He was still looking down at his feet, but he felt the shift in the mood at his words, and Filip whipped his head up to see it for himself. Nix looked pale, upset, about as lost and confused as Filip felt
. And that made it all worse; he felt even more awful than he had before, something tight closing in his chest at the realization of what he’d said, what that had implied. Nix was apologizing, but he shook his head vehemently. He was the one who should have been saying sorry. “No, don’t, it’s not like that,”
he tried again, swallowing around the lump in his throat. “It’s not… I didn’t… I didn’t mean it like that.”
God, he was a fucking idiot. What did he have to go and open his big mouth for? “No, Nix, I — I’m sorry, I just — I appreciate it, I do.”
He had to know that. Filip couldn’t give a whole lot, but he could give him that.
Nix was still looking at his feet, though, and Filip felt fucking horrible. “Yeah,” he whispered, “yeah, can’t miss movie night and shit. I know…” He tightened his arm around the other boy, and this time it was his turn to lean over, press a chaste kiss to Nix’s temple. He never had been entirely comfortable with physical affection in general, let alone the loads of platonic kisses the boy dumped on him all the time; Filip accepted them, but rarely reciprocated. But this time it felt necessary. “You’re my best friend. Right? I know that.” He swallowed. “You know that, too. Right?” If there was one thing Filip knew, it was that he couldn’t let Nix leave today ever doubting that. He was the best friend Fil could have ever asked for, maybe the only real friend he had. They were going to be okay, no matter what. He just had to remember that.
He just nodded, not even a little surprised by the kiss to his head when it came this time. “Okay,” he said softly. He knew that Nix should enjoy his time at the Academy. He deserved that. The fact that Filip wouldn’t be there to make those good memories with him — well, that shouldn’t have meant a thing. But he didn’t want to be forgotten. And he knew Nix understood that. He always seemed to understand. Filip opened his mouth to say so, to apologize for being so fucking shitty at this, but he was interrupted by a lull in all the conversations around them, a sudden kind of interruption as everyone seemed to turn in the same direction. Shit, shit, shit. He turned too, his stomach dropping as he watched the bus coming into view, pulling up nearby. Filip took a deep breath, trying not to make it too obvious as he did so, before continuing in a forced steady tone, “Well, at least enjoy it a bit before I get there to join you, yeah?”