Don't own PLL, blah blah blah...
Where are you? – Ezra
Aria stared at the text on her phone, trying to understand it. It was twelve thirty on a Monday, she was in school – he knew that. So why, then, was he asking her? Unless he meant where in Rosewood High was she. But why would he want to know that of all things? As she pondered her response to his strange text, another message came through, this time from Spencer.
Just saw Fitz by your locker, everything okay?
Aria's eyes widened and panic began to set in. Was he insane? What was so important that it couldn't be told to her over the phone or when she finished school for the day? She swiped her finger across the screen and flicked back into his message, telling him that she knew he was there and to meet her in the courtyard.
As she made her was to the small, concrete alcove in the centre of the school building, she prayed hat it wasn't going to be busy. She had a feeling that whatever was about to happen was something that she wouldn't want an audience for.
Ezra was already there by the time she arrived. He was pacing back and forth, clearly agitated. A few students looked up from their lunch as Aria made her way towards the former English teacher.
The second his eyes locked onto her, he stopped pacing and walked a few steps to meet her in the centre of the courtyard.
"What are you doing here?" Aria asked, cutting straight to the chase. "Is everything okay?" Ezra squared his jaw, causing nerves to erupt in Aria's stomach. He was mad.
"I was in Delaware today," he told her, "Maggie called me and said that she wanted to explain the deal she'd made with my Mom." As he spoke his eyes became more and more livid. Aria felt tears prick at the back of her eyes, suddenly hyper-aware of where this conversation was going. "How could you not tell me, Aria?"
"Maggie told you that I knew?" Aria asked, fighting back tears. She glanced around at the several groups of students watching them with interest. Although it was common knowledge that Aria was dating Ezra, it was rare that they were seen together in hugely public places. She shot the onlookers filthy looks but, being people of Rosewood, they continued to openly gawk.
"Malcolm recognised you when I showed him a picture of you," he spat. "But that doesn't matter. The point is that you knew about him and didn't tell me."
"Maggie asked me to give her time to figure things out. I was going – "
"Your loyalty doesn't lie with Maggie, Aria. I'm your boyfriend," Ezra shouted. There was an outbreak of chattering around the couple and Ezra grabbed Aria's arm, leading her to a more secluded part of the courtyard. "Do you know how embarrassing it is to find out from your ex that your girlfriend has been lying to you for over a month, Aria?"
"Probably around the same as finding out that your boyfriend has been lying to you for over a year from his brother," Aria shot back, not letting herself become the only person a fault when none of this would have happened if he'd just been honest with her about his past in the first place.
"You know, I expect this from my mother and from Maggie," Ezra replied, ignoring her jibe at him, "But you are the person that I am supposed to be able to trust."
"And you don't think that I feel the exact same way?" Aria glared at him, furious that he was acting like she was the bad person here when Maggie had kept a son from him for seven years.
"There can't be a relationship without trust, Aria."
Aria blinked, her mouth falling open. But, before she could say anything, Ezra bypassed her and headed back inside, clearly under the impression that this discussion was over. Aria, however, had other ideas. She ran after him, her heels clacking on the concrete and linoleum. He was halfway down the empty corridor when she caught up with him.
A memory of her chasing after him on this same corridor after Homecoming a year ago sprang to Aria's mind. 'I could never hate you'.
"Do you not think that I wanted to tell you?" Aria called after him. Ezra stopped and turned around, looking at her in a way hat made her want to shrink into a puddle. "This is hard for me, too, Ezra."
"Oh, really?" Ezra asked, raising his voice again so that it echoed off the walls of the empty, school corridor. "Did you just find out that you have a son that your girlfriend knew about but didn't deem it necessary to tell you about?" He stalked towards her as he spoke, coming to a standstill about a foot in front of her.
"No, but I did just find out that my older boyfriend has a son that was born when I was still playing with Barbie dolls!" Aria realised she was shouting and lowered her voice. "I'm sorry that I didn't tell you but don't act like you're the only victim here."
"What's all the shout – " The fuming pair looked to the side to see Mrs Welch poking her head out of her classroom door. "Ezra!" She said in surprise, "Aria! What's going on here?"
Ezra didn't reply, only turned on his heel and walked away. Aria ignored her, too, storming after Ezra as he tried to leave once again.
"Don't you walk away from me, we are not done talking about this!" She yelled, grabbing his elbow.
The bell signalling the end of the period rang out and floods of students began to fill the hall. They were eerily quiet and Aria had a sneaking suspicion that they had all been listening from inside the classrooms – it was Rosewood after all.
"Do you not think that I am just as upset as you are?" She asked him, speaking in a hushed voice, speaking to his back. "This affects me, too, Ezra."
"Aria, for fuck's sake, stop trying to make this about you." Ezra turned around to face her and they stood mere inches apart, Ezra towering over the 5ft 2" girl. The hall, which was usually buzzing with talk and laughter, was silent as students and teachers alike listened to their argument. Out of the corner of her eye, Aria saw Spencer, Hanna and Emily looking on with sympathy on their faces.
Aria flinched at Ezra's cruel words but as much as they hurt her, they made her twice as angry.
"Me? I'm no trying to make this about anybody! But you're acting like I did this to spite you. All I'm asking is for you to understand that this isn't exactly easy for me either." Aria fought to her keep her voice down, despite the fact that there were several students within earshot, hanging on their every word. "I mean, for God's sake, Ezra, I'm only seventeen!"
"Yeah, like I could forget," Ezra muttered. Aria's palm collided with his cheek before she could stop it. Their audience gasped but Aria ignored them, she was passed furious – now she was pissed.
"Stop being so selfish!" She screamed at him.
"Oh, excuse me for being selfish for once! For fuck's sake, Aria, you'd think after all the baggage I've put up with that –"
Aria physically flinched and took a step back from him. Ezra had cut himself off, a horrified expression on his face.
"'B- baggage?'" Aria repeated, quietly, her voice shaking.
"Aria –" Ezra began, his voice softer now, but she cut him off.
"You think of me as baggage?" Tears filled her eyes as she clenched her hands into fists.
"No, I didn't mean – I was just –" Ezra struggled to form a sentence and the growing number of people around them waited. Suddenly, Aria wanted to give them a show.
"You know what? I can't deal with this," she said loudly, "How about I lighten the load?" Then two words she did not imagine ever saying to Ezra (of her own free will, that is), "We're over."
"Aria," Ezra said brokenly, "You don't mean that."
"No, I do," she replied, "Consider yourself relinquished of my burdens." She tore the necklace he'd gotten her for their anniversary off her neck, breaking the chain, and threw it at his chest. He caught it with one hand, still staring at her with lost eyes.
Aria pushed past him, heading towards her three best friends. She wanted to flee the scene before she broke down completely. She couldn't let Ezra see that.
"Aria, wait!" Ezra caught her arm as she walked by.
"Let go of me!" She snapped.
Ezra dropped grasp as if burned and Aria walked to her girls. They immediately formed a protective circle around her and together they pushed through the crowd and headed towards an empty classroom for privacy, leaving a broken man behind them.
Okay, Little Sparks is just not happening right now but bare with me. A lot has been going on - I even had surgery.
This was born today when I heard that argument play out in my head. I wrote it down, added some other words and stuff and ta-daa.
Let me know what you think, I may turn this into a 2/3 shot :)