(pete/mikey) He leans against Pete's shoulder and says, "We keep making mistakes." Pete kisses him, slow and dirty, and tells him that he'd rather make mistakes than nothing at all.
By the end of the first month of summer, Mikey's skin is almost the same colour as Pete's and peppered with bruises left as Pete roamed over him with his lips and the tips of his fingers. They form scattered constellations across his hips and his collarbone. Mikey thinks they're his favourite thing about summer.
When Pete goes home in the morning, Mikey lies on his bedroom floor and lets his hands wander over them. He loves the paled ache when he presses down on them, loves the way they look against his skin. They say firmly that Pete was here.
Later, Pete will come back and make new bruises, as he nips and grazes and tastes Mikey's skin, which will be salty and damp from the heat of the day; Mikey will leave a few bruises of his own as he does the same. They won't say anything, because nothing wants to be said.
August is dull and too humid. Pete and Mikey spend it under the stars. They tell each other that it's cooler at night, but really it's just easier to see each other in the dark.
Some nights, something feels off. Silence pulls taut the air between them and when they tangle their fingers together they don't seem to fit quite right. On those nights, when the sun starts to rise, Mikey knocks his elbow against Pete's leg and says, "Maybe it's over."
"There's plenty more fish in the sea," Pete replies with a shrug, and kisses Mikey's cheek.
Mikey's lost count of how many times he's said that over the past few years, not that it matters. No matter how many times he says it and no matter how many times Pete replies with the same thing, the world keeps turning exactly the same, and Pete and Mikey always come back to each other, in seconds or minutes or hours or days.
Mikey likes the way Pete talks when it's four a.m. and exhaustion is setting in. It's quiet, and hazy around the edges, and he talks about love and justice and fear and hate. He talks about stupid things and incomprehensible things; he makes Mikey feel very small, and he makes Mikey feel too big for his body.
He doesn't have words like Pete's. All he can do is hold Pete's hand tightly and kiss his jaw, his cheeks, his lips, and listen.
Pete is the dreamer. Mikey wonders if he's ever the dream.
Sometimes Pete and Mikey fall apart. It's always temporary and it always seems far bigger than it is. In mid-August, they venture out of Mikey's backyard to go get a midnight snack. Mikey wants sushi. Pete wants pizza. Mikey agrees to pizza; he wants pepperoni. Pete wants vegetarian. They get plain cheese. Pete complains that it tastes boring; Mikey snaps that he hates vegetarian pizza. Pete responds huffily that he's never even tried it.
Suddenly, Mikey has had enough of Pete. He doesn't say more than ten words to him from the time they leave the pizza parlour and the time they arrive back at Mikey's. Pete goes home about three hours earlier than usual. Mikey goes to bed and does his best to tuck his tears away behind his eyelids.
Pete shows up as usual the next evening, and Mikey is left breathless with relief. He leans against Pete's shoulder and says, "We keep making mistakes."
Pete kisses him, slow and dirty, and tells him that he'd rather make mistakes than nothing at all.
On the occasions that Mikey doesn't sleep through the day, he wanders around the house in a daze. He's always acutely aware of the hickeys on his neck. His parents don't ask. He doesn't tell.
He loves the way he and Pete fit together, like two halves of a broken heart. He loves the tangle of their legs and the way their fingers lace together and the feeling of Pete's lips against his own. He settles comfortably in the knowledge that Pete knows every inch of his body, and revels in the fact that he knows every inch of Pete's.
He loves how Pete just...gets him; how he can finish Mikey's thoughts without Mikey having voiced them, how he sometimes seems to know what Mikey's going to say before he does.
Pete understands, and Mikey understands Pete.
Mikey is in love.
He loves Pete with every fiber of his being. It settles in his bones and it buoys him up; he is terrified and elated.
He feels oddly at ease.
He doesn't say a word about it to Pete. He knows perfectly well that every one of Pete's instincts will tell him to run, and Mikey isn't sure that he would stay and fight.
Pete and Mikey watch a sunrise during the last week of summer. There is a heavy silence hanging over them like a blanket of smog. Mikey feels like he can't breathe.
"Maybe it's over," he says quietly.
Pete doesn't say anything.
The next night, Pete sings rock ballads loudly and off-key, spinning Mikey around his backyard under the stars. Mikey laughs like he's never laughed before and feels things he's never felt before. He throws his head back and drinks in the night air, and when he catches sight of Pete's face it's all sucked out of him again.
"There's plenty more fish in the sea," Pete says.
Mikey's eyebrows knit together but Pete speaks again before Mikey can ask a question.
"But I don't want a fish," he says. "All I want is you."
It's the stupidest and most wonderful thing Mikey has ever heard. Then Pete kisses him.
Mikey feels the weight settle more comfortably on his bones. He feels like his feet will leave the ground at any second now.
Pete presses his fingers into the old bruises on Mikey's hips. Mikey kisses him back.
By the end of the summer, Mikey is Pete's, and Pete is Mikey's. Mikey complains that some of the marks have faded, and Pete makes new ones like he has all the time in the world. Mikey thinks of making more when his tan has faded and his skin is pale. Pete looks forward to it, and nips lightly at Mikey's neck, where everyone can see.
Later, Mikey will go over it with his fingers, press down to feel the dull ache. Pete was here. Pete will be here again. For now, that can be enough.