Trini felt oddly nostalgic as she looked around the nearly empty apartment. It seemed tiny and bare now that the majority of her belongings had been removed, packed and sent off toward California. Even her parents, who had flown out to help her pack, were gone now. They had left a few minutes ago, planning to spend one more night at the hotel before flying back to Angel Grove with her in the morning.
In some ways, she was sad to see this chapter of her life come to an end... but she knew she also had the future ahead of her. A new job, a new apartment, and a fledgling relationship to return to; it was scary and exhilarating all at the same time. And, to be honest, she was really looking forward to the challenge.
She wandered over to the kitchen, where a small window looked out over the city. The sun was setting, dyeing the sky in shades of pink and purple, a handful of low clouds forming vibrant red streaks. She stifled a rueful smile; after all these years, the color red never failed to remind her of Jason. It was hard to believe it had been a month since she last saw him... They spoke every day on the phone, but it just wasn't the same. She sighed a bit wistfully. She missed him dearly, her heart ached dully at the very thought of him, but she knew they would be together again soon. Tomorrow, in fact.
Knowing him, she thought with a smile, he would have already wheedled her arrival time out of her parents and would be waiting to surprise her as soon as the plane touched down. Not that she would complain.
Her reverie was interrupted by a soft knock at the door.
"Did you forget something?" she asked teasingly, assuming it was her parents coming back for something they had left behind. She opened the door without even checking through the peep hole first, and her smile immediately faded. In fact, she might even have been described as slack-jawed.
"Jason?" she managed, dumbfounded.
"Hey Trini," he replied, grinning nonchalantly.
"What are you... how did you get in here?" Her apartment building required a key to get in; she had always assumed it was at least mostly secure.
He grinned. "Your parents let me in on their way out."
"They were in on this?" she groaned. And if her parents were in on it, then Kimberly probably was, too. Suddenly it all made sense: Kimberly's good-natured complaints about Jason, her parents' ability to get more packing done in only a few days than two people had a right to. She had a feeling he must have flown in with her parents, and been sneakily helping them help her all along; she really should have known to be suspicious.
"I brought pizza," he pointed out, indicating the large box he was holding in an attempt to distract her.
"Who cares about the pizza?" she asked, finally giving in to the urge to throw her arms around him. "I can't believe you're really here!"
"Of course I'm here," he said pleasantly. "I couldn't let you spend your last night here all alone, could I?"
"I like the way you think," she murmured. It was good just to be near him again.
After a long moment, Jason asked, "Are you going to let me in, or are we going to stand in the hallway all night?"
As long as she was in his arms, Trini would have been perfectly happy just about anywhere, but she sheepishly pulled away from his embrace and motioned him through the door. Her tiny, empty apartment seemed somehow cozy again with him standing beside her. It was all she could do not to grin like an idiot. She hadn't dared to think he might pull a stunt like this; it was too much to ask that he spend so much money and take time off work for her sake... and if she had to admit it, it was too ridiculously cute. But she had never felt more flattered.
No sooner had she shut and locked the door than he had pulled her into his arms, squeezing her so tightly she almost couldn't breathe. "I've missed you," he murmured into her hair.
She took a moment to hope he hadn't done anything stupid with the pizza box, then decided it didn't matter because this was her last night in this apartment anyway, and let the intrusive thoughts flow away. "I've missed you, too."
He loosened his grip to run his hands, warm and strong, over her back and shoulders. She seized the opportunity to pull him in for a kiss. Their lips met and she could feel a subtle sense of relief sweep over her, the release of a deep tension she had been trying to ignore ever since she left Angel Grove. When they pulled apart, she could see in Jason's eyes that he had sensed the shift, too. Then again, how could he not, when he was the cause of it all?
As if reading her thoughts, he smirked, then dipped her backward and kissed her again, deep and passionate. She giggled against his lips, giving him exactly the opening he'd wanted, and wrapped her arms firmly around his neck to steady herself even though she knew he would never let her fall. Desire, until that moment merely a smolder, ignited deep inside her, and she returned the kiss with all the ardor she possessed. She decided in that moment that a month without him was far too long and she should really try not to let that happen again. And that was the last thought that entered her head for a long time.
A while later, as they cuddled together on the couch in the aftermath of their lovemaking, Trini let her mind wander. She had been unsure at first, tentative and cautious in her decisions, but now her path seemed clear. The future looked bright; she had a lot to look forward to in the coming days and months.
The simple joy of spending time with old friends, the contentment that came from being in familiar places. And getting to spend time with Jason every day...She shivered in delight at the thought. When morning came, they would be heading back to Angel Grove - home - for good... but they had a whole night to enjoy together first.
Author's Note: Well, this is it. The last chapter. Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed and made sharing this story a blast!