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Next: "Territory"

Series 9 Episode 6

The lakehouse. One of the only places Dylan could guarantee some privacy. George and Mia were at college, leaving the place completely empty for a few hours. That was all they needed, and nobody could afford to interrupt this.

Yasmin and Jono were the only people with him. Dylan’s best friend and his boyfriend. The two people who knew him the best. The only people he was willing to share the most intimate moment of his life with. He wasn’t sure what to expect, and he was extremely nervous, but Dylan couldn’t back out. He didn’t want to, either. This was incredibly important to him. He’d be a fool to back out.

They’d settled for the spacious living room as their location, but it didn’t matter quite where they were. The company and the ability to safely zone out was all Dylan needed. All that he needed now was to calm himself down – his mind had been doing somersaults all night. He’d barely slept.

“Before we begin,” Yasmin laid the ground rules, “You’re entering my vision. Nobody outside the three of us is real. That includes him, Dylan. The ghosts are projections.”

“I know,” Dylan nodded. He was aware that this wasn’t a genuine meeting, but it was close enough. A projection still embodied everything he was.

“And if something goes wrong,” Yasmin warned.

“Grab onto something real,” Jono finished. They’d both listened to Yasmin’s recount of her previous vision. This time, if something went wrong, they were prepared. Whatever had come through, they could face it later.

“Okay, take my hand,” she held her left hand out to Dylan and her right to Jono. Confidently, Dylan took it. He knew exactly what he wanted. Jono did the same. Dylan couldn’t have stood there alone. He needed Jono by his side, just like he always did.

“What happens now?” Dylan was eager. He felt like he was swimming against the current of nerves, pushing forward, knowing that this was the right thing to do.

“Look behind you,” Yasmin directed. Butterflies swimming in every direction in his stomach, Dylan swivelled around to face the far end of the room. As he did, the colouring of the room seemed to tint a dull yellow. He was inside the vision.

“Oh my god,” Dylan was gobsmacked. There he was. He looked exactly the same as Dylan remembered. His slightly greying hair. His kind eyes. His infectious smile. He couldn’t believe he was actually stood there on front of him.

“Hi dad.”

Returning to school was one unusual bump back to reality for Sammi. Often, it felt like she was living a double life: one at school like any other teenager, and one in the world of the supernatural, where she saw things most people couldn’t possibly dream of. It was like going from one extreme to another, and the transition near enough gave her whiplash.

School was by far the less interesting of the two extremes, too. The thrill and excitement of the supernatural made school so depressingly mundane, and it wasn’t much of a high even before she knew of werewolves.

“Are you getting that feeling that everybody’s staring at us?” Jeremy enquired. Sammi was glad she still had Jeremy by her side. She hadn’t been able to speak to Felix yet, but she assumed it’d be back to just her and her twin getting each other through the school day, and Sammi was cool with that.

“No, you’re probably being paranoid,” Sammi was more focused on navigating the crowded corridors than giving any attention to her peers.

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Jeremy persisted, following closely behind.

“Dude, come on, we’ve not even had first period yet,” Sammi brushed him off as they reached their lockers. Neither of them wanted to be in school, but Sammi was powering through. She was trying to hide how anxious she was about seeing Felix again. He had been on her mind all night – he must have seen her kissing Freddie, there was simply no other explanation. She felt guilty for not talking to him first, but she had no regrets about her decision. Saying goodbye to Freddie that morning was tough.

“Sammi, I’m being serious. Look around,” Jeremy demanded. Sammi closed her locker to notice Jeremy was right. Everyone was staring at them. Walking past with a glaring side-eye. They were used to being outsiders, but this was something else. Nobody gave them this much attention.

“What the hell?” Sammi wasn’t sure what to do. Something had happened, evidently, but what? Gossip went around the school daily, never lasting for very long, but nothing caught people’s attention like this.

“Can we just get to class? Please?” Jeremy begged. Sammi agreed with him. It was important that they acted normal. The last thing either of them needed was more attention being drawn their way.

Head down, Sammi led the way to Miss Asahd’s room. The crowd parted as she made her way through. Nobody seemed to want to be anywhere near them. What was going on?

“Good morning,” Miss Asahd smiled her usual friendly smile as they reached their classroom. Sammi felt an immediate relief. No matter what her feelings on school were, she always felt comfortable in Miss Asahd’s lessons.

“Hi,” Sammi smiled back, sliding towards her usual seat near the back. Around half of her classmates were already seated, and each and every one of them was staring at her.

“Am I missing something?” Miss Asahd wondered.

“He’s a monster,” one girl shouted out. Alicia was her name. Sammi had never spoken to her before, but she was pointing at Jeremy.

“Hey, don’t speak to him like that,” Sammi immediately spoke up. Jeremy was too polite to defend himself, but Sammi didn’t care. Her brother was the most important thing she had, and she’d lost him twice to know she’d do anything to protect him.

“He’s a werewolf,” Alicia yelled, “And Sammi’s covering it up.” Sammi was gobsmacked. Their secret was out. She looked around the room desperately, but nobody felt any sympathy. Then she noticed. Felix was stood in the doorway. His face said it all. He’d spilled the secret. There was nowhere to hide.

Stepping back into the dorm felt like returning home to Freddie. He supposed it was his home now – the first real home he’d had since moving out of his own house with George. The house he grew up in with his parents. Caroline had been so kind letting him stay at the Drummond household, but it always felt like a stop-gap in between the house going up for sale and moving to college. Now he could settle, and although he hadn’t been there long, it felt comforting and homely.

That said, Freddie felt delighted to have spent a night with Sammi first. There was nothing he’d wanted more than to have her nearby again. She broke his heart, but that was in the past. He was ready to move forward.

There was just one issue. Summer was still lurking around. Freddie didn’t want to come face-to-face with her again. Not only did she effectively kidnap and try to kill him, but she brainwashed him too. She made him fall in love with her. It wasn’t real, and truly, Freddie felt violated.

Thankfully, ground rules had been laid on his behalf. Josh had insisted Summer couldn’t enter the dorm, and she had to keep her distance from Freddie, which felt like a huge relief at least. If anybody was going to fight his corner, it was going to be Josh.

“Hey, how are you feeling?” Oscar was the first to greet Freddie. People like Oscar didn’t come around very often – he was sweet and kind, and never anything other than lovely to be around.

“I’m okay,” Freddie nodded, “I just needed to dry off and get a good night’s sleep.”

“Before you have to share with Josh again?” Lily chuckled before wrapping him in her arms. Lily’s hugs were among the best Freddie had received. You always knew she meant every single hug she gave out, “I know he’s the loudest snorer here.”

“You can talk, right Alex?” Josh defended himself playfully.

“I’m not at liberty to say,” Alex sheepishly replied.

“You’re meant to defend me, some boyfriend,” Lily joked, “Cup of tea, Freddie?”

“Please,” Freddie smiled. It felt so good to be among his favourite people again, though he noticed a few were missing, “Where’s Dylan?”

“He’s with Jono and Yasmin, they’re, err, ghost hunting,” Josh answered vaguely. Freddie had more questions now than he did before, but they could wait for later. Instead, he made himself comfortable on the sofa.

“Oh god,” Freddie groaned. A realisation had just hit him.

“What? Is everything okay?” Oscar sat by his side, looking concerned.

“Yeah, it’s just that I’ve not been to my lectures in a few days now. I’ll have loads to catch up on,” Freddie sighed. So much for hitting the ground running – one week in and he was already miles behind.

“You’ll be fine, I’m sure of it,” Oscar assured.

“It can’t be any worse than my first year at college,” Lily mentioned.

“It’s well on its way,” Freddie groaned, “I can’t believe Dylan allowed Summer into the pack just like that.”

“He must have had his reasons,” Lily justified.

“Dylan’s intentions are always good,” Josh agreed, “But something tells me this was a bad decision. Please, don’t tell him I said that.”

“I can understand giving someone the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes, you hand someone a lifeline and they bite your arm off,” Oscar considered.

“Spoken from experience, huh?” Freddie realised.

“My mom,” Oscar revealed, “She’s an alcoholic. When I was young, I’d always catch her drunk when I got home from school. She apologised and said sorry, but sometimes, enough is enough.”

“Dude,” Josh reacted, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, she’s been sober for eight years now, she’s amazing, but only because I told someone at school. She got the help she needed, but not necessarily the help she wanted,” Oscar told.

“I remember my ADHD diagnosis,” Freddie added, “I was out of control, but I didn’t want tablets. I didn’t want to be tamed like a wild animal, but my mom talked me into it. She said it was like a magic potion that gives me superpowers. Superpowers that help me get through school. Superpowers that make me successful.”

“I remember,” Josh recalled, “You were almost excluded.”

“You’re right, Oscar,” Freddie continued, “Sometimes, the help you want isn’t the help you need, but I hope Dylan’s right, because if he isn’t, we’re all in danger.”

Dylan couldn’t believe his eyes. He knew what to expect when he asked Yasmin if she could help, but the fact it was actually happening was the most surreal experience of his life. His dad was staring back at him. The dad he said goodbye to in a hospital bed. The dad he thought about every morning when he woke up. The dad he wished he could have confided in so many times.

Everything Dylan had experienced since he lost his dad rushed through his mind. Moving to Crystalshaw and leaving his childhood home behind. Coming to terms with his sexuality. Becoming a werewolf. Meeting Jono and falling in love. Gaining a brother in Josh. His mum getting married to Ed. So much had changed. Where would he start?

“You’ve grown,” his dad chuckled. Dylan raised a smile. That was such a typical thing to say. His dad always had a great sense of humour.

“Your hair’s grey,” Dylan observed. He looked different to before. It was like he’d aged since he passed.

“Thanks,” his dad laughed in shock, “And yours is a hell of a lot longer than when I last saw you.” He was right – Dylan hadn’t had a haircut since moving to Crystalshaw, and his hair had grown so much.

“It’s not the only part of me that’s changed,” Dylan manoeuvred to his big news. There was no point hiding anything. In fact, he didn’t want to.

“Well, you weren’t a werewolf the last time I saw you,” his dad identified. Dylan was gobsmacked. How did he know?

“Um,” Dylan wasn’t sure what to say. He’d planned out exactly what to tell his dad but he already knew.

“He’s linked to me, Dylan,” Yasmin added, “He knows what we are. He’s seen it.”

“I assume you know, well, everything else,” Dylan still couldn’t quite utter the words. His sexuality was a topic he found awkward to discuss even though he was comfortable in his own skin. Why did society have to make everything way more difficult if you weren’t straight?

“I’ve missed a lot,” his dad nodded, “Go on, introduce me.”

“Dad,” Dylan held his right hand out to his side, gesturing Jono forward. Of course, Jono took the hint, wrapped his own hand around Dylan’s and joined him by his side, “This is Jono.”

“Hi Mr. Drummond,” Jono politely greeted, oozing with his usual levels of charm.

“Please, call me Martin. I hope you’re taking care of my boy,” he greeted. It was instantly a better reaction than Jono’s dad had ever given him. Steve had never openly disapproved of their relationship, though he had often rubbished its chances of lasting. It only made Dylan more motivated to spend every remaining day of his life by Jono’s side.

“Trust me, he takes care of me,” Jono laughed.

“How long have you two been together?” Martin questioned.

“Three years,” Dylan proudly replied.

“That’s amazing, son. I’m so proud of you,” Martin beamed, “Look, I know this isn’t the real world, but can’t you give your dad a tour around your house here?” Dylan nodded, but he felt a little worried. One more bombshell was on its way, and Dylan didn’t know how to break it to his dad.

Furious, Sammi sprinted out of the classroom. She couldn’t face the lesson, not when Felix was going to be right there. His facial expression had guilt written all over it. He’d spilled their biggest secret. He knew the stakes were high. He knew he was putting Jeremy directly at risk. It was selfish, attention-seeking and downright childish.

However, Sammi couldn’t let her emotions get the better of her. The most important thing she could do was get Jeremy out of the classroom. He wasn’t safe around judgemental people. She’d heard about the last time the werewolf secret leaked. There was outrage and uproar. Werewolves were always rumoured at Crystalshaw High, but Felix had seen enough proof to give plenty of ammunition.

“In there,” Sammi escorted Jeremy into the newsroom, yet to have new owners since Dylan and Jono left. As a result, it was the perfect place for them to hide. Now all they needed was help, and there was only one person she could turn to, “Stay here. I’ll be right back.”

Doing her best to keep a clear mind, Sammi dashed further into the school, skidding to a halt outside a familiar classroom. Inside, Mrs. Johnson had a class full of sophomore students, but they weren’t Sammi’s concern. This was an emergency. She knocked on the door, peering through the window to grab Mrs. Johnson’s attention. Annoyingly, she held her index finger up, indicating to wait. Sammi had no patience left, though. She paced back and forth. Composure was important, but it was getting tougher to maintain as time went on.

“What’s going on?” Mrs. Johnson questioned, finally joining Sammi in the corridor. As always, Mrs. Johnson looked as if she had little time for any kerfuffle.

“The secret’s out. Jeremy’s in danger,” Sammi instantly relayed.

“How? What happened to being careful?” Mrs. Johnson scolded.

“It’s a long story,” Sammi swerved, “But please, we need you.”

“I need the full story. Give me some time, I’ll report back,” Mrs. Johnson informed, as efficiently as ever, “Where’s Jeremy now?”

“The newsroom,” Sammi informed.

“Stay there with him. You can work in there for today while I sort this,” Mrs. Johnson assertively ordered. Despite the cold exterior, she was obviously keen to do what she could to help, and Sammi appreciated that.

“Sammi,” a voice came from behind her. The voice she didn’t want to hear. The one person she couldn’t stomach. Sammi turned around, meeting eyes with Felix, “Please, we need to talk.”

Sammi sighed. She was too angry, but this conversation had to happen. They had to work things out.

It felt unusual to have a moment to breathe in the dorm. Oscar knew that life with the pack was hectic and crazy at the best of times, he’d heard plenty of the stories, but the first week of college was even busier than he thought it’d be. Taking the time to digest what had happened seemed like a rarity, but Oscar wasn’t complaining.

After all, his whole life had been a whirlwind since moving to Crystalshaw. Becoming a werewolf came with a surprising amount of baggage. He had worked on learning everything he could from Dylan. Hearing. Vision. Transforming. He’d mastered it all quite quickly, but that wasn’t it. His mum was still in the dark. He never kept secrets this big from his mum, but how could he explain being a werewolf? It would have sounded ridiculous. They had become slightly distant since moving house.

Therefore, Oscar threw his all into the pack. It was a positive distraction. He put smiles on people’s faces, and that gave him a role. After all, he was still the new kid. He had something to prove.

“Here you go,” Oscar passed the blanket to Freddie, who was getting pampered while remaining firmly planted on the sofa.

“Dude, you’re the best,” Freddie smiled gratefully.

“Duh,” Oscar chuckled playfully.

“Okay, tell me, what have I missed?” Freddie was perking up. Oscar loved seeing the old Freddie back. Summer’s hypnotic effect was wholly unflattering for him.

“You know, Yasmin’s visions coming to life, a terrifying alpha manifesting itself in our world, nothing serious,” Josh made light of the situation, but Oscar was still processing the events of the day before. The emotions he felt inside the vision were still so vivid in his mind. The mere thought made him uneasy.

“Why are we sat here then?” Freddie looked baffled.

“It’ll show itself,” Josh confidently replied, “These things always do. There’s no point chasing a black cloud of smoke.”

“You can’t even chase a girl,” Freddie smirked.

“Woah dude, low blow,” Josh laughed. He could take a joke about anything. Oscar had never seen anyone with as thick a skin as Josh, “Maybe I should be taking notes from Oscar.”

“What?” Oscar was taken aback. His love life was almost non-existent. He’d barely had a moment to even consider dating since becoming a werewolf.

“I saw you in the café with that boy yesterday,” Josh continued. Now Oscar understood. Cody.

“Hey, leave him alone, that’s his business,” Lily backed him up. Oscar admired Lily’s loyalty. She always stood up for what’s right.

“It’s okay,” Oscar spoke up. He had nothing to hide. He could own his crushes, “His name’s Cody, he’s from the LGBTQ+ society, he’s just a friend. Barely even that, he’s an acquaintance.”

“But you’d like more, right?” Josh squeezed him for answers.

“Maybe,” Oscar coyly answered, “I don’t really know him.”

“Then get to know him,” Freddie encouraged, “Don’t wait for a wake-up call like me.” Oscar nodded. Freddie’s advice was excellent. What did Oscar have to lose?

Walking back into his house felt somewhat unusual to Dylan. He’d been at college for over a week, but it had felt like a lot longer. What was even stranger was the fact it wasn’t real. The house was in Yasmin’s vision, but it looked so realistic. Every detail was perfect, from the furniture to the photographs on display. It was crazy.

Martin smiled as he entered the living room. He looked all around, collapsing onto the sofa in delight. Dylan was scared to burst his bubble, though. They hadn’t discussed Caroline yet, and Dylan had to be the one to mention her marriage to Ed. It would’ve been wrong not to tell him the full story.

“This place is beautiful,” Martin complimented, “It’s so cosy. Your mom’s done a fantastic job.”

“She spent about a month perfecting it when we arrived,” Dylan chuckled, remembering how much time Caroline spent rearranging the front room to make everything perfect.

“A month? I didn’t think she’d ever stopped,” Jono joked. He had a point – Caroline always had new interior design ideas. She never seemed satisfied with the way the house looked.

“Nothing’s changed,” Martin smiled fondly, “Do you all live here?”

“I live with my mom not far away,” Yasmin added.

“Jono moved in last year, that’s a long story,” Dylan informed. Of course, Jono had moved in while Dylan was kept prisoner in the Lunar Sanctum. The darkest days of both their lives, “Our friend Freddie lives here too, and Josh, my adoptive brother.”

“Brother? Wow, that’s amazing. Your mom was always amazing. Four teenage boys can’t be easy,” Martin beamed.

“She doesn’t do it alone,” Dylan mentioned. This was it. He had to tell Martin the truth, “Mom married again, dad. They got married not long ago, actually, but they’ve been together a few years.”

“Really?” Martin looked taken aback, taking a few moments to gather his thoughts, “Who is he?”

“Ed Taylor, he’s the sheriff of Crystalshaw county,” Dylan informed, “He’s a great guy. Looks after me. Looks after all of us, actually. He treats mom like a queen.”

“That’s…wonderful,” Martin commented, “I told your mom to find someone else, because she deserves happiness. She changed my life, and I’m happy she’s happy.”

“She still loves you, dad,” Dylan added, “She mentioned you, just before she walked up the aisle. She’s happy with Ed, but she’s never forgotten you.”

“And I’ll always love her,” Martin nodded, “Come here, son.” Dylan obeyed, sitting next to him on the couch, “I’m so thankful for this time, and I’m so proud of everything you are. You’re smart, strong, and most of all, you’re yourself. Never forget that.”

“I miss you, dad,” Dylan couldn’t stop himself crying. This felt like a goodbye, and Dylan supposed it was. This was the goodbye he never got to say as a kid. Now, he understood the gravity of what was happening. Now, he could make the goodbye count.

“I’m always with you, Dylan. Every single day. Keep making me proud, by looking after your friends, and treating Jono with respect and kindness. He’s a keeper, remember that,” Martin advised.

“Of course,” Dylan nodded, wiping the tears away just in time for more to fall.

“I can’t sustain this much longer,” Yasmin informed.

“I love you,” Dylan uttered. He couldn’t go without saying that.

“I love you too,” Martin smiled proudly, “Bye, Dylan.”

“Bye dad,” Dylan replied. Martin faded, his living room morphing back into the lakehouse. He hadn’t moved from Yasmin’s side. It was a harsh bump back to reality.

“Are you okay?” Jono asked.

“Yeah,” Dylan nodded, convincing himself, “I will be. Thank you, both of you, for being there.” Dylan felt an uncontrollable sadness, but he was strangely happy at the same time. Nobody got a second chance to talk to their lost loved ones, and Dylan would cherish those moments forever.

Sammi had never felt so angry before. Simply looking at Felix’s face evoked so much anger in her. A face that, for a short while, brought her so much happiness. The boy she fancied actually liked her back. That felt like a dream come true.

Perhaps that was the problem? It was a dream. A fantasy. A harsh reminder that not everyone could be trusted. Sammi felt so stupid. She’d spilled her biggest secret to a guy she barely knew, just because he gave her some attention. As a result, she’d put Jeremy in danger. How could she have been so reckless?

Begrudgingly, Sammi led Felix into the newsroom. She wasn’t sure she wanted him anywhere near Jeremy, but she had little choice. It was the only place they’d get any privacy.

“What the hell is he doing here?” Jeremy was taken aback, “You’re the only one who knew the secret. It had to be you.”

“It’s okay, he wants to talk,” Sammi mentioned, “And he’s got one chance to explain himself before I call Dylan.”

“One chance,” Jeremy concurred. Sammi knew he’d want to hear him out.

“Go on then,” Sammi commanded. She wasn’t going to let their time be wasted.

“Firstly, I want to say I’m sorry. I’ve deleted the post, but I guess it’s too late,” Felix grovelled. He looked desperate, a vast change from his usual confident exterior, “Sammi, I was angry. You weren’t returning my texts, so I went round to yours.”

“And you saw me kissing Freddie,” Sammi completed the sentence. She knew it. This was his revenge.

“You hung me out to dry, Sammi,” Felix vented, “Put yourself in my shoes. How do you think I felt?”

“How do I think you felt? How do you think Jeremy feels right now?” Sammi corrected. In her eyes, there was only one person they needed to focus on, “This is between me and you, it should never have involved my brother.”

“I know,” Felix yelled, before taking a step back, collecting his thoughts, “Jeremy, I truly didn’t mean to hurt you. It was thoughtless, and I hope, in time, you can forgive me.”

Jeremy simply nodded. He looked like a bundle of anxiety. Sammi often forgot that social situations weren’t something Jeremy had much experience with, much less conflict. She needed to take it down a notch, for his sake.

“Felix,” Sammi composed herself, “I’m sorry, too. What I did was shitty. Truly. You deserved an explanation.”

“Did you mean what you said to me? Our time together, was it real?” Felix questioned.

“Yes,” Sammi confirmed, speaking honestly, “I care for you so much, but Freddie…he’s different. I almost lost him for good. I hope you can understand.”

“I…I’ll try,” Felix nodded.

“That doesn’t make what you did okay, though. It was beyond shitty, Felix. This won’t go away, so I hope you’re ready to help me when things get ugly,” Sammi explained. It was somewhat through gritted teeth – she was still so angry at Felix, but Jeremy couldn’t cope. She needed to protect him, and if that meant playing nice with Felix, she was game.

“I’m in. Whatever I can do, I promise,” Felix vowed, looking both of them in the eyes. This was going to be an uphill battle, to say the absolute least.

Arriving back at the dorm felt strangely bittersweet for Jono. He’d had a day like no other, but it wasn’t about him. It was about Dylan, and Jono felt so lucky that Dylan chose him to be a part of it. Meeting his dad was an honour, even if the situation wasn’t what any of them would have desired.

Dylan hadn’t spoken much on the drive back home. Jono understood – if he’d experienced such polarising emotions, Dylan’s must have been multiplied by ten. Jono was so fortunate that he had both of his parents around. In fact, it was something of a rarity among the pack. He couldn’t take that for granted.

That said, Jono still yearned for parents that truly invested in him, like Caroline and Martin. They both cherished Dylan, and even made Jono himself feel like one of their own. He was on better terms with his own parents than earlier that year, but things had always been somewhat frosty.

“Welcome home,” Lily warmly greeted, leaping off the sofa, “How was it?” Dylan slid past her and into their bedroom.

“Yeah, all good. Everything okay here?” Jono asked, though he didn’t want to hang around long. Dylan needed him.

“All fine. Go on, go and see him,” Lily read his mind. Jono nodded gratefully, following Dylan into their bedroom, swerving the rest of the pack.

Inside, Dylan laid across his half of the bed. In his hands were a selection of photos, and Jono didn’t need to use his journalist skills to deduce who was in them. Without saying anything, Jono rolled across the bed behind Dylan, looking over his shoulder and wrapping his arms around him, spooning him cosily.

“I could lay here all day,” Jono commented, breaking the silence.

“I’m okay,” Dylan said. Jono purposely hadn’t asked; he wanted Dylan to speak in his own time, “I promise. I just need some time to process, you know?”

“Of course,” Jono assured, “Thank you for sharing your day with me. Your dad’s amazing. I can’t pretend to know how you’re feeling, but I’m here whenever you want to talk about it.”

“I know,” Dylan raised a slight smile, “Please, stay with me?”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Jono affirmed.

“This was our last photo together,” Dylan held one up for Jono to see. It was a very youthful-looking Dylan, lying beside his dad in a hospital bed.

“You both look so happy,” Jono was surprised. The smiles on both of their faces said it all.

“Dad always made sure I was happy, right to the very end,” Dylan explained, “Today was amazing. I know how lucky I am to have seen him again. I just can’t help feeling like I’ve lost him all over again.”

“Feel what you need to feel, because it’s valid and okay,” Jono encouraged, “You know, you’re going to be a great dad one day.”

“We both will,” Dylan nodded.

“I’ve not really got the best role model,” Jono sighed.

“Then you’ll do everything your dad never did for you,” Dylan replied, “Trust me, you’ll be incredible. Any kid would be lucky to have you as their dad.” Dylan flipped around to face Jono, eye-to-eye.

“I can’t wait for that day,” Jono beamed, leaning in to kiss Dylan. He’d heard about the so-called ‘honeymoon period’ before couples stopped finding a relationship so thrilling, but after three years, Jono cared for Dylan more and more every single day. Nobody excited him like he did. They had each other, forever and always.

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Next: "Territory"

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