I'm a horrible excuse for a person. I know. Get in line and you can give me 1,000 lashings with a wet noodle.


Too casual, she thought, tossing the garment onto her bed. Too geeky. She huffed, tossing the shirt over her head, an image of Einstein landing face up on her floor. Groaning dejectedly she limply tossed her body onto the pile of clothes the lie strayed across her bed. "What should I wear?" She asked out loud, the question falling on Zelda's perked up ears. You're right. She thought, staring into curious blue eyes. It's not like it's a date. We're just two friends having dinner. She could be taking me through the McDonalds drive thru for all I know. She smiled happily at the idea of having a casual dollar dinner with Ashley.

Just be myself, so far that's working for me. Building up her confidence she picked up the shirt and pulled it over her torso, covering a navy blue bra. Looking in the mirror she narrowed her eyes. Very me. Very casual. Perfect for a non date dinner with a friend.

"Spencer!" Glen yelled from the bottom of the steps. "Your date is here!" She could hear the smile on his face as he hollered.

Scrambling quickly into her closet for a pair of socks and shoes, shoes! Her mind went frantic as she stared at the mass pile of different styles and colors of converse that lay before her. Hastily she began to dig, tossing shoes behind her as she went. Which ones?

"You about…" Ashley dodged to the left as a converse whizzed in her direction. "Whoa there Carlin!" She held up her hands in surrender.

Turning her head around quickly, Spencer's mouth hung slightly open. Ashley stood before her in a deep rich purple dress that hugged her just below the chest, flowing neatly down to just above her knees. Tan legs shown beneath the fabric leaving Spencer not only speechless, but breathless as well.

"You're gonna catch flies." Ashley said with a bright smile. She's totally ogling at me. The thought caused her insides to churn with excitement.

A few moments passed before the blonde found her voice. "I'm way under dressed." She said in a low breathless sigh.

"Or maybe I'm just over dressed." Ashley said with a smirk. "If you help me with zipper I can be a little less dressed." She stated boldly while reaching around to her back in an attempt to get it herself.

Quickly getting to her feet Spencer rushed toward the brunette, stopping a foot from where she stood. Reaching out she grabbed the other girls' upper arm, stopping her feeble attempt at the zipper. "No, no." She said letting her hand slide down the brunettes soft skin, stopping only when she felt Ashley lace her fingers into her own. "You look amazing." Spencer spoke softly. I'm sure even more amazing underneath. Her own thought caused her cheeks to redden.

Leaning in, never letting her golden brown eyes leave the blonde's cool blue stare, Ashley squeezed her hand gently. "You're blushing." Her eyes softened and her mouth turned up into a half smile.

Tilting her head down to hide her rose colored cheeks, Spencer found herself staring at their linked fingers. She fits like a glove. Her heartbeat raced at her realization.

Picking up on the change, Ashley gave Spencer's hand one last squeeze before releasing it. Taking a step back, and in a playful tone lightened the mood. "Now let me see, give us a twirl. What's wrong with what you have on?"

Feeling embarrassed, Spencer crossed her arms over her stomach. "I should change."

"Don't be silly." Ashley patted Spencer's shoulder as she made her way by, stepping into the closet. I think she has as many pairs of shoes as me. She thought glancing among the pile, stopping when she spotted the ones she was looking for. "Heads up." The brunette called out, tossing the blonde one shoe at a time.

"You're just sealing my fate of casual wear." Spencer said while slipping one foot into the opening.

"It's a good thing I think your casual wear is quite adorable then." Ashley said with a wink.

Spencer smiled from ear to ear and watched as the brunette made her way out of the bedroom door. "Thank you." She called out after the other girl.

"You're welcome. Besides, only you could pull off a shirt with Einstein on it." Ashley said with a slight giggle.

Once in the car, Ashley felt the nervousness she had hoped to leave at home begin to flood back to her. Sighing inwardly she smiled as the blonde sat down in the passenger seat next to her, dutifully buckling the seat belt.

"You did it on your own this time." Ashley teased lightly.

"I made sure to take notes the last time, that way I wouldn't need assistance." Spencer replied playfully.

Ashley smiled warmly before turning her attention toward getting them on the road. The ride was silent for the first few minutes. Spencer resting her head back against the seat, an appreciative smile planted firmly on her face, while Ashley sat mindfully aware of the blonde's movements and breathing.

Sneaking glances Spencer's way, Ashley couldn't help but notice the blondes glowing smile. "I'd pay you a whole dollar to know your thoughts." Ashley said timidly.

Lolling her head to face the brunette, Spencer took in Ashley's profile. Strong cheek bones, tan skin and the cutest little button nose. "It's only meant to cost you a penny."

"Well I will give you a hundred of them." Ashley's said glancing over, her breath catching at the sight of the blonde admiring her greatly.

Holding out her hand mere inches from where the brunettes held the steering wheel, Spencer smiled cockily. "Well?"

Ashley shook her head, grinned and without thought removed her right hand from the wheel and laced her fingers with the blondes, bringing both entwined hands down to rest in her lap.

At that very same moment the car shifted in balance and began to stutter as the tires rotated on the pavement. Drifting off to the side of the road, Ashley reached around the wheel with her free hand and killed the engine.

"What are we doing?" Spencer asked with a tinge of panic in her voice.

"I think it was a tire." Ashley replied coolly, fully aware of the death grip Spencer now had on her own hand. "I'll just call triple A." She tried to release Spencer's hand, but the blonde wouldn't let go. "As much as I'm enjoying this hand holding festivity, I do need both hands for a moment." She pleaded slightly with her eyes.

Shaking her head in disagreement, Spencer's breathing became more rapid when a set of headlights came into view, heading right towards them. "No." She whispered.

"It'll only take a second." Ashley again tried to get Spencer to loosen her grip.

"We need to get out of the car."

"Let me just…"

Spencer cut her off. "No. We are getting out of the car. Now." She said forcefully.

Having never seen the blonde so tense Ashley gave into the request. "Okay, we'll get out." She spoke softly.

Outside of the car Spencer began to pace back and forth behind the car.

"Spencer…" Ashley spoke gently and reached out to touch Spencer's shoulder.

The gentle touch stopped her movements, but Spencer did not turn her head. Standing frozen, her arms crossed at her chest, rising and falling with every deep breath she took.

Taking advantage of the paused moment, Ashley stepped around the blonde to face her. "You okay?"

Spencer held up a hand to cover her eyes as another car approached, this time from behind. "We need to move further away." She said coldly, shrugging Ashley's hand from her shoulder she walked further from the car.

Unsure what to do the brunette followed her off the shoulder of the road and into the waist high grass. "Spencer, it's not going to explode…" Ashley said with a light tone, hoping to resemble humor.

"Ashley please!" Spencer said now pacing in the long grass.

"Okay, bad time for a joke. What's the matter?"

Clenching her teeth, Spencer didn't look up when she spoke. "It's not happening again."

"What's not?" Ashley prodded gently.

"This!" Spencer said in a loud tone, throwing her hands up into the night's sky.

Pausing a moment to figure out what Spencer meant, Ashley asked the next question hesitantly. "Is this about the hand holding thing? Because…"

"No." Spencer cut the brunette off and looked into Ashley's concerned brown eyes. "It's not about that." She finished weakly.

Waiting a moment to see if the blond would continue, Ashley took a deep breath. It's now or never. "Is this about the night I stayed over?"

Ashley's simple question paused Spencer's every movement and current concern. The night you stayed over. She sighed heavily; swearing she could still feel the brunettes lips pressed against hers if she thought about it hard enough. "Yes." Spencer replied sheepishly. "But probably not how you think."

"So explain it to me." Ashley said, taking a step closer to where the blonde still stood frozen.

Snapping her head in Ashley's direction too quickly, Spencer spoke breathlessly. "It's not that easy. I can't just…" She motioned once again, her arms waving through the cooling air.

"Is it because of Riley?" Ashley asked brusquely.

Making full contact with the brunettes sad brown eyes, Spencer's blue eyes began to well with tears.

Unsure what to do, Ashley now stood how Spencer had stood just moments before, cold, still and confused. Closing her eyes, she brushed a hand through her hair as she tilted her head downward. Shit. She mentally kicked herself. Way to go Davies. She chastised herself once more, only to be pulled from herself bullying at the sound of Spencer's soft words.

"I love Riley."

A moment passed before Ashley spoke. "I'm sorry. I should have known." She looked up and continued. "I didn't mean to put you into such an awkward place. I just really like you, as cheesy as that may sound." She shrugged unsure why she was confessing something so pointless.

Wiping her face with the sleeve of her t-shirt, Spencer took a deep breath. "You didn't. If anything you put me back into a place I never thought I'd see again." She turned to fully face the brunette.

"I don't understand." Ashley said shaking her head.

"Riley is my girlfriend."

Furrowing her eyebrows, Ashley's mind began to race over every conversation they'd shared about Riley. Mumbling incoherent words, Ashley ran her hands through her hair. "Why didn't you say something?" She asked in a tone harsher than expected.

"It's not what you think…" Spencer began.

Dropping her hands from the tangles of her hair, Ashley scoffed. "So you mean to tell me it's not that you let me believe Riley was your boyfriend, or that you fully know I'm gay and you didn't think to share the same information? Sure, it's not what I think at all Spencer."

"Ashley…" Spencer took a step toward the distraught brunette.

"This is ripe. I'm use to kissing other guys' girlfriends, but never another girl's girlfriend. And you kissed me!" She laughed coldly, turned and headed back toward the car.

Spencer's heart began to pound so hard it shook her body. You're losing her before you even have her, her mind raced. "Riley's dead!" The blonde yelled, stopping the brunette in her tracks. "It's the reason I moved out here. It's the reason I can't sit in that car on the side of the road" She pointed a shaky finger toward the stopped vehicle. "For fear some car is going to come careening around a corner and…" She clenched her jaw. "Repeat the worst day of my life."

A long pause filled the air. The only sound piercing both ears was the wind blowing between the stands of long grass.

"The dream." Ashley spoke weakly, never turning to face the blonde.

"Sometimes it's all I can think about. Other times…" Spencer swallowed the growing frog in her throat. "I forget." A tear escaped her sad blue eyes. "Especially when I'm with you."

"The parking garage when we first met, and all the questions about my dad." Ashley began to feel nauseous, leaning down she gripped her thighs tightly taking deep breaths.

"Ashley…" Spencer moved towards Ashley's side. "I'm sorry."

"Shit Spencer." She took one final deep breath before standing upright. "What are you sorry for? I'm such an idiot!" She covered her mouth with her right hand, unsure if she was going to be sick. "I didn't put it together." She said astonished.

"It's not your fault." Spencer reached out with her now cool hand, touching the brunettes shoulder affectionately.

Saying nothing Ashley gently took Spencer's hand, placing it around her own waist she pulled her into a protective embrace.

Relived by the warmth, Spencer melted into the brunette's grasp, feeling for the first time in a long time that she wasn't alone.

"Thank you." Ashley gave a small wave to the tow truck driver as he got back into his rig. "Who knew it'd be such a busy night for road side assistance?" She smiled apologetically to Spencer who was ducking down into the passenger seat.

"What are you talking about? This is the best date…" Spencer paused briefly. "Outing, that I've had in a long time." She smiled happily at the gloomy looking brunette.

"It could have gone better." The brunette said as she shifted into drive. "I'm sorry about missing dinner." And for making you spill your guts out to me.

"You're not getting off that easily Davies." Spencer said, patting Ashley on the shoulder. "Head back towards your house."

"Are you always this easy on the first…outing? You didn't even let me woo you and you want to come home with me?" Ashley said playfully.

Smiling brightly, Spencer looked at the brunette curiously. "How do you do that?"

Glancing at the blonde confused, Ashley shrugged. "Do what?"

"Make me laugh when forty five minutes ago I was ready to throw myself down in the grass and cry." Spencer sighed and moved her stare from the brunette's profile.

"I'll tell you my secret if you tell me yours."

"My secret…" Spencer looked back over, confusion written on her face.

Ashley turned to look at the blonde as she slowed at the red light. "You must have a secret because being around you feels too good and flows too easily." She said honestly.

Spencer smiled down into her hands, glad it was dark out because she could feel a blush creeping up from her neck about to invade her cheeks.

"You're blushing." Ashley momentarily moved her hand off the wheel, wanting to take the blondes.

"It's green." Spencer said, nodding up towards the light, snapping the brunette out of her task.

"Green means go." Ashley whispered to herself, diverting her hand down to the gear shifter. You're like putty in her hands and you're not even in her hands!

"Rascal." Spencer pointed right.

"Huh?"

"Right. Take the right. A rascal."

"You're an odd one, where am I…" Ashley stopped talking. "You're kidding me."

Shaking her head no, Spencer pointed again. "Drive thru."

"I will not. This isn't dinner, this is…"Ashley waved her hands around at the absurd request. "Fast food."

"You're a regular old Sherlock. I want a kid's meal and if they ask, it's for a boy. I don't want a stinking Barbie." Spencer grinned excitedly.

Jaw dropped Ashley just stared at the giddy blonde next to her. "You're serious."

"Drive!" Spencer pointed forcefully.

Spencer watched Ashley closely as she pulled up to the loud speaker. She could see the brunette's broad smile as she ordered two kids meals, one for a girl and one for a boy.

"You're the boy, but I'm driving and paying." Ashley said as she handed Spencer the small box with the M shaped handle.

Smiling, Spencer in an exaggerated motion stretched both arms upward, let out a long drawn out yawn, and let her left arm fall across Ashley's shoulders. "What a day." She said in a deep voice, laughter edging its way closer to the surface.

Cocking one eyebrow up at the blonde, Ashley played along. "I know, like totally." She said in a peppy voice, twirling her hair around her finger.

Spencer couldn't hold her laughter in when she saw Ashley bat her eyelashes. "Give me thirty more seconds and I bet I could cop a feel." She laughed, removing her arm from around the brunette.

"Thirty? I'd give it ten seconds."