This took me less than two hours to write. It's based off the sneak peek we got of Ezra and Jake meeting for the first time. Aria has been annoying me recently so this is basically Ezra's reaction to her ignoring him. Enjoy!
I don't own PLL but, I tell you, if I did then a lonnggg list of characters would disappear. Permanently.
Ezra Fitz sat in his flat nursing the umpteenth scotch he'd had in the past week. With each tumbler he filled, he could feel himself slipping further into a dark abyss he saw no escape from. He'd lost his son, his dignity, and his girlfriend. He had nothing left to lose… except maybe his liver if he kept drinking this way.
Seeing Aria with her new boyfriend had been like a stab to the heart and a punch to the gut at the same time. Her eyes had told him to leave and her stiff stature had seemed so unnatural, it was like she would rather see anybody else than him... like she'd rather be left alone with Jake. She had never made him feel so worthless before and he was starting to think that he deserved better. Before this whole mess he didn't believe there could be better but then she turned her back on him, then she made him feel about the size of an ant.
What was so great about Jake anyway? He thought, as he downed the remainder of his glass and poured himself another. How many was that now, four… five? He wondered if Aria had let Jake touch her the way he'd touched her himself, wondered if she still thought about the nights they spent tangled in sheets and nothing but.
How could she move on so quickly from what they had? They were together for over a year yet in a matter of weeks she's seeing somebody new and treating him like they were, and had only been, student and teacher. It hurt. It hurt a lot. And it made him mad.
Angry thoughts swirled in Ezra's head as he paced his apartment, rubbing his hand over the beard he'd inadvertently started to grow. Shaving seemed so futile now that he had nobody to look clean for.
He realised as he thought of his encounter with Aria and Jake earlier that he wasn't just hurt by her anymore - he was pissed. Both physically and emotionally, he thought, as he sloshed some of the amber liquid onto the floor.
He'd just bent down to mop it up when there was a knock at the door. He debated pretending like he wasn't home but then realised that it could be Mrs Rosenthal… again. He set down his glass, hiding the bottle in the press before jogging to the door and pulling it open.
And there she was, as if she hadn't been gone for over a month, as if it was just a regular evening and she was coming for take-out and a film. Would it ever stop hurting to see her face?
"Hi," she said, "Can I come in?" Ezra hesitated before nodding slightly and stepping aside. He shut the door behind her and watched as Aria made her way into his apartment, watching her eyes take in everything that had changed. He wondered if she'd spotted the tumblers of scotch at varying capacities dotted around the place – beside his bed, on his desk, in the sink, rolling on the floor.
"Why are you here?" He blurted out, unable to take the silence. Aria looked shocked at his bluntness but recovered herself pretty soon after.
"I felt bad about how I've been treating you. You were always there for me, even when we weren't together, so," she smiled reassuringly at him, "I'm here now." Usually Aria's words would soothe Ezra, and had she come a week ago when he called first he would have welcomed her with open arms, but tonight he just felt like he was being pitied… he didn't want her pity. He didn't want her to comfort him because she felt she had to, he wanted her to want to be there.
"Now isn't good enough, Aria," he said, "I needed you then." He knew he was being irrational, but she made him that way. Aria blinked in shock, looking like she didn't quite understand his words.
"So, what are you saying, that you don't need me?" Ezra looked away from her and made his way back over to his tumbler, taking out the scotch and pouring himself another drink. He needed to stop soon or he'd throw up. A drop from the glass fell onto his creased, striped shirt. "Look at yourself, Ezra, you're a mess. You stink of scotch." Aria marched over to him and yanked away the glass, pouring the contents down the sink.
"What's changed since earlier, Aria?" Ezra yelled, yanking the glass back and slamming it onto the counter. Who was she to march back into his life and take control whenever it suited her? "Why do I get to be graced with your presence all of a sudden? Finally decide that I'm worth your time?" He was being unnecessarily harsh and he knew it, but he was drunk and mad and, worst of all, he was in love. Aria flinched back from him – he'd never been this harsh with her before. He wondered if she knew how much she'd hurt him.
"What are you-" Aria began, but Ezra cut her off.
"I thought that we…" He paused, "That I meant enough to you that you'd pick up the damn phone, Aria." Tears stung in his eyes so he turned away from her, lest she see them fall. He reached for the bottle again but his hand fell short, he wouldn't let her see him break.
"I was…" Aria paused, seemingly searching for an excuse.
"With him," Ezra finished, letting the disgust in his voice ring clear, "I know." Once again the thoughts of Jake touching her made their way around his head. He suddenly felt ill, but was unsure whether it was the alcohol or Jake.
"That's not fair," Aria argued. She was right, of course, she was moving on like they said they should. He just didn't think she'd do it so damn quickly. His throat ached for another drink. He wanted her to leave before he broke down completely.
"Not fair?" He fumed, spinning around to glare at the petite girl who had once been his, "I'll tell you what's not fair, having the one person you thought you could always count on turn her back on you." It was true. He really had thought that she'd pick up. After all, he was always there for her.
"I'm just trying to get over you," she supplied weakly. "I'm sorry." There were tears in his eyes and it took every ounce of strength he had left not to wipe them away. A part of him was aware that she was only seventeen and should not have to be dealing with all the problems he was forcing on her. A tear made its way down her cheek, then another. He couldn't be the one to help her feel better anymore, he remembered. Maybe it was about time he realised that she couldn't be the one to help him either. He was alone. All he had was a half empty scotch bottle and forgotten toys. "Ezra?"
"Just go, Aria," he told her, shaking his head as he stared at the ground. He was way too emotional at the moment and she felt too far away. He'd lost her. He'd lost everything.
"Ezra, I…" Aria began but he cut her off.
"I don't want you here," he all but shouted, "And I don't need you to fix me, or whatever it is that you came here to do. So just go. Go back to him and forget about me and my complications." He walked over to the door and yanked it open, gesturing to the hall.
"Why are you acting like this?" Aria asked quietly, pain palpable in her voice.
"Hurts, doesn't it?" Ezra spat, bitterly, "Being pushed away."
Aria grabbed her bag and jacket, shaking her head in disbelief. She stormed towards the door but stopped beside him, "Who even are you?" She asked. He watched as she took in his scruffy appearance once more and then she was gone, her perfume lingering in the stale, boozy air of his apartment.
"I'm the man who lost everything," he replied, acutely aware that there was nobody there to listen.
It got a bit rambly at some points, I'm aware, but I feel better now that I have some of my emotions regarding Jake and Aria down in writing. Please drop a review if you liked :)