Chapter 10

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Dan and Phil rushed to Louise's house, already a little late after getting caught up with their gifts. Dan had insisted that he play another song for Phil, and Phil definitely wouldn't turn him down. Refusal wasn't even an option in Phil's mind.  So, of course, one song became four and a few minutes late became half an hour late.  Phil wouldn't trade it for the world; it was worth being late to spend time with Dan.

Louise payed little attention to their tardiness, squealing ecstatically as she threw open the door. "Oh, Dan, Phil, I'm so glad you could come!" she exclaimed, jumping up and down to let out her pent up energy. Her entire house was over-the-top festive, looking like Rudolph threw up on everything.  Dan voiced this sentiment faintly to Phil as they slipped off their shoes and heavy coats.  Phil giggled quietly, Louise quirking an eyebrow before turning and leading them into the house.

"So I've set up some festive games, as you can see!" Louise shouted over the blaring Christmas music as they entered the living room.  "We have 7 minutes in the North Pole which is pretty self explanatory, spin the bauble, nice or naughty which is basically just truth or dare, Christmas karaoke, and hot cocoa pong." She gestured toward separate areas of the room crowded by people as she listed off her many 'themed' games.  "Before you laugh at me for the ridiculous names and games, know that it was Zoe's idea," she eventually yelled again, pointing an accusatory finger at the perky brunette who was, at the moment, caught up in 'nice or naughty.'

Dan and Phil just laughed off the comment, striking up a conversation with Louise.  "Oh no! They're tossing the bauble again! This is the fifth one!!!" she abruptly blurted, bolting toward the circle of people throwing the Christmas ornament back and forth between them.  Phil chuckled at that while Dan shook his head, watching Louise jump around trying to put an end to their game. 

The boys looked to each other, nodding in agreement to a silent conversation and scanning the room attentively.  Dan noticed Chris and PJ together in a corner sucking each other's faces off, and chuckled, nudging Phil to point them out.  They both laughed before continuing their search.  When Phil spotted what they were looking for, the food table, he grabbed Dan's arm and yanked him in their desired direction.  They weaved through the crowd, immediately snatching up some pizza when they reached the location.  Dan grabbed some punch as well, Phil passing up his offer.  Anxiety rolled off him in waves as he tried to distinguish whether to trust the beverage or not, so he decided to voice this concern to Dan.  "Dan, I don't know what's in that, it would probably be best not to test your luck."

Dan scoffed in reply, "I'm sure it'll be fine, Phil.  I think Louise has been a pretty strict monitor so far."  The unsettled feeling didn't leave Phil, but he had made an effort to warn him.  Dan could do what he wanted and Phil had to agree with how seriously Louise was taking her supervising duty.  He watched as Dan chugged the contents of the glass quickly, pouring himself another generous amount to drink with his pizza.

It was not fine. Dan only had three cups of punch, but that was apparently enough. The Harries twins had at some point spiked the punch with the help of Joe and Caspar, and Dan had consumed enough of it to be a little tipsy. It was quick to come to Phil's attention that Dan was a talkative drunk, spewing comments left and right about the things happening around them.

"Oh my god, Phil, Christmas makes me want to throw up sometimes, like I just don't get it, the weather gets more miserable but the people get cheerier. It's also really too colorful, I like, you know, like monochrome and black and white, just simple stuff. I don't know it's just more like elegant and professional to me? Phil you look really good. Your eyes are really pretty, very blue. It's a nice contrast to all the red and green. Did I mention how festive it looks in here? It's a lot of red and green. Louise definitely did a good job of making it look Christmasy."

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