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One Person to Fear

Chapter Text

Dan's POV

 

I looked to the timer on my wrist again. It read 00:13:57. Thirteen minutes and fifty-seven seconds.

Today was the day! I would meet my soulmate, and finally see the world I had been hearing about. I would finally become one of the Found. You see, everyone has this little timer on the inside of their wrist. It tells them how much time they have until they meet their soulmate. And then it falls off once you meet them. But you see, I wasn’t excited about the fact that I wouldn’t have a little strip of metal attached anymore. I was excited about the color. Because when you and your soulmate touch for the first time, you can see hues and shades on the spectrum that you can only dream of and hear about when you are Lost.

No more days in an achromatic world. And no more days feeling lonely. Today was going to be great.

All of a sudden I felt a very odd sensation. It felt as if a string was through my chest, and it was tugging, telling me to walk. Excited, yet very nervous, I followed the strange sense of direction that had fallen onto me. My feet walked on their own, leaving my mind to wander. What will she look like? Will she be tall and model-like? Short and adorable? Then worries started settling in my mind, with one dominant over the rest: What if she doesn’t like me?

Worry tinged my original enthusiasm. I stumbled out of the daydream I had spun, and glanced at my timer again.

 

00:00:48

 

So soon. The pulling feeling stopped, and I stared at my surroundings wildly, trying to find someone who was as confused and nervous as me. At least I am going to meet my soulmate in a nice spot. Parks are always so pretty in the spring.

 

00:00:29

 

My heartbeat sped up, faster than I thought possible.

 

00:00:11

 

My eyes raked over the environment again.

 

00:00:05

 

I can do this. I can. My lungs worked double time.

 

00:00:00

 

And that’s when my brown eyes met a pair of ultramarine ones. Surprise and awe registered on our faces as our timers fell to the grass. I broke into a sprint and finally reached their outstretched arms. They smelled like fresh books, coffee, and a hint of popcorn.


That’s when I realised that what should have been a her was a him.

Chapter Text

Phil's POV

 

“That’ll be $7.26,” I said cheerily. “Enjoy your drinks!” As the last customer left, I took a deep breath. I loved the coffee shop I worked at, appropriately named The Haven. Not only did we have coffee, we also ran what could be compared to a library. We called it the Ink Exchange. Someone could bring in a book in exchange for a new one.

 

“You excited?” Tyler’s head popped around the corner, tearing me from my little reverie.

 

“What?”

 

“How could you forget?!” Tyler squealed. “You meet your soulmate today!”

 

Oh. Oh. I took a quick look at my timer and gave a little yelp of surprise. I only had about 20 minutes!

 

“Speaking of which, I gotta go..” I said, stumbling to the workroom to hang up my apron.

 

“Good luck!” Tyler chuckled.

 

I gave him a little wave and sprinted to my car. I turned the keys into the ignition and glanced at my timer.

 

00:17:29

 

I looked into the car mirror and fixed my hair. Suddenly a strange sensation fell over me, and I knew where to go.

 

To ease my nerves I shuffled my playlist, and smiled as Favorite Record by Fall Out Boy started to play.

 

You were the song stuck in my head

Every song that I've ever loved

Play it again, and again, and again

And you can get what you want but it's never enough

And I spin for you like your favorite records used to…

 

This is the perfect song to prepare you for meeting the love of your life, I thought. I wonder what they will be like? Shy? What kind of movies will they like?

 

My fantasy ended as I parked my car. After taking in my surroundings I saw that I was at the Bountiful Gardens Park, my friend Pj’s pride and joy. His work was laced throughout the space, from the trees to the ponds and the flowers.

 

00:08:31

 

So soon. I wandered through the park, searching for … What was I searching for? I had no idea what the person would look like.

 

00:00:52

 

I settled on the idea that I would just know. That is how it's supposed to work right?

 

00:00:37

 

What if if they’re mean? What of they hate me?

 

00:00:10

 

What if its not a girl, but a guy?

 

00:00:05

 

I don’t know if I can do this….

 

00:00:04

 

Please just let us be happy.

 

00:00:03

 

I stared at the ground, fear rooting me to the spot.

 

00:00:02

 

00:00:01

 

Something told me to look up.

 

00:00:00

 

Warm eyes the color of caramel met my startled blue ones. The boy ran to me. Without realizing it I opened my arms for him to fall into. I looked down to see straight chocolate hair belonging told the person in my embrace.

 

Suddenly he pushed me away.

 

“Wait..” His voice was soft, yet seemed to have a deeper undertone to it that I couldn't describe.

 

“No, this cant be. It’s not right!”

 

My elation faded as he spoke. But I wasn't prepared for what he said next.


“I could never love you.”

Chapter Text

Dan’s POV



“Wait…”

 

My heart screamed at me to stay within the raven-haired boy’s embrace, but my shocked mind told me to do otherwise. The look that appeared on his face as I stumbled away was almost enough for me to take him back within my arms… but no, I couldn’t do that. This had to be a mistake!

 

“This isn’t right, it can’t be..”

 

I couldn’t believe it. Never had it crossed my mind that my soulmate would be someone of the male specimen... What was I supposed to do?

 

“I could never love you.” I felt like a terrible human being when I saw the effect the words had on.. on him. But he was a boy! A rather good-looking one… but a boy nonetheless.

 

“I’m sorry you feel that way…” His voice was deeper than I expected, but maybe it was because his voice seemed to be thick with tears. One look at his eyes told me that that might have been the case.  He turned away and started to retreat when...

 

“Wait!” My voice stilled him. “What’s your name?”

 

“Ph-Phil. Phil, uh, Phil Lester.” The name seemed strangely familiar.

 

“I’m Dan Howell.” I finished my sentence as  little ding! came from his phone, as well as mine. I opened the new email.



Dear Mr. Howell,

 

Congratulations on the finding of your soulmate! The government database has updated your status to “Found”.  As you probably know, all new matches are given a temporary apartment so that they can become accustomed to each other in a stable environment. Your belongings have been relocated at the address below, as long as your new soulmates’.

 

Cheers!

 

Michael Clark

CEO of Lost/Found Database Personnel

 

I read it once, twice, three times. I had never really looked at how the government ran the whole ‘soulmates’ thing. I definitely hadn’t known that they would move my stuff. Like, jeez. They were practically forcing the two people in each pair to get along.

 

“Well I don’t know about you, but anything sounds better than my dorm at uni, so I’m going to check out this apartment.” His…. Phil’s…. stiff voice tore my mind from the path it had begun to wander. “You’re free to join me, if, well, if you want to…”

 

“I might as well,” I sighed. Phil went to flag down a taxi, giving me a chance to get a good look at him. He was very skinny, with very little muscle, yet he still looked healthy. Besides, I wasn’t one to talk when it came to muscle. I was the last person you would expect to see lifting weights, or exercising at all for that matter. His complexion was fair, without any blemishes that I could see.

 

“Dan?”

 

“Oh, sorry….” I jumped a bit at being caught staring. I did a half-jog to the taxi that had pulled up. “Thanks for hauling the taxi.”

 

“No problem.” Phil told the driver our new address and then looked out the window. I decided to stare at the cab floor, which didn’t look like it had been cleaned in all of the years it had been driven. Suddenly I heard a gasp.

 

I looked at Phil quizzically. “What?”

 

“The colors… I hadn’t gotten to appreciate the colors yet.” His voice was full of wonder and delight. I looked out my window and was speechless. The sun was setting, and the sky looked like it was on fire. Vivid reds and oranges intermixed with the bright yellows of the setting sun. The sparse clouds seemed to capture the fading light, glowing with the painted hues of the sky.


The sensation of seeing that for the first time gave me something: hope.

Chapter Text

Phil’s POV

 

“I’m Dan Howell.” The name suited him somehow. Suddenly my phone went off, and I wasn’t at all surprised at the email I received.  Tyler had told me about it when he had found his soulmate, a nice boy named Connor. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t all too startled when my soulmate was a boy when Tyler’s soulmate was, too.

    A breeze had picked up, and me being me, I had no jacket. Silly chilly Philly. Considering my stuff was now at this new apartment, I figured I might as well get there so I could take a nice shower and go to sleep.

 

    I coughed to catch Dan’s attention and said, “Well I don’t know about you, but anything sounds better than my dorm at uni, so I’m going to check out this apartment.” Of course, if his earlier reaction to me was anything to be judged by, he probably wouldn’t want to come.

   

He sighed, “I might as well.” Okay, then. I did an awkward little jog-walk to the curb so I could hail down a cab. Luck must have been on my side at the moment, because I was able to get one quite quickly. I turn around to call to my reluctant soulmate when I saw that he was . . . staring at me? He seemed to be almost analyzing me, a quizzical look gracing his features.

 

“Dan?”

 

“Oh, sorry…” The boy snapped out of his thoughts, his previously clouded eyes clearing. “Thanks for hauling the taxi.”

 

“No problem.” I got into the small (and dirty, if I may add) backseat of the car. I quickly told the driver the address and glanced out the window. I was met with a startling array of warm colors peaking over the buildings of London. The sun’s last rays were shining through the crevices between the structures, making them silhouettes against a sky that seemed to have been set on fire. There were vibrant scarlets, glowing oranges, and dazzling yellows all mingling to create the sunset of a lifetime.

“What?” Dan had this perplexed look on his face.

With a breathy gasp I whispered, “The colors… I hadn’t gotten to appreciate the colors yet.” The chocolate-y haired boy then twisted himself around and peered out of his own little window. His lips parted in a little ‘o’ as he took in the sight. I used this moment to inspect him a little.

    His skin was a beige, like the lightened patches of a newborn fawn. He had modest black ear piercings. Actually, it seemed his whole aesthetic was mainly black, at least today. His shirt was black with a white ring that was a… solar eclipse? Huh. He was also wearing impossibly tight skinny jeans and some Vans. Whereas dark colors washed me out, they seemed to give him a slightly golden glow. I decided that Dan was attractive, and there was no doubt about it

    The cab stopped and we were greeted by a nice apartment complex. Quickly scanning the email, I saw that we were the new residents of apartment 207. I payed and thanked the driver, leaving the car. Dan and I walked to the front desk, where he automatically looked to me to talk the receptionist.

 

I coughed to catch her attention. Once she looked up at me I stated awkwardly, “Hi, um, we just got, er, moved , to Apartment 207..?”

 

A warm smile appeared on her face. “You must be Dan Howell and Phil Lester. Here are your keys.”

 

“Thank you!” I took the pair of keys and started to walk towards the elevator.

 

“Best of luck to you two!” I chuckled to myself, thinking I think we might need it.

 

After an awkward few moments in the elevator, and the confusion of finding the room, we now faced it. Apartment 207. I carefully turned the key in the lock and pushed open the door. I was met with a little hallway with two doors to my left and one to my right. At the end of the hallway it seemed to open up into a living room and kitchen.

After a moment of considering my options, I decided that enough had happened, and that I should probably just go to sleep. I could investigate tomorrow.

 

As I came to this conclusion, Dan tapped on my shoulder and said tiredly, “Can you move? I would like to go bed now.”

 

“Right, sorry. I’m a little out of it.” I stepped aside, letting him in. I then turned into the room on my right, hoping it would be mine.

 

The first thing I noticed was the bed. It had little fairy lights strung on the headstand, which was a dark stained oak. The duvet was...mine? It was the exact same, except in black, white, and the shades between the two. A little electric piano was in the corner and there was a dresser against the side wall. All in all the room was very clean and undecorated. It was glaringly obvious that it didn't belong to me.

 

“Dan, I found your room!” He appeared out of the door opposite of me.

 

“Thanks. This one is yours, I think.”

 

“Thanks.” As he walked past I couldn't help but stop him and add “By the way, nice duvet.”


He chuckled lightly. “I like yours, too” He then disappeared behind the door to his bedroom. I sighed, and stumbled sleepily past the doorframe into my new living quarters. Falling onto my bed, I thought, Maybe things won't be so bad after all.

Chapter Text

Dan's POV

 

 

Light filtered through my window, pulling me from the deep depths of my slumber. I turned away from the sunlight, hoping to catch at least a few more minutes of sleep. Just … a few… more minutes…. CRASH

 

I rolled off of my bed in shock as I scrambled to get up. Everything was spinning slightly, and I felt a sharp pain when I touched my brow. Grumbling profanities under my breath, I finally made it to my feet. I used the wall for support as I made my way out into the hallway towards the noise. I pushed open the glass door that led to the kitchen to see…

 

Phil. On the floor, with what seemed to be pancake batter all over him. Shards of glass from the bowl were strewn across the tiles, mixed with the batter they had previously contained. A quick glance at Phil showed that there wasn't any serious injuries, at least not to his body. Possibly to his pride. I definitely wouldn't want to be caught in just pajama bottoms with pancake batter all over me. Sighing, I left to grab some rags and cleaner.

 

“Clumsy idiot, can’t even carry a bowl without tripping,” I grumbled as I cleaned up the mess. Phil at least had the decency to look embarrassed. I threw the now ruined rags into the bin, along with the glass pieces.

 

Phil shuffled his feet. “Sorry for waking you up.” I ignored him. “Do you want me to make you some coffee, or something?”

 

“Yeah sure, that way I can watch you mess that up too,” I glared, sarcasm heavy. “Just get out of the kitchen. I’ll do it.”

 

“I’ll uh, I’ll get the mail.” He scurred then scurried out of the kitchen. Annoyed, I got the coffee pot started. Might as well make breakfast, too. I got all the ingredients for pancakes (seeing the batter made me crave some) and started mixing. About fifteen minutes later I had a nice stack of golden brown pancakes. I grabbed a plate of food and a mug of coffee and headed out to the living room to assume my daily browsing position.

 

“Here’s the mail.” Phil tossed it onto the little table next to me. Shuffling through it I saw ads, the daily newsletter, the response to my letter of resignation from university (about time for that), and something from a Lost/Found Database. Definitely garbage. I promptly stood up and threw that one away.

 

“Hey, what was that?” Phil questioned.

“Nothing important.” Apparently my answer didn’t satisfy him, and so he went and picked it out of the bin.

 

“Dan,” Phil said softly. “You can’t avoid this forever.”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking abou-”

 

“You know exactly what I’m talking about!” I looked up at Phil in shock. He never yelled, which was something I had learned over the past couple weeks. He took a deep breath. “You know exactly what I’m talking about, Dan. It’s the reason we’re even here! We’re supposed to be soulmates, I mean…” He sounded sad, tired. “We are supposed to be happy here together, but instead you push me away and when you do talk to me all it is is biting remarks, you treat me like, like…”

He paused for a moment, put his hands to his temples and sat on the loveseat across from me. Looking up, he said, “Is the idea of being with another guy so disgusting to you that you can’t even give me a chance?” Tears had started traveling down his face, and as my fingers brushed my cheek I could feel tears travel down my own.

 

Looking at him like this made me realise that no, I wasn’t disgusted by the idea. I was scared. Seeing him had turned my world upside down, just because I hadn’t expected it. I was terrified. But the way I had been treating him was awful, considering the circumstances.

 

“Phil,” My voice shook. “I’m not…  just, come here.” I stood and opened my arms and felt him fall into me. His hair was soft against my cheek, and I could feel every shaky breath he took. I hadn’t realised how much I had been hurting him.


I pulled away a bit so I could look at Phil’s face. “Listen, I want to make it up to you. Would you like to go out to dinner tonight?” His face lit up and he nodded. I then pulled him back into my arms, vowing to make myself the soulmate Phil deserved.