Title: A Cry You Can Hear at Night

Summary: If they had crossed paths only a moment later, neither of them would have seen tomorrow. (Phan, a little sadness, etc…)

Part: Eighteen

Word Count: 1,298

Disclaimer: nope

Author's Note: so… yeah. My life is going to get super crazy in about 21 hours, so I decided it would be best to wrap this up while I had the time. Love ya.

.~.

The next morning found Phil with his arm slung over Dan. He'd woken up much earlier than his boyfriend, but he felt too awkward to wander around the house on his own. He decided to just stay curled up with Dan.

He took the chance to look around the room. It was overwhelmingly brown—different shades but all brown. There was a TV across from the bed with Guitar Hero guitars piled beside; Phil found himself amused by how many there were. Other than that though, it was pretty much the basic bedroom necessities.

After about half an hour, Dan started to groan and roll over. He slowly opened his eyes. "Mornin'," he said, grinning. He let his arm fall behind him so he could grasp the hand Phil had slung over him.

"Good morning," Phil answered. He slowly stretched out now that he knew he wouldn't disturb Dan.

Dan lifted his head a little. "I think Mum's making breakfast," he said happily. He started to slide out of bed.

Phil furrowed his eyebrows and asked, "How can you tell?"

"Listen," Dan answered, laughing. He reached for a pair of pants to pull over his boxers. He was still smiling.

Phil didn't move for a few seconds, straining his ears to try to hear something. He heard some clattering from downstairs, but he didn't think that could be significant. After a few moments, he said, "What am I supposed to be listening for?"

Dan stared at him. He licked his lips and said, "The pots and pans?"

"Oh." Phil blushed, though he wasn't sure why. He climbed out of the bed and pulled on lounge pants.

Dan eventually ushered him out of the room and down the stairs. They went into the kitchen, where Mrs. Howell was indeed standing at the stove, flipping something Phil couldn't see.

She turned when they walked toward her. "Good morning, boys," she said. "I hope pancakes are okay."

"Sounds great!" Dan sat down at the kitchen table and motioned for Phil to sit beside him.

Mrs. Howell set a plate in front of each of them. Dan tucked in immediately; Phil muttered a quiet thank you and started to cut his pancakes slowly. She sat down beside Dan and said, "So what are the plans for today? Are you staying for another day, Phil?"

Phil slowly looked up at her. For some reason, he was finding it more difficult to meet her eyes than he had last night. "I… I was planning on it. I don't have to be back at work until tomorrow, so I was planning on leaving late tonight."

"Great!" Mrs. Howell responded, smiling at him.

He relaxed a little.

Then she turned to Dan and said, "Well you're dad and I were going to go into town today, so do you and Phil want to come along and you can show him around?"

Dan stopped stuffing his face long enough to say, "Sure." He took another bite before adding, "I assume this is your way of keeping Phil out of the house while Marcus is here?"

Mrs. Howell cringed. "Well, yeah."

Dan shrugged and let out an affirmative grunt as he continued to eat.

.~.

They got back from exploring feeling fantastic. Phil had his arm around Dan's waist and was talking about how cool some of the statues around town had been while Dan just listened and smiled. They made their way up to Dan's room and collapsed on the bed together.

"Do you have to go?" Dan asked, pulling of a whining voice.

Phil sighed. "I have to go to work tomorrow." He looked down at his still packed bag by the foot of Dan's bed. "In case you hadn't noticed, I had to take a few days off when some kid started staying at my house."

Dan laughed and lightly shoved his elbow into Phil's stomach. "It was worth it, huh?" he asked, grinning. He rolled over so he could tickle Phil's stomach.

"Oh God, no." Phil retracted from Dan's hands, giggling, as he tried to protect his stomach. "Not if you do this to me," he shouted. Then he jumped quickly to return the attack on Dan, who squealed and leaped off the bed.

"Oh my God," a voice shouted from outside, "if you guys are gonna fuck, don't be so loud!"

Dan scowled and spun on his heel. He ripped his bedroom door open. "Shut the hell up, Marcus!" he shouted.

"Make me," was the immature reply.

Phil sighed and sat back on the bed, waiting for the exchange between the brothers to be over. If he was braver, he'd walk over and just slam the door so he and Dan could go back to being happy.

"What are you—twelve?" Dan quipped. He moved to close the door but was stopped when Marcus pushed his way in.

He leered at Phil and said, "You're fuck toy still has his pants on. And I thought I was interrupting something here. Darn." He moved to walk out.

Dan suddenly growled and lurched forward to shove his brother. Marcus stumbled, but he managed to catch his balance on the doorframe.

Phil watched in shock as Marcus reached out and punched Dan right in the jaw. Phil let out a little squeak, but he found that he couldn't force himself to do much more than that. He could only sit and watch with his mouth hanging wide open.

Marcus shoved Dan back while he was stunned and continued to punch him. Dan tried to fight back, but his brother had a good amount of height on him, so it wasn't doing much.

It suddenly occurred to Phil how often this must happen. Dan's flinches, the blood stained shirt, everything: it all made sense, and Phil wanted to puke at the thought.

He didn't even think as he slowly rose from the bed, walked over to where Dan and Marcus were standing, and grabbed Marcus' wrist just as he was about to land another blow. He then turned enough that he could shove Marcus so hard the older boy tumbled to the ground.

Nobody spoke for a long moment.

After a long enough silence for Phil to start to freak out, Marcus rose. He said, "Fuck this" and walked out of the room.

Phil turned to Dan. "Come on," he growled out. He walked over to where Dan's duffel bag had been slung onto the ground and picked it up. "I don't trust him. Move in with me."

Dan blinked. "What?"

Phil gulped, starting to realize how crazy it sounded. "Move in with me. I want you to be safe and… you'd be safe with me."

Neither of them said anything for a long time. Dan looked around his room slowly, as if he was calculating something. Then he turned back to Phil and said, "Okay."

.~.

A Month Later

"I think we finally got everything," Dan said, dropping a box onto the floor of their living room. He had gone back to his parents' house that weekend to pick up the last of his belongings and had finally gotten all his furniture moved in.

He grinned, thinking of how perfect his dresser would look in the room he shared with Phil. (He secretly hated Phil's dresser.)

"How are your parents?" Phil asked from where he stood in the kitchen. He was smiling warmly.

Dan shrugged. "Same. They're good but stressed. You know how it is."

Phil walked over to wrap his arms around Dan's waist. He set his head on his boyfriend's shoulder. "I can't put into words how happy I am that you're here—to stay—with me." He let out an embarrassed laugh.

Dan smiled at him. "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."