A/N Thanks guys for supporting what I write, it means so much to me! I am spending the month of November writing a multi-part Spashley story so the plan is to have something new to post in December

I hope you enjoy this last part in my recent series of one shots :)

Spencer Carlin was having a very bad day.

She had slept through her alarm, gotten lost twice on the subway, endured the berating a homeless man gave her for something she didn't do and, to top it all off, it had started to rain unexpectedly. That wouldn't have been so bad except Spencer had an armful of groceries, which prevented her from using the umbrella in her bag.

"Of course it's raining," she mumbled under her breath. Thankfully she wasn't too far from her apartment so even if it down poured she'd be inside soon.

Spencer was distracted by her bad luck, so she didn't notice there was a woman watching her every move. Being distracted seemed to be happening a lot to Spencer over the last couple of weeks. She was overwhelmed by the impending start of grad school and being new to a huge city. There was, of course, something else occupying her mind, but she wouldn't admit that to anyone. Least of all herself.

As Ashley Davies watched Spencer walk towards her she was finding it increasingly difficult to breathe. Nervous didn't do justice to how she was feeling. Ashley alternated between wanting to rush up to the struggling blonde to help her out and fighting with herself not to flee before she was spotted.

It had been a difficult two weeks for Ashley. Ever since Spencer had walked away from her – for a second time in a matter of days – she had been struggling to deal with things. She couldn't get Spencer's words out of her head. Knowing how upset the other girl was with her had been really hard to hear. Even though she had been told in no uncertain terms to never contact Spencer again, Ashley knew she couldn't abide by those wishes.

When Kyla had come back from her errands to find Ashley crying the last time the two had spoken, she'd confessed to her sister the role she played in Spencer coming in to talk to her. Ashley wasn't mad though. She knew that Kyla was only trying to help. And as much as the knowledge that Spencer had been hanging around the bookstore had given Ashley the tiniest spark of hope in her heart, the reason for approaching Spencer on this night wasn't selfish.

She knew that once and for all she had to explain to Spencer everything that had taken place all those years ago. Whatever transpired after that didn't matter. Ashley was still hurting, but she was going to do everything in her power to take as much of Spencer's pain away as she could.

Ashley spent a lot of time talking to Kyla about what she felt and what she wanted to do. She even called up her therapist to make sure she wasn't making a huge mistake. The last thing Ashley wanted to do was cause Spencer any more heartache. But everyone in the brunette's life agreed that all of this was happening for a reason.

The past had too much of a grip on Ashley's and Spencer's present. It was time to change that.

Once Ashley had decided what she wanted to do it had taken her two days to work up the courage to call Spencer's parents. She worked out what she wanted to say ahead of time but every time she dialed the number to the Carlin household, she lost her nerve. Kyla didn't push her, but she did give her sister the encouragement she needed to push through her fear.

Ashley almost hung up the phone when she heard Paula Carlin's voice on the other end of the line. There was enough history between the two for that reaction to be reasonable. Ashley wasn't going to give up. She'd spent a lot of her life running from bad situations.

She wasn't going to do that anymore.

The conversation she had with Spencer's mom wasn't easy. There had been a lot of stammering on her end and a lot of silence on Paula's end. Eventually, though, the older woman was convinced enough by Ashley's intentions to give the brunette her daughter's address. Paula also gave Ashley the requisite warning not to hurt Spencer again. That warning wasn't necessary.

Ashley wasn't looking to repeat her past mistakes.

She was looking to do the right thing.

Even if it was coming years too late.

Ashley had been waiting outside Spencer's apartment for a couple of hours. With as much bravado as she could muster, she'd shown up ready to face whatever was going to happen. Her hand trembled as she buzzed the blonde's apartment. And then Spencer hadn't been home. So Ashley had to endure what felt like an endless wait until she'd finally spotted a familiar blonde walking down the street.

Even though Ashley didn't know what to expect – in fact, there was a very good chance that Spencer wasn't going to hear her out – she wasn't about to be deterred from her goal. The brunette had spent a lot of time feeling like a coward and she didn't want to feel that way any more. Ashley tried to regulate her breathing and her heart rate as she waited for the other girl to spot her.

It wasn't until she was under the awning of her building that Spencer noticed anyone standing there. She was far too busy trying to find her keys while keeping her groceries from falling everywhere.

When she finally looked up, everything around her seemed to stop.

Spencer was surprised to see Ashley, especially after the way they had last parted. She wasn't angry or upset like she'd been before. She just felt nervous.

"Hey," Ashley said, breaking the silence.

It wasn't the most poetic of ways to greet Spencer, but it was a start.

"Hey," Spencer replied, still in a state of shock.

Ashley had been so focused on staying put until Spencer returned home that she momentarily forgot why she was there. She'd rehearsed her opening line multiple times, but now she was drawing a blank. "Uh, the things is, uh, before you…"

It would have been easy for Spencer to take advantage of Ashley's inability to complete a sentence by walking right past her. As much as a part of her wanted to, a bigger part of her was curious about what Ashley was doing there. They had not left each other on good terms – that was putting it mildly – and Spencer figured that something pretty big had to be bringing Ashley to her apartment.

If she wasn't so busy admiring how good Ashley looked, Spencer might have wondered how the other girl knew where she lived. Like their previous conversations, the blonde tried to remember every bad thing that had happened between the two of them in order to protect herself.

For some reason it wasn't working for her anymore.

"The thing is…" Ashley took a deep breath before she continued. She had to keep it together. "I know that you want nothing to do with me and I know what you told me about staying away." The brunette took some solace in the fact that Spencer was letting her talk. "But there are a few things I really need to say to you. I'm just asking for a few minutes and then I will leave you alone like you want."

Spencer didn't respond right away. She surveyed Ashley up and down, taking note of how on edge she appeared to be. She wasn't trying to intentionally make Ashley squirm by making her wait for an answer. "OK."

It was one word, but it was enough to get Ashley finally release the breath she'd been holding. The time it had taken the blonde to respond had felt like forever. It helped Ashley's spirits a little that she didn't have to present a detailed argument to get Spencer to listen to her. "Uh, that's great, really great," Ashley mentally kicked herself; she was starting to ramble again. "Let me know when you are free to talk."

"How about now?" Spencer suggested surprising both herself and Ashley. "I mean, if you're free."

It was on the tip of Ashley's tongue to say something flirtatious in response, but she knew better than that. "I'm definitely free."

"My place is a little messy, but we can talk there." Spencer wasn't sure what compelled her to recommend such an intimate place for their talk. Perhaps it was the prospect of the conversation getting emotional, but she wasn't sure that was the only reason. "If you don't mind helping me with a grocery bag or two."

It took a few seconds for Ashley to react. "Uh, sure, no problem, I can help." She took a few bags from a very grateful Spencer. She kept reminding herself to stay as calm as she could. It was a task easier said than done.

"Thanks," Spencer gave the brunette a small smile as she got her key out of her bag.

Neither girl spoke while they waited for the elevator. That didn't change on the ride up to Spencer's place. They didn't make eye contact and it was getting awkward.

"Just this way," Spencer said once they were on her floor. She walked with a purpose and without looking back at Ashley. She was beginning to wonder if she was making a big mistake.

She hoped more than anything that she wasn't.

"OK." Ashley didn't feel capable of saying more than a word or two at a time as she followed the blonde. Her throat had dried up and her insides buzzed with nerves.

Spencer opened the door to her apartment, still not looking at Ashley. She didn't know what to do, or how to react.

"Be right with you," Spencer called out before she made a beeline for the kitchen. After a few seconds she realized that she'd left Ashley standing in the hallway with grocery bags still in hand. She darted back out to the brunette, took the bags without saying anything and then she was back in her kitchen. "Idiot," she muttered to herself.

Ashley felt very uneasy, unsure whether or not she should just stand there until Spencer returned.

As if sensing what was going on in the other girl's head, Spencer called out, "I'll be a few minutes, feel free to make yourself at home." She cringed once the words were out of her mouth. Why did everything feel forced?

"'Kay," Ashley responded, her voice sounding foreign to her. She had prepared for a lot reactions to coming to Spencer's. Immediately agreeing to talking, and having that talk take place in the blonde's apartment was not one of those reactions she considered. She made her way over to the couch that she could see from where she was standing.

Spencer stood with her back pressed against the kitchen cabinets. She worked on calming herself down. There was no way she wanted Ashley to see her this way. "Can I get you anything?" she asked, still using the other room as cover.

"No, thank you," Ashley replied formally. She also didn't know what to do with herself. She tried to get comfortable on the couch, but that proved impossible.

In order to distract herself from what was sure to be an extremely awkward and difficult conversation, Ashley decided to look around. She concluded she wasn't snooping, even if it felt like she absolutely was. Part of her was scared to take a look at all the pictures Spencer had up. The last thing she wanted to see where couple-y pictures. Ashley knew rationally it shouldn't matter to her.

But it did. It mattered more than she would admit to herself.

To her relief, most of the pictures seemed to be of friends and family. Ashley noticed that none of the photos were of anyone she knew from high school. But the brunette didn't have time to think about what that meant because her eyes fell upon a picture of the whole Carlin family.

Including Clay.

Hearing what happened to Spencer's brother had been extremely shocking for Ashley. There had been times throughout the years that she had contemplated looking Spencer up on Facebook, or in another way. But the thought of seeing her happy and with someone else always stopped her search before it ever began. And it wasn't like Ashley kept in touch with anyone from high school either.

She could only imagine how hard Clay's death had been on everyone. It pained her to think that Spencer had to go through a loss like that. And to hear how hard it was for her without Ashley to help her, hurt even more. Whatever else she'd felt for Spencer, the two of them had been best friends. To Ashley it felt like something else she'd failed at.

"I think that's one of my favorite pictures of him," Spencer said quietly after she emerged from the kitchen and saw what had Ashley's attention. "He looks happy."

"He does," Ashley replied, somewhat startled. She turned around to face not only Spencer, but her past as well. She needed every ounce of what little courage she had to get through this. "I'm so sorry that you lost him. I had no idea."

Spencer nodded but didn't respond immediately. She had often wondered if Ashley knew about Clay's death. On bad days she would theorize that Ashley did know and just ignored what was a very difficult time for the blonde. The confirmation that Ashley was in the dark about what happened made her feel slightly better.

"It gets a little easier with time, but I still miss him a lot," Spencer told the brunette.

"I'm sure you do," Ashley wanted to give Spencer a hug right then. It wouldn't make up for the comfort that she hadn't given when Clay was shot however. And it wouldn't have felt appropriate considering their shared history.

"But you didn't come here to talk about Clay," Spencer said more harshly than she meant to. She needed to stop talking about her brother when she was emotional enough already.

"No, I didn't," Ashley replied, her stomaching doing summersaults. She wasn't sure how she'd find the strength to see this through.

It felt weird with the both of them standing. There was some more awkward conversation, but eventually the two of them ended up sitting on opposite ends of the sofa.

"I deserve every bit of anger you feel towards me," Ashley started, her voice shaking. "Any terrible thing you've ever thought about me, I've thought about myself."

It didn't matter how long they'd been separated, or how much she'd been hurt, it still bothered Spencer when Ashley spoke about herself in a bad light. She knew the issues the brunette had. It used to make Spencer feel so protective of her. In spite of everything, it surprisingly still did.

"There has not been one day that's gone by since that night," there was no need to specify what night she was talking about, "where I haven't regretted how cowardly I acted. I don't think I even have the words to explain how much I wish I could go back and change things. It was the worst decision I've ever made, and I will have to live with that regret for the rest of my life."

It was taking a lot of willpower for Ashley to maintain eye contact with Spencer. It would have been so much easier to look away. But she was done taking the "easy" way out. "I know you think that I want to go back to that night to change things to take my pain away, and while that's partly true, I wish I could do that to take away yours. The last thing I ever wanted to do, Spencer, was hurt you."

Spencer scoffed. She didn't mean to, but after many years of feeling deeply hurt, it was a reflex.

Ashley knew she deserved that kind of reaction; she had earned the skepticism. "I thought that by leaving I was protecting you—"

"Protecting me from what?" Spencer asked rather sharply. She couldn't believe after all she'd been through, Ashley actually thought she had done a good thing.

"From me," Ashley said getting emotional. "I knew that no matter how hard I tried, I would screw things up."

Spencer could feel herself getting worked up. "I told you that I could take care of myself, didn't I?" Ashley nodded but wasn't allowed to continue because Spencer kept talking. "You didn't have faith in me is that what you came here to tell me. Because if you did, you wouldn't have left me like you did."

"You're wrong!" Ashley cut in forcefully. The conversation was quickly spiraling into something filled with anger and accusations. She didn't want that. "I didn't have faith in me. I didn't have faith that I could be the type of person you deserved. You deserved someone so much better than me."

Spencer shook her head sadly. "You never got it, Ashley, did you? I was never looking for perfection, or for anybody else. All I wanted was you. Exactly how you were."

"I was a mess," Ashley told the blonde plainly. She sighed and then ran her hand through her dark locks. She needed to get through to Spencer. "As much as I screwed up by running away, I would have broken your heart anyway."

"But you never gave us a chance," Spencer stated matter-of-factly. "You don't know what would have happened or where we would have ended up. But by leaving you made sure that we'd never have the opportunity to find out. You said you did what you did to protect me, but you hurt me so badly, Ashley."

Things were not going well. Nothing was coming out the way she wanted it to. "I didn't come here to fight with you," Ashley said to try and get things back on track. "I didn't even come here to try and justify why I did what I did."

"Then why did you come?" Spencer asked coldly.

"If I thought for a single second that you had spent any part of the last five years blaming yourself for my actions, I would have found you and told you how wrong you were." Ashley was finally starting to explain the reason for her visit that night. "I never imagined that you thought you were responsible in any way for how I acted. God, you were the only thing good thing I had going in my life. This was never about you, Spencer, never."

Spencer had no idea how to react to that statement.

She had blamed herself.

A lot.

"To this day I can't figure out what you saw in me." Ashley wasn't looking for sympathy. She was just stating the facts as she saw them. "You are one of the best people I've ever met. No matter how fucked up my logic was, and I see that now, I wasn't trying to hurt you like I did." It took a few seconds for the brunette to continue as her words got caught in her throat. "I thought…I thought that a part of you would be happy to see me gone."

"What?" Spencer exclaimed in disbelief. "How could you think that?"

Ashley shrugged and tried to not get overwhelmed by feelings of pity and self-loathing. "It doesn't make a lot of sense, I know," she sighed, "but I was positive that given enough time, you'd realize you made a big mistake ever caring about me."

Spencer tried not to be affected by the brunette's word. It was hard when she sounded so defeated. "Ashley…"

"Look, I get how pathetic that sounds," Ashley said. "I just really need you to know that you shouldn't be blaming yourself for what I did. I can't stand that you've thought that. It just isn't true."

Spencer mulled over the brunette's words. It was nice to hear that coming from Ashley, but she still had so many unanswered questions swirling around in her head. So many things she wanted to know. "When you were in the hospital, why didn't you want to see me?"

Ashley had done her best not to cry in front of Spencer again. It wasn't going to be possible now. "I was in such a bad place…" her voice trailed off and a few tears started to fall. Spencer had to stop herself from reaching out to Ashley.

Ashley looked down to compose herself, but when she realized there was no point, she looked back up into the blue eyes she had missed more than anything. "My dad was bringing me back to talk to you," she started, her tears falling harder. "When I left I decided to hide out with him. I figured he'd let me hang out with him and not ask a lot of questions. But I apparently suck at hiding my feelings because he knew there was something really wrong. He wouldn't stop hounding me until I told him."

Spencer's heart was aching for Ashley as she talked. She already knew the story wasn't going to end well. It must have been hard for the other girl to relive such a painful memory.

"I never knew until then how much he actually cared about me," It was a bittersweet realization. "When he found out what I had done, he tore into me. I had never seen him so angry and upset. He told me I was making a huge mistake and tried to convince me to answer your calls or go back home. I was too scared to do that."

Without realizing it, Spencer moved closer to Ashley. She couldn't stand to see the other girl in so much pain.

Ashley wiped her face, but it was no use. The tears would not stop coming. "He said he wanted to take me for a drive and it wasn't until we were halfway back to LA that I realized what he was doing. I got so mad at him for interfering. Even though deep down I was happy that he cared enough to do that for me. We argued for a little bit, but there was no turning the car around." Ashley closed her eyes momentarily to work up the strength to keep going. "The last thing I remember about that night is wanting to tell him I was sorry for acting like a brat and that I loved him. Then, the next thing I knew, I was in the hospital and nobody would tell me what happened to him. If it wasn't for me, my dad would be alive right now."

"You can't think like that," Spencer said quietly. She never thought that after everything she'd been through, she'd be trying to comfort Ashley. But she couldn't help herself. "It wasn't your fault."

Ashley shook her head, "Yes it was. I have to live with that."

Spencer frowned. She couldn't imagine dealing with a burden like that. But it still didn't explain why Ashley wouldn't see her when she had tried to visit.

"I hated myself so much for after the accident. I didn't want to see anyone, least of all you." Ashley couldn't maintain eye contact any longer. She felt ashamed. "I couldn't let you see me when I was like that. I felt so numb. I knew having you there would help me." She wanted to add that what she did deserve was to suffer, but bit her tongue. "Then I found out about having a sister and my mom was taking over everything. I hated myself more than you probably hated me—"

"I never hated you," Spencer cut in. "I was angry with you. I hated what you did, but I could never hate you."

"That's something, I guess," Ashley remarked. "I felt so guilty for everything I had done. I couldn't face you then. It's hard enough to face you now, but you need to understand, you need to know the truth." She worked up the nerve to look at Spencer again. "Every time you called me, or sent me a message, I wanted to respond. I knew that you must have been freaking out. I was thinking of myself when I ignored your calls, but I was also thinking of you. I thought eventually you'd forget about me. I thought I was giving you the chance to be happy."

Spencer didn't know how to respond. So often she'd imagined that Ashley had moved on easily from what they had shared. That apparently wasn't the case at all. She knew the other girl wasn't lying. Spencer didn't doubt her words or sincerity one bit. "This is a lot to take in."

"I know, it's a lot for me too," Ashley admitted. "I wish more than you know that I could change what I did. I told you I didn't come here to apologize, but I really am sorry, Spencer. You are the last person in the world I ever wanted to hurt."

"I don't know what to say," Spencer replied. She'd been carrying around a lot of anger and resentment with her for a long time. Was she able to let go of that? It helped that Ashley appeared truly sorry for what she did, even if that couldn't change the past. Spencer also had the chance to say her piece. That helped too. But was it enough?

Ashley did feel a little better once she'd told Spencer what she'd been wanting to tell her for weeks. Well, years, actually. She didn't know what the future held now, but things didn't seem as dark as they once did. "You don't have to say anything," the brunette sighed, there was nothing more to do now but leave. "Thank you for hearing me out, Spencer. You'll never know how grateful I am for that." With a lot of reluctance, Ashley stood up. "I wish you nothing but the best. I want you to be happy and I hope you can be now."

There were so many uncertainties that were swirling around in Spencer's head. But there was something she was certain about. She was not ready for Ashley to walk out the door, or her life. Without thinking about what she was doing, Spencer got up and reached for the brunette's hand.

Ashley stopped dead in her tracks. She nearly gasped when she felt a soft hand cover her own. How was it possible that a simple touch could make her feel so many things at once?

"Why?" Spencer asked with the brunette's back to her. "Why does this have to be it?" She was acting rashly and without thinking of the consequences, but Spencer was done feeling hurt and damaged all the time. Yes, she was taking a big chance and she might end up the one being overwhelmed with regret later. On the other hand, her mind had never felt so clear. She knew exactly how short life was after what happened to Clay. "Why do you have to leave now?"

"I thought that's what you wanted," Ashley replied, her voice barely above a whisper. She was scared to look at Spencer and she was also scared to leave.

"Can you turn around?" Spencer asked, gently. When the brunette did as requested, Spencer could see that her eyes were tearing up again. "You know more than anything what I've wanted all these years?" Ashley shook her head, she had no ability to speak. Only to feel. "I've wanted to know how it felt to kiss you."

Ashley was stunned. How did something that started out so bad, turn into something she could scarcely believe was actually happening? Her body started to tingle and she was pretty sure she'd stopped breathing.

"I used to think about that a lot, actually," Spencer confessed.

"So did I," Ashley responded, finally able to form words. "More than I probably should have."

Spencer kept her hand over Ashley's, she did not want to let go. She took a few steps towards the other girl so they were standing only inches apart. "I thought you'd be my first."

The ambiguity of Spencer's words hung in the air.

"I should have been," Ashley said with a hint of bitterness in her voice.

But Spencer wasn't going to allow things to spiral into "what could have been" or "what should have been." They'd already done that enough to last a lifetime. Getting burned again wasn't even on the blonde's mind in that moment. All her fears and anxiety seemed to have vanished. Spencer knew that was probably temporary, but she didn't care. The two of them had been miserable for long enough.

Hadn't it been fate that brought them back together? Spencer was now willing to admit that she believed the answer to that question was yes. What were the chances of running into Ashley in a city of millions? Or what about her decision to go to grad school in New York? Didn't it say something that she chose NYU when there were plenty of good places she could have gone in LA?

Didn't they both deserve a second chance? For whatever Ashley had put her through, Spencer could tell now how tortured she'd been with that decision. Didn't tons of people make huge mistakes at that age?

A wrong can probably never truly be righted, there was no denying that. Maybe Ashley would have still hurt her even if she had stayed that night. There was no way to know.

What Spencer did know was that she was getting another opportunity, and she wasn't going to throw it away. Whatever the risks were, she didn't care.

"I wanted you to be," Spencer whispered. It felt like nothing else in the world existed outside of her apartment.

Ashley was trying to regulate her breathing, but everything felt erratic and out of control. Things seemed to be happening faster than she could think them through. What was going on? She wanted to ask. She was fixated on Spencer's eyes and couldn't look away. All the anger and pain she'd seen in them weeks before were gone. The blonde was gazing at her like she had done when they were in high school. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.

With a lot of reluctance, Spencer finally let go of Ashley's hand. She didn't miss the connection for long because soon enough she was cradling the brunette's face in the palm of her hands.

Ashley couldn't stop herself from gasping. Spencer was closer to her than it felt like she had ever been. She could feel the blonde's breath on her face. Every part of her buzzing. She reveled in the intimacy of the moment even if she was also confused. "Spence?"

The anticipation of this moment was overwhelming Spencer. She wasn't scared or having second thoughts. Maybe everything they had been through would be worth it in some way for this moment. For what was to come. She smiled at a perplexed looking Ashley. Spencer furrowed her brow when a few stray tears fell from the brunette's eyes. She used her thumbs to wipe those tears away as she continued to hold Ashley incredibly close to her.

Spencer knew that words were not needed anymore. What she needed to do was show Ashley exactly what she wanted by actions instead. She took a calming breath and then moved in for a kiss that was five years overdue.

Ashley's eyes widened as she watched Spencer lean in to her. But they closed almost instantly as the pair of lips she'd dreamed about were finally touching hers.

It wasn't a very long kiss. However, it was one filled with so many pent-up emotions and feelings. Time and distance had not lessened their feelings for each other one bit. In fact, they had probably only intensified them.

When Spencer pulled back from the kiss, she found herself staring into an awestruck and happy looking face. She broke out into a smile that Ashley soon matched. Both their hearts were racing.

There was no thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. For Spencer and Ashley there was only now. With that in mind, Spencer took Ashley's hand in hers again. She flashed the brunette another smile before she turned to lead her down the hall to her room.

When Spencer woke up the next morning she felt incredibly tired but happy at the same time. It took her a few seconds to remember why that was. The previous night came back to her in a rush of images and sensations. She wondered briefly if it had all been a dream. The fact that she was naked and her body ached in all the right places convinced her that was not the case.

The problem was, when she looked over to the other side of the bed – the side of the bed that should have contained Ashley – it was empty. Spencer's heart immediately began to sink. That feeling didn't last long, thankfully. Before she could freak out, her bedroom door opened and there was Ashley standing in the doorway with a mug in her hand.

"I was hoping you'd be up," Ashley said happily. She'd been awake for hours and her patience of letting Spencer sleep was wearing thin. The brunette was exhausted, too, but she'd eventually stopped trying to fall back asleep around sunrise when she realized there was no point. She had been hanging out in Spencer's living room ever since. "I couldn't wait to see you."

Spencer felt bad thinking that Ashley had left. Seeing the brunette's beaming face quickly chased those thoughts away. She hadn't felt this good, maybe ever. "Good morning," she replied shyly. Things felt different in the bright light of the day. Not bad, just different.

"I think you mean it's a great morning," Ashley's comment made both girls blush. "I kind of helped myself to some clothes of yours. Do you mind?" She motioned to the shorts and t-shirt she'd borrowed from the blonde.

"Not at all," Spencer told her.

Ashley was hard-pressed to remember the last time she felt giddy. There were still a lot of unknowns of course, but she had a hard time bringing herself to care about them right then. After she had grabbed clothes from Spencer, Ashley had spent her morning song writing. Lyrics flowed from her in a way she wasn't used to. It was amazing. Later she'd have to tell Spencer that she'd borrowed a pen and some paper from her as well. "I made you coffee, I hope you like it the way you used to."

"Some things don't change," Spencer said, still smiling. Her eyes raked over Ashley's body as the brunette walked towards her. "Thanks," she took the mug from Ashley and watched as the other girl took a set beside her on the bed. Spencer sat up with a sheet wrapped around her body. "Now that is a good cup of coffee," she exclaimed after taking a big sip from her cup.

"Glad to know I've still got it," Ashley flirted. As happy as she was, things still felt surreal. In her wildest dreams she never imagined that she'd end up here with Spencer. Even if she wasn't sure what "here" meant exactly.

The two of them fell into a comfortable silence; both of them basking in the moment. There were still things that had to be said, and things to face, but the resentment and anger seemed to be gone. Hopefully for good.

"Last night was…" Spencer wasn't sure how to finish that sentence. Or how to describe what she was feeling.

"Amazing," Ashley said with a smile and nose crinkle.

Spencer laughed softly. "That it was." She continued to sip on her coffee while her eyes remained on Ashley.

Ashley had so many things on her mind. Seeing Spencer had sent her brain going off in a million directions. She'd said a lot of things to the blonde the night before, but it suddenly didn't feel like enough. "Spence—"

"Tomorrow," Spencer cut in before Ashley couldn't get out another word. She knew that there was still a lot left they needed to be discuss. One night couldn't erase years of being apart. But Spencer wanted to be free from that, if only for a little while. She'd earned a day just to revel and not analyze. They both had. "Let's just enjoy today. There will be time for that later."

Ashley smiled even wider when Spencer reached for her hand. It was enough to calm her mind down a little bit. There was still something she had to ask however. She cleared her throat a few times, "So, uh, so, you know how great last night was, and uh…" She wanted to look away, but didn't. "…it was more than just last night for you. Right?"

Spencer's heart melted at how unsure and adorable Ashley was being. It was very endearing. "Last night meant the world to me, Ash. But it means more to me that I can look at it not as an end for us, but as a new beginning." As gun shy as she could have been, Spencer didn't want to hold back what she really wanted.

"Oh," Ashley replied, relief washing over her. She exhaled the breath she'd been holding. "Oh," she repeated, unable to believe what she'd heard. "That's really good to hear." She had expected nothing from Spencer and had been given the world. "You're unbelievable."

"That's something I don't mind hearing," Spencer joked. It was nice to be in such a good place, even with many things left to sort through. Now they had the time to do that. Spencer gave Ashley a good morning kiss that she'd wanted to do since she'd first seen the brunette that morning.

Ashley was flushed when their kiss ended. How was it possible to be this happy? Like Spencer wanted, she wasn't going to think too much about their situation. She was just going to let herself enjoy the day. Whatever was to come, would come. "In the spirit of starting things out on the right foot, I should be honest and tell you a good portion of the stuff you bought yesterday didn't survive the night."

"Shit!" Spencer exclaimed, remember the groceries she hadn't put away. "Oh well, what happened more than makes up for that."

Ashley caressed the side of the blonde's face. "I'm glad you feel that way. Seeing as you have nothing to feed me, how about I buy you brunch?"

"You want to leave? Now?" Spencer asked, pretending to be offended. "Wouldn't your rather do something else?"

Ashley took the mug from the blonde's hand, put it on the bedside table and then pulled the sheet back so she was staring at a very naked Spencer. She pushed the other girl back until she was lying right on top of her. "I never said when I was going to take you out for brunch."

Spencer stared up at the girl she'd never stopped loving. "Good, because we have a lot of catching up to do."

"I won't ever run away like that again," Ashley blurted out. She knew what she'd agreed to, but she couldn't help herself. Before anything further happened, she needed to make that promise. The blue eyes that she loved more than anything were twinkling.

"I know you won't," Spencer replied, having full confidence in what she was saying. "And if you do, just take me with you this time."

Ashley let out a small chuckle. Life really was good again. She leaned down and kissed Spencer as passionately and with as much feeling as she possibly good.

It was a kiss that neither girl ever wanted to end.