Chapter 6

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Dan had realized by the end of that first month of friendship with Phil that he was falling for him. And by realized, he meant the feeling had hit him like a truck.  He was so confused by how he felt; Phil made him want a soulmate.  The swirling feelings were horrible, but he thought it was also worth it. He honestly felt closer to him than anyone else, other than his mom.

And, since his mom was obviously in the same boat as him, if not knowing him better since she had literally birthed him, she immediately knew something was different when he came home from school all flustered before his piano lesson.

"Baby, what's wrong, are you feeling sick?" she had asked him, confused by why he was so flushed and warm. "No, mom, I'm feeling fine." Dan replied shortly, "my stomach feels a little weird but that's about it."

He could see the spark behind her eyes at that and hoped he could make his escape before the foreseeable questioning began. The praying that his sick excuse would pay off didn't go so well, though; his mother knew him too well.

"Hmm, a stomach ache?" his mom had finally said, a teasing glint in her eyes as she blocked his only exit from their sitting room. "I guess, if you're not feeling well, you're gonna have to skip piano today. There's only an hour before we have to go for your lesson." Dan clenched his jaw at that. She knew how much he loved piano, how it tethered him and made him relax as he lost himself in the music; she also knew that he wouldn't miss it for the world.

"Well, it's not really a stomach ache, it's just- I feel... Weird? I don't really know how to explain, I just feel fluttery and warm and I don't know how to make it stop." Dan breathlessly explained.  The knowing look in his mother's eyes was full fledged now as she responded, "Oh, my baby Daniel, I think you know exactly what's wrong, you just don't want to admit it."

Dan nodded somewhat shyly in response, looking at his feet.  His mom looked at him with so much affection, asking hesitantly, "Did you find your soulmate?" Dan shook his head almost immediately, saying, "You know how I feel on the subject... But is it bad that I kind of want him to be?"  His voice was barely a whisper by the end.

He looked up at his mother guiltily through his eyelashes. He was completely taken aback by the happy smile on her face and the tears in her eyes. "Oh honey," she breathlessly rushed out while throwing her arms around her son, "Of course it's not bad. You are entitled to feel how you want to feel. Can I ask who it is? Is it one of the boys you've been hanging out with."

Dan was back to nodding shyly, making sure to look his mother in the eyes as he opened his mouth to reply, promptly shutting it again. Ms. Howell giggled at him, hoping to relieve some of his stress by saying, "How about I say their names one at a time and you just tell me when I get it right?" Dan stepped back and smiled at the idea and she began, knowing full well which of his friends it was as he had had them over before. Obviously, two of them were soulmates. That and the numerous late night phone calls with one of the three made it pretty clear.

She decided to cut right to the chase, "Is it Phil?" The immediate blush at the mention of his name gave his answer away before he spoke, simply replying with a nod followed by a hug. Dan tucked his head into his mother's shoulder, trying to hide how flushed he was. She just put her arms around him and whispered, "You deserve to be happy, hon, and he seems like such a sweet boy."

Dan didn't know it at the time, but he spent the entirety of what should have been his two hour lesson gushing to his mother about Phil.  His mother smirked, thinking about what his world was now since he's skipped piano for it.

-

Dan was a little surprised when PJ came up and hurried him into the boys' bathroom at school.  It wasn't really the situation that surprised him, as they were pretty close friends at this point, but the fact that he wasn't flanked by Chris.  He decided to voice his surprise, "Where's Chris?"

"Uhmm he's... out," was all the reply he received. "I just wanted to talk to you in more of a one on one setting because I don't want you to feel pressured, but I was wondering if you would come to my costume party this weekend on Halloween?" Dan was very relieved to realize how considerate PJ had been with his plan and was leaning toward saying no, but a certain raven-haired boy had him debating.

"Who is going so far?" Dan asked. "Well, I've only asked Chris and Phil other than you, but they both said they were gonna go." "Alright, I'll come I think," Dan responded tentatively. "Great!" PJ exclaimed while clapping his hands together. "So it's on Sunday obviously, because you know Halloween and all, and it's gonna start at 3. If you want to you can spend the night at mine afterward and we can all go to school together on Monday. Chris and Phil already said they'd do that, also. I'm only gonna ask them, though."

"Ok, that sounds like fun. I'll stay." Dan replied. If it was possible, PJ's face lit up even more with his assent as he skipped out of the room. Dan stood there, dumbfounded for a moment, until PJ stuck his head back in the door. "You coming? I'm meeting up with Chris and Phil." Dan scurried after him at that with a quick nod.

-

At lunch, the four boys talked about PJ's party. He had invited a few other people, all of which had said they could come. Dan recognized a few names from his classes, like Louise and Tyler, but he didn't really know most of the people outside of their group.

Phil turned to Dan at one point when Chris and PJ fell into deep conversation. "You wanna go costume shopping with me?" Phil asked. "Sure," was Dan's immediate reply, "When were you thinking about going?" "I don't know maybe Saturday, that way we'll have a whole day to look." Dan nodded, trying to hide how excited he was to spend a whole day with Phil.

His eyes brightened suddenly as he got an idea, Phil giving him a quizzical look. "You wanna spend the night at my place on Saturday and we can get ready together for the party?" Dan asked, Phil's smile steadily growing with his proposition. "Of course." Phil answered, and Dan's heart soared.

-

Dan fell asleep happily thinking ahead to Saturday when he would get to spend all day with his best friend...

Well, crush, but he wouldn't let his mind dwindle on the thought.

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