i was supposed to get bbc yesterday

Secret

@raywritesthings prompted "can I tell you a secret?“ + merthur

“Can I tell you a secret?”

Arthur freezes, putting his quill down carefully lest he blotch the parchment, and swallows thickly.

He supposes he should have known this day would come. It’s not like Merlin is exactly as good at keeping secrets as he often makes himself out to be. Arthur’s just… well. Let’s just say he’s chosen to turn a blind eye. Constantly.

Which he really can’t do if Merlin spills the beans now.

After a brief pause, Arthur swings around in his chair, shifting his facial expression into one of oblivion. “Ah, Merlin! Exactly who I’ve been meaning to talk to!”

“You have?” Merlin asks, blinking twice, but then he shakes his head, face determined. “No, listen, it’s important-“

“More important than your duties?” Arthur cuts in with a derisive snort before the idiot can get too far. “I think not.” The scrape that emits from his chair as he pushes it back and rises to his feet echoes in the room. “I think it’s a good day to get that pile of laundry done, don’t you? Gwaine’s stench is bad enough already – we don’t need your laziness making it any worse.”

“Sire, really, I-“

“Merlin,” Arthur cuts in rather harshly, finally turning towards the manservant and narrowing his gaze. “What is your job, exactly?”

The other’s jaw flexes, but the defeated breath he lets out tells Arthur that he’s lost his wind. His stomach rolls a little with guilt, but he knows he’s doing the right thing here. This is for Merlin’s own good. Or at least, that’s what he keeps telling himself.

“Right. Fine. Right away, sire,” comes the semi-sarcastic reply, accompanied by an eye roll. Arthur’s about to follow up with some form of apology until Merlin follows his words up with a mumbled “prat” that he’s not entirely sure he was supposed to hear.

His lips twitch in amusement regardless. This he can do.

“While you’re at, Merlin, the floors are looking a bit grubby.”

“I cleaned them yesterday!”

“Yes, well, you’ll just have to do them again, won’t you?”

He’s not entirely sure how long he can keep this up for – pretending that he doesn’t know Merlin’s secret, but he’s at least grateful for the extra time he gets as Merlin throws his hands in the air with a frustrated groan and marches towards the kitchen to fetch a pail of water with extra fury in his step.

Loving Can Hurt

Summary: When someone falls in love with Dan, they get amnesia, essentially forgetting they knew him, let alone ever loved him.

As we can see, I’m trying my best to have more character development in my fics, as well as more phan moments. It was brought to my attention that my fics were a bit lacking with phan moments, so I’m going to try to do better with that :)

Word Count: 4,397

Warnings: Fluff?

{Previous Chapter}

2

__

When Dan woke up and got ready for work the next day, he was slightly disappointed that he didn’t run into Phil on the train. He had already suspected he wouldn’t, considering Phil didn’t go to work an hour later than Dan did, but a small part of him had hoped that maybe fate would be on his side today, and have them cross paths.

Though, Dan wasn’t sure why he wanted Phil to hang around. Dan knew what happened when he hung around people for too long. Not everyone fell in love with him, but he hated taking the chance. When they forgot … well, it was awkward and embarrassing, not to mention devastating on Dan’s part. The other person would never know they forgot him, but Dan remembered everything. From the way it started, to the way it ended. It tore him apart inside, knowing that he had been loved, only to have that taken away from him, making it seem like he was never loved at all.

Work was a drag. It went by slower than usual, which only made Dan more annoyed throughout the day. Weekends were never long enough, and the weekdays seemed to extend each Monday he went into work. It’s not like he had anywhere better to be, but the comfort of his own home sounded better than a busy office with phones constantly ringing and people always chatting. It wasn’t Dan’s ideal job–sitting in an office and taking phone calls all day. But it did give him some social interaction he had been lacking for the past few years.

“Howell!” Dan’s boss called over the bustling noise of people. “Can you come to my office, please?”

Dan groaned lowly, the only person hearing it was beside him. Did his boss really have to announce that over all his coworkers? It made him seem like he was in trouble for something. He shuffled out of his seat and made his way around the people to his boss’s office, sliding inside and closing the door behind him. “Yes, sir?” Dan asked casually.

“Sit. This won’t take long, I promise.”

Shit. I’m being fired, aren’t I? Dan sat down in the chair across from his boss’s desk. He stared at the nameplate on the edge. It read: Donald Rivers. It was gold and shiny, when it caught on the light just right.

“You’re not in trouble,” Rivers said. “I know that’s what you’re thinking. But I have called you in because I wanted to offer you a deal.”

Dan’s interest spiked up. “A deal?”

“Yes. We both know about your … problems when it comes to being at work on time.”

Dan nodded and mumbled, “I was on time today.” He wasn’t sure if Rivers had heard him or not.

“Well, recently I was contacted by the radio station down the street. They have a job opening there–receptionist, I believe is what they said. A very busy radio station, they are, so they need more people. Anyway, they wanted to know if I had anyone interested in the job. At first I told them no, but then I thought of you.”

Dan raised one brow. “Me? Why me, out of everyone in this building?”

Rivers smiled. “I thought of you first, because when they told me the hours the person would be working, I thought the job suit you perfectly. It’s from eight in the morning to five in the evening. So, it starts one hour later than your job does now. And since you’re usually an hour late here, anyway … “

“You though the job at the radio station starting one hour later would be better for my needs,” Dan finished.

“Exactly. I didn’t tell them yes or no, I just told them I’d let you know about it. But I see the way you look when you come to work each day. You hate it here. Don’t try to deny it,” Rivers added as Dan opened his mouth to protest. “I thought maybe the job at the radio station would be better for you, since you’re into music and things like that.”

Things like that. Dan would hate to ask what Rivers meant about that statement.

“It’s basically the same thing you do here, except it’s centered around stuff that you like. Because, face it. Insurance talk isn’t your favorite.”

Dan couldn’t disagree. He hated answering phones and talking to people about their insurance and listening to them complain about it. But at a radio station … “So, what? I’d answer a phone all day there, like I do here, but talk about radio related stuff?”

“Basically. The hours are better, and so is the topic of interest. Of course, you don’t have to take this job. It’s only a suggestion. I’m not trying to get rid of you by any means. I only want what’s best for you. You’re so young, Howell. Do something you enjoy with life. You only get one chance.”

As much as Dan hated it, he agreed with his boss. If he couldn’t live his life by loving someone, the least he could do was live his life loving his job. He needed something to love in his life. And a job at the radio station just might be it. “When would I start?” Dan asked.

“As soon as possible, from the sound of it. The guy seemed in desperate need of someone to work there.”

“Hmm,” was all Dan said.

“Howell, you won’t hurt my feelings if you go. I encourage you to take this job. It would be better for you. I get nothing out of this. I actually lose, if you want to look at it that way. I lose one of my best employees.”

Dan wanted to say yes. To take the job. But he didn’t want to seem too eager about it right now. He thought about saying he would think about it, but what if the job slot was taken before he had time to say yes? He would have missed out, all because he didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Though Rivers did claim that he wouldn’t be sad. He wants Dan to take this job. And Dan wants to take it.

“I want it,” Dan said, sounding unsure of himself.

“You what?”

“I want it. The job. I’ll take the job at the radio station.”

Rivers’s eyes lit up with joy. “Excellent! I’ll call them straightaway and let them know I have someone who wants the job. This will be good for you, Howell. You’ll see. Just finish work for the day, and stop by my office before you go home so we can get some things sorted. Deal?”

“Deal.” Dan shook his boss’s hand and headed back to his desk. He gave it a good once over. It was pretty bland compared to most people’s desks in the office. Whereas most people around him had pictures frames sitting on their desk of family members and loved ones, Dan had none. The closest he had come to decorating his desk to make it his own was the one sticker he had on the bottom of his computer monitor of a cat. If he were being honest, he didn’t even remember where it came from.

As Dan continued the rest of his work day, he had this nagging thought in the back of his mind. It was as if his brain was trying to remind him of something, but he didn’t quite know what. It had to do with taking the job at the radio station, that much were clear.

It was after a few hours of constantly being annoyed by this thought, that Dan unplugged his phone to prevent it from ringing, and he got on his cell to browse through some social media. As soon as he opened up Twitter, the thought came crashing down on him.

Phil works at the radio station.

Dan practically dropped his phone on his desk. He didn’t realize–that whole time his boss was convincing him to take the job–that Phil Lester worked at the same place.

Great. Now Phil is going to think I’m some stalker and even got a job at the same place he works at. Fuck.

Really, that wasn’t the case. Dan had completely forgotten about Phil being a radio DJ at the BBC. The thought just struck him now. He couldn’t back out–he already told Rivers he would take the job. Besides, he didn’t want to tell Rivers that he didn’t want it, because he did. Really, really did. Dan didn’t want to be cooped up in some insurance firm for a good portion of his life. He wanted this. Needed this. And if Phil thought he was some sort of stalker, then so be it. Phil should mean nothing to Dan. They’ve only talked twice. And if anything, Phil was the one who seemed more open and inviting. He had been the one to tell Dan he wouldn’t mind if he was followed home. So he shouldn’t mind if Dan got a job at the same place he works, right? And what were the chances of crossing paths with him at the radio station often? He was a DJ. Dan was a receptionist. The two don’t mix.

I should have nothing to worry about. It will be a great job. I need to stop talking myself down from it. I’m taking it, and that’s final.

He could do it. He wanted to do it. And even though there was that small part of him being nagged that Phil would think he was weird, he didn’t mind. He didn’t need to be associated with Phil, anyway. Only bad things could come from him. Nothing more.

***

Dan had to stay nearly an hour after work to get things sorted out with his boss and new job. Rivers had told Dan that he would be missed, but he was glad Dan was going to do something he enjoyed with his life. Rivers hated seeing Dan at work so miserable. But he was a good worker, so he never bothered to fire him or chew him out. The insurance firm needed more workers like Dan, and the radio station would be lucky to have him.

Dan’s new job started on Thursday. He would work each weekday and have each weekend off, plus the hours were better suited for his sleeping needs. He’d get one hour extra sleep in the mornings, but get off one hour later than he was supposed to. Same amount of work hours, just from a different time. Dan had one day off to prepare for his new job. His Wednesday would be well spent.

Dan had caught the evening train into town, much like he did yesterday. He had hoped to see Phil, but the whole ride home was a bust. He was nowhere to be seen.

Who cares, Dan thought. I’ll probably see him at work every now and then. I don’t need to hang around him anyway.

At home, Dan did the usual. He stripped off his work clothes, throwing them in a pile that was sure to stay until the end of time. He put on his PJ’s, grabbed his laptop, and turned on the TV to the latest episode he had recorded of Take Me Out. Watching that show was a guilty pleasure, one he was sure to never admit. It’s not as if he was watching it, anyway. It was mostly background noise. Or so he told himself.

He spent the rest of the night on Tumblr, eventually dosing off on the couch. His life was about to begin. He just wasn’t sure if he was ready for it to.

***

Dan’s phone rang loudly, waking him up from his half-sitting position on the couch. He patted the space around him for his phone, finally finding it stuck between two cushions. He answered it on the fifth ring. “H-hello?” he said groggily.

“Daniel Howell?”

“This is him,” Dan replied.

“Ah, Daniel! This is Logan McCay from the BBC. You were given a job here, correct?”

“As far as I know,” Dan said, immediately regretting what he spoke. Now was not the time to be a wise-ass.

The man on the other end laughed. “You’re a funny one. Anyway, I was calling because I need you to come down to the station for some paperwork and other things. We need to make you an official employee here so you can pass through the doors without being questioned. When can you be here?”

Dan looked at the clock on his bookshelf. It was nearly noon. “I can be there within the hour,” he said confidently. He wouldn’t be late for this.

“Awesome! Just come on down here and tell the receptionist at the front desk your name. She’ll know it. See you soon!” Logan hung up without another word. He sounded pretty cool, in Dan’s opinion.

Dan got off the couch, his bones rather creaky from the position he slept in. He made a note to always make sure he ended up in a bed at night, because today, would be hell on his body.

He got dressed in a white button up, deciding it wasn’t too formal or too casual for this meeting. It was only to fill out some paperwork, but he needed to look somewhat clean-kept to make a good and lasting impression.

Dan arrived at the radio station in forty-five minutes after his phone call with Logan. He had to admit–he was a bit surprised he even made it within the hour. He was also a little more surprised we he was able to walk into the radio station without problem from security officers. They must have thought he wasn’t some insane fanboy trying to get inside the station to meet celebrities. Either that, or they just let anyone mosey inside.

The woman at the reception desk looked up from her computer, where she was typing away quickly. “Welcome to the BBC! How can I help you?” The nameplate in front of her read Sarah Griffin.

“I’m Daniel Howell,” he said, following Logan’s instructions. He said the receptionist knew his name.

The woman squealed in delight. “Daniel! I’ve been waiting for you. Bet you can’t wait to work here, huh? It’s a great place, really. Tons of singers and songwriters come through here. It’s quite the experience for a newbie.”

Dan didn’t expect to fangirl over any passing celebs, so he just smiled awkwardly at the girl.

“Anyway, you’re here for some paperwork. You’ll need to go to Logan’s office for that. Here, let me just make sure he’s in first …” She dialed a short number on the phone and waited. “Ah, Logan, you in? Daniel Howell is here.” She listened before saying, “I can’t leave my post. Send someone with?”

Dan leaned against the desk, feeling a bit out of place. He tried his best to act casual, but when he heard his name loudly across the lobby, he jumped and ended up knocking over a bunch of items.

“Dan!?” Phil exclaimed, clearly surprised to see him here. “I knew you were stalking me! Why are you here?” Phil strolled across the lobby in a few short strides, meeting Dan at the desk where he frantically tried to pick up the items he knocked off.

“I–um–I got a job here. And I’m not stalking you. The world is just forcing us together mysteriously.” Forcing us together? Seriously? Why am I so awkward?

You don’t say? It is weird. I didn’t know we were handing out jobs recently. What are you here for?” Phil asked politely.

“Receptionist, I believe. I don’t know. Answering phones is what I was told.” Dan was a bit embarrassed to tell Phil he was a receptionist. Not that there was anything wrong with being one, but for a twenty-four year old man, it sounded kind of lame. Receptionists are usually older ladies who just want a job to pass the time.

Phil smirked. “Is that what you want to be?”

Dan was confused. What did Phil mean? “Well, it’s not a life dream, if that’s what you’re asking.” Dan’s dream was something that could never come true. Hence it being a dream. He could fall in love, but no one would be able to love him back.

“And what is your life dream, Dan? What do you want to do most before you die?”

Fall in love. “I don’t know. I’m only twenty-four. Still plenty of time to decide,” he lied. Truthfully, he didn’t see his life going anywhere. Perhaps he was always meant to answer phones and be lonely. There were some people out there who had it worse. It’s why Dan didn’t take his life for granted.

Phil hummed, not quite believing Dan. But he let it go. “Do what you want with life. You only have one chance.”

The same words from his boss echoed in Dan’s head. Why was everyone telling him he needed to do something great with his one life? He understood life. Though sometimes he had existential crisis’s when he realized he was a living, breathing person.

“Was Logan the one to contact you?” Phil asked Dan, changing the subject to something less meaningful.

“Yeah. I’m supposed to go to his office. But …”

“I can take you there. Sarah! I got Dan here.”

Sarah looked over at the two, speaking into her phone that she found someone to take Dan to Logan’s office. She hung up, and smiled sweetly. “Good, good. Take him straight there. I’m serious.”

Phil grinned wickedly. “Where else would I take him?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps the back room or even the–”

“Alright, alright,” Phil interrupted. “I get it. He’s going to Logan’s office. Nowhere else.”

Dan swallowed the lump in his throat. Who was Phil, really? Sarah made him sound … he didn’t even know. Not pleasant, that’s for sure. But Phil always seemed so nice to Dan. If Dan wasn’t mistaken, he would even go as far as saying Phil had a little thing for him. Which was bad. Very, very bad. Dan would have to distance himself. Starting now.

“Shall we, Dan?” Phil asked, cutting off any thoughts Dan was having.

“Um, yeah, sure,” Dan stuttered. “Lead the way.”

Phil grinned at him, and began walking past the reception desk. Dan followed behind him. “Now, remember, take the lift on the left when going to Logan’s office. This won’t be the last time you’ll have to go there.” Phil stopped in front of the lift’s doors, pressing the up button. They waited in silence, and when it finally came, they both stepped inside the enclosed space. “It’s floor number four,” Phil said in the quiet. There was no music playing. The only sounds were their breathing and the ding as the numbers climbed up.

Dan hated small spaces. The lift wasn’t that small, but it was small enough. It was a wonder how he was able to sit in his small cubicle at his old insurance firm for so many hours a day. Maybe because of the high ceilings and no walls closing him in.

“Afraid of the lift?” Phil asked curiously.

Dan shook his head. “Not the lift.”

Phil turned his head like a curious dog would. “If not the lift, then what has you so fidgety?” He studied Dan up and down, looking for the answer. Dan didn’t get the chance to tell him as the doors opened and he tumbled out into the hallway. “Closed in spaces,” Phil said. “You like the open.” It wasn’t a question.

“Yeah,” Dan said, a little embarrassed.

“Good thing it’s only four floors up then, right, mate? If you don’t like it that much, we do have a staircase. No one really ever uses it. Not unless it’s some big radio star the press is trying to hide. Which rarely happens, so you should be good.”

Dan’s face turned red. “Thanks.” He put his hands in his pockets nervously.

“You’re quiet today. Everything okay?” Phil asked. It was clear he was concerned for Dan just a little bit. How could this somewhat still stranger, care enough about Dan to wonder if he was okay?

“I’m good,” Dan said. What he didn’t say was that he was trying to keep himself as closed off as he could. Though he wanted friends at his new job, it was best to keep them at bay, and only associate with them at work. No where else.

“You nervous?” Phil asked.

“Not really.” It was the truth. As soon as Dan accepted the job from his old boss, he had been nothing short of excited. He couldn’t wait to star working at the BBC. Even if it was just answering phones.

Phil mumbled something Dan couldn’t quite hear. “Well, here’s his office. Third door down on the right. So, fourth floor, third door. Don’t get it twisted.” Phil winked.

“Thanks,” Dan said. He bit back a smile. He knew for a fact he would get it messed up next time he had to go to Logan’s office alone.

Phil looked him over one last time before sliding backwards towards the lift. “Well, I have to get back on the radio. You’re an interesting one, Dan Howell. I will figure you out.”

“Good luck with that,” Dan muttered. I won’t let you.

It wasn’t until Phil was back inside the lift, and Dan was seconds away from knocking on Logan’s door, that it occurred to Dan: Phil knew his last name. It was clear he had done some research on Dan. Because Dan knew he didn’t tell Phil his last name. He didn’t even come close to it.

***

For two hours, Dan sat in a chair in Logan’s office, filling out papers and answering questions. He was rather bored, though Logan proved to be a trip. He was funny and cool, for the most part.

At the end of the two hours, Dan was finally able to get up, only so he could have his picture taken for his ID badge he’d be required to wear on location. Some old lady had snapped his picture, decided it was good enough, and printed out a lamented card to attach to a BBC lanyard. By the end of the day, Dan was an official employee at the radio station. He could hardly believe it.

“See you tomorrow, Dan,” Logan said. “It will be great to have you here!” He clapped Dan on the back twice before letting him leave the office.

In the hallway, Dan smiled to himself as he waited for the lift to stop on his floor. He thought about finding the stairs, but decided against it as it would require exercise.

Dan hit the level one button once inside, and took the short trip down to the lobby. He held his BBC badge in one hand, refusing to look at the picture. He felt like he was taking his driver’s license photo all over again, even though he didn’t even drive. “It will be good for you to have,” his mum said. “Just for some identification.” So he got one.

In the lobby, Sarah was gone from her desk, but there was still someone there. A man, from the looks of it. Dan went to walk by and avoid eye contact, but he wasn’t exactly the best at sneaking by.

“Dan!” the man said. “I thought Logan would keep you forever.”

Dan turned around and was greeted by a smiling Phil. “Don’t you have work or something?” Dan asked Phil, trying not to sound too rude about it.

Phil only smiled. How can one man smile so much? “Why sure. But I have someone covering for me. Besides, I have tons of pre-recorded voice footage to air on the radio, so it’s not like people will actually know it’s not me there. Unless, of course, they replay the same audio clips often. Why? Don’t want to see me?” Phil batted his eyelashes. What was he, a flirty school girl?

“That’s not it,” Dan deadpanned. He wanted to hang around Phil. He just couldn’t at the same time. He was too afraid. If Phil was flirting with him this early on, it could only lead to trouble if he kept letting it happen.

“Then what is it? You seemed perfectly fine when I talked to you the other day. Now you don’t even want to look at me. And don’t say it’s because you ‘don’t swing that way’ because I know you do,” Phil said pointedly.

Phil was right. Dan did “swing that way.” But that wasn’t the issue here. Also, how could he tell? Was Dan really that obvious about it? “Again, that’s not it. Look, I can’t explain it to you. Or really anyone. Just … I’m not interested in dating right now. Or ever.”

Phil pursed his lips. “Dating in general, or dating me?”

Dan chose his next words carefully. He didn’t want to upset Phil. “In general. It has nothing to do with you.” Truthfully, it had plenty to do with him. Phil couldn’t love him. Well, he could. It just wouldn’t end well for either of them.

“So I still have a chance!” Phil said excitingly. “Excellent!”

“No, Phil–”

“Nope! Stop talking. I still have a chance, so I will take it. Don’t try to stop me, because it won’t work. You will be mine, Dan Howell.” Phil winked at him before sliding around the desk and heading to the lift on the right side of the lobby. That must be the lift that goes to all the studios, Dan thought.

Phil stood in the lift, waiting for the doors to close. During that whole fifteen seconds, Phil didn’t take his eyes off Dan, and he most certainly didn’t stop smiling as the doors shut for good, the lift taking him back to wherever he needed to go.

This wasn’t going to end well. If anything, it would end it torment and heartbreak. One of those things Dan had experience with. The other … not so much.

{Next Chapter}