Disclaimer: South of Nowhere and the characters affiliated with it belong to Tom Lynch and The N. I own nothing but my own plot twists.
A/N: Ahh it's finally here, the finale. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me through it all. So many thanks are sent your way. And so I bid you ado and good reading :D
-And always: Thank you to my lovely readers and reviewers and everyone who adds me or this story to their favorites!!!!
Special thanks to my most loyal reviewrs: WillowOn3, ROCK. , Galmil, and xEyeKissedAGirlx. You guys seriously made my day with all of your awesome reviews. Thanks again :)
Chapter 24: Epilogue
"Every time I try to rise above
I'm swept away by love
Baby I can't help it
You keep me drowning in your love."
"I'm sorry, I just…I was…See I just came to-" I heard Ashley stammer as she tried to explain something to an unknown person. My eyes felt too heavy with sleep and exhaustion to open and I was too tired to particularly care who she was taking to.
"It's ok, Ashley." A familiar voice assured my girlfriend. Mom??!! I don't know why I was so surprised, she was a doctor after all. They do tend to be in hospitals. My eyes quickly opened after figuring out her identity.
Ashley went on as if she hadn't heard my mom. "I know that it is past hours and everything, but I just wanted to make sure she was ok, and she begged me to stay and I just didn't want to leave her when I couldn't check up on her," Ashley rambled on, causing me to smile at her cute nervousness. "Not that I think the hospital staff can't do their job, because I'm sure they do great," she hastily reassured my mom. "And I know you're a doctor and will make sure Spencer is taken care of and I…yeah," she finally dropped off.
"Ashley," my mom said, and I could hear the smirk in her voice, "it's ok. I saw you when I came in about two hours ago, and I told the staff to allow it."
I'm sure both mine and Ashley's eyes widened in surprise. "You-you did?" she asked in amazement.
"Yes. Why would I tell you to come here and then kick you out?"
"You…you told me to come here? I'm confused," Ashley said unsurely. I was just thankful for that semi-darkness that hid my opened eyes. I didn't want them to be alert of my presence yet.
"The text," my mom explained.
Ashley was taken aback. "That was you?" she asked incredulously.
"Ashley," my mom sighed, "I know we don't have the best relationship, but I knew how much Spencer would want you here." She sounded strangely resigned.
"I…I don't know what to…wow… Thanks, Pa- um, Mrs. C." I looked and saw Ashley nervously shuffling her foot on the floor. "Is she…is she going to be ok?" she said after a moment.
A surprisingly caring look appeared on my mom's face, and she walked over to where Ashley was and put her hands on Ashley's shoulders. "Yeah, she'll be fine," my mom assured her. "She's just going to need to stay in here for a few days so she can get a couple shots and get some medicine. That's all."
"I…I," Ashley said softly, and I was surprised to hear her crying. "Thanks," she whispered brokenly and then threw herself onto my mom in a tight hug.
"You're welcome sweetie," my mom answered just as softly, her arms going around the brunette to comfort her. "Besides," my mom said with a smile as they broke apart, "you're the one who gets to hold Spencer's hand while she gets her shots. And just so you know, she's a big baby and has got one hell of a grip."
I heard Ashley's broken laugh and saw her smile back at my mom in gratitude. "That's more than fine. I brought an iron glove just in case."
I felt myself laugh lightly, which of course turned into an all out cough fest. "Spence?" my mom questioned.
Busted. "Um, sleeping?" I tried out.
"Really?" Ashley asked amused as she walked over to my bed. "Then why aren't you snoring?"
"Hey," I acted affronted, "I'm sick, be nice to me," I said as I gave a fake, pitiful cough. I turned and pointed to my laughing mom. "You too," I chastised.
My mom put her hands up in innocence and walked over and gave me a kiss on my forehead. "I've got to go chart you. I'll be back later. Get some sleep," she ordered softly with a significant glance to Ashley.
"Aye, aye, Paula," Ashley saluted. "So that was completely weird!" Ashley exclaimed as my mom left.
I shared a surprised look with Ashley. "You don't need to tell me. I'm still trying to figure out who spiked my mom's tea and what they put in it."
"My guess is valium," Ashley joked, making me hit her softly. "Good thing we're in a hospital and they can fix up my broken arm," she teased lightly.
"You love the abuse. It just shows I care," I countered with a smile.
"You know what I love even more?" she asked as she kissed my hand softly. "A healthy Spencer."
I laughed lightly. "Well if you keep hanging around me, you're going to be an unhealthy Ashley," I pointed out. "Unless they changed the meaning of viral."
"Well," she considered for a moment, "then I get to wear that sexy gown and you get to come take care of me," she said with a bright smile. "Sounds good to me. It's a win-win. Oh yeah!" she said suddenly as she walked over to the windowsill. "I got you something."
I tried looking behind her back where my present was hiding, giving a pout when she wouldn't show me. "What is it?" I asked excitedly.
"It's-" she paused for dramatic effect. "-a happy walrus!" she whipped out the stuffed animal and had it give me a kiss. I couldn't help the smile that made its way on my face- I loved her goofiness.
"I'm going to have a whole zoo by next year," I teased, but I happily hugged him to me and gave her a big smile.
"Ah, you know you love Wally," Ashley cooed with a smile, apparently deciding to name the Walrus that. She had such an eloquent, clever way with names.
"Oh I do," I assured her with a nod. "I'm just worried about what happens when all the animals you give me decide to rebel and go all Gulliver's Travels on me." I playfully regarded Wally for a few seconds, staring into his marble eyes as I tried to ascertain his true motives.
Ashley waved off my words. "Nah, I had a talk with Wally before. He knows the consequences." She pointed a stern finger at Wally.
"I don't know," I said in an unconvinced tone. "His other mommy is leaving him. I know how I get when she's not around, so I hope his isn't that bad."
Ashley gave me a sweet look and leaned in to kiss me. I quickly intercepted the kiss by shoving Wally in her face. "H-hey," she sputtered with a laugh as she brushed fur off of her lips.
I shrugged innocently and gave her a beaming smile. "I've already bragged about his mommy's kisses. He just wanted a sample," I pouted lightly.
"Well if I wanted fur on my lips I just would have gone and kissed you on the lips," she
countered with a smile.
"Ha ha," I fake laughed and rolled my eyes. I looked at Ashley absently stroking Wally's fur and I couldn't help but smile.
"What?" Ashley asked softly as she saw me smiling at her.
I put a hand over hers and smiled wider as she intertwined our fingers. "I just love how sweet you are, that's all."
Ashley smiled and looked down shyly. She lifted her head back up and met my eyes. "Only for you," she told me truthfully.
"Good," I told her seriously before taking Wally from her and snuggling him into my side. "Night Ash," I breathed into the night.
"Good night, Spence," she said softly, giving me a kiss. "And good night, Wally." She leaned back down and gave the walrus a loud kiss. I smiled at her tenderly and traced her cheek briefly in adoration before a medicated sleep overcame me.
I woke up some of the times that my mom came in the room to check on me. Ashley was in a chair that she had scooted over to sit right by my bed. I wouldn't let her sleep in the bed with me for fear of her getting sick- and not to mention the fear that my mom wouldn't be that lenient.
Sometimes I made soft conversation with my mom as not to disturb the gorgeous brunette slumbering next to me. Mostly I was content to feign sleep and watch my mom in her element.
The first time I woke up from her coming in was around one in the morning. I peered at her through half opened eyes, watching her flit about the room and check my vitals and other doctor stuff I didn't understand. I was about to close my eyes when I heard her open the closet door.
I glanced over there in interest and was surprised to see my mom pulling a blanket out. She walked over to my bed and I quickly shut my eyes and tried to fake deep, even breathing until she left.
Expecting to feel the blanket on me, I opened my eyes in confusion when I didn't see it on my bed. I felt myself tear up and a get a watery smile as I saw where the blanket had ended up.
Ashley mumbled incoherent words and pulled the blanket tighter around her body before her slow breathing once again filled the room. I looked up at the ceiling of my room and couldn't help but feel so many things. Overwhelment, love, happiness, surprise; it was all there.
It all morphed into one as I thought about my mom. She wasn't exactly pulling out her rainbow t-shirt yet, but I knew that she was at least starting to buy the buttons.
As I continued to stare at the ceiling, I felt faith. As I looked out the window, I felt hope. And as I looked at Ashley beside me, I felt love.
My house, school, the hospital. It didn't matter where I was, as long as Ashley was there. Because where Ashley was, my heart was. And where my heart was, my whole life was.
My life-the pool of life. You can float by and act like nothing effects you. You can swim and try to fight the inevitable. But me? I think I don't mind sinking so much now, because the pool I'm in…it's bottomless. And I'm content with drowning because I realized that's what I've been doing this whole time. I don't need to surface to breathe because that's precious seconds wasted that I'll never get back. So I'll spend my life being surrounded by life. I'll spend my life drowning.
And did I mention this before? Well let me say it now. Thank God for new schools!
I have another WIP called Invisible. I'm trying to get further along in it before I post it, so stay tuned ;) Also feel free to check out Change- a one shot I recently posted.