First off, thanks for the reviews. My life is a little crazy right now, so I hadn't have the time to get back to you. But I really appreciate every single one of them.
Okay, guys. This is the final chapter. I am a hopeless romantic so expect a sappy ending. :-)
If you haven't seen the movie Silver Linings Playbook I recommend to watch the final scene on YouTube. A certain scene in this chapter is way more powerful when you know what Nick and Jess are talking about.
Everything had gotten back to normal. Or at least it seemed that way. Four weeks after they'd come back from Chicago Jess walked into the kitchen where Nick and Schmidt were having a conversation and her heart swelled as she heard the first real laugh from Nick since his father had died.
He would be okay. But she wasn't. She'd thought she would give him time to mourn his father before she would talk about her feelings but the days went by and it got harder and harder to say something. She didn't know how to approach the subject. It seemed as if Nick was content with the way things were and she was afraid she might be ruining everything by telling him how she really felt about him.
She'd almost convinced herself that she should be happy with having him in her life at all, that it didn't matter that she wanted more. Most of the times it worked. The times it didn't she was hardly able to breathe, the loss of what could have been almost suffocating her.
She had another one of her self-pitying phases, one of those phases where she pitied herself for falling in love with a man she couldn't have as Cece stormed into her room without knocking, yanking her out of her reveries.
"Okay, girl. Time to get ready." Cece said, excitement clear in her voice.
"Ready for what?" Jess asked with a flat voice. She wasn't in the mood to go out.
"We have a surprise for you." Cece replied.
"We? Who is we?"
"Come on. Let's get you all dressed up."
"Why do I need to get dressed up?" Jess asked, furrowing her brows in confusion. "Cece? What's going on?"
"You'll be blown away. It's … it's the most romantic thing I've ever heard of."
"What are you talking about?"
"Get up, Jess. We don't have time for questions."
Jess grumbled something incoherently as she stood up from the bed. There was no point in arguing with Cece when she was like this. She would just get dressed and get whatever was going on over with so that she could get back into her bed to drown in her self-pity.
She had to admit as she was looking in the mirror that she looked fantastic after Cece was finished with her. For one second a smile appeared on her face as she imagined Nick admiring her in that dress but then the smile faltered as she realized that it might hurt too much to see his approval of her attire if she couldn't act on her feelings.
As Cece stepped behind her, Jess met her eyes in the mirror almost blurting out everything but she was stopped as Cece raised her hands, a silk scarf of hers in her hands.
"What's that for?" Jess asked.
"I told you it's a surprise."
"Do you really need to blindfold me?"
"Yep, I do."
Cece was still adjusting the scarf over her eyes when Jess heard the door open and she turned around to the sound, wondering who might have walked into the room.
"Ready?" Nick's voice drifted to her ears, startling her.
"Nick? What … why … I don't ..." Jess stumbled, reaching for the blindfold but Nick's hands stopped her and he said quietly. "Do you trust me?"
"Of course I do."
"Then follow me." Nick told her, taking her hand in his as they walked out of her room and through the loft. Jess couldn't help getting excited. Cece had said something about the most romantic thing. Could it be that he felt the same way than she?
"What's on the roof?" Jess asked as they started to walk up the stairs.
"You'll see." Nick said evasively. "Careful. Step."
Jess shivered slightly as the cold wind hit her naked skin but she forgot about the coldness the moment Nick removed the scarf from her eyes. Her breath caught in her throat as her gaze fell on the tent right in front of her and her mouth dropped open when Nick walked her into it. There were flowers everywhere. A whirlwind of colors and not the clichéd roses but daisies and daffodils. Her throat constricted as she saw the table, romantically set with a candelabra with lit candles sitting in the middle of it, a bottle of champagne waiting to be opened. Several heaters were spread over the room to keep the chillness of the air outside away.
Turning around to Nick, her eyes widened with surprise as she saw what he was wearing. "You're wearing a tux."
"It's only rented."
"You're wearing a tux!" Jess whispered, completely overwhelmed. "You … you did all of this?"
"I had help. You know I suck at planning."
"Nick, I ..." Her lip began to quiver and she bit her tongue, the emotions almost getting the better of her as tears welled up in her eyes. "What … why ..."
Nick stepped closer, reaching into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulling out a white envelope, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth. "I wrote you a letter."
"You wrote me a letter?" Jess asked baffled, her eyes flitting back and forth between the envelope in his hand and his eyes.
"Yeah, I did. About a week ago."
"Don't do this, Nick?" Jess whispered, her voice breaking on his name.
"Do what?" Nick asked quietly.
"I'm … I'm gonna cry … you're … you can't ..."
"I can't what?"
"How do you even know?" Jess croaked out, wondering if this was all a dream.
"It's one of your favorite movies, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is."
"Bradley Cooper can dance." Nick said, giving her a soft smile.
"Yes, he can."
"You know you have to start reading so that I can interrupt you to finish it." Nick told her, holding the envelope up and Jess reached for it with trembling hands, almost not able to open it.
As she finally was able to pull out the one single sheet of white paper she looked up at him and Nick just nodded towards the paper. Gulping hard, Jess unfolded it slowly, the letters swimming in front of her eyes and she pressed her eyes shut for a second, one tear slipping out of her eye before she started with a shaking voice. "Dear Jessica … "
"You're not supposed to cry before I interrupted you." Nick said softly, as Jess stopped, apparently not able to continue reading. Jess let out a nervous chuckle, wiping away the tear before her eyes went back to the letter.
"You're the best thing ..." Jess continued before Nick interrupted her and she held her breath as she stared up at him, listening to his words. Words she had thought she would never hear from him.
" … that ever happened to me. You're one of my best friends, you are always there when I need you. In my darkest hours you are the silver lining on the horizon. You are the one who keeps me going when everything around me seems to be crashing down on me. Thank you. Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for being you." Nick raised his hands, cupping her face before he added with a slightly hoarse voice. "I love you, and I'm sorry that it took me so long to realize it."
"Am I allowed to cry now?" Jess whispered, leaning into his touch.
"Sure, go ahead." Nick smiled softly, his thumbs brushing over her cheeks. When she didn't say anything he got slightly nervous and asked. "So, are you gonna say anything?"
"Okay!" Jess mumbled, raising up on her tiptoes to press a kiss against his lips, her hands coming up around his neck.
"I know, I was the one who started the whole reenacting the scene from the movie, but ..." Nick said quietly, leaning his forehead against hers.
"You wanna hear it." Jess spoke softly.
"It's pathetic and I don't want you to feel obligated to ..." Nick began, but Jess interrupted him by pressing her lips against his once again before she leaned back in his arms. "Shut up, Nick."
"I didn't have the time to prepare a speech, so I'm just gonna go from the top off my head and I'm not sure if it'll make any sense but …" Jess took in a deep breath, her hands settling against his chest as she continued. "Thank you. Thank you for kissing me. I don't know if I would have ever admitted it to myself that you mean so much more to me if you hadn't taken that first step. Thank you for having the courage to cross the line and I'm sorry for denying my feelings for you for so long." Smiling up at him shakily, she continued with a soft voice. "I'm so lucky. I've fallen in love with my best friend. I already know everything about you, Nick. There won't be a rude awakening down the road when the rose-colored glasses come down because there are no rose-colored glasses there. I know your flaws, I know your strengths, I know your weaknesses and yeah, you're driving me nuts most of the times but … I love you. I love everything about you. I wouldn't want you any other way. Thank you for being you."
"You love me?" Nick asked, his voice hoarse with emotions.
"Yeah, I do." Jess replied, her lips curling up in a lopsided grin. "I love you, Nicholas Miller. And I'm scared like hell because Schmidt is right. If this goes all to crap ..."
"It won't." Nick cut her off.
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because I fell in love with my best friend." Nick spoke, his smile matching hers. "This relationship … we already start with a very solid foundation, Jess. I don't know how to explain it but … I know I've screwed up everything in my life so far, that I need to pull my life together but … for two years you are at my side and you've already seen me at my worst and you didn't run away. No matter what happens in the future, Jess, I'm not gonna lose you. I won't tell you that we won't fight because we will and I'm sure I will do things that are gonna hurt you. But at the end of the day I will never stop loving you."
"So, you think our love is strong enough to last forever?"
"I know it sounds ridiculously sappy but yes, I do." Nick replied and Jess lost the battle against the tears. "I'm sorry … I just … the last weeks were just too much ..."
"Come here." Nick said, pulling her in his arms and Jess buried her face in his neck, wrapping her arms tightly around him. "You don't have to be strong all the time, Jess. You've gotten me through one of the toughest times of my life. You were my rock and if I wouldn't have loved you already before that I would have fallen head over heels in love with you then. I can never thank you enough for what you did for me. Never. The only thing I can promise you is that I will do everything in my power to make you happy. Because you deserve to be happy."
"Don't give me the speech that you think you might not be good enough to make me happy, Nick." Jess huffed, leaning back to look into his face. "I'm gonna slap you if you say it."
"That would be kind of contradictorily, wouldn't it? I just told you I think our love will last forever."
Jess smiled up at him, leaning her head back against his shoulder, just reveling in the feeling of being in his arms. Her gaze fell on the letter on the table where she had dropped it early.
"Can I frame this?" Jess asked, pointing towards the letter on the table.
"You wanna frame it?"
"Well, it's something our grandchildren would want to see sometime."
"Our grandchildren? You want to have kids with me?" Nick asked, his voice full of wonder.
"Of course I want a bunch of mini Millers who are running around in the loft, trying to drive Schmidt nuts." Jess grinned.
"I really like the sound of that." Nick said, returning her smile.
"So this is for real?" Nick asked quietly. "We are really doing this?"
"Yes, Nicholas. We are really doing this."
"I love you." Nick whispered, leaning down to capture her lips in another kiss. "I love you too, Nick."
They weren't fooling themselves into thinking that they would live happily ever after from now on. But one thing was for certain … they would never look back at their lives, regretting that they never crossed the line.
Love is passion. Obsession.
Someone you can't live without.
Someone you fall head over heels for.
Find someone you can love like crazy,
and will love you the same way back.
Listen to your heart.
No sense in life without this.
To make the journey without falling deeply in love,
you haven't lived a life at all.
You have to try,
because if you haven't tried,
then you haven't lived.
~Meet Joe Black~
Thank you to everyone who read this story, reviewed it, favorited it, alerted it. I enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Until the next time!
And now can it be Tuesday already? I can't wait to see the ep! It's going to be awesome! :-)