just get a few looks. I was new here once as well. No initiation, no anything. Plus some of the guys already know you, from dinner." he tried to reassure him.
"Ok, so I'm hurting myself, who gives a shit about me. Maybe I'll get a few looks, maybe I'll get worse. And those guys probably know me as the quiet kid who didn't eat much. That's all." Phil was still worried about his first day. He knew that the first day would be the worst. It always was.
"I give a shit about you Phil." Dan answered. "You're over-thinking things. I know first days are horrible, but I'm telling you now. No-one here will hurt you." Dan said, mentally scanning the students and knowing there were no bullies.
"I'm not so sure Dan. I was getting some dirty looks during dinner." Phil said as he let go of himself and closed his eyes. He could feel himself bleeding but he was too tired to care. He just wanted to sleep and wake up on Tuesday.
"Not to sound cocky, but I know who was giving you dirty looks. This kid Ryan, he has a huge crush on me, I noticed him looking too. I'll sort it out, don't worry." Dan answered, running his hand up and down Phil's upper arm again.
Phil let himself fall asleep in Dan's bed, it was comfortable and he didn't want to move. He snuggled into Dan's pillow.
Stranger: Dan heard Phil fall asleep, and got up to close the curtains and close his laptop down. He returned to his bed, trying not to jostle it. He decided since Phil was asleep he'd curl around him, and placed his hand around his waist, falling asleep himself.