Disclaimer: I don't own 90210.
Summary: Ethan can't control his growing feelings for Silver anymore.
Author's Note: My first 90210 fic! I never really got into the other ships they had on the show, but I've always loved Ethan/Silver from the start. So mad that Ethan's going to be gone and they're abandoning this storyline! Anyways, this is my take on their scenes. There's no real exact point, other than following Ethan's developing feelings for Silver. It ends as it does in the show, but I'll probably write a couple of other oneshots about them with my own created scenes.

Now or Never

By: Inner Ninja

"Mind if I sit?" he asked as he moved to sit on the ground next to her. The party probably was going to be good with everyone there, but he just wanted some time away from everyone. Moving on from Annie was okay, and the whole Liam thing was honestly just a mystery to him.

"As long as you don't expect me to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed," Silver commented.

"Thank god you're not," he commented as he settled into his position. They were interrupted for a moment. Donna had come to check up on Silver, and she put on a smile to reassure the older woman that everything was fine and she was just getting some air. Donna left them alone after a brief pause. He exhaled.

"Wanna talk about being claustrophobic? Try having people monitor your mood every second," Silver explained as she sighed and rambled about being offered crackers. But Ethan felt for her. He had an idea what she was going through. He had a parallel situation to hers.

"At least you're being offered crackers," he replied. "I got people, always watching me, and there is no upside." He wasn't necessarily complaining. It was just the fact that he sometimes got tired of the same old thing over and over. He was tired of this daily routine. Everything seemed so definite and monotonous. There was no room for his own freedom to explore what he actually liked and wanted.

"What do you mean?" she asked looking over his way.

"Ah, I don't know! I mean, you step off the path, you cut one class, and people are down your throat," he told her getting exasperated.

"You cut class?" she asked looking at him again in a surprised tone.

"I might've, whatever," he said smiling when he had made her laugh a little. He had never really looked at her straight in the eye before, and now that they were this close, he saw something different from all the things he's heard of or seen from a distance about her. He caught a glimpse of her blue eyes when they glowed as she lit up for a moment. "So, when are you coming back to school?" he directly asked gazing at her once again. He didn't know why, but he had been particularly eager to know.

"I'm not, actually," she simply replied. His eyebrows raised a little as he tried to hide his surprise. Oddly, he also seemed to feel disappointed. "I'm enrolling at St. Claires," Silver told him.

"You're going to a Catholic school?" he asked. He couldn't hide his shock this time. He wasn't trying to stereotype or judge her or anything, but she definitely didn't scream Catholic school.

"It's the only place that would take me mid-semester," she explained. "Went on a tour yesterday. It's not that bad," she added.

"Oh, well, Dixon didn't mention anything," he confessed honestly. He hadn't heard about this news at all from his friend.

"Yeah, well, that's because Dixon doesn't know yet. I just decided tonight," she answered truthfully. He made a small nod, understanding. He knew she was having a rough patch, and he felt for her. No, he couldn't possibly relate to this, but he knew at this moment, she just needed a considerate friend who would just be there for her instead of standing there and judging her by her previous actions. That, he could relate to.

"I just need a fresh start, you know," she explained. He looked back at her as she kept talking. "Where no one knows me. Where I can just be who I wanna be instead of who I was," she said. He knew that feeling. It was the idea of starting over fresh, just like she said. Starting over would just allow him to think differently and do things differently, instead of living in this world where everything seemed to be set for him already.

"Do you think St. Claires has room for me?" he asked smiling a little and trying to lighten the mood back up.

"It's an all girls school," she commented.

"Sounding better and better," he responded. He couldn't help but smile along when she giggled. And for the first time, under these lights in the dark outside, he noticed how beautiful she was.

Over the course of a few days, he found himself sinking into a hole, one that he had dug himself. He didn't know what was wrong with him. It was wrong. Everything was all wrong. He knew how to pretend like everything was okay, but things just weren't. He was falling for his ex-girlfriend's best friend, his best friend's girlfriend. He didn't know what people thought of him, going out with Naomi first, then breaking up with her and then going out with Annie almost right away. Everything was so messed up.

He tried to stay away from it all. He just had to focus on things like school and lacrosse. Hell, he even started to hang out with Liam more just to get his mind off of things. It somewhat worked, but in the end, something always kept him thinking about her more. It amazed him how fast he grew attached to her in a short amount of time. Never before had he thought this much of her. He didn't know if he wanted to like her though. It was something he couldn't control. He didn't know if he wanted to get together with her or not. There were too many mistakes in the past and he just didn't want that to happen again, especially with her. She was different, in a special way. She was going through too much and the thought of hurting her was unbearable.

That was the problem. He truly felt for her. He truly had fallen for her. And he didn't know what to do about it.

"Ethan, hey!" a voice had called out that woke him up from his thoughts. The voice registered in his mind immediately as he looked up to a pair of blue eyes.

"Hey, you," he said with a goofy smile. She looked great. "I'm just here, uh, dropping off Navid," he explained.

"Ah, right," she said nodding. "Where's Dixon?" she immediately asked afterwards before he even had the chance to secretly beg that she wouldn't bring him up. Again, it was wrong. Dixon was his friend after all and she was still in a relationship with him.

"Ah, Dixon is," he started. "Well, uh, Dixon is currently, very drunk…?" he replied wondering how she would take it since everyone knew that Dixon was not a drinker whatsoever.

"Dixon is?" she asked in shock presumably like everyone else would have answered. But her surprise soon turned into a disappointment as she blamed herself for her boyfriend's current state. "This is all my fault," she said as her face fell a little. It made his heart twist in pain to see her like this.

"You okay?" he asked quietly trying to think of a way to reassure her.

"We just haven't been, getting along so well," she confessed to him. He could tell. While of course their relationship had recovered from their disaster before, everyone could tell that it wasn't as perfect as it used to be.

"Well, I'm sorry to hear that," he said. Was he being honest? He wasn't sure himself.

"It's like we are so far apart, so disconnected," she revealed to him. He started to shift uncomfortably around her now, especially after what she had just said. Was there any, any possibility at all or was he just imagining it all?

"You wanna hear my relationship theory?" he suddenly seemed to blurt out. "You know how they say no man is an island? Well, I think, actually, every man is an island," he continued to say. She looked at him skeptically, but continued to listen to what he had to say. "And relationships, are, like bridges," he said. "One guy, builds one half of the bridge, and the other guy, or, uh, gal, you know, builds the other half. And they try to meet, in the middle." He found himself almost unsteady and seeming to ramble a bit. But nonetheless, he continued. "But sometimes, the islands are too far apart." They gazed at each other intently as he continued to talk a little more. "And, it's sad, but it happens. It's okay, because, sometimes it's just, time to move on." He looked at her so deeply and passionately, hoping that what he just said would make sense to her. He hoped that she would understand what he was trying to get at.

"I don't know. Maybe I'm just talking nonsense," he muttered looking down, away from her eyes. His hopes were trying to get the best of him and he was trying to suppress them down just in case things didn't turn out the way he wanted them to.

"No. No, you're not," she said honestly.

"I'm not?" he questioned, allowing him the courage to look at her again. All he had was hope. His face lit up a little more at those words she just said. There had to be something, something in store for them.

"No," she said sighing. "You're right," she said. A small smile tried to creep up on his face. "I haven't been doing my share," she confessed. And at that single point in time, all seemed to crumble around him. The knot inside of him twisted in pain as his eyes shifted around again trying to avoid contact with her bright blue ones. "Dixon has been making all the compromises. He's been building the bridge all himself. I gotta start doing my part if this relationship is going to work." It made her realize something, but it wasn't what he had been hoping for. All that momentum that was there before just seemed to fall around him in shattered pieces suddenly. "Thank you Ethan," she said as she touched his arm for a second and then started to head out.

"No problem," he muttered back, but was pretty sure that she didn't hear.

So was this what real heartbreak felt like? He had never felt this way with his past girlfriends, namely Naomi and Annie. He tried to keep his cool together, but he couldn't even keep his head up when she walked out. This was not him. This was not him at all. If some girl had broken his heart before, he would've just found another one. But this was different. This was Silver here. She wasn't like the other girls. He thought that they had connected. He thought that they had a possibility, but evidently, she still loved Dixon. He couldn't really blame her, he guessed. He just didn't expect it things to be like this.

So, this was what real love felt like. For the first time, Ethan Ward couldn't have something he wanted.

"I forget sometimes you're like King Jock," Silver commented after Dixon had told her about Ethan getting into lacrosse camp. She smiled and was genuinely happy for him, as Dixon was as well. He wished he was that excited as well. It definitely was a good feeling to be recognized for his talent, but it was just another brick in the marked path he was being forced to take. All he wanted was a breather.

"Yeah, me too," he replied. He wished he could forget that fact forever. He didn't want that title, and anyone who wanted it could take it from him. Maybe it seemed like the best thing in the world to others, but he was getting tired of it. Would they ever look at him as someone else other than the so called King Jock? Not wanting to bother them or rather be around the couple that part of him wanted to break up, he made his excuse to leave.

"Well how goes the online tux shopping? You guys got accessories and whatever picked out," she observed as they had swapped places with Ethan heading out the door and Silver taking his seat.

"Ah, well, I'm not going, but I think you got Dixon all squared away," he commented a little too quickly.

"What do you mean you're not going?" she asked as she stared up at him, still in a smile probably thinking it was a joke. Sophomore prom, wasn't it the epitome of what he was trying to avoid now? It was another social event where people would look up to him as a star athlete and one of the most popular guys at school.

"Don't have a date," he answered. It was just an excuse and he knew it. He just didn't want to go knowing that she would be there, with him.

"Well, you should just go with us! I mean, you don't need a date. We're all just basically going as a group," she responded trying to persuade him to come along. It was cute to see her plead a little like that, but he just didn't think it would be a good idea.

"Yeah, we got a pretty sick ride," Dixon commented joining in. He was oblivious to what was actually going on and the reason why Ethan didn't want to go. Silver was as well.

"Come on," Silver said pleading. "I could really use some moral support." He knew she was afraid of facing all the kids at school after her little meltdown. "Please?" And all it took was one look at her to give in.

"Yeah. Yeah, sure," he said. He knew he was going to probably regret it, but he just had to give in when she had practically begged him like that. Now they were acting all sweet and cute to each other as he tried to head out. He could just tell that something would go wrong, and it would probably be his fault. They had no idea.

"Silver isn't easy man," Dixon confessed as the two of them talked at Naomi's after-prom party. Well, what did he expect? Of course Silver was different from all the stereotypical girls at school. It was the exact reason Ethan was falling in love with her.

"Of course not. I mean who wants some boring, regular, high school girl? I mean, Silver's got spirit, and attitude, life-force. You know?" Ethan said as he maybe responded a little too quickly. Faltering at the end of his thoughts, he looked over and admired her from a distance. But he quickly shifted his eyes before Dixon would suspect anything. "Uh, all I mean is, I think you and Silver are great, and everything worth anything just takes work, and patience," he advised to Dixon. He sometimes hated being the good person, giving advice to the one he secretly wanted to take down.

Dixon rambled on but Ethan didn't register the words. That was, until Dixon turned around, looked at Silver and said, "I mean, I love her." Dixon loved her, and that meant any feelings Ethan had for Silver should be automatically cancelled and forgotten about. She was out of reach, off limits, out of bounds. But recently, the only way Ethan seemed to be breaking out of his old ways was falling in love with her.

Dixon would say a little more before he left towards Silver. As Dixon walked away, Ethan slumped down, leaning against the wall and sighed. From his jacket pocket, he pulled out a picture of her. They had no idea…

"Hey," a voice said. It was Silver as he snapped out of his daze to greet her. "Can I ask you something?" she said looking serious. He nodded. "What do you think about me and Dixon?" What? Since when did he become a love counselor?

"I think, both you guys are great," he said generically.

"No, I mean, like, as a couple…" she said faltering at the end of her sentence. "We're just so, different," she admitted as her voice got even quieter. "He's like prom royalty. And I'm like, not," she said making the obvious facts surface to reality.

"Actually, technically you are," he said trying to lighten the mood and possibly change the subject.

"Come on! Is that who you think I am? A prom queen?" she said as they both smiled and giggled.

"No, no. I'm glad, that you're not," he said honestly. She was exactly what he needed, and wanted. There was no one better than her to bring him out of his bubble. But how could he tell her the truth when all it would do was hurt everyone?

"Dixon, loves you. And prom, is like a once a year thing which means there are still three hundred sixty four non-prom nights where your differences don't seem so drastic," he said playing it straight and telling her the obvious truth. He absolutely could not say what he honestly felt. He was watching everything that was coming out of his mouth. He had to lie. There was no other choice.

"So you think we work," Silver repeated for clarification.

"Yeah," he answered dejectedly though not noticed by her. "I think you guys are a great couple." As much as it pained him to say that, it was at least worth putting a smile on her face.

"Okay. Good. I just, needed to hear that," she said. She motioned for a hug, and they got up and embraced. It further broke his heart. "Are you wearing Dixon's jacket?" she suddenly asked as they pulled away from each other. "You must have picked up his jacket by mistake," she commented before she smiled and left.

Oh shit.

Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. The picture of Silver he had was in his own jacket pocket, and with Dixon wearing it, Ethan didn't want to know what would happen if Dixon found that picture. He needed to get it back now. He took the jacket off and walked towards the DJ table where Dixon was.

"Hey, Dixon," he said getting Dixon's attention. "We, uh, we swapped our jackets," Ethan said pointing it out to the other boy. Dixon looked down and was surprised as well to notice that he wasn't wearing his own jacket. The two switched around. Ethan casually felt his jacket pocket to make sure the picture of Silver was still there. Hopefully, Dixon did not notice its presence. Ethan was praying that his friend didn't. Otherwise, hell would probably break loose.

Only she would have the courage and see the fun in jumping into a pool with an expensive prom dress on. She didn't give a damn about anyone else anymore. She enjoyed being herself whether people looked at her in a good or bad way. Not everyone had that kind of heart. He couldn't help but smile at the sight of her floating peacefully in the pool. She looked so beautiful and serene. But there was that constant sinking pit feeling in his stomach knowing that this was all he could do. He could only watch from afar. He wasn't going to start a fight or hurt anyone, so this was his resolution.

"So, how long have you had a thing for my girlfriend?" Dixon suddenly said as he stood next to Ethan. Taking him by surprise, Ethan panicked for a moment.

"What?" he asked. What just happened? Did Dixon know?

"You were looking at her, man," Dixon commented. Shit. How could he explain this?

"Now? No. I wasn't looking at Silver. I was just staring off. I think, actually, something got caught in my contact lens," Ethan said making it up as he went. He had to protect things from falling apart, even if that meant sacrifice. He didn't want to lie, but he couldn't think of any other way to fix things.

"The way you were talking about her before," Dixon referenced to prove his point. He looked at Ethan to get an answer.

"Well, come on man, I think Silver's great," he said trying to defend himself. "I mean, but, as a friend," he emphasized. "As my friend's girlfriend," he stated as well, trying to get himself to fully listen and comprehend that fact.

"You swear?" Dixon asked for confirmation.

"Of course," he replied. That was the right answer, but it wasn't the honest answer. He felt guilt rise up in him knowing it was all wrong and it was his fault. And he thought all was safe until Dixon spoke up again.

"So why do you have a picture of her in your pocket?" Dixon asked calmly even though it felt like he was going to rage at any moment. Damn. Dixon found out.

"Uh, got it for you?" he tried to lie again, but he knew Dixon wasn't going to buy it. If he was in Dixon's position, he wouldn't have bought the lie either.

"You're lying, man," Dixon said a little too calmly. Ethan was stuck, and there was nothing he could do about it. He sighed in frustration looking back out, away from his friend.

"Dixon, just let this go," he said. He feared this conversation and tried to avoid it as much as possible. But he guessed that someone was bound to notice, especially Dixon.

"So you're just going to lie to me? I thought I was your friend," Dixon said accusing Ethan.

"I am your friend. And I didn't even do anything so just back off," he stated. It was true. He hadn't done anything whatsoever. He talked to both of them and never dropped so much of a hint that he was into Silver. Maybe far away, it was obvious, but he never said anything about it or tried to break them up.

"But you wanted to. You wanted to do something," Dixon accused at him again.

"Says who?" he fired back quickly as their discussion was heating up.

"Just admit it," Dixon told him.

"Admit what?" he snapped as his voice was getting louder. He had to defend himself after all.

"Okay, you guys have to come swimming. The water's fine," Silver suddenly said as she appeared on the scene. Ethan winced a little. Now wasn't the time for her to be around, especially now when he was on the verge of breaking and spilling everything if his temper kept going. But nonetheless, he kept his stance against Dixon. He may have admitted defeat in lying and liking Silver, but he wasn't just about to let Dixon accuse him of faults that weren't his problem. The silence and tension between the two guys did not go unnoticed by Silver either. "What's wrong?" she asked looking back and forth between them.

"Don't lie to me man," Dixon repeated.

"Drop it, Dixon," he ordered.

"Admit it!" Dixon said trying to get the truth out of him.

"Drop it!"

"I mean you're King Jock, right? So man up! Admit it!" Dixon said with his voice growing louder and louder. And that was when Ethan broke. What did popularity and being athletic have to do with any of this? He was beyond annoyed and that's when he snapped.

"Fine!" he snapped. He looked over to a wide-eyed and bewildered Silver. He gathered all his courage and hope and said the four words he had been holding back for the past few weeks: "I like you, Silver."

So maybe it wasn't as momentous as it seemed, but it was a step of finally being truthful and honest about what he felt.

But the silence was the most horrifying part. He began to feel embarrassed, reminding himself that there was no possible way Silver returned these feelings he felt for her. "What?" That was her response. He felt stupid and humiliated, at himself. He brought this onto himself. She stared at him in shock and disbelief.

So he walked. He had to get out of there. It would've been too good to be true if she shared the same feelings. But he felt too humiliated to stick around. After all, they loved each other. He was just the third wheel. He wasn't wanted.

"Ethan, Ethan! Where have you been?" he suddenly hears behind him. The voice immediately registers in his head again, and he knows it's her. He knows that she wants an explanation. After confessing, he walked out of the party and had been wandering around the outskirts of Naomi's place. "What's going on? What was that?" she asked quickly, in need of answers. He urged himself to keep walking, but he couldn't take it anymore.

"I never wanted to say anything," he confessed quietly and dejectedly. He stopped walking, but he kept his back turned. He knew if he turned around, he wouldn't be able to control himself anymore. The good friend Ethan would disappear and his inner thoughts and emotions would take control of him.

"I don't know what to do with this, okay?" Silver admitted. "I mean, you're one of my best friends, but that's it, right?" she said trying to elucidate things. "We're just friends…" she commented. Her words stung his heart, and that's when he lost control. He turned around and grabbed her into a kiss.

He kissed her. He kissed her like there was no tomorrow. He poured his heart and soul into this kiss that defied everything he said before about supporting her relationship with her boyfriend. He just didn't care anymore. This was his moment. This was about him and her right now. He kissed her with yearning and passion that he never felt before with anyone else. When she pulled back, he knew he had to speak up for himself now. It was now or never.

"I don't think we're just friends," he commented in a soft but low tone, looking at her intently.

"Ethan, no," she said quietly trying to suppress whatever he was going to say.

"And I don't wanna be, just friends," he replied quickly right after she tried to speak. The pull and desire in his voice was evident as he desperately tried to get her to understand how he felt about her. "I don't think I could take it." He couldn't. He just couldn't go on pretending anymore. He wasn't just going to sit back and act as if everything was okay when it wasn't.

"I wanna be, something more," he stated looking into her eyes. "Or I don't wanna be anything." He didn't know what he would do next without. Now that the truth was out, there was no turning back. She looked pale, in shock at his words and actions. "It's up to you, Silver," he said. She seemed to be shaking, but he couldn't be entirely sure. Her eyes also seemed to shine now with tears beginning to form. She didn't want this pressure. She didn't know what to do. She hadn't seen this coming. Why? Why hadn't she seen this coming at all? Why was he making her decide? "Just think about this," he said.

"Why are you out here talking with me, instead of inside, talking to you boyfriend?" he posed. They gazed at each other deeply, both seeming to wait for an answer.

It was now or never.