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It's Now or Never

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“How much time do I have?” Spencer asked, her eyes brimming with unshed tears. She’s been staring at the papers in her hand for god knows how long, ignoring everyone else in the room.

“5 months, a year at the most. I’m really sorry. We’ve done everything we could. We’ve exhausted all other options.”

“So this is what losing feels like.” Spencer chuckled bitterly, her voice dripping with sarcasm. I’m a Hastings, we don’t lose at anything, she thought. But this, this is something not even Melissa or her parents can win. No matter how hard they tried, how many experts they’ve gone to, the results that they gave her were all the same. It’s a loss cause. She is a lost cause.

“This can’t be happening. It should have been me.” Melissa said, surprising Spencer. The older sister was seated beside Spencer, crying softly on her side since they both read the results. “Why can’t it just be me?” Melissa suddenly stated, her arms crushing Spencer’s body in a tight hug. “I don’t wanna lose you.” She’s sobbing uncontrollably now.

Spencer returned her older sister’s embrace, her right hand gently stroking her back. Funny, she thought, Melissa should be the one comforting her, not the other way around. “Melissa,” Spencer stated. “Stop being a baby. It’s not like I’m leaving today. I still have 365 days at the most, right? And it’s not like you’ll miss me. I know you’ll be happier without me around. You can have your next boyfriend all to yourself.” Spencer stated, trying to make fun of the situation.

“Spencer!” Melissa suddenly pulled from her, her damp eyes glaring at Spencer’s. "It’s not funny! I- I can’t lose you. I love you. You’re my baby sis. I’m not going to lose you. We’ll find another doctor.” Melissa stated as she got up from the chair. She pulled Spencer up and walked out of the doctor’s office without so much as a glance to Spencer's doctor.


 Spencer pulled Melissa to a stop as they reached Melissa’s car in the parking lot. “Melissa,” Spencer began, “This is the 30th Oncologist we’ve gone to in 3 months. I doubt if we’ll get a different answer next time. We’ve practically gone around the world in 90 days. And as much as I love travelling, I’m really physically and emotionally exhausted.” Spencer stated, forcing a smile. She had always dreamt of travelling around the world, and she just did. They just visited a number of countries in the past three months, though not for the reasons that she dreamt of.

“I’m not giving up.” Melissa replied, looking Spencer straight in the eyes. “I can’t. I can’t lose you. I know I’ve never been the perfect sister to you and I want to make it up to you. I’ll be the best sister to you from now until we’re both old and wrinkly. Please?” Her eyes and face were covered with tears, smudging her make-up.

“But you are. Despite our differences, despite all of the bad things that I did, you didn’t hate me. You didn’t disown me. I wouldn’t trade you for anyone else. You are the best sister for me. You have been and still are. We both know it’s over. I have to accept it. You should too.”

Melissa nodded in defeat, pulling Spencer in her arms, holding her sister tight. “I’m sorry. It’s just really hard.” She pulled away slightly, cupping Spencer’s face in her hands. “You are so much braver and stronger than me. You’ve always been. I love you, Spence.”

“I love you too. Let’s go home. We have to tell mom and dad.” Spencer said after a few minutes, pulling away from her sister. Melissa nodded and they both got into her car.


 The girls found both Veronica and Peter on the couch, talking about a case as they entered their home. “Mom, dad, we need to tell you something.” Spencer began, taking her older sister’s hand for support. They spent the next couple of hours telling their parents about the true nature of their trips.

For the first time in their lives, both Veronica and Peter Hastings were at a loss for words.

For the first time in their lives, both cried in front of their daughters.

For the first time in the Hastings’ house, the family is engulfed in a big hug.

For the first time in the Hastings’ lives, they had to face defeat.

Chapter Text

Spencer glanced at the clock in her room. It read 6:00 am. Surprisingly, she had a full 8 hours of sleep. She hasn’t been sleeping well in the past few months, but after crying her heart and eyes out with her family last night, her body surrendered from all the exhaustion. She fell asleep in her mother’s arms on the couch last night, she suddenly remembered. Her dad must have carried her upstairs to her room after that.

Spencer sat up and sighed, remembering that it was the first day of school. She contemplated going to school or not.

Spencer Hastings is ditching school?

She was afraid to go to school, afraid to face her friends. For she knew that the moment she sees them, she might break down and cry.

Spencer Hastings never misses a day in school.

Spencer Hastings never breaks down.

Well, Spencer Hastings isn’t perfect either. She’s a freaking time bomb.

Pushing negative thoughts at the back of her mind, Spencer got up and headed to the shower to get ready for school. 


 

Spencer stood outside, staring at the school’s front doors. She thought about all the memories that she and the other girls shared in this place, both good and bad. There was an awful ache in her heart, thinking that this will be her final year in this place, with her friends. Fighting back her tears and lifting her chin up, Spencer walked up the steps and entered the door.

The brunette threaded the busy hallways towards her locker and spotted her petite friend Aria, gathering her stuff from her own locker. She hasn’t seen any of the girls the whole summer break, and god knows how she missed them. Smiling mischievously, she silently approached the smaller girl from behind. Spencer sneaked her arms on the smaller girl’s waist and planted a kiss on her right cheek.

“Guess who?” Spencer whispered.

“Spencer Hastings. As if.” Aria replied, turning around and hugging Spencer.

“As if?” Spencer replied, her left brow rising.

“As if there’s someone else who’s got that sexy, husky voice of yours.” Rolling her eyes and grinning at her best friend.

“You think I’m sexy?” Spencer asked, raising her brows and smiling suggestively at the smaller girl.

“Your voice, Spence. I meant your voice sounds sexy.” Aria replied, to which Spencer pouted and replied “Only my voice?”

“Fine. You are sexy. You are my best friend, after all.” Laughing at Spencer, she added “How’ve you been? I didn’t hear from you all summer.”

“Er. I was, uh...” Spencer started to say. “Uhm, I’ll tell you about it later. Why don’t you tell me about yours instead?” Spencer bit her lip, looking at Aria nervously.

“We can talk about it over coffee, later after school?” Aria suggested, wondering why her friend suddenly seemed nervous.

“Alright then.”  Giving her friend a weak smile, she hugged her again. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Spence.”

The smaller girl hugged her back. Pulling away a little, Aria stared at her friend’s eyes, trying to search for reasons why Spencer is suddenly acting weird. Out of the four of them, Aria was closest to Spencer. They are more affectionate with each other and she can read her mind better than the others. This time though, it was as if there was a veil in Spencer’s eyes, one that’s keeping her from looking deeper. 

“Hi guys!” Emily greeted, interrupting the two brunettes. She was gathering her books from her own locker when she spotted the two. She purposely walked in when she saw the girls hugging again, hoping to interrupt whatever moment they were having. She’s always been jealous of Aria, for the two brunettes were always more affectionate towards each other. She knew she shouldn’t feel that way; they are all best friends after all. Still, she couldn’t help but feel jealous, irritated and angry whenever someone else other than her is being physically close with Spencer. Emily’s been in love with Spencer since god knows when. She just couldn’t admit it to her.

Spencer turned around upon hearing Emily’s voice. “Emily.” Spencer breathed, as if in a trance. She pulled away from Aria’s grip and stared at the most beautiful girl on the planet, giving her a warm smile. If she had included the planets in the solar system during her trips with Melissa, she’d surely say that Emily is the most beautiful girl in the universe. Wait, I don’t have to go planet-hopping to know that. I know that Emily’s beauty is incomparable. She definitely is the most beautiful girl, person, species, whatever, in the whole universe. Spencer has been in love with her best friend for the longest time, but she’s never admitted this to the tanned beauty in fear of losing their friendship. Besides, Emily has never shown any sign that she liked the brunette back.

“Hey, Spence.” Emily smiled, completely forgetting that their other friend was with them. She felt as if the whole world suddenly stopped moving and that she and Spencer were the only ones standing there right at that moment. Whenever Spencer looked right into her with those beautiful eyes and gorgeous smile, Emily becomes oblivious to everything else around her. Go on, give her a hug. She’s your best friend. It’s okay.

Emily took a step forward to give Spencer a hug when Hanna suddenly came running towards them and engulfed the three of them in one big hug.

“Oh my god! I missed you guys! Where were you all summer, Spence? I want to hear all the details!” the pretty blonde exclaimed.

“Spencer and I are having coffee at The Brew after school. We should all go. Catch up.” Aria implied.

Spencer looked at Aria with surprise written all over her face.

What?” Aria raised her eyebrows at Spencer.

I wanted to talk to you alone.” Spencer shot back at Aria with her eyes.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” Aria replied, giving Spencer an apologetic smile.

“It’s fine.” Spencer replied with a shrug.

The two were having a silent conversation with their eyes.

“Would you guys please stop doing that mental therapy thing? It’s creeping me out.” Hanna replied, looking at Spencer and Aria.

“It’s mental telepathy, Han.” Emily interjected. “What were you guys conversing in your heads about anyways? Hannah and I are right here, you know. Rude.” She added, looking at the two brunettes.

Just then the bell rang. Saved by the bell. Spencer thought.

“Sorry, I need to get to class. See you later guys.” Spencer stated, briefly hugging Aria and waving at Hannah.

The two shorter girls walked off together to their first period class.

“It’s nice to see you, Em. We’ll talk later.” Spencer suddenly leaned in and hugged her tanned friend.

“I love you.” Spencer whispered to Emily’s right ear, causing the swimmer to freeze a bit, her eyes almost bulging out of their sockets. Smiling at Emily, Spencer walked off and headed to class, leaving the swimmer frozen to her spot, her mouth hanging open.


 

Hanna was sitting at their usual table in the cafeteria, texting her boyfriend Caleb. Spotting her best friend, Spencer walked over and placed her tray on the table and sat beside the blonde.

“Hey Hanna,” Spencer stated, giving her friend a hug and kissing her temple. “I love you.”

Hanna looked at Spencer with narrowed eyes. “I love you too, Spence. What’s going on?” 

“What do you mean?” Spencer replied, casually taking a bite from her sandwich.

“What’s with the PDA? You only do that with your little wife.” Hannah asked the brunette, eyes still focused on her.

“I just missed you, that’s all. Can’t I be affectionate with you? And please stop calling Aria my little wife. It’s disconcerting.” Spencer retorted, rolling her eyes at Hanna.

“Fine. I’m just not used to this side of the impassive Spencer Hastings.”

“Well, you better get used to it.”

“Hey guys!” Aria said as she approached their table. The petite brunette then put her tray on the table and took the seat across Spencer.

“Hey, Spencer’s little wife.” Hanna replied cheerfully at Aria.

“Stop calling me that. It’s disconcerting.” Aria glared at Hannah, shaking her head.

“Ugh. Could you not talk alike? It’s like you’re from the same species or something.” Hannah groaned.

“We are of the same species, Han. That includes you.” Aria replied, rolling her eyes at Hannah.

Spencer smiled as she watched her two best friends, both happiness and sadness enveloping her heart. If I only have more time with you guys.

Chapter Text

Aria walked inside The Brew, scanning the small cafe in search of her friends. Her gaze settled on the girl sitting on the corner couch. She smiled and called out to her friend after giving her order to the barista, but the taller brunette didn’t budge. Spencer just sat there, lost in her thoughts. As soon as she placed her order, Aria walked towards the corner couch and carefully sat beside Spencer, placing her hand on the shoulder of the taller brunette’s.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Aria asked softly.

Spencer flinched at the sudden contact, the coffee in her hands almost spilling. “Aria! Geez! You scared me!”

 “Is everything okay? You look like you’re a million miles away.” The smaller girl stated anxiously as she gave her best friend a hug.

“Sorry. There’s just a lot going on in my mind.” Spencer explained as she returned the hug.

“There’s something that I have to tell you, Ar.” Spencer continued.

“What is it Spence? You know you can tell me anything, right?” Aria asked, offering a smile as she looked at her friend cautiously.

Struggling with her next words, Spencer found some courage from the hazel eyes that were looking at her expectantly. “I’m sick, Ar.” She breathed out.

“What? How are you feeling? Do you have a fever?” Aria asked worriedly.

“No, I don’t have a fever. I’m okay.” Spencer answered, gently removing Aria’s hand from her forehead.

“But I thought you said you’re sick? C’mon, I’ll drive you home.” The smaller girl offered, pulling up the taller brunette to her feet.

“No. It’s not like that. I have…” Spencer’s reply was cut short as a dimpled beauty with sunny blonde hair, doll eyes, and plump pout suddenly stood in front of her.

“Spencer…“ Her name flowed sweetly from the girl’s lips. Before Spencer could respond, the girl’s hands reached out, grabbing Spencer by the collar of her blazer and planted a sweet kiss to her lips.


 “Hey Em, we missed you earlier at lunch. Is everything okay?” Hanna asked as she fell into step beside Emily. The girls were on their way to The Brew to meet with Aria and Spencer.

“Yeah, I just needed to talk to coach, is all.” Emily lied. She purposely avoided sitting with them during lunch break because of the damn butterflies that wouldn’t leave her stomach since she parted with Spencer that morning. She kept hearing Spencer’s voice over and over again in her head, making her zone out on all of her classes. “It’s nice to see you, Em. We’ll talk later. I love you.” 

She replayed the last three words in her head over and over again. Of course she knew that Spencer loved her, she just wasn’t vocal about it. They’ve been best friends for years, but Spencer has never been vocal and affectionate towards her. That’s a “Team Sparia” thing. Hannah came up with that name for Spencer and Aria, as they were always hugging and saying I love you’s to each other. There’s something about the way that Spencer said those words to her, though. The way the brunette hugged her and flashed her that gorgeous smile of hers. It made Emily weak at the knees. It gave her inexplicable happiness, like winning the lottery, or more. Definitely more, Emily thought.

“She loves me, Han! She told me she loves me!” Emily suddenly blurted out to Hanna.

“Who? Spencer?” Hanna asked, grabbing Emily’s arm and pulling them to a stop.

“No, Aria. Duh.” The tanned girl replied, rolling her eyes at the blonde.

“Really? So are you guys finally together now? When did this happen?” Hanna squealed with excitement.

“This morning before first period. She hugged me and told me she loves me.” Emily replied, grinning timidly.

“Oh. Well, she did the same to me earlier at lunch break. She said it’s like the new her or something.” Hanna stated, offering a small smile to her best friend.

Emily’s face fell. “Oh. Right. “ Her smile faded as her heart crumbled at what the blonde shared.

“I just thought…” Looking at the ground, she tried to say something, her eyes seeking words on the pavement without success.

“I’m sorry, Em. Why don’t you just tell her how you feel about her so you can go on and live happily ever after?” Hanna said as she placed her right hand on the swimmer’s back, offering comfort.

“I don’t know, Han. She’s not even gay. What if she doesn’t feel the same way? What if she hates me? What if she starts avoiding me? Oh my god, I’m going to lose her! She’ll hate me forever!”

Her confident smile from earlier was immediately replaced with sadness and fear. She turned to face Hanna, her right hand clutching the blonde’s left arm, as she threw questions one after the other.

“Em, stop. Spencer could never hate you. Trust me; there is no bad bone in that girl’s body. If she doesn’t feel the same, I’m sure you’re still going to be friends. You’ve been best friends for a very long time.”

“How do I tell her? I don’t even know how to talk to her. I wouldn’t know where to start.”

Hanna felt bad for her best friend. Emily’s been pining for the geeky girl since she can remember. She can tell how much the former loves the brunette. Emily’s a confident athlete, but Spencer is her Achilles heel. When it comes to the brunette, her courage crumbles. Her fierce shark eyes are swiftly replaced with puppy lovestruck eyes whenever she looks at Spencer.

“Just walk right up to her and tell her how you feel.” Hanna offered encouragingly.

“It’s not that simple, okay? I’m scared. I love her so much. If she doesn’t feel the same, I’ll just end up with a broken heart. I can’t take that risk. I need time to think this through.” Emily whined.

“Em, if you don’t tell her now, you’re just going to end up with more “what ifs”. You’ve been secretly in love with her practically half of your life. If you’ve told her how you felt years ago, then you’d probably be married by now.” Hanna joked, trying to lighten the mood.

“If you really love her that much, don’t you think she’s worth the risk?” She added candidly.

Hanna may not be as smart as Spencer, but somehow her words made sense to Emily.

“You’re right. You know what? I’m gonna tell her now.” Emily confidently stated. She resumed walking, dragging Hanna by the arm.

“Now?” Hanna blurted out with a surprise.

“Yes. Now. C’mon, let’s go.” Emily answered, hoping her pristine confidence wouldn’t falter as they reached the coffee place.

“Wait! I’m gonna need a Spemily shirt and some pom-poms!” Hanna squealed teasingly.

“Shut up Han!” Emily shot back, playfully swatting her best friend’s arm.

 

As Emily and Hanna walked in on The Brew, the smile from the tanned girl’s face fell. Hurt and anger was evident as her eyes landed on an unknown blonde girl pressing her lips to the object of her affection.

Chapter Text

Spencer chose to sit on the corner couch of the coffee shop. She didn’t want to run to or engage in any conversation with some acquaintance. She needed a temporary escape as she waited for her three best friends to arrive. Thoughts of everything that has happened during the past few years flooded her mind. She was trying to deal with copious unfamiliar feelings at the same time. Spencer Hastings felt scared, weak, hopeless and alone.

How do I tell them? Should I tell them?

She knows that she owes her three best friends the truth, but does she have the courage to tell them?

We’re still not over Ali’s disappearance. How can they deal with me bailing on them as well?

Alison DiLaurentis was the fifth member of their posse. The fierce blonde girl disappeared more than two years ago. She was the leader of their group. She brought them all together. Spencer and Alison have had their discordances in the past, as both have strong personalities. Of the four of them, Spencer was the only one who can stand up to Alison, and this often resulted in an exchange of harsh words between the two. Still, the two remained good friends. Unbeknownst to everyone, Spencer still hopes that Alison will come back someday. She didn’t want to accept the idea that the girl might be dead. Differences aside, she truly loved Ali. She is one of her best friends after all. Spencer is fiercely loyal to and protective of her four best friends and isn’t one to hold grudges.

If Alison was here, she’ll probably laugh at how pathetic I am; of how weak I’ve become. Spencer thought.

Spencer was pulled from her thoughts by a soft touch her on the shoulder. She was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn’t notice her best friend Aria as the smaller brunette sat beside her.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Aria asked softly.

Spencer wanted to tell her everything, but she couldn’t find the words. She didn’t know where to start. As she was miserably trying to talk to Aria, Spencer suddenly found herself face to face with a girl from her past.

“Spencer…” the girl breathed out, her name flowing sweetly from the girl’s lips. Before Spencer could respond, the girl yanked her from the collar of her blazer and pulled her in for a kiss. The blonde girl’s lips felt so sweet and familiar, that Spencer almost gave in to the kiss. Overcoming the initial shock, Spencer gently pulled away from the blonde.

“Cassie. What are you doing here?” Spencer asked as she held the dimpled blonde’s arms.

“I was in town. I wanted to see you so I went to your house. Melissa said I’d find you here. I just wanted to say hi.” Cassie casually replied, smiling sweetly at Spencer.

 “And by that you meant shoving your tongue down her throat?” Emily exclaimed as she strode down inside the coffee shop, interrupting the two.

“Em!” Hanna grabbed her best friend’s arm, startled on the usually meek girl’s action.

Surprised by Emily’s sudden outburst, Spencer shot the tanned girl a questioning look, but the tanned girl ignored her, focusing only on the stranger that is now holding Spencer’s hand.

“I’m sorry.” Spencer began, giving the girl an apologetic look before turning to the other girls and introducing them one by one.  “These are Emily and Hannah. You already met Aria. Guys, this is Cassie, my ex-girlfriend.”

“Wait, what? When did this happen?” Emily almost shouted; a mixture of surprise and confusion on her face. Hanna stood beside Emily, slack-jawed, too astounded to say anything.

“Couple of years ago. “ Spencer answered calmly, trying to understand why her tanned friend is freaking out more than Hanna is. Hanna is usually more upfront than Emily. Spencer never discussed her sexuality with her best friends or anyone else for that matter, except for Aria. It really wasn’t a big deal to her and nobody ever questioned her before anyway. She never expected this kind of reaction from Emily though, as the swimmer was openly gay, hence she should be more supportive of Spencer.

“And you never told us, why?” Hanna asked, finally finding her voice.

“Spencer and I dated for a just a few weeks. I never got the chance to meet you guys. Except for Aria. I met her once.” Cassie interrupted. Spencer gave her a slight smile, silently thanking the blonde for trying to save her from the abrupt third degree that her two best friends are putting her into.

Aria sat on the end of the couch, silently watching the exchange between her best friends with amusement. She had always thought that Emily liked Spencer. She’d seen the longing looks from the swimmer when Spencer wasn’t looking, the twinkle in her eyes whenever Spencer smiles at her and the glares that the tanned girl unconsciously gave Aria whenever Spencer was hugging her or kissing her on the cheek. She never confronted the tanned girl about it as she wasn’t sure if she read the signs right, but now it seems that her suspicions were quite accurate.

Suddenly on Emily’s radar, the tanned girl turned to the smaller brunette. “Aria! You knew about this and didn’t tell us?”

“It wasn’t my place to say. Besides, as Cassie said, it was just a few weeks. They broke up and Cassie left.” The smaller brunette calmly explained with a shrug.

“Why did you leave Spencer?“ “Why did you guys break up? Hanna and Emily simultaneously asked.

“Guys, can we just sit and have a normal and peaceful conversation about this? I’m sorry, Cass.” Spencer suggested as she sat on the couch, pulling Cassie’s hand so the blonde can sit between her and Aria.

“It’s alright, babe.” Cassie smiled at Spencer as they sat.

“Babe? Spencer just said ex-girlfriend! Babe?!” Emily repeated, eyes narrowing and eyebrows scrunching. She knew that she was acting irrationally, but she couldn’t help the words coming out of her mouth. She’s not Spencer’s girlfriend anymore! How dare she call Spencer babe! Ugh! And how dare Spencer keep this from me!

Hanna plopped on the chair across from Aria, putting a hand over her mouth as she tried to hide her grin. Although Emily’s sudden change in demeanor was a surprise to her, she didn’t want to intervene as she just wanted to sit back and watch with amusement as to how this little drama will unfold.

“Sorry. Old habits die hard.” Cassie smirked at Emily, keenly expressing that she wasn’t intimidated by the tanned girl.

Spencer put her hands to her head, massaging her temples. Her head was starting to throb and she was getting nauseated from this debacle. Spencer noticed that Emily was still standing and silently fuming for reasons that she has yet to understand. “Em…” Spencer took the tanned girl’s left hand and linked the girl’s fingers with her own, giving the swimmer a pleading look. Surprised at the action, Emily relaxed a bit and sighed as sat on the armchair beside Spencer, keeping their fingers entwined.

“To answer your questions, Emily,” Cassie began, “First, I had to transfer schools because my dad got a job offer in New York. Second, well…I had tough competition. It’s hard to be with someone whose heart belongs to someone else. Well, at least I had my chance with Spencer, even if it was just for a little while.”

Spencer gave the blonde an apologetic look.

“It’s alright, Spence. I’m over it.” Cassie said, lightly rubbing Spencer’s left arm.

“Doesn’t seem like you are.” Emily mumbled.

“Wait, you transferred schools? Did you go to Rosewood High? I’m sure I’ve never seen you before.” Hanna suddenly interrupted.

“No, I went to Hollis.” Glancing at her watch, she added “Well, I better get going. I just wanted to drop by and see you for a while. Walk me to my car, Spence?” Cassie asked as she got up from her seat.

“Sure.” Spencer replied, reluctantly letting go of Emily’s hand.

“Bye guys. It was nice meeting you.” Cassie waved and smiled at the three girls as she started to walk out of the café.


 

“Do you really have to leave so soon? Can’t you hang out with us for a while?” Spencer asked as they crossed the street towards Cassie’s car.

“Spence, if I stay there a minute more, your girlfriend will rip me up to shreds.” Cassie chuckled.

“Girlfriend? You mean Emily? She’s not my girlfriend.”

“What? Why? Don’t tell me you’re still hung up on me.” The dimpled blonde joked. “C’mon Spence, she’s the reason why you and I didn’t work out, right?”

“I just… I never got the chance to tell her how I feel, you know. Besides, she was dating this girl Maya back then.” Spencer explained as they approached Cassie’s car.

“Are they still together now?” Cassie asked carefully, her eyes narrowing a little.

“No.” The brunette replied, looking at the ground.

“So, you’re both single?” Cassie asked incredulously.

“Yes.” Spencer replied, still looking at the ground and biting her lip.

The dimpled blonde stared at her in disbelief. She slapped the brunette’s arm to get the girl to look her in the eyes. “Well, what are you waiting for? If you don’t wanna be with her I’m gonna kidnap you and take you to New York so I can have you all to myself. I’m serious.”

“You still haven’t changed, Cass.” Spencer laughed, shaking her head at the blonde’s folly.

“Ditto. After all these years, you still take my breath away, Spencer Hastings.” Cassie smiled, her eyes conveying adulation as she gently held the brunette’s face with her hands. “Seriously. Go get your girl, Hastings!” the blonde added.

Spencer returned her gaze. She really liked Cassie. If she weren’t hopelessly in love with Emily, things might have worked out between them. “Alright! Alright!” Spencer raised her arms in mock surrender. “Thanks for taking time to see me, Cass.” Spencer added, smiling genuinely at the blonde.

“Anytime, Spence. It was really nice seeing you. Keep in touch, ok?” Cassie answered as she pulled Spencer in for a hug before getting into her car.


 

“You’re gay and you never told us?” Hanna immediately asked as soon as Spencer returned to the café and took a seat between Aria and Emily.

Emily glared at Hanna. “It’s okay, Spence. We’re here to support you, as you did to me when I came out.” Turning to Spencer, Emily smiled and lightly rubbed the brunette’s arm.

Spencer sighed and rubbed her temples. “Thanks, Em, though I prefer not to be labelled. I really have no gender preference when it comes to love. It’s the soul of the person that I fall in love with.”

“But why didn’t you tell us? Why did you lie to us?” Hanna asked stubbornly.

“I didn’t lie. You just never asked me about it.” Spencer frowned.

“Aria knew!” Hanna shot back.

“Aria and I have known each other since pre-school and well, she asked. You know how inquisitive she is.”  Spencer shot back at Hanna. “I think she’ll be a better lawyer than me.” Spencer added, turning to Aria and grinning at the smaller brunette.

“No way! Courtroom drama’s not for me. I just love picking your brain, Spence. There are lots of areas to explore inside that head of yours.” Aria ruffled Spencer’s hair as she spoke.

“Fine. Just so you know, I’m here for you as well. I totally support you.” Hanna said, offering the taller brunette a smile.

“Thanks Hanna.” Spencer replied, smiling back at her.

Aria’s phone suddenly buzzed, indicating a text message. “I gotta go. My mom just texted and asked me to pick-up Mike from lacrosse practice. Sorry Spence. See you at school tomorrow?”

A part of her wanted to ask Aria to stay, as she wanted to talk about her situation with her best friend. However, her head is really throbbing now. She just wants to go home and curl up on her bed. “No problem Ar. I’ll see you at school. Love you.”

“Love you too. Go home and take some rest, okay?” Aria ordered as she hugged the taller brunette.

“Yes ma’am.” Spencer said.

As Aria got up to leave, Hanna’s phone buzzed. “It’s Caleb. I have to go meet him. Sorry Em. You can catch a ride with Spencer, right?”

“Sure, Han.” Emily replied.

“Bye Spence. Bye Em.” Hanna waved as she winked at Emily.

“Are you going to run off to somewhere as well, Em?” Spencer asked as she turned her attention to Emily, missing the wink that Hanna gave to the swimmer.

“Nope. We could hang out here for a while, unless you have other plans.” Emily replied, silently wishing that Spencer doesn’t have other plans for the day. She was grateful that the two girls had to leave early, leaving her and Spencer. Now that they’re alone, maybe she can finally talk about how she feels towards the brunette.

“Actually, I just want to go home and hit the sack early if you don’t mind.” Spencer said, rubbing her temples.

“Oh.” Emily replied, trying to hide her disappointment. “Are you alright, Spence?” Emily asked, noticing that Spencer has been rubbing her temples since the little fiasco with her and Cassie earlier.

“Yeah. Probably still jet lagged. I haven’t had a decent sleep since Melissa and I came home.” Spencer lied.

“Give me your keys and I’ll drive you home. I can walk from your place to mine.” Emily offered.

“Are you sure? I can drop you off so you won’t have to walk.”

“It’s just a five-minute walk from your house to mine Spence. Shall we?” Emily smiled as she stood up and offered her hand to the brunette.

“Alright. Thanks Em.” Spencer replied, returning Emily’s smile as she took her hand.


 

“Spence?” Emily asked, briefly glancing at the brunette on the passenger seat as she drove from The Brew to Spencer’s house.

“Yeah?” Spencer replied, watching Emily as the tanned girl drove.

Emily pulled the car to a stop on a red light and turned to Spencer. “I’m sorry about how I acted earlier. I was out of line. I was just surprised.”

Spencer smiled and held her gaze, causing the swimmer’s stomach to do flip-flops. “Don’t worry about it Em.” She replied, grabbing Emily’s right hand and entwining their fingers as she did earlier.

Emily hoped that Spencer doesn’t notice how she was blushing at the contact. Spencer didn’t let go of Emily’s hand as the tanned girl drove, both girls smiling the rest of the way home.

Chapter Text

Aria’s phone rang as she was getting ready for school. “Spence? What’s up?” She asked as she accepted the call.

“Hey, Ar. I was just wondering if I could get a ride to school today.” Spencer asked hesitantly.

“Sure. I’ll be there in 10.” Aria replied.

“Thanks. See you in 10.” Spencer replied before hanging up.


 

“Hey. Everything okay?” Aria asked as Spencer she slid in the passenger seat.

“Yeah. Why?” Spencer asked after the two shared a quick hug.

“Because you’re asking for a ride to school.” Aria stated as Spencer rarely carpooled with them.

“Oh. Uhm…My car’s in the shop. For periodic maintenance, that’s why.” Spencer lied. Her headaches were becoming more frequent, so she decided to avoid driving as much as she could.

“Oh, okay. So…what happened yesterday? You know, after Hanna and I left?” Aria wiggled her eyebrows suggestively, teasing Spencer a little. Aria knew that Spencer was in love with their tanned best friend. The taller brunette admitted it to her several years ago.

“Uh…nothing. We went home right after you guys did.”

“What? Why? Did you not see Emily’s reaction when she met Cassie? She wanted to beat the crap out of your ex-girlfriend! I’m telling you, Emily wants you as bad as you want her. Why didn’t you talk to her about it yesterday?” Aria asked as she drove.

“Maybe she was just pissed that I never told her and Hanna about Cassie. We weren’t supposed to keep secrets from each other, right? That’s probably all there is to it.”

“C’mon Spence! She totally acted like a jealous girlfriend! She wants you, Spence. Maybe she’s just waiting for you to make the first move.”

Spencer didn’t say anything. She just stared out the window the rest of the way. Aria decided not to push the subject as she let the taller brunette get lost in her own thoughts.


 

 Spencer sat in her Chemistry class, reading her notes while waiting for their teacher to arrive. Most of the students have arrived as well and were huddled in small groups, making small talk as they waited for their teacher. Spencer didn’t mind the noise as she was too immersed in studying. She wasn’t able to study the previous night. She went to bed early because the pounding in her head was just too much for her. Spencer suddenly heard gasps from her classmates. The brunette looked up from her notes with a curious look and followed everyone else’s gazes. Her jaw dropped as her eyes fell on the girl standing at the door. There stood Jenna Marshall, minus her sunglasses and her walking stick.

Jenna was blinded a few weeks before Alison disappeared, due to a prank that accidentally set their house on fire. The prank, sadly, was pulled by Spencer’s own posse, which was then led by Alison DiLaurentis. Jenna dropped out of school to receive treatment and then transferred to a school for the visually impaired. Spencer heard rumours that Jenna had undergone surgery, but that was all that she knew about the girl. Apparently the surgery worked, as Jenna now stood in front of them and is clearly able to see again.

Jenna walked anxiously inside the classroom. She was clearly having a hard time focusing since everyone’s eyes are on her. As she passed by one of the tables, Jenna’s arm accidentally tipped a beaker, shattering the glass into pieces as it hit the floor. “Watch it! Are you blind or something?!”

The class erupted in laughter at the girl’s remark. Spencer recognized the girl as Paige McCullers, the very same bitch that tried to drown Emily a few months ago.

“I- I’m really sorry.” Jenna stammered.

“That’s mature, McCullers. Very mature.” Spencer suddenly remarked from her seat. The laughter died down as the class heard the student body president’s firm voice. Paige started to say something, but decided not to as her eyes met Spencer’s cold stare.

“Jenna, come sit with me.” Spencer said as she turned to Jenna, offering the girl a small smile and patting the stool next to her.

“Are you sure?” Jenna asked timidly as she approached Spencer.

“Of course. You’ll be my new lab partner.” Spencer said, making sure that everyone heard her; therefore sending a message that the girl will be under her wing and shouldn’t be messed with. Spencer smiled encouragingly at Jenna.

“Thank you, Spencer.” Jenna replied, smiling back at Spencer and settling down on the stool beside the brunette.

Spencer still felt guilty about what happened to Jenna. Although it was Alison’s fault that led to the accident, she still felt responsible because she didn’t try to stop her friend. She decided that she is going to make it up to Jenna from this day forth.


 

“Guys, did you know that Jenna Marshall is back?” Hanna gushed as the four of them sat on their usual table for lunch.

“Yes, I heard. I also heard that the bitch can see. Guess the surgery worked.” Aria answered.

“I saw her on the hallway before lunch and yes, she can see.” Emily chipped in.

“Guys, here she comes.” Hanna whispered as she saw Jenna enter the cafeteria, heading to where they were seated.

“Hello girls. Hey, Spencer.” Jenna greeted as she approached the girls’ table.

“Hi Jenna.” Aria, Hanna and Emily replied, offering an uneasy smile to the girl.

“Hey, Jenna. Come sit with us.” Spencer offered, to the three girls’ surprise.

“Thanks, but I can’t. I need to go to the guidance counselor’s office. I just wanted to see you and uh, say thanks again for earlier.” Jenna said, blushing slightly as she looked at Spencer.

“It was nothing, really.” Spencer gave the girl a smile, ignoring her friends’ questioning looks.

“Well, I should get going. Bye girls. See you around. Bye Spencer.” Jenna said, giving the three girls a little wave and smiling at Spencer.

“What was that about?” Emily asked as Jenna was out of earshot. All three girls turned their attention to Spencer.

“She’s in my chem class and she needed a little help.” Spencer answered lightly.

“What kind of help? Why are you even talking to that bitch?” Hanna asked, looking incredulously at Spencer.

“Will you stop calling her a bitch?” Spencer said, not bothering to answer the blonde’s questions.

“Alison hated her. She was a bitch to Ali.” Hanna looked irritated.

“Jenna was a bitch to Ali because Ali was a bitch to her. Ali only hated her because she was pretty, confident and didn’t want to hang out with her. Ali was frustrated because Jenna stood up to her. She hasn’t done or said anything mean towards me so I don’t see any reason for me to hate her.” Spencer explained.

Hanna looked at Emily and Aria, waiting for them to back her up but the two didn’t say anything, so she decided to just drop it.


 

 Spencer was lying on her stomach, her history book in her hands. She’s been looking at the same page for the past hour. She tried to read but her eyes keep wandering to the tanned girl seated a few feet away from her. Emily on the other hand was trying to do her homework. Her back was on Spencer as she was sitting in front of her study table. She couldn’t concentrate as her thoughts were being invaded by something else or rather, someone else - specifically the girl behind her, lying in her own bed. The very same girl who was in her thoughts all night; the very same girl who was the reason she got very little sleep last night.

Spencer Hastings is lying in my bed, looking gorgeous as usual. How can I ever concentrate on my homework when she’s a few feet away from me and lying on my own bed?

Emily decided to abandon her homework. She got up from her seat and walked towards her bed.

“Spence?” Emily asked as she sat on the edge of her bed, facing Spencer.

“Yeah?” Spencer answered as she turned a page on the book that she was holding, trying to pretend that she was indeed reading. She silently hoped that Emily didn’t catch her staring.

“Tell me about you and Cassie.” Emily requested.

Spencer contemplated for a few seconds before answering; briefly recalling the first time she met the dimpled blonde. She patted the space beside her, urging her best friend to sit beside her. Emily thought for a moment before deciding to lie down on her back beside her best friend. Spencer, still lying flat on her stomach beside Emily, closed her book and leaned on her left elbow. The brunette is now looking down at Emily as she spoke. “I met Cassie about a couple of years ago at the country club. Her father is one of my dad’s clients.” Spencer said as she started to tell Emily about the day she met Cassie.

(Flashback)

Spencer walked around the vast grounds, not having a real destination in particular. She just wanted to escape the crowd inside. She was never a fan of the fancy dinners that her family frequently attended. She ended up walking towards the gazebo. The area was dark and quiet, with the moon being the only source of light.  Spencer didn’t mind, as she wanted some quiet time by herself. As she sat on the steps, Spencer’s thoughts were once again filled with the object of her affection, the girl she’s been in love with for years but never had the courage to confess her feelings to. Spencer started humming to herself.

 

“I’m sorry but I’m just thinking of the right words to say

I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be

But if you wait around a while, I’ll make you fall for me

I promise, I promise you I will”

 

Spencer’s heart leaped from her chest as she suddenly got up on her feet upon hearing the words to the song that she was humming.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” The voice said as a slender figure appeared from inside the gazebo.

“Cassie?” Spencer asked tentatively as the moonlight fell on the girl’s face that is now standing before her. She recognized her from the club, the daughter of one of her father’s clients. The girl was quite charming. She had sunny blonde hair, doe eyes, plump lips and dimples that showed everytime she smiled.

“Hey, Spencer. Not enjoying the dinner as well?” Cassie chuckled.

“Yeah. I guess I’m never gonna get used to these things. How long have you been here?” Spencer asked as she sat back on the steps.

“A few minutes. Sorry I didn’t say anything right away. I heard you humming and I recognized the song. I was waiting for you to sing, but you just kept on humming, so I decided to jump in. Sorry I scared you.” Cassie repeated. “I don’t sound like a perv, right?” Cassie quickly added, smiling bashfully at Spencer.

Spencer laughed and shook her head. “No, not at all. You didn’t scare me. I was just surprised. I thought I was the only one here.” The brunette said, feigning bravery as she gestured for the blonde to sit with her.

“So…You’re into new wave, huh? You kind’a look like you’re into jazz or classical or something like that.” Cassie teased as she sat on the steps beside Spencer.

“Speak for yourself. You knew the lines.” Spencer teased back and continued “I listen to a lot of genre. It’s just that I’m in the mood for this particular song.”

“So who is this special person that you’ll make sure will fall in love with you?” Cassie asked as she wiggled her eyebrows and smiled playfully at the brunette.

“What do you mean?” Spencer asked, biting her lip lightly.

“You’re singing “The Promise”.” Cassie stated. “C’mon, I won’t tell. It’ll be our little secret.” Cassie whispered, smiling sweetly at the brunette.

“Well…it’s a friend of mine and I’m pretty sure I can’t make her fall in love with me. I don’t even know how I’d do that.” Spencer said as she returned Cassie’s smile.

“I don’t know why you sound frustrated. I’m pretty sure you can make any girl or guy fall in love with you without even trying. If you are friends with this person then that’s a good thing because friendship is the best foundation of a relationship as they say.” Cassie continued to tease the brunette.

“Never gonna happen. Besides, I respect our friendship too much to act on my feelings. I’ll just leave it at that.” The brunette replied with a sigh.

Cassie looked at Spencer, studying the brunette’s features. Spencer has captured her attention since their families were introduced earlier before dinner. She had her eyes on the brunette all throughout dinner but Spencer looked a little distracted, making no opportunity for Cassie to engage in small talk with her. “Are you sure you don’t want to do anything about it? I mean your feelings for this friend of yours?” She asked again after a while.

“Yeah. Why do you ask?” Spencer answered as she faced the dimpled blonde, noticing how prettier she looked up close.

“Because….” Cassie began, “If you’re not going to date her,” she continued as she moved closer to Spencer, “You are going to date me.” Cassie whispered to the brunette’s ear. The proximity of their bodies and the feel of Cassie’s breath on Spencer’s right ear caused the brunette to close her eyes instinctively. Pulling away slightly, Cassie noticed that the brunette’s eyes were closed, her body obviously responding to her teasing. Cassie slowly leaned in and gave the brunette’s lips a light peck.

Spencer’s body froze as she felt Cassie’s soft lips on her own. Before she could respond though, Cassie was up on her feet, smiling at the brunette who still has her eyes closed.

“See you tomorrow, Spencer. I’ll pick you up at 6.” Spencer’s eyes suddenly flipped open. Blushing at the dimpled blonde’s seductive smile, she nodded lightly as she returned Cassie’s smile.

“What the hell just happened?” Spencer asked herself as she stared at the retreating figure; goose bumps still evident on her arms.

(End of flashback)


 

Spencer stared at Emily, gauging the girl’s reaction as she finished recounting her and Cassie’s first meeting. She specifically wanted to see Emily’s reaction to the part where she said that she was in love with a friend.

“How come you never told Hanna and me about her?” Emily asked after contemplating on what questions to ask first. She had more lined up, but she was too nervous to blurt it all out.

“I guess it just never came up. Besides, I rarely got to see you back then. You were always hanging out with Maya and Hanna was busy with her dad’s wedding. Anyways, their family had to move to New York, so we mutually ended the relationship.” Spencer explained.

Emily stared into Spencer’s eyes, trying to read the girl’s thoughts while trying not to drown in those beautiful brown eyes at the same time. Then she remembered what Cassie said the day before which coincided with what Spencer told her just now.

“You were in love with someone else, that’s why it didn’t work out for the two of you.” She intended to ask a question but it ended up as a statement. She was lightly seeking verification.

Spencer’s heart raced. This may have opened a door for her to come out clean and confess her feelings for Emily. Go on, tell her. Spencer encouraged herself. “Yes.” She whispered as she stared into those lovely eyes that she is slowly losing herself into.

“Do I know who it is?” Emily asked, her heartbeat racing as well from the smouldering gaze that the brunette was giving her.

“Yes. You know her very well.” Spencer whispered as she leaned closer to Emily, her eyes glancing back and forth between the swimmer’s eyes and lips.

Emily felt butterflies dancing wildly on her stomach as she closed her eyes in anticipation.

Spencer’s phone suddenly rang, causing both girls to jump apart. Emily quickly sat up, turning her back to Spencer as she tried to hide her embarrassment. Spencer pulled the phone out of her back pocket and glanced at the screen before taking the call.

“Hey Ar, what’s up?” Spencer asked as she too, got up from the bed and tried to hide her flushed cheeks from the swimmer.

“Spence? Hey. I wanna see you. Can I come over? I’m home alone.” Aria asked from the other end of the line.

“Oh, I’m actually at Emily’s. We’re, uh, studying. Just go to my house and I’ll meet you there in 5, okay? You could sleep over if you want to.” Spencer offered.

“Okay. I’ll text my mom. I can drive around and pick you up from there.” Aria responded, suddenly remembering that Spencer rode with her to school that morning, therefore the taller brunette would have to walk home.

“No, it’s okay. It’s just a short walk anyways.” Spencer preferred to walk home so she can shake off the butterflies that were going crazy in her stomach. She almost kissed Emily. Almost.

“Alright then. See you in 5. Love you.” Aria replied as Emily turned to look at Spencer. The swimmer was still blushing from the almost kiss. She almost kissed Spencer. Almost.

What does it mean? Was it just a spur of the moment thing? Or does Spencer like her too?

“Love you too, Ar.” Spencer replied before ending the call. Looking shyly at Emily, Spencer felt torn. God, I soooo wanted for that kiss to happen. She was sure that she saw in Emily’s eyes that the swimmer wanted it too.

Did she? Or was it just a spur of the moment thing? Does Emily like her too?

Whatever it was, the moment was lost and Emily looked uncomfortable now as she stood in front of Spencer on the other side of the bed. “I, uh…I gotta go.” Spencer said awkwardly. The swimmer just nodded and sat back on her bed, turning her back to Spencer.

Chapter Text

“I’m telling you, she’s in love with Aria! I should have known! How could I have been so stupid?!” Emily said as she tapped herself twice on the forehead. She phoned Hanna about an hour after Spencer left. The swimmer was pacing back and forth on her room as she spoke with her best friend.

“Relax Em. Stop pacing! I can hear your footsteps from here.” Hanna said. She was getting ready for bed when Emily called. She heard Emily sigh on the other end of the line. “Did she tell you this? I mean, did she say Aria’s name?” Hanna asked gently.

Emily let out another sigh and sat by the window. “No, she didn’t say her name. She just said and I quote “You know her very well”. Who else could it be?”

“Emily! You’re just jumping into conclusions! Maybe she was referring to me.” Hanna said, laughing a little.

“Hanna!” Emily shouted as she picked up one of the pillows beside her. If Hanna was there she would’ve thrown the pillow on the blonde’s head.

Hanna moved the phone away from her ear a little as Emily’s response stung her ear a bit. “Just kidding! I was just trying to lighten the mood. Seriously Em, maybe she was referring to you. I’m pretty sure she likes you too. I’ve seen how she looks at you.”

 “Don’t you get it? She’s been interested in girls all along. She even had a girlfriend, for Christ’s sake. Don’t you think that if there was any chance that she might have liked me back, she should have told me by now?” Emily explained. She was sure that Spencer would’ve kissed her earlier before they were interrupted by Aria’s call. But why? Why would she kiss me? Emily thought to herself. She was really confused and Hanna’s words are not helping in any way.

“She does like you. Maybe she just never had the guts to admit it.” Hanna’s tone was more serious now. She pulled up the covers and climbed into bed while she held the phone to her ear.

“C’mon Hanna! This is Spencer Hastings that we’re talking about. Gutsy is her middle name. She’s dauntless. She can do whatever she wants and can say whatever she wants.  She can very well rule the planet as far as I’m concerned. She’s like the queen of the universe, or the biggest and brightest star. She’s Cleopatra reincarnated or maybe even Aphrodite, or…”

Hanna chuckled and interrupted Emily’s rambling. “You really got it bad, don’t you?”

“You have no idea. But she’s not even interested in me!” Emily sighed as she pulled her legs up to her chest and leaned against the window on her side.

“You said she almost kissed you.”

“Almost, but then Aria called and she totally ditched me! Just like that!” Emily snapped her fingers as she spoke.

“You know how those two are. Maybe Aria needed to see her right away, that’s why she couldn’t stay. You’re overthinking, Em. Just talk to Spencer about it.” Hanna knew that Emily was crazy jealous of Aria and Spencer’s closeness. She would probably feel the same if she has any romantic feelings for either of the two. Spencer and Aria were friends even before Alison introduced the two of them to her and Emily. They shared a close bond. It was a sisterly bond, but Emily’s feelings for Spencer have been clouding her judgement.

“I can’t. What would she think? That just because I found out that she’s into girls, I suddenly want to date her?” Emily explained.

“I’m sure Spencer’s not going to think that way.” Hanna said.

“I don’t know, Han.” Emily sighed dejectedly.

“You know what? You’re turning into Spencer. You think too much. Just sleep on it for now and we’ll figure it out tomorrow. We should get to bed. We have school tomorrow.” Hanna said as she tried to stifle a yawn.

“Fine. Thanks, Han.” Emily said. She wasn’t sure if their conversation helped at all but she was glad that she can always count on her best friend for patiently listening to her as she vented out her frustrations.

“Goodnight Em. Seriously, get some sleep.” Hanna said sweetly as she turned the lamp light off her night table.

“I will. Goodnight Han.” Emily replied before hanging up. She leaned back and stared out the window. It’s going to be another long and sleepless night.


 

“Hey.” Aria said as Spencer walked up to her. She jumped down from the hood of her car and gave the taller brunette a hug.

“Been waiting long?” Spencer asked as they walked from Aria’s car to her house.

“Not really, just a few minutes. I could’ve picked you up from Emily’s, you know.” Aria said as they entered the Hastings’ kitchen through the back door.

“It’s okay. It’s just a short walk. So what’s up? Is everything okay?” Spencer asked as she eyed the smaller brunette with concern.

“Yeah. Why?” Aria replied nonchalantly.

“You said you wanted to see me.”

“Do I need a reason to see you?” Aria smiled and lightly punched Spencer in the arm. “I just miss you. I just wanna hang out and catch-up. I haven’t had much time with you since you came back.”

“Oh.” Spencer didn’t intend to sound disappointed, but then she kind’a was. She was about to kiss Emily earlier when Aria called. She had been waiting for that kiss all her life.

“Try not to sound so excited, will yah?” Aria said as she rolled her eyes.

“Sorry. Of course I want to hang out with you as well.” Spencer said, feeling a little guilty on how she reacted.

“Wait, did I interrupt something earlier?” Aria widened her eyes and held Spencer’s arm. She grinned mischievously as she waited for Spencer’s answer. Spencer smiled and motioned for Aria to follow her upstairs to her room. As the two sat on Spencer’s bed, they heard footsteps outside the hallway.

“Melissa?” Spencer called. Their parents were away on some business trip and she wasn’t sure if Melissa was home or not.

“Spencer? Have you talked to your coach about quitting the field hockey team?” Melissa said as she walked down the hallway towards Spencer’s room. She stopped on the doorway with a surprise on her face as she didn’t know that Spencer has company. “Oh. Hi, Aria. I didn’t know you were here.” Melissa smiled at Aria and bit her lip as she glanced at her sister, giving her an apologetic look.

“Hi Melissa.” Aria gave the Melissa a polite smile.

“Spence, we’ll just uh, talk tomorrow. Goodnight girls.” Melissa said.

The younger Hastings smiled and nodded, silently accepting her sister’s apology. “Yeah. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Melissa.” Aria said as she gave Melissa another smile.

“Spence, what is she talking about? Why are you quitting field hockey?” Aria asked as soon as Melissa closed the bedroom door.

“I-uhm, I just have too much on my plate right now. I need to focus more on my AP classes.” Spencer didn’t meet Aria’s eyes as she spoke.

“Is this Melissa’s idea? Is she trying to get you to do things?” Aria had a feeling that Spencer wasn’t giving her the whole story. Though they’d kept their promise not to keep any secrets from each other, there were a few instances where Spencer withheld the truth to protect Aria’s feelings. They were just small white lies anyways and she would later come clean to Aria about it. That’s how their friendship works.

“No, of course not. She’s just offering some advice about school.” Spencer gave Aria a small smile as she lied.

It was true though that Melissa advised her to limit her physical activities because aside from the occasional headaches, she was having issues with her vision as well. Melissa stated that it wouldn’t be a good idea to play any sport if Spencer will continue to have blurred vision from time to time. Though Spencer was initially against the idea, Melissa explained that it will be for her own safety.

 “Seriously? And since when do you listen to her? You haven’t told me yet why you spent the whole summer following her around.” Aria knew almost every fight that Spencer had with Melissa in the past. The siblings grew apart as they got older. Aria acted more like a sister to Spencer than Melissa ever did.

 “Melissa’s been good to me these past few months. We’re just trying to make up for lost time. We both realized that we wasted a lot of time trying to outdo each other all of our lives that we ended up almost hating each other along the way. She’s really acting more of a big sister to me now than before. We’ve learned a lot from each other these past few months than the last 10 years.” Spencer explained.

“Is this the reason why The Spencer Hastings is a softie now? Who would’ve thought Melissa will have this kind of influence on you?” Aria teased. Spencer shook her head and smiled. “I think it’s great though. Hanna and Emily actually talked to me about it.  Maybe now that you’re more affectionate with them, then Hanna will stop calling me your little wife.” Aria continued.

Spencer laughed as she thought about Hanna’s silliness that drove Aria crazy.

Spencer moved up on the bed so she can lean back on the headboard. “I guess I just realized that you can never take things for granted, you know? Life is too short. We wouldn’t be around each other forever. It wouldn’t hurt to show the people you care about how you truly care for them.” She said after a while.

Aria smiled and moved up on the bed, mimicking Spencer’s position. “On that note, how are things with Emily? You said it yourself, life is too short. Have you told her yet?” Aria asked as she eyed the taller brunette.

“Well, I almost did. I almost kissed her earlier” Spencer said shyly, smiling sheepishly at Aria.

“Oh my god! Really?” Aria exclaimed.

“Yes, but then you interrupted by calling.” Spencer playfully scowled at Aria.

“Shit! I’m so sorry Spence.” Aria said apologetically.

“It’s alright. I think you’re right though. I mean, all these time you’ve been telling me that she probably likes me back, I think I felt it tonight. I saw it in her eyes.” Spencer said with a bit more confidence than the last time they talked about this.

“I’m so happy for you, Spence!” Aria hugged her excitedly.

“Wait! Don’t celebrate yet. You might jinx it.” Spencer laughed.

Aria responded by hitting Spencer with a pillow, laughing along with her best friend.


 

Spencer sat on their usual table at the cafeteria while waiting for the other girls. She hasn’t seen Emily all day. She was starting to get worried that the swimmer was maybe mad at her for what happened the day before. Almost happened. Spencer thought.

“Spencer!” the brunette turned to see Jenna walking up to her table.

“Hey, Jenna! What’s up?”

“I just want to ask if we could work on our Chemistry project later if you’re not busy.” Jenna asked as she sat beside Spencer.

“I actually have field hockey practice this afternoon, but I can meet you after.” Spencer said.

“I could come to your practice and wait for you, if that’s okay?” Jenna offered.

“Are you sure?” Spencer asked.

Jenna placed her hand on Spencer’s arm and smiled sweetly. “Yeah. I can work on a few of my homeworks while waiting for you.”

Jenna stood up from her seat as she saw Hanna and Aria approaching. “I probably should get going. I’ll see you later, yes?”

“See you later.” Spencer said.

“What was that about? You’re spending time with her now?” Aria asked as she sat on the chair opposite Spencer, setting her food tray on the table. Hanna sat beside Aria and gave Spencer a disapproving look.

“We’re just gonna work on our chem. project later.” Spencer ignored the look that Hanna’s giving her.

“Don’t you have field hockey practice later?” Aria asked.

“I do, but she wanted to come and wait for me.” Spencer stated simply.

“It’s clear that she wants more than a study session on chem. with you.” Hanna finally spoke. She narrowed her eyes at Spencer.

“Don’t give me that look. I’m just trying to be nice to her. We know what she’s been through. I know it’s been hard for her to come back here after what has happened. I’d appreciate a helping hand and if I were in her shoes.” Spencer explained.

“You’re a good person, Spence. I’m so proud to have you as my best friend.” Aria smiled at Spencer and took her hand from across the table.

Spencer squeezed Aria’s hand as she returned the smaller brunette’s smile.


 

Emily was on her way over to their table when she noticed the two brunettes holding hands. She was mentally debating whether she will still join them for lunch or just leave. “Emily!” She heard Hanna’s voice before she could even decide. Emily let out a frustrated sigh as she walked over to where her friends were sitting.

“Come sit beside me.” Spencer smiled, offering the chair next to her.

Emily felt butterflies on her stomach as she returned the brunette’s smile and slowly sat beside her. The four of them casually talked about school stuff as they ate their lunch. Emily stole glances at Spencer as they ate. Her mind drifted to their conversation the night before which almost ended in a kiss.

“Em?” Spencer asked again as she tried to get the swimmer’s attention. Emily was looking at her with an expression that she couldn’t discern.

“Sorry, what?” Emily’s cheek flushed as she realized that Spencer caught her staring.

“Hanna asked if you guys want to sleep over at my house tonight.” Spencer said.

“Oh, yeah sure.” Emily said quickly.

“Okay then. Jenna and I will be working on our chem. project later after field hockey practice but that would only take a couple of hours at the most.” Spencer said. “She’s my new lab partner.” Spencer explained after noticing the perplexed look on Emily’s face.

“Oh” Emily tried not to sound too disappointed. She knew she shouldn’t feel jealous but she couldn’t help it. That’s how she felt whenever girls other than her get close to Spencer.

As Spencer and Hanna talked about their plans for later that night, Spencer noticed that Emily was unusually quiet on her side. She wasn’t sure if the tanned girl was mad at her because of the previous night. She wanted to talk to Emily about it, but not in front of their friends.

“You okay?” Emily felt goosebumps when Spencer placed her hand on her arm.

“Yeah.” Emily replied as she gave Spencer a shy smile. She glanced across the table at Aria. She wasn’t sure if there really was something going on between Spencer and Aria, and she didn’t want to intrude if there ever was.

Aria smiled and winked at Emily. The swimmer was clearly blushing at Spencer’s mere touch. Seriously, how can these two not know that they want each other so bad? Aria thought.

What the hell is going on? Emily thought. Spencer’s hand never left her arm, and now Aria is giving her a vacuous smile and a wink.

Hanna was talking to Spencer but she didn’t fail to notice the silent exchange between Aria and Emily. The swimmer had a baffled expression on her face. She also noticed that Spencer’s hand stayed on Emily’s arm as they spoke. Tonight’s sleepover is gonna be interesting. Hanna thought.

Chapter Text

“Emily!” Paige called as she caught up with Emily outside the natatorium.

“Hi, Paige.” Emily said as she kept walking. She wasn’t comfortable talking to Paige even if the latter already apologized for scaring her before by trying to drown her. Paige felt threatened when Emily came back to the swim team so she tried to intimidate Emily by scaring her.

“Are you coming back to the swim team?” Emily asked when Paige continued to walk with her towards the natatorium.

“No. I’ve already talked to coach though. I can come back next season. I’ll be playing field hockey in the meantime. I just wanted to ask if you’re free tonight, we could have coffee or something.” Paige asked casually.

“That’s great! Spencer’s the captain of the field hockey team. You can learn a lot from her. She’s really good. She’s the best in the team.” Emily smiled as she thought of Spencer looking really hot in her field hockey uniform. Her reaction to hearing Spencer’s name didn’t go unnoticed by Paige, plus the fact that the tanned girl didn’t seem to hear that Paige just asked her out.

“Spencer Hastings? I don’t think she’s the type to go out of her way to train new recruits. That girl’s a stuck-up snob.” Emily stopped walking upon hearing Paige’s remark.

“Listen, Paige. If you want to get on my good side, you shouldn’t talk about my friends that way. Especially Spencer. She’s a really great person. You have no right to talk to her that way because you don’t know her at all.” Emily said as she glared at Paige.

Paige stopped walking as well and turned to face Emily, surprised at the tanned girl’s sudden outburst. The tanned girl was clearly smitten with Spencer. “You like her, don’t you?” Paige asked with a smirk as she crossed her arms over her chest.

“It’s none of your business.” Emily snapped.

“Well, it’s too bad she’s taken.” Paige said.

“Aria and Spencer are just friends.” Emily said, assuming that Paige was referring to Aria being Spencer’s girlfriend.

“I’m not talking about Aria. I’m talking about Jenna. She and your girl are mixing more than chemicals in chem. class, if you catch my drift.” Paige raised her eyebrows suggestively. Emily glared at Paige before walking away. She proceeded inside the natatorium without saying a word.

Emily tried to push Paige’s last remark at the back of her mind. The girl can really get in anyone’s nerves if she wanted to. She was fuming as she recalled the smirk on Paige’s face as she talked about Spencer and Jenna. She’d known that Spencer was helping Jenna in class. But is that all there is to it? Spencer was really sweet and affectionate to her earlier at lunch. Does Spencer act the same way towards Jenna? Emily couldn’t help the jealousy building inside her. Jenna was really attractive, hot even. It wouldn’t be impossible for Spencer not to notice that. Emily sighed. She had just eliminated Cassie on the list of her competition in winning Spencer’s heart and now there’s another girl on her list. She really needs to up her game before the list continue to pile up.


 

 “Hey, coach! Can I talk to you for a sec?” Spencer said upon knocking on the slightly-opened door of Coach Thomas’s office.

“Sure. What’s on your mind?” Coach Thomas gestured for the brunette to come in and sit on one of the chairs next to his desk.

Spencer sat quietly for a while as she tried to gather up the courage to tell her coach that she’s quitting the team. She and Melissa had a lengthy discussion about it, which eventually led to the younger Hastings conceding on the matter. Melissa explained that it will be a good move for her, health-wise.

Spencer cleared her throat and met her coach’s eyes. “Uhm, I just want to tell you that I’m quitting the team.”

“What? Why? You’re our best player, Hastings. Why would you want to quit?” Coach Thomas said, clearly surprised at Spencer’s news.

“It’s just that I have a lot going on and I need to make more time for my other uh, commitments. I’m sorry, coach.” Spencer said. She wasn’t keen on quitting the team but she didn’t have much of a choice.

“Are you sure about this? I could work on the practice schedule so that you can squeeze it in yours.” Coach Thomas offered sincerely. Spencer quitting the team will be a great loss for them. She is the best player and the captain of their team, and Spencer was always admired by her teammates for being just and humble. She never acted like a diva, never asked for any kind of special treatment.

Spencer gave him a smile as she shook her head. “You don’t have to do that for me. I don’t want to interfere with the other players’ schedule as well. It wouldn’t be fair to them.”

Coach Thomas sighed. He knew that once Spencer Hastings made up her mind about something, there’s not much you can do to change her mind.

“Alright then. Let’s go tell the rest of the team.”

 

 

The field hockey players were gathered inside the locker room as they prepared for their practice. Coach Thomas cleared his throat as he stepped inside the locker room. The players fell silent as they directed their attention to their coach who now stood in front with his playboard.

“I have a little announcement. I have both good and bad news. First, the good news - I want to welcome the newest addition to our team, Paige McCullers.” The girls nodded and smiled at Paige as their coach introduced her to the team.

“What’s the bad news, coach?” One of Spencer’s teammates asked.

Coach Thomas looked over at where Spencer was standing. The brunette nodded and gave a weak smile as their eyes met. “Spencer Hastings is quitting the team.” Coach Thomas said. His announcement created shock as anticipated. The players’ jaw almost hit the floor in disbelief. The girls immediately turned their attention to Spencer, throwing questions to the team captain. “What?!” “Why?!” “No way!”

As Spencer held her hand up, the girls automatically hushed. The captain sighed and looked at her teammates. “As much as I’ve enjoyed being with you guys on and off the field, there are things that I need to attend to, and because of those things I unfortunately have to drop a few extra-curriculars. I want you to know that I enjoyed all of the games, practices and gatherings that we had as a team. All the victories and defeats have both strengthened us as a team, as a family. I need you to know that I will still continue to support you guys even if I’m no longer on the team. Coach Thomas, thank you for giving me the opportunity to play with this incredible team. I’ve learned a lot from you and from each and every one on the team as well.”

The girls engulfed their captain in a big group hug. Paige stood awkwardly on the side. She was fuming internally but remained poker-faced as she let her new team have their moment with Spencer. Leave it to Hastings to steal the attention off me on my first day as a field hockey player. Paige thought. She never liked the smart girl. She was envious of the attention that Spencer got from everyone in school, especially Emily’s.

Sara, one of Spencer’s teammates approached the captain and handed her a hockey stick.  “Will you play with us one last time?” The girl pleaded.

“Yeah!” The players chorused. “Please, Spencer?” Sara asked again.

Spencer grinned at her teammates, overwhelmed by the love and support that they’re giving her. “Alright. Game on!” The captain said as she nodded to Sara.


The coach divided the team into two groups for a scrimmage. Spencer and Paige found themselves playing on opposite sides, both playing midfielder. They had only been playing for twenty minutes, but Spencer felt like she had been on the field for two hours. She was panting and she was getting a little dizzy. She immediately regretted playing. She really didn’t want to play but she thought that she owed this one last game to her teammates.

Spencer noticed Jenna sitting on the sideline, giving her a little wave. Spencer waved back and smiled. She was a bit thankful that Jenna was waiting for her for she was sure that she won’t be fit to drive again after practice. Her vision was a little blurry this morning. She didn’t want to risk driving and end up in an accident. Perhaps Jenna wouldn’t mind driving both of them home to work on their chem. project later.

Spencer tried her best to keep up with her teammates. She didn’t want her last game to be on the losing end, especially since Paige McCullers was playing on the opposite team. The first half was barely over but Spencer already fell twice, both resulting from Paige’s aggressiveness. Spencer was tripped twice by Paige, with the latter explaining that she hasn’t mastered the stick yet so she’s being a little clumsy with it. Spencer knows that their coach wouldn’t have picked Paige to be in the team if she was constantly fumbling with the stick. Though she isn’t one to back down from a competition and she most definitely didn’t buy Paige’s excuse, Spencer decided to let the thing go. She was not in the mood to argue and she didn’t want to waste her energy on getting back at Paige. She just wanted for the game to be over and done with.

Spencer never liked Paige. Mainly because she tried to drown Emily before just to get ahead in the swim team, and it was apparent that the feeling was mutual. She never missed the glares that Paige has been giving her throughout the game. The third time that Spencer fell was from an illegal body check from Paige. She landed hard on her left shoulder. With the dizziness and fatigue plus the hard hit she took from Paige, Spencer almost lost her consciousness. Her teammates were on her side in a flash. The girls helped Spencer up and sat her on the bench. To her surprise, Jenna was on her side in a whim.

“Guys, I’m okay, really.” Spencer finally spoke after trying to catch her breath.

“Hastings, you should get your shoulder checked. Go on to the clinic. You don’t have to finish the game. I’ll get one of your teammates to take you there.” Coach Thomas said after carefully inspecting Spencer’s left shoulder.

“I can take her.” Jenna offered. Coach Thomas nodded and smiled appreciatively.

“I’ll hit the showers real quick okay? Then we can go.” Spencer said, giving Jenna a thankful smile.

“Sure. C’mon, I’ll walk you.” Jenna said as she helped Spencer up.


 

Jenna opted to wait on the bench near Spencer’s locker as the brunette took a shower. She didn’t want to leave Spencer alone knowing that the brunette might need her help.

“Do you need help getting dressed?” Jenna asked as Spencer now stood in front of her locker after a few minutes.

“No, thanks. I got it.” Spencer said. Her left shoulder hurt like hell, thus giving her a hard time moving her left arm. She was too stubborn though and a little shy to accept Jenna’s offer.

 

As the two were about to leave, Paige walked inside. Paige smirked as she approached Spencer. “You alright Hastings? I can see why you quit the team. You actually did us a favour, you know. We can’t afford to have you on the team if you can’t keep up with a newbie like me.”

“You’re just lucky that I’m a little off my game today, McCullers.” Spencer shot back.

“Stop making excuses. Just admit that you’re not tough enough for this sport, or for any sport for that matter.” Paige said, challenging Spencer.

“Let’s just go Spencer. You don’t have to listen to whatever rubbish this bitch is saying.” Jenna said as she took Spencer’s gym bag.

“Ooohhhh.. You’re girlfriend’s feisty!” Paige laughed.

“Shut up McCullers and get out of my way.” Spencer said, glaring at Paige.

“Sure thing.” Paige said as she stood on her side to allow Spencer to pass. Just before Spencer passed though, Paige suddenly moved forward and purposely bumped Spencer’s left shoulder, causing the latter to wince in pain.

“Sorry about th--” Paige’s sentence was cut short as Jenna’s fist connected on her right jaw.

Spencer’s eyes grew wide as she looked at Paige on the ground, clutching her jaw.

“Let’s go Spencer.” Jenna calmly said as she took Spencer’s hand and led them out of the locker room.

Chapter Text

Jenna drove Spencer home after the brunette had her shoulder checked at the school clinic. Spencer was silent for most of the ride. After a few minutes, Spencer finally spoke. “You shouldn’t have done that.”

“Done what?” Jenna asked, stealing a quick glance at Spencer as she drove.

“You shouldn’t have punched her. You could’ve been suspended or expelled.” Spencer said as she looked at Jenna. She was genuinely worried about the green-eyed girl. She didn’t want Jenna to get in trouble because of her.

Jenna pulled the car to a stop as they reached the Hastings’ driveway, but neither girl moved to get out of the car. Spencer was the first to move after a few minutes of sitting in silence. She reached for the door handle, but sat back as Jenna started to speak.

“You have no idea what it was like to be constantly taunted by Alison. I was the newly-transferred student who was immediately hated by the queen bee. I never even had the chance to adjust, to make friends. Then I was blinded by that accident. I’ve lost a lot after that. Apart from my eyesight, I’ve also lost my confidence.”

Spencer was surprised at Jenna’s words. They’ve never talked about that incident before, even her best friends shied away from that topic. She wondered why Jenna decided to bring it up now. Spencer turned in her seat to face Jenna. She patiently waited for her to continue.

“When I came back, I thought it will be easier. I have my vision back and Alison is no longer here…but it’s still hard to walk around with everyone’s eyes on me all the time. People still whisper as I walk down the hallways. For a while I thought coming back was a mistake, until that day - the day that you stood up for me. I know we’ve never been in the best of terms before, back when Alison was still here. I know you and your friends hated me and I never really had friends here to come back to, but you were there for me that day. You were a friend to me that day.” Jenna paused and turned to face Spencer, taking the brunette’s hands in her own. “What I’m saying is I don’t regret what I did earlier and I won’t think twice about doing it again to her, or to anyone who’ll try to hurt you. I’ve never hated you, Spencer. Back in the day when you and your friends hated me, I always knew that you were different. You’re not like Alison and you don’t seem to take orders from her. I knew that you have a good heart.”

“I don’t hate you Jenna. I never did.” Spencer offered a genuine smile to Jenna as she spoke. “And thank you for sticking up for me earlier.”

Jenna smiled and nodded at Spencer. She let go of the brunette’s hands and exited the vehicle. She immediately went to Spencer’s side to help the brunette. She took Spencer’s gym bag and books and walked with her to the Hastings’ house. 


 

Jenna went downstairs to get Spencer a glass of water so the brunette can take some pain medications for her shoulder. As she walked back up the stairs towards Spencer’s room, she heard the brunette arguing with her older sister. Not wanting to interrupt the two, Jenna decided to stay and wait outside Spencer’s room.

“What the hell were you thinking? Didn’t we agree that you’d quit the team? Are you seriously trying to kill yourself?” Melissa raised her voice as she stood at the foot of Spencer’s bed, glaring at the younger Hastings.

“It’s just a sprain and a few bruises, Melissa. I’m not gonna die from them. It’s not a big deal.” Spencer rolled her eyes at her sister’s seemingly exaggerated reaction to her slight mishap earlier.

“Are you kidding me?! This is a huge deal, Spencer! I told you not to play anymore because aside from your frequent headaches, you vision is being affected as well. I told you that something like this could happen, that’s why I specifically said no more extra-curricular activities. No field hockey, no lacrosse, no tennis. Come to think of it, no more sports in general. God! How could you be so stubborn?!” Melissa threw her hands in the air for emphasis.

“What the hell do you want me to do? Just lie in bed all day and wait for my demise? What am I supposed to do with the few months that I have left? Will I just wait for the Angel of Death to come get me? What difference does it make if I get into an accident and die? You and I both know that that is where I’m going anyway. I’m dying, Melissa. I’ve accepted it. Please don’t make me stop living like a normal human being with whatever time I have left.” Spencer tried to fight back the tears as she spoke but to no avail.

Melissa sat beside her sister. She couldn’t help but cry as well. “I’m just trying to protect you, Spence. I honestly don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how to…” Melissa’s words trailed off as she sobbed.

“To keep me alive?” Spencer finished for her. “There’s nothing more we can do, Melissa. I appreciate you being here for me, trying to protect me, but you’re kind’a holding me back here.” Spencer said as she wiped the tears from her cheeks. “I know that I don’t have much time left, but I don’t want to wake up everyday thinking about it. I want a normal life. I don’t want people to treat me differently just because I’m sick, just because I’m dying. That’s why I haven’t told any of my friends about it. I’m trying to push it to the back of my mind, push it as far away as I could. I want to be normal. I want to be happy, Melissa. Please don’t take that away from me.” Spencer pleaded as she reached out and held her sister’s hands in her own.

“I’m sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing. I just want what’s best for you. I’m sorry if you felt like I was smothering you. You’re my sister and I love you. It’s my job to look after you.” Melissa said through her tears.

“I know, and I love you too. But it’s also my job to take care of you and call you out when you’re being too much.” Spencer chuckled.

Melissa smiled through her tears at Spencer’s remark. “Spence, I know it’s not my place to say, but I really think you should tell your friends. They have the right to know. They care so much about you. They’re basically your family as well. You owe them the truth. Put yourself in their shoes. I mean, if Aria was the one who’s in this predicament, how would you feel if she hid this big a thing from you?” Melissa let go of Spencer’s hands to wipe the tears off her cheeks.

Spencer pulled her legs up on her bed so she can lean back on the headboard. She wiped the tears off her cheeks as well. “I know, but I’m not ready yet. I promise I will tell them.”

Melissa nodded, silently conveying that she respected her sister’s decision. Jenna took the few minutes of silence as her cue to announce her presence. She softly knocked on Spencer’s door. Both girls looked at the door to find Jenna there with a glass of water in her hand. Seeing the surprise on Melissa’s face, Jenna immediately explained herself. “I went downstairs to get a glass of water so Spencer can take her pain medications.” The green-eyed girl explained as she stood uncomfortably on the doorway.

Melissa’s eyes grew wide. She thought that Jenna left right after dropping Spencer off. “How much did you hear?” The older Hastings asked.

“Enough. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, I was returning with the glass of water when-“ Jenna stated anxiously, but her words were cut off by Spencer.

“It’s alright, Melissa. Jenna’s my friend and I trust her.” Spencer said as she gestured for Jenna to come closer.

Melissa looked from Spencer to Jenna, silently contemplating. “Alright then.” Turning to Jenna, Melissa held out her palm. “Give me your phone.” Jenna shot her a questioning look.

“Look, if you’re going to spend more time with my sister, it will be best if you have my number. That way, if anything happens you can call me right away. So give me your phone so I can save my number.” Melissa explained.

Jenna handed her phone to Melissa and the latter saved her mobile number as well as the Hastings’ house phone.

“I guess I’ll leave the two of you alone. Take your meds, Spencer. I’ll be at the barn if you need me.” Melissa got up and gave her sister a kiss on the forehead before leaving.

Spencer motioned for Jenna to sit on the bed. Jenna nodded and sat beside Spencer’s now outstretched legs, facing the brunette. “I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to –“ Jenna began, but was cut-off by Spencer yet again.

“It’s okay. I’m sorry you had to find out like that. I meant to tell you, all of you. I just wasn’t ready yet.” Spencer said as she gave Jenna a small smile to ease the girl’s uneasiness.

“I promise I won’t tell a soul. I can’t promise though that I won’t be concerned all the time and try to take care of you all the time. But don’t worry, I’m not gonna smother you. I already know how that turned out for you and your sister. I just hope that you’d trust me to take care of you, that you can call me anytime you need me. I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with you though, I uh, I mean-“ Jenna stammered, blushing as she caught Spencer’s eye.

“Hey, it’s alright. I’m sorry if I put you in this spot right now. You don’t have to take care of me or anything. I’m not requiring you to. I do owe you an explanation though. I have to explain my case so there’s no gray area here.” Spencer said.

“Oh god no, I’m not implying that you’re requiring me. I am offering, I mean, as your friend. And we don’t have to talk about it right now if you’re not ready.” Jenna replied, giving the brunette a slight smile.

“Thank you Jenna.” Spencer said, smiling genuinely at the girl.

“No worries. Spencer, please don’t think that I’m pressuring you, but I just want to say that I’m willing to come with you to support you when you tell your friends about it.” Jenna offered, touching Spencer’s leg as she spoke. She meant to hold Spencer’s hand as she made the offer, but Spencer’s leg was closer to her, as she was sitting next to the brunette’s leg so she opted to touch it instead. Spencer nodded and gave her a shy smile.


 

“Oh, hi, Emily!” Melissa said as she opened the door. She was on her way to the barn when the swimmer knocked on the door to the Hastings’ main house.

“Hi Melissa! Is Spencer here?” Emily asked. Melissa looked like she’d been crying, but the tanned girl didn’t want to ask her about it. She didn’t want to intrude. She knew too well that the Hastings believed that crying is a sign of weakness.

“Yes, she’s upstairs in her room. Go on right up.” Melissa said as she held the door open for Emily.

“Thanks.” Emily said as she went inside the Hastings’ home and straight up to Spencer’s room.

  

Emily heard voices as she approached Spencer’s room. Thinking that Aria and Hanna were already there, she went right in without bothering to knock. Instead of finding Aria and Hanna though, Emily frowned as she heard the last words coming out of Jenna’s mouth “-when you tell your friends about it.”; and as if that wasn’t enough to confuse her, Emily’s jaw dropped as her eyes landed on Jenna’s hand in Spencer’s leg.

Chapter Text

“Hey Em!” Spencer smiled as the tanned girl walked in. “You’re early.” Spencer was taken aback when the tanned girl frowned at her.

“I’m not. It’s already 8 Spence.” The tanned girl refused to acknowledge Jenna’s presence though the latter gave her a small smile and a nod.

Spencer turned to Jenna in surprise. “Oh my god, I didn’t realize the time. We haven’t even started on our chem. project yet.”

Emily rolled her eyes. “Because studying the human anatomy seemed much more fun than chemistry?” She glared at Jenna who still had her hand on Spencer’s leg. Jenna immediately retracted her hand and blushed at Emily’s remark.

“What are you talking about?” Spencer asked Emily as she eyed the swimmer quizzically.

“It’s okay, Spencer. We can work on it tomorrow.” Jenna interjected. “I should go.” Jenna stood up from Spencer’s bed and grabbed her bag on the floor.

“Wait! Why don’t you stay for dinner? I’ll order some pizza. I’ll just…ouch!” Spencer got off the bed as well but her sudden movement caused a shooting pain to her left shoulder. Emily was on her side in a flash. The swimmer’s eyes grew wide when she noticed the fresh bruise on Spencer’s shoulder. “Spence! What the hell happened?” Emily turned to Jenna, acknowledging the girl for the first time and gave her a questioning look.

“It’s nothing. It’s just a little remembrance from field hockey practice earlier.” Spencer said as she met Jenna’s eyes. Jenna nodded in understanding.

Emily shook her head and frowned at Spencer. “Could you try to be a little less aggressive, Spence?”

“What’s the fun in that? It’s a competitive sport, Em.” Spencer smirked.

Jenna glanced at Spencer’s bedside table and noticed the untouched pill and glass of water. “You haven’t taken your pain meds.” Jenna dropped her bag back on the floor and quickly walked towards Spencer and handed the pill to the brunette along with the glass of water.

Spencer’s eyes fell on Jenna’s hand as she handed the now empty glass back to the girl. Her eyes grew wide as she noticed Jenna’s swollen knuckles for the first time. “Oh my god! We should put some ice on these!” Spencer took Jenna’s hand and carefully ran her fingertips on the girl’s knuckles.

“It’s fine. I’ll put some ice on it as soon as I get home. I really should be going.” Jenna was getting uncomfortable with Emily’s burning stares since the swimmer arrived, and now that Spencer is holding her hand, Emily looked as if she was ready to pounce on her. She quickly grabbed her stuff before Emily could start asking questions about her bruised hand and its connection with Spencer’s bruised shoulder.

“I’ll let myself out. Call me if you need anything, okay?” Spencer nodded and gave Jenna a quick hug, this time being more careful on moving her slightly injured shoulder.

“Yeah, of course. Text me when you get home.” Spencer said as she let go of the green-eyed girl. Jenna nodded and said goodbye to Emily as well. Emily was internally screaming with jealousy, wanting to pry Jenna away from Spencer, but she just crossed her arms and nodded at Jenna.


 

Hanna and Aria arrived at about the same time as the pizza delivery guy did. Aria paid for the pizza that she assumed Spencer has ordered and placed them on the kitchen counter. The two girls then went right up to Spencer’s room.

“Where have you guys been?” Emily asked as the two walked in.

“Hunting down Paige. No luck in finding her tonight though.” Hanna answered, earning her a puzzled look from the swimmer.

Aria walked right up to Spencer and hugged the taller brunette. “I ran into your teammate Sara. She told me about what happened earlier. She said she witnessed the incident at the locker room as she was coming in from practice. Are you okay Spence?” Aria asked with much concern for her best friend. Spencer returned the hug while carefully avoiding contact on her left shoulder. She didn’t want to give the tiny brunette any indications that she was in pain to prevent her from worrying too much.

“Wait, what? What are you talking about? What happened earlier?” Emily raised her left eyebrow as she looked at her three best friends.

 “Paige got physical with Spence during field hockey practice, so Jenna beat the crap out of her.” Hanna said proudly. Whatever animosity Hanna had towards the green-eyed girl was now thrown out the window as she smiled with much admiration, grateful to the girl for standing up for her best friend.

“Jenna didn’t actually beat the crap out of her. I guess the version you got was overstated.” Spencer didn’t want Jenna to seem like a vicious freak in the eyes of her best friends, so she recounted the incident to the three girls as she sat on the bed.

Aria fumed as she heard the whole story. The tiny brunette paced back and forth with her hands balled into fists. “If she ever lays a finger on you again I swear I’m going to kill her!”

“Not if I kill her first.” Hanna said with narrowed eyes.

“I’m going to her house right now.” Emily said thru gritted teeth. Spencer stood and held Emily’s arm to stop her from exiting the room. “Guys, calm down. It’s over now. I’m fine. It’s not like she can break me with a few bumps and trips.” Spencer chuckled as she pulled Emily beside her. Spencer placed her hand on the swimmer’s back and smiled. Emily could not comprehend how Spencer’s mere touch can be so calming and electrifying at the same time.

“Sorry. I’m just really mad at her for hurting you.” The two locked eyes as Emily moved closer to Spencer. The swimmer resisted the urge to wrap her arms around the brunette and kiss all of her bruises away.

“She didn’t. I’m fine, really. You should have seen Paige’s face though. Jenna sure knows how to throw a punch.” Spencer grinned as she recalled the stunned reaction of Paige as she cowered away from Jenna.

Emily frowned and looked away. She wanted to wipe the stupid smile off Spencer’s face as she talked about Jenna. She had to admit though, that she owed the green-eyed girl for defending her best friend.

Hanna caught Emily’s reaction so she quickly changed the subject. “Alright, I’m starving. Let’s get started on those pizzas.”

“Do you wanna watch a movie while we eat, Spence?” Aria asked, swiftly catching on to Hanna’s act.

“City of Angels?” Emily suggested. Spencer grinned and nodded eagerly. Emily smiled at the brunette’s reaction. It felt good to be the one to light up the brunette’s face this time. The tanned girl walked over to the other side of the room to get the movie from Spencer’s dvd stack as Hanna went downstairs with Aria to get their food and drinks.


 

Aria stretched her arms and yawned as the movie credits rolled. She turned off the TV and situated herself back beside Hanna on the inflatable bed. Spencer was initially baffled when the tiny brunette didn’t take her usual spot beside her on the bed but she didn’t argue, as it meant that she will be sitting beside Emily throughout the movie. Spencer heard the familiar chime of her phone and got off the bed to retrieve the device from her bag on the floor. 

J: Hey, Spencer. I wasn’t able to text you right away coz my mom dragged me to the dinner table as soon as I got home. Anyways, I’ll see you tomorrow to hopefully start on our chem. project, yes?

Aria glanced up to where Spencer was standing. “Who is that?”

“It’s Jenna.” Spencer answered as she sent a quick reply to Jenna.

S: Yeah, of course. Glad you got home safely. Thanks again for today. Really.

J: No worries. As I’ve said, I got your back. Goodnight Spencer. See you tomorrow.

S: Goodnight Jenna. See you.

Emily watched Spencer as the brunette smiled while she exchanged text messages with Jenna. Emily sighed and closed her eyes. She saw images of Jenna touching Spencer’s leg, to Spencer softly touching Jenna’s hand, to Spencer hugging Jenna. Maybe there was truth in Paige’s words after all. Maybe Spencer is hooking up with the green-eyed girl. She even caught Jenna’s words when she walked in on them, talking to Spencer about that thing that they are going to tell the girls about. Maybe “that thing” is them being a couple. Emily’s heart began to throb as she felt tears fall from her eyes. Hanna was right. She should have taken the plunge. She should have told her best friend how she felt a long time ago. Now it’s too late. Jenna has won Spencer’s heart. Emily turned to her side and began to sob quietly.

Spencer dimmed the lamplight and walked back towards the bed. She felt her heart race as she climbed back up the bed. She had gotten used to sleeping next to Aria whenever the four of them had sleepovers. Not that she’s complaining now, but the brunette cannot fathom how she can possibly sleep when her heart’s racing at the thought of sleeping on the same bed with the object of her affection. Spencer glanced to her right where the tanned girl had her back on the brunette. Emily’s hair was pulled up in a bun, and Spencer found herself fixated on the exposed skin at the back of Emily’s neck.

“Em, you okay?” Spencer whispered as she moved closer to the tanned girl upon hearing her quiet sobs.

Emily quickly wiped her tears as she felt Spencer’s hand at the back of her neck, softly stroking her skin with her thumb and sending little jolts of electricity through her body as she did so. Emily rolled to lay flat on her back, unintentionally trapping Spencer’s hand beneath her in the process.

“Yeah. I- uh, I just feel bad for Seth.” Emily lied. It was a good thing that they had just finished watching the movie, thus offering Emily a quick excuse as to why she was suddenly crying.

“We’ve watched that movie a thousand times, Em.” Spencer chuckled. Emily didn’t object when she felt the brunette pull her closer. Spencer slowly slid her hand from Emily’s nape down to her back, finally resting her hand on the tanned girl’s waist. She fought the urge to run her fingers on the girl’s slightly exposed skin.

“I know. I uh, just really feel bad th-that they didn’t get their happy ending. I mean, M-Maggie wasn’t supposed to die.” Emily replied with a shaky breath, feeling Spencer’s hand on the exposed skin on her waist.

“Even if they didn’t have their happily ever after, at least Seth had that one chance with Maggie. If it were me, that one chance would be enough. One.” Spencer whispered to the tanned girl who now had her head on Spencer’s right shoulder.

One. How pathetic am I for letting one opportunity slip through my hands? Now I’ve probably lost her forever. I lost my Spencer to fucking Jenna Marshall. My Spencer. Emily sighed as she fought back the tears from falling again. No. She was never mine in the first place, and she will never be, because of my cowardice. Emily closed her eyes and snuggled closer to Spencer. She wrapped her right arm on the brunette’s waist, savouring the moment that she may never have again.

Chapter Text

Spencer woke up with a start. She tried to sit up but her body was being held down by something or rather, someone. She tried to see through the darkness in the room and found Emily sleeping peacefully in her arms. The swimmer had her head in Spencer’s right shoulder and her arms and legs were tangled with the brunette’s. She glanced at the clock. It was past 4 a.m. She contemplated about going back to sleep, but she was too scared to do so. She’d had enough images of the Angel of Death chasing her through the dark woods over and over again. The brunette decided to go downstairs instead. She glanced at Hanna and Aria who shared the inflatable bed at the foot of Spencer’s bed. Spencer was relieved to find the girls sleeping serenely. As much as she loved waking up in Emily’s arms, Spencer knew that it would be impossible to go back to sleep now. With the way that her heart pounded and with how crazy the butterflies in her stomach have become, Spencer feared that she might inadvertently rouse the swimmer from her sleep. She carefully untangled herself from Emily. It wasn’t an easy task considering that half of the swimmer’s body was on top of her. After successfully freeing herself from Emily, Spencer slid from the bed and tiptoed out of the room.

Spencer headed to the kitchen without bothering to turn the lights on and decided to brew some coffee. Spencer sat on the couch and held her head in her hands as she waited for her coffee. She almost jumped from the couch when she heard her name being called.

“Spencer? Is everything alright? Why are you up? It’s too early.” Emily slowly walked towards the brunette and sat beside her.

“Am I dreaming?” Spencer rubbed her eyes as she looked at Emily who is now seated on her right. She swore that Emily was asleep when she left the room.

“No, silly. Want me to pinch you to see if this is real?” Emily smiled and leaned closer to Spencer.

“No, it’s okay, I-“ Spencer’s words were cut off as Emily poked the brunette on the side, knowing that Spencer was ticklish. Spencer giggled as Emily poked her on the side yet again.

“Em, stop! Stop! I- oww!!!” Spencer flinched at the pain on her left shoulder. She was trying to stop Emily’s attacks with both of her hands when she felt a shooting pain on her bruised shoulder. Emily immediately stopped and held Spencer’s injured shoulder gently, fearing that any sudden movement will cause Spencer’s shoulder to break.

Spencer held her breath as Emily carefully inspected her bruised shoulder. They were sitting on the couch in the dark, and Emily was squinting, trying hard to inspect the brunette’s bruises in the dark and thus leaning in to Spencer closer than she had intended to. The swimmer felt the brunette tense under her touch. Emily slowly lifted her eyes from Spencer’s shoulder to her face, suddenly finding that their faces were just a few inches apart. Both girls held their breaths as they looked deeply into each other’s eyes, neither attempting to move apart. Emily’s eyes danced from Spencer’s eyes to her mouth, as if the brunette’s lips were calling out her name. This time it was Emily who feared that she was still asleep, and that being here, being this close to Spencer was just a dream. She feared that the brunette might all of a sudden disappear into thin air. Emily stayed frozen on her spot as she met Spencer’s eyes. She could almost hear Spencer’s heartbeat as she leaned in a little closer, or maybe she was hearing her own. She felt as if her heart will suddenly explode and end this dream as it did. Emily slowly leaned in and captured Spencer’s lips in her own. All of her doubts and fears vanished as she felt Spencer’s lips move with her own, gently and sweetly returning her kiss.

Spencer shuddered as she felt Emily’s lips touch hers for the first time. She slowly returned the kiss, conveying that there’s no need to rush, as Spencer have been waiting for this moment all her life. She felt Emily smile through the kiss, then felt the swimmer’s hands snake around her waist and pull her closer. Spencer placed her hands on the swimmer’s nape, one hand caressed Emily’s neck, while the other played with her raven waves. Spencer gently pulled away for air, but Emily pulled her back in and kissed her passionately. Ah, the perks of being a swimmer. Emily thought. She can kiss the love of her life again and again without the need to come up for air every so often. She realized though, that Spencer cannot hold her breath like she can, even if the brunette was a great athlete, so the swimmer reluctantly pulled away this time. Spencer leaned in and touched her forehead to Emily’s as both girls tried to catch their breaths.

“Still think that you’re dreaming?” Emily asked as she gave the brunette a soft smile.

“I’m not sure. I think I need more convincing.” Spencer smiled as she captured the swimmer’s lips once more. Emily welcomed her lips with passion, both getting lost in their own world. Spencer doesn’t know how long they’ve been kissing, not that she cared. All she could think about was how sweet Emily’s lips tasted and how her skin felt so soft under her exploring hands.

 

The coffee was long forgotten as the girls lay on the couch, arms around each other, eyes locked on each other’s. Spencer gently caressed Emily’s cheek with her thumb as she met the swimmer’s eyes. She still couldn’t believe that this was happening, how this was happening. Spencer gave the swimmer one last peck and leaned in closer inside Emily’s arms, leaving no space between their bodies. Neither girl attempted to speak, as they were both lost in this magical moment; the moment they’ve been waiting for all their lives. Emily shivered as she felt Spencer’s lips graze her collarbone. She held Spencer tighter as they both succumbed to sleep.


 

Click! Hanna grinned as she handed her phone to Aria. The tiny brunette smiled as she looked at the picture on Hanna’s phone, one where Spencer and Emily slept in each other’s arms. They were surprised to find Spencer’s bed empty when they awoke, and got even more surprised on what they had stumbled upon downstairs. Aria tiptoed to the kitchen with Hanna right behind her. Both girls decided not to wake Spencer and Emily and instead went on to prepare some breakfast.

 

Spencer stirred as the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee filled her nostrils. She gingerly opened her eyes and smiled as she realized that she was trapped in the arms of a still sleeping Emily. Spencer felt soft skin on her palm as she tried to move her hands, and realized that her left hand had sneaked inside Emily’s shirt as they slept. She slowly slid her hand out of Emily’s shirt, lightly grazing the swimmer’s lower back as she did.

“Em. Wake up, love.” Emily smiled as she felt the vibrations on her skin as Spencer spoke. The swimmer gasped as the brunette placed open-mouthed kisses on her collarbone. She slowly opened her eyes and found the brunette’s beautiful brown eyes lovingly gazing at her.

“Hi.” Spencer smiled and leaned in for a chaste kiss.

“Hi.” Emily smiled shyly as she returned the brunette’s kiss.

 

Hanna peeked from the kitchen to check if the two girls were already awake, only to find the girls exchanging sweet kisses. Smiling mischievously, Hanna picked up a silver tray from the kitchen and cautiously walked towards the couch, stopping a good distance where the girls won’t see her right away. Hanna glanced back at Aria who was watching her with a confused look. The blonde smirked and suddenly dropped the tray to the ground. Spencer almost fell from the couch as they heard the loud clang. Emily, on the other hand, instinctively clung tighter to the brunette, thus preventing her from falling off the couch. Both girls sat upright as their eyes fell on Hanna. The blonde smiled mischievously at her two blushing friends. “Good morning, lovebirds! Time for breakfast!” Hanna picked up the tray and walked back to the kitchen with a smirk.

 

Hanna smiled as the brunette in front of her poured her second cup of coffee. “Long night Spence?”

“Hanna!” Aria scolded, though she couldn’t help but smile as both Emily and Spencer blushed at Hanna’s question.

“Just had a little trouble getting back to sleep is all.” Spencer answered without bothering to look up from her cup of coffee. She was sure that she’d be met by Hanna’s smirk yet again and she was too embarrassed to meet Emily’s eyes. The swimmer was seated beside Hanna, quietly finishing her pancakes. Spencer didn’t want to tell the girls why, and frankly she didn’t care that her nightmare had prevented her from going back to sleep because she was really happy about how the rest of the evening, or rather early morning, turned out.

“Is your shoulder hurting still? Are you okay?” Aria asked as she carefully rubbed Spencer’s arm.

Spencer shook her head and smiled at the tiny brunette sitting beside her. “Not really. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.”

“Oh, I’m sure it is. Actually, she’s more than fine. Right Em?” Hanna smiled as she looked from Spencer to Emily.

Aria cleared her throat and decided to change the topic. “So, what are your plans today?” Aria threw out, asking no one in particular.

“Uh, Jenna’s coming over. We weren’t able to work on our chem. project yesterday, so we’re going to try and finish it today.” Spencer noticed Emily frown a little at the mention of Jenna.

“Em and I are going to the mall, you know; buy hot, sexy clothes and stuff.” Emily blushed again at Hanna’s remark.

“Hanna’s doing all the shopping. I’m just tagging along, you know, to provide some sort of censorship every now and then.” Emily teased as the blonde had a tendency to splurge on lingerie since she and Caleb became an item. Hanna glared at Emily while the two brunettes chuckled at the girls’ exchange.

“How about you, Ar?” Spencer asked.

“I’ll pick up some groceries with mom and then we’ll head back home for family movie night. I could stay and give you and Jenna a hand if you want.” Aria offered.

“No, it’s okay. You shouldn’t miss your family weekend bonding. I’ll see you tomorrow for coffee, yeah?”

“Sure.” Aria nodded, knowing that it was Spencer’s way of saying that they’d talk about her and Emily over coffee. The brunette stood and started cleaning up. She motioned for Spencer to stay seated as she put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Hanna and Emily stood as well.

“We better get going. I’ll wait for you in the car, Em.” Hanna winked at Emily and said her goodbyes to Spencer and Aria.

Aria walked over to Spencer and gave the taller brunette a hug. “I’m gonna go too, so you can get your stuff ready before Jenna gets here. See you tomorrow, Spence. I love you.”

“Love you too, Ar.” Spencer returned the hug and watched as the tiny brunette followed Hanna out. She turned her eyes from the door to the tanned girl who was left with her in the kitchen. Spencer felt her heart start to pound again as Emily walked closer.

“Hey. Can I see you tonight? I just wanna talk.” Spencer asked hesitantly. She was still reeling from Emily’s kisses, but as much as she loved all of those kisses, she knew that they need to have a proper conversation about what happened.

Emily took Spencer’s hands and linked their fingers. “Just talk?” Emily smiled and leaned a little closer to the brunette. It hurt to hear that Spencer will be spending the day with Jenna, and Emily felt guilty knowing that she’s getting in the middle of whatever Spencer and Jenna have, but she couldn’t help it. She couldn’t stay away from Spencer. Not now. Not after those amazing kisses that they shared.

Spencer shrugged and tilted her head to the side. “Yeah, talk. Maybe get some coffee and muffins, or cookies, or - ” Emily chuckled and leaned in to capture Spencer’s lips for a soft kiss, effectively stopping the brunette’s rambling.

“Or that. Definitely that.” Spencer said as they pulled apart.

“I’ll see you later, Spence.” Emily gave the brunette one last kiss before turning around and walking out of the house. She didn’t want Hanna to wait too long in the car, for she knew that the blonde will be teasing her some more all day if she stayed just a little bit longer. Emily glanced back to find Spencer watching her walk towards Hanna’s car with a sweet smile on her face, enough to get butterflies in her stomach. Spencer watched as Hanna’s car pulled out of their driveway. She walked back inside the house with a huge smile still plastered on her face.

Chapter Text

“What?” Jenna asked as Spencer looked at her in disbelief.

“Nothing. I just didn’t figure you as a science geek.” Spencer was in awe at what the green-eyed girl has contributed to their project. She was so used to doing most of the work in any group project, it is only now that she had a partner who not only managed to keep up with her but almost single-handedly finished their project.

“Well, there are a lot of things you don’t know about me.” Jenna winked. Spencer grinned and started to clean up the mess on the floor while Jenna carefully placed the chemicals in a box. She then placed the box on the corner of the porch, where the two did most of their experiments. The Hastings’ house was currently being repainted and the porch was the only area that they can occupy for the meantime. Spencer walked over to the side of the house to throw out the rubbish, making sure to separate the excess chemicals from the recyclables. As she turned on the corner to head back to the back porch, Spencer accidentally bumped into one of the workers carrying a can of paint. Spencer shrieked as her clothes and limbs were suddenly smeared with white paint. “Oh my god! What the hell?!” The guy turned beet red as he frantically apologized to Spencer. “I’m so sorry ma’am, I didn’t mean to – I was – I uh”

Jenna ran over to the side as soon as she heard Spencer scream, fearing that the brunette might have hurt herself with the chemicals that she threw out. When she saw Spencer, Jenna abruptly stopped and her mouth fell open. She stared at the brunette for a few seconds before she burst out laughing. Spencer turned her attention to Jenna and glared at the green-eyed girl.

“You think this is funny?” Spencer frowned as she looked her paint-covered arms, and because she was wearing denim shorts, her legs were now covered in paint as well. Jenna nodded and clenched her tummy that was beginning to hurt from laughing too much.

“Oh my god, you look like Casper!” Spencer scowled at her. As pissed as she was, Spencer couldn’t help but grin as she looked at Jenna. She has never seen this side of Jenna before. The girl was usually so polished, so composed. She has never seen the green-eyed girl laugh this way. She looked so carefree and genuinely happy that Spencer couldn’t help but to laugh with her as well.

“Casper, huh? We’ll see about that.” Spencer suddenly grabbed Jenna and placed her arms around her, effectively smearing paint on Jenna’s clothes and arms as well.

“Spencer! Stop! You’re ruining my top!” Spencer laughed as Jenna struggled to get away from her. Jenna finally broke free and ran inside the house. Spencer palmed off some of the paint from her arms and smeared some on Jenna’s cheek as she caught up with the green-eyed girl in the kitchen. Jenna yelped and ran away from Spencer. As the brunette tried to catch up with her again, the two suddenly froze in their tracks as they both heard Melissa scream. “Spencer! What the hell is this?”

Melissa stood in the kitchen, frowning at the two. Spencer turned around to see that there were smudges of white paint on the kitchen counter, stools, door and walls. Spencer and Jenna looked at one another, both trying not to burst into another fit of laughter as a fuming Melissa approached the two of them.

“Sorry Mel. It’s my fault. I bumped into one of the workers outside, that’s why.” Spencer pointed to her now ruined clothes.

“We’re both at fault here. Sorry Melissa. We’ll just clean it up.” Jenna pitched in. Melissa seemed to calm down after the two gave their apologies.

“It’s alright; I’ll just ask one of the workers to fix this while you two clean yourselves up. Good thing the paint that they’re using is water-based.” Melissa waved them off and walked out of the house to call somebody to clean up the mess.

“You can use the shower in my room. I’ll just use the one in the master’s bedroom. I’ll grab some clean clothes for you and leave them by the bed.” Spencer motioned for Jenna to follow her upstairs.

“What? That’s it? No apologies for ruining my top and pants?” Jenna teasingly glared as she followed Spencer upstairs.

“Hey, there’s no way I’m going to apologize for that. You deserved it for laughing at my misfortune and calling me Casper.” Spencer grinned and stuck out her tongue at Jenna.

Jenna shook her head and laughed. “I’m never going to forget that look though. You look good covered in paint.” The green-eyed girl laughed some more.

“Shut up. Go clean up.” Spencer chuckled and pushed Jenna inside the bathroom. After closing the door, Spencer headed off to her parents’ bathroom.


 

Emily threw on a gray v-neck shirt and denim shorts. After getting back from the mall with Hanna, she had showered and dried her hair. It was only four in the afternoon but she was too excited to see Spencer again, so she headed out without waiting for the brunette’s reply. She was sure that Spencer was home anyway. Emily took a deep breath as she pulled up in front of the Hastings’. She felt the butterflies dance in her stomach in anticipation. She found the front door open as the workers were packing up their tools and stuff for the day. She admired the half-finished restoration of the Hastings’ house. The family has impeccable taste indeed. Emily called out to Spencer as she entered the house, but the brunette didn’t answer. She decided to go right up to Spencer’s room instead. Emily smiled as she stopped in the doorway of Spencer’s bedroom. The brunette was busily getting fresh clothes in her drawer. Her hair is still wet but is pulled up in a loose bun on her head, and her body was wrapped in a towel. Emily unconsciously licked her lips at the sight. Spencer closed the drawers after getting a pair of shorts and shirts for her and Jenna. When she looked up to walk over to the bed, she was startled to find Emily standing in the doorway with a smirk on her face. “Jesus, Em! You scared me!” Spencer clutched the clothes in her chest, suddenly feeling self-conscious at the look on Emily’s face. Before Emily could reply though, the bathroom door swung open. A towel-clad Jenna walked out and abruptly stopped as she noticed Emily. The two exchanged a look of surprise. Spencer looked from Emily to Jenna, suddenly realizing the awkwardness of the situation, what with Emily walking in with her and Jenna almost naked in her room. Before any of them could say anything, Emily turned and walked out of the room and out of the house. Spencer heard Emily’s car speed away before she can even get to the front door.


Spencer tried calling Emily for the nth time, but the call went again to voice mail. She and Jenna were sitting on her bed, both of them dressed with the clothes that Spencer got for them earlier. Spencer sighed and threw her phone on the bed.

“I’m sorry Spencer.” Jenna ran her hand on the brunette’s arm in an attempt to calm her.

“Don’t be. You didn’t do anything wrong.” Spencer let out a sigh again and lay on the bed with her legs hanging on the side.

“I didn’t know that you and Emily are together. If I knew that, I would’ve kept my distance.” Jenna said contritely.

Spencer shook her head and stared at the ceiling. “We’re not together. I mean, I’ve been in love with her ever since I can remember, but I didn’t know if she felt the same. Until last night.”

“What about last night?” Jenna quirked an eyebrow.

“She kissed me. We kissed.” Spencer grinned at the memory.

Jenna moved to lie beside Spencer. She rested her head on her right hand, using her elbow for support. She smiled as she looked down at her friend. “So you’re a couple now?”

“I don’t know yet, but I know that I really want to be with her. We were supposed to meet tonight and talk about what happened. Now she won’t even answer my calls.” Spencer tried to hold back her tears.

“Do you want me to talk to her?” The green-eyed girl offered, smiling still as she placed her hand on Spencer’s arm.

Spencer smiled back at Jenna for the offer. She’s glad that Jenna was being supportive through all of this. She usually went to Aria for support, but the tiny brunette wasn’t here. Jenna was here for her, and she was really thankful for it. “Thanks, but no. I should go talk to her myself.”

“Alright then. Why don’t you go over to her house? I can drop you off on my way home. Emily and I are neighbours anyway. I could give you a ride home when you’re done talking. That is, assuming that you won’t spend the night with her.” Jenna smiled and winked at the brunette.

Spencer chuckled at what the girl was suggesting. “You have a dirty mind, Marshall.”

“C’mon, don’t deny it, Casper. You’ve been pining for the girl your whole life. Opportunity knocks. Open the door and embrace it. Take her.” Jenna replied with a laugh.

Spencer shook her head and laughed. “Let’s just go, you perv.”

 

 

Emily raced back to her house. She was thankful that her mom wasn’t home, for she didn’t want to deal with the questions that her mom will surely ask her after burning her car’s tires as she pulled over in their driveway. She headed straight to her room and threw herself on her bed. Emily heard her phone ring again. She pulled the phone out of her pocket and saw Spencer’s smiling face on the screen, signalling an incoming call from the brunette. More tears flowed from her eyes as she stared at the beautiful face that has broken her heart. Emily turned the phone off and threw the device on her night stand. The tanned girl leaned her back on the headboard and hugged her pillow tight. A thousand thoughts raced through her mind. Thoughts of Spencer smiling and looking at her like she’s so special. Spencer holding her hand as she drove Emily home; Spencer’s arms around her as they slept; Spencer kissing her like there’s no tomorrow. What did all of those touches, hugs and kisses meant? Was her friend just leading her on? Is Spencer sleeping with Jenna? Emily felt stupid. She thought about what Paige had mentioned before about Spencer and Jenna. She didn’t believe the girl then, and now she really felt that she should have. Emily chuckled bitterly. How could she stupidly think that Spencer felt the same way? Spencer could have any girl that she wanted, and she did. Problem was, it wasn’t her. Spencer wouldn’t be sleeping with Jenna if she wanted her. Not a full day had gone by after they shared sweet and passionate kisses and Spencer was already kissing another girl, maybe having sex with her even.


Spencer knocked on the Fields’ home. She called to Emily but the tanned girl didn’t answer. She knew that her best friend was home because her car was in the driveway. She tried the knob and found that it was unlocked. Spencer slowly opened the door and peeked in.

“Em? It’s me.” When no one answered, Spencer decided to let herself in. The brunette locked the door before turning and walking up the stairs to Emily’s room. Spencer softly knocked on Emily’s door.

“Em. Can we talk?” The brunette called out softly. Spencer slowly opened the door without waiting for Emily’s response; for she was sure that the tanned girl would just send her away.

Emily looked up at the sound of Spencer’s voice on the other side of the door. She decided to ignore the brunette, hoping that she will eventually leave, but she was surprised when Spencer opened the door. “What are you doing here?” Emily turned away to wipe her tears. She didn’t want Spencer to see how hurt she was.

“Em. I just want to talk.” Spencer cautiously approached the swimmer. She sat beside Emily and placed her hand on the top of the swimmer’s own. Spencer was surprised though when the swimmer immediately retracted her hand.

“There’s nothing to talk about. Just please leave.” Emily replied without glancing at the brunette.

“Em. It’s not what you think, okay? I mean, what you walked in on earlier. We didn’t do anything. Jenna and I- there’s nothing going on between us.” Spencer felt a pang in her chest as Emily moved away from her. The tanned girl wouldn’t even spare her a glance, and it broke her heart.

“I don’t care. It’s none of my business anyway.” Emily snapped.

“But it is. You have the right to know because it’s you that I want, Em.” Spencer finally had the courage to admit it to Emily but the tanned girl just shook her head and let out a dry laugh.

“I find that hard to believe. You never wanted me, Spence. First you wanted Cassie. And now Jenna.” Emily got up off her bed and walked towards the window. Ever since she met Spencer’s ex-girlfriend Cassie and found out about Spencer’s new and somewhat weird friendship with Jenna, Emily felt like she was seeing a different person. She’s known Spencer almost all her life, but she hasn’t seen this side of the brunette; the side of her that apparently likes girls. Not that she’s opposed to Spencer liking girls, but she just somehow felt betrayed that she never knew about it. What hurts more is for someone who likes girls; Spencer has never shown any interest in her. It was just last night that the brunette has shown an interest in her, and oh my god how she showed it. Emily could still feel every kiss, every touch that they shared last night. It meant everything to her, but what did it mean to Spencer? She felt stupid for letting her guard down, for surrendering to her feelings for the brunette. Now she felt like a dirty mistress.

Spencer stood and slowly followed the tanned girl. She stopped behind Emily and encircled her arms around the girl’s waist. Spencer leaned in and softly whispered to the swimmer’s ear. “I told you it’s not like that. Jenna and I are just friends.”

Emily weakened at the brunette’s touch. Spencer’s breath on her ears sent shivers down her spine. She felt completely powerless against Spencer’s touch, but she shouldn’t give in, not yet. Not until she hears the truth. She turned to face the brunette and looked at her eyes for the first time

“Friends who sleep together, right? Paige said you were fooling around with Jenna. Is it true?”

“Wait, what? That’s absurd! And why would you believe someone like her? I don’t sleep around Em. I thought you knew me better than that.” Emily almost caved in at the look of hurt in Spencer’s eyes. She wanted to believe Spencer, but she was really hurting inside with how much time the brunette was spending with Jenna lately. She didn’t know if Paige was telling the truth, but as they say, when there’s smoke, there’s fire, right? And oh, how she wanted to douse that fire with ice cold water. The fire that is Jenna Marshall.

“If there’s nothing going on between you and Jenna, why are you spending so much time with her? She’s been hanging out in your hockey practice and driving you home. And not to mention that she was saying something about - telling your friends about it – when I first walked in on the two of you. What was that about? What are you hiding from us?” Emily knew that she had no right to ask these questions. She’s not even in a relationship with Spencer, but she had to know the truth if she will be with her. Was it sex that Jenna was referring to? Are they friends with benefits? The questions just keep piling up and she’s going mental thinking about them every single day. Emily felt Spencer tense as the brunette averted her eyes. Spencer bit her lip and sighed.

“We’re not hiding anything Em. It’s just that I know you guys don’t approve of her. I know that you and Hanna hate her, and I know that Aria is just putting up with her for me. But I swear to you, she’s a really good person, Em. She’s a good friend to me. Just a friend, I swear.” Spencer finally met Emily’s eyes again. The swimmer gave her a look so intense that she felt like she was searching far beyond her brown orbs. Emily sighed and reluctantly removed herself from Spencer’s arms. She crossed her arms on her chest as she spoke, partly trying to comfort herself and partly trying to prevent her hands from reaching out and pulling the brunette into her arms. She wanted to believe Spencer. She wanted her words to be true, that the brunette wanted her and not Jenna, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The way that Spencer refused to meet her eyes while she was explaining her and Jenna’s relationship was a sign of deceit, and for that Emily refused to surrender. Emily didn’t want to let herself be vulnerable, to let herself be consumed by the love that she has for Spencer to the point that it will cloud her judgement. Emily turned to face the window again, turning her back to Spencer once more.

Spencer leaned into Emily once more, resuming the position that they were in earlier. She leaned her head at the back of Emily’s head, softly inhaling the scent of her raven hair as she held the swimmer in her arms. “I want to be with you. I know you want to be with me too.” Spencer whispered as her lips grazed the skin of the swimmer’s exposed shoulder. She wasn’t trying to be cocky; she’s just stating a fact. Spencer sure felt it on those kisses that they shared. She felt her need, she felt her want. “It’s always been you Em.”

“No, I don’t. I’m sorry if I may have given you the wrong impression.” Emily whispered; her voice slightly faltering as tears began to flow from her eyes. Spencer felt her heart stop. Did she really hear those words? Emily doesn’t want her? After all those passion-filled kisses?

“What about last night?” Spencer finally let out. She felt the swimmer take a deep breath before she replied. Spencer felt her heart break into a million pieces as she heard Emily’s words.

“It was a mistake. I’m sorry.”

Chapter Text

Spencer idly walked around the streets of Rosewood. She wanted to go to Aria, but the Montgomerys are having their family night tonight, and she didn’t want to intrude. She thought about calling Hanna, but she remembered that the blonde and Emily had gone shopping earlier for something to wear for her boyfriend Caleb, so she’s positive that Hanna’s with him right now. She remembered Jenna’s offer for a ride, but she didn’t want to disturb her new friend again. Truthfully, Spencer didn’t want to risk Emily seeing her walk up to the house across the street. Even after the tanned girl had brushed her off, Spencer still cared about what she may think or feel about her seeing Jenna yet again.

Spencer found herself walking towards the park. It was starting to get dark, but she didn’t care. She didn’t want to go home. She wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of memories of her and Emily which she knew she will have as soon as she enters the house and sees the couch that they made out in until the wee hours of the night. The brunette wiped a few stray tears as she sat on a bench in the middle of the park. There were still a few people hanging around but she didn’t pay attention to them. A Hastings never cries, especially in public, but fuck it. She’s just got her heart broken. Crushed and stomped on by the love of her life. The girl that she wanted so badly to be hers. She recalled the kisses that she and Emily shared. They were real. They felt real. And amazing. But it was a mistake. It meant everything to her, but it meant nothing to Emily. Just when she had gathered up her courage to let Emily know that she wanted to be with her, the tanned girl slams the door to her face. Yes, maybe it was a mistake. She might have misunderstood the meaning of it all. The loving looks, the soft touches, the passionate kisses. God, she didn’t know that Emily was a player, and smart little Hastings has been played.

Just because you have feelings for her doesn’t mean that she has feelings for you too. As the song goes, a kiss is just a kiss; or was it a kiss is still a kiss?

Spencer sighed and rubbed her temples. The stress of it all is slowly getting to her. Spencer closed her eyes and willed the pain to go away, but the pounding in her head just grew. Spencer wiped the tears off her face and took a deep breath. She lost track of time as she sat there in the middle of the park, staring into nothing. Just as she thought that things couldn’t get any worse, dark clouds started to envelop the sky. The sudden roar of thunder made Spencer wince in pain. It was like her head was about to explode. Spencer slowly got to her feet just as she felt the raindrops on her skin. The brunette felt her head spin a little as she slowly got up, finally deciding to go home.


 Spencer closed her eyes, feeling her muscles start to relax under the warm water as she lay on the tub. She could hear the music coming from her room through the open door of the bathroom, as she had decided to put on some music before heading off to shower to try and drown out the thunder that was booming every now and then. She had never felt so alone. It wasn’t a surprise that she came home to an empty house yet again. You’d think that in her present condition, her parents will try and spend more time with their youngest daughter after finding out about her sickness, but that didn’t happen at all. Her sister Melissa, on the other hand, has surprisingly been more supportive and was almost always around the house for her younger sister. Tonight though, Melissa will be spending the night in Philly due to the heavy rains that started there early in the afternoon. She didn't want to risk driving in that condition. Same dark clouds are now looming over Rosewood, making it apparent that the town will be submitted to heavier rains in the succeeding hours. Spencer willed herself not to think about the girl who broke her heart. She pushed every thought about the tanned girl at the back of her mind. It wasn’t easy at all though, for said girl seemed to keep pulling at the strings in her heart, the image of her smile seem to keep haunting her thoughts.

Staring at the phone in her hand, Spencer fought the urge to call the girl who’s currently causing so much pain in her heart. The brunette is now seated at her bed with her back against the headboard. She decided to head straight to her bed after spending almost an hour in the tub, not bothering to get something for dinner. She wasn’t in any mood to eat anyway. She could faintly hear the raindrops in her window, even if the music from her ipod filled the room. Spencer chuckled bitterly as Brie Larson’s sweet sexy voice singing Black Sheep filled the room. The song of course, reminded her of Emily. It seems that wherever she went, whatever she did, everything reminded her of Emily. 

I guess that’s what you get from being hopelessly in love with a girl almost all your life.

The song reminded her of a movie which she and Emily had watched over and over again in the past. Though Spencer found the movie a bit ridiculous, she didn’t argue with the tanned girl every time she suggested it on their movie night. Besides, Spencer found Brie Larson as Envy Adams actually kind’a hot, though she never admitted this to the tanned girl. Spencer wiped the tears off her cheeks, suddenly realizing that she’d been crying again. How could one perfect night turn into a complete disaster the next day? Choking back the tears, Spencer grabbed her phone from the edge of the bed where she tossed it earlier. The brunette waited a few seconds before she heard a familiar voice at the other end of the line. 

“Spencer?”

“Hey. Can you uhm…Can you please come over?” Spencer managed to get out as she tried to fight back another onslaught of tears.

“Of course. I’ll be right there.”

Chapter Text

This is how it works for the two of them. If one needs the other, just say the word and the other will come right over. No questions asked. They’ve been friends all their lives. They might have been twin sisters in their past lives, soul mates even, but never lovers. However extraordinarily close they were, their friendship never escalated to a romantic relationship. They have been teased by their friends and were the topic of a few gossips here and there because of their closeness, but they just waved it off. The two brunettes sometimes felt like they could read each other’s thoughts and feel each other’s emotions, and this is probably one of those moments. Although the rain was starting to pour real hard, Aria didn’t think twice to come over when Spencer asked her to. She apologized to her parents and brother for bailing on their family night and promised to make it up to them next time. Her best friend needed her; and if it was the other way around, she’s a hundred percent sure that the taller brunette will do the same.

Using the spare key that Spencer had given her years ago, Aria unlocked the Hastings’ front door, removed her soaked boots and jacket, and went straight up to Spencer’s room. There was loud music blasting in the speakers as she walked up to the open door of the taller brunette’s room. She found her best friend lying under the covers of her bed, eyes closed, and a few stray tears on her cheeks. Aria walked over to the night table to turn the ipod’s volume down a little before she carefully slid under the covers and took her best friend in her arms. The smaller brunette stroked Spencer’s hair and just let her cry in her arms, patiently waiting for her to speak.

Spencer wasn’t alarmed at all when she felt the bed dip a little and someone wrapped their arms around her. Though she’s been crying and blowing her nose for the past few hours, she was still able to recognize her best friend’s scent as soon as the tiny brunette entered her room. She was grateful for not being bombarded with questions on the get go. The tiny brunette patiently waited for her to explain what’s going on. Aria knew her too well.

“I’m sorry.” Aria heard Spencer speak at last after lying down with her for the past hour. The taller brunette had stopped crying, wiping the last strands of tear on her face. “I’m sorry for pulling you out of family night and making you come over in this weather.” Spencer whispered against the smaller brunette’s chest.

Aria smiled and placed a kiss on the taller brunette’s head. “You would’ve done the same, Spence. What happened?” She finally asked.

Spencer felt her eyes well up in tears once more. “Emily didn’t want me.”

Aria’s heart almost broke as she heard how hurt her best friend sounded. “I thought you had something great going on yesterday. What happened after we left?” Aria asked as she stroked her best friend’s hair. Spencer moved back a little to put some distance between her and Aria, so she can look the tiny brunette in her eyes as she spoke.

“She walked in on me and Jenna, both of us clad only in towels.” Aria’s eyes widened, but Spencer immediately held up her hand, signalling at the tiny brunette not to violently react just yet.

“We just took showers when Emily arrived. We had a slight mishap involving paint that was intended for the house. Actually it was just me. I bumped into one of the workers and he accidentally spilled a can of paint on me. I smeared some on Jenna to extract revenge.” Aria’s eyebrows shot up on this part, to which Spencer pouted.

“She laughed at me, Ar, and called me Casper. Anyways, Melissa sent us upstairs to wash it off. I let Jenna use my shower while I used mom and dad’s. Emily came and assumed that something happened between Jenna and I. She took off before I could explain.” Spencer rolled her eyes at Aria who was trying hard to suppress her laugh.

“I’m sorry. I’m just imagining Melissa scolding the two of you like little kids. And - Casper? Good one. Go on.” Aria giggled as she held Spencer’s arm.

“I went over to Emily’s house and explained what happened. I told her that I wanted to be with her and her alone. She said what happened between us was a mistake. She doesn’t want me, Ar. She didn’t want to be with me and it hurts. It hurts so much” Spencer felt her best friend’s thumb wipe off the tears on her cheeks that she didn’t notice had fallen once more.

Aria was positive that Emily had felt the same way towards Spencer. She knows and she’d seen how the swimmer wanted Spencer the way Spencer her back. What Emily said didn’t make any sense. “Maybe she just got really jealous and scared. Don’t give up just yet. I could talk to her if you want.”

Spencer shook her head. “Nah, it’s okay. If she doesn’t want to be with me then so be it.”

Aria rolled her eyes at her best friend’s stubbornness. “So that’s it? You’ve waited all your life for the moment to be with her and you’re just gonna give up after stumbling once?”

“Did you not get the part where she said she doesn’t want me?” Spencer deadpanned.

“Then make her. Stop being such a Hastings and go win your girl’s heart.” Aria chuckled.

“What’s that supposed to mean? Look, I don’t want to force myself on someone who doesn’t like me. I don’t cry over girls. One day of crying will be enough. Time to move on.” Spencer moved to lie on her back, refusing to meet the tiny brunette’s eyes as she spoke. Aria can read her too well. It was hard to lie while looking straight at those big eyes.

Aria propped herself up on one elbow to look at the taller brunette. “But this is not just some girl, Spence. It’s Emily Catherine Fields. The love of your life. You’ve wanted her for so long but you never actually showed her that you do. Don’t you think it’s worth a try? Because I do. I want you to be happy, Spence, and I know that you will be. With her.”

Spencer just shook her head, still refusing to meet Aria’s eyes. “What difference will it make? It’s not going to last anyway. It’s just a few months now.”

Aria’s eyes widened at the taller brunette’s words. “What do you mean? It’s not like we’re going to part ways once we graduate. Spence, the three of us got an early acceptance to UPenn. Did you suddenly forget?”

Though it was true that Spencer, Emily and Aria will be going to UPenn while Hanna will be going to New York for college, it wasn’t what Spencer was worried about. She was given a year by her doctor. That’s it. She has no life to look forward to after graduation. As she was lying in bed earlier crying her eyes out, she realized that Emily’s decision was somehow for the best. She didn’t want Em to fall in love with her because she knows that she’ll only break the swimmer’s heart when her time comes. Spencer sat up, moved back to rest her back on the headboard and stretched out her legs. Aria sat up as well and turned to look at her. Spencer closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. When she opened her eyes, she took Aria’s hand and pulled the tiny brunette to sit beside her.

“Ar, there’s something that you should know.”

Chapter Text

Spencer lay on her bed with her back rested against the frame. She can still hear the faint sound of music despite the howling of the wind outside and the splatter of raindrops on the windowpane. She doesn’t remember being in this kind of awkward situation with her before in their entire lives. Aria seemed to have stopped crying now, after sobbing for about an hour, and she’s not sure if that’s actually a good sign. Spencer wanted to hold her while she cried, but Aria pushed her away. For the first time in her life, her best friend pushed her away and it hurt. It hurt so much. Aria removed her hands from her face now, and Spencer can she her puffy red eyes. Those eyes refused to meet hers though, and instead gazed out the window, watching the wind trifle with the beauty of raindrops falling from the sky. Spencer pushed herself up off her bed and walked towards where Aria was seated. The smaller brunette had her chin resting on her left arm that was perched at the top rail of the red chair. Spencer slowly sat beside Aria.

“Please say something.” Spencer whispered to the smaller brunette who had her back turned on her.

Silence.

“Ar.”

More silence.

“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Aria finally spoke, her voice trembling from having cried so much. “How could you keep this from me for so long? We… we swore to never keep secrets from each other. This… This is just…” Aria shook her head and sighed.

Spencer hung her head and wiped the tears that have fallen from her eyes. “I’m sorry.” was all that she managed to say.

Aria finally turned to face the taller brunette. “Spencer, I’m not asking for an apology. I need an explanation. I need you tell me why. I thought you trusted me.”

“I do trust you! God, Ar! How could you even doubt that?” Spencer widened her eyes at the smaller brunette.

“But not enough to tell me this! Spence, we tell each other everything. This – it’s…” Aria trailed off. She can’t even express how much hurt and scared she felt right now.

“I was scared, Ar. I was too scared to tell anyone. To tell you. I don’t want people to think I’m weak. I don’t want them to see how pathetic I am.” Spencer replied with a small voice, playing with the hem of her shirt as she spoke.

Aria grabbed the taller brunette’s arm. “Spencer! You of all people should know that I wouldn’t think of you that way. You’re not weak and you’re not pathetic, you hear me?”

“I just… I don’t want you guys to treat me any differently and I -” Spencer trailed off, not sure how else to explain what she was feeling.

“I don’t want to seem like a burden to you. I don’t want you worrying about me all the time. I didn’t want anything to change.” Spencer finally managed to admit.

“Spence, you’re my best friend and I love you. I love you like my own flesh and blood. You will never ever be a burden to me and you can’t keep me from worrying about you. Nothing has to change. We can get past this. We will get past this. I’m here for you. I’ll always be.”

Spencer tilted her head up to meet the smaller brunette’s eyes. “I love you too, Ar. You’ve been so good to me. Better than my own sister ever was.”

“What can I do? There must be some way to fix this, to make you better again.” Spencer bit her lip and shook her head, feeling the tears welling up in her eyes again.

“There’s nothing, Ar. The doctors said so themselves.”

“No. There’s got to be a way, Spence. I can’t – I can’t lose you. Please.” Aria choked out before pulling Spencer into a tight hug. Aria sobbed as she tightened her arms further around the taller brunette’s neck. Spencer closed her eyes and felt hot tears on her cheeks once more. She didn’t know what to say, and to be honest, she didn’t even know what to do anymore.

“Just please promise me you won’t tell Hanna and Emily.” Spencer pleaded as she pulled a little away from Aria.

Aria frowned a little at the absurdity of her best friend’s request. It was such a huge thing to keep from their two other best friends. “Spence -”

“Please, Ar. I just, I don’t want anything to change. Please?” Aria nodded as she gave in to her best friend’s wish. 


 

Spencer lay wide awake all night as she recalled the recent events in her head. Instead of the feeling of a weight being lifted off her chest, Spencer felt a stab thru her heart as she told Aria about her condition. The way her best friend broke down - seeing her break down like that for the first time and knowing that she was the cause of it was just so painful. Aria’s hand grasped Spencer’s arm as she slept, as if fearing that she might suddenly disappear from her side. Spencer placed her hand on top of Aria’s as she sobbed quietly next to her sleeping best friend. Spencer carefully wiped the tears that had fallen on her cheeks with the back of her hand as she noticed the sunlight creeping in through her window. A quick glance at the clock told her that it was almost five. Feeling Aria stir beside her, Spencer immediately closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep. She didn’t want her best friend to know that she’s been up all night.


“Aria?” Melissa called out, wondering what her sister’s best friend was doing in their kitchen so early in the morning.

“Hey, Melissa. Breakfast?” Aria smiled as she gestured to the food that she prepared on the kitchen table.

Melissa smiled in surprise as she approached the smaller brunette, her eyes scanning all the food that’s on the table. “What’s all this?”

“A very healthy breakfast for my best friend. Scrambled eggs with salmon and goat cheese, french toast, fruits and yogurt smoothie and of course, the one thing Spencer can’t live without: freshly-brewed coffee.” Aria presented with a huge smile. Melissa took a seat and started to eat.

“Ready to go, Ar? What --?” Spencer came to a halt as she reached the foot of the stairs. She was surprised to see Melissa and Aria having breakfast in the kitchen. Spencer dropped her bag on the couch and walked towards the two. Aria pulled her best friend’s arm and forced her to sit on one of the chairs.

“Sit. You need to eat something before we go to school.” The smaller brunette ordered. Aria began placing tons of food in Spencer’s plate. Spencer held her hand up to Aria as the latter was about to feed her with a slice of toast.

“Okay, okay. I can eat by myself, thanks.”

Melissa chuckled and popped her last bit of toast into her mouth. She stood up and cleared away her plate and her now empty cup of coffee. “I’m gonna head out. Thank you for the breakfast, Aria.” Aria smiled and nodded at the older Hastings.

“All done?” Aria asked as Spencer finished her smoothie. She stood up from her seat and took Spencer’s empty plate, gesturing to the taller brunette to stay seated. “I’ll take care of it.”

After placing the dishes into the dishwasher, Aria walked over to the couch to retrieve her and Spencer’s bag. “Ar, why do you have my bag?” Spencer asked as the smaller brunette casually slipped both bags in her arms.

“I’ll carry it for you. C’mon.” Aria answered nonchalantly and nodded towards the door.

Spencer walked right behind her and tried to get her bag from Aria’s arm but the smaller brunette swatted her arm away. “Ar, you know I’m not disabled, right?”

“Shush.” Aria flipped her hand and walked outside the door, Spencer following right behind.


“Spencer?”

“Sorry, what was the question?” Spencer snapped out of her daze to find all eyes on her. Mr. Fitz is standing in front of her with his arms folded across his chest. Before he can say another word though, the bell rang, signalling the end of his class.

“Nevermind.” Ezra walked back to his table as the students were making their way out of his classroom. Glancing back at his top student, Ezra cleared his throat and decided to summon the brunette. “Spencer, can I have a word with you?” Spencer silently groaned as she gathered her stuff. She nodded at Aria to go on ahead without her. Hanna and Emily followed Aria out as well.

“What’s up Mr. Fitz?” Spencer stopped in front of her teacher who was leaning a bit on his desk. She didn’t mean to lose her focus while she was in class but she was really tired from not having been able to sleep the entire night. Add to that her being frustrated about how Aria’s been treating her like a baby since this morning.

Ezra studied his prized student before he spoke. He took note of the dark circles under her eyes and the exhaustion in her voice as she spoke. “Are you feeling alright? You seemed kind of out of it throughout the whole class. Is something bothering you?”

“No, everything’s fine. I just didn’t get much sleep last night.” Spencer fidgeted as she waited for Mr. Fitz to speak again. Ezra just nodded and gave her a tight-lipped smile. “I’m sorry Mr. Fitz. It won’t happen again.” She knew he was scrutinizing her, so she refused to meet his eyes. She didn’t want another person to worry about her and smother her. Spencer turned to leave but stopped as Mr. Fitz called her again.

“Spencer, my door’s always open for you if you need to talk.” Spencer gave him a small smile before walking out the door.

 

Spencer found Aria waiting for her as she stepped outside Mr. Fitz’s class. “Everything okay, Spence? You kind’a zoned out in there.”

Spencer forced a smile at the smaller brunette and tilted her head towards the courtyard. “Yeah. Just got a headache.” Spencer replied as they started walking.

“What?! Oh my god, how long has your head been hurting? Why didn’t you tell me right away?” Spencer held her hand up to the smaller brunette. “Calm down. I’m fine.”

“Are you sure? C’mon, I’ll take you to the clinic.” Aria ordered as she grabbed Spencer’s bag and carried it again for her.

“I’m fine, Ar. No need to go to the clinic.” Spencer gave the smaller brunette a small smile as they stopped and sat at their usual table. Hanna was already seated and is munching on an apple.

“I’m just worried, Spence. Are you hungry? Just sit here, I’ll get your lunch.”

“No, Ar, I -” Aria walked off before Spencer could protest. “I’m not hungry.” Spencer mumbled as she sank back in her seat.

“Okay, spill. What did your little wife do? Why is she acting weird?” Hanna asked the taller brunette as she glanced towards Aria who was making her way to the school cafeteria.

Spencer rolled her eyes at the blonde. “Nothing, Han.” Spencer saw Emily approaching their table and felt another stab thru her heart.

“Then why is she -- ”

“I’m gonna go to the library. I’ll see you guys later.” Spencer cut the blonde off and started to gather her stuff. Emily placed her lunch tray on the table just as Spencer was about to take off. Spencer gave her a tight-lipped smile before walking off. Emily looked longingly at Spencer’s retreating figure before slowly sitting beside Hanna. Spencer barely looked at her all day. All she got from the brunette was that small smile before she walked off. It wasn’t as surprise though, since she practically shut Spencer down and sent her away. Emily pushed her food tray away as she suddenly didn’t feel like eating anymore.

Aria placed a tray of fruits, salads and sandwiches on the table and turned towards Hanna. “Where’s Spencer?” Before Hanna could answer, Aria turned to Emily who was seated beside the blonde. “What did you do this time?”

“She went to the library. Said she wasn’t hungry. Why would you assume that Emily did something?” Hanna raised her brow at the tiny brunette.

“Nothing. I’m sorry.” Aria mumbled and sat down on the chair that was previously occupied by Spencer.

Emily sighed. “It’s okay. I deserved that.”

“What are you talking about?” Hanna looked from Emily to Aria.

Emily sighed and told Hanna about what transpired between her and Spencer over the weekend. Though Aria was internally fuming at how Emily hurt her best friend and broke her heart, she decided to stay silent and let Emily talk. The bell rang before Hanna could start asking questions and scold Emily as anticipated. The swimmer quickly gathered her stuff and left Aria and Hanna, both girls sporting mixed reactions on their faces.


Spencer hurriedly walked the hallway towards her locker as soon as the final bell rang. She wanted to leave the school as soon as possible. She was so exhausted and didn’t want to run into Aria who’s been babying her all day. She managed to avoid Emily all day as well, except for that brief encounter during lunch break. She just wanted to escape from it all. She was surprised to see Jenna standing beside her locker as she slammed its door shut.

“Hey, Spencer. How did your weekend go?” Spencer bit her lip and shrugged.

Jenna eyed her quizzically. “What happened?”

“I don’t want to talk about it. It’s just -.” Spencer whispered. She didn’t need to finish her sentence for Jenna to know that the talk between Spencer and Emily didn’t go too well.

“Oh, Spencer. I’m sorry.” Jenna placed a comforting hand on Spencer’s arm, earning her a small smile from the brunette.

“Wanna do something fun? You know, get your mind off things.” Jenna offered with a smile, evoking Spencer’s curiosity. “Like what?”

“Well, let’s see. What would be a fun thing to do for a Hastings? Play board games, solve the rubik’s cube, learn how to knit…” Jenna counted one by one on her fingers.

“You’re an ass, you know that? And I’ve already solved the rubik’s cube when I was 4.” Spencer forced herself to keep a straight face as she snapped at Jenna who rolled her eyes.

“Of course you did.” Jenna said mockingly.

Spencer chuckled and shook her head. She leaned back on her locker, suddenly thankful for running into Jenna. Jenna contemplated on her next move, her next words. She wanted to do something, to say something that would put Spencer out of her rotten mood. She heard Spencer's low voice before she could say something.

“Aria knows.” Spencer whispered, her eyes fixated on the ground.

“That’s a good thing, right?” Jenna smiled though the brunette didn’t see it as she continued to stare at the ground.

Spencer shook her head and bit her lip. “I didn’t want her to know. I didn’t want to tell any of them.”

“Why not? Spencer, they are your best friends. They deserve to know. And I know it would be easier for you if they knew. It would be a big weight off your chest.”

“I just - I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to hear myself say it. Somehow saying it would make it real.” Spencer’s lips began to quiver, her voice trembling as she spoke. “And now that she knows, now that we’ve talked about it, it’s just… It feels real now. It is real, and I’m scared.” Spencer’s eyes widened and she suddenly found it difficult to breathe. She slowly looked up at the green-eyed girl beside her. Jenna met Spencer’s eyes and was surprised at what she saw - unadulterated fear. Spencer Hastings, the strongest person she has ever met was genuinely scared. The brunette’s wall of defence was shattering in front of her and it broke her heart. “I’m scared, Jenna.” Spencer whispered as tears threatened to fall from her eyes.

“It’s okay. I got you, Spencer.” Jenna held Spencer’s hands I her own.

“I’m going to die. I’m going to die.” Spencer whispered as she struggled to breathe.

“Spence, c’mon, just take deep breaths okay. Deep breaths.” Jenna rubbed Spencer’s back while she held one of the brunette’s hands in her own. Spencer relaxed a little, thankful that she did just as students filled the hallway.

“C’mon, I’ll take you home.” Jenna tugged at Spencer’s hand and started towards the exit. 


Emily scanned the hallways for Spencer. She was sure that the brunette has been avoiding her. She thought that she made the right decision in letting Spencer go, in pretending that she didn’t have feelings for her. She had been so jealous and insecure, and she acted on impulse. She had been hurt before, when Maya just up and left without a word. She was so scared that Spencer would do the same, especially after seeing her with Jenna. A half-naked Jenna. She knew that she should have listened to Spencer when the brunette went over to her house to explain. The girl swallowed her pride and confessed her feelings to her, for Christ’s sake, but Emily was too far down in her fears and insecurities to have heard it clearly. Spencer wanted her. Spencer wanted to be with her. And now Spencer’s been avoiding her all day. All she got from Spencer was a forced smile earlier at lunch, and that hurt. That hurt a lot. She has to fix this. She has to make everything right and hope that Spencer will still want her. She has to. Otherwise my heart will break into a million pieces and I’d just die. Emily thought. She soon caught sight of the brunette making her way outside school with Jenna on her side – holding her hand. Emily sighed. She didn’t want to jump into another batch of what if’s. She needed to face this. She has to face this. You can do this. Emily whispered to herself. The swimmer hurriedly walked towards the direction of the two girls, calling out to Spencer as soon as she had caught up with them.

“Spence?” Spencer thought she heard Emily’s voice, calling her name. Her head was just a mess; full of things running around inside that wouldn’t stop. And now her mind is playing tricks on her, hearing Emily call out to her. Spencer walked a little faster, trying to escape everything and just get out of there. She stopped when she felt Jenna’s hand tug at hers and she gave her friend a questioning look. Jenna nodded towards Emily, who finally caught up with them and is now standing on Spencer’s side.

“Can we talk?” Emily tentatively asked.

Spencer closed her eyes and shook her head. “Not now, Em. I’m sorry but I have to go.” Spencer walked off without another word, pulling Jenna by the hand this time.

 

Chapter Text

Aria went straight to the Hastings’ home after waiting by Spencer’s locker for about 20 minutes and never getting a single reply from her text messages asking the brunette where she was. Using the key that Spencer gave her, Aria went inside and walked right up to the brunette’s room. Aria found the door slightly ajar and saw Jenna curled up on Spencer’s red chair with a book in her hands. Jenna glanced up at the door as she sensed someone’s eyes on her. She placed her index finger to her lips and pointed at the bed, then beckoned Aria into the room.

“Hey.” Jenna smiled at Aria and moved into a sitting position to give the brunette some space to sit on.

“Is Spencer--?” Aria sat beside Jenna and threw a concerned look at her sleeping best friend.

“She said she didn’t get much sleep last night.” Jenna whispered to Aria, trying to be as quiet as possible so as not to rouse her sleeping friend.

“That’s weird. I was with her last night. I spent the night here. We fell asleep together. I didn’t know that she…wait, why are you here?” Aria asked with an equally hushed tone.

“She asked me to take her home. She’s been having one of those headaches again. I just, I worry about her, that’s why I decided to stay and keep an eye on her.” Jenna explained; concern evident in her green eyes.

“Oh, maybe it’s just from lack of sleep. I’m sure she’s fine.” Aria said with a wave of her hand and a forced a smile. She didn’t want Jenna to know what’s really going on. She swore to Spencer that she’s not going to tell anyone.

“It’s okay, Aria. I know all about it. Well, not really, I mean I don’t have the full details, but I do know what Spencer’s been going through.” Jenna whispered and gave the tiny brunette a little smile.

“I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about...” Aria tried to deny. She wasn’t sure how Jenna knew about Spencer, but given the amount of time that the two have been spending lately, Jenna might have picked up on what’s wrong. Still, she’s not going to assume that Jenna knows and decided that it’s best to just play clueless.

“I know that she’s sick, Aria, and I know that she finally told you about it.” Jenna whispered after a while.

“Wait, what? How? Why? I’m her best friend, and -” Hearing that Jenna knew before her was like a kick in the gut.

“I accidentally found out, okay? It’s not like Spencer chose to tell me first over you. I overheard her and Melissa talking and she asked me not to say anything. Please don’t be mad at her.” Jenna quickly explained after seeing Aria’s face twist with hurt and surprise.

Aria was silent for a while. She turned and watched her sleeping best friend and let out a sigh. “I messed up today, didn’t I?” Aria whispered, her eyes still fixed on Spencer’s sleeping form.

“What do you mean?”

“Spencer asked me not to treat her any differently, but I did the exact opposite. I just, I couldn’t help it. I wanna take care of her. I wanna be there for her all the time. If I could, I’d keep an eye on her 24/7.” Aria felt the tears running down her cheeks as she opened up to Jenna.

“Don’t do that. You will just end up pushing her away. I understand where you’re coming from, but Spencer doesn’t want to be reminded that she’s ill. She doesn’t want any special treatment, so please don’t treat her like a baby.” Jenna whispered as she carefully rubbed Aria’s back.

“I don’t know if I can do that, I just… I care so much about her. She’s my best friend. We grew up together. We’ve been together since we were little kids and I --” Aria paused to catch her breath. “I can’t imagine life without her. I don’t want to imagine what it would be like.” Aria finally let out with a sigh.

“We’re all scared, okay? I think the best thing we can do right now is just be there for her. Keep her happy.” Jenna reasoned. Aria nodded and seemed to contemplate for a while.

“Do you know that song that Spencer always listens to in her car? What were the words? The person that you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger. How can we make her happy if the one person who has the power to do that just broke her heart?” Aria looked straight into Jenna’s eyes as if the answers were there. It was Jenna’s turn to sigh this time.

“I know, and I think that was kind of my fault. If I wasn’t here that day, maybe things would’ve turned out differently. It’s my entire fault.” Jenna whispered as she sadly shook her head.

Aria placed her left hand on Jenna’s arm. “Hey, don’t say that. Emily didn’t believe Spence. If she had only trusted Spence then there wouldn’t be a problem. She shouldn’t have been jealous of you or of any other girl if the trust was there. I actually wanted to thank you.” She continued as she gave Jenna’s arm a gentle squeeze.

“For what?” Jenna looked into the tiny brunette’s eyes curiously.

“You’ve been really good with Spencer. I don’t trust a lot of people with my best friend, but I do trust you with her. Thank you for being a good friend to her, Jenna.” While it’s true that Aria didn’t like Jenna the first time, the green-eyed girl has slowly grown into her. Alison had made them believe that Jenna was a bitch who cannot be trusted. Now Aria’s slowly getting to know the real Jenna Marshall.

Jenna seemed to blush and smiled gratefully at Aria. “Thank you, Aria. That means a lot. Well, Spencer’s a great person. It’s not hard to like her. She’s one of a kind, she’s amazing, and she’s perfect. I don’t usually let people in and give my trust so easily, but it’s been so easy with her.”

Aria didn’t fail to notice the look in Jenna’s eyes as she described Spencer. “Do you like her? I mean, do you have romantic feelings for her?”

Jenna just shrugged and smiled. “What does that even mean? Is that a yes?” Aria proded.

Jenna shrugged once more and smiled nonchalantly. “It’s Spencer. What’s not to like about her?”

“So you do like her. Are you in love with her?” Aria pressed, her eyes getting wider with the revelation. Well, she did have a hunch, but to somehow hear this slight confirmation is stimulating her interest.

“Yes and no. I like her. It’s not hard to like her. She’s smart, funny and loyal. Hot even. But no, I’m not in love with her.” Jenna couldn’t help but chuckle at Aria’s eagerness to launch a full interview right at that moment.

“But why not?” Aria whispered as she glanced at Spencer’s direction to see if she hasn’t stirred the sleeping brunette with her sudden excitement. Not that she was excited for Spencer and Jenna to be a couple, but she just automatically drills everyone that wants to jump her best friend. Not that Jenna said those actual words, but still.

“Only fools fall in love, Aria.” Jenna answered as she pulled her feet up and carefully extended her legs on the space behind Aria. Jenna leaned her back on the back rest of the red chair and smiled weakly.

“So we’re all fools and you’re not? C’mon, haven’t you ever been in love before?” Aria asked as she scooted closer to Jenna so they can keep talking in hushed tones.

“I didn’t mean it to sound like that. I just, I don’t let myself get too close to anyone. I don’t let myself fall in love. And yes, I’ve been in love once before.” Jenna explained.

“Why not? I mean, love is a wonderful thing. There are a lot of things that you’d be missing out on if you don’t let yourself love and be loved.” Aria prodded. She felt like she was invading the girl’s privacy and her personal space as well, but she just couldn’t stop herself. She wanted answers. Somehow she’s suddenly so intrigued with Jenna, and she couldn’t explain why.

“I just, I choose not to. It isn’t worth my time and I don’t want to deal with the pain. It always ends horribly anyways.” Jenna explained with a distant look in her green orbs.

“See, the problem is you’re being pessimistic. You’re already predicting how it will end when you haven’t even started yet.” Aria replied with an exasperated wave of her hands.

“Because that’s just how it works, Aria. Everyone lies. Everyone cheats. Everyone leaves. There’s no such thing as forever and always.” Jenna bit back while looking directly at the tiny brunette’s big hazel eyes.

Aria sighed. She took one of Jenna’s hands and held it on her own. “You just haven’t found the right one for you yet. I promise you you’ll meet someone who’ll make you change your mind about how you perceive love, and you’re going to fall hard and be extremely happy. One day.”

Jenna chuckled and shook her head. “Stop giving me false hope and promises of being happily in love one day. That’s all a bunch of crap for me. I’m happy now with how things are for me and I’ve found a friend in Spencer. That’s good enough for me.”

“Okay then, what happens when you start falling for her?” Aria raised her left eyebrow as she met Jenna’s piercing emerald orbs. Before Jenna could answer, Spencer stirred and slowly opened her eyes. Looking slowly around her room, Spencer’s eyes fell on the two girls seated at her red chair. “Aria? Jenna? What’s going on?” The brunette asked with eyebrows raised.


 

“Hey, Aria. Uh, have you seen Spencer?” Emily asked as she caught up with Aria on the way to her locker.

“She’s not coming in today. She’s feeling a little ill so she just decided to stay at home.” Aria replied without stopping to look at Emily.

“Spencer’s been missing a lot of school lately. What’s up with her?” Hanna asked as she fell into step with the two.

“Oh, okay. I’ll just drop by her house after school.” Emily stated as she bit her lip. She hasn’t heard from Spencer since she asked the brunette to talk and the latter declined.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Aria said as she stopped in front of her locker.

“Why not? Does she have something contagious?” Hanna asked with wide eyes.

“No, Han, she doesn’t.” Aria shook her head as she got her History book from her locker.

“Why can’t we go then?” Emily pushed.

“I’m not saying we can’t. I’m saying you can’t.” Aria stated as she slammed her locker shut.

“Excuse me?” Emily asked with a puzzled expression. Aria never bothered to look at her since the start of their conversation, and it hurt and annoyed her at the same time.

“You know what I mean, Em. I just don’t think it’s a good idea for you to show up at her house if you haven’t sorted out your thoughts and your feelings yet. I’m not gonna let you hurt my best friend again.” Aria replied, looking square into Emily’s eyes for the first time that morning.

“Aria, I made a mistake, okay? I know that. I just wanna talk to her, make it up to her.” Emily pleaded. It was rare for the smaller brunette to act this way, but since it was Spencer’s heart that they were talking about, Emily understood the hostility. She knows that Aria will protect her childhood best friend with her life, even against her.

“What are you going to say then? Tell me. I wanna hear it.” Aria challenged the swimmer as she crossed her arms and stared up at her much taller friend.

“Aria, this is absurd, okay? Let them talk in private.” Hanna intervened with a wave of her hands.

“I’m just trying to protect Spence, okay? She doesn’t need some BS right now. I’m not going to let anyone hurt her.” Aria stated defiantly.

“Okay, you’re really sounding like Spencer’s little wife right now.” Hanna said with a roll of her eyes.

Before Aria could respond, Jenna walked over to where they were standing. “Hey, Aria. Sorry to interrupt. I’m gonna head over to Spencer’s after final period. She told me to bring some of her books from her locker and that I should get it from you, since you know her locker combination.” Jenna nodded at both Emily and Hanna. Emily couldn’t help the frown form in her face, but she nodded at Jenna anyways, before looking away. Hanna just smiled and nodded.

“It’s okay. I’ll take care of it. I’ll just meet you there later.” Aria replied with a smile, her first of the morning.

“Okay then. Thanks, Aria.” Jenna returned the smile before walking off to her class.

“You wouldn’t let me get near Spence but you’re okay with Jenna hanging out with her all the time?” Emily asked as soon as Jenna was out of earshot.

“I don’t have a problem with Jenna, okay? In fact, I like her. She has good intentions and she takes care of Spencer, and that’s good enough for me. If she screws up, I’d see to it that she doesn’t get anywhere near Spencer.” Aria replied stubbornly, her hostile demeanour returning as she faced Emily.

“Aria, come on! This is absurd! I just wanna talk to her. I made a mistake, and I’m going to make it right.” Hanna got in between the two before Aria could respond.

“Okay look. Em, just give it time. The four of us are going to Noel’s party this weekend, right? You guys can talk while we’re over there. In the meantime, just give her some space.” Hanna looked from Aria to Emily. The tanned girl sighed and finally nodded.

“Fine by me.” Aria shrugged.

“Okay, let’s go get to class. It’s not fun playing Aria Montgomery.” Hanna muttered before walking off to first period.


“You okay, Spence? Tell me if you don’t want to stay long, alright? Just say the word and we’ll go.” Aria stated as she and Spencer got out of her car and walked over to the Khan’s cabin.

“I’m fine, Ar. It’s actually good to get out of the house for a change. In fact, I could use some drinks.” Spencer walked directly to the Khan’s mini-bar with Aria on her heels.

“Just try not to drink too much, okay?” Aria smiled, trying not to be overprotective but failing at it.

“This may be the last time I’m gonna drink - at a party - with you guys, so don’t try to hold me back, okay? I’ll be fine.” Spencer grabbed the two shots of vodka that Noel’s bartender was handing over.

“Here’s to us.” Spencer handed the other shot glass to Aria before downing her own.

Several shots of vodka and tequila later, Aria started to feel nauseous. She knows she should’ve stayed sober so that she could look after Spencer, but she couldn’t let her best friend drink alone. Spencer was trying to drown all her sorrows and was really trying to have a good time, and Aria couldn’t fault her for that.

“Spence, I’m going to the bathroom for just a minute. You stay here okay. Don’t leave. Wait for me. I’ll be real quick.” Aria jumped from the bar stool as Spencer nodded in agreement.

“Looks like you guys had an early start without us. Where’s Aria?” Hanna sat down on the bar beside Spencer, while Emily stood over at Spencer’s side.

“Bathroom.” Spencer pointed to where Aria disappeared.

“You okay, Spence?” Emily asked, cautiously stroking the brunette’s back as she noticed the number of empty shot glasses in front of the brunette.

Spencer’s head throbbed a little. Why is everyone always asking me if I’m okay? Does everyone know how weak and fragile I am now? Is it too obvious?

“Great.” Spencer forced a smile before taking another shot of tequila.

“Whoa, slow down Spence. Give us time to catch up.” Hanna chuckled.

“I need some air.” Spencer suddenly got up from her seat and walked away from the two. No matter how much alcohol she has consumed, it wasn’t enough to numb the pain in her heart. The music blasting throughout the house, the loud crowd and the throbbing in her head wasn’t enough to drown the thunderous beating of her heart as she felt Emily’s hand on her back. It was all too much. Spencer maneuvered through the bodies dancing to the 90’s mix that was being played by some guy whom Noel hired to deejay. Spencer let out a huge breath as she finally managed to get out of the cabin. She didn’t stop walking, however, until she reached an empty spot away from everyone. Spencer stopped next to an oak tree and leaned her back on the trunk, closing her eyes as she rubbed her temples. The brunette almost jumped when she felt a hand on her right shoulder.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.” Spencer turned to see Emily timidly smiling at her. Spencer sighed. Why couldn’t I get a break? She felt like falling apart every time she’d see Emily, that’s why she has avoided the swimmer since the day that Emily broke her heart.

“Why does everyone assume that I’m not? I’m fine, Em. I just want to be alone for a while, if you don’t mind.” Spencer snapped. She immediately regretted her tone but she didn’t want to seem weak in Emily’s eyes. She didn’t want Emily to see how much she has broken her.

“I just – I’ve been wanting w to talk to you for the past week, Spence. Can we just talk, please?” Emily pleaded as she slowly moved closer and held Spencer’s arms.

“There’s nothing left to talk about.” Spencer whispered. She felt her walls start to crumble as soon as Emily’s hands trailed from her arms down to her hands, but she stood her ground.

“No. I need you to hear me out. I’m sorry, okay? Sorry for the things that I said, for the way I acted.” Emily squeezed Spencer’s hands and felt an immediate rush as she did so.

“You don’t have to apologize over and over again. I get it, okay? Can you please just leave me alone?” Spencer disconnected her hands from Emily’s and started to walk away but Emily grabbed her hand and spun her around.

“Em, I don’t -” Spencer was cut off by Emily’s lips crashing into hers. Spencer cursed her self for immediately surrendering into the kiss. It seems that she couldn’t really hold her guard up when it comes to Emily. Spencer pulled the tanned girl closer by the waist, leaving no space between their bodies. She felt Emily’s hand on her nape, and the other roaming her back before sliding up her side. Emily stumbled backwards as she felt her knees go weak from the intensity of their kiss. She felt her back hit the trunk of a tree and she leaned into it, pulling Spencer impossibly closer to her. Emily felt the butterflies in her stomach go crazy when Spencer started to trail kisses down her throat.

“Spence” Emily moaned as she tried to control her breathing, trying not to drown in Spencer’s kisses. “We should talk.”

“Mm-hmm.” Was all that Spencer could say as she continued her assault on Emily’s neck, trailing up kisses til she reached the swimmer’s ear; nibbling on her earlobe.

“Spence – oh god,” Emily gripped Spencer harder as she fought to keep her legs from crumbling.

“What do you want to talk about?” Spencer whispered as her tongue flicked to tease the swimmer’s ear.

Oh god, now she wants to talk. Right now when I’m up in the clouds.

“Spence.” Emily whispered almost pleadingly. Spencer trailed her lips from Emily’s ear to her cheek. The brunette softly kissed Emily’s lips before leaning in to touch their foreheads.

“I’m sorry I hurt you.” Emily whispered, softly touching Spencer’s lips with hers before she continued. “I was scared and insecure. I thought that maybe you like Jenna more and I just, I don’t know. All these years of being in love with you, wanting so much to be with you, and then seeing you with her. I’m sorry I ran and pushed you away. I doubted myself and you. It was too surreal for me, hearing you say that you felt the same way was too good to be true. It was because of my own insecurities, Spence. I didn’t think that someone like you would actually want to be with me. And I do wanna be with you too. You’re the only one that I want. The only one I ever wanted and the only one I’ll always want.” Emily confessed with her eyes on Spencer’s.

“Do you really mean that?” Spencer whispered. Emily leaned over and softly kissed the love of her life. She just couldn’t get enough of how sweet the brunette’s lips tasted.

“With all my heart.” Emily whispered; her lips barely touching Spencer’s as she spoke.

“Do you wanna get out of here?” Spencer asked with a hopeful look in her eyes, praying that Emily would say yes.

“Yes please.” Emily immediately answered as if she read Spencer’s mind.

Spencer grinned and stole a quick kiss once more. “Okay. I’ll just grab my stuff from Aria.”

“I’ll wait for you outside.” Emily reluctantly let go of Spencer as they headed back to the cabin hand in hand.

 

Emily stood outside the cabin as she watched Spencer walk back inside. She couldn’t contain the huge grin plastered on her face. She felt as if she were in the clouds with the way her skin still tingles from Spencer’s touch. She waited half of her life to be with Spencer Hastings, and now she’s finally here. Spencer was hers and she was Spencer’s.

 

“Emily.”

Emily turned around to see someone whom she thought she’d never see again, and in a split second, the girl’s lips were on hers.

 

Chapter Text

“Spence! Didn’t I tell you to wait for me? I’ve been looking all over for you!” Spencer only grinned at her tiny best friend as Aria screamed at her with her hands on her hips. Aria’s face softened a little upon seeing the smile on Spencer’s face. She didn’t know if it was a good sign, since the taller brunette have had a lot to drink ever since they got to the party. She feared that Spencer may be drunk out of her wits to respond to her outburst with a huge smile. As tiny as she is, Aria had the power to frighten Spencer a bit when she switches her insanely mad bff look on, but not this time.

“Okay, what did I miss?” Aria asked as Spencer engulfed her in a big hug.

“Nothing. I’m just really happy.” Spencer smiled and sighed dreamily.

“And really drunk?” Pulling away a little so she could get a clear look at Spencer, Aria couldn’t help but smile. Spencer genuinely looked happy for the first time in days.

“I’m not drunk, Ar. I uh… Emily, uhm… She kissed me. Em kissed me. We kissed.” Spencer blurted out.

Aria couldn’t help but chuckle, smiling along with her best friend. “Oh, is that so? Well, I’m glad you’re finally happy. I really am, Spence.”

Spencer tilted her head to the side and grinned. “Why, thank you, my little wife.”

“Okay, you’re really drunk. You never call me that. In fact, you really hate it when Hanna calls me that.” The tiny brunette giggled.

“I’m not drunk, Ar. Just happy, and I’m here to tell you that Em and I are ditching this party. She’s waiting for me over there -” Spencer spun around to point to Aria where the love of her life is waiting for her, just outside the cabin.

The huge smile on the Spencer’s face faded at what she saw. She felt a thousand knives stab thru her heart as she watched Emily kissing another girl. A thousand thoughts flashed thru Spencer’s mind. Did she just imagine what transpired between Emily and her just moments ago? Was the tumour in her brain causing her to have these hallucinations? Spencer blinked repeatedly, hoping that her eyes were just deceiving her, but even as she did so, her eyes still ended up staring at the same sight. Spencer felt Aria’s hand grip hers. Aria tugged at Spencer’s hand as she too somehow felt the pain that she knew her best friend must be feeling. She saw the taller brunette’s eyes brim with tears as she stood there with her mouth open, her left hand clutching her chest as if keeping her heart from popping out and exploding into a million pieces. Spencer yanked her hand from Aria’s and ran inside the cabin, manoeuvring her way thru the crowd as best as she can; trying to get away from the horrible scene that she just witnessed as fast as possible.

Aria didn’t have the chance to catch up to Spencer as her tiny frame immediately got tangled up in the pool of bodies swaying to the music. Sighing, Aria made her way back towards the front door, opting to circle back outside instead to get to the bar where she’s a hundred percent sure that her best friend was headed to.


 

Emily couldn’t believe it. Everything happened so fast. One minute she was standing there with a huge smile plastered to her face, watching Spencer walk back inside the Kahn’s cabin, still feeling all tingly from Spencer’s kisses, and the next minute she was looking at someone whom she never thought she’d see again. The girl who just up and left her without a word. The girl who never bothered to return her calls, text messages and emails. The person she turned her attention to back when she thought that Spencer would never return her feelings. It wasn’t like she forced herself to like the girl. She was charming and sweet. It wasn’t hard not to like her, but that was all that she had felt for the girl. Emily liked her whilst Emily really loved Spencer. And as much as she wanted their relationship to work, as much as she forced herself to believe that she could learn to love the girl someday, well, Emily can’t. Her love for Spencer was just too strong, so Emily just decided to end things with the girl. Before she had the chance to do that though, the girl disappeared on her without a word. Emily tried a million times to find her, to know what happened. As much as she didn’t want to pursue the relationship anymore, she was at least entitled to an explanation. All her efforts were in vain though. It seemed like it’s true that it’s impossible to find a person who doesn’t want to be found. Emily seemed to finally realize what was happening. It took a while to register to her mind that the girl’s lips were on hers. This shouldn’t be happening. I shouldn’t be kissing someone else other than Spencer. Not that she was returning the kiss, but she should’ve pushed the girl away moments ago. And so she did, with a bit more force than she intended to. The girl appeared stunned and looked at her questioningly.

“Maya! What the hell?” Emily unconsciously placed the back of her hand to her mouth, partly to prevent another stolen kiss and partly to wipe off the kiss that wasn’t supposed to happen. Maya appeared to be a bit hurt, but she still put up a smile.

“I missed you, Em. I’m just picking up where we left off.” Maya reached out to pull Emily back to her but the swimmer took a step backward. Maya frowned.

“You can’t just show up like that and kiss me!” Emily hissed.

Though it hurt a bit that Emily obviously wasn’t even a bit pleased of her return, Maya still tried to charm her way back to the girl, hoping that Emily would get over the hurt and anger and let her back in. “I just wanted to surprise you. You wanna get out of here? We have a lot of catching up to do.” Maya sweetly stated.

“You can’t just show up and at as if nothing happened. You left me, Maya. You left without a word.” Emily firmly stated, looking Maya straight in the eyes as she did so.

“I know, but I’m here now. Let me fix this.” Maya pleaded as she tried to hold Emily’s hands once more, but the swimmer brushed her hands away.

Emily crossed her arms to her chest and sighed. “It’s not that easy, and this, us – it cannot be fixed. I’m sorry Maya, but I’ve moved on. There’s nothing to come back to.”

Maya appeared to be genuinely hurt. “Just like that?” She replied, almost in a whisper. Maya bit her lip and shook her head.

“I’m sorry. I tried, Maya. I tried to contact you as best as I can, but you just ignored all of my messages. And now you’re here acting as if everything’s okay and I don’t even get an apology from that disappearing stunt you pulled.” Ever since Maya left, Emily tried almost every way possible to get a hold of her. She used to think about how she would feel and what she would say to the girl when she came face to face with her again, and she couldn’t come up with anything every time. She didn’t know how she’d feel or what she’d say. Now that Maya is standing here in front of her, it seemed a lot easier. Every word just flowed from her lips with ease. Maybe it’s because of the absurdity of the girl’s actions upon her return or maybe it was easier to brush her off because of how she just up and left Emily. More importantly, maybe it’s because of the fact that Emily knew that she never really got to the point of being in love with the girl. She knew that it would’ve been harder if she was, and she probably wouldn’t have gotten over it, over her, so easily. If it were Spencer who just up and disappeared on her like that, Emily knew that she would be beyond devastated. But enough thinking about Spencer for now. It’s Maya who’s right in front of her, and she should make it clear to Maya that it’s over so she can go and leave this party with Spencer.

“I had a lot on my plate, Em. I ran away ‘coz I didn’t want to go back to rehab. If your mom hadn’t told my mom about the pot...” Maya trailed off.

Emily frowned and shook her head. “No, don’t go there. Just don’t. You cannot blame my mom about what happened to you. You shouldn’t be doing drugs in the first place. You told me you’ve stopped. You lied. This was all you, Maya. Don’t you dare try and pin what happened to my mom.” Emily emphasized with her index finger almost in the girl’s face. She wasn’t expecting to hear that from Maya, and to say that she was disappointed that Maya had to go there was an understatement.

Maya sighed and put her hands up in defeat. “Emily, I-” Maya started to explain but Emily cut her off.

“I’m sorry, I have to go.” The swimmer firmly stated before walking off to get Spencer.


 

“What the hell was that?” Aria demanded as she strode towards Emily, meeting the swimmer halfway through the door.

“What are you talking about?” Emily frowned, stopping in her tracks as Aria stopped directly in front of her.

“How could you do that to Spencer? Why do you keep doing this to her, Em? Why do you keep hurting her? We saw you. Spencer and I saw you kissing Maya.” Aria blurted out in all seriousness, scaring Emily a bit at seeing how mad the tiny brunette was.

Emily’s eyes almost popped out of their sockets upon hearing that. It didn’t occur to her that Spencer might have seen her and Maya, since she was positive that she saw Spencer walk inside before Maya showed up. “Spencer saw? Oh god, it wasn’t what it looked like, Aria. Where’s Spencer? I need to talk to her.”

“Don’t, Em. Just don’t. I think you’ve done enough damage. Just stay away from her and don’t come near her ever again until you’ve pulled your shit together.” Aria declared resolutely before walking off towards the back entrance of the cabin.


“Hey, slow down. You planning to drink this whole bar down?” Jenna chuckled as she sat on a stool beside a clearly drunk Spencer.

“You can help me if you want. How about a contest? Let’s see who can down more bottles of vodka and tequila.” Spencer clutched at the bottle of vodka that she snatched from Noel’s bartender earlier as the guy was pouring her another shot. Spencer waved to the guy to ask for some tequila shots but Jenna intervened and gestured for him to back off.

“That’s not a good combination, so I think I’ll pass.” Jenna chuckled.

“C’mon, don’t be a party-pooper. Have some drinks with me.” Spencer insisted as she poured the clear liquid to two shot glasses and handed one to Jenna. Spencer pouted when Jenna refused to take the glass. Jenna shook her head and laughed as Spencer lifted the glass to the girl’s lips.

“Okay, okay. Just one shot. I got it.” Jenna took the shot of vodka that Spencer had almost pressed to her lips and drank it down. Spencer downed hers as well and started to take the shot glass from Jenna’s hand so she could pour her another, but Jenna swatted her hand away.

“I’m good. I’d rather stay sober so I can look after your drunken ass.” Jenna laughed while looking at the brunette from head to toe. She’s never seen Spencer this drunk before. Well, not that they hung out much before but she’s seen her around parties such as this one. Jenna has had a few drinks herself, but she knows how to take her liquor. Out of the two of them, she knew that she was the more sober one and she intended to stay that way.

Spencer sat up a bit straighter, as if trying to prove that she wasn’t as drunk as Jenna’s insinuating. “You don’t have to do that. I can take care of myself.”

“Yeah, but I choose to. I’d hate it if something bad happens to you and I’m too intoxicated to do something about it.” Jenna threw her hair back and adjusted herself on the stool so that she was leaning against the bar. She scanned the crowd in search of a tiny brunette with hazel eyes. It seemed weird that Spencer was here by herself. Aria had to be here somewhere.

“Why are you so good to me?” Spencer asked as she suddenly moved out of her seat to hover at Jenna, placing her hands on the bar on each of the girl’s sides, effectively trapping her.

Jenna tilted her head back a bit to face Spencer. “Why wouldn’t I? I mean, we’re friends now, aren’t we?”

Spencer didn’t know if it was the alcohol or the feel of the loud music pounding in her chest, but it suddenly felt like she was drowning in those beautiful emerald eyes. Jenna was obviously one hot, gorgeous girl and she was too caught up with thoughts of Emily to even acknowledge that. Spencer’s eyes drifted down towards the girl’s luscious lips and she couldn’t help but think how those lips would feel like against hers. Looking back up to Jenna’s eyes, Spencer found the girl looking at her with much amusement. Spencer shook her head as if to get out of a trance. She cleared her throat and looked away from Jenna, casually pointing behind her to the sea of bodies swaying to the loud music. “You shouldn’t be wasting your time hanging out here with me. Go dance with someone. Go have some fun.” Spencer motioned for Jenna to get up and join the crowd on the dance floor.

Jenna laughed and shook her head, finding amusement at a drunken Spencer. The normally poised and self-assured brainiac still looked attractive when she’s drunk, and perhaps a little more adorable. “I’m fine right here. I’m not letting you out of my sight.”

Spencer shrugged and moved back a bit to sit back on the stool, but miscalculated the distance in her drunken state and ended up almost tripping back, but Jenna immediately caught her in her arms. Spencer held on to Jenna as she blushed in embarrassment. The brunette closed her eyes and sighed as she pulled herself back up. When she opened her eyes, Jenna was smiling adorably at her.

“You alright, champ?” Spencer couldn’t bring herself to speak. Maybe it was the frustration at the turn of events, maybe it was the aching pain that Emily brought to her heart yet again, or maybe it was just the loads of alcohol in her system. Whatever it was, Spencer didn’t want to know anymore. She just acted on impulse. Fuck it. The hell with Em and everyone else. And with that, Spencer surrendered to the temptation that’s right in front of her, surprising Jenna by pressing her lips on the emerald-eyed girl.


 

Against Aria’s wishes, Emily still followed the tiny brunette back inside to look for Spencer, though she kept her distance a little as not to further piss off her friend. Emily felt horrible. Just as she and Spencer were starting to mend things, shit had to happen. Maya had to show up and ruin everything. She has to fix this. She needed to see Spencer. She needed her to listen and understand that what she saw was a mistake. She needed to reassure Spencer that she’s the only one that Emily wanted and loved. She didn’t want to screw up this opportunity again. Lost in her thoughts, Emily almost bumped into Aria as the tiny brunette suddenly halted. Following Aria’s line of sight, Emily’s jaw dropped as she felt her heart shatter into a million pieces. Spencer was at the bar with Jenna, their lips fused together in an intense kiss. Emily saw Jenna pull back a bit and whispered something to Spencer. She saw Spencer smirk and nod at Jenna before the two left the bar and made their way outside. Emily felt her legs crumble, and just as she was about to fall down to the floor, Hanna showed up at her side, instantly catching her.

 

Chapter Text

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The night wasn’t supposed to end this way. She went to this party in the hopes that Spencer would show up as well. She would have the brunette cornered and force her to listen, to talk, and to mend things with her. Check, check and check. And now things have gone horribly wrong. Emily felt hot tears on her cheeks, and she didn’t bother to wipe them off. She instead wanted to wipe off that smug smile off Jenna Marshall’s face as she walked out with Spencer all over her. Not an hour had passed when she had been the one in Spencer’s arms, feeling the brunette’s soft lips on her skin as they finally made up. They were supposed to leave this goddamn party together. Things happened so fast that Emily wasn’t sure how she felt anymore. There was hurt, yes. Not just hurt but agonizing, unbelievable, inexplicable pain. Emily wondered if it were the same feelings that Spencer felt when she saw her and Maya kissing, or worse. It’s not that she even returned Maya’s kiss, but still. Spencer saw it firsthand, and a kiss is still a kiss. She knows that it’s what the brunette would say. Emily felt Hanna’s thumbs as she wiped the tears off her face. “I’m so sorry, Em.”

 

A few shots of tequila were supposed to make her feel numb, but instead Emily just felt empty. After letting Hanna take her home, and she was quite positive that Hanna took her home, even if she didn’t remember leaving Noel’s cabin or driving back home with Hanna. Otherwise it was some kind of magic that got her here in her own room. Speaking of the blonde, Hanna was seated on the floor of Emily’s room, her back resting against the wall. After refusing to give up the bottle of tequila that Emily stole from her mom’s liquor cabinet, Hanna reluctantly joined her in her attempt to drink away all of her sorrows. Hanna must have been cheating on her share of the shots though, ‘coz she appeared a lot more sober than the tanned girl.

“I think we should call it a night, Em.” Hanna carefully reached for the bottle of alcohol in her best friend’s hand. There wasn’t much resistance from the swimmer this time. Emily just looked too defeated as she sat on the floor in front of Hanna, her back leaning on the edge of her bed. The swimmer’s eyes were red and puffy from crying all night. Emily hadn’t stopped crying since they left the party. Hanna crawled over and helped Emily up off the floor and onto her bed.

 

Hanna sat back against the headboard of Emily’s bed, watching her best friend sleep. It was heartbreaking to watch Emily like this. It was almost as if the swimmer has totally lost everything. Spencer was her everything. And she just lost her to Jenna. Emily patiently waited day by day for the weekend to arrive, just so she could finally get a chance to talk to Spencer. Hanna had high hopes about it. She watched as Emily went after Spencer that night, and Hanna crossed her fingers for her best friends. She hoped that the two would finally get the chance to work things out. She hung out with Mona and Aria for a while as she let her two best friends talk it out outside. She was feeling optimistic that night, and she was happy for the two; but she predicted it wrong. When Hanna went back to the bar to get some drinks for her and Mona, she was shocked to see Spencer sucking face with Jenna Marshall. Hanna glanced to her right to find Aria and Emily with the same stunned look on their faces. Emily almost fainted at the sight; her heart must have stopped beating at that moment. Hanna caught the tanned girl as her knees buckled. She led Emily to one of the couches and tried to comprehend what just happened. “Em? What just happened? I thought that you - why is she – what the fuck is going on?” Emily fought back her tears, refusing to show how damaged she felt. She didn’t say a word to Hanna. She just stared at the door where Spencer left with Jenna in tow. After an hour of staring blankly at the door and refusing to talk to Hanna, Emily gave up hope that the brunette would come back in and take her in her arms and say that this was all a mistake, that this night was just a bad dream. The swimmer shook her head and sighed. She got up and immediately went to the bar to try and drown all her sorrows away. Hanna went after Emily and tried her best to keep up with her friend. Her heart ached for Emily, and if she wanted to drink all her pain away, Hanna was more than happy to join her. Anything to numb the pain, Hanna thought. Hanna cheated a bit on the shots though, as she needed to stay a bit sober for her friend. Aria wasn’t answering her calls. She had no idea where the tiny brunette disappeared to. She didn’t trust anyone at the party to drive them home, and calling her mom to pick them up wasn’t a sound idea. How could Spencer do this to Emily? How could she have been so cruel?  Hanna closed her eyes as she adjusted to a sleeping position beside Emily. She’ll deal with Spencer Hastings first thing in the morning.


Spencer woke up with a massive headache and her throat felt unpleasantly dry. Maybe getting wasted wasn’t such a good idea after all. Well, it wasn’t like she planned it. Spencer had been known to be so damn impulsive whenever she’s hurt. And last night was one of those times. Spencer slowly opened her eyes, heart pounding at the sight of a brunette lying next to her. Spencer racked her brain, trying to recall what happened last night. She bet that she was so shit-faced last night that she couldn’t remember anything. She closed her eyes and sighed, trying to recall what happened but she was just able to remember bits and pieces of the previous night. Oh god. She remember kissing Jenna. Hard. Repeatedly. Spencer felt sick to her stomach for taking advantage of her friend like that. She felt like a horrible person. A stupid, selfish and horrible person. She couldn’t remember what had happened after the kiss, how they ended up here on her bed. Did we have sex? Did I just have sex with Jenna Marshall? Oh god. What happens now? Spencer glanced at the still sleeping brunette who had her back on her, noticing that she was wearing one of her oversized shirts. Spencer peeked at her own body under the covers, holding in her breath as she did so. Thank god I have some clothes on. Spencer let out a sigh of relief. She slowly sat up and leaned back on the head board. What now, Spencer? Spencer muttered to herself. Wait, if they had sex last night, why were they both dressed? Had Jenna been sober and considerate enough to get them both dressed? Had she been the only one who was drunk out of her wits when it happened? Had Jenna been sober when they did it? If it’s the case, then she didn’t actually take advantage of her friend, but she actually was the one who had been taken advantage of. Right? Hmm. Spencer thought carefully. Now she feels like a jerk, twisting the case to her advantage; trying to play the victim card when it was actually her who initiated the kiss in the first place. The kiss that led to whatever else happened between them last night. Spencer shook her head at the thought, her head pounding even more at the action. Note to self: don’t ever shake your head like that again when you feel like shit. Spencer carefully slid her legs off the bed. She needs coffee. Loads of coffee. Now. Just as she slid off the bed and onto her feet, her bedroom door swung open, revealing a very enraged Hanna Marin.

 

“Spencer! Get your skinny ass off the bed! We need to talk!” Spencer raised an eyebrow at Hanna’s firm tone and sudden entrance. The brunette groaned and softly rubbed her temples.

“Good morning to you too, Han. Will you please keep it down? My head’s just about to combust.” Spencer whispered as she stole a quick glance at the sleeping brunette on her bed.

“Did you sleep with her?” Hanna asked disgustedly, pointing at the brunette sleeping on Spencer’s bed. Spencer couldn’t guess if Jenna was awake, for her hair was mostly covering her face as she laid face-down, snuggling one of Spencer’s pillows.

“What?! No! Of course not!” Spencer snapped. “Well… I mean, I might have… I’m not really sure.” Spencer half-whispered, covering her face with her hands.

Hanna’s eyes widened, her mouth hanging open as she stared at Spencer incredulously. “What the fuck, Spence? How could you do that to Emily?”

It was Spencer’s turn to be stunned. She was up from the bed in an instant, each step she took towards the blonde further aggravating the pounding in her head, but she didn’t pay attention to it. “How could you do that to Emily?” Spencer repeated after Hanna, mimicking the blonde’s tone. “Really, Han? You have the nerve to ask me that? After what Emily put me through? I mean, not just last night but the past few weeks. Seriously?” Both of them were standing at the foot of Spencer’s bed now, staring each other down.

“Emily went to the party last night to mend things with you and you instead ditch the party and sleep with Jenna Marshall.” Hanna declared with a wave of her hand towards the sleeping figure. She didn’t bother to keep her voice down as she clearly intended to rouse the girl and face Hanna Marin’s wrath.

“Will you two please keep it down?” The brunette mumbled into the pillow, making both Spencer and Hanna’s heads turn to her in surprise.

“Aria?!” Spencer and Hanna said in unison.

“You slept with Aria?” Hanna gasped; her blue eyes just about to come off their sockets.

It took a moment for Spencer to register what Hanna just asked. She didn’t recall going home with Aria last night. She was pretty sure that it was Jenna whom she made out with last night, and went home after. Or is it? God, she felt like a horrible person. Spencer Hastings is a bad, bad drunk. “Wait, what? No! Eww! I mean, of course not! I didn’t sleep with Aria! Right, Ar?” Spencer asked almost pleadingly.

Aria sat up and fixed her hair a bit, rolling her eyes at her two best friends as she did so. “Yes, Spencer. We slept together. Literally - just slept together on your bed. And no, Hanna. Spencer and I did not have sex. Never going to happen.” The tiny brunette explained. Spencer breathed a sigh of relief while Hanna just nodded and continued to prod.

“Well, okay. You might not have slept with Jenna but you still left with her last night after a heavy make-out session and left poor Em all heartbroken.” Hanna snapped.

“Poor Em? Are you fucking serious Hanna?” Aria intervened.

Hanna chuckled and shook her head at the brunette on the bed. “Of course you’ll take Spencer’s side.”

“You’re too swift to take Emily’s side as well.” Aria defended.

Hanna faced the tiny brunette and crossed her arms across her chest. “I’m not taking sides, Aria. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m just siding with Em on this one ‘coz it’s Spencer who’s acting like a total jackass.”

“Spencer has the right to kiss whoever she wants to kiss and go home with whoever she wants to. It’s not like she and Em are together.” Aria snapped.

Spencer groaned. “Uhm, I’m right here. Stop talking about me as if I’m not physically present.”

It’s either the two did not hear Spencer or they just chose to ignore her as they continued to argue. “Not together? What, you need a ring to define their relationship?” Hanna chuckled humourlessly.

“They don’t have a relationship, Han! Emily walked away from Spence, remember? Right after Spence confessed her love for her; Em walked out on her and said that it was a mistake.” It was a rare thing for Aria to be this belligerent, but it’s Spencer that they’re talking about here. She wouldn’t back down on anyone who’d try to hurt her best friend, even if it’s Emily or Hanna. The tiny brunette’s loyalty to Spencer is unequivocal and inviolable.

Hanna was being equally stubborn as Aria. Shaking her head, the blonde countered. “They may not be officially a couple but they’re going down that road, finally. Jenna just had to show up and ruin everything by getting in the way of their happiness.”

“Wait, no. Don’t drag Jenna into this.” Spencer intervened, but was again ignored by the two.

Aria got up from the bed and crossed her arms over her chest, mimicking the blonde’s stance. “Don’t blame this on Jenna! If Emily hadn’t kissed Maya last night, Spencer wouldn’t have gotten drunk and turned her attention to Jenna.”

Spencer shook her head and sighed at the reminder of the debacle caused by her drunken state the previous night. “Still here guys.”

Hanna seemed taken aback by Aria’s words. “Maya? Emily’s ex Maya?”

“Huh. Em didn’t tell you about that part, I assume? Jeez Han. You just had to barge in here in Emily’s honour, putting all the blame on Spence when you don’t even know the full story. Some friend you are to Spence.” Aria replied irritably.

Hanna looked genuinely offended. “Hey! I would’ve done the same thing if the roles were reversed. Don’t point your finger at me when you always take Spencer’s side in a flash. How can you even be sure that Emily kissed Maya? And have you forgotten that Maya’s not even in Rosewood anymore?”

Aria chuckled bitterly. “Maya was at Noel’s party last night. I saw Emily and her with my own eyes. Me and Spencer both. Why did you think Spencer got herself so damn wasted? Emily broke her heart. Again.  Don’t pin this on Spence.” Aria snapped.

Hanna suddenly didn’t have any comeback at Aria. Emily never told her about that part last night; probably because the swimmer was too dazed and too drunk afterwards. Hanna turned to Spencer as the silence was cut by the brunette’s choked back sob.

Hearing last night’s events hit Spencer hard. Yes, she does remember it now. She remembered how Emily followed her outside and how the swimmer swept her off her feet with those amazing kisses, enough for her to decide to ask Emily to ditch the party so that they could have more privacy. She wanted to just get out of there and kiss Emily and be in her arms all night and forget about every upsetting thing that had happened the past few weeks. She just wanted to indulge in Emily’s kisses, away from everyone else. But she had been fooled yet again. She felt so dumb for allowing the swimmer to lead her on and then ditch her again afterwards. Emily was just heartlessly playing with her emotions. Spencer’s eyes began to fill with tears and her chest suddenly felt too heavy. The throbbing in her head just grew tenfold and she felt the room begin to spin.

Hanna instantly looked apologetic. It was disconcerting to see the often composed and self-assured brunette biting back sobs. Spencer looked so betrayed and Hanna’s heart ached for her friend. “Spence? I’m sorry. Are you okay?” Yeah, it was a stupid question, Hanna thinks, but what else can she say or do now? She needs to go back to Emily’s and get her side of things. The swimmer has some serious explaining to do.

Spencer blindly reached out to Hanna’s voice, trying to grab the blonde’s arms to prevent herself from falling. “I just -”

Aria was on Spencer’s side in an instant, clutching her right arm and putting a hand to her back. “Hey, why don’t you just lie back down?”

“Ar?” Spencer breathed out. Her head was really pounding now and it hurt like hell.

“Hey, I’m right here sweetie. Tell me what’s wrong.” Aria replied.

“Spence? Are you okay?” Hanna carefully asked again.

“Ar, I uh, I need you to call Melissa. I can’t --” Spencer fell to her side before she could even finish her sentence.

Chapter Text

Jenna was sitting on her favourite chair by the front porch with a book in her hand, but she wasn’t really reading. She’d been sitting out here for a few hours now, trying to think of something else other than the recent events that involved her and a certain brunette. As much as she tried to push back the thoughts of her and Spencer kissing, her mind just seemed to keep on repeating that scene over and over again. Jenna closed her book and sighed. She felt her phone vibrate and pulled it out of her pocket. Spencer’s name flashed on the screen, and Jenna contemplated for a while on whether to answer the call or not. The green-eyed brunette finally caved in on the fourth ring, but was surprised to hear a different voice from the other end of the line.

“Jenna?”

“Aria? What’s up?” Jenna recognized the tiny brunette’s voice and wondered why she was calling her on Spencer’s phone.

“Jenna, I uhm, it’s Spencer.” Aria choked out, and Jenna immediately realized why the smaller brunette had Spencer’s phone. Jenna immediately got up from the chair and went inside the house to grab her coat and keys.

“Where are you?” Jenna asked after taking a deep breath.

“Rosewood Med.” Aria managed to choke out. It was clear that she’s been sobbing.

“I’m on my way.” Jenna replied before hanging up and quickly getting in to her car.

 

Jenna replayed the previous night’s events as she drove to the hospital. She and Spencer were at the party, the latter drinking away her sorrows, she figured. It’s been a tough few weeks for Spencer, what with Emily breaking her heart and dealing with her illness at the same time. Jenna felt bad for the brunette, and so she just let her drink the night away. She just didn’t anticipate that a very drunk Spencer was going to hit on her. No, not just hit on her, but kiss her. Hard. Spencer just suddenly went for her lips, and Jenna was too surprised and too turned on at the same time to pull away. She really liked Spencer, Jenna realized. It was as if that kiss was the final ingredient that made Jenna acknowledge that she indeed has feelings for her friend.

 

Spencer was kissing her, and her lips tasted of alcohol and a hint of something sweet, a certain kind of sweetness that Jenna hasn’t tasted before. Something that is uniquely Spencer. A part of her wanted to stop, to push Spencer away, knowing that the girl was really drunk; but another part wanted to keep on kissing her. As much as she wanted to keep kissing Spencer though, her mind was repeatedly telling her to stop, to not take advantage of the situation. Jenna let go of Spencer’s shirt which she suddenly realized she was gripping with both hands. Jenna gently pushed the brunette’s shoulders as she pulled back. Spencer’s eyes met hers questioningly, and as Spencer leaned in for another kiss, Jenna turned her head and whispered on the brunette’s ear. “I need to take you home.” Jenna needed to keep the rational part of her brain working. Spencer wasn’t on her right state of mind and Jenna promised to look after her, not take advantage of her while she was drunk. Spencer met her eyes once again and smirked, pulling Jenna off the bar stool. Spencer’s circled her arms around the surprised brunette’s waist, before leaning in and planting soft kisses on her neck all the way up to her ear. “Let’s go then.” Spencer gave her a sly grin as she pulled back. Jenna’s eyes widened at the realization of what her words must have sounded to the drunken girl. “Okay, no, I didn’t mean it like that. Spencer!” Jenna’s words didn’t quite reach the brunette’s ears though, as Spencer pushed her way into the crowd and out of the cabin, pulling Jenna behind her.

 

Jenna tried to drive as fast as she can. She couldn’t wait to get out of the car with the way Spencer was acting towards her. Spencer was watching her drive, her left hand on Jenna’s thigh as the latter drove. Good thing Spencer’s hand was just resting on her thigh and not making any movement that would drive Jenna crazy and probably send them crashing. Jenna got out of the car and hurried to Spencer’s side as soon as she parked the car in the driveway.

 

Jenna helped Spencer up the stairs of the Hastings’ home. She wasn’t the least bit surprised anymore to find it empty. Good thing she was able to find the keys in Spencer’s bag, so she wouldn’t have to call Melissa. She didn’t want Spencer’s older sister to see her friend like this, for she would surely be disappointed and could maybe start an argument with a very drunk Spencer. Not a promising scenario at all.

 

Spencer pulled Jenna in for a kiss as soon as they reached her room, catching the green-eyed girl by surprise for the third time that night.

“Spence, wait.” Jenna pulled away and took a step back.

Spencer lightly grabbed Jenna by the nape, pulling the girl back to her lips. “Hmm?” Spencer hummed questioningly against Jenna’s lips.

Jenna managed to push the brunette a little while trying her best not to fall as her knees suddenly felt weak. “I need you to stop.”

“What? Why?” Spencer met Jenna’s eyes, her face a mix of confusion and hurt.

Jenna took a step back and frowned at the brunette. “You’re drunk.”

Spencer rolled her eyes. “I still know what I’m doing, Jenna, and I want this. I want you.”

“No you don’t. You’re too intoxicated. You’re not thinking clearly. I mean, why would you suddenly want me? Is this because of Emily?” Jenna thought she saw a flash of hurt and anger in Spencer’s eyes at the mention of Emily’s name.

Spencer averted her eyes and sighed. “I don’t want to talk about her. I don’t want to talk about anything.”

“Look, I know you’re still hurting. Yes, I do want you too. You have no idea how much I want you. But this - whatever’s happening right now, it’s just not right. It doesn’t feel right. Just sleep it off, okay? Then if in the morning you think and you feel that you still want me, that you still want this, then come to me.”

“Jenna -” Spencer started to protest.

“Spence, I like you. A lot. But please, not like this. I don’t want to be your rebound girl. I don’t want to be your drunken mistake. I want you, but not like this.” Jenna pleaded.

Spencer buried her face in her hands and sat on the bed. “I’m sorry.” 

Jenna walked over and placed a comforting hand on her friend’s shoulder. “It’s alright. Get some rest. We’ll talk in the morning.”

Spencer looked up and took Jenna’s other hand, pulling her a little bit closer. She felt bad for acting like this, for hurting Jenna’s feelings. Her mind was reeling from the day’s events and her heart was aching from a lot of mixed emotions that she was currently feeling. She felt stupid, sad and pathetic. “Will you stay with me tonight? Please?”

Jenna bit her lip and sighed. If it was any other day, she wouldn’t hesitate on staying with Spencer, knowing that her friend was hurting. Tonight was different though, and she knows that it’s wise to put some distance between them for the time being. She smiled apologetically at Spencer and shook her head. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Go to bed. I’ll see you in the morning.”

 

Jenna stepped out of Spencer’s room and gently closed the door. She stayed just long enough to help her drunken friend to bed, making sure that she changed into more comfortable clothes and leaving her a glass of water and ibuprofen by her bedside table. Whatever happened between them that night didn’t make Jenna treat her friend any differently. She still cared enough to just leave abruptly, and Spencer appreciated her so much for that. Jenna was surprised to find Aria outside Spencer’s bedroom, casually leaning on the wall with her arms crossed over her chest. Aria met her with a nod and a gentle smile.

 

“How long have you been out here?” Jenna inquired.

“Long enough to hear you talk some sense out of my best friend.” Aria replied with a smile, to which Jenna only shrugged. She honestly couldn’t tell if Aria was pissed and was just being polite or was really being thankful. “I’m sorry though, for the way Spencer acted. You don’t deserve to be caught in the middle of whatever shit she and Emily are going through right now.”

Jenna gave the smaller brunette a small smile. “It’s alright. I understand. We’ve made some drunken mistakes at one point in our lives, right? I have, and I’ve learned from it. That’s why I stopped Spencer from doing the same. I’m sorry I can’t stay.” Jenna said with a nod towards Spencer’s closed door.

Aria nodded. “I understand. Thank you Jenna, for looking after Spence. You’ve been so good to her.”

Jenna shrugged and smiled sadly before walking down the stairs.

 

Aria tiptoed inside Spencer’s room to get some fresh clothes from Spencer’s drawer. She quickly changed in the bathroom and cleaned herself up. Aria felt Spencer stir as she quietly slid under the covers next to her sleeping friend. “Hey, it’s just me. Are you feeling okay?”

Spencer turned to her friend and placed her head on the shorter brunette’s shoulder. “I’m such a horrible person, Ar.”

Aria placed her arms around her best friend and stroked her hair. “No, you’re not. You’re just a really really bad drunk.”

Spencer smiled and turned her head up a little to meet Aria’s gaze. “I was, wasn’t I?” Aria nodded with a smile.

“She hurt me, Ar. She really hurt me.” Spencer whispered as she moved her head back to lie comfortably in Aria’s shoulder.

“I know sweetie. I know. Just get some rest for now and we’ll talk about it in the morning.” Aria felt Spencer nod against her shoulder.

 “I love you, Ar.”

“I love you too Spence.”

Chapter Text

Hanna couldn't stop pacing back and forth. This is bad. Really bad. Not just because they were out drinking at a party last night, but Spencer obviously got too drunk to function properly, even if she seemed to have slept thru the night without hitch. This isn't just a regular hangover. Spencer never gets sick. Hanna feels partially at fault for what's going on with Spencer right now. She was supposed to just take some water and ibuprofen as they always do when they wake up with a hangover. Why did Spencer faint? And why does Aria and Melissa seem so scared out of their wits? Somebody probably already informed Mr. and Mrs. Hastings, and the first ones that they will scold about this are Melissa and Aria, being the older sister who should've been looking after Spencer when they're not around and the other being the best friend who's always there for her and actually even stayed with Spencer last night. Hanna checked her phone for the umpteenth time to see if Emily has replied to her messages yet. She thought about rushing to the Fields' home earlier to drag Emily out of bed and into Rosewood Medical Center, but she's not sure if putting the two in the same room together would be a good idea, especially after last night. Also, she wanted to be here when Spencer wakes up.

The attending doctor just left Spencer's room and headed over to Melissa and Aria. Hanna heard Melissa say that Aria's family as well, so it would be okay to let her in on the conversation regarding Spencer's condition. Hanna moved a little closer to the three, trying hard to gather as much information as she can. It wouldn't be wrong to eavesdrop a little, Hanna thought. She'll hear everything from Aria in a while anyways. Plus Hanna's really getting impatient and worried as hell.

"I've already paged Onco. Your sister's stable for now. She's just a bit dehydrated and the alcohol level in her system is quite high. She may have passed out from lack of rest and the alcohol may have interfered with the effects of her medications. How long has she been sick?" The young blonde doctor asked.

"She was diagnosed early this year." Melissa sighed and shook her head.

"I see. It would be wise to discuss the patient's history with our oncologist, Ms. Hastings. All of it." The doctor remarked.

Melissa nodded, meeting the doctor's eyes in equal seriousness. "I understand."

"Dr. Larson will see you in a while. You may see your sister now." The blonde doctor smiled politely before walking the other way. 


 

"Oncologist?" Hanna racked her brain, trying to remember what the term means. She walked over to the nurse's station and smiled at the nurse on the desk. "Excuse me miss, can you tell me what oncologist means?"

The middle-aged nurse smiled back at her. "It's a doctor who specializes in cancer."

"Huh? Maybe you didn't hear me right. On-co-lo-gist." Hanna repeated.

"I heard you the first time. An oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer."

"No. no no no. There must be some mistake. Why would Spencer need to see an oncologist? Why – what?" Hanna's jaw dropped as she tried to comprehend what the hell is going on.

"Are you alright, miss?" The nurse asked politely.

"Hanna? Hey, are you alright?" Jenna walked over to Hanna as she caught sight of the blonde across the room. The girl looked discombobulated.

"I – I heard…That's what I heard. I couldn't be wrong. He said -" Hanna stammered.

"What are you talking about? You heard what from whom?" Jenna quirked her brow.

Hanna took a deep breath and looked Jenna straight in the eyes. "Why would Spencer need to see an oncologist?"

Jenna bit her lip and looked away. Hanna must have been listening in to the doctors. She's not supposed to find out this way. This is so fucked up.

"C'mon, let's go sit for a while." Jenna gently grabbed Hanna's arm and led her into one of the couches at the waiting area.

"Why would Spencer need to see a cancer doctor?" Hanna repeated as she walked behind Jenna. "Wait, why are you here?" Hanna asked as she took a seat beside Jenna.

"Aria called me." Jenna said lightly.

"Why would Aria call you over? Are you and Spencer -?" Hanna faced Jenna once more and was about to continue her questioning when Aria suddenly approached them.

"Hey. Spencer's awake." The smaller brunette said with a sad smile. "Thank you for coming Jenna. I told Spencer that you're here."

"No worries. Of course I'll be here." Jenna said as she returned Aria's smile.

"Can we see her now?" Hanna asked.

"Sure. Her room's this way." Aria motioned for the two to follow her down the hall.

"Uh – can we uh, can I talk to you first?" Jenna asked uneasily. Aria stopped and nodded while Hanna continued to walk towards the room that Aria had pointed to.

"Hanna knows." Jenna whispered. Aria's eyes grew wide.

"What? How?" Aria quickly followed Hanna inside Spencer's room without waiting for Jenna to explain.

Hanna lightly knocked on the door before entering. Spencer looked over at her blonde best friend and managed a weak smile. "Hey, Spence. How are you feeling?" Hanna asked as she stopped and stood beside the brunette's bed.
Spencer cleared her throat before answering with a small smile. "Fine. Just really thirsty and lightheaded. Thanks for being here. You didn't have to come."

Hanna nodded and reached out to hold Spencer's arm. "What happened, Spence? Are you okay?" Hanna asked tentatively, not sure on how to confront Spencer with the new information.

"Just too much alcohol, I guess." Spencer smiled at Hanna.

"Is that all?" Hanna asked as she bit her lip.

Spencer nodded lightly. "Yep. It's all good Han. I just need to re-hydrate and sleep it off."

Hanna stared at the brunette for a moment. She looked over at Aria and Jenna who were now standing on the opposite side of Spencer's bed. Hanna looked back at Spencer and sighed. "You're lying. Why are you lying to me?"

"What are you talking about, Han?" Spencer asked with narrowed eyes.

"Han, now's not the time. Let Spencer rest." Aria looked pointedly at Hanna.

Spencer closed her eyes and felt Jenna's hand brush her hair off her forehead. She opened her eyes once more and smiled gratefully at the brunette.

Jenna looked at Hanna with an unreadable expression. "Aria's right. Get some rest, okay?" Jenna nodded to the brunette on the bed.

Hanna shook her head and sighed. "Why are you really here, Spence? Why do you need to see an oncologist?" All three pairs of eyes were suddenly on Hanna. Spencer looked at Aria, questioning her with her eyes. Aria shook her head. Jenna averted her gaze and silently cursed. "Fuck."

"Would somebody please tell me what's going on?" Hanna insisted after no one spoke for one full minute.

Spencer couldn't make her mind work fast enough to come up with a lie. This is so fucked up. She so wasn't expecting this.

"No is not a good time, Hanna. Let Spencer rest. Please." Aria pleaded.

Hanna sighed and shook her head. "I'm sorry. I just – I'm so confused. I'm sorry Spence."

Spencer felt a tug in her heart as she looked at Hanna's helpless face. Spencer turned her gaze from Hanna to the two brunettes. "Can you guys please give us a moment?" Aria contemplated for a while before nodding and allowing Jenna to lightly pull her out of the room.

Spencer patted the space beside her for Hanna to sit. Hanna gingerly sat beside her best friend, confusion still evident on her face. "I'm sorry." Spencer whispered as she looked up at Hanna with a tired smile.

"For what? It's me who should be apologizing. I was eavesdropping on their conversation earlier and your doctor said that you need to see an oncologist. I'm not sure if I even heard it right. I'm sorry Spence, I'm just – what's going on, Spence?" Hanna rambled.

"Han, I'm – I have – there's something that I need to tell you. Just promise that you won't hate me, okay?" Spencer asked softly as she struggled to come up with words.

"What is it? Why would I hate you? I could never hate you, Spence. You know that." Hanna placed her hand on top of Spencer's.

Spencer nodded and closed her eyes. Hanna patiently waited for her to go on. "I've been keeping something from you, from all of you. Even Aria. She just found out recently. I just, I don't know how to tell you." Spencer said as she tried to avoid Hanna's eyes.

Hanna squeezed the brunette's hand. "Hey, whatever it is, you can tell me, okay?"

Spencer finally met the blonde's blue eyes. "I'm sick, Han. Like really really sick." Hanna tipped her head to the side in question but didn't interrupt the brunette.

"I have a brain tumor, Han. I just found out a few months ago and I can't – I don't – I don't have much time." Hanna clasped her hand to her mouth as her other hand gripped Spencer's tighter. She couldn't help the tears from streaming down her face. Hanna shook her head and opened her mouth to say something but nothing came out.

Spencer bit her lip and felt tears fall down her cheeks as well. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry you had to find out like this. I was too afraid to tell you." Spencer felt the blonde's hand grow cold.

"Spence -" Hanna choked out. "How could you keep that from me? From us? I just – this is so fucked up. I can't even – I just… No. There must be some mistake." Hanna shook her head and stood, slowly backing herself up from the bed. Spencer tried to reach for her hand but the blonde started pacing.

"Han. I'm sorry. I couldn't tell anyone. I was so scared." Spencer tried to sit up but she felt nauseous from the sudden movement.

"Spencer - I – this" Hanna continued to pace back and forth. She felt like her heart was about to burst out of her chest at how it was forcefully pounding.

"Han, come here please." Spencer pleaded with a small voice.

Hanna stopped pacing and looked apologetically at Spencer. "Why didn't you tell me? Why – I just – are you sure? Maybe we just need to find a better doctor, get a second opinion. I'm sure there are lots of other better doctors out there." Hanna sat back next to Spencer and took the brunette's hand once again, grasping it tightly.

"I've already tried, Han. That's why I was travelling with Melissa all summer." Spencer gazed at their joined hands and took a deep breath before meeting Hanna's eyes once more. "I'm afraid there are no other options, Han." Spencer bit her lip and shrugged. "This is it for me."

It felt like a slap in the face. It felt like defeat. Spencer was never one to easily surrender, to admit defeat. She was the strongest one out of all of them. Spencer was everyone’s rock. "No. No, no, no. Please don't say that. Spencer, please. I can't – I – what can I do?" Hanna pleaded hopelessly as she tried to stop the stream of tears flowing down her face.

"I'm sorry Han, there's nothing either of us can do. But you could stay with me for a little while longer if that's okay." Spencer said softly as she laced her fingers with her best friend's.

Hanna reached over and wiped the tears off Spencer's cheeks with her free hand before moving back to wipe off her own. "Of course. I would never leave your side."

Spencer smiled gratefully at her best friend. Hanna is truly one of the most loving, caring people that she has ever met. "Thanks Han. I just wanna say that you're a really great friend, and I love you."

Hanna returned the brunette's smile. "I love you too, Spence. Please, let’s not talk as if we’re saying goodbye."

 

Chapter Text

Emily woke up with a painful throbbing in her head. She blindly reached for her phone on the nightstand to check the time. She was surprised that it was already 11:00 AM, and that she has 6 missed calls and 15 messages from Hanna. She was pretty sure that her best friend had stayed over last night. She’s probably checking to see if Emily was already up and not wallowing in her bed. Emily decided to ignore the messages as of the moment. She didn’t want to think about what transpired the night before. She turned her phone off went downstairs to get some water and ibuprofen. A note on the refrigerator caught her eye as she went in the kitchen. It was from her mom, asking her to take care of their groceries for the week since she’ll be stuck at work for most of the day. Emily headed back upstairs to take a shower before heading out.


 

Emily gingerly pushed the grocery cart in the aisle, re-reading the list that her mom wrote. She rubbed her temple as she rounded the corner, still having a bit of a headache despite taking an Advil earlier. I really shouldn’t drink too much. This is your fault, Spencer. No, scratch that. It’s that damn Jenna Marshall’s fault. Emily sighed and abruptly stopped as her cart hit something – someone.

“Oww! Watch where you’re going!” The tiny brunette rubbed her hip and glared at the person – at one of her best friends. Her face quickly turned from a scowl to impassiveness. “Oh. Emily.” Aria stated, a bit coldly.

Emily hesitated, not sure how to address her obviously still pissed off friend. “Aria. Hey. Didn’t you uh, just go grocery shopping a couple of days ago?” Emily mentally high-fived her self for quickly remembering that one. At least this wouldn’t be an awkward conversation… right?

“I did, yeah. This one’s for the Hastings though. I offered to do it ‘cause Melissa’s quite busy at the hospital. I just need a few things for when Spencer comes home tomorrow.” Aria nodded and moved to end the small talk.

“Oh. She spent the night at Jenna’s then?” Emily tried to ask casually, making Aria pause.

“What? Are you -”Aria looked at her, dumbfounded. Realizing that Emily was indeed clueless, Aria continued. “Spencer’s at the hospital. I thought Hanna called you?”

“What?! Why? Why didn’t anyone tell me?” She frantically looked for her phone in her bag and turned the device on, mentally scolding herself for turning it off earlier and not bothering with the messages.

 

Em, are you awake?

Em, it’s about Spencer. Call me when you get this.

Em, I’ve been trying to call you.

Emily. Pick up the damn phone!

 

Those and a few other messages of the same were what Emily found on her phone. She sighed and looked guiltily at Aria, who looked a bit annoyed now. “I’m sorry, I – my phone was off. I’m gonna head over there now.” Emily turned but stopped as she felt her cart being pulled in the opposite direction. “Don’t.” Aria simply stated.

“Aria, I want to see if Spencer’s okay. I’m sorry about last night, okay? You have to believe me, it was just a – “ The swimmer was cut off by the smaller brunette.

“Stop. Please just stop explaining, and don’t bother going to the hospital. It wouldn’t be good for Spencer to see you right now.” Aria said firmly. Coldly.

Emily’s a bit irritated herself now. “Are you kidding me? That’s not for you to decide, Aria.”

Aria narrowed her eyes at the much taller girl and took a step closer. “As a matter of fact it is. Spencer’s health and state of mind is my business. After that stunt you pulled last night, do you really expect me not to stop you from hurting my best friend again?”

Emily met her piercing hazel eyes and felt a stab in her chest at the mention of the previous night’s events. “I said I was sorry, and it was a mistake. It’s not what it looked like! God, Aria! It’s not like she’s innocent, okay? I saw her making out with Jenna last night!”

“Don’t you dare turn this thing around! Spencer only kissed Jenna because she was so drunk, and she only got that drunk because of you. Because you kept playing with her feelings!” Aria seethed.

“Er - excuse me girls, can you please take this somewhere else?” A skinny guy with wavy hair and a name tag that says Evan cautiously cut in, he apparently works at the grocery store. Aria glared at him and he unconsciously stepped back a bit.

“It’s okay, Evan.” Aria said calmly, not looking at the guy but looking pointedly at Emily as she spoke. “We’re done here.” Aria turned around and headed to the opposite direction, intent on getting the stuff that Melissa asked for as soon as possible.

“Fuck.” Emily muttered and dialled Hanna’s number as soon as Aria left.

 

“Hanna? Hey. Is Spencer okay? I’m sorry I just got your messages. What happened to her? Will she be alright?” Emily blurted out as soon as she heard Hanna’s Hello.

“Yeah, she’s uh -doing better. She just got super wasted and dehydrated last night. Doc says she’ll be fine. I’m still with her. She’s just sleeping right now. Where are you?” Hanna whispered on the phone.

Emily let out a breath. Thank God Spencer’s okay. “I’m at the supermarket. I uh, I ran into Aria.” Emily ran her free hand to her hair as she looked at the direction that Aria disappeared to.

“Yeah? Uh, what did she say?” Hanna asked, biting her lip as she did so. The smaller brunette is still pissed at Emily, that’s for sure.

“She kind’a told me to stay away from Spence.” Emily sighed. She’s been doing that a lot since she woke up.

“Oh, Em. Aria’s just being – Aria. You know she’s been Spencer’s tiny bodyguard since forever. She’s right though. I think you and Spence need a bit of time before you blow up in each other’s faces again.”

Emily nodded, though the blonde can’t see her on the other end. “I really wanna see her, Han.”

“I know, honey. Just let her rest for now. You can drop by at her house tomorrow. I’ll distract her bodyguard so you guys can talk. Just – just don’t stress her too much, yeah?”

“Of course, Han. I just want to be able to explain my side. What happened last night was just so fucked up.” Emily shook her head as she recalled how the previous night went down the drain.

Hanna glanced at the sleeping brunette on the hospital bed. “I know. I’ll call you later, okay?”

“Yeah. Thanks Hanna.”


 

Melissa had just finished discussing Spencer’s case with Dr. Larson. She immediately called her parents to relay everything while it’s still fresh in her head. Her mind and body are too tired but she can’t afford to lose her shit now. There’s too much at stake. She slept real late last night – almost before sunrise - after going through some papers for a few of her cases. She just had a couple of hours of sleep maybe when she got the call from Aria. She frantically drove from Philly to Rosewood as soon as the call ended. Melissa walked back towards Spencer’s room and saw Jenna leaning on the wall outside.

“Hey, how’s Spence?” Melissa smiled as Jenna looked up from her phone, instantly feeling someone’s presence.

“Better than she was this morning. She’s just getting some more sleep. Hanna’s with her inside.” Jenna smiled back and nodded towards the room. The window blinds were open, so they can see Spencer inside, sleeping, while Hanna sat on a chair beside the bed.

“Oh. Why are you here then? Outside, I mean.” Melissa asked curiously, leaning on the wall herself so she was side by side with Jenna.

“Well,” Jenna smiled sadly. “Hanna’s not that fond of me. I’m just trying to stay out of her way as much as I can.” Melissa sincerely looked surprised. As far as she knows, Jenna’s been a good friend to her sister, so why won’t her friends be as accepting of the girl as she was?

“Yeah? How come?” Melissa asked curiously.

“Hanna thinks I’m getting in the way of her best friends’ love lives, which is of course, not true. They’ve known each other longer and I know that they belong together. I also know that Spencer only has eyes for her.” Jenna paused, recalling how giddy Spencer looked each time she’d talk about Emily. “I mean, it’s not like Spencer would fall for someone like me, right?” Jenna chuckled.

The younger girl’s laugh didn’t sound right to Melissa. She was surprised at the girl’s vulnerability and sudden lack of confidence. Jenna’s always oozing with self-assurance, before and even after her accident. As much as she knows that the girl is broken inside with what she’s been through, she admires how Jenna masks those broken pieces with poise. And now Melissa’s gotten a glimpse of her vulnerability, from an accidental glitch on the girl’s perfect mask.

“Why would you say that? Don’t sell yourself short. You’re hot, and smart too. If Spencer didn’t like someone else at the moment, I’m sure she wouldn’t hesitate to ask you out.  You’re obviously a catch, Jenna. And that’s coming from someone who’s straight as a ruler.” Melissa smiled genuinely. Jenna smiled back but refused to meet the other woman’s eyes.

Melissa smiled before she carefully asked. “Do you like Spencer?”

Jenna pocketed her phone before turning a bit sideways to address the older Hastings. She looked at Melissa and shrugged. “It’s Spencer. I mean, what’s not to like? She’s perfect. I mean, I like her so much as a friend. I don’t have a lot of those, you know? Especially genuine ones. Honestly though?” Jenna tilted her head a bit as Melissa looked at her expectantly.

Jenna carefully thought about her next words, ‘cause she’s having a hard time right now in ascertaining what she really feels for her friend. Yes, Spencer’s smart, thoughtful, sweet and funny. Not to mention an absolutely great kisser. If it were a different place and time, Jenna would’ve pursued her. In this current situation though, well, there’s just something that’s holding her back, aside from her not wanting to gamble their friendship. Spencer’s been a really great friend to her so far, and she couldn’t afford to destroy that by pursuing a romantic relationship with her, especially not when she’s not even a hundred percent sure of how she really feels. She spent all morning thinking about what transpired last night, how she feels about it, how it changes things for them. She felt that want, that need to keep kissing the girl, but the more she thought about it this morning, the more she realized that it may have just been the alcohol in both their systems. This morning, Jenna came to the conclusion that she has feelings for her friend; but now, as she stood outside Spencer’s door for the past hour, Jenna came to a different conclusion. They weren’t romantic feelings. She hasn’t been with anyone for so long, no one has ever wanted her since the accident, and last night – Jenna felt wanted, needed, desired. Now, as she stood here in front of Spencer’s older sister, asking her if she may have feelings for the younger Hastings, for the love of god, Jenna can’t seem to put into words how she currently feels. It was a simple question, but she’s not ready to give a definitive answer yet.

“I’m not sure I’d want to be in a relationship with her - not that there’s anything wrong with her. As I’ve said, she’s perfect. It’s just that – there’s like, something missing. I can’t explain it for now. I’m sorry if I’m not making any sense.” Jenna sighed. “Plus I know how in love Spencer is with Emily and I’m not getting in the way of that. It just feels wrong.” At this Melissa quirked her brow. “Emily?” Melissa asked hesitantly.

“Yeah, Emily. Why? Didn’t you know?” Jenna asked curiously.

“No, I mean I –“ Melissa glanced at her sister through the bedroom window in front of them. “Earlier I thought you were referring to Spencer and Aria, you know, Team Sparia? I thought Hanna’s pissed at you for trying to get in between them.” Jenna grinned. Melissa’s so clueless.

“I’m sorry, I thought you already knew. It wasn’t my place to say. It’s just that it’s so obvious that I thought you’ve known all along.” You know, being her sister and all, Jenna thought. Jenna felt her cheeks burn from embarrassment.

“No, it’s alright. I’m sure Spencer wouldn’t mind that teeny tiny slip of the tongue. Plus it seems that I’m the only one who doesn’t know, so it’s not exactly a secret, right? I should be the one who’s supposed to be embarrassed. Some sister I am.” Melissa chuckled.

“I take it you ship Team Sparia then? I mean to be this clueless?” Jenna laughed.

“Don’t push it, woman.” Melissa warned teasingly. “I just always thought that the two would end up together. They’ve been joined at the hip since they were kids.” Melissa shook her head and laughed at her foolishness.

“Happens to the best of us.” Jenna grinned as the door to Spencer’s room opened. The two looked at Hanna as the blonde walked over to them.

“Spencer’s asking for you.” Hanna nodded to Melissa. The brunette smiled and nodded before walking inside.

“Hey.” Hanna nodded at Jenna.

“Hey.” Jenna answered back, not exactly sure how to interact with the blonde.

“Wanna get some coffee?” Hanna asked nonchalantly. Jenna was extremely surprised but she didn’t show it. She instead smiled and nodded. “Sure.”

Hanna knows that Spencer and Jenna have a good thing going – as friends of course - and she has to at least accept that. She’ll try to be more civil with the green-eyed beauty. At least for Spencer’s sake.

Chapter Text

“Do you need an extra blanket? Some more pillows? Water’s here by your table. I already charged your phone. I’ll get a couple of books if you want to read, or you can sleep first if you want to. I guess you should, you need to rest some more and –“ Aria rambled as she walked frantically inside Spencer’s room.

“Aria, it’s fine. I don’t need anything else. You’re the one who should rest. Melissa said you barely got any sleep.” Spencer sat up a bit on her bed and pulled the frantic girl to her side. She was discharged from the hospital a couple of hours ago. Melissa was at the barn right now and Aria, unsurprisingly is still with her, walking around like a mad woman and making sure she got everything that she needed close by.

“I’m fine, Spence. Don’t worry about me. And I wanna do this. I wanna take care of you.” Aria rolled her eyes as she stopped walking around and stood beside Spencer. She leaned over and tucked Spencer in – for the third time – and smoothed down the covers.

Spencer swatted her best friend’s hands away and tugged her arm, making Aria sit on the bed next to her. “You’ve been doing that basically our whole lives. Just stop and lie down here. If you’d sleep, I’d sleep.”

Aria looked at Spencer and sighed. “Fine.” Spencer scooted over a bit to make room for her best friend. Aria got under the covers and gave Spencer a look that said “There. Happy now?”

Spencer moved on her side to face the smaller girl and smiled. “Ar?”

“Yeah?” Aria looked at Spencer as she lied on her back.

“Thanks for staying with me.” Spencer said with a smile. She is really grateful to have this person in her life. Aria smiled back.

“Anytime.” 


 

“Hey, you awake?” Aria opened her eyes a bit to find Hanna shaking her left shoulder a bit. She glanced at her right to find Spencer peacefully sleeping. She carefully moved to a sitting position and looked questioningly at Hanna.

“I am now. What’s up?” Aria whispered.

“I need your help with some stuff.” Hanna gestured for her to get up.

“What stuff?” Aria whispered, raising her eyebrows.

“Just get up and I’ll tell you outside.” Hanna whispered with a wave of her hand.

“Fine.” Aria got out of bed and followed Hanna outside Spencer’s room. With a glance on her still sleeping best friend, she carefully closed the door and walked up to Hanna.

“I just need to run some errands and I need you to come with me.” Hanna stated. Aria looked at Hanna as if she was an idiot.

“What? Why? I can’t just leave Spencer.” Aria said with a gesture of her hand towards Spencer’s room. Hanna rolled her eyes.

“Aria, you’re not her guard dog. Besides, Jenna’s here. She can stay with Spencer.” Hanna grabbed Aria’s arm and started walking down the stairs.

“Jenna’s here?” Aria asked as she sleepily tried to keep up with Hanna walking down the stairs. She stopped when she saw Jenna at the foot of the stairs and unconsciously fixed her hair. “Oh, hey. When did you get here?” Aria asked the green-eyed girl with a smile. Jenna smiled back.

“Just now. I rode with Hanna.” Jenna stated, making Aria widen her eyes.

“You did? Why?” Aria asked incredulously. Hanna rolled her eyes and grabbed Aria’s arm again to lead her outside.

“So she can stay here while you help me. Now stop asking questions and let’s go.” Aria followed the blonde with a quick wave at Jenna. 


 

“Thanks for doing this.” Emily said as she emerged from the Hastings’ bathroom after Hanna and Aria left.

“Sure.” Jenna nodded.

“I know we need to talk as well –“ Emily started awkwardly. Jenna held her hand up and gestured towards Spencer’s room.

“It’s alright. Some other time. It’s best that you and Spencer talk.” Jenna stated with a small smile, feeling quite uncomfortable as well.

“Right. Thanks again.” Emily nodded and started to walk towards Spencer’s room.

“And please hurry. I don’t know how long Hanna and Aria will be out. I don’t want Aria to get mad at me.” Jenna added as she watched Emily go.

“Uh, okay.” Emily nodded. 


 

“What exactly did you need my help with?” Aria asked as she eyed Hanna. “And why are you with Jenna? I thought you didn’t like each other.”

“Well, she’s one of Spencer’s good friends. I think I can at least be civil with her. Anyway, I just want to -” Hanna was cut off as they were exiting the Hastings’ gate and ran into Spencer’s parents.

“Aria. Hanna. Hey. What are you guys doing here?” Veronica asked the two teens.

“We’re here to see Spencer. I’m surprised to see you here though.” Aria stated with genuine surprise.

“What do you mean? We live here, of course we’d be here.” Peter replied with bewilderment.

“Not here enough though.” Aria muttered. Hanna’s eyes went wide.

“What was that?” Peter tilted his head at the small brunette.

“We should go.” Hanna spoke out as she nudged Aria.

“No, wait. I think Aria had something to say.” Peter folded his arms on his chest and stared at Aria.

“Peter, I don’t think -” Veronica started to say.

“Actually yes, I have something that I needed to say.” Aria declared as she returned Mr. Hastings’ stare.

“Listen, I don’t mean to be disrespectful but I since I love my best friend so much, I’ll just spit this out. I know how busy you both are because of your careers, so much that you barely see your kids and it’s fine. I understand that you just want to be able to earn as much as you could to give both of them a better future but things are different now. Don’t you think you at least owe Spencer your presence - your physical presence - in her life with how things are going now? I mean -” Aria spoke as she firmly stood in front of Peter.

“Aria, I think that’s enough.” Hanna cut in. Aria held her hand up to Hanna.

“No, I wanna say this. My best friend is dying.” Aria paused for effect and looked at the two adults seriously. “God only knows how much time she has and I know she would really appreciate it if her parents cared enough to stay with her right now as they barely did before.” Aria firmly stated as she brushed a fallen tear off her cheek.

“Aria -” Hanna pleaded. Peter frowned but Veronica held his arm firmly to prevent him from going off on Aria.

“It’s fine Hanna. Why don’t we all sit down?” Veronica offered. “Listen, I understand what you’re saying and I can’t express how thankful I am to you for loving my daughter the way you do – as if she’s your own sister. I know how important you are to her as well and so I would like for you to be there when we talk to her.” Veronica gently stated.

“Veronica, I don’t think we should -” Peter started to object.

“Hush, Peter. Aria is practically Spencer’s twin, and Hanna is one of her best friends. They should know about our plans.”

“Plans? What plans?” Hanna interrupted this time.

“It’s best if Spencer is here to hear about all of it. Let’s go upstairs and see her, alright?” Veronica replied and gestured for everyone to go inside the house. 


 

Jenna walked down the stairs of the Hastings house as Peter was about to walk up to Spencer’s room. “Mr. Hastings, hi.”

“Hello, Jenna. Good to see you. I was just about to go see if Spencer is alright to talk to us.”

“Oh, uhm, she’s asleep. Really tired. Medications and all. You shouldn’t wake her right now. Too tired and yeah, asleep, you know?” Jenna rambled.

“Oh, Okay then.” Peter said with a frown.

“I uh, I should uh -” Jenna thought frantically on what to do next. She needs Spencer and Emily to have this time to talk. Give them as much time as she can. She can’t allow Mr. Hastings to go upstairs. Fortunately Hanna appeared behind Peter. “Hanna, hey. Spencer’s uhm, asleep. I should uh, -”

Hanna widened her eyes and touched Mr. Hastings’ arm to get his attention. “Let’s just have that talk later, Mr. Hastings. It’s best that we let Spencer rest. Jenna and I will go home for now and - ”

Jenna subtly shook her head, eyes wide. “No? No! I mean no.” Peter looked at Hanna, perplexed. “I mean we should uh, wait for Spencer to wake up, because you know, she might need someone to be there when she wakes up.” Hanna explained.

“I could stay with her. You guys could go home.” Aria interrupted behind Hanna. Jenna and Hanna looked at each other in panic. Oh, boy, Oh, no. Aria can’t know that Emily is upstairs with Spencer. Peter was just about to come down when Veronica appeared behind Aria.

“Why is everyone talking on the stairs?” Veronica asked.

“Alright, everyone back to the family room. Jenna, you can stay with Spencer for a bit, if you won’t mind.” Peter smiled at Jenna gestured with a wave of his hand to Aria and Hanna.

“Sure thing, Mr. Hastings.” Jenna let out a breath and walked back upstairs. She stood in the hallway, a respectable distance from Spencer’s room, not wanting to disturb the two brunettes yet. 


 “I’ll go make coffee for everyone.” Veronica said as she left her husband, Hanna and Aria on the family room. The two teens were seated next to each other, facing Peter. There was an uncomfortable silence between the three. Finally, Aria decided to cut the tension. “I want to apologize for earlier, Mr. Hastings. It wasn’t my place to say those things.” Aria spoke politely. Hanna placed her hand on the smaller girl’s back comfortingly and nodded at Peter.

“It’s alright, dear. I understand where you’re coming from. I’m actually quite thankful that you’re still as caring and supportive to my daughter, after all these years. Spencer’s very lucky to have you in her life.” Peter said with a smile.

Veronica came back with 4 cups of steaming coffee and placed them on the coffee table. Before anyone could speak, Melissa walked in as well.

“Oh, everyone’s here. Is Spencer okay?” Melissa asked Aria as she took a seat on the single chair on Aria’s right.

“Yeah. She’s asleep right now. Jenna’s staying with her upstairs.” Aria replied to Melissa as she thanked Mrs. Hastings for the coffee.

“Oh, good. Jenna’s such an angel for always being around to help take care of Spencer.” Melissa said with a smile.

“Yeah, she is.” Aria said with a blush. Wait, what? Why the hell am I blushing?  Hanna noticed Aria’s cheeks redden and raised a single eyebrow. Before she could say anything, Mrs. Hastings spoke.

“That’s good to hear. I’ll make sure to thank her later. Anyways, now that we’re here, why don’t Peter and I fill you in on what’s happening? After all, you’re basically part of the family.” Veronica looked at Peter and Melissa for confirmation before continuing. Her husband and daughter nodded.

“We’ve been trying to find the best treatment options for Spencer, and after several weeks of flying in and out and meeting with specialists, we’ve finally found the best doctor to handle Spencer’s case.” Veronica explained to Hanna and Aria.

Peter looked at his wife and spoke. “We’re moving Spencer to Seattle in three days.”