A/N: I'm on a roll this week! The Muse of Fic inspiration has finally come back to me for long enough to actually *FINISH* this story. I'm probably way more excited than any of you about this.



He wakes up way too early for his liking, to banging sounds coming from the next room. The alarm clock informs him it's past 8 a.m., so he forces himself to roll out of bed and into his bathroom, splash some water on his face and put on a t-shirt before crossing the hall to Frankie's room, where all the noise is coming from.

"It's too early..." he complains groggily, leaning against her door frame with eyes still half-closed from sleep. His sister's knee deep in a mess of boxes and piles of clothes, willing some kind of order into the chaos of her possessions. Last night they got all of her stuff out of the car, and in the few hours since it has apparently all been regurgitated on her floor.

"Hey, Miles. Morning," she says. He yawns widely in response, so Frankie adds, "There's coffee in the kitchen. Marcela made it."

Miles leaves the room without sparing another word, finds his way down the stairs out of muscle memory and pours himself a cup, smiling contentedly at the first gulp. He then circles back to join his sister once again, finding her pretty much exactly as he left her.

"How's the packing going?" he asks her, taking another swig from his steaming mug. He leans back against the door frame and takes a better look at the mess in front of him. They're leaving tomorrow, and while he only has the one bag he came with, Frankie is a bit stressed about the logistics of her belongings. Even though she left some of her stuff at Hunter's, and packed some more into storage, she's still left with a significant bunch to sort through, trying to pair down what she'll need in the temperamental English weather. He offered to help, last night, but she's quite, uhm… particular about her things, and quickly shooed him out of her room.

"Yeah, it's okay," she says, putting her hands on her hips and taking a look around. Nothing in her room looks okay, to be perfectly honest. "How was your night out?"

Since he'd been so rudely kicked out of his sister's room, yesterday Miles decided to text Grace and Jonah, his only friends from high school who remained local, for an impromptu meet up. None of them drink, so instead of heading to a bar they invited him over to their place. They're sharing a tiny flat downtown, walking distance to both Ryerson and U of T.

"T'was good. Just like old times. We talked school, and theatre, and current creative projects. Then we ordered a late-night pizza and collapsed on the sofa."

"And how's Jonah?"

Miles glances at her, looking for signs that it's a trick question. The two of them didn't break up on the best of terms, back then, and while Frankie doesn't seem to mind Miles kept in touch after high school, he's not quite sure how she feels about him at the moment. He doesn't spot any weirdness from Frankie, though, so he replies honestly.

"He's doing good. He really likes what he's doing for sure, he ended up going on a tangent explaining some Sound Engineering crap I still have no clue about after hearing him babbling about it for a good half hour. He's still making music with Grace, too. They sent me some tracks, if you want to check them out."

"Good. I'm happy to hear that."

She seems genuine, so Miles doesn't push it. It's been a long time, after all.

Frankie moves a neat pile of tops into an open suitcase, then takes a seat on the edge of her bed and folds her arms across her chest.

"I had a chat with Mum, last night."

Miles's breath catches a little in his throat. "Yeah?"

He leaves his spot in the doorway and steps into her room, then, sits down at her vanity desk and rests his mug on the surface, turning to look properly at her.

"It's been quite hard. I mean, you know me, I cried like a fountain. But I told her, so… she knows now."

He can barely hide a grin at the corner of his lips. He wants to tell her he's proud of her, but he feels he's already way surpassed the level of corny that could be considered acceptable, on this trip, so he just goes for something easier.

"How do you feel about it?"

Frankie sighs, pulling up her legs and crossing them underneath her. She closes her eyes, rubbing her hands over her face.

"I feel better, I think. I'm glad it's all out. I was starting to feel really weird about hiding it from her, like I was sneaking around, you know?"

Miles knows. He's felt the same, these past few days, skirting around questions and constantly lying by omission.

"What did mum say?"

Frankie pauses, her fingers fidgeting in her lap. "At first, she couldn't believe it. Not that she doubted my story, just- you know, she's met Max. She liked him. He was always oh so charming, when he wanted to — and he definitely wanted to, in front of her. Then she cried. She wanted to know details. Then I cried. I don't think I managed to tell her anything too coherent, but she got the gist of it."

He really is proud of her. Frankie's always been closer to their mother than Miles ever was, but navigating the relationship with their parents is not easy for any of them. Miles knows how much pressure Frankie always puts on herself to be the perfect daughter. Sure, she had her moments of teenage acting out at some point in high school (which to be fair were really not that bad compared to his own – or Hunter's) but once that was over she slipped back into her Good Child role. The one of them their parents don't have to worry about.

Frankie snorts out a laugh, then, rolling her eyes. "Basically, between telling Lola and then telling mum… yesterday was a hell of a day."

"Yeah, I bet," he sympathises. "Well, look on the bright side: today you can finally spend a relaxing day packing!" he gestures widley at the mess around them, and she smirks and shakes her head at the silly face he's making.

"It's crazy how fast everything is going, though, isn't it?" she adds, her smile faltering a little. "I mean, two days ago we were still at Hunter's. Two weeks ago I lived in Montréal, and now I'm almost all sorted to move to a different country for two months."

Miles sombers down instantly at her words. He stands up from his chair, carefully steps around the piles of stuff on the floor and comes to sit next to her on the bed.

"Hey, you know that if you need more time… I mean, I've been kind of pushing for us to go, but-"

"Oh, no Miles, it's fine. I'm good, really. I'm happy we're going."

"You are?" he checks, just to be sure.

Frankie smiles at him, reassuring. "I promise."

"Good. Because I'm very happy to take you with me, too."

Frankie rolls her eyes at him, a smirk curving her lips. "Okay, Mr. Cheese."

Miles bumps into her shoulder, jokingly. His smile falls quickly, though, and he takes a steadying breath to gather his guts.

"You know, I was thinking… Once we're in London, maybe you'd like to try talking to my therapist? He's a really nice guy, I promise."

Frankie doesn't move to look at him, but she doesn't seem completely hostile to the idea, either. She shakes her head after a beat, scoffing. "What a freakshow of a family we are. Three kids, all in therapy by age 20. Our parents must be so proud!" she says, turning to him with an eloquent expression, eyebrow raised to remark her sarcasm.

He smiles back at her, chuckling. "Yeah, you were their last strand of hope," he answers in kind, "Hunter and I already screwed up centuries ago, you were all they had left."

"They must be devastated!"

Miles snickers under his breath at her exaggerated tone. Nobody ever gives Frankie enough credit for how funny she is, he thinks. Maybe it's because she tends to be so intense all the time, or maybe it's just how pretty she is, who knows. He playfully shoves her side, a knowing grin on his face.

"Welcome to the dark side, li'l sis."

More A/N: Guys, it's almost over! The epilogue will be up next week, and after that I'll post the prequel straight away.
As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments, I love to chat :)