Chapter 13

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"What?" Dan's confusion was clearly evident in his expression as he eyed the sparks floating around him and Phil. "I don't understand. How-?" His voice was completely drowned out by the giggles tumbling from Phil's mouth.  The equally dumbfounded expressions of their friends around them emerged from among the balloons and confetti, staring incredulously at Phil and watching the sparks surrounding the two best friends.

Phil stalled his cackling momentarily to stutter out, "The- the beard! It was the beard!" Confusion was still written across Dan's face as he played back his memories from the Christmas party. Then it hit him, the Santa beard! The fuzzy hair had essentially blocked their lips from actually meeting. That's why there weren't any sparks before! "Oh my god, you spork!" he shouted. Sporadic giggles emitted from Dan until he was a laughing mess beside Phil.

The surrounding people were still left to simmer in their confusion, but it slowly started to ebb away as they watched the two newfound soulmates interact. It had always been obvious that Dan and Phil's bond was special, their being soulmates only solidified that fact.

"Now you definitely don't have to worry about tearing me from anything." Phil said with a cheeky wink and threw them back into a fit of giggles.  Louise eventually blurted, still with confusion written all over her face, "Guys, you're gonna have to fill us in.  This is literally making zero sense.  What do you mean, 'the beard!?'"  Chris and PJ beside her nodded while vague realization flooded Zoe's eyes. 

"Oh no, this is my fault." Zoe whispered inaudibly to herself as Phil finished his explanation. She had been pretty tipsy and remembered pieces of Louise's party, but now that he retold the unfolding of events it all came back to her. "Guys I'm so sorry! I shouldn't have drunk so much, I usually try not to, but I had had a lot of punch before it was spiked so it was just kind of reflexive to keep a full cup and I-"

"Zoe," Dan cut her off with a grin, "It's alright. We got there eventually, it's better late than never." He looked up at Phil then with so much love in his eyes that Phil thought his heart might explode if it hadn't already. Phil pressed his lips to Dan's again, and in the background PJ was huffing distraughtly as he handed a smirking Chris £5. When Dan broke away from the short, adoring kiss, he caught the end of their exchange, blurting, "Hey! What was that about!?"

"You're telling them." PJ commanded while scowling at Chris. "I bet PJ that there would be some way you guys were soulmates even after the whole Christmas thing. He said you both definitely had a strong bond, but there weren't any sparks; I thought there had to be some phenomenon between the two of you because I've never seen anyone work better together than you guys. And that's saying something because I believe Peej and I are the perfect match." He pecked PJ on the cheek after finishing his last sentence.

Dan glanced at Phil after hearing this and burst into cackles.  Phil couldn't hold back his giggles when listening to Dan's infectious laugh, and they fell back into a fit similar to their previous beard induced chuckles.  By the time they had regained control of themselves, their stomachs were aching from the pain of so much laughter.  "If I don't have abs from all this laughing, I'm gonna be pissed." Dan murmured, not even realizing that his comment would send them back into their spiral of cackling pain.

For the rest of the party they were glued to each other's sides, though that was nothing new. There was definitely more kissing than in the past, but that was understandable to say the least. They were trying to make up for any lost time with an overly excessive amount of affection, until at one point Phil sighed and let out on the breath, "Dan, wait a minute."  Dan's eyelids fluttered lazily open, and he locked his gaze with Phil's.   "We have the rest of our lives ahead of us, we have forever together.  We don't have to rush into anything if you don't want to."

Dan's mouth was agape as he inhaled to answer before promptly breathing out again and letting his jaw snap back shut. A warm blush crept across his face as he fluttered his eyelashes at Phil and rapped his arms around the ebony haired boy's neck. "I think we demolished that 'taking it slow' path a few hours ago." Dan chuckled and locked lips with his soulmate again.

There was suddenly a cough beside them and each boy received an awkward tap to the shoulder. "Uhmm, hey you guys, so I didn't really know when to come approach for, uhmm, you know, obvious reasons." Connor tentatively said when he got their attention, and the boys flashed him sheepish grins as their faces turned bright red. "Well, anyway, I just wanted to give you this, since I'm leaving soon, or else I wouldn't have interrupted you two." Connor wiggled his eyebrows at them and handed over a Polaroid. "I was just taking a picture of the room when the balloons fell, and you guys kissed on the 'one' so I caught the sparks. I thought you would want to keep that memory. Just send me a picture of it or something." He turned to leave, but only made it a step before both Dan and Phil threw their arms around him and wrapped him between them.

"Connor, thank you so, so much. This really means a lot to me." The voices on either side of him spoke the same exact thing completely synchronized, staring at each other wide eyed after they finished speaking, and then glancing to Connor. His face was completely flushed white and he looked like he'd seen a ghost... Or was one for that matter. "Yep, y'all are definitely soulmates. That was the creepiest thing that's ever happened to me, let me outta this phanwich." 

Connor pushed against them, making it only a few steps more than last time until his arm was yanked back by Dan. There was a mischievous hue to his smirk as he spun Connor to face him and Phil.  "What did you call it? A phanwich?"  A maniacal giggle escaped Connor's lips as he looked up at the two towering boys.  "Y'all don't know?  Phan is your ship name.  Chris made it up awhile ago.  So it's a 'phanwich' cause I was sandwiched between you two.  I don't know, I thought it was clever."  Blank stares and awkward silence hung in the air as Dan and Phil processed his words.  Equally synchronized snorts eventually emitted from the two.  Connor eyed them skeptically again before slowly backing away.  A rushed, "Night everyone!" was heard distantly as the front door slammed shut.

Phil took a moment to thoroughly inspect the photo.  It really was beautiful, he was gonna have to get Connor a gift or something for his expert photography.  Balloons and glitter were elegantly falling around the crowd, and his and Dan's heads were standing out above them.  Their mouths were pressed together, eyes lightly shut, and bright, fluttering sparks emanating around them.  It took his breath away.  "Dan..." He pushed the photograph into Dan's hands and wasn't at all surprised by his correspondingly awed reaction.  "Woah," he whimpered.  "You can say that again." Phil sighed.

"Hey Dan?" Phil's inflection lifted at the end, making his words sound like a question.  "Yeah?"  "Would you wanna stay the rest of the night at my place?"  "Phil, do you even have to ask at this point?"  Dan smiled brightly at him, and Phil couldn't help himself.  "Boop!" he shouted, and poked Dan's dimples.  Dan's mocha eyes crinkled as he spluttered and laughed, shoving Phil's chest.  "Let's go, you living flop," he said as he grabbed at Phil's hand.  They said their goodbyes to their friends and walked hand in hand out of Chris's house, out of the party, and into the chilly night air.  Phil gazed unabashedly at Dan, and he thought about how the boy by his side was more beautiful than the dazzling night sky before them.

-

That night, Phil fell asleep with his soulmate in his arms.  I'll never get over calling him that, he thought.  My soulmate.  I'm meant specially for Dan.  A giddy smile spread across his face as he kept repeating 'soulmates' over and over in his head.  As his eyes were fluttering shut and sleep was washing over him in waves, Dan turned to face him.  "Hey Phil, by the way-" he pulled Phil to him for a passionate kiss "-I definitely feel the same." Phil's tired eyes were flooded with confusion. "Wha-"

"I love you, too.  No matter what."


A/N: I hope you guys enjoy this installment and that there's no more confusion. Tell me what you think in the comments! Thanks for voting! I don't really know what to do with author's notes in all honesty. I think there will be an epilogue next. I hope you guys like this story!

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