Max repeatedly texts Dean to talk, but Dean’ texts are vague declines. When Dean throws a back to school party, Max decides to attend. Dean pretends he shows Max some cool area of the garden, but in reality he pulls Max to a corner of the garden where they can’t be seen, and the two of them kiss.
Both of them are skipping class the next few days, spending time alone in Max’ dorm room, not focusing on anyone else but the two of them. They discuss the existence of another parallel universe where they wouldn’t have to hide. Max comments he understands Dean can’t come out yet, stating his own coming out wasn’t a big deal. They then return to class eventually,their relationship remaining a secret.
At a party on September 21st, Dean and Max get caught by Mila and Katie. They agree to keep things a secret, on the condition that Dean talks to Samantha as soon as he can. When Dean tells her they couldn’t have been truly happy, Samantha’s reaction is better than anticipated. Dean then texts Max about the news, and as he rushes to Max room he texts him again, surprising him with a kiss in the middle of the dorm hallway. Dean admits he was with Samantha to try and suppress his feelings, but states that he didn’t want to forget about Max like he was trying to. Dean makes Max promise to keep their relationship a secret. Max reveals he made a mixtape that he was planning to give Dean. The two of them listen to it and they fall asleep.
Their relationship develops, but despite things going relatively good, Dean still hasn’t come out, causing for frustrations about sneaking around. When they mention society's stereotypes in social studis, Max points out his sexuality and the fact that he is a gay dancer could be a stereotype. Dean is blind sighted by this type of confession from Max, as he specifically mentions he is gay for the first time in front of other students. This triggered Dean, and he pushes Max away saying he needs time to think about his own sexuality.
Max then makes his way into the halloween party that he wasn’t invited too when he finds out Dean is there, trying to talk to him. However Max stumbles upon Samantha and Dean making out instead. When Max leaves angry, Mike comments about his attitude lately, causing Max to lash out even more, breaking down on the sidewalk a few blocks from the party.
The next morning at school, Max spots Dean’ group of friends and walks right by him, which Dean notices. Max then focusses his energy on trying to fix things with Mike and his friends, trying to ignore Dean. However he can’t ignore him when Dean joins his table at lunch. Dean tries to talk to Max, but doesn’t get the chance as Mike steals the moment to talk to Dean. As Mike and Dean fix things, Max walks away from the table. Later that night, Max tells Mike about him and Dean.
When rumors start to spread about them, Max denies it at first, but later confirms the rumor with his closest friends. He later gets a text from Dean, replying to Max questions about why he was making out with Samantha at the party by saying “you know why”. Max then hosts a gaming-night at his dorm, which gets interrupted when Dean knocks on the door. Max kicks out his other friends to spend the night with Dean. The next morning they grab breakfast together, before heading to Dean’s house. Dean recalls their first kiss in his room, and Max points out Dean was totally wasted that night. When Max asks Dean if he plans to do the same at winter formal in 3 weeks, Dean says he probably shouldn't.
At winter formal, Dean withnesses how the school treats Katie, and he considers breaking up with Max. He then talks to Mila, who says Dean is in a rare position where he can make a difference at the school. Dean makes that choice, enlisting Payton's help in changing the narrative around queer students at the school, along with Mila.
Dean then joins Max and his friends for game-night where all of his friends are supportive of their relationship. Samantha then calls Mike, asking for a confirmation of the boys’ relationship. Dean takes over the phone stating she needs to leave them and their friends alone. Max comments on it after he noticed Dean’ behavior and mood swings. Max states Dean pretends not to care about other people with his jock image, but that he knows he does care, using Samantha as an example. Dean specifies he cares about Max.
Max replies stating Dean is pretending to be a jock to hide the fact that he is gay. Dean then states who he is attracted to is not the reason why he can’t be real. He then reveals he has a substance abuse problem, revealing his pills and the fact that he is the cause of the school’s drug problem and Samantha’s involvement in it. Max leaves the room after this reveal.
Over the next few days both of them skip many classes, and Max tries to figure out the side of Dean he never realized he had. Samantha then notices Dean looking at party pictures, and she states Max can’t fix Dean. She also comments on how Max and Dean’s relationship didn’t mean anything because Dean was high most of the time anyways.
Max then texts Dean, asking if they could talk, but Dean doesn’t reply. Instead he is drinking heavily and mixing it with drugs, as he reads Max’ texts. Max concludes Dean is mad at him, but Mike points out the fact that Max was insensitive. Max then attends a party with Mike, but when a song from the playlist plays, he flashes back to his relationship with Dean.
Realizing Dean might do something stupid, Max pings the location of Dean’ phone at the place where they first connected. Dean is at Max' house, climbing up the wall to the balcony where they met, barely able to hold his balance when Max arrives. Max then states “I am with you.” As one of the lyrics of the song earlier, which causes Dean to make his way back to safety. Max then takes Dean to his room, revealing the mansion belongs to his family, and he throws out the remaining alcohol and pills Dean had with him.
Max then texts Samantha, who had gotten worried about Dean’ whereabouts, stating Dean was with him. Samantha warns Max for withdrawal symptoms, suggesting Max might be able to give Dean the help he needs. As Dean wakes up the next morning, he states his demons are not Max’ problem, but Max states that they are. Later on in the day, after freshing up, Dean asks Max why he hadn’t replied his question, which was why it was his problem. Max replies it’s his problem because he loves Dean. Dean replies saying he loves Max too.
Over the next few days Max enlists the help of his friends to make sure Dean doesn’t get in touch with alcohol. When Max gets invited to a party from the dance-team he declines, to the frustration of his straight friends because they like the dance girls.
When Dean goes through withdrawal, Max helps him covering up the withdrawal with food-poisoning. Max then mentions the party he got invited too, and says he is throwing a party himself instead. When Dean asks about the occasion, Max states it’s to celebrate his one day sobriety. When Dean states he doesn’t know if he can do it, Max tells him they’ll take things day by day. At the party they have fun with their joined group of friends, and without alcohol or drugs.