Triles shippers, I know you're still there. This is for you!

First of all, a huge Thank You to the lovely AmethystBeloved, for being the best Beta I could have asked for. As always, all mistakes are mine, not hers.

All lyrics quoted come from the song "I'll Be Good" by Jaymes Young, that also gives the title to this fic. I highly recommend listening to it while reading this, if you want to get the atmosphere I was going for. To me, it's the perfect fit for this piece, but then again, I'm weird.

The story is made up of five missing moments, with gaps in time between each; it starts right after NC 1x08 #TeamFollowBack (you know, when Tristan accuses Miles of giving him Chlamydia and they end up going to The Dot), and follows Miles and Tristan throughout their second go at a relationship in NC2. Hopefully I gave clear enough clues as of when each part takes place, but don't overthink it - it will make sense eventually.

POVs are Miles-Tris-Tris-Miles-Miles because I suck at planning.

That's it. Enjoy!



I never meant to start a fire
I never meant to make you bleed
I'll be a better man today

He definitely didn't think this through. When he invited Tristan for a drink at The Dot, Miles wasn't picturing the uncomfortable silence that would result from it. Yet, here they are, a large cranberry juice in front of Tristan and a barely touched double macchiato for him, and the atmosphere is as awkward as it can get. All the ease that he and Tristan used to have last year disappeared, and Miles is left thinking that this was a really bad idea.

"So… urinary tract infection, was it?" Miles asks, and then he wants to slap himself. Talking about a conversation starter…

Tris, however – probably relieved himself that they're actually talking – doesn't seem too offended by the choice of topic. He sighs loudly, pulling a face that says it all. It's so Tristan, it almost hurts.

"Yeah, I feel incredibly stupid, jumping to conclusions like that… I even thought I had testicular cancer for a bit."

Miles's eyes widen in shock. "Well… I'm certainly glad you don't have cancer!" he jokes, a nervous chuckle.

"No kidding," says Tristan, "Chlamydia would have already been a great improvement. Still glad I don't have it, though."


Their eyes meet for a brief second, their lips twisting at the corners in the faintest smiles.

It feels good.

"How come you thought you got it from me?" Miles finds himself asking, going back to being serious, "I mean, I thought that you… with other people…"

"Oh. I did, actually," says Tristan, blushing violently.

And wow, Miles has forgotten how adorable Tristan looks when he's flustered. It almost makes him not notice the pang of totally irrational jealousy that overcomes him at the thought of Tris being with someone else. Almost.

Tristan looks up warily, and seems to notice the confusion in his eyes. He sighs loudly, his shoulders slumping down.

"I don't know, okay?" he admits, "It felt different with you, like more… real. And I know this is not how it works, but in my head I must have gotten it from you!"

Now it's Miles's turn to feel his cheeks burning as he sinks his head down in his coffee. He only dares to venture his eyes back up when he hears Tristan snort.

"I even sent out anonymous 'You might have an STI' messages. Turns out they're not so anonymous, after all…"

"No way!"

"I swear. I'm at the centre of the lamest sex scandal in the history of school politics. And it wasn't even for real!"

They laugh together for a little, enjoying the self-inflicted banter at Tris's expenses. It doesn't last long, though. Tristan's face suddenly shifts, his shoulders tense and his demeanour cautious.

"I don't even know if you care about any of this…" he says, avoiding his gaze.

Miles is taken aback by that. To be fair, though, it's not like he's given Tristan any reason to think otherwise in the past few months.

"I do, Tris. I care about you," he clarifies for good measure. Tristan exhales quietly, looking unconvinced.

"What about you, how did that one come about?" he asks, motioning to the patch on Miles's forehead.

Miles smirks uneasily to hide his discomfort. "Haven't you heard?" he retorts, sardonic.

But Tristan keeps staring at him questioningly, and Miles has to accept that maybe he genuinely doesn't know. He almost wishes he did, at least now Miles wouldn't have to start this painful conversation.

"I- I was in the hospital, Tris."

Tristan's eyes go wide, and Miles finds himself once again dropping his gaze to the lukewarm coffee in front of him, unable to hold his ground.

"I, uhm… I was high. And I fell," he explains to a puzzled Tristan. "I hit my head and they took me to the ER." He exhales, slowly, collecting the will to continue. "Then they ran a few blood tests, and decided to keep me in."

There is an awkward silence around them, while Miles keeps staring decidedly at the porcelain mug in front of him as if it were the most interesting thing on Earth.

"I'd heard the rumours… didn't know it was this bad, though," Tris finally says. He seems to hesitate before asking, "So… was it all true? The drugs?"

For an insane moment, Miles almost laughs in his face. He's certain that pretty much everyone must have noticed his recent downfall – he hasn't exactly been subtle about it. But Tris keeps looking questioningly at him, and Miles has to accept that maybe his talent for keeping things hidden is greater than he gives himself credit for. His own mother hadn't even noticed, after all, at least not until Winston ratted him out. And again, it's not like Miles has given Tristan any reason to care in the past few months. But he cares now, a voice says in Miles's head. He's here, and he cares now. So he nods, faintly, but it's enough, and Tristan understands.

"…Why?" he asks, and Miles's eyes jolt up, at that, almost against his will. He doesn't find the judgement he expected to see from Tristan, however, just sadness. Most of all, Tris seems to be genuinely trying to understand.

Miles just shrugs, diverting his gaze. It's not as simple as giving an answer, is it?

"My father came back," he blurts out anyway, not giving himself time to regret it. The clueless look on Tristan's face is like a picture, so Miles reluctantly adds, "After the summer, my mum took my father back. You know, from the divorce. They've been kind of… rekindling, ever since."

Tris looks if possible even more confused than before. "So… you were doing drugs because your parents are back together?"

A joyless chuckle leaves Miles's lips, at that. This truly must make no sense to Tristan. And whose fault is that? the same voice from before asks in his head.

"There are a lot of things I never told you, Tris," he says, and then he knows – he just knows he's not ready for this. There will still be a lot of things untold, after today. He has to say something, though, now that he's started. He can't leave Tristan hanging like this, so he scans his own memory for pieces of his past that he's confident won't make him barf while revisiting them.

"I know you probably thought I was overreacting, whenever I mentioned my issues with my dad," he finally mutters, "but there's a lot you don't know about him. It wasn't pretty, Tris. To the point that even my mum had to stop pretending that everything was fine, and she finally kicked him out."

Tristan seems to be waiting for him to continue. Miles literally can't. Eventually, Tris seems to realise that.

"So… are your brother and sister also upset that he's back?" he asks, breaking the uncomfortable silence.

Miles takes a deep breath, pushing the memories down and focusing on the question at hand. He shrugs in response, dismissively. "The twins managed to forgive and move on. They all swear he's changed, but… I don't know. Maybe there's just too much history there."

"…Was it really that bad?"

Miles's hands almost shake just thinking about it, and he wonders if Tristan notices it, how uncomfortable he is.

"I don't really want to talk about it, Tris. But yeah, kind of."

The atmosphere between them clearly shifts, and Tristan moves his eyes away from Miles, looking self-conscious.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry…"

"It's fine, Tris, you weren't."

Tristan still looks uneasy, despite Miles's reassurance, and seems to be trying really hard to come up with something else to say. He gives up, eventually, and they're left in that awkward silence, once again.

"I've never been very good at coping with any of this," Miles offers, slowly, "First with pot, last year, and the drinking even before that…"

It's the most he's ever said about any of this and, as he raises his eyes tentatively, Miles sees something like understanding flashing through Tristan's face. Maybe Tris is only now putting some pieces together; maybe they could have had this conversation months ago, and saved them both some heartache.

It's funny how they first came here to chat about Tristan's issues, and ended up with this raw re-telling of Miles's own mess. Miles is not sure he would have sat down with Tris, today, had he known where the conversation would go.

He's kind of glad he did, though.


I thought I saw the devil
This morning

Funny how these things work out; only a month ago, Tristan wouldn't have bet a plugged nickel on the possibility of him and Miles reconnecting. Before Winter break, as a matter of fact, everything pointed to the two of them never being on speaking terms ever again, and Tristan felt like he'd honestly had enough of Miles's moodiness and mind games for a lifetime. But then the Snowball happened, and the lockdown, and their weird talk afterwards. Tristan genuinely thought that it was the last they'd see of each other, but then, exactly one week ago, on the first day of the new semester, Miles had unexpectedly showed up at school. He said he was there to pick up his files, and to see Tristan off. Once again, Tris thought it was goodbye; but then it turned out that Miles wouldn't leave for boarding school, after all. And then, in the past week, it just felt normal – reconnecting.

They've hung out after school three times in the past week alone, and on Saturday they've been to the mall together for the first time in ages. It felt good, they talked, it was nice. Tristan is trying to take it slow – the last thing he wants is to fall head over heels for Miles once again only to get crushed, once again – but he'd be lying if he said he's not excited about the prospect of whatever might come from this. He started to feel the butterflies again, and there's no better feeling in the world.

He's not sure he'll see Miles today, he's been a bit vague about his whereabouts and mentioned some "family stuff" that he had to take care of, so Tristan is just lying lazily on his bed, after school, face sunk in his fluffy pillows. It'll be a few hours before his mother is back from work, and Tristan enjoys this time of the day, when the house is quiet and all for himself. He thinks back to these past few days, the familiar and yet new feeling of being around Miles, the crooked smile at the corner of his gorgeous lips, the sparkle in his breathtaking eyes. How Miles seems changed, as well, different from the boy he once was. Old Miles would have never opened up about all the stuff he is now willingly sharing with Tristan. He would have never brought up that his dad is finally out of the picture, or so it seems; or that his sister blames him for the split family at Christmas, although she wouldn't say it to his face; or that his brother seems to be angry at the world all the time, and all their mother is doing about it is grounding him for his suspension.

The disturbingly loud sound of the doorbell violently shakes Tristan out of his daydreaming, bringing him back to the present time and place. He groans loudly, sinking further in his very comfortable covers, but then he reluctantly gets up. Whoever's at the door is not giving him any break, and the doorbell keeps buzzing annoyingly in his ears. Gosh, it better be a fire or something, Tris thinks to himself. He loathes it when people do that, cling on the bell as if they fell on it.

By the time he reaches the hallway, he's coming up in his head with a colourful way to give the annoying intruder a piece of his mind. But, when he finally opens the door, the sight on the other side leaves him completely speechless.

Miles looks like he's been to hell and back.

He's standing still in the doorframe, dishevelled hair and bewildered eyes, and Tristan is sure that the image will haunt him till his last living day. It's freezing cold outside, yet Miles seems flustered and sweaty, despite not wearing a jacket.

"...Are you alone?" he asks, practically panting.

Tris nods, quietly, the door handle still hanging stupidly in his hand. At his reassurance, Miles lunges forward, shutting the door behind him with a kick, and pushes Tristan against the opposite wall. It would feel sexy, except it's not, like, at all. Miles leans his forehead against Tristan's, his arms pressed on the wall, and this close to him Tristan notices he's shaking.

"Let me take you upstairs…" Tris feebly suggests, but Miles just shakes his head weakly against his. His skin feels freezing to the touch from the cold winter air, and yet a bead of sweat is running along his hairline. He seems out of breath, too, as if he ran - although Tristan is sure he's seen his car parked just across from the front yard.

He relapsed, is Tristan's first though, and he wishes it weren't.

Miles's breath is short and uneven, his shoulders tense. He leans in closer to Tristan, his whole body trembling, his hands flinching nervously against the wall. Suddenly, Miles breaks into a sob, and for a second Tristan feels completely paralysed, his body stiffened. He's never seen Miles like this, he's never seen him cry. He finally shudders out of his stupor and manages to bring his arms around Miles's back, lightly tracing his spine with his fingertips in an attempt to calm him down. It doesn't work.

"Please, Miles… just tell me what's wrong!" Tris says, trying to hide the panic in his voice.

Miles all but ignores his question, and Tristan has to focus really hard on not hyperventilating.

"Please, baby-"

Tristan stops still at his own words. He hasn't referred to Miles as 'baby' in quite some time, and he wonders what on Earth got into him. Miles, however, doesn't seem startled by the pet-name, nor does he give any sign to have heard Tristan. Instead, he literally collapses to the ground, holding tight to Tristan's waist and burying his face in his lap.

Tristan has never felt more unsure of himself in his life. Hesitantly, he slides down along the wall until he's crouching right in front of Miles and can wrap an arm around his trembling figure. Miles's face looks red from the effort, his breathing fast. Tristan doesn't dare say a thing, he just resumes rubbing hesitantly up and down his back, hoping it helps.

"It's- it's Hunter," Miles finally chokes. And Tris feels guilty at how relieved it makes him feel.

Miles seems consumed by the effort to pull himself together and stop shaking, and Tris doesn't dare to push further. He holds him tighter in his arms, trying to comfort him best he can, afraid to say something that might tick him off.

"Are you okay to move to the sofa?" he asks, when Miles has finally stopped trembling and he looks like he might be able to stand up without falling to the floor right away.

Miles nods, quietly, and Tristan helps him to his feet, holding his hand as they move to the family room. He takes a seat in the comfiest corner of the sofa and pulls Miles gently towards him, helping him settle in between his legs and guiding his head to his shoulder. Miles is still a nervous wreck, but he's not shaking as much as before, his breathing slowly turning back to normal.

"I'm sorry I showed up like this," he finally says, his voice coarse, after what feels like a lifetime of silence. "Some shit happened, and I needed to see you."

"What happened, exactly?"

Miles hesitates, his face buried in Tristan's chest, his leg flinching nervously at the side of the sofa.

"Hunter is sick, Tris. I wish he weren't, but he is." He stalls for a moment, and his voice breaks a little when he adds, "This morning we admitted him to a psychiatric hospital."

It hits Tristan so hard he literally can't breathe for a second.

"Gosh, Miles…"

Miles is very intently avoiding his gaze, the silence between them painfully heavy.

"So… the car, the other day?" Tris carefully asks.

"He did it on purpose," Miles confirms. "I didn't want to believe it but… he's hurting, and he's trying to hurt himself." There's a weird pause, while Miles seems to internally debate whether he wants to continue. "The gun, too," he finally says, "He actually did take it to school."

It's a mere whisper, but to Tristan it sounds like a bomb just exploded. He pulls himself up as a reflex, staring down at Miles with bewildered eyes.

"I thought you said he didn't?"

Miles shakes his head feebly in Tristan's chest. "I didn't say it, you just assumed."

"So, he took a gun to school, and you didn't say anything to anyone? For weeks?" A part of Tristan wants to yell at Miles for being so irresponsible, but another part of him is sure he would crumble in pieces in front of him, if he did. "…How?" is all he musters, in the end.

"I thought…" Miles starts, but then seems to change his mind. "I promised him I wouldn't tell."

"The hell with promises, Miles, this is serious!" Tristan snaps, a bit louder than he intended, and for a moment he's sure Miles will fight back, throw something hurtful at him, even pick up and leave. Instead, Miles seems to shrink on himself until he looks so small Tris expects him to disappear any second. He raises big teary eyes to Tristan's, and he looks so lost and in pain that Tris quits any remnants of fight.

"I'm so scared, Tris!" Miles confesses, "He's my little brother, and I don't know how to help…"

And Tris doesn't know what to do, either. He wraps his arms tight around Miles, guiding his head back to his shoulder and rubbing soothing circles on his lower back.

"It's going to be okay," he whispers, feeling incredibly helpless. "Hunter's going to be okay. They're taking good care of him, I'm sure. He'll get better."

Miles doesn't make a sound, he just tightens his grip around Tristan as if he were his last chance at safety. Tristan feels incredibly inadequate, and overwhelmed by it all, but he decides his best bet is to continue in his attempt to reassure the trembling boy in his arms. So he does.

"He'll be all right," he repeats as a mantra, in what he hopes is a calming voice, "You'll be there for him, and your mother, and your sister, and all his friends. He's not alone. He will make it through this."

Tris can feel every single fast breath as Miles's ribcage moves up and down against his own. He's also pretty sure he can feel a warm, wet spot expanding on his shoulder, where Miles's quiet tears keep falling unapologetically. He ducks his head closer to Miles's and runs his fingers delicately through the short hair at the back of his neck.

"It'll be fine," he whispers, and he hopes it's the right thing to say.

It seems to be, for now.


My past has tasted bitter
For years now

Some days, Tristan still has to pinch himself to believe that this is actually all true. Things are going better than ever with Miles, and yes, Tris knows that it's the honeymoon phase or whatever, and he does try to keep his feet on the ground – but still, it's hard not to glow. Despite Zoë's scepticism, Miles and Tristan are officially official now, on Facerange and Hastygram and IRL, and Tris can hardly hide the silly smile that pops on his face every time he thinks about it.

Tristan constantly repeated many times over that he and Miles are better than ever. He's said it confidently to Zoë while she doubted them, afraid he'll get hurt once again, and he's mostly said it to himself, trying to reassure that hidden part inside that secretly agrees with his best friend and is still insecure about Miles's feelings for him. So when Miles answered a radiant, "I hope so," to Tristan's questioning whether they were in a relationship – eyes glimmering like only Miles's can – Tris was finally able to take a deep sigh of relief, and put his insecurities at bay. He'd been right, and there was absolutely nothing to worry about.

They meet mostly at Tristan's these days, as Miles seems keen on escaping his family drama for a few hours. His brother still in the hospital; his sister caught up in the backfire of her prank wars with Northern Tech; his mum constantly on the phone with the man she swears she's not seeing anymore. Tris knows that this is all coming down real hard on Miles, and he also knows Miles doesn't want to talk about it. So they hang out at Tristan's instead, and talk about something else. Or don't talk at all, which is also fine.

Tristan's mother works late on Thursdays, so they have a few more hours to themselves. They're lying in bed, beaming in the post-climax bliss, bare skin touching as Miles rests on his shoulder. In the late afternoon sun, Miles's hazel eyes look bright green, his long eyelashes casting shadows on the smooth skin of his cheeks. They're lying so close that Tristan could count them one by one.

"Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve you, Tris," Miles suddenly murmurs, breaking the perfect silence around them, the stillness of warm air that still lingers with the echo of their moans.

Tristan shifts a little underneath him until he's perfectly comfortable in his pillows, a smile curving his lips, the tips of his fingers brushing gently over Miles's heated skin.

"Well, it must be your good looks and charm," he jokes in response.

When a deafening silence is the only thing coming back from Miles, though, Tris realises this is more serious than he thought.

"Miles, I was kidding. You're an amazing guy, that's what!"

Miles still fails to respond, and just scoots even closer to Tristan, instead. Despite his efforts, Tristan can't get a hold of his eyes, and he suddenly feels a sense of worry pervading him. This is not normal, and Tris has no clue what's going on. When Miles finally speaks his voice is low and hesitant, and it seems to resonate in the little space between them.

"I know you always thought I was this confident person," Miles says, "but I really wasn't, like, at all. My father made sure of that, with all his yelling, and the hostile silences, and the perpetual disappointment on his face."

Tristan is not exactly sure where all of this is coming from. What he knows for a fact is that he's never heard Miles talking like this, before. It's like Miles feels vulnerable now, but not because they're naked and just witnessed each other's pleasure – sweaty limbs trembling at each other's touch – it's something else entirely. Tristan can almost feel the walls Miles usually hides behind crumbling down, right now, and somehow he understands that it's not his place to talk, just listen. So he stays quiet, waiting, and he just hopes his silence doesn't feel threatening, but rather welcoming and safe.

Miles buries himself even deeper in Tristan's chest, seemingly unsure whether he wants to go through with this, but then he appears to decide that he does.

"I'm pretty sure you figured by now, but he…" he starts, hesitation in his voice, "He used to hit me, too. For a while."

Tristan's mind goes completely blank at those words. He jolts up, propping himself on his elbows and forcing Miles to move from the spot on his chest. Forcing Miles to look at him. No, hell, he hadn't figured. Crap.

"When did this happen?" he asks, astounded.

Miles seems to be concentrating really hard on avoiding his insistent gaze. "Last year, around the time we were dating," he says, quietly. "It went on till the elections, when Mum kicked him out."

Tristan can tell that Miles senses he's hurt, but he's not sure he understands it entirely.

"How did I not know about this?" he asks, feebly, almost a veiled accusation.

Miles just shrugs, still not looking at him. "I didn't tell anyone."

Simple as that.

Tris is left staring at the back of Miles's head, as Miles seems decided to never look in his direction again. How is this possible, he wonders, how could he have not noticed what was going on?

Was I really such a terrible boyfriend?

Was their relationship so bad that Miles didn't feel he could talk to him, confide in him? Tristan's heart aches thinking back to last year, that incredible time in which he felt so close to Miles, all the clues he must have missed. But this is not about Tristan, he finally tells himself, this is about Miles. Miles, who never thinks he's good enough for anything, who constantly bottles up his feelings for fear of disappointing those he loves. Miles, who's been hurt and abused by his own father, and no-one noticed. Suddenly Tristan is completely overwhelmed by a sadness so deep it feels like it's eroding him from the inside, consuming him bit by bit, expanding through every nooks and crannies of his own soul.

He reaches over to Miles, a hand stretched out to turn his face towards him – incredibly softly, and yet somehow decisively. Miles's eyes shimmer in the afternoon light as he tentatively raises them towards Tristan's. And Tris for the first time notices all the shame, and loneliness, and hurt that they hide, and all he wants is to be able to erase all that's bad that ever happened to Miles. But he can't, no-one can. Instead, Tristan leans in, cups Miles's face as gently as he can, and kisses him – and he never knew that a kiss could contain all that, all the sadness, and empathy, and care that he feels. But, somehow, Miles seems to understand what he's trying to say.

And he kisses Tristan back.


For all of the innocent things that I doubt
For all of the bruises I've caused and the tears
For all of the things that I've done all these years

"You know, the list of people I've been in love with is a lot shorter."

Miles stares right at Tristan, paralysed with the anticipation of what will come next. In the bright daylight of the patio, Tris's clear eyes look almost transparent, and they're so beautiful it hurts. Miles is not used to wearing his heart on his sleeve like this, and it's an absolutely nerve-wracking experience.

"I love you too," Tristan says, softly.

And the world, for a moment, stops spinning.

For all of their crazy history, they've never said the L-word to each other. Miles was afraid Tris would drop the bomb any minute, during their first relationship – hopeless romantic as he was at the time – but he's really glad it never happened. Miles would have said it back without meaning it, because that's what you do in those situations, and it wouldn't have had any significance at all.

Sure, Miles didn't think this moment would come with his entire family a few feet away, barely out of earshot. But Tristan is worth all of this, and then some. It's enough to see how in sync they are, how Tris follows his lead without skipping a beat and storms off inside so they can have some privacy without raising suspicions. And, as he follows him through his own house, Miles feels literal butterflies in his stomach.

The shutters are closed on his bedroom windows, and their eyes are still adapting to the shade after the brightness outside. Miles closes the door behind them and guides Tristan to his bed, where they stand awkwardly in front of each other, not really sure what to do next. It's weird, sex has never felt this way, before. It's never made him nervous.

He can feel his own heart pounding in his chest, now, and he wonders if Tristan feels the same. Tris locks eyes with him, and proceeds to remove his button-up shirt, slowly, almost languidly. He then leans in to kiss him, and as their lips interlock Miles's trembling fingers fumble with the hem of his own t-shirt, which he's quick to pull over his head and discard at their feet. Without interrupting the kiss, Tristan then goes for Miles's belt, and soon his trousers follow the rest of their clothes on the floor.

Miles starts to reciprocate, but Tristan stops him, taking a step back. This confuses him for a second, but then Tris resumes his sensual undressing, leaving Miles dumbstruck and mesmerised. He seems unable to blink an eye as Tristan steps out of his trousers, cheeks quietly blushing as he hesitates for just a second before pulling down his boxers, too. Then, Tris raises his eyes to meet Miles's, clear orbs full of trembling emotion, and Miles feels completely speechless. The sight of Tristan, undressed in front of him, is as beautiful as a work of art – the way the suffused light caresses the soft curves of his body, the way his pale skin looks perfectly smooth, the way his breathtaking eyes are looking straight into his, confident and timid at the same time.

It's not that Miles has never seen Tristan naked, because he has. He's touched, and kissed, and explored, to the point that Tristan's body feels as comfortable as his own. It's hard to explain, but the fact that he knows Tristan so well, the fact they know each other and are comfortable with each other – it makes this very moment all that more special. Miles has had sex before, multiple times, with multiple people, and yet not once had he felt even a fraction of what he's feeling now. The absolute need of being with Tristan, of sharing his most intimate self with him.

His legs are almost trembling as Miles covers the little distance between them to place his hands on Tristan's waist and push him gently on the bed, following suit. Tris now lies underneath him, completely naked, beautiful as a Greek god. And Miles moves down on him, teasingly, and starts leaving a trace of gentle bites on the soft skin of his hips, making him giggle. Tristan's laugh is the best sound in the world, even when it's muffled and restrained like it is now, a secret laugh that nobody else but them can hear.

With a smirk on his face, Miles suddenly flips Tristan around, settling down comfortably behind him while softly rubbing every square inch of his back."Is this okay?" he asks, as his hand wanders down the curve of Tristan's butt, his fingers teasing him gently. Tristan catches his breath to suffocate an involuntary moan, and Miles smiles wide behind his ear. "I'll take that as a yes…"

Miles's hands continue their exploration, his heart pumping faster every time he gets a reaction out of Tristan – a muffled moan, hips twisting between his hands, whole body turning in pleasure at his touch. Soon fingers leave space for tongue, and gentle bites, until Miles comes back all the way up leaving a trace of little pecks along Tristan's spine, to end up at the back of his neck. And there he lingers for a moment, arms circling across Tristan's waist, holding him tight. He closes his eyes, inhaling the scent of Tristan's skin. He smells like home.

Tristan turns around to kiss him, securing his arms around Miles's neck. He's panting slightly, his heart beating so fast Miles can feel it through his skin.

"I want this," he whispers, softly, and Miles stops to look at him, suddenly hesitant.

"Are you sure?" he whispers back, staring right into Tristan's clear eyes.

Tris answers with a beaming smile that looks surprisingly mischievous. He leans in to kiss Miles on his chin, and then twists around to reach confidently into his bedside table.

"I'm sure," he smirks, holding a condom in Miles's face. And Miles can't help but laugh at the innocent playfulness in Tristan's eyes, the honest excitement exuding from him. He kisses Tristan, hard, and feels his soft hands holding onto his shoulders, fingers digging deep into his skin.

"Where do you want me?" Tristan whispers in his ear, a smile in his voice.

Miles takes one more moment to kiss him, deeply, tongs and lips and all. "Wherever you're comfortable," he says.

Somehow, it all comes easily after that. When he's ready, Tris welcomes him wholeheartedly, eyes closed and moans muffled as he scrunches the pillows in his hands. And Miles never thought in his wildest dreams that sex could feel like this, that he could feel this connected to someone else, almost a part of them.

Later, when all is done and Miles's entire being is in complete override, he collapses on Tristan, holding on to him tight as he tries to find his bearings again. They're a mess of sweaty skin, pounding hearts, sharp breaths mixing into each other's. Tris shifts slightly underneath him, cradling into Miles's chest and wrapping his arms all around him.

"I couldn't have asked for a more perfect first time," he whispers softly against his neck, out of breath.

And Miles doesn't know what's happening to him, but his heart feels like it got twice as big, and his eyes burn uncomfortably at the back. He closes in on Tristan to kiss him, almost desperately – because no, he's not going to look like an idiot who cries after sex, holy crap. Tristan's soft lips seem to ground him as they kiss, and Miles manages to take himself back and start feeling like a human being again. He cups Tristan's face in his hand, gently caressing his sweaty cheeks as he kisses him.

"I love you, Tris. So much."


I'll be good, I'll be good
And I'll love the world, like I should

It must be past eight in the evening, possibly almost nine already. Time seems to fly by, recently, and Miles can't believe it's almost summer again. A few more weeks and they will all be seniors, crazy as it sounds. On the one hand, these past two years at Degrassi feel like they have lasted a lifetime, but at the same time Miles can hardly believe high school is almost over.

In the past few months he spent practically every waking moment with Tristan, and he can't remember ever being happier. He's in a good place now. He's able to focus on being happy, and making someone else happy. Miles feels this is the first healthy relationship he's ever been in, one in which he doesn't place unrealistic expectations on the other person's shoulders, one in which they're Miles and Tristan first, and only then a couple. Sure, it's not like Miles has suddenly conquered all his demons. Some days he still wants to use so badly that nothing else seems to matter. He's also very conscious that he's always a string of bad days away from precipitating into chaos again, and fucking everything up once more. But having things to be grateful for helps. Having Tristan helps.

They're lying in Miles's bed, completely naked under the covers. His mum's at the theatre tonight, which is the reason they're allowed to be in here this late. At some point during the many hours they've spent in bed the sun went down, and now they're surrounded by semi-darkness. Peaceful. It seems this is where the most heartfelt conversations come about, for the two of them at least.

"You know, I'm just so unbelievably comfortable with you right now, and I've never felt this way with anyone else before," Miles murmurs, breaking the silence.

Tristan shifts a little from his spot on Miles's shoulder, twisting to face him. He places a gentle kiss on the corner of his mouth and smiles wide.

"Likewise," he says.

It's crazy to think how different things were only a few months ago. How hopeless Miles felt, how sure he was that he'd never get out of the vicious cycle he had fallen into. He turns wearily towards Tristan, noticing the way the feeble moonlight coming through the shutters casts soft shadows on his pale, smooth skin.

"Sometimes I feel like I wouldn't have made it through this year without you, Tris."

They're getting better – he's getting better – at talking about things, being open and honest with each other. He's just told Tristan how comfortable he feels with him, and he meant it. Still, Miles has been conditioned for so many years to shut down his emotions and put on a facade, that a part of him starts kicking and screaming every time he opens up, even just a little. Even just with Tristan.

But Tris truly is his greatest supporter, and if he managed to turn a new leaf, this year – stay clean, cut ties with certain toxic people, get his life back on track, be there for his brother and sister… it's at least in part thanks to Tristan.

"But you did it, and you did it on your own," Tristan says, turning around just enough to look into his eyes, "And I'm so incredibly proud of you, Miles. I mean it."

Miles leans in to leave a peck on Tristan's soft cheek. "It helps to have such a committed fan, you know," he says with a smile in his voice – because yeah, this is deep shit, but nobody said it all has to be heavy and dramatic all the time.

"I know, I am the greatest cheerleader of all," Tris rebuffs, humouring him. He has a smile on his face, his whole body warm and relaxed, and Miles closes his eyes and relishes in this exact feeling; the softness, and quiet calm, and safety of it all.

"Speaking of, are you coming to the game to cheer for your sister, tomorrow?" asks Tristan, and Miles can't help but welcome the definite switch in conversation.

"Don't think so. I'm still kind of avoiding big gatherings, you know." He sends Tristan a sideways look, kisses him lightly on his forehead. "Also, Hunter's still banned from school activities, and I thought I would stay home with him, keep him company. I don't spend nearly enough time with him, all things considered."

Miles's mind goes on a little tangent, thinking of his little brother. Hunter seems fine, as much as one can be in his condition. Therapy seems to be working for him, he seems a bit more equipped for dealing with life. Miles's heart warms at the thought of the bright smile on his face at the prospect of going back to school with his friends, his excitement when he mentions seeing Yael again. Maybe Hunter has found his own personal version of Tristan.

"Any chance you can get out of it and join us instead?" asks Miles, a gleeful hopefulness in his voice, getting back to the present conversation.

"Nice try, but I don't think so," Tris answers with a playful smile. "It'd be bad enough if the student council president skipped the volleyball semi-final, but this time I'm also in charge of the bus ride from Degrassi. I have to be there."

"That's okay, maybe you can come over afterwards, if you're not too tired. Mum is ordering Thai from that place you love, and we could watch a movie or something."

"Living the life, aren't we?"

Miles smiles to himself. His idea of a fun night suffered some major readjustment in recent times.

"I wouldn't want it any other way," he says, brushing a gentle kiss on Tris's temple.

Tristan shifts around a little until he's lying right on top of Miles's chest, chin resting at the back of his hands. He looks for Miles's eyes from that weird angle, and smiles at him from the corner of his lips.

"Neither would I."

Yeah, I'll be good, I'll be good

I'm awfully sorry...

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments if you can spare a minute :)