This is sort of different from my norm, a little more angsty and dark, but I wrote it at a time when I was feeling low at the fate of 3B and it took that turn. It features what might have happened at the season 3 wrap party that the PLL cast had. I make some references to the pictures posted, but I promise you this is NOT factually accurate. You'll see what I mean. And I've just noticed that Keegan appears to have gotten much smaller since the finale. Things seem bad throughout this, but hang in there. Truth be told, I really felt like it was important to honour that fighting for the person you love is not always the way they make it out to be in fairytales and fluffy romance novels. Sometimes when you love someone, it's not enough, or you have to let them go. But sometimes things get hard, and you think you're doing the right thing, you think you're doing what they want you to, but you haven't really given them the chance you should have to decide what they want. Some people give up hope too easily, and some people never give up hope at all. So this one-shot kind of touches on that and brings it to light.
No disrespect meant to Keegan or Troian. I apologize for Keegan especially as I dive into deeper layers of his character here. His character as in the one I created based off him, as this story by no means reflects the true thoughts or feelings of Troian or Keegan. I love my idols, and I love that they love each other in any way, shape or form.
Enjoy lovelies, and please please please let me know what you think :) It would honestly mean the world to me.
Keegan broke away from Kyle and Tyler to see a familiar wavy haired brunette headed in his direction with a coy smile.
He hadn't even said hello to her all night, and barely had seen her in the past couple months. He couldn't help but smile at the sight of her. As always, she looked beautiful tonight.
"Well hello stranger." Troian greeted him, standing in front of him now.
His smile broadened, glad she was aware of the length of time they had been apart too. "Hello there, Miss Bellisario." Looking around, he realized her date was nowhere to be seen. "Where's Patrick? Did he only come to strangle me?"
She laughed at his reference to the earlier joke picture Patrick had posted because of Keegan's character being hurtful to Troian's. She shook her head. "No, he's off getting into old stories with Ian. I swear those two are like Hardy and Ezra when they're together."
Keegan chuckled in agreement. Patrick was a pretty easygoing guy so he got along with everybody on the cast, but it helped that he had guest-starred on one episode so he got to know them on the professional level too.
"Wanna dance?" Troian asked, nodding towards the many bodies swaying in the melodious music.
Keegan felt an ache in his heart as he accepted, mentally sighing in relief when he had her wrapped in his arms. Being apart for so long, and their couple being broken up on the show, it had been ages since he had been able to be this close to her. He was conscious of every minute they had been apart.
His arm swept around her lower back, his free hand intertwined with hers as she lay her head on his shoulder.
"How have you been?" she asked quietly. They were close enough they didn't need to speak loudly, but her tone was more hushed because of the atmosphere. Anything louder would break the spell.
He chewed on his answer, shrugging. "Good, I guess."
Troian pulled back to look him in the face, raising an eyebrow in challenge. "Liar."
Keegan chuckled. She had always been able to see right through him.
Troian's eyes swept over his face, looking concerned. "Keegs, you've lost weight, a lot. You were perfectly healthy before so it's noticeable. I know the finale has been rough on you, some of the fans being so harsh with you-"
"It's nothing. I'm fine." he interrupted, avoiding her eyes, trying to pull her close again so she would stop looking into his eyes and reading all of his emotions perfectly.
"Keegan… you're not fine. You've lost like ten pounds."
"Thirteen." he corrected quietly.
Her face only grew more heartbroken at the fact. "Talk to me, Keegs."
He shook his head and pulled her close, leaning his cheek against hers as he breathed her familiar scent in. "I've missed you, Troi."
She sighed, noting the sudden subject change but not pushing anymore. "I've missed you too."
His thumb rubbed circles into her lower back. "Forgive me for forgetting to say before, but you look beautiful tonight."
Troian couldn't help but blush a little, never having been good at receiving compliments. "Thank you."
The song ended and Keegan released her, pressing a quick affectionate kiss to her cheek. "You should get back to Patrick."
And without another word, he slipped away.
Troian stared after him, feeling like she had just been rejected for some reason. She knew Keegan was hiding something, she just didn't know what.
Seeing Patrick was still occupied, Troian spotted Keegan leaving out of the double doors onto the damp terrace. He was leaving the party? Without a goodbye to anybody?
She quickened her pace, slipping out into the misty night. She squinted to spot the dark figure several feet away, leaning against the wall dejectedly. The rain was dripping off the roof and he was watching it pool on the sidewalk about thirty inches in front of him. She felt a pang at how sad and broken he looked.
He spotted her immediately and leaned his head back against the wall in defeat, almost as if he was frustrated at her. She knew she was pushing her luck coming out here and demanding answers for his behavior like he owed her something. Frankly, she had let the distance form between her and Keegan over the past few months. With the business of filming the end of the season and with Patrick's show wrapping up, she had been so distracted she had barely spoken to him. She knew it wasn't fair of her to expect him to spill his guts when she hadn't properly been there for him in months, but she was desperate to know what was wrong.
She approached him slowly and then saw what was in his hand. She had thought the fog from his mouth was from the cold, but the ember burning at the end of the stick in his hand disagreed.
"You know those will kill you one day, right?" she inputted, half-serious. She had never seen Keegan smoke, ever. She had never heard tell of him substance abusing anything. The man barely drank. He usually stuck to one or two beers an event.
He chuckled darkly before taking another drag. "Yeah, well I really don't care much about that anymore."
The implication behind his words made Troian's heart stop. He was hurting a lot more than she realized.
"That's it." she said seriously, wrenching the cigarette out of his hand and throwing it into the water puddle so it extinguished immediately.
He moved to protest, looking flabbergasted, when she shoved him against the wall aggressively.
"No. You're going to tell me what's going on and you're going to tell me right now. You're scaring me, Keegs. You're scaring the fucking shit out of me." she told him, feeling her eyes fill with tears, and looking down in shame. She wanted to be strong about this but hearing him talk like this and seeing him act this way… it was not the guy she had known for the past few years.
He sighed. "I'm sorry."
"Yeah, well sorry isn't good enough. Out with it." she demanded.
Keegan hesitated. "Look, it's just a lot of bullshit. It doesn't matter. Go back inside, Troian, please. Patrick will be looking for you."
"Can you stop trying to throw me back at Patrick? He is not my keeper, all right? Talk to me, Keegan, please." she begged.
He met her eyes but then immediately looked down in shame. "I can't."
That one hurt. She knew she deserved it, but it still hurt.
She reached up to cup his face in her hands, seeing his tears building. Her own two brown filled with water, slipping out in time with his.
"Please, Keegan. I'm so worried about you."
Keegan closed his eyes. He couldn't be this close to her. He could feel himself losing control, feel himself giving in to his cravings that had gotten so strong in the past year that he was surprised he hadn't let them take over yet.
"Keegs…" she whispered, her voice breaking, and he couldn't take it anymore.
His hands leapt up and cupped her face, pulling her close as his mouth descended on hers. She was caught off guard, so she didn't really respond right away, but old habits die hard and she found herself kissing him back, their lips molding together perfectly.
Keegan flipped them so she was leaning against the wall, pressing kisses into her mouth repeatedly, cradling the back of her head so she avoided hurting herself on the rough brick. Her hands slowly slid down his chest as she let herself give in to his advances.
She knew it was wrong, so wrong, but she hadn't kissed him in months and she missed it. Kissing Keegan had always been one of the simplest things between them. His lips were eager, yet gentle, against her own and her hand shook as she raised it to tangle in his hair. Surprisingly, he didn't taste even a little like nicotine and she felt herself becoming breathless as she lost count of how many kisses they had exchanged.
Keegan suddenly ripped his mouth off of hers and backed away, releasing her. "Oh god, Troian, fuck I'm so sorry." he said, hand over his eyes as he paced, looking completely stressed out. "I-I didn't mean to…"
She was still trying to catch her breath. That was one hell of a kiss, or, well, make-out session. Her heart was pounding in her ears. "It's-it's fine." she nearly wheezed.
He shook his head quickly, grabbing fistfuls of his hair in stress, obviously pissed off at himself. "No, it's not. You have a boyfriend who you're in love with and I'm out here screwing everything up. Just… please, go back inside. I'm just going to end up making a bigger jackass of myself if I stay around you-"
"Keegan, can you breathe for a second? This isn't the end of the world." Troian attempted to soothe, reaching out to grab his arm to steady him but he was pacing too quickly and shook her off.
"It is bad. Troian, how can I be any more obvious? I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU. It's a problem because you're unavailable and in love with someone else. And I can't… I can't be around you without losing control anymore. Not when… not when I spent so long having you in the next best way." he said, quieter now.
Troian absorbed this, surprised. She had suspicions of course that Keegan had feelings for her, but she never thought they ran that deep. "Keegan-"
"No. You need to hear this, and then I'm going to go. I… I hate the abuse from the 'fans' but I deal with it because it was my idea. I asked them to write me out of the show."
Before Troian could open her mouth to protest in shock, he continued.
His eyes were filled with more pain than she had ever seen. "Troian, I know you and Patrick are going to be together forever. I see the way you two are together and the way you look at each other and the way you talk about each other. You don't fly across the country every weekend for just anybody. I know I can never compete with that. And it is too painful to spend every day with you, kissing you and holding you and pretending it's all for show. It's not acting in my heart. I want that with you and I can never have it and it hurts to be forced to remember that every day. So I needed space. I still want you in my life, but I can't the way we were. I just… I can't."
Troian didn't know what to say. She had no words to make it better, but it broke her heart that her best friend was hurting this much because of her.
"So I'm going to go. And if I don't call, that's why. And if you don't call, I understand." he murmured, pulling her into a quick hug before letting her go and walking away.
Troian wiped her tears away.
"How dare you." she called out.
Surprised, Keegan turned around.
She started walking briskly forward and he realized in a little fear that she was pissed.
"How dare you make such a huge decision without talking to me first. How dare you stand here and make decision after decision for me, without even thinking to consult MY feelings. Are you that arrogant that you think you know me better than I know me?!"
"I'm not finished!" she shouted, poking his chest with her finger now. "I love Patrick, yes, there is no denying that. But that doesn't mean I don't love you too. Did you just miss the way I was kissing you back? Are you that thick-headed, really?! I'm unsure on my feelings for you… I had no confirmation that you felt the same way since you basically dropped off the face of the earth and it seemed like you didn't care to see me either. It's a two way street, buddy! Maybe all I needed was for you to be a man and actually FIGHT for me!"
She smacked him behind his head.
"God, Keegan, I've been miserable without you on set. I don't even want to do the show anymore without you. And now you're telling me I have to do it without you from now on? I might as well go in there right now and tell them I want out of my contract. I don't want all this if I can't have you by my side."
Troian was surprised at the words coming out of her mouth and apparently so was Keegan. She stepped towards him and took his hands in hers, much calmer now as he watched her carefully.
"Keegan, you mean so much to me. I love Patrick, but you can't stand there and predict the future and neither can I. But don't try to decide for me, okay? Let me figure it out myself. Give me a chance, Keegan, please."
He simply gaped at her, not really sure what to say. Was she saying… that there was hope?
She bit her lip, looking at the damp ground. "I've been fighting my feelings for you for so long. Now that I know where you stand, maybe… maybe I should talk to Patrick."
"So… this isn't over?" Keegan asked stupidly, not sure what exactly was happening.
She smiled a little and he reached out impulsively to brush a tear away from the corner of her eye.
"Keegan… this might just be the beginning." she admitted.
He smiled in return, feeling his heart swell. He really liked the sound of that.