Chapter 1

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Phil Lester was skipping giddily up the steps of his school for his first day of year 12.  Students and teachers alike gawked at the lanky, raven-haired sixteen-year-old awkwardly flailing towards the doors, but nothing could kill his excitement.  Phil knew that the energetic buzz of the first day of school would die, probably by the second week, but he couldn't help but feel elated; a new school year meant something to preoccupy his time, not to mention the chance to meet new people, any of which could potentially be his soulmate.

Phil spotted his best friends, Chris Kendall and PJ Ligouri, inside the doors, hidden together in a corner by the entrance. He was surprised he had found them so quickly in the crowded corridor, but, then again, by now he knew where to look.

"Hey guys," Phil greeted, and watched as they sprung apart from each other. "Hey Phil," they replied, surprisingly synchronized as they readjusted their hair and clothing.

Phil had told Chris and PJ that they didn't need to feel guilty being affectionate around him, seeing as they were soulmates, but they both knew that it hurt him even if he was too kind to show it. "I assume you two have already memorized each other's timetables," Phil said with a wink, "Can I take a look to see what we all have together?" Chris replied, "Of course!" He took PJ's and handed it over, even though he knew that their schedules were the same. Established soulmates were assigned the same schedules, as the school staff had learned fairly quickly after the building had been put to use that separating them was hopeless. Most pairs would skip class to stay together.

"We have English, Maths, and Theatre together!" Phil exclaimed. Last year he had only had Media Production with his friends, outside of lunch and their free period.

PJ had opened his mouth to reply when a sudden hush went over the hallway. Phil turned to see what the commotion was about, and was met with a pair of gorgeous brown eyes, straightened hair to match, all black clothes barely allowing any skin to show other than his face, and long black gloves. So this was the new kid. Everyone had heard about him by now, even without knowing his name. This boy, in Phil's year, had moved to Manchester from Reading; and he was apparently out of the ordinary. Where as most people put finding their soulmate as their main focus, the new boy was said to want nothing to do with it; the gloves only furthered this rumor.

Phil didn't see that as a problem. He believed everyone was entitled to their own opinion; that and he couldn't help but feel oddly attracted to this mysterious boy. He couldn't repress his curiosity, walking up to the boy. The silence around him was deafening, but he cleared his throat and said, "Hello, my name's Phil."

Way to go, Phil, he thought. Outstanding introduction. How long did it take you to come up with that one? Curse my social ineptitude.

He decided he could do nothing but go along with it, putting out his hand and waiting for a response. The room seemed to be holding its breathe along with Phil.

The boy stuck his gloved hands deep into his pockets and murmured, "Dan," not meeting Phil's eyes. The corridor released its breath and burst back into life around the (extremely tall) boys. Phil noticed Dan was only slightly shorter than his towering height of 6'3, realized he was staring, and awkwardly dropped his arm. Without thinking, he mirrored Dan's stance, looking at his feet.

"So... Uhmm... Dan, let me... introduce you to my friends, Chris and PJ," Phil finally forced out as he saw his best friends approaching. Chris nodded at the mention of his name, and PJ gave a little wave as he smiled. Dan nodded shortly to each in turn, shifting from foot to foot.

"What's your schedule look like?" PJ asked. "We can definitely show you around, seeing as you're new and all."

Dan pulled out his timetable with a quick thanks and finally looked up at the group. Phil felt his heart flutter at the sight of those stunning eyes, holding eye contact until Dan looked away. Dan handed over his schedule to Phil since he was still holding Chris and PJ's along with his own. While comparing classes, he mentally scolded himself.

You just met this boy, Philip! Don't weird him out already. Yes, he is attractive, but you don't even know how he identifies. Just because you're bisexual doesn't mean everyone else is as well. Plus, he might be one of those people who will only date their soulmate... Well, if the rumors aren't true.

Realizing he'd been in his head for quite a while, Phil blurted, "Looks like you and I have History together first period. And you also have English, Maths, and Theatre with all three of us! Would you like to walk to History with me?" Dan nodded shyly and Phil said goodbye as Chris and PJ went to their first period together.

The warning bell rang shortly after they began walking. "Looks like we better hurry," Phil said, "Our classroom is just down the corridor up ahead." Phil sped up to a brisk pace, Dan easily keeping up with his long strides, and they hurried into class with the bell.  They quickly occupied two empty seats in the back of the room.

"Hello, class!  I am Mrs. Wellington and I will be your History teacher this year.  Today we'll start out by going around the room and each sharing something about ourselves."  Dan shifted uncomfortably in his seat next to Phil.  "I will start us off," Mrs. Wellington said, "My name is, well, you already know, and I found my soulmate at age sixteen, as most of you are now!"
She pointed to a girl at the front and asked her to go next.

Phil zoned out and was yanked back to reality by a small cough at his side.  He looked over to see Dan glancing between him and the teacher, where Phil's eyes quickly followed.  Her gaze was fixed on him along with the rest of the class.  He realized it was his turn to share about himself and stood hurriedly.  "My name is Philip Lester, please call me Phil, and lions are my favorite animal," he said, blushing as he sat down.

He knew Dan's turn was after him, entrapping his full attention with his curiosity on what the boy had to say.

"My name is Dan Howell and... uhmm... I like Shiba Inus?" He phrased it slowly as if unsure of what to say.  Phil mentally saved this small bit of information, in hopes of a use for it later.

The last few students shared what they had to say and the bell rang for the start of the next class... English.

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