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Kyle wakes at midnight, and, unaware of when he even fell asleep, immediately realises the painful emptiness of the space next to him even in the tiny bunk, an absence of sleepy blue-eyed warmth.

The tour bus rumbles along, a gentle sway every now or then, but still enough to almost make him lose his balance as he swings his feet over the edge of the bed, rubbing tired eyes as he forces himself up to search for the one thing he knows he needs before he can sleep peacefully again.

Everything is silent save for the hum of the road and cars passing, blue light filtering in through the windows as his eyes adjust. He moves silently through the bus.

It’s in the lounge area he finds Dan. Floppy dark hair falling into his face from underneath his hoodie, dark lashes resting lightly against his pale freckled cheeks, nose twitching every so often, only half asleep - as though he’s frozen in a perpetual state of worry, Kyle thinks sadly - he is curled up on the small sofa, legs pulled up into himself, his notebook tucked away safely in his hands, as if concealing his innermost thoughts. Even in the light of the bus, Kyle can see the dark smudges that line his eyes.

He lowers himself down quietly next to him. As he reaches out to card his fingers through the soft hair, Dan unconsciously sighs and leans into the touch, and Kyle feels as though his heart is about to burst.

He wishes he could do something to smooth out the constant self-consciousness that lines his lover’s every feature, the constant fear and worry of what other people will think and not being good enough. Dan is a flawed man, but only in his own eyes.

Kyle has seen him at his worst - he’s seen the panic attacks, the stress, pulling all-nighters because he just needs to find the one right word to finish the song he’s writing. He’s fought against it with words of passion and reassurance and love, but Kyle’s not sure Dan will ever learn to truly believe in himself. That doesn’t mean Kyle will ever stop trying to convince him, though.
Nervous fingers on a keyboard and shy melodies. A doubtful, “what do you think?”
“It’s perfect.”
Self-consciously, “It’s not.”
“Do you trust me?”
“It’s perfect. You’re perfect.”
And then a furious blush and timid kisses.
Dan lives for praise and validation and affirmation that he’s doing alright, and Kyle will happily continue to give him all that and more until the day he dies.

Kyle makes sure Dan knows how much he fucking adores him everyday to the point where he almost scares himself, and Dan reciprocates it wholeheartedly. Whether it’s calming one another down before they perform, or quiet “I love you so much”s in brief, stolen moments with the reply of an impossibly large smile, it’s the little things that count. And then, later on in the dead of night when they’re blissfully alone, enfolded in darkness and stars, it’s so much more - it’s complete trust, and pleasure and love, and Kyle is reminded that he’s found the one person he wants nothing more than to spend the rest of his life with.

When Kyle is in a bad mood, Dan is there. No matter how much he snaps in annoyance that he wants to be left alone, he persists, blue eyes and gentle touches coercing him into relaxation. Dan tells him everything will be alright, and kisses the frown right off his face. Kyle believes him with every inch of his being, and apologises for being irritable. Dan tells him he did nothing wrong.

They’ve argued too, but only on rare occasion. Usually when they’re both drunk, and Dan’s clingy and giggly and teenagerish, and Kyle is unusually harsh, wanting nothing more than to dance without Dan falling over or needing to go to the bathroom. Kyle will say words he never really means, and Dan, overly-sensitive when intoxicated, will move away to cry quietly in some lonely corner until a friend notices him and takes him home. Dan will apologise first in the morning, as quick as ever to blame himself for something either of them hardly remember. Kyle softens, all previous stubbornness disappearing without a trace, and proceeds to blame himself for the entire affair. Both disagree with each other, so they compromise with a morning curled up together in bed.

Dan laughs at Kyle’s poor jokes when no one else does, often - Kyle fears - actually finding them genuinely funny, filling any potential awkward silences in interviews or otherwise. Kyle, in turn, spurs him on when Dan reverts to his mumbly, shy introverted self under the attention of the cameras and the fake, overly-enthusiastic interviewer and suddenly finds himself unable to talk about the writing process for the album or answer the typical question of what hair products he uses.

Kyle looks down at Dan, sleeping next to him on the sofa, and finds his love for him almost inconceivable. Wonderful and terrifying all at once.

He sees his exhaustion, his glasses balancing at an odd angle on the bridge of his nose where his head rests uncomfortably against the cushion, his hands covered by the sleeves of his jumper and his old tattered converse still on. As gently as he can, Kyle unlaces them, places them down somewhere insignificant he knows he’ll forget. He’ll find them in the morning, after they’re both well-rested.

Then, as smoothly as he can, trying to cause as little disturbance as possible, he hooks an arm under Dan’s legs and then his back, the notebook sliding from Dan’s hands as they rise. It’s a bit of a struggle, both of them tall and awkward in the confined space of the bus, but Dan stirs only slightly as Kyle successfully scoops him up from the sofa and carries him back to his bunk, where the small space and soft pillows await.

Placing him down softly and crawling in afterwards is once again near impossible, and so of course Dan’s eyes are open when Kyle finally settles next to him and turns to him. He sighs, but Dan smiles tiredly as Kyle reaches out to ghost his fingers over his cheek and pecks him on the tip of his nose, sliding his glasses off and tucking them away.
“Miss me?” Dan whispers, his voice hoarse and exhausted, a little smirk forming.
“Yes,” Kyle says seriously, taking hold of Dan’s hand, and Dan looks at him like he was the world.
“Love you,” he says, eyes shining even as he blinked sleepily.
Kyle could’ve cried. “I love you too. So much.”
Dan’s eyes slide shut while he’s still smiling.
“Please, sleep well,” Kyle adds - practically pleads - brushing his hair out of his face.
“Will now ‘m with you..”

And Kyle falls, impossibly, a little bit more in love.