summary: Dan Howell is a regular teenager. He goes to high school, he hangs out with his best friends (PJ, Chris, and Phil), and he hates doing homework. He’s fairly attractive, enough so to attract the attention of a few girls and secretly Phil. What people don’t know about this average teen, is that he isn’t so average. Dan Howell is in a popular alternative band. He sings and plays keyboard for this band, known to many as ‘Ripping Ivory’. He wears a mask onstage as he sings and is known by his fanbase as Q, even though they know this isn’t his true identity.
warnings: panic attack type situation, worry, some sexual references. but all warnings are small this book is overall very nice i just need to warn bc warnings
a/n: this is my first fic so i edited this and read it over many times. please tell me if i have any grammar mistakes or anything. also, im really proud of this so please don’t let it flop!!
p.s.s: ik this is a bad title. i write i don’t come up with this crap.
“Dude did you guys hear about how Ripping Ivory is coming here in 2 weeks??” Chris asks as he sits down at the lunch table. Dan doesn’t even flinch at the name because of how much his friends talk about the band, but his heart does speed up and he is afraid that they may ask him something and Dan will end up telling them, that he is Q and that’s him behind the mask.
Phil nods, “I already got tickets! Are you guys going??” PJ and Chris both exclaim a form of 'yes!’ but Dan shakes his head and looks down. “Why can’t you go? I could probably get tickets for you if it has anything to do with money”
'Nope, definitely not money’ Dan thinks to himself, 'Just the fact that I’ll be the one singing at that concert.’ “I’m visiting my grandma the day of the concert” This wasn’t technically a lie, except for the fact that his grandma was coming to the concert to see him perform. As long as they never see her there then there will be no problems. Dan tries to make sure his family members come to the concerts at different times so no one will ever suspect it. All of his close relatives and his co-workers are the only people who know his secret.
“Oh man, that sucks” PJ whispers. They had all wanted to go together, and Dan had made sure to act excited with them about it weeks prior to get them pumped. Dan is actually very glad that they will be able to come to his band’s concert, only part of him wishes he could be in the crowd with them.
The thought of Ripping Ivory without Dan, or Q, makes Dan giggle. It would be David on the bass and Todd on the drums but only David’s back up vocals, or any vocals for that matter. Dan did most of the singing.
“We’ll take videos and pictures for you.” Phil comforts him and gives him a small hug before pulling away.
“Lester’s going to have /a lot/ of pictures and videos. We all know how much he loves Q,” Chris says and then makes his voice higher and clasps his hands together as he talks again, “Oh my Q! He’s so beautiful and his hair looks so soft! I’m going to marry him one day!” Phil shoves Chris from across the table.
“No, Phil talks more about his ass in those tight ass jeans. I wonder how that boy can even breathe in them,” PJ chuckles and dodges any attacks from a angry looking Phil. Phil can’t look angry so Dan would describe him as looking like an angry goldfish.
'Easy,’ Dan thinks, 'You get used to wearing them after a while. They’ve just shaped to fit my body perfectly.’
Dan then realizes what Phil has been thinking about Q. Q has the same body as Dan, so does Phil like Dan’s body too????? Dan’s cheeks heat up and his heart rate speeds up at the indirect compliment. Phil was definitely someone that he may or may not have a /tiny/ crush on. I mean, who wouldn’t fall for him?
“I mean, maybe you could come to another concert with us another time…” Chris says, trying to lighten the situation. “It’s okay, I will. I heard panic! is coming in November,” Dan says and smiles, suddenly changing the topic to that.
Dan and Phil both walk to Phil’s house together. Phil walks up the sidewalk to the front door and opens it up. “Thanks for coming over, I really needed someone to hang out with. My parents have been gone for 2 days and it’s lonely.”
“Not that I don’t want to be here, because I do, but why couldn’t Chris or PJ come??” Dan asks curiously.
“They’re probably having sex.”
“That’s true. Not a mental picture I needed though”
“Sorry.. but now I have it too so we’re even”
Dan’s phone buzzes in his pocket and he picks it up, checking the new message. It’s in his band’s group chat from their manager, Sara, to the band group chat. 'BAND STUFF’ was too obvious so they settled for the next best option.
FROM SARA (to BNDSTF)
meet at arena, they’re letting us go up early to practice / get some things done before the concert.
Dan sighs, “Phil, I’m really sorry but I have to go..”
Phil has been getting suspicious of a lot of these random having to leave things and family emergencies, but he doesn’t say anything because what if his mum was really in the hospital or dying?? Then Phil would be a terrible friend.
Phil just nods, “Go ahead. Text me if you can? Anything is better than being alone.”
Dan nods back, “Of course”
FROM DAN (BNDSTF):
Dan slides on his mask, a plain black covering that went around his eyes and the top of his nose. Dan also pushes his hair up into a quiff for shows so no one will be able to tell him from his fringe.
Ripping Ivory’s shows are what Dan calls 'Literally the best thing you’ll ever go to’. There’s lights, smoke, audience participation (consensual of course), and wardrobe changes for different parts of the concert.
Dan wears his black skinny jeans most of the concert and changes his shirts mostly. Unless it’s an outdoor concert and halfway through the concert he may change into basketball shorts.
Dan and the rest of the members quickly skim through their songs and then all of them sneak off to decode the entire arena to find the best spots to stay and check out dressing rooms. It is a pre-concert tradition for them to memorize every corridor and backstage thing they can. They may or may not play hide and seek up until they literally call them to go onstage.
FROM PHIL (to Dan):
everything going good with your family??
FROM DAN (to Phil):
yeah sorry about having to leave..
FROM PHIL (to Dan):
it’s totally understandable.
“I’m not counting, that round was unfair!” Todd complains and crosses his arms.
Dan laughs and rolls his eyes, “I found you fair and square.”
“You didn’t tell us you were coming.”
“Fine! I’ll just count! We have 45 seconds so I’m giving you 15 seconds to run to a spot,” David says and puts his hands over his eyes, starting to count (rather quickly too). Dan runs as fast as he can into a closet and slams the door shut and he suddenly hears a small click.
Dan goes into panic mode when he finds the door locked. He starts banging on the door for someone to come open it. “HELP!!!!!” he screams and he waits for a good at least 30 seconds before David opens the door. “Dan we’re supposed to be out there! Hurry!”
Dan, Todd, and David all sprint to their spots when entering the stage.
Dan is lifted onto the stage from a middle spot. He runs his fingers through his already pushed up hair and fixes his mask. “Hello London!” he says happily and the crowd starts shouting. Dan walks up and starts high-fiving people from the front of the pit. “Sorry for starting so late” Dan giggles a bit, “I got trapped in a closet” He widens his eyes a bit and smiles.
“But no one here came to hear me complain about my life so lets start out with some 'Focus on her’!” The crowd shouts loudly and Dan smiles a very happy smile.
Dan walks forward to the front of the stage as he sings. For this song and the next two songs after he will be wearing this white button-up that is short sleeve and has small black dots on it. Most of his wardrobe is monochrome because of his mask and jeans but some parts he has more bright clothes.
Smoke rises up on both sides of Dan and around the rest of the band and lights flash in all directions.
The next three songs finish way faster than anyone wanted. Dan and the other members run backstage as they play a video for the crowd that is enough to keep them on their toes for the next song.
Dan runs out after the video just ends. He is now wearing a Kanye West 'Yeezus’ shirt that he just threw on because he’ll be doing the 'It Game’ after the next song.
The It Game is whenever he has one of his security guards pick a random girl or guy from the audience. Then he sings them one of their more lovey songs (as much as Dan doesn’t want to admit it, he wrote the song while thinking of him and Phil). He then asks them a few questions to entertain the audience and give the 'It’ a good experience to remember. The 'It’ is able to leave the stage with backstage passes for whoever they came with and a kiss on the cheek from Q.
Soon enough, Dan is waiting for the spotlight to land on whoever his main guard, Bob, chose to go on stage. “Okay guys, we’re now going to play a little game. One of my security guards, and good friends, will be choosing a person from the audience to come up here. If you’re asked and don’t want to, just say no because I know how bad that can be for someone. Like 'OMG Q why did you force me on stage and make me say my name in front of like a ton of people?!’, it’s okay because I won’t. So Bob, go and find the 'It’.”
The crowd cheers and several people jump and hold up signs to try and get onstage. Suddenly a spotlight stops in the middle. Dan can’t tell what the person looks like because of how bright everything is but he will whenever they get up on the stage.
Footsteps, the spotlight is put not only on Dan, but his guest. Dan looks up into the eyes and is filled with familiarity. Blue eyes that he could recognize in a sea of people. Out of everyone here, Bob chose Phil Lester. That bastard knew who he was to Dan and chose him on purpose.
Dan smiles and grabs a stool from the side of the stage for him to sit down. He grabs a microphone and hands it to Phil because Dan has a headset mic. “What’s your name?” Dan asks with a smile and suddenly /really/ hopes Phil won’t be able to recognize him even through a mask.
“Beautiful name for a beautiful man, huh?”
Phil’s cheeks go a dark shade of red, “Thank you” he almost whispers.
“I would compliment you more, but I guess singing you a song will work too” Dan smiles at him and Phil’s eyes crinkle up into that beautiful smile that Dan loves seeing. “Adorable” Dan says and starts with the song.
Dan finishes the song by walking up to Phil and swiftly pushing the little hairs that had fallen out of his fringe back with the others, giving him a small smile. “So, Phil, where are you from?”
“Here. Me and my friends got so excited whenever we found out you guys were coming, although one of them couldn’t make it, but there’s always next time”
“Of course, I’m glad you could make it though. Or else you’d never get to be sat on a bright stage with Q.”
“My one true dream, finally come true.”
Dan laughs and smiles, “Glad I could make it happen. Tell me Phil, is there anyone special in your life right now?”
Phil smiles a bit and looks down, “I would say you but I haven’t even taken you to dinner yet” Phil laughs and shakes his head, “No, but in all seriousness, there’s this guy I may or may not be on the verge of asking out.”
Both Dan and the crowd collectively go 'ooooo’ at the same time. Dan props his elbows on his legs and rests his head on his hands, watching Phil. “Tell me more, we have time”
“Well I’m not going to say anything specific because he always seems to know everything about this band but he’s really cute and bisexual, and I’m pretty sure that even if I wasn’t gay that I still would’ve fallen in love with him.”
“Awwww!! I wish you and your man, good luck” Dan says and he means it because 'oh my shithole, Phil just indirectly told him that he likes/loves Dan???!??!?!
“Thank you” Phil blushes more and smiles.
“Okay, before I so rudely kick you off my stage, how many people did you come here with?”
“Two of my friends and myself.”
“Would two of your friends and yourself like to come backstage after the show to hang out??”
“Aw, such a gentleman. Okay so go see Bob when you exit the stage and he’ll get you those passes. See you later!” Dan smiles to himself and walks up to Phil, kissing his cheek.
“These are literally my best friends so don’t do stupid things okay?? I’ll be hearing all about this tomorrow at school,” Dan warns his band members. Todd laughs, “So don’t reveal you, show your dick pi-” “I don’t take dick pics!” Dan shouts and throws a bottle of water at him, causing it to spill all over Tom and the ground. At this same moment, PJ, Chris, and Phil are all ushered into the room.
David laughs loudly at the situation, “Looks like you have already failed your mission not to embarrass yourself.” “At least I don’t look like I pissed myself” Dan says and eyes Todd. Todd puts his middle finger up at Dan, “At least I’m not talking about my dick”
“I’ll have you know I have a very nice dick”
“No you don’t”
“You’ve seen me naked before you don’t have to lie”
“Nah mate, I say that /because/ I’ve seen you naked”
Dan throws another bottle of water at him and then turns to their guests. “I’m Q, this is David and Todd. Welcome to our humble abode…. er I mean my dressing room.”
Chris smiles and steps forward, shaking Dan’s hand, “Big fan of your music. Glad to be able to meet you in person.”
PJ smiles, “Same for me. I bet it’s even better for Phil to meet you, he likes you almost as much as he loves 'Daaaaannn’” Dan hopes no one can see the blush on his cheeks.
Todd walks up and pats Dan on the back, “You’ve always been popular with the ladies.. and guys too. We have a big LGBT+ audience. I’d say it’s a very good thing though, spreading gayness one song at a time.”
PJ, Chris, and Phil all leave after about 30 minutes because that’s the most amount of time that the guards would let them stay. As they leave, they spot Dan’s grandma walking around backstage and talking to Bob.
All three of them walk over to her. Chris decides to talk for them, “Mrs. April?? What are you doing here?” She turns around and smiles at the boys, “Oh boys! It’s so nice to see all of you! I just came to see the wonderful show!”
“I thought Dan was going to visit you today? He said that’s why he couldn’t make it to the concert..” Phil says, suddenly confused. PJ then steps up, “Also.. how did you get back here without a backstage pass?”
Mrs. April smiles at them without it wavering at all, “I have to go” she says and walks away, towards the dressing rooms where they can see Q step out and hug her. Just as he goes inside, he slips off his mask, and leaves the other boys at an angle where they couldn’t see his face"
They all sit in the car, left silent with their thoughts as PJ drives them back to Chris’ house. “What if Q is Dan?” Phil asks quietly and Chris laughs. Phil shakes his head at him, “It sounds idiotic but it’s possible. Dan’s grandma came and hugged Q, Dan told us he couldn’t come to see us because he was going to see his grandma, and we already know he can sing and play piano. I’m not reaching very far to conclude this- oh my god I admitted to Dan himself that I’m practically in love with him”
PJ smiles sympathetically, “It’s okay Phil. We’ll find out- plus anytime you said something about it Q got flustered so if it’s true maybe Dan likes you back. I think the best way to find out will be to not ask him about it and let it unfold. I have a plan.”
That night, the boys went over several plans until they got down the best one that they could think of that should trap Dan into telling them the truth. They decided to go with the plan at lunchtime.
“How was the concert?” Dan asks and Phil smiles. His experience at the concert could be put in the top 3 moments of his life. “Amazing! I got on stage and Q was so hot and cute and he kissed my cheek and I swear it’s still burning a hole where his lips touched and we got to go backstage to meet the band!” Phil says excitedly and sits down next to Dan.
PJ and Chris sit down after Phil. “What about you, how was your grandma?” PJ asks and Dan had already guessed that they would ask about her so he was prepared. “She was great actually. Her and my mum talked all night basically and I contributed to about 30% of their conversations. We left her house really late, like 1 or 2.”
Chris contorts his face a bit, “So that’s why she was at your concert last night? We got to speak to her.”
Dan’s heart suddenly starts racing really fast, worse than other times. His breathing quickens and the room starts getting smaller. The people talking around him is louder than usual. “I-I’ve go-tta go-o” he whispers and stands up. The room starts spinning, making it hard for Dan to move. Dan tries to grab onto Phil to break his fall but he completely misses and trips, banging his head against the ground. The last thing Dan remembers before everything going black is the sound of his own sobbing (he doesn’t remember crying but he knows it was himself crying), Phil quickly getting on the floor with him, and PJ yelling for a nurse.
Dan barely squints his eyes open. He has a cold washcloth on his forehead and he is in his bedroom. Phil is sitting at the end of his bed and Chris and PJ are on the love seat across from his bed. They haven’t noticed Dan woke up yet so he decides to listen to their conversation like the sneaky fuck he is, he shuts his eyes once more.
“Gotta say, that guy is really good at what he does. He’s gotten this entire thing past us for 3 years and we only just found out because we went to a concert.” The voice is definitely PJ.
“I can understand why he would keep it from us, this is a big deal. He obviously just wants to keep his identity a secret so he can live normally. This crossed a big barrier for him, bringing famous life into his normal life. That episode he had was understandable” Phil says and places his hand on Dan’s leg.
“I just want him to know that he can trust us, we’ve known him since we were all in our moms’ wombs. This isn’t something I would just go and tell someone,” Chris adds to the conversation.
Before anyone else speaks, Dan decides to make his way in. “That’s good to know” he whispers and sits up a bit in bed and opens his eyes. All three of the boys all snap their heads to look at Dan. “Don’t talk, I want to do this myself.” They nod and Dan rubs his hands over his face before starting.
“Hello, my name is Daniel James Howell. I am in my last year of schooling before I go to university, if I even do, and I’m also in a band. I am known as Q, the guy with the mask, or the guy with extremely tight jeans in the alternative band, Ripping Ivory. I sing songs and and play piano with my other best friends, Todd Harris and David York. Now, I may be best friends with them, but I have some even closer friends that I go to school with. I didn’t tell them about being in a band because I was scared of judgement or them turning on me. I now realize that I can tell them several things that should be told. Also including the fact that I’m in love with my best friend, who I have even written songs about. Which includes the song that I sang for him last night, in front of an arena of people.”
They’re quiet for a painful amount of time. Dan decides to add onto his speech, “Our first ever concert- it was in Reading at a small diner. Back then my mask was bright red and had black paint marks on it- I still have that one actually. But anyways, at that concert I had only known Todd and David for 2 weeks. Enough time to learn the songs I had made. At the beginning of the first song we song, I had the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. The diner was packed to the brim and everyone was watching us. Todd and I sat outside for 20 minutes before I could go back inside and we fucking rocked that show! That show was what bonded me and Todd closer and I still think of the things he told me then whenever I get nervous doing a show or even right now. I shouldn’t be scared of talking to you guys about anything, so there goes most of my secrets.”
“Most?” PJ asks curiously.
“Well do you want a full list of every person I’ve ever wanked to?”
PJ then shakes his head at the same time as Phil.
Chris smirks, “It’d only be two people. 1. Evan Peters 2. Phil Lester”
Phil shoots Chris a glare. PJ stands up, “Chris, lets give Dan and Phil some time to talk things out. We can go talk to Dan’s mum” Chris nods and him and PJ race out of the room and Chris shuts the door behind him.
“D-Did you really write that song about me?” Phil asks with a pink tint to his cheeks. Dan nods and smiles, sitting up all the way and letting Phil come sit next to him. “Who else would I write about having eyes you could swim in? And making my heart do that little flippy over thing” Phil smiles, “Well now you’ll have a new song to write about, about taking chances and finding love, a cliche song about the real life Hannah Montana who meets the love of his life. Dannah Montana.” They’re both silent for a moment, enjoying each other’s company.
Dan smiles at Phil and Phil smiles back, “I’m really proud of you Dan” Phil whispers, cuddling into Dan. “I wouldn’t of done it without my 3 best friends being the sneakiest shits ever. Now, lets get to the real stuff. You calling Q hot, and 'oh the things you would do if his jeans were off’.” Phil blushes and kisses Dan’s cheek, “You’ll find out those things in a matter of time, just a matter of time dear”
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) Pelecanidae
Yellowstone River, Saugus, MT 13 May 1975 prep. Larry DePute; photo. Robert Niese
Unlike their brown counterparts, the American White Pelican is an overland migrant, spending its winters in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico before flying thousands of miles to breeding grounds in Canada and the northern United States. To facilitate this epic travel, these birds have an 8-10 foot wing span, the second-largest of any bird in North America. Now that we have fully articulated this massive specimen, we’re not entirely sure what to do with it… He can hardly fit through doorways!
Miley has spent most of her life pining after her best friend Lilly. Lilly who always seems uninterested and dated Oliver for months. Even though Lilly likes Oliver she has always felt like there was something more for her cool popstar best friend. It takes many years for them to talk about it but when they do they quickly realize it’s a mutual feeling and they go through life as girlfriends from there on.
so I'm thinking about transferring to UM next year and I just wanted to know why you chose to go there and what are the best things about it?
I had never been to Montana or Missoula before I flew in to visit the campus. I didn’t even know if I wanted to pursue college when I was a senior in high school, and I only applied to two places: UM, and Montana State in Bozeman. My mother encouraged me to at least visit the campuses, so we made some appointments. I knew I wanted to attend UM the second I looked out of the plane window and saw Mount Sentinel. The fact that the University had a beautiful, majestic mountain as its backdrop on the campus blew me away. The staff at the School of Art was friendly and accommodating, and I loved the scenic quaintness of Missoula. We went to Bozeman but I didn’t have as good of a time trying to visit the college; my appointments were cancelled, and the people there didn’t seem wholly interested in catering to my inquiries. So we left. We were supposed to be there for an extra day, and instead we turned around and came back to Missoula. I enrolled that day.
I love Missoula. It is an unreal place to me. Just today we saw five white-tailed deer on campus, and when I was taking my trash out I watched a large buck eating off of a pine tree across the street from my apartment. I see wildlife every day, and that is incredibly important to me.
The people in this community are exceptionally friendly. After having a campus job for two years, I got to know a lot of the staff members on campus, as well as the faculty and professors. It really feels like a tight-knit community to me. I can go into public and see people that I know on a regular basis, and I find that familiarity and camaraderie important.
That being said, Missoula probably isn’t for everyone. It’s very “granola”. If you’re looking for a place with superbly dynamic culture or ethnicity, this isn’t it. A lot of the recreation revolves around the outdoors, and visiting local breweries. There are no clubs here. But, if you like things like documentary film festivals, farmers markets, craft fairs, and locally-made products and restaurants, come.
Here’s Montana Agate, she works under Yellow Diamond as a fairly high-ranking guard. Like most Agates she’s pretty strong, more than the typical Quartz Soldier. She has a very proud personality but it’s hard to notice since she doesn’t talk often, a lot of how shes feeling is articulated through facial expressions and smirks, which can get annoying to other gems.
She’s essentially the result of wanting to make a funky gem cut, and then making a funky gem around it.
Conyers Hewitt (b. 1935) was the third African-American woman to ever receive a PhD in
Mathematics. She achieved this in 1962, graduating from the University of
In 1972, she became a professor at the University of Montana, and the
Chair of the Department of Mathematical Science in 1995. She has written
numerous papers and lectures in the field of abstract algebra and group theory.