Dan stared up at Phil's tear-streaked face and sighed, sadly. It was always a nightmare when yet another girl decided Phil 'wasn't quite right' and fucked off with some other guy. Phil had always been the romantic commitment type, but seemed to have a terrible habit of picking girls who wanted nothing but a brief fling, and it never ended well.
"Come on, mate... It's alright. Sophie wasn't that nice anyway..." Dan trailed off, feeling guilty at his pathetic attempts at consolation.
Phil wiped his eyes and slouched onto the sofa beside Dan.
"I know, it's just... they always say the same thing, it's always 'you're not right for me, Phil' or 'it just isn't working out for me, Phil'... I mean, what the fuck am I doing wrong?" Phil lapsed into a fresh bout of tears and Dan's heart broke at the sight of his best friend's pain. Then again, he'd always had something slightly more than just friendly feelings for Phil...
Dan shook his head and blinked, chasing away these unwelcome thoughts. Phil was his best friend. It would never work out... He's my best friend... He'd never like me that way...
"Dan... there's something I want to tell you..." Dan's heart gave an odd jolt and seemed to leap into his throat for a second at Phil's words.
"I... I mean, you might have guessed, but... well... I think I know why all these girls just go off me..." Phil trailed off into a mumble as his eyes dropped to the floor and a faint pink flush appeared across his cheekbones.
Dan shook himself mentally. Come on, Dan... Don't be so stupid... It won't be anything to do with you... Phil would never like you that way...
"Dan, the thing is... I'm... I'm bi..." Phil mumbled as the pink flush became more pronounced across his face.
Dan sat in stunned silence as he took this unexpected announcement in.
"Well... That's... I mean, it doesn't affect our friendship or anything," said Dan, with a strained smile. "Shall I... shall I go and make you some tea?"
Phil continued staring at the floor.
"Sure, that sounds... that sounds nice. Thanks, man..." he mumbled, turning his face away.
Dan stood at the kitchen counter, facing away from Phil on the sofa, and buried his face in his hands.
Stupid, stupid Dan... You could've told him... You could've said something! And now you're just going to let the situation hang... Do you want to feel this way forever? You LIVE with him, Dan! You're going to see him every day! How long until he brings someone back with him? What will you do then, Daniel? Because you know you couldn't stand to see him touch another person...
A few tears rolled down Dan's face but he brushed them away impatiently with the sleeve of his jumper. He thought about what he'd said and mentally berated himself. It doesn't affect our friendship or anything, shall I make some tea? Jesus, Dan, couldn't you have said something slightly more comforting? Now Phil thinks you hate him and you've just fucked it all right up. Well bloody done, genius. You just destroyed what could, potentially, have been the best moment of your life - and now, you've gone and put yourself in an awful position. You can either make up with Phil, and risk revealing that you're in love with him, or you can leave the situation as it is and let Phil believe you hate him, and we know where that would lead, don't we? It would be your ex-girlfriend all over again. Trying to hold in tears every night and waking up every morning only to find your dreams weren't real. Feeling like nothing will ever be the same. Feeling like you want to die. Clever, Daniel. Really smooth.
Dan had made up his mind. He splashed some water over his face from the kitchen sink and dried off, not wanting to make it obvious he'd been crying.
"Phil?" he called nervously, butterflies already stirring in his stomach."Could you, er, could you some here for a sec, please?"
"Sure... One second..." muttered Phil from the sofa, and Dan could tell he'd been crying the whole time.
His heart split into a million little pieces as he heard the pain in Phil's voice.
Phil leant against the breakfast bar, his face turned away from Dan.
"I understand that you're a bit, well, a bit freaked out now," said Phil quietly, his face still turned away.
Dan was silent for a moment, unable to find the words he needed to explain himself. Come one, Dan! Just tell him, idiot! He's your best friend, he'd never judge you, and you know it! But right now, he thinks you're doing exactly that!
"Phil, I..." Dan trailed off as he searched for the words. He tried again. "Phil, I don't... I have absolutely nothing against you. I reacted badly because... It shocked me. Phil, I... I like you. A lot... as more than a friend..."
Phil's head turned slowly as he moved to face Dan. A little crease had appeared between his eyebrows, as it always did when he was thinking hard, or concentrating.
"You... You don't know how long I've waited... for you to... for you to say that," murmured Phil, staring directly into Dan's eyes.
"I've wanted to say it for months, Phil... Every time you've come home telling me about another girl you were with, it killed me! I'm sorry I was never very supportive... I tried, but it was so hard..." Tears welled up in Dan's eyes as he recalled every moment of pain he'd felt, listening to Phil talk about some girl.
"It hurt me too, but I thought you'd hate me... I thought you'd stop talking to me!" Phil burst out, and stepped forward and put his arms around Dan, inhaling his musky smell of Diesel aftershave and Lynx deodorant, burying his head in Dan's shoulder. Dan wrapped his arms around Phil's waist, a lone tear tracking its way down his cheek. Why had he waited so long?
And now everything is perfect... And I'm in love.
Both boys smiled as they stared into each others' faces.
Everything was... perfect.