Summary: Phil’s dog has the habit of getting him into bad situations and Dan is Phil’s next door neighbour that seems to hate him and his dog. Oddly enough, their dogs like each other. Really like each other.
Relationship: Phan (& a side of Brolin - Breto + Colin)
Characters / Pairing: Dan Howell + Phil Lester, Breto + Colin
Word Count: 2,803 (this is longer than my life story whoops)
Warnings: M/M, swearing (yes - even Phil swears), enemies, a little bit of throwing shade, dog-on-dog humping action (blink and it’s gone i swear), just general douchebucket-ness (Dan acts like he has a stick up his ass for the first bit), cute doggies, brief moment of angst, anger, kissy kissy, humour? (is it even funny like ?), F L U F F, enemiestolovers yo
Or the one where Dan and Phil can’t stand each other but their dogs are in love. #enemiestolovers
“Calm down, Breto! Let me just-”
Phil stumbles, trying desperately to attach a leash to his excited Chinese Shar Pei’s collar.
Breto barks enthusiastically, dragging Phil out the door as soon as the leash is clipped on.
Almost falling once again, Phil manages to close the door behind them before being pulled down the block by his excitable dog.
This was usual for Phil and Breto; they’d go for a walk every day at around 5:15pm.
When he first moved to the countryside of England, they would walk once around the whole block (a series of paired up houses spread out a very long ways), but as soon as Phil found out his rude and ‘impeccable’ neighbour would walk his annoying yappy Tibetan Terrier around the block at the same time, Phil began avoiding this route.
Instead, he now walked along the back roads of the neighborhood to a nice little park where Phil would throw a ball for Breto and she would fetch it. Then he only had to see his neighbour as he approached his house and they would send their respective glares at each other while unlocking their doors.
Yes, Phil might be making an exaggeration but he really cannot stand his neighbour. Dan Howell is the only man in the neighbourhood that Phil can’t seem to get along with and of course Dan’s house is the only one within a one-hundred meter radius of his own.
But today Phil doesn’t have time to throw a ball for Breto. This week is going to be a mess, as Phil just got promoted and now he has to go in extra hours for seven days until he is ready to take on the job.
So he has decided to suck it up and walk Breto around the block like old times.
And just pray Dan’s decided not to walk Colin today.
Breto trots along ahead of Phil, her tail wagging vigorously as she smells every possible scent-eliciting feature around them. Phil just laughs at her antics and shakes his head affectionately.
There’s a cool breeze in the air, contrasting wonderfully to the humid summer air and Phil relishes it, taking a deep breath for the first time today. With all of this work craziness, he needs these walks just as much as Breto does.
Glancing around, Phil realizes with delight that Dan must not be walking Colin today as he would’ve probably left by now.
Just as Phil turns the corner of Dan’s house, a loud yip reaches his ears and he bumps into a hard body, stumbling backwards.
In front of him stands a man dressed in all black with a little fluffy dog that is scrabbling frantically to get to Breto.
Phil frowns, swallowing his previous statement.
What luck indeed .
Dan scowls at him with a look of distaste. “Oh, hello Lester.”
“Dan.” Phil replies curtly, unable to help the hint of displeasure in his tone.
Breto and Colin sniff at each other passionately, happy to see each other… Quite the opposite of their owners.
“Your dog left another present for me on my lawn yesterday,” Dan continues, his scowl deepening.
Phil sighs, feeling guilty.
Although one has to purposely go out of their way not to love Breto (as she is just so lovable), she does get Phil into very hard-to-fix situations.
“I’m sure she didn’t mean to! She goes wherever she pleases. I can come over and clean it up…?” He suggests hopefully.
Dan just wrinkles his nose at him pettily. “Already have. Maybe you should try getting your dog obedience lessons.”
Biting back a vicious retort that he would regret later, Phil smiles sickeningly sweetly at his neighbour.
Dan takes Colin to obedience classes, although the dog is still yappy as fuck and annoying.
Frustratingly enough, Dan is probably right.
Not that Phil would ever admit that to him.
A high-pitch grunt comes from below and both men glance down to see that Colin has somehow managed to mount Breto and is dry-humping her to the ends of the earth.
Simultaneously, they both gasp and Dan goes to scoop up Colin while Phil rushes to grab Breto.
They separate and Dan glares menacingly at Phil while cradling Colin to his chest. “Your dog is a monster! Get it under control.”
Phil is taken aback. “Are you serious? Your dog was humping mine!”
Dan just shakes his head in disappointment and walks around the corner to his house.
Phil places Breto back onto her paws, looking at her with anger. “He’s just a right prick, isn’t he?”
And with that, Phil tries to forget about his encounter with his atrocious neighbour and enjoy the rest of his and Breto’s walk.
Phil goes outside once again at 5:15, locking his door and letting Breto drag him a few feet.
He’s had a particularly good day at work and there’s admittedly a little skip in his step.
It all vanishes when the door next to his house opens and out comes the signature yip of a familiar Tibetan Terrier.
Phil and Breto glance to their right to see Dan’s front door opening to let out the said man and his irritable pooch.
Phil groans and Breto barks excitedly, tugging to go see Colin as soon as they step out of the doorway.
Dan glances up at the sound of Breto’s bark and lets out a similar sound to Phil’s.
“Lester,” he greets dully.
“Dan,” Phil mimics, nodding at him respectfully with little of the said feeling.
Colin goes sprinting forward towards Breto, and Dan - not expecting this - stumbles for a moment as his tiny little dog pulls him to the end of his driveway.
Phil purses his lips to keep from laughing as Dan shouts commands at the Terrier and it completely ignores him, scrabbling towards Breto desperately.
“So much for obedience, huh?” Phil muses as Dan finally manages to pick Colin up.
The brunet gives Phil a look so menacing a chill runs down his back.
“Your dog is no better,” Dan spits, glaring down at Breto.
Breto just wags her tail and pants without realizing what’s happening.
Phil shakes his head. “I don’t understand you; anything me or Breto could ever possibly do is wrong to you.”
The sad reality sets a somber tone in Phil’s mind and whatever good mood he had earlier is now gone.
Dan glances up at him with a confused expression. “What do you mean?”
“Just last week, Breto found Colin’s ball in the stream behind the neighbourhood and you got mad at her for stealing Colin’s fun in finding it.”
Dan shrugs. “It wasn’t in your place to grab it for us. Colin doesn’t need help…” He trails off, scratching the back of the said dog’s ear affectionately.
How can a man with so much hate love someone so much?
Phil would like to figure that out one day.
“What about that one time I brought your mail in for you and watered your plants when you were gone?” Phil continues, upset.
“They are cacti and you over-watered them to the point of near-death,” Dan replies firmly.
Phil sighs. “I didn’t know! But the thought was still there. The point is, I was trying to be nice. I don’t know what I did to make you hate me, but I promise I won’t be a problem for you anymore.”
He turns and walks away, dragging Breto along with him.
They continue down the sidewalk and away from Dan, Phil feeling downhearted and just plain sad.
Not everyone can like you, and that’s just the way it is.
Besides… Dan’s not worth the effort.
Phil turns around at the sound of Dan’s panicked voice but it’s too late.
Phil is tackled to the ground by the little dog (that weighs more than he once thought).
Licks and slobber are spread around Phil’s face and he squeals, trying to block Colin’s tongue with his hands. Breto soon joins in and Phil is laughing shamelessly, tickled by dog tongues from all sides.
Hurried footsteps approach and the two tongues disappear, leaving Phil a mess of slobber and giggles on the sidewalk.
“Colin, you naughty dog! Bad boy!” Phil glances up to see Dan scolding Colin with disappointment.
Phil goes to sit up, but Breto pounces on him as soon as he tries and licks his face, throwing him back into a fit of laughter.
When he finally manages to get Breto off, he glances up to see Dan smiling absentmindedly, his eyes soft and warm. As he goes to dust himself off, Dan snaps out of it and offers him a hand.
Phil smiles and a fuzzy feeling settles in the pit of his stomach.
So Dan can be kind.
He takes it and lets himself be pulled to his feet.
But he stumbles forward and manages to catch himself just before he crashes into his neighbour.
Exactly two inches apart, their noses almost touching.
Phil gulps and the air suddenly becomes tense and full.
And wow are Dan’s eyes so brown.
Beautiful shades all mixed together into a masterpiece that lights up gold when the sun shines upon them.
He doesn’t realize he’s holding his breath until Dan jumps backwards and coughs awkwardly, scratching the back of his neck.
“I’m just - uh - gonna… Head back to my place-” Dan begins, avoiding eye contact.
“O-oh yeah! That… That’s cool.” Phil agrees, his eyes dropping to the ground.
Dan scuttles off with Colin in tow.
And as Phil goes back to his walk with Breto, he can’t help but wonder…
What the hell was that?
A harsh rain comes pouring down on Phil as he begins his walk today.
In fact, this is the worst weather they’ve had in two years. The rain is so thick Phil has trouble seeing where he’s going.
But he’s too far in, now. When he started walking with Breto, it was only a light rain. Now it’s literal sheets of liquid ice coming from the sky and descending upon an aggressively shaking Phil and a whimpering Breto.
Phil wraps the sopping coat further around his body, trying but failing to warm himself up.
They turn a corner at around the three-quarter mark and Breto yips in fear as thunder rumbles across the sky. Phil pauses to kneel down and soothe her, his heart aching for the poor dog.
“Only a little longer,” he promises.
But as they continue, the rain only begins to come down harder and Phil’s vision is obscured to the point of failure. He pauses and looks around for some form of shelter, deciding it best to wait out the storm.
Unfortunately, there is none near him and he forces himself to continue. “Only a little longer Breto, I promise.”
The rain is absolutely pelting down on them by the time Phil reaches his house.
He hurries to the door with Breto trailing to his side and rummages in his pocket for his keys.
There is no cold metal that brushes against his fingertips. In fact, there is nothing weighing down his pocket except for water.
“Shit!” Phil howls, tears threatening to spill over.
He turns and walks down his driveway to a tree that grows from a small patch in the sidewalk and sits underneath it, huddling Breto close to him in an attempt to warm her up.
He feels his eyes droop from exhaustion and his head starts to loll back against the tree trunk.
Slowly, he opens his eyes and glances over his shoulder.
A figure is walking towards him with a strange hat that sticks way up in the air.
As they come closer, he realizes they’re running and that the hat isn’t a hat at all, but an umbrella.
His heart starts to pick up as he recognizes who it is when they approach.
Never has Phil been so happy to see his neighbour.
As soon as Dan reaches them, he kneels down and helps Phil up, gently taking the leash from his hand and guiding them towards his own door. Phil is hardly conscious at this point, and leans on Dan heavily, letting himself be steered without complaint.
The door is opened and Phil is ushered inside, along with Breto. They stay on the mat and Phil makes Breto sit and wait for further instruction.
Moments later, Dan comes in with two towels and a change of clothes. He’s mumbling to himself as he offers the clothes and one of the towels to Phil and goes to wipe off Breto.
Phil finally manages to speak up. “How did y-”
“You idiot!” Dan snarls.
Phil is taken aback and his eyes go wide with shock.
“What were you doing, walking out there? Didn’t you see the weather or - oh, I dunno… - the storm warning?”
The soaked man bows his head in shame.
It’s true, Phil didn’t check the weather, and didn’t know about the storm warning.
“-I went out to knock on your door to warn you, but you didn’t answer. That’s when I realized - being the fool that you are - you probably went out anyways! So then I had to go out and look for you.-” Dan continues angrily, now using the towel to warm Breto up.
Phil just stands there holding the towel and clothes, unable to move. As soon as what Dan’s saying soaks in, his heart stutters.
Dan went out to look for them.
“-And when I find you, you’re soaked to the bone hiding under a tree with your shivering dog and - Breto, stop moving! - now I have to warm you up and make sure you’re not half dead!” He finishes warming Breto up and lets her run into his house.
He turns on Phil and Phil almost jumps back under his gaze.
“I- I don’t…” Phil stutters, unsure of what to say. “I’m sorry.”
Dan holds his gaze for a moment. Then he sighs and the tension is gone, revealing a tired and worried man.
Damn, he must really have been stressed.
“C'mere,” he orders softly.
Phil does as told and steps towards him. Dan takes the towel and clothes from Phil and goes to assist Phil is removing his drenched jacket.
He takes it and hangs it on a rack, turning back around and picking up the towel. The towel is then wrapped around Phil’s shoulders, and Dan steps closer to tuck it into the front of his shirt to secure it.
Phil watches his face as Dan concentrates and notices so many things he’s never notice before, having not been this close to the man.
There are little lines next to his eyes - he must smile a ton when he’s not yelling at Phil - and the tiniest beginnings of stubble on his chin, suggesting he hasn’t shaved in awhile.
His eyelashes draw Phil’s attention next, just how long they are. And then they’re fluttering up and Phil finds himself once again sucked into Dan’s eyes.
There’s a heavy pause in Dan’s movements and Phil holds his breath.
A sharp intensity builds between them. The gap is so small. Phil resists the desperate urge to close the space and just stares at Dan.
Fortunately enough, he doesn’t have to close the gap.
Dan closes it for him.
And wow. Phil is encased in Dan’s lips and they’re just so soft and caring and everything is just Dan.
The mesh is beautiful, the change of clothing is dropped, and Dan’s nimble fingers crawl into Phil’s hair to cradle his head and keep him stable in the kiss.
Phil finds his own fingers moving on their own accord and wrapping around Dan’s neck, pulling him in closer.
This is incredible. Phil’s beating himself up for not kissing Dan earlier.
Soon enough, a shortage of breath is what separates them and they pant heavily, leaving gentle pecks in their wake.
Dan sucks in a large breath and Phil’s eyelids flutter open.
There’s a pause and slowly, Dan slides his hands from Phil’s hair.
No. Please keep them there.
Phil’s arms drop from Dan’s neck.
He feels the loss crawling under his skin, but seconds later a hand curls into his own.
He glances down to see Dan’s fingers twisted between his.
Glancing up, he sees a new Dan he’s never seen before. Shy with flushed cheeks and curling hair and a gentle smile that could melt hearts internationally.
“Is this okay?” He asks tentatively, nodding at their locked hands.
Phil smiles and notices over Dan’s shoulder that Breto and Colin are snuggled together in front of Dan’s couch, sleeping. He speaks up to answer.
“This is wonderful, but can I please use your bathroom now?”
There are many things wrong with the article written about Dan and Phil in the UK Sun Times but the most disrespectful thing they did was ask for their sexuality. Under no circumstances no matter what are you to ask someone this being as its none of your business. This journalist did a shit job on writing this article but he also crossed into territory a journalist mustn’t go into. Someone’s sexuality is their personal lives and they choose to divulge that information or not you do not no matter your occupation ask them about it. They will not tell you. This journalist has not only done his job horribly but disrespected two young men for the sake of an article.