I don’t know why or how it started. All my life I’d been normal - I’d go about my day and then fall asleep - sometimes I’d have dreams I’d remember in the morning, sometimes I wouldn’t. I’d never payed much mind to dreams. You’d think that if the universe was gonna choose someone for this, it wouldn’t have been me. But here I am.
A month ago was the first time it happened. I’d been slowly drifting to sleep like any other night, and then suddenly I’d been in a blank expanse of a room with floating pictures of people’s faces - almost like mugshots - surrounding me. I hadn’t known what was happening and I’d spent a long time looking through them - none seemed too familiar, but then I’d found a search bar floating above the expanse of pictures. I’d done what any sane person would do and immediately typed in Kanye West. Don’t judge me, I am who I am.
When the mug shot I’d been looking for came up I frowned and pressed it. It lit up blue and pushed back from the force of my finger, and then suddenly my world had gone white before I was snapped into a new world - everything had been dull - almost like it was underwater at first. But after a few seconds I’d become adjusted and my eyes went wide when I saw the bedroom I was in - two people - no… three people wrapped in the sheets of a king-sized bed with extravagant pillows. My eyes snapped wide and I whipped around, knowing I wasn’t supposed to be seeing that. But I’d seen enough. I’d seen enough to recognize the face of the man whose music I listened to daily.
After that I’d hurriedly left the room and wandered for a while until everything faded and I was waking up in my normal bed at my normal time, but that had not been a normal dream. I remembered every second of it. It wasn’t muddy like dreams usually were - it was like a normal real-life memory, and I didn’t know what was happening.
The next night the same had happened, and then the next, and every night since then. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was being transported into peoples’ dreams each night when I chose them from the list of pictures, and I hurriedly made my way through all my celebrity idols and even some old bullies from secondary school, curious as to what their subconsciouses could conjure up.
More often than not it was terrifying. Or at least confusing as hell. I found quickly that I had near limitless power in these worlds. Well - I couldn’t affect the dream itself, but I could fly, breathe underwater, I was indestructible, and if I wanted I learned how to fade myself out from a dream and wake back up in the real world.
I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my best friend. Yeah, he was more likely to believe me than anyone else and he was more fantastical than most people on this earth, but even he would think I was crazy if I tried to explain this. So I kept it to myself - my nights becoming filled with adventures and horror and sex and confusion.
It took me a month before I gave myself permission to jack off during Evan Peters’ sex dream. It felt weird - invasive - but he was wrapped up in his own world and I was hiding behind a door, peeking out around it. It was mostly the noises that I got off to, and from there it was just a downhill slide.
I did have to be careful, though. The people dreaming could see me, and I had to be aware of that. As much as the idea of jumping into Jennifer Lawrence’s dreams and seeing if she even remembered me from our interview - having her wake up and think of me sounded exciting, I knew I had to be careful. If suddenly all these celebrities were having dreams with me in them, and even one mentioned it, others would join and it could get out of control. So I stayed hidden most of the time, exploring the horror that is someone’s unbridled subconscious.
The strangest ones were the lucid dreamers. The ones who could control the environment around them and who found me quickly, having real conversations with me that never failed to scare the living shit out of me. They were exciting - more real feeling - but generally I’d make myself fade out of the dream pretty quick to keep them from any suspicions.
My regular life hasn’t suffered, thank god. I mean, aside from maybe being a little more spacey than usual, I’ve been able to get everything done that I usually would. I spend time with Phil and we watch animes and home renovation shows, I cook and he cleans and we both rage over Mario Kart and work our best to get fun and exciting content out to our fans. I may obsess a little less vocally over my favorite celebrities, but just because now they feel more human to me - more real now that I’ve been inside their heads.
The best was the other day when Obama was doing an interview and mentioned a dream he had about spiders eating his family and pets. I nearly fell out of my chair because I’d been there! If I hadn’t thought I knew already that these were peoples’ real dreams, I knew then.
Today is just a normal day - it’s a Friday and it’s the day Phil and I have designated as our weekend. We try to do it every week - choose one day (and it’s always a different one) that will be our day where we’re not allowed to do any work. No filming, no scripting, no editing. A short tweet at most, but that’s it. Today I’m sitting in the lounge with a bowl of cereal, Phil sipping a mug of coffee beside me as we watch the Great British Bake Off since we missed it when it aired.
“Dan we should try to make a Swedish Roll.” Phil murmurs over his mug and I roll my eyes, a small chuckle escaping my lips.
“If I had a nickel for every time we watched this show and you said that about whatever they’re cooking…” I muse, flinching away from Phil’s hand as it lazily comes over to smack my shoulder. My cereal shifts and almost spills and my eyes go wide, glaring at Phil to show him what he’d almost done. He makes a hissing sound as he cringes and mouths ‘sorry’ and I laugh, going back to my breakfast. “Also, you know we’d fuck it up.”
“Hey! I’m a good baker! Just because what I make isn’t always pretty doesn’t mean it’s not good!”
“That is true.” I concede. “You do have an incredible talent for making delicious food that looks shit.”
“Better than the other way around.” Phil decides with a shrug and I smile, turning my attention back to the TV.
“I guess.” I sigh and Phil rolls his eyes then holds his hands up, looking at them before putting them back down. I frown but decide not to question it - Phil has several quirks - if I questioned every single one the conversation would never end.
We watch the show and then split off to do our own things - I want to watch Riverdale but it’d gotten to be a bit too much for Phil recently and he’s more in a video game mood so I go to my room and pull the show up on my laptop, knowing that I’ll have to re-watch it with Phil when he inevitably regrets giving up on the show but doesn’t want to watch it alone because he needs someone to keep him from getting distracted by his phone.
I watch two episodes and then close my laptop with a sigh. I’m tired and almost want to take a nap - naps are fun because then I can dream-hop into someone in a different time zone, but I decide to first check on Phil and see what he’s doing.
He isn’t at the TV so he must have given up video games. I go to his room and knock quietly. There’s no response but the door’s shut, so he must be in there - he always keeps it open when he’s not in the room. I put my ear against the door and huff out a soft laugh as I hear gentle snores. Well… if he’s going to take a nap, I may as well too.
I head upstairs and shut my door behind me, crawling into my bed and pulling the duvet up to my chin. As I shut my eyes I begin wondering whose dreams I should visit today. As my mind flicks through all the American celebrities I can dream up, a name suddenly infiltrates my mind.
All this time - all these dreams, and not once have I visited my own best friend’s subconscious. The thought draws me up short and I stall, suddenly unsure of how acceptable this is. Phil is my best friend. Is it an invasion of his privacy for me to look into his dreams? Would he look at mine if he could do this? The thought is surprisingly tempting, but after warring in my mind I finally decide that it’s not a good idea and drift to sleep with the resolve to choose someone else.
I don’t know how I got here, with Phil’s name in the search bar and a picture of him floating in front of my face. I’d chosen not to - I’d meant not to, but when that search bar had showed up I wasn’t able to help myself. I shouldn’t press it. I know I shouldn’t. Maybe the regret and guilt at least make it a little less horrible when I press the button? Probably not, but still… I do it.
I’m surprised when I find myself simply on the couch of our lounge, Phil sitting beside me. He’s frowning and staring at his hands intently and I watch as he flips them palm up and then down, inspecting them closely. Suddenly he reaches his right hand over and pinches his left wrist then grins, looking up and over at me.
“I’m dreaming! I did it! I read somewhere that if you make it a habit to look at your hands and think about dreaming, then someday in a dream you’ll look at your hands and wonder why and then realize it’s a dream and it can help you lucid dream! Dan! I did it!”
“Oh!” I exclaim, eyes wide. Shit - I really should get out of here. Not only is it Phil, but he’s lucid dreaming. This has danger written all over it. Still, something keeps me there - curious as to what he’ll do. I’ve always thought that Phil would get too obsessed with any power if he had it, and lucid dreaming was sort of like being god. This could get interesting.
“Oh… holy shit.” Phil suddenly whispers and my gaze snaps up to him, an eyebrow raised.
“What?” I ask, trying to keep my expression neutral as my heart races from the way he’s looking at me - does he know? How could he know it’s me?
“I…” Phil gulps and suddenly his cheeks flush, looking down at his fingers that he wrings together carefully. “I mean… why not, I guess. Right? Yeah. I should do it. Can’t fucking work up the courage to in real life, might as well do it now. Maybe it’ll even help - maybe I’ll finally be able to do it for real.”
“Phil what are you talking about?” I ask, completely lost and terrified that he knows somehow.
“I…” Phil mumbles and then he’s scooting forward, looking at me almost like I’m some rare and exotic colorful bird that he’s trying to not scare away, but wants a closer look at. I stiffen but stay still, waiting to see what on earth he’s on about. “Fuck, Dan…” Phil mumbles and my eyes widen a hair - that’s the third time he’s sworn in less than a minute, and even though he’s certainly not as clean-mouthed as most of the world expects him to be off camera, he’s still not usually that liberal with expletives.
Somehow this train of thought enwraps my mind so much that I don’t realize as Phil’s leaning in, eyes only widening and snapping back to his face when it’s only an inch away. I freeze - terror shooting through me as I see Phil lick his lips and then his hands are around my neck pulling me to him and…
Fuck. What the?
Phil Lester is kissing me.
Phil - my best friend - my flatmate - the guy I’ve shared years of jokes with about how everyone thinks we’re together and how ridiculous it is - how neither of us has any interest in the other - that friend is now lucid dreaming and the first thing he thought to do was kiss me.
Fucking shit hell god damn… my mind is working on overdrive but my body reacts of its own accord, hands slowly going to Phil’s hips as my mouth gently moves back against his.
Hey - don’t judge me, what the fuck else am I supposed to do? He’s lucid dreaming - whatever you want to happen in a lucid dream happens - if I randomly pull away he’s gonna know something’s up. So I kiss back, my mind screaming at me.
This is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
What the hell am I gonna do?