Chapter 7

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Saturday finally rolled around and Phil was practically bouncing with excitement, waiting for Dan to arrive after already receiving his text that he was on the way. Phil's parents couldn't help but giggle a little at their son and he made sure to repay their actions with pointed glares; he couldn't hold anything but love in his gaze though.

Ms. Howell's situation in the car with her son was much the same as that of the Lesters, even if she didn't know this.  Dan rarely showed too much emotion, and when he did he tended to tamp it down a bit, so his jittery excitement was refreshing.

As Dan and his mother pulled up to Phil's house, Phil burst through the door with his bag in hand. Ms. Howell had spoken with Mrs. Lester beforehand and said she would drive the boys around. This way they wouldn't have to go back and forth between houses and Phil would be able to just come straight to Dan's.

Phil jumped into the backseat with Dan, his mom coming out to talk with Dan's mom. "Mom!" Phil whisper-yelled, giving his mother an exasperated look in the hopes of getting her to let them leave. He loved his mom, but he wanted to spend as much one on one time with Dan as he could.
Phil wouldn't tell Dan that though; well couldn't fit better.


When the car finally pulled up to Spooky Skeletons, Phil practically flew out of the seat.  Dan laughed and jumped out after him with a little shake to his head and a smirk from his mother.  Phil loved Halloween and costumes and really anything festive; Dan wasn't as joyous about the holidays, but it was hard not to feed off Phil's excitement.

Dan did have an idea of what he wanted in mind, so he took his time watching Phil ecstatically jump down the aisles.  Every time Phil saw something he really liked he would pull it out and show it to Dan with a bright look on his face that rivaled the sun.

"Dan, DAN DAN DAN DAN DAN! Look at this! It's a TOTORO HOODIE!! OH MY GOSH! I COULD BE TOTORO!!" Phil yelled, skipping in a circle while Dan laughed behind his gloved hands.  ".....Wait a minute." Phil whispered abruptly stopping his actions, "Would it be bad if I just... bought the hoodie and like... got an actual costume?" Dan's laughing fit was full blown at this point, his eyes shut and arms across his stomach with his dimples shining in their full force.  Phil found himself laughing too, and taking in the rare dimple sighting.

When Dan's laughter finally died down, he whimpered out, "I was trying to suggest that earlier, but I just couldn't stop laughing.  I'm sorry."  This promptly set him into another fit, Phil following after giving Dan a playful shove.  "I actually have an idea of what I'm thinking about." Dan said after eventually collecting himself.  "Really!?" Phil exclaimed, looking at Dan with renewed vigor.  "Yeah, come on." Dan grabbed his arm and dragged him to the middle of the store.

"What do you think?" Dan tentatively asked, showing Phil an all black morph suit.  "I think it's really cool." Phil responded and Dan's smile returned.  "I thought it would be something different and it also helps with the whole 'no one accidentally touching me' thing." Dan giggled, surprising Phil by actually addressing the matter.  "Well yeah, it definitely fits that purpose, but it also gives me a fantastic idea."  Dan lit up upon hearing this and followed Phil to the back of the store.

"It's like a costume set almost!" Phil enthused, holding up a Peter Pan outfit, "I'm Peter Pan and you're Pan's shadow!!!" Dan smiled brightly, nodding along with Phil. "I think that's an amazing idea! I love it, everyone's gonna love it!" Dan exclaimed right back and ran with Phil to go buy their costumes... And Phil's Totoro hoodie.

If Phil was smiling at Dan more than the costumes as they left, no one pointed it out.


Immediately upon arriving at Dan's house, Dan's mother made them pull out the costumes and show her.  Her lilting laughter filled the kitchen when they showed her, a smile similar to Dan's plastered across her features.

"Boys, that is such a cute idea!" she finally got out, "Have you tried them on yet? Because I'd really like to see how you both will look."  "We haven't yet," Dan replied, turning to Phil, "We probably should have done that in the store."  Phil smiled at Dan's sheepish grin and said, "That's alright, we can try them on now and show your mom, it'll be fine. Ok?"  "Ok," Dan eventually responded and bounded off toward his room with Phil in tow.

Phil smiled after arriving in Dan's room and seeing the Calcifer plushy front and center on his bed. His thoughts drifted back to Dan cuddling it to his chest, and he knew his cheeks were heating up. "I'm gonna go change in the bathroom," he said, hurrying off to hide his blush. Dan just nodded as he focused on opening and unraveling his morph suit.

With the bathroom door safely shut, Phil turned toward the mirror over the sink and took a few deep breaths. He reached over to grab his costume from beside him and hurriedly changed into it. Phil took a minute to admire himself and laughed as a thought came to him:

My natural hair colour would have gone so much better with this costume.

"Phil, what's so funny?" Dan called from his room outside the door. "I just thought about how if I didn't dye my hair black it really would have completed this outfit." Phil responded while stepping back into Dan's room.

"Wait WHAT!?" The shock in Dan's voice was clear, "YOU DYE YOUR HAIR!?" Phil giggled for a moment, "Dan, no one's hair is actually as black as mine. And my eyebrows kinda give away what my actual hair colour is." "I mean, I guess that's true," Phil promptly shoved Dan after hearing this reply. "Your costume looks really good by the way, even if your hair screws it up." Phil felt the blush creep back over him as he said a meek "Thanks."

Dan abruptly turned his back to Phil, leaving him very confused before he said, "Could you zip the suit over my head? I got it up as far as I could, but I gave up at my shoulders." Dan's tentative voice prompted Phil's tentative, "Sure," as he reached up and zipped it over Dan's head. "How do I look?" Dan said as he turned back to face Phil.

Phil took this opportunity to thoroughly scan Dan's body, appreciating how skin tight the suit was before realizing he'd been staring too long. His eyes quickly flitted back up to where Dan's should be. "You look good, even if the whole eyeless, mouth-less thing is a little creepy. It's like Slenderman kind of." Dan visibly shivered when Phil said that, mumbling, "Ugh, that game, the trees and dark, that's just not my thing." Phil didn't know if he was supposed to hear that or not, but he decided to mentally note the information anyway.

"Alright, let's go show mom." Dan suddenly exclaimed and let Phil take the lead back to the kitchen. He was supposed to be Peter Pan's shadow, after all.


Later that evening, after they had changed out of their costumes and had dinner, Dan and Phil decided to watch a movie.  Phil didn't know what he expected when he came back to Dan's room with a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" box set in hand, but it definitely wasn't Dan frustratedly trying to make a blanket fort.  Phil watched him struggle for a minute before going over to help him. 

Dan immediately sat back and let Phil work, looking at what his movie choice was.  "Really Phil, you spork.  Out of all things, you picked 'Buffy'?"  Dan's teasing wouldn't have been so obvious if not for the mirth in his eyes, but by now Phil knew what to look for.  He tried to feign offense, failing when he giggled, and responded, "Hey!  'Buffy' is great and so is Sarah Michelle Gellar."  "You're only in it for Sarah, aren't you?" Dan laughed, trying to hide his little spark of jealousy.

Halfway through the first season, and after listening to Phil ramble on about Sarah Michelle Gellar for awhile, Dan turned to Phil.  "If Sarah had the neck of a giraffe, would you still date her?"  Phil instantly replied, "Yes," turning to Dan and suspiciously eyeing the laptop in his hands.  "You say that, but look at the image."  Phil started to gag, which turned into laughter as Dan started cackling beside him.  "She's still pretty though."  Dan rolled his eyes so far they could have rolled out of his head.


When Phil fell asleep that night, he felt absolutely serene knowing his best friend was right beside him.  It was probably the best sleep of his life in their cozy blanket fort with "Buffy" softly playing in the background.  If his heart ached because their friendship wasn't anything more than that, he put it to the back of his thoughts.  He was gonna enjoy just being near Dan.

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