Alright guys, it's finally here. For all you readers asking for a sequel to Rings and Robes, I've finally finished it and I hope you enjoy it. You should know the only reason it finally got done is because I've been sitting home sick for the past four days and i desperately needed something to do; so, it was either this or read Pride and Prejudice again.
Anyways, I hope you all enjoy it!
Fireworks and Fiancés
Blue polyester graduation caps fell down from the sky as cheers erupted throughout the football field where the Rosewood graduating class of 2012 had just been announced. With diplomas in hand and everyone dismissed, the field turned into a collection of parents, graduates and other relations as everyone made their way to their families.
Hanna, Spencer, Emily and Aria managed to meet up somewhere in the middle of the mess. Hanna walked up to the other three, practically ripping the robe off.
"Uh! Can we burn these things now?"
"But you make such a cute blueberry." Caleb said coming up behind her, his own robe already unzipped.
"Bite your tongue!" Hanna said, slapping him playfully.
"Don't worry, Hanna." Spencer said. "You can rip it to shreds and burn it in the fireplace in celebration. Because we just graduated!"
The group erupted in cheers.
"Well, I have to find my mom." Caleb said, giving Hanna a kiss on the cheek. "See you at the party." He walked off, leaving the girls alone.
"Oh my god, I can't believe we graduated!" Aria said.
"It feels like it's finally over." Emily said.
"Yeah, like we're finally moving on from everything that happened." Hanna said.
"Yeah, literally," Spencer said, nudging Hanna with her shoulder. "I can't believe you're moving to California."
"Hey, I'm not the only one moving for college. Emily's going to Danby and you're going to Yale."
"Yeah, but we're all still relatively close." Emily said. "You'll have to catch a plane just to visit us. Plus, we all know you're really moving to be with Caleb."
"Well, he deserves to get to know his mom. I've known my family my whole life and I think some distance with us might be a good thing. Besides, I'm not the only one moving for a relationship." Hanna said, eyeing Aria.
"Okay, I'm moving into his apartment which is a 20 minute drive from my parents house, not on the other side of the country."
"I can't believe your parents are actually going along with it. They weren't upset when you told them you were moving in with Ezra?" Emily asked.
"Actually, they seemed to have been expecting it. Once they saw our relationship was serious, they started to warm up to the idea and now it's almost like nothing was ever wrong with it."
The group turned to see Ezra Fitz waving his hand in the air and coming their way. Aria turned back to the others. "I'll see you guys at the party." Aria said before running to her boyfriend and jumping in his arms.
The others looked on adoringly.
"They're so cute together," Hanna said.
"So is Ezra proposing at the party?" Spencer grilled.
"I don't know," Hanna said. "He won't tell me anymore since I caught him buying the ring."
"Maybe he just wants it to be a surprise?" Emily said.
"Well, it's not going to be a surprise to any of up if she tells us he proposed. I want to see her reaction."
"We'll just have to wait for the party," Spencer said.
In the meantime the couple had completely drowned out their surroundings as Ezra gave her a sweet kiss on the lips. "Congratulations, Beautiful," he said. "How does it feel to be a graduate?"
"Not much different then being a High School student, other than now maybe we won't get stared at out in public."
"Well, the stares have gone down as of recently, but we're going to get stared at more here than anywhere else," he said giving a quick glance around to see some of his former students and Aria's classmates watching them.
Aria looked too. "They'll get over it," she said. "Where are my parents and Mike?" she asked. "I saw you sitting with them."
"They left early to try and beat the rush out. They said they'll meet is at the Hasting's. I think they wanted to give us a few hours alone." He gave her another kiss before pulling her out of the crowds. They went over to his apartment to wait out the next few hours til the party, spending most of the time watching old movies and trying to figure out where all of Aria's clothes would go when she moved in. With twenty minutes to six, Aria touched up her make-up and they headed over to the Hastings' Manor, where they met up with Ella, Byron and Mike. Hanna and Spencer were already there as well as Caleb with his mom. Hanna and Spencer's dads were getting the grill ready while Caleb was taking directions from Ashley and his mom on where to put the 'Congrats Grad' banner. The others had gathered in the kitchen where Ella and Victoria were preparing the rest of the food. The doors to the backyard open to let people come and go.
Emily soon showed up with her parents, her dad immediately going to the backyard to help with the grill and Pam to the kitchen.
Conversation moved towards the girls and their future plans for college.
"Aria, you're really staying home for college with all the other girls running away?" Pam asked.
"Well, I'm going to Hollis, but I'm not exactly staying home," she explained. "I'm moving in with Ezra a couple weeks before the fall semester starts."
"Oh? How do your parents feel about that?" Pam said, looking at Byron and Ella.
"We're okay with it actually." Byron said. "Not that it matters. I have a feeling they'd move in together whether we were okay with it or not."
"That's true," Aria said.
"But that doesn't mean we don't appreciate you support, Byron," Ezra added.
The conversation moved on and soon Aria excused herself to the restroom.
Hanna took the opportunity.
"So, Fitzy, are you going to propose tonight?"
"Hanna," Ezra sighed.
"You're proposing?" Pam asked. "Well, no wander you two are so loose about them moving in together."
"Oh, Pam," Ella said, "You know we're not like that, but you should see the ring, it's gorgeous!"
Hanna looked at Ezra. "Do you have the ring?"
"Hanna, you've already seen it."
"Yeah, but Spencer and Emily haven't, and as her best friends, you should ask their opinions."
"That's true, Ezra," Spencer said.
"We do know her best," Emily added.
"Well, I'm sure you'll both see the ring soon enough." He said finishing off his coke. "I hope." He stared into his empty glass before turning to Victoria. "Can I have a scotch?"
She laughed a little before going to get his drink.
"Relax, Ezra," Byron said. "After what you two have been through, and I am sorry for my own part in that," he said. "I can't imagine her saying 'no'."
"Well, I'm glad you're confident."
Footsteps were heard on the stairs, stopping the conversation as everyone looked to Aria.
She stared back at them confused, "What?"
Victoria handed Ezra his scotch and he thanked her. Aria took a few more steps down the stairs. "What's going on?" she said.
"Nothing," Ezra said, taking a sip of his drink.
"You're drinking scotch," she said.
"So, you only drink scotch when you're worried about something."
"I'm not worried about anything."
Just then, Peter Hastings was heard outside.
"Spencer, Toby's here!" Spencer was making her way to the back door when Toby came bursting in with a huge smile on his face.
"I got the job!" he said.
"I got the construction job in New Haven. I'll be moving there in a few weeks!"
"Oh my God!" Spencer yelled and hugged him. They laughed and parted. "I'll be making a great living and you can go to school and concentrate on that and we'll still see each other everyday. We can even move in together because the job's only a few miles from Yale. That's only if you want to though."
"Of course I want to!" Spencer said giving him another hug.
The group cheered and everyone gave their congratulations to the couple before heading outside and telling them. More congratulations were given as the guys started cooking up hotdogs and hamburgers for the group.
Food and easy conversation past the hours away and tiki torches were lit in the backyard. The town always had a firework display on the night of graduation and everyone was looking forward to it. The party split into smaller groups. The parents were in one group, the boys, meaning Caleb, Toby, Mike and Ezra made another and the newly graduated liars last, but while in separate groups, the conversation led to members of the other, and eventually, Aria's curiosity got the better of her.
"Okay, seriously, what happened while I was in the bathroom?" she said.
"What do you mean?" Spencer said.
"He only drinks scotch when he's worried about something."
"Maybe he's just nervous," Emily said with a smile.
"Em," Spencer cautioned.
"What do you mean by that?"
"What she means is you're not in high school anymore," Hanna said, "and no one could blame Fitzy for popping the question now?"
"Hanna," Spencer reproved again. Trying to get her friends to keep a secret like this was a wasted effort. However, it seemed unnecessary as Aria just laughed it off.
"Come on guys, don't get my hopes up."
"You don't think he'll ask?" Emily questioned.
"That's not it. I'm sure he will, and I want him to, but I don't want to be expecting anything before it happens."
Hanna gave a 'humph' before leaving the group and heading towards the guys.
"Hanna, what are you doing?" Aria called after her.
"I just want to talk to him a bit." She said before reaching the guys and tapping Ezra on the shoulders. He turned and they started talking while Aria turned towards Spencer.
"What are they talking about?"
Spencer didn't have an answer.
In the meantime, Hanna had completely cornered Ezra.
"Okay, the suspense is killing me. When are you going to propose?"
"Hanna, would you just let me do this?" He was trying to keep the conversation quiet enough for the guys not to hear, though they all know he was proposing tonight.
"Okay, but you better do it soon. She's really starting to wander what's bugging you. Plus the fireworks are going to start pretty soon and once they're over everyone is going to be going home."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"If you don't propose to her at the party, I won't be able to see her face."
"Dude, don't even try to argue with her," Caleb said from behind him. "It's completely useless."
"Thank you," Hanna said to Caleb over Ezra's shoulder "Now," she said, her attention back to Ezra, "I expect you to propose soon." She turned and walked back to the girls.
Ezra turned back to the guys and spoke to Caleb. "You have the most demanding girlfriend ever," he said before taking a sip of his scotch. Caleb just shrugged.
Upon her arrival back to the group, Hanna was immediately questioned by Aria.
"What did you talk to him about?"
Hanna smiled. "I thought you didn't want to get your hopes up."
Aria grew irritated. "Hanna, if you said anything…"
"Oh, never mind," she said before heading over to the guys and tapping Ezra on the shoulder.
He turned around and smiled when he saw her.
"Hey," she said back. "Look, I'm sorry if Hanna said something weird to you. We were talking and she got this crazy notion in her head."
Ezra laughed. "Don't worry," he said. "She didn't say anything too weird."
"Good." She said, "Now maybe you can tell me what you're worrying about."
"What makes you think I'm worrying about something?"
Aria took the glass from him and held it up. "Plus, you just avoided the question. So there has to be something bothering you."
Ezra looked at the glass, then back at Aria. He sighed.
"What the hell," he said, taking the glass back from her to take one last sip. He left the scotch on a nearby table and took Aria's hand, pulling her towards a dimmer section of the yard, a bit further away from the party atmosphere.
The other little liars watched from afar as Aria and Ezra talked for a few moments, her hands held in his.
"Can you hear them?" Emily asked Hanna.
"No, and we're not going to. They'll see us if we get too close."
"I think we all have a general idea of what's being said," Spencer said.
"That's not the point," Hanna said.
"Shat up, something's happening," Emily shushed them as they watched Ezra pull something out of his pocket. He held it up for Aria to see. Aria's right hand flew to her mouth in surprise. Ezra still held her left hand as he popped the lid open on the box. Her eyes grew wide and teary as she looked inside.
The liars watched in anticipation as Ezra said her name.
"Aria?" She looked up at him, her mouth forming a small, hopeful smile and her hand covering her pounding heart. "Will you marry me?"
Aria's smile grew wider as happy tears started streaming down her cheeks. Everyone heard her exclamation of 'yes' and turned to the couple in time to see them kiss passionately. Happy praise was heard through the Hastings's backyard before the boom of fireworks overhead broke the couple's kiss and distracted everyone else.
Aria and Ezra looked back at each other and Ezra slipped the ring on her finger before kissing her again, as the fireworks continued to dance in the night sky.
Well, there you go! I know some of you may have been expecting some big romantic Ezra speech and the get-down-on-one-knee bit, but to be honest it just didn't seem to flow with the story, and I find the liars banter more fun to write anyway.
Hope you enjoyed it and I always love feedback. Please review!