A/N: Wow. The last chapter; I can't believe it. This is all future Paystin point of view and a couple flash backs, so I hope you Paystin fans enjoy it. Also, a couple months ago, while MIOBI was still on air, someone asked me if one of the episodes was going to effect the outcome of this story, and this chapter answers your question: yes. By the way, Bold=2012, Regular=2025.
Disclaimer: I do not own Make It or Break It.
During their much-needed day off from the Rock, Austin reclined on one of the seats of their kitchen table, doing some paperwork, as Payson sat upright because she was holding their three-month-old son.
They turned around as they hear their two eldest children, Addison and Liam, come out from God –knows- where. "Hey, you two, that was quite a long nap you took."
Addison and Liam smiled as they took site of how their family should be, and how their parents usually look like. "No. We weren't sleeping. You wont believe where we went!" Liam ran and sat on his dad's empty lap. It might have been a couple hours to Austin, but it was a week to him and that was a while.
"Where?" Austin asked.
"Really…," their parents said, obviously amused with this situation.
The five- year old began to use her hands to elaborate while she explained. "Yeah, it was so cool! We went into a time machine. A really, really big one. And we ended up in this place and we had to convince Mommy that we were us. Then, me, Liam, and mom went to go look for Daddy and had to convince him, too, and Daddy was acting mean and you and him got into a big, big fight," she takes a deep breath before continuing, "Then he was nice again, and you guys kept fighting a lot during the week and, eww, kept kissing other people. But then everyone lived happily ever after and now we're back. The End," she said, ending off with one of her adorable smiles. "Oh yeah, and Daddy fed Liam lobster."
Payson gasped, exaggeratedly, trying to make Addie's story sound like one she hasn't heard before. "Wow, what a story!"
Liam finally spoke up and said quietly to his mother, "Mommy, I saw Daddy kissing Aunt Kaylie."
Payson and Austin both chuckle as they exchange glances. "It's okay. I forgive him."
"Why don't you two go upstairs and get some rest. You've done a lot for a few hours," Payson suggested.
"What? We've been gone for a week! Not a few hours," Addie corrected.
"Uh-huh. Well then, looks like you really need to get your brains back into this time period. Go to your rooms."
They finally succumbed, and headed to their rooms. Meanwhile, Payson and Austin couldn't even hide the amusement on their faces. "You know they're telling the truth, right?"
He nodded as he says, "Well, it's not exactly rocket science," he said.
"I still can't believe it's been thirteen years."
"Crazy, right? We went through a lot that week."
"…like how you almost killed our son," Payson reminded.
"You are never going to let that go, are you? I told you, at the time, I didn't know he was allergic to seafood," he defended.
She rolled her eyes as she continued to reminisce on the old days. "Remember how we got together?"
He smirked, sitting up straighter. "Of course. I seem to remember exactly that you came on to me," he joked.
Payson lifted an eyebrow before saying, "Actually I remember everything exactly, and I seemed to recall that you came on to me, not the other way round."
Maybe she was right, but even like old times, he likes to mess with her. "When do you think everything really started?"
It didn't even take Payson a second to think about her response. "Definitely after you yelled at me."
"I didn't yell at you."
Payson chuckled. "Yes, you did. I remember it clearly. It was a week after Addie and Liam had left. "
2012— 1 Week Later
Kaylie was a mess. A complete mess. Her boyfriend had just blamed her for his ruined chances of going to the Olympics. The minute she came back, Payson was worried and asked her what was wrong. She had finally patched her friendship up with Lauren, and she came back to this. Kaylie could barely speak, and Payson could only hear bits and pieces, a lot of them were Austin's name.
Payson had heard enough, so she made her way to Austin's dorm to find out what exactly was going on.
Going into his dorm room, Payson first noticed that his side of his dorm room was completely empty of his belongings. She then realized Austin was furiously packing his clothes. She had so many questions to ask to clear up her confusion, so she started with the easiest one. "Austin, where are you going?"
"Home," he said.
"Wh-What's going on? Why are you leaving, and why was Kaylie crying?"
"I'm out. I got cut, and it's because I've been so distracted, and she's one of the main reasons."
"How could you say that, Austin? Kaylie loves you, and you love her. You know that."
He didn't answer for a moment, as he began packing again. "Well, I went off on her, then broke up with her. And don't try to convince me to patch things up cause I'm not. I'm tired of being known as Mr. Austin Fucking Cruz. I'm done."
She didn't bother to question what that meant, but intended on focusing back to the part where he told her that he got cut. "Austin, I'm so sorry. You can always try for next time," she suggested, "It's not the end. Just don't blame this on Kaylie."
"Payson, this might have been my only chance! I even took listened to your stupid theory that I could 'peak twice.'"
Payson sighed, "You can peak twice, Austin, just believe in yourself."
He turned around; a look on his face that made her feel so bad for him. Even though he made her so mad when she found out that he blamed this on Kaylie, she couldn't help feel for him. She couldn't imagine what she would do if her dreams ended that day. "Is that the only reason you came over here? Just to ask what happened."
It was the only reason she came over here, but she might had well told him her news now. She didn't even know why she was telling him this, but it slipped out. "I had sex with Rigo." She really didnt understand her reasoning for telling him; maybe it was for his acceptance of her decision. She valued his opinions greatly. Unfortunetly, his opinion wasn't one that she exactly wanted to hear.
Immediately, he was confused. For an instant, he had forgotten everything that had happened today. His main focus was now on Payson. "What?" The first thing he could think of was that it wasn't consensual. "Did he?... I'm going to kill him."
"Wait. Austin, relax. I wanted to do it. I was the one who kind of… initialed it."
He couldn't even think straight. The day was just getting worse and worse with more unpleasant surprises. One of the best male gymnasts right now gets cut from the team, and Payson Keeler has sex? What the hell was going on? "You're joking right? After all that has happened. After all we talked about, you go ahead and do something as stupid as this. I mean, haven't you learned anything from Emily?"
Payson frowned. "It wasn't stupid! We were safe. And why do you even care?"
"Dammit, Payson! Do you hear yourself right now? I care because, believe it or not, I care about you! You've known this guy for a month! A fucking month, Pay!"
She sighed before trying to explain her reasoning to him. "I know, and I understand Rigo and I aren't going to end up together in the long run. But Austin, yesterday, I fell in love. I realized that maybe I never loved Max in the first place. I didn't know what love was back then, but I think I do now."
"You think you do now? Payson, I may not know what love is but I can bet my life that you don't know, either. What happened to your supposed promise to not have sex til you had your gold medal, huh?"
"Some promises are meant to be broken. This is my decision, Austin, not yours."
Disbelief and disgust was written all over his face as he answered, "Who are you?"
She folded her arms over her chest. Outrage spilled all over her, as well. "Who am I? Who are you? The Austin Tucker I know usually encourages this type of stuff."
"I never encouraged it. Yes, maybe I should be the last person talking. But while being here, I've changed my perspective on a lot of things," he explained, "I'm the same guy, but I've changed. While being here, you've clearly changed for the worst."
Payson couldn't help but be taken aback. "What's that suppose to mean? People change, Austin, " she said sternly.
"Change is good, Payson, but you cant go ahead and start changing for the worst. Payson you were fine just the way you were. If he's a real man, he'll respect your values and not try to change them."
"He did respect my values."
"Oh, really? Because if he really did, he would never have let you go against them. What happened to the Payson who never let a guy define who she was? What happened to the strong, focused, and independent Payson who inspired me to work harder in everything?"
"She's still here."
"No. I thought she was, but I guess not." He took the handle of his suitcase and rolled it to the door.
Before closing the door, he turned back and said, "Oh and Payson, if she ever happens to come back, tell her that I hope she makes it through. I know she can do it."
Austin didn't know what made him go off like that; most of that speech had been bottled up inside him for the past couple of weeks. This just made him explode, and a large part of Payson couldn't blame him. She knew what she had to do.
"Then again, we didn't get together until long after that had happened."
"Yeah but one thing led to another and another….and another…"
"You did apologize to Kaylie, right—for yelling at her? Cause, you know, you were a real asshole that day."
"Great language around the baby, Pay," he said, giving her a sarcastic round of applause. "And yes, I apologized to Kaylie. I explained to her what I was feeling and told her I had no right to say what I said," he explained. Payson nodded as he continued, "Though, that doesn't mean that I didn't mean what I said to you."
"I know, I know. You could have said it a little nicer, though," she smirked, "I still think you were totally jealous of Rigo and I."
"Why in the world would I be jealous of you and Rico?"
"Austin," she began, "It was so obvious. And after being married to you for six years, I know all the signs and you were definitely jealous," she teased.
"That's impossible. I was in love with Kaylie, remember?"
"Yes, Austin, people in China knew you were in love with Kaylie," she joked. "But you still hated seeing Rigo with me. I'm not stupid."
"Whatever you say," he said in a singsong voice. "Anyway, whatever I had said obviously flicked a switch in your brain, considering what you did that day."
2012—1 Hour Later
Nobody apart from her coach or her family had been that honest with her. It was a shock. Either people weren't comfortable being that honest with her before, or there wasn't much to be honest about. She didn't like to believe the former, so she forced herself to believe the latter, which wasn't so good either.
She didn't want to even consider that Austin was right, but if he wasn't then why was she feeling so bad?
She started to then reevaluate her time there at the USATC in perspective to Austin's argument. Maybe she did change for the worst.
Even only a couple months ago, she would never have slept with a guy who she only knew for a month, whether she loved him or not. Did she jump into a relationship too fast in the first place? And if she did, why? She then realized that maybe, just maybe, she wasn't in love with Rigo after all. She might not have even been in love with Max. Maybe she was in love with the idea of being in love.
It was then that she realized, she had to do what she had to do.
After spending an hour contemplating about everything, she called Rigo to meet up with her at the coffee hut, where they first met.
Giving him a small kiss, they sat down at one of the tables, which also happened to be the table they sat at the day they first met. It was official; she was retracing her steps… literally.
The heavy rain had finally cleared up and it was now very light rain. They made small talk and after concluding that it was just an awkward, the couple stayed silent.
"Did you need to tell me something?" he asked.
"Do you know actually when I broke my back?"
He was confused. It was a question out of the blue that he didn't understand where the hell it came from. "Um… not exactly. But what does that have to do with anything?"
"Did you know I grew an inch after I came back from my injury, and had to start from the ground up?"
"Erm… I knew you became an artistic gymnast, but no, I didn't know that."
"I don't blame you. I know you have an older brother, I know you're a BMX rider trying to go to the Olympics, and I know a lot of other little details about you, but I don't know you, Rigo. I don't know what you've been through, and you don't know any of the major stuff that I've been through. We've been on three actual dates, and I know the amount of information I should know about someone I've known for a month."
Conflict tumbled in his belly. "Wh-Where is this even coming from?"
"Rigo, you fell in love with the wrong girl," she simply said. She hated to say it, especially after she just lost her virginity to him, but it was true and she wished she had realized it sooner. "I'm not the girl who sleeps with a guy after a month, I've never been and I don't want to start being that girl. I'm not the type of girl who turns down training to meet up with a guy, and I'm definetely not one to lose an ounce of focus."
"I don't understand. What are you saying?"
"Rigo, I care about you; I really do. Maybe I don't love you, like I thought I did, but I really do care about you. You've made me find myself. By being with you, I lost myself and by realizing that, I've found myself. The thing is, Rigo, I'm Payson Keeler, and I don't want to change that. "
He quickly took her hands and said, "Payson, we can...we can work this out. Let me get to know the real you."
"You can't," she began, in a concerned voice. "If you fell in love with who I became, you're not going to fall in love with who I am."
With that, she got up from her seat and started walking away. Before leaving, she turned her head, "Bye Rigo."
"You know, if it weren't for the kids we might not even be together. Weird to think about, right?" Payson said.
"I don't think it would have made a difference."
She tiled her head in confusion as she asked, "What do you mean?"
"Payson, you're my soul mate. I would have fallen in love with you regardless."
She couldn't help but smile after that. Even after all the years Austin has been with her, her blushes never get old. "I love you, Austin Tucker and that'll never change."
Author's Note: And it's a wrap. Thanks everyone who read this story. I had alot of fun writing it, and I hope you all enjoyed reading it.
Paystin fans: If you dont know already, I have a Paystin Romance still in progress; you should go read it!