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Spring Tide

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She slipped back into the bedroom, back into bed, as quietly as she could, pausing only to check that Phoenix's alarm clock was actually set. It wasn't; she reached over and nudged the switch, and the click made both men shift in their sleep. She rolled to face Phoenix, fitting herself into the space between him and the edge of the bed without having to wake him any more than she already had.

"Mmph...where would I be without you?" Phoenix mumbled, pulling the comforter up over her shoulders. "Both of you."

He was mostly asleep; she should just tell him she loved him and let it drop, but she couldn't. She couldn't think of a single completely truthful response; after all the pain she'd caused him years ago, how could the correct answer be anything other than "happier"? And she couldn't say that, not ever, but especially not now when she wasn't even sure if he was really awake. She glanced aside, not wanting to look him in the eyes even when they were shut tight, and saw that she wasn't the only one fully awake.

Miles was propped up on one elbow, looking down at Phoenix like he didn't recognize him at all. She dipped her head closer to Phoenix, moving into his line of sight and smiled at him, just a little. You see it too, don't you? He caught her looking, and she could see the agreement cross his face as clearly as if he'd spoken aloud. He's a fool. She wasn't as good at reading him as Feenie, but she was getting better with practice. He couldn't have a response any more than she did; maybe some day he'd be comfortable enough to tell her the reasons why. But she understood about secrets, and Phoenix knew his and still trusted him; that was enough. So she just smiled. We're the lucky ones.

They'd been silent too long; Phoenix must have taken that as a cue to elaborate, because he reached one arm out to tug her closer, and the blankets shifted a bit, which probably meant he'd leaned back a little to try to coax Miles to do the same for him. "Lost at sea", he murmured, "without my safe harbor, and my guiding star."

His attempts at poetry were as bad as they'd been back in college; at least now she didn't have to pretend to like poetry, and Phoenix had mostly stopped trying. Poetry had always been for Dahlia, building a wall of perfect words between herself and the world. She shook her head a little to clear that image, and glanced over again at Miles, intending to roll her eyes and try to regain his attention to share in laughing at Phoenix. He didn't seem to notice her moving; his eyes were very wide, wider than even the dim light would require, and he was holding himself perfectly still. Except for his mouth, which was mouthing what had to be "guiding star". Well, he hadn't been on the receiving end of page after page of poorly-scanning poetry. Not unless there had been more to those letters of Phoenix's than she'd seen.

So she wasn't entirely surprised when Miles grabbed Phoenix's shoulder and pushed him roughly onto his back, towards Miles, and then leaned down and kissed him hard before Phoenix had even opened his eyes. It was still a little strange to see them kiss, still sent a little double wave of jealousy and guilt through her, but she forced it away and watched Phoenix wake up enough to turn the kiss into another one of their little competitions, waiting for someone to run out of air. When Miles finally pulled back, Phoenix was squinting up at him, grinning a little but still confused. She took pity on him, then, and leaned over for a kiss of her own, pressing closed lips gently against Phoenix's, demanding nothing. "Go to sleep, Feenie," she whispered. "We're not going anywhere."