Tyler hates coming to the Gilbert's now.

Well, hate is too strong a word, he thinks as he rings the doorbell and waits for someone to answer. He hopes that it's Jere who opens the door, but he hasn't answered Tyler's text about him waiting right outside the door, and he doesn't feel like waiting on the porch anymore like a creep.

Dislike. That's not the word either. Tyler does like coming to the Gilbert residence. After last week's fiasco at dinner, thanks to Damon fucking Salvatore, everything is out in the open, and it's the only place he feels like he can truly be himself if he chooses to. Not that he's going to start spilling his innermost feelings in the living room or anything like that, but if he feels like placing his hand on Jeremy's lower back, or kissing him goodbye, no one here will look at him oddly, or judge him. No, being inside the Gilbert residence is great, but getting inside is a totally different story.

At that moment the door swings open and the reason for his initial discomfort (or one of the reasons anyway) is standing there.

"Hey, Tyler." Elena says. She hasn't given either of them a hard time about their relationship, and doesn't ask too many questions (which Tyler is very grateful for, because he honestly doesn't know if he could answer what she wants to know. He and Jeremy still aren't exactly sure about what's going on between them) but she looks at him.

Tyler's favorite feature on Jeremy, besides his broad shoulders (and Tyler would never have thought that sentence would ever be formed out or inside his head), are his eyes. They're so expressive - they can convey so many questions, and so many answers.

He and Elena have the same eyes, and hers always convey the same messages when she answers the door to see Tyler standing there; wariness, which is to be expected. It's not everyday your little brother starts dating his sworn enemy. But there is also so much expectation. She wants her brother to be happy, and right now Tyler is the one who has that ability. The pressure is definitely on. There's some approval, and that's good, but Tyler isn't sure what exactly she's approving of, and there's also that sense of confusion; that question that hasn't really been answered yet: 'How did this even happen?' and Tyler can't answer that question. He really wants to, not only for Elena's sake, but for his own, and he wants to work it all out first before he tries to tell anyone else. How can he explain that recently his need to attack Jeremy has changed into wanting to touch him gently? How does he explain the pull he has towards him, that gets stronger and stronger everyday? He can't, so he isn't going to. At least not yet.

"Hey Elena. Is Jere..."

"He's upstairs." She steps aside to let him in. Looking to his left he sees Stefan sitting on the couch, and they nod to each other before Tyler makes his way up the stairs.

Jeremy isn't in his room when he walks in, so Tyler flops on his bed and closes his eyes to wait. He always laments the fact that Jeremy isn't into football. Not just because those strong shoulders could do some serious damage on the field, but because he never has any sports magazines laying around.

But Tyler figures its better not to have Jere out there on the field with him, or better yet, the locker room. Things could get out of hand, and quickly.

His eyes open when he hears the bedroom door shut. Jeremy is standing there in jeans, and a T-shirt, his hair still damp from the shower Tyler is assuming he just stepped out of. The towel in the boy's hand confirms his guess.

His desire spikes as he looks Jeremy up and down slowly. See, this is what drives him crazy. The sudden influx of these feelings and emotions that he's never felt for another guy before, let alone Jeremy Gilbert, but here he is, on the boy's bed, checking him out.

"Hey," Jeremy pads over to Tyler, his mouth curved up slightly to one side in a smile. "I didn't know you were coming over." He leans over and the clean smell combined with a scent that's just so Jeremy overwhelms Tyler momentarily. Lips still curved in that soft smile, Jeremy presses his mouth gently to Tyler's and lingers. They've just started doing this, kissing hello. It's still strange to Tyler, but in the best way possible. It makes his head spin and his heart ache in his chest.

They keep their lips together, moving them slowly against each other, but not delving into anything more aggressive, for a bit longer, before Jeremy backs off. Tyler waits for Jeremy's back to be turned before he licks his lips. "Why didn't you answer my text?"

"Shower." Jeremy throws his towel casually onto his desk and starts rummaging in one of the drawers for something.

Tyler watches Jeremy move; he loves the way his muscles flex under his skin, the way he fills out his shirt, the way his pants hang perfectly on his hips. Tyler can't help admiring Jeremy's ass, he loves it. The way it looks, the way it feels in his hands, the way it clenches around him when Tyler-

"Why?" Jeremy has found what he's looking for, a pencil, and has straightened up. Tyler doesn't know if the boy has noticed where his thoughts were going or the result of said thoughts, but he adjusts himself subtly anyway.


"Why did you text?"

"Oh,"he watches Jeremy carry his book bag over to the bed, drop it over one side, and sit facing Tyler. "I just wanted you to answer the door. You know I hate when Elena does." Jeremy scoffs. "What, it's true. She looks at me with those eyes."

"What is she supposed to look at you with?" Jeremy says laughing slightly. "Her feet?"

"You know what I mean," he nudges Jeremy's hip with his foot. "She gives me that look."

Jeremy, who has retrieved a book from his bag, sets it aside and moves up the bed so that he's sitting next to Tyler while still facing him. "She doesn't have a problem with it, you know," he says in a low voice. "You and me. She meant it; she really is happy for me. For... us." He seems hesitant to use the word.

Tyler shrugs. "I know, but still."

Jeremy grins as he leans forward and presses his lips against Tyler's. "At least it wasn't Jenna," he whispers.

A brief pained expression flits across Tyler's face. "That's true. She always... smiles at me. That smile, you know which one I mean."

Jeremy laughs softly. "You're cute when you pout." He licks the seam of Tyler's lips and a shiver runs up his spine. God, this boy drives him insane.

Tyler pulls back slightly. "I don't pout," he says, but a small smile is playing on his own lips. Jeremy hums in a placating way, before leaning forward again, and this time Tyler parts his lips to grant him immediate access.

He loves the way Jeremy tastes, like fresh water. He marvels at how a mouth can taste like this. He feels Jeremy's tentative touch on his arm. Even though they've had sex before, a lot, these little things, these touches, innocent caresses that won't lead to anything, are still new to them.

Jeremy's fingers trail up Tyler's inner arm and the thumb traces the crease of his elbow. Another shiver runs down Tyler's spine, and his own fingers moves to rub the inside of Jeremy's wrist on the hand that is planted on the bed.

A small tremor passes through Jeremy's body, and he lets out a tiny puff of air against Tyler's lips.

Tyler moves his hand up Jeremy's soft skin, so soft, and dips slides briefly under the sleeve of his T-shirt, before moving over those broad shoulders to play with the soft, damp hairs on the nape of his neck. Jeremy leans into him, moving to sit closer so that their chests are nearly touching.

Jeremy moves the hand that was planted on the bed and places it on Tyler's stomach. Warmth diffuses through Tyler's body and he cups the back of Jeremy's neck, tugging him forward gently.

His heart is beating wildly in his chest. He's never done this; kissing just to kiss. Kissing just to get closer to the person, because just being this close to them makes one feel like they're being consumed by the most wonderful heat. He's kissed girls just so that he could forget; forget how he was failing his father at every turn, forget that he wasn't good enough and never would be, forget about the confusing spikes of anger he gets for no reason.

He's never kissed to remember - kissing so that he can memorize the taste and feel of Jeremy's mouth when he isn't around. Kissing so he can remember this feeling when he's in an awful mood and needs something good to hang on to.

Jeremy's chest is flush against his now, and the hand on his stomach is clutching at the fabric of his shirt, and Tyler's own hand has slid down to the base of Jeremy's spine, and the kissing is still slow, but it's steadily grown in passion and intensity, and Tyler squeezes his eyes shut even more, and he can hardly breathe, and Jeremy's breaths are quicker; Tyler can feel his chest against his own, rising and falling and Jeremy lets out another small noise, a whimper, and a light bursts behind Tyler's eyes, and he crushes Jeremy to his body. So good, so fucking perfect-

"Jere." There is a knock at the door and both boys start. They don't move away from each other right away, though. Their blown, dazed eyes meet each others, and they are both still panting slightly. "Jeremy? Tyler? I'm coming in." There is a mutter that sounds suspiciously like 'please don't be naked.' They tear their eyes away from each other now, and move away.

Elena turns the doorknob and steps in slightly. 'Sorry to interrupt." Neither one bothers to correct her. They know how they look; heavy breathing, flushed cheeks, rumpled clothes and hair, slightly unfocused eyes.

"Then why are you?" Jeremy asks, and Tyler is impressed at the steadiness of his voice.

Elena rolls her eyes at her brother's cheek. "Because Jenna said 'door open'. You know the rules."

"Since when?" Jeremy sounds indignant. Elena shrugs.

"I don't make the rules, I just deliver em"

"It never mattered before."

"Yeah well," Elena smirks, "that was before we knew you were bringing your boyfriend up here and not just a friend. If I have to keep my door open when Stefan is here, then so do you." She smiles teasingly. They both know this isn't a fair argument, seeing as how her boyfriend can move lightening fast and has super hearing, but Jeremy can't bring that up in front of Tyler.

Jeremy tosses a pillow in her direction instead, but she dodges it and laughs. "Door. Open." she calls out as she makes her way down the hallway and back downstairs.

Jeremy sighs and Tyler can't help but smile at him. "Sorry about that," Jeremy says as he scoots back down the bed and picks up the book he'd put aside earlier.

"No problem. You are still a little kid."

Jeremy rolls his eyes, and knocks his bare foot into Tyler's ribs, but he's smiling anyway. The mood is broken, but the after effects of this kiss still lingers, their bodies still buzzing. They fall into a comfortable silence, where Jeremy reads his textbook, and Tyler just watches, feeling utterly content.

He settles down into the pillows after a while, and a moment later he feels Jeremy's hand come to rest on his leg.