“This is stupid,” Dan murmurs to himself as he clicks on the first result on the Google page, skipping all the unrelated results to focus on the title People in your dreams and what it means.
He drums his fingers on the keyboard as he waits for the page to load, rolling his eyes at the number of advertisements scattered around the text. It’s not like he has anything in particular against websites gaining money from visitors, but he can admit he’s biased to think it’s a little bit unprofessional, and it simply adds to his lack of faith on the service.
But today was the 10th day in a row that Dan woke up with a broken gasp, the last remnants of a dream he couldn’t fully remember slipping away from his fingers, the only image on his mind the face of a man that, by now, has become familiar to him.
Dan isn’t exactly a stranger to handsome guys invading his dreams - if anything, he’s quite accustomed to them - but there is something unnerving about this particular guest that keeps showing up in his subconscious, every single night for the past ten days.
He doesn’t know him, he’s sure of it. He would remember a guy like that if he had met him in person, would remember the pale skin and the prominent cheekbones and the amazing eyes that seem blue at first but that, after a couple more dreams, have turned out to be a starking combination of blue, green and yellow, a colour so pretty that can only exist in Dan’s dreams.
It feels like Dan is going crazy, like he’s lost all control on his own mind, as he navigates the page until he finds the helpful Talk to the genie button that opens the chat that is supposedly going to connect him with someone that will tell him the meaning of his dream.
It’s stupid and useless and probably the least Dan thing he’s done in a while, but he’s already inserted his card number on the form, paying the 5£ fee, and if he’s going to lose money, he’s going to lose it by at least pretending he’s doing something useful.
Hi, this is your DreamGenie, how can I help?
Dan blinks at the message that suddenly pops up in the chat, rolling his eyes at just how pre-made it sounds.
i’m having weird dreams and i want to know why
there’s a guy i dont know that keeps showing up in them
He types like he would in any other chat, uncaring of proper grammar or punctuation. He figures if it’s really a person behind the screen, they would understand what he’s saying without an issue, and if it’s a bot - well, at least he’ll know before wasting too much time on capitalizing letters.
The dots on the chat appear for a couple of seconds before another message pops up.
Is it a real person or someone from a movie/tv show?
It does seem like this Genie person is actually not a bot, which makes the interaction slightly more awkward. They can’t see him, but he can’t help but feel embarrassed that he’s using this service.
i’m not sure? it’s not someone from a show or smth, but i don’t know him either
What is he doing in your dreams? Is he threatening or is he in a positive light?
Dan doesn’t have to think about it too hard, the images of the man vivid in his brain - not just the thing he does, to Dan and with Dan, but also the way it makes him feel, safe and like he can’t get enough of him.
positive. like very VERY positive. he definitely does things in my dreams that i don’t think you wanna know
So I don’t have to ask what these dreams are about then. But is he like, a person that works with you, how do you meet him in the dreams?
Did the DreamGenie person actually type LOL in the chat? Dan has to blink and rub at his eyes before rereading, finding it hard to believe.
it changes every time, sometimes he works with me which is weird because i work from home lol but also sometimes i just meet him in the street and the next moment we’re talking and
It probably means that you crave intimacy with him, like, besides the sexy stuff
probably? mate i thought you’d tell me a bit more for 5 pounds
I’m not going to apologize for how you chose to spend your money, mate. I’m broke and I’ll get what I can.
Tell me more, come on. What’s this guy like?
Dan gets a sad twist in his stomach at that, ashamed of his earlier thoughts about the quality of the website. It didn’t occur to him that this could be the only livelihood for some people, maybe a student or someone that isn’t able to find a proper job.
god, he’s - amazing. he has such a nice laugh and he’s so good on the eyes like, imagine tall, mysterious and handsome with a dash of dorky adorableness
Sounds like a catch. I always liked my men tall and handsome.
you and every other girl out there
I’m a guy so I wouldn’t know. But yeah, I think it’s, like, a list of objectively attractive attributes so I’m not surprised.
Dan shakes his head even though the DreamGenie guy can’t see him. Of course he ended up talking to another not-straight man right when he decided to keep it safe with some heteronormative bullshit. That’s just one of the many reasons why he fails at every social interactions ever.
me too actually, but you never know who you’re talking to
I get it, I get it. So, anything else about tall and handsome?
we established you cant help me why do you even care
Because I usually only get sad people asking if their spouse is cheating on them when they usually are, so this is the most fun I’ve had in a while. Plus you paid for a full hour and I think it’s only fair to at least give you something in return
aren’t you a boy scout
I’ll have you know I was a Beaver for almost an entire year
wow that must’ve been hard
I think it helped grow my dislike for the outside
i’ve never related more
You were a Scout too?
hell no, i just hate everything that exist outside my flat
Is this why tall and handsome is only in your dreams?
Dan rolls his eyes at yet another LOL showing up in the chat. He wonders briefly why he is even wasting time with this, but there’s a smile on his face and he’s finding that interacting with this guy isn’t as awful as it is with everyone else.
yes, most likely
but he would probably also hate me if he was real cause he’s like, a ray of fucking sunshine and i’m sad and depressed
Don’t say that, maybe this is the universe telling you that you deserve something nice.
So he’s hot, tall and a positive person. Anything else?
god don’t tell me you actually believe in this faith bullshit or i’ll exit this chat right now
hmm he’s like, the male version of snow white
So he’s poisoned and you rescued him?
no you idiot
Dan chuckles out loud, unable to help himself. He probably shouldn't call someone an idiot without knowing them, but it seems like the guy isn't offended, and it's way too easy to end up in casual banter when he feels so at ease.
sorry, sorry. no i mean, he’s got like, striking blue eyes that sometimes look green AND yellow and he’s like as pale as a vampire and he has black hair but i’m pretty sure they’re dyed cause no one has hair that black
Oh. Wow. Well, that sounds dreamy, for sure. I’m almost jealous.
i’ll tell phil you said so, maybe he can come haunt your dreams next
Who is Phil??
Are you kidding me?
no why would i
didn’t i say that’s his name?
it’s funny cause it’s a pretty old name haha maybe i watched a speech from the Queen for too long
This is gonna sound weird
But does the guy in your dreams look like this?
Underneath the message is a link to what sees to be an attachment taken from a Facebook profile. Dan looks at the link warily, unsure if he’s supposed to click but also curious enough that he wants to. He know it might be a virus, but he figures he pays a yearly subscription to an antivirus service for this very reason, and he is going to risk it.
His breath catches in his throat as the Facebook page loads and he’s met with the guy from his dreams, right there in front of him. Phil Lester. He’s real. And he apparently lives in London.
With a gasp, Dan realizes that he opened the link in the same window as the DreamGenie website, and when he tries to go back he gets a message that ask him to re-enter his information. He knows the Genie match was random, so he’s not going to spend another 5 pounds just to hope he can talk to the same guy.
So he doesn’t have any other chance but to go back to Phil’s profile - it’s mostly private, only his profile picture showing - a gorgeous shot of him drinking coffee out of a mug, hands giant as they’re cupping the white ceramic, eyes sparkling as they stare at the camera. He looks just as handsome as he looks in Dan’s dreams, pale skin contrasting with his dark hair.
He can’t believe this is real. He clicks the “Add friend” button before he can overthink it, fingers shaking out of nerves as he waits for Phil to do something - anything.
Will he accept him? Is he really the guy from the DreamGenie website, or is it just a prank? Did the guy just had the luck to find exactly the person Dan has been dreaming for the past 10 days, like that?
It feels like hours before he gets the notification that Phil Lester has accepted his friend request - although, looking at the clock, it’s only been 45 minutes. Long enough, Dan thinks.
Before he can spend even more debating if he should message him, and if so how, the Facebook Messenger sound alerts him of a new message. From Phil.
Oh God. It’s really him.
I was really hoping so
Hi Dan, I’m Phil
But you can also call me tall and handsome
Dan wants to burst out in flames and disappear in a very deep, very isolated hole.
i hate you
you owe me 5 pounds
Is it okay if I make it up to you with Starbucks?
I was ready to beg
Have to make sure dream me knows his hard work was worth it
was it now
Dan smiles at the message, can feel the dimple showing up on his cheeks as he sends a simple k in reply, heart hammering in his chest as the dots appear once again.
So maybe it’s a bit unrealistic to think that it’s just a coincidence, that Phil not only is a real person, but he happens to be the person Dan randomly found in an online chat and also lives in the same city as him.
And that, incredibly so, he seems to be interested in Dan, despite Dan being his most real version of himself while talking to him.
So maybe he does believe in destiny, just a little bit.