The Name on His Wrist - Part One
genre: fluff, a bit of angst (:
word count: 1.3k
pairing: phan :p
warnings (some may only be in future parts): swearing, tiny bit of angst, eating disorder, self harm, mentions of suicide. trigger warning.
summary: in a world where, when you turn sixteen, you find your soulmate’s name on your wrist, Dan Howell doesn’t know what to expect.
a/n: so this was originally on my main blog, but i decided to move it here (: enjoy! <3
Dan Howell didn’t know what to expect.
He sat on his bed, scrolling through his Tumblr dashboard for possibly the fiftieth time tonight. It wasn’t even midnight, and he was already feeling a bit tired. That’s strange, for him. He would be nocturnal, if he could; there’s just something about night that he likes better than day.
His eyes flitting to the alarm clock that sat on his bedside table, a small sigh escaped his lips as he read it. 11:43 pm. Not even near six am, when he would be able to read the name on his wrist. He wasn’t even sure there would be one, despite all of the people at school showing off the names, bragging about having their soulmate with them. Faith was hard to live by. And, since Dan didn’t have anybody at home or at school, he figured he probably wouldn’t have anybody at all.
Not even the legendary “soulmate”.
The clock turned to midnight. He had gotten lost in his thoughts once again. With a louder sigh than before, the laptop was closed and set next to the clock as Dan leaned over and switched the lamp off. He might as well sleep. School awaited the next day, whether he wanted to go, or not.
Sunlight streaming in through the window woke him up. Or, maybe it was the excitement of finally learning who his “soulmate” was, if there even was one. Strangely, it was almost seven am, much too early for Dan to be up on his own. The alarm would sound at seven - oh - one, on account of him being fairly tired when setting it. Dan hadn’t ever really thought of changing it, because one minute more of sleep was better than no minutes more of sleep.
But it was light, and an hour had passed since his wrist was engraved with the name. When he realized that, he sat up abruptly and touched the long sleeve of his nightly jumper, the one with cats on them that his old friend Chris had bought him before he moved away. The cat was covering where the name was, and, in his mind, he counted down before pulling it back.
Three. Two. One..
A slight tug, and the name was readable in loopy, golden cursive. His eyes read over the name more than once, and his eyebrows furrowed. What? He thought, What is this?
‘Philip Lester’ was legible on the scarred wrist, over the raised wounds; some red, like they were made yesterday (it was probable they were), and a few an off - white color, fading away.
Before Dan could think of anything else, the alarm rang out beside him, and instinct made him toss it off the table. It shut off, a sign that he may have broken it. Ah, well, I need to get ready. I can’t think about soulmate names or broken clocks when I have school in an hour. Dan decided, sliding out of bed and over to his wardrobe, opening it to decide what to wear. It would be the usual.
The walk to school was short and uneventful, like normal. His parents hadn’t paid any attention to him when he went downstairs, whilst they were in the kitchen, talking amongst themselves. Dan wouldn’t eat breakfast today. He never ate breakfast, and very seldom lunch, either. He was wasting away, and he didn’t even realize it. The skinny jeans that hung low at his hips hung even lower these days, and his hipbones jutted out. As usual, they were hidden under large jumpers, hoodies, and skinny jeans.
When he got to school, he pulled the arm of his jumper further along his arm, covering his arm and half of his hands. The students that littered the hall stared at him as he passed, murmuring something about him that he had heard countless times. The opening of his locker, gathering of the textbooks, and walking to first period hardly seemed to be thought about, like it was autopilot. It probably was.
Dan sat in his usual seat for maths class, in the back, far left corner. He had the back all to himself, with the surrounding desks empty. Everybody else sat up front, or at least not in the very back. He was the outcast, and he knew. But that was alright. Dan was used to it at last.
Even on his birthday.
No attention was paid during class. All that was on Dan’s mind was the name on his wrist, written in loopy cursive, golden in color. Many times, he would check to make sure that the name was actually the name. It held no meaning to him whatsoever, but Dan still liked to confirm that he wasn’t dreaming.
Lunch was in the hallway, sitting underneath his locker. He had no food, just a bottle of Coke beside him and a leather - bound journal in his hands. Inside, there was nothing besides words. Words and words and even more words, words with meanings that he had found somewhere, and some without, some that he wanted to know the meaning to, but never found the time. Never actually got to it.
The journal was open to a random page, with one word in particular scrawled on it in messy handwriting, and Dan was in the middle of writing more below it when familiar footsteps echoed across the hall. A swift glance up, and the corners of his lips turned up. There stood a tall guy (but not as tall as Dan himself) with broad shoulders, dark hair in a similar haircut to Dan’s (messy fringe), and striking blue eyes. He was nameless, so far as Dan could tell. They didn’t really know each other, but their meeting started at the same time Dan started getting scars on his wrist. Whenever Chris moved away, his only friend. Whenever kids started to pick on him, and his parents didn’t care. It became too much.
He found Dan in the bathroom, with a bottle of pills in one hand, the cap on the counter. Only one was taken at the time, but after a bit of talking to, the pills were tossed in the trash and Dan received the leather - bound journal from the boy. He didn’t know his name. He didn’t need to.
The boy stopped in front of Dan, smiling down at him. There was a moment of silence before he kneeled down to be eye - level with Dan, and then he opened his mouth to speak. “Word of the day?” He asked with a short laugh, and Dan bit his bottom lip, glancing down at the visible page, at the word in between the first two lines.
“Brontide,” Dan swallowed, “Noun. ‘The low rumble of distant thunder’.” His throat felt dry. It was the first time he spoke all day, and probably the only time he would speak. He wasn’t a sociable person, really. And nobody wanted to talk to him anyway.
“Thank you!” The other guy stood and dusted off his own skinny jeans, pausing before he walked off. “Oh, and, by the way, happy birthday.” He winked, and walked off, mumbling the word of the day under his breath in hope to memorize it, like he did with the others.
Dan furrowed his eyebrows, opening his mouth to call out after him, ‘Wait, how did you know it was my birthday?’ He looked down at his clothed wrist, seeing the name wasn’t visible. Then, how did he know?
The bell rang, and students started to file out of the cafeteria, laughing and chatting with their friends. Most looked at Dan with disgust, whilst all Dan could do was wonder how the boy knew it was his birthday.