A/N This isn't my first Spashley story but it is the first time I've posted anything here. Hope you enjoy.

Chapter 1

"I can't believe how late it is," Ashley complained to herself as she made her way home. The brunette drove frantically through the crowded streets of LA in order to avoid getting in more trouble than she was already. "Idiot, idiot, idiot," she mumbled as her commute got even worse. Ashley wasn't someone who normally talked to herself, but this occasion was a big enough disaster to warrant such a reaction.

A lot had changed for Ashley since moving in with her girlfriend. It had taken the love of a certain blonde to get her to realize that love, commitment and honesty weren't things to run away from, but things to embrace instead. But living together had presented challenges for both girls.

For Ashley, she had to get used to having Spencer around all the time, the blonde's heavy workload at school and of course there were a lot of other little things that she had to get adjusted to. Not that she was complaining though.

For Spencer she noticed immediately the difference between dating Ashley and living together. Outside of that difference, it was the first time in the blonde's life that she had to get used to doing the mundane things living at home did not require her to do. Plus when Ashley's song writing career took off the long hours that the brunette put in were taxing on both of them. There were times when it felt like she was living alone, but somehow the two girls made it work.

That's not to say things were easy, but after being back together from their high school break up both of them felt that there was nothing too big they couldn't face.

Until now that is.

The ringing of her cell phone jarred the brunette from her thoughts but when she saw who was calling a renewed sense of panic hit her like a tidal wave. Instead of being brave and facing the music, she opted to hit the ignore button on her phone like a coward.

Ashley felt like a complete tool for screwing up such an important day. Getting Spencer back was one of the happiest moments of her life and instead of marking the one year anniversary of that occasion with a bang, she had forgotten about it all together. She wondered why her girlfriend hadn't said anything that morning but Ashley reasoned that she was probably being tested in some way.

And she had failed miserably.

She didn't even bother checking the voicemail that Spencer had left because she was sure it would make her feel guiltier than she did already. There was one thing that Ashley couldn't handle, and that was seeing her girl upset. Thankfully it didn't happen often but when Spencer did happen to shed a tear or two, mostly at sappy movies, the brunette would do just about anything to make it better.

That's one of the main reasons why Ashley was freaking out. Not only did she forget what should have been a day that was embedded in her mind but she was also likely to make the one person she loved more than anything cry.

"Idiot!" Ashley repeated before punching her steering wheel out of frustration. She was only a few minutes from home and the dread she was feeling only worsened. For a moment she contemplated turning the car around and running away from her troubles but that really wasn't an option anymore.

No, the brunette knew that the only thing to do was beg for mercy and hope that Spencer had it in her heart to forgive once again. Ashley did consider stopping for flowers to show how bad she felt but decided against it at the last moment. Nothing could really make up for what she did and no amount of roses could change that.

As Ashley made the long walk from where she parked to the front door, her early bravado to do the right thing started to wane. She wondered to herself if she was always going to feel like such a screw up and a whole bunch of insecurities that she thought had been dealt with, resurfaced. On the verge of tears, the brunette made her way inside her apartment to face the music.

She shuffled through the entrance way unenthusiastically and then she let out a long sigh. This wasn't going to end well, Ashley thought to herself.

"Ash, is that you?" Spencer called out from the bedroom.

"Yeah, it's me." Ashley replied as the butterflies in her stomach intensified.

Spencer was finishing putting the laundry away so she didn't run out to say hi to the brunette. "I tried to call you to see what you wanted to do for dinner, but you didn't pick up."

"Uhm, sorry about that," Ashley replied, her voice quivering. She didn't know how much longer she could take this torture. A big part of Ashley was hoping for Spencer to start yelling at her instead of acting like nothing was wrong; it was making her feel like a giant heel.

"No big deal, we can just order in something," Spencer said as she finished the last of her chore. She never realized that doing laundry could actually be something she enjoyed. It was just another new thing about herself that she'd learned over the last year. "Are you in the mood for anything in particular?"

"Oh god," Ashley groaned when she heard the sweet tone her girlfriend was using. She was being set up, plain and simple. There was no other way to explain why the blonde wasn't confronting her with either angry words or hysterically crying. It felt to Ashley like someone was squeezing the air out of her lungs as she struggled to catch her breath.

Spencer, oblivious to the brunette's inner turmoil, decided to change the bed sheets instead of going to find out why her girlfriend hadn't come to see her yet. Ashley had a very strict rule about greeting each other with a kiss, and Spencer was more than happy to comply with it. "You ok?" the blonde eventually called out when she realized Ashley wasn't peppering her with kisses.

"Of course I'm not ok," Ashley mumbled under her breath. "I've gone and ruined what should have been a happy day because I'm a jerk and my girlfriend is making me feel like a horrible person instead of yelling at me."

"What was that?" Spencer asked as she went about her task. "I couldn't here you."

"Nothing!" Ashley replied quickly. She knew that her self-pity would only add to an already sucky situation. Instead of waiting for the inevitable waterworks that the brunette was positive were about to happen, she decided to take a more direct course of action. Without really considering the consequences of her actions, she took off towards the bedroom.

"I'm not really in the mood for pizza," Spencer commented. They'd had pizza three times the previous week and she was craving something different. "Maybe we can check out..." She never got to finish her thought because without any warning Ashley grabbed her from and then turned her around in one fell swoop. The blonde let out a yelp and when she looked at her girlfriend she couldn't figure out what was going on. "What the hell Ashley?" Spencer snapped, her heart beating furiously. "Do you have any idea how..."

"I am so sorry!" Ashley exclaimed excitedly. "You have no idea how sorry I am!" The brunette fell to her knees as tears sprung to her eyes unexpectedly. She definitely wasn't the crier in the relationship but this was different. "I wish there was a way for me to explain how absolutely sorry I am!"

Spencer frowned, she was baffled at the overreaction she was getting from Ashley. Sure, she was used to the brunette's dramatic side, but her antics seemed like they were coming out of left field. "It's ok, I know you really didn't mean to scare me."

"I scared you?" Ashley squeaked out. She was completely misreading the conversation and it was only going to get worse. "Oh god, I officially am the worst girlfriend in the world!"

"What are you talking about?" Spencer's frown deepened as her for the brunette concern grew. "Did you hit your head today?"

Ashley wiped her eyes to ensure that not one tear escaped. She was in no position to garner sympathy. Her hands clutched Spencer's waist in an effort to keep the blonde firmly in place. "I wish I could use that excuse to explain why I'm such an ass."

"You aren't an ass, you're just immature at times," Spencer countered in reference to being startled. She wasn't being insulting because as much as loved Ashley, there was no denying who was the more mature out of the two.

"An immature ass!" Ashley wailed dramatically. "I deserve nothing but your scorn and wrath. Give it to me Spence, I have it coming."

Spencer thought for a second that maybe this was some kind of role playing exercise but she soon realized that there was no hidden meaning behind the brunette's words. "Ok, I'm not trying to accuse you of anything, but are you on drugs right now?" She inquired carefully because she could think of no other explanation for Ashley's sudden and unexplained odd behavior. "I know you've been working hard and..."

"I'm not!" Ashley screeched. She didn't want drug use to be added to her list of wrong doings for the day. "I can't believe I'm screwing this up more. I didn't know that was possible."

Spencer lowered herself to the ground so she was eye level with her girlfriend. "If you're not on drugs then why don't you explain to me what is going on, from the beginning and without going all frantic on me." She cupped the brunette's cheek in an effort to calm the poor girl down. "You're not making much sense right now."

Ashley refused to keep eye contact with Spencer, she felt too much shame. "You know what's going on," she sniffed mournfully, "Don't make me say it."

It was so tempting for Spencer to laugh because even though Ashley was acting crazy there was no denying how adorable she looked. But the blonde had a feeling that laughing would only cause even more distress for her girlfriend, so Spencer kept her composure. "Ash I really have no clue what is going on. It would probably be a really good idea for you just to tell me."

"Fine!" Ashley pouted. It was clear that she couldn't catch a break even if she felt like she didn't deserve one. "But I'm doing this under protest." The brunette gathered every ounce of courage she had in her before she turned to face the love of her life. "I am so sorry, even though sorry doesn't even begin to cover how I feel, that I missed our anniversary today." Ashley said with as much sincerity as she could muster. "I'm horrible and I understand completely if you want to break up with me." She lied. The brunette had no intention of letting the best thing in her life go for any reason.

Spencer was more confused than ever. "Uhm, Ash, you didn't..."

For the umpteenth time that night, Ashley interrupted the blonde before she could finish speaking. "I know that there is no excuse I can give you to make everything better. I can't blame work, or stress or my bad memory."

Spencer tired again to cut her girlfriend off. "There's nothing to apologize for, I don't understand..."

"Jesus Chris!" Ashley exclaimed out of frustration. "Could you stop acting like a saint for one second and give me the hell I deserve." It took exactly two seconds for the brunette to realize what she had done. "Shit, Spence, I am so sorry, I can't believe I just yelled at you when the only person I'm mad at is me. I'm lower than dirt, I'm..."

When Spencer realized that she couldn't reason with Ashley or calm her down she decided to take a different approach. Her hand was clasped over the brunette's mouth in a second. "You're going to listen to what I have to say and you're going to listen carefully. Understand?"

Ashley nodded right away, she was ready to accept whatever the blonde was going to throw at her.

Spencer leaned in so her face was only inches from her wide-eyed girlfriend. "You didn't miss our anniversary." Ashley started to protest and that cause Spencer to press her hand even harder against the brunette's mouth. "Our anniversary is next week, on the 24th. Today is the 17th and you've done nothing wrong."

It took a few seconds for the news to sink in and when it did, Ashley couldn't help but feel royally embarrassed. Her cheeks reddened and she suddenly felt very warm.

Once Spencer was sure that Ashley understood she'd done nothing wrong she moved her hand back to her side. "I suppose I could take offense to the fact that you got the days mixed up," She commented with an amused look on her face. "But I think you've suffered enough."

Ashley was still struggling with how hysterical she'd gotten but after she saw how the expression on the blonde's face she decided to cut her losses and celebrate. She hadn't forgotten anything and now she could make her first anniversary with Spencer the best on record.

"There's that beautiful smile I love to see," Spencer said as she watched the brunette's whole demeanor change. "I'm glad it's back."

Ashley felt like she had won the lottery. All her worrying and freaking out had been for nothing. She jumped up from the ground, taking Spencer with her. "I love you so much!" the brunette yelled as she spun her girlfriend around. "So, so much!"

"Put me down!" Spencer ordered but she wasn't really mad. "You're making me dizzy."

"I love you, I love you, I love you!" Ashley exclaimed in between kissing the blonde. "And I'm going to make sure that next week, when it really is our anniversary, that you are treated like a queen. I'm going to shower you with so many presents you'll think it's Christmas." If she wasn't so giddy, Ashley would have noticed the frown return to her girlfriend's face. "It's been a while since I've gone on a good shopping spree and this seems like the perfect occasion."

"Hold on a second," Spencer said even though she wasn't all that keen to kill the joyful mood that Ashley was in. "I did actually want to talk to you about our anniversary." She'd been looking for the right time to bring something up with the brunette but hadn't found the right time yet.

Ashley chuckled, nothing could bring her down. "Don't worry Spence I don't expect you to go all out on me. You know I love spoiling you."

"That's the thing," Spencer started nervously. With all the drama of the last fifteen minutes she had no clue how the brunette was going to react to her suggestion. "I really wanted to try something different when it came to celebrating our first year together after all that high school stuff we went through."

"Oh, what exactly did you have in mind?" Ashley asked with a naughty tone in her voice. She liked where the conversation was going. "You know I'm open to any kind of adventure you were thinking about."

Spencer gave the brunette a shot across the shoulder. "Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm trying to be serious here."

"Sorry, sorry." Ashley replied as she put her arms around Spencer. "Please go on."

"I was thinking instead of buying gifts this year it would be better for us to put real thought into what we get each other." Spencer explained. "I know money is no object for you but it is for me and I want our presents to have meaning."

Ashley kissed the tip of the blonde's nose. "I think diamonds have a lot of meaning."

"Ashley!" Spencer was running low in the patience department. "I am one hundred percent not joking right now. Instead of buying gifts I think it would be best if we made each other something that came from the heart, something original."

"Whatever you want, baby." Ashley was too distracted by the bullet she dodged so she didn't really hear what her girlfriend had said. "All I want is for you to be happy."

Spencer was amazed at how much better her idea had gone over than she originally thought. She'd been sure that the brunette was going to put up a big fuss and she was glad that she had agreed so readily. "You're the best!"

"No, you're the best." Ashley giggled in between Spencer kisses. "And I love you with..."

If Ashley thought she was in trouble before that didn't compare to the impending doom she felt at that moment. Spencer expected her to come up with a meaningful, original gift that she had to make with her own two hands. "Fuck me," the brunette muttered without thinking.

"Later." Spencer beamed, she was so excited that Ashley had gone for her idea. "Let's figure out what we're having for dinner first."

The blonde took off for the kitchen and while normally Ashley would have enjoyed the view, only one thought was running through her head.

I am so screwed...