We stood for a moment on the porch then, not really knowing what to say.

"Hey, so now that we're back," he started, "do we like... get back to before? At school and stuff? Do we... do we go back to acting like friends everywhere except when we're alone?" He bit his lip and looked away, not meeting my eyes. His voice was soft, as if he didn't dare to ask the questions. I sighed, and wrapped my arms around him, pressing a small kiss to his cheek. I felt his arms wrap around me immediately, and closed my eyes for a moment.

"I-" I hesitated. Was that what I wanted? Loads of people probably already knew because of Dodie; because of Troye himself. "I don't know Troye boy..."

After a minute of hugging on the porch, he let go of me, and I grabbed my suitcase. I didn't open the door, as I didn't have my keys with me. But they knew I would be arriving around now, so I rang the bell, hoping that someone would notice. It was late already, and I just wanted to sleep.

"Hey." Nicola opened the door with a smile on her face, and wrapped her arms around me soon enough. She seemed tense though, so when both me and Troye stepped inside, me placing my suitcase in the hallway, making sure no one would trip over it, I turned towards her with my eyebrows furrowed. I was still standing close to Troye, maybe a bit too close for if my parents were to come in right now.

"Something wrong?" I asked her.

"Err- I don't know. Mom and dad have been quite tense today, and when they saw you pulling up in front, they went to sit on the couch, wanted me to tell you they need to talk to you- without Troye." Her voice was cautious, as if she knew more than I did, and I tried locking my eyes with her, which she avoided. I wanted to urge her to tell me more. I didn't want to go in as much anymore. Of course I wanted to say hi, tell them everything (leaving out the parts where me and Troye kissed or held hands) and wanted to just be excited about the trip. But her serious tone made it kind of clear that they wanted to have a serious talk.

"Oh," let the boy next to me out, clearly uncomfortable. "I- I could go then..."

"No," I interrupted him, grabbing my hand with his and preventing him from turning around to leave. "Stay, please. Whatever they want to talk about, you don't yet have to leave. After all, didn't mom say she wanted to know some things about how you organised the trip?" He nodded after that, soothingly running his thumb across my hand. He let go after that, and with Nicola having left already, I took it as my clue to walk inside the living room.

"Connor! Baby! We need to talk." My mom greeted me. I winced. I loved my parents, but this kind of hurt. The annoyed look she got upon noticing Troye trailing behind me hurt. The fact that she gestured for me to sit down on the couch hurt. The fact that she, defeated, told Troye to just sit down between me and Nicola or something hurt. It hurt, that another person I saw in the living room, a smug grin on her face, was Dodie. But it mostly hurt that the first thing said to me after not having seen me for a week, was to sit down. Not even a "how are you?", a "how was the trip?", or at least a "did you have a good flight?". That really hurt.

"What is she doing here?" I immediately asked. I didn't want Dodie here. I just wanted to tell my parents some stories with Troye and then sleep. I didn't want to deal with her.

"She just wanted to welcome you, Connor." My dad's voice was stern, and I flinched before sitting down on the couch with some caution. I wanted to grab Troye's hand, intertwine my fingers with him. I wanted to look for comfort.

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