A/N: I had the image of these two talking, for real, for quite a while in my head. To be honest, from what we see of them on the show, I find it quite unlikely that they would sit down and talk like this; but I wanted to play with the fact that they both had been in therapy, by Season 2, and probably knew themselves a bit better than back in season 13 when they dated. I don't know, let me know what you think! More notes at the end.

WARNING: passing mention of suicide, and reference to past child abuse.


Miles walked into the empty classroom, looking for a quiet place to rest his head. The school was pretty empty, most of the student already gone after the end of the day's classes. Tristan was busy with his student council stuff, and Miles had agreed to wait around to drive him home, afterwards. He had a new writing assignment to work on, anyway, and he could use some peace and quiet. As he laid his bag on the first desk, though, he noticed that the classroom wasn't actually empty, as a girl was sitting on top of a desk in the back row, a pile of music sheets in her hands. It was Maya.

"Hi... sorry, I didn't see you there," he greeted her, uncomfortably.

"Hey," she replied, seeming to notice him just now.

She must have been really caught up in her work. Miles remembered that, about Maya: she had an incredible focus, when she was concentrating on something.

"I'll just go, I... I'm sure there's other empty rooms, anyway. Sorry for disturbing your work."

"No, wait," she stopped him, as he turned around to live the room. "You don't have to. I mean... there's plenty of space..."

He stopped in his tracks, turning back towards her. He didn't want to seem rude and just leave, but he did feel a little uneasy, being alone with her, as they hadn't really spoken in months. They had seen each other at school, of course, but they hadn't really seen each other since last year, before the summer break.

"You look better, I'm glad," she finally said, breaking the awkward silence. "Are you feeling better?"

He shot her a puzzled look, not knowing what to say. He didn't even properly remember what life had been like, when they had last talked, it felt like ages ago. His dad was still living with them, back then. He didn't even know Esme, or the destruction that she would lead him to. His brother hadn't started acting crazy, yet. He had been a different person.

She must have noticed the look of discomfort on his face, because she rushed to dismiss her previous question.

"Forget it, I'm sorry," she said, turning her head as not to face him, almost embarrassed.

He let out a sigh, not wanting her to feel bad for asking a simple question.

"No, wait, don't be. It's just..." he stopped mid-sentence, giving her a meaningful look - why did it have to be this hard?

"A bit awkward?" she finished for him. She pulled her legs up and crossed them underneath her, sitting up straight on the desk. He took a seat in a chair in front of her, noticing how they hadn't been this near to each other in months.

"Yeah..." he replied.

"We just haven't really talked in a while..."

"I guess," he agreed. After another awkward pause, he admitted, "Although I kind of wanted to, a few times."

She looked surprised by that.

"Then why didn't you?" she asked, her eyes inquisitive.

"I just... I don't know, I guess I was just too ashamed."

She looked at him, questioningly, as he moved his gaze away. They were entering uncharted territory, here, there were things that Miles was not comfortable even admitting to himself. The last time he and Maya had interacted, she had come very close to seeing a part of him he was trying so hard to keep hidden. But it wasn't just that. The thing is, he knew he had hurt her, back when it was in his power to do so. He hadn't realized it at the time, self-absorbed as he had been, but he was painfully aware of it now.

"You know," he started again, "I've been doing a shitload of therapy in the past few months. Family therapy, addiction counselling... I thought about myself and my life more than I ever thought I would. And I realized that I never really apologized to you, for being a complete dick."


"No, hear me out, I'm serious. The thing is... I was putting way too much pressure on you, at the time. I had this idea that there had to be this one person who would be the sole bearer of my sanity, the one person who would understand me, and support me, and care about me. Now I know that it was completely insane, that no one person can have this much responsibility in anyone else's life, and that I had to sort out my shit by myself instead of expecting somebody else to magically do it for me."

He paused to breathe, and shot her a hesitant look; she was looking intently at him.

"But at the time, I projected it all on you," he continued. "For a while, this is exactly how I saw you, and I expected you to be absolutely everything that I needed, all the time. And when you left me, I wanted to picture you as the bad guy for abandoning me, while you only did what every sane person would have done."

She stayed quiet, for a while, her eyes firmly on the ground. She looked like she was processing all that confession he had just thrown onto her. Maya had always been a good listener, he remembered that too.

"You weren't the only one projecting things, you know," she finally said, her voice a quiet whisper.

"What do you mean?" he asked, confused.

"I mean, I know you think it was your fault, when I went all crazy worried about you, but it really wasn't."

"Yeah, anxiety, I know. Still, I kind of was behaving like a crazy person..."

"That for sure!" she teased, sending him a sideways smile. "But I'm pretty certain the way I overreacted had little to do with you, and everything to do with Cam's suicide. You're not the only one who went through therapy, you know."

Miles's face went white at her words. "What did you just say?" he asked, a really bad feeling crawling inside him.

"About Cam?" she asked back, confused herself. When he kept staring at her, waiting for more, she clarified, hesitantly, "You know, my boyfriend from Grade 9? The one who killed himself?"

Miles could almost hear the crashing noise as the world crumbled around him. Maya must have noticed how clueless he was, because she went on asking, "Did you really not know about him?"

"How? You never said anything about this!"

"I know, but I figured you knew. You were in the team with Dallas. And, you know, Tristan and everything..."

"Tristan knew him?"

It kept getting worse. Miles could feel the anxiety building up inside him, even though he couldn't understand exactly why. Maybe because this was something so huge, and it had affected the lives of people he deeply cared about, without him even knowing. He tried his best to calm down, taking a deep breath, slowly releasing the air. And again. And again.

"Yeah, Tristan knew him," Maya confirmed, but more like she was talking to herself. Her expression was suddenly a lot sadder. No, pained is the right word, as if overtaken by the memories, by old feelings.

It suddenly hit him how big of a confession it was for her to tell him. She had never said a word, not even back when they were together and he felt like they were as close as two humans can be. And it made him feel uneasy, sitting this near to her, with this huge exposed truth between them. He felt guilty, as well, because of course it all made sense, now, how his own self-destructive tendencies had freaked her out, last year.

He wanted to say something, to apologise; but nothing felt quite right. How do you make up for something like this? Was there even a point? He was suddenly desperate for her to know that he hadn't consciously tried to hurt her, that he had never wanted to be as ugly to her as he had been. When he finally opened his mouth to start talking, after a long and uncomfortable pause, his words surprised even himself.

"You know that my dad was... back then, I mean..." he hesitated, oversharing not really being his forte.

"...Beating you?" she finished for him, filling the silence. She seemed quite glad that the conversation had moved on, but hearing the words spelled out loud made Miles shiver. They sounded so harsh. He nodded, slowly.

"I wasn't sure, but yeah, I guessed that something was up," she confessed, her voice soft and gentle.

She had always been observant, Maya, and attentive. He thought of the way he had pushed her away, again and again, every time she had tried to help. He remembered how relieved he had felt, that time of the car accident, when she stepped in between him and his dad. And scared, also, and humiliated - but nevertheless relieved. He hadn't had the courage to actually tell her in so many words, that day, he had just more or less let her draw her own conclusions; still, it was the first time he had felt like he wasn't completely alone in that mess, like somebody cared.

"For what is worth... I'm really sorry it happened to you," she added, hesitant, tiptoeing around his feelings. "I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like."

She bit her lips, like she was afraid she had overstepped her boundaries, but Miles barely noticed, too busy trying to push back the memories to that hidden part of his being where he kept them most of the time. He had never been able to swallow other people's pity, but somehow Maya could get away with it. Oh, her pity was visible and clear like a neon sign on her forehead, but for some reason it didn't make him want to scream, and say something hurtful, and get away from this awkward conversation. He supposed it had to do with the fact that Maya genuinely cared, and she really did just want to help. Sure, he had felt overwhelmed by her, at times, but she was also the only person he had ever trusted enough with any of this. Or maybe it was just that her own confession - so huge, so personal - had compelled him to go on and share something in return, to level the field between them.

"It really messed with my head," he went on, willingly continuing. "You know, I started getting high all the time, just not to feel so anxious around him. I reached a point in which I couldn't be under the same roof with him without taking a bunch of drugs, or having a panic attack."

He wondered for a second if he had said too much. He and Maya had not been very close in quite a long time, and these were things he had hardly ever shared with anyone - not even with Tristan. His shrink knew, for obvious reasons; and his mum knew, but that hardly counted, as he had a minor concussion and was in the middle of a withdrawal crisis when he told her. Again, he wondered what it was, about Maya, that made him want to open up, when he had always felt too ashamed to even think about it. It must have been that he knew she wouldn't judge him, as he was sure she understood anxiety, and the things it can make you do. She had always been there for him, even when he hadn't wanted her to. He suddenly remembered how he had almost spilled it all out to her once already, that day in the men's locker room, before deciding it was a terrible idea. It felt like ten thousand years ago. He wondered for a second if things would have been different, had she known - had anyone known.

"Well, I'm glad you left your drug days behind you," she commented, lightly, taking him back to the present.

He leaned back in his seat. Their eyes locked for a second, but he was quick to move his gaze away.

"Some days I feel like they're not gone at all," he confessed, "Like I'm this close to screwing it all up once again. Some days I'm a bit scared of myself."

She didn't respond to that, and they were left in silence for a while. Miles looked at her - properly looked, not just moved his eyes in her direction - and for the first time he noticed how different she was from the girl he had once dated. She looked older, more mature. She had an edge of sadness, to her, that he had never seen (but maybe that was because he hadn't looked hard enough? He thought, and the thought itself disturbed him).

"I am really sorry for what Hunter did to you," he finally blabbered, with no apparent connection. She directed her attention back at him, looking vaguely surprised.

"It wasn't your fault," she replied, after a few moments of hesitation.

"I know, but still. Maybe if I had noticed how bad he was hurting, how angry he was all the time... I don't know. When I found out I couldn't believe it, I felt like I didn't know my own brother at all."

She opened her mouth, like she was about to say something, but then seemed to change her mind. "It's all in the past," she ended up whispering, a few moments later.

And Miles realized she really didn't want to talk about it. Fair enough, obviously. It was hardly surprising that she wouldn't be thrilled to hear all about his angst towards his brother, who had scared her to death only a few months back through online harassment and actually calling a SWAT team on her. Miles knew he should have never brought it up. It was proof enough of Maya's character that she was still willing to talk to him, after all that happened.

"How is he, anyway?" she asked, when the silence between them became too unbearable. "...Your brother?" She continued, when he failed to answer, surprised she had asked. "I heard he's in the Psych Ward. It must be hard, for you and your sister."

"He's... doing okay," he finally managed to reply. "Therapy is helping, he's not so angry all the time anymore. I go to visit almost every day. He's not thrilled, but I hold on. I'm not going to let him down again. Even though what he did was so wrong," he added, feeling guilty.

"Miles, I'm not mad at you for loving your brother. You don't have to apologise, seriously."

Miles would be forever amazed by this girl, he thought. Here she was, being the better person, willing to talk about Hunter because it was important to him, never mind it brought back scary and unpleasant memories for her. Miles wondered what had gone wrong, in their friendship, why they lost track of each other. Not straight away, that was obvious, with the ugly break-up and him falling for her vary male (ex) best friend. He meant later, when she had got back to him, and he had finally put his pride aside and seen she was just trying to help. He had told her to feel free to check in on him, every once in a while, but then it never really happened. She had grown closer to other people, who weren't his friends, and he had been too caught up in his own family drama, and major screwing up, and fixing things with Tristan. They had grown apart, so much so that she hadn't even noticed him going down the hill - or if she had, she hadn't confronted him about it. It probably was a good sign, if anything, that she was feeling better herself: happy enough, confident enough in her own life that she could let him go, for real. And, to be fair, she had paid attention enough to notice that he was better, now. And that his brother was in the hospital. Which was already way more than what could be said about him.

"I'm... sorry I let things slide, between us," he confessed, following that line of thought. "I did miss talking to you."

She shrugged at that.

"It's life, I guess. Things change," she said, vaguely.

Look at us, he thought. He had known Maya for less than two years, although it felt more like two centuries, and they had already gone through all sort of stages, and emotional rollercoasters.

He sighed, staring back at her.

"Still," was all he mustered. I'm so sorry for everything I did to you, he mentally added, but it was a bit too much, maybe. He wasn't going to go all sappy on her, all of a sudden.

She let out a sigh of her own, and looked at him with a mixture of sadness and resignation, although a little weary smile was curving her lips.

"We just really weren't good for each other, were we? I mean, as much as we wanted to... we had too many issues to sort out on our own, and we couldn't really be there for each other."

"We were just young," he told her, softly. "We tried, but we just... didn't know how, I guess."

"I really loved you, you know?" she stated, simply. "And I will always care about you, one way or another."

He paused, startled for a second, not really knowing what to say. The Miles who had once had feelings for Maya was a different person from who he was now. But it was the same for her, as the young woman who stood in front of him was not the bubbly girl of his memories from last year. He rose from his chair, like following an instinct, causing the metallic legs to screech loudly against the floor. He covered the few steps that separated them and he just hugged her. She seemed puzzled, for a second, but then she returned the hug, locking her arms around his back and resting her head against his chest.

"I really loved you too, Maya," he whispered in her ear.


More A/N: I actually have conflicting opinions on whether Miles did or didn't know about Cam. I first got the idea that he didn't from reading fanfictions, funnily enough, I always assumed he knew while watching the show back in S13. I have recently seen again the bit in Sparks Will Fly (2) when Maya tells him how the last person she cared about went missing and never came back, and the fact he doesn't even blink an eye to that reinforces my theory that she had indeed told him. Also, in this day and age, it is highly unlikely that something like this could disappear under the radar. On the other hand, it is hard to think that Miles would really not put the pieces together in S14, had he known. It doesn't matter, anyway, in this story his cluelessness was necessary for plot reasons. I'm interested in knowing what you guys think, though!

Also, I apologise for the liberal use of the word 'crazy', I hope nobody felt offended. I did consider whether or not it was appropriate, but in the end, people don't always talk - or think - using medically-accurate and politically-correct terminology, and this just felt like something they would say to each other.