A/N: The italics are flashbacks.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pretty Little Liars. It belongs to Sara Shepard.
Pretty Little Liars
It was a picture perfect holiday. A husband, a wife, a son, and a daughter all gathered around the kitchen table with a golden turkey in front of them. That was the only part of this scene that was perfect. The husband looked like he had aged ten years within the past six months. The wife could barely look at the child who sat across from her. The son stared down at his food, an angry aroma around him. The daughter looked at all of them, a sad look on her face.
Courtney pulled her coat closer to her body as she watched her family through the window. She didn't understand why the family wasn't celebrating, why they weren't happy. After all, it had been she who had cleared Ali's name. It had been she who had led them to the right killer. They should be thanking her, only they didn't know it had been her who did all of that. They should be thankful, at least, that Ali was not loner suspected of murder and that they were able to be a somewhat normal family.
With a sigh, the blond girl turned away from the house and walked down the street towards where a car sat idling. She crawled in and glanced at the boy in the driver's seat. It wasn't right for her to take all of the credit, she realized. Without Ian, she never would have been able to pull it off. He loved Ali, even though he would no longer admit it. Courtney had figured that much out whenever she had asked for his help. At one time, he would have said that he had feelings for her twin sister, but not after everything that had happened.
"Ready?" Ian asked after a moment of silence.
"Ready," Courtney replied with a sigh.
Ian pulled away from the curb and moved on to their next destination. The Fields house sat empty now and Courtney wore a sad smile as they drove past it. The family had left as soon as they had learned that their daughter had been the one to kill Spencer Hastings. The fact that Emily had killed Spencer didn't exactly upset Courtney; it was the fact that she had ruined two families in the process.
They drove on towards the Montgomery home. Lights were ablaze and Courtney was able to see Aria and Hanna within. Noel and Mike stood near the tree, engrossed in conversation. Ian stopped by the curb on the opposite side of the road and turned off the engine. The two sat in silence for several moments before Courtney opened the door and stepped out and walked across the street, her boots sinking in the snow.
She took a deep breath and knocked on the door. Ali, Aria, and Hanna hadn't spoken since Ali's name had been cleared and Courtney knew that they needed to make amends. She also knew that this wouldn't happen unless someone intervened.
Or if someone just decided to pretend to be Ali. Courtney was actually Ali, so she would be playing the part of herself playing the part of Courtney. She closed her eyes, getting a headache just from thinking about it. When she opened it again, Aria stood in front of her, staring at her.
"Hey," Courtney said, giving her a slight smile. Aria's expression didn't change.
"Hi," Aria flatly said. Courtney put her hands into her coat pocket and looked at the other girl.
"Can I come in? I want to talk to you and Hanna."
"What, run out of people to lie to?" Hanna asked as she walked up behind Aria. Courtney looked at her and then at Aria.
"I came to apologize for my behavior. I know that I've ruined lives and that I've lied to you countless times, but you must know that it was never to hurt you. Okay, well, no, sometimes it was on purpose, but for the most part I really was trying to protect you from one another. If you hadn't entrusted me with your secrets, you would have torn one another apart," Courtney said in a rush. Aria crossed her arms over her chest.
"Well, your apology isn't accepted, Ali. Just because you didn't murder Spencer doesn't mean that you haven't done some pretty terrible things," she spat out. Courtney nodded.
"I know, and I realize that. Christmas is a time for forgiveness and joy and hope, right? Well, I guess my hope this Christmas is that you will forgive me so that we can at least say hello from time to time, so that we can go to the movies," Courtney replied. "I miss you guys."
"We're already torn apart, in case you haven't realized. Aria, Mike, and Noel are the only friends I need," Hanna replied, reaching for the door. "I don't want to lose anyone else and letting you back into our lives will just cause things to go to hell again. Have a nice life, Ali." With that, Hanna shut the door in Courtney's face and she stood there for several moments, stunned at what had just happened.
Slowly, she turned and walked down the sidewalk towards Ian's car. She paused at the end and turned to see Hanna, Aria, Mike, and Noel laughing together. They were happy and Courtney had tried to fix things for her sister. Maybe that was the way things were supposed to be. Maybe Ali was supposed to make her own amends; maybe she was supposed to move on on her own. Courtney wasn't going to be able to fix everything, no matter how badly she wanted to.
She climbed into the car and looked at Ian. "Take me home," she whispered. He looked at her before starting the car and driving back towards the DiLaurentis'. It was time to make her own amends.
A/N: Eek, the final and last chapter. This story has been in progress for a while and I am proud of it, it is the most successful story I have on Fanfiction. Thank you to Miley Rowling and Aphrodite-Venus-u.k. for reading each and every chapter, normally within a day of its publication. Thank you to everyone else who has read this story, favorited and followed it. I really do appreciate it and I appreciate that you all felt like this story was worth your time to read.
So, read, review, tell me what you liked and didn't like. If you found the previous chapter to have moved too quick and that I left out information, please inform me of that as well. Goodbye for now.