Okay, so for better or worse, it's done. I love the ending scene, but I might have rushed it just a bit. Oh well...I hope you enjoy it. I'm just relieved I've finally finished it!

The rest of the weekend went by quickly; too quickly for Matt. By the time Monday afternoon rolled around and they were on their way home, he was left feeling as if time had slipped away from him. Although he had resolved to talk to Ally and tell her how he felt, there had never been an opportunity; he hadn't been alone with her the entire weekend. And though he was tempted to just keep putting it off, he knew he couldn't do it.

He had seen over the last few months that the issue wasn't going to go away; he wasn't going to suddenly stop being in love with her, and it didn't look as though she was going to dump Adam anytime soon, either. He had to tell her. And soon.

"You look like you're a million miles away."

"Huh?" Matt was startled out of his thoughts at Ally's words. He glanced over at her in the passenger seat. "Sorry, I was just...thinking."

"I can see that," Ally said, her voice amused. "I was just wondering what had you so concerned."

"Um, just thinking about tomorrow's lesson," he finished lamely.

"Judging by the look on your face, I pity your students."

"Oh, ha ha. Very funny."

Laughing, she rolled down the window a bit, letting the air blow across her face. "It will be nice to get home. I love my family, but having my mom grill me all weekend long about Adam really wore me out."

"Well, don't worry. You can relax when we get home. How does pizza and a movie sound?"

"I can't. I'm meeting Adam for dinner."

Matt fought back the now familiar surge of jealousy. "Tonight? I thought you just said you were tired and wanted to relax."

"Well, I haven't seen him since Wednesday. And he was a little put out that I didn't invite him along this weekend."

"I don't see why." Matt kept his eyes on the road, but she could still feel her gaze on him. "You've only been dating a few months. Why would he expect you to bring him home to meet your family already.?"

"Because he took me to meet his parents a few weeks ago."

That was news to him. He realized then just how distant they had become over the last few months; in the past, that would definitely have been something she would have told him. He was quiet the rest of the way home, his thoughts in turmoil.

xxx

May 14, 2010

"I'm sorry...what?" Ally stared across the table at Adam, shocked. Surely she couldn't have heard him right. She could've sworn he asked her...

"I said, I want you to move in with me."

Okay, she had heard correctly. Of course, that revelation did nothing to lessen her confusion. "Adam, I...I don't know what to say."

"I was kind of hoping for a yes."

Ally took a deep breath, trying to collect her thoughts. Since Easter break, she had been so busy preparing her lessons and exams for the end of the school year that she had only seen Adam a handful of times. She had finally taken a night off, thinking that it would be nice to just relax and have fun for a few hours. Dinner and a movie. No big deal. But now all of a sudden here he was, asking her to move in with him. She definitely wouldn't categorize that as a relaxing conversation. She certainly hadn't been expecting that; it came out of the blue for her, at least, and she had no idea what to think. "Adam..."

Reaching across the table, he took her hand, halting her words. "Look, I know it's fast, but..."

"Fast?" She laughed nervously. "We've only been going out for a few months.

"Four. Four months. And yes, I know, but it feels right. At least, for me it does."

"I...I just don't know. It's a lot to take in, you know?"

"Look, I don't expect you to move in tomorrow. I mean, I know it's a big step..."

"Matt."

Adam looked up, seemingly startled at her interruption. "What?"

"I mean, I can't just leave. He'd have to find another roommate, and..."

"Ally." She broke off and looked up at him. "Just think about it, okay?"

The look on his face made her feel guilty; he seemed so excited and hopeful, and she was just...confused. Taking a deep breath, she tried to smile reassuringly. "Yeah...okay. I will."

xxx

Ally let herself into the apartment, grateful that Matt was at the hockey game tonight. She had way too much on her mind, and she needed to be alone for awhile.

After a quick shower, she changed into her pajamas and crawled into bed. It was still early, but she needed some time to sort our her conflicting thoughts.

Everything was just so confusing, though she wasn't quite sure why. Adam was handsome, smart, successful, and everything she had ever wanted. So why was she stalling? Why hadn't she jumped at the chance to take their relationship to the next level?

Matt's face rose unbidden to her mind. He was why. When Adam had asked her to move in with him, her first thought had been of Matt, and how much she would miss him. Miss seeing his face every morning, miss the laughter, miss the closeness they shared. And even miss how annoying he could sometimes be. She finally had to admit it to herself; she was in love with her best friend.

Groaning, Ally rolled onto her back and threw her arm across her face. Why did everything have to be so complicated? Everything had been going great until now. Now she didn't know what to do. She had to talk to Matt, but she didn't know how. She had always been so sure that he didn't feel that way about her, but now her brother's words came back to her. Was jealousy the reason Matt had been acting so strange lately? And if so, was it because he was attracted to her, or just because spending time with Adam had been taking her away from him? She didn't know, but she knew she had to find out before she made any kind of decision about Adam and their future together.

Ally was up early the next morning, despite tossing and turning most of the night. Matt was still in bed, and she took advantage of the silence to make some tea and try to relax. She took it out on the tiny balcony and soaked in the morning sun. It was a beautiful spring day, and despite the occasional rumblings of the Saturday morning traffic, she could still hear the birds singing in the trees. Ally closed her eyes and lost herself in the sounds.

"Didn't you get enough sleep last night?"

Matt's words startled Ally sometime later. She opened her eyes and looked up at him. "Apparently not." Butterflies erupted in her stomach as he smiled down at her, and she berated herself. She was acting like a schoolgirl with her first crush, for goodness sake. This was Matt...her best friend. She was being an idiot.

"Well, you certainly went to bed early enough. I didn't get home that late, and you were already there."

"Yeah, sorry about that." Standing, she grabbed her cup and took it into the kitchen, Matt following behind. "So how was the game?"

"Great! Too bad you missed it."

"Next time, I promise."

"I'm gonna hold you to that." He smiled and leaned back on the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. "So, are you busy today? I thought maybe we could go out to lunch or something."

"Actually, I have some work to do this morning. But later, maybe we can talk."

He shrugged. "Okay. But if you get done early, you know where to find me."

xxx

"Adam asked me to move in with him."

"He what?"

Ally studied Matt's face carefully. She hadn't meant to blurt it out like that, it had just happened. She had worked right through lunch, and he had suggested going to Mike's for dessert, but she had refused. She knew she had to talk to him, and it had seemed the perfect time. But now, watching the hurt form in his eyes, she was rethinking her decision. "He...he asked me to move in with him."

"Oh." Just that one little word, but she heard the disappointment in his voice. "Well, that's...great."

"I...I didn't say yes. I mean, not yet. I just wanted to...well, I wanted to know what you thought."

"What does it matter what I think?"

"Because, you're my best friend. And...well, I just thought..."

"He's a great guy. I'm sure you'll be happy with him."

Ally's heart sank. She had been hoping that he would be against it, that he would ask her to stay. Then maybe she would have known if he felt the same way she did. But it seemed as though he didn't care. "So, there's no reason that I shouldn't do it?"

"What could there be?"

"I...I don't know."

"Look, it's your life, you do what you want. If he makes you happy...do it." He turned away from her a picked up the TV remote.

"Okay." She had to get out of there. She felt like she could cry any minute, and she didn't want him to see how much this hurt her. "Look, I'm just gonna...go out for awhile."

"Sure. Have fun."

"Matt..."

"I'll talk to you later." He turned the TV on and looked away.

"Yeah. Okay." Her heart heavy, she turned and walked out, softly closing the door behind her.

xxx

Matt stood and looked down the street, shading his eyes with his hand from the glare of the sun. He had been walking around the streets of Boston for an hour looking for Ally, and he still hadn't found her.

It had taken him about 5 minutes after she left to realize that he had made a mistake, and another 5 to find his elusive sneaker. By that time, she was gone. He had checked all their usual spots, but she hadn't been in any of them. Now he was reduced to just wandering around aimlessly, and of course, he wasn't having much luck.

He knew he should just go back to the apartment and wait, but he was too impatient. Once he had made up his mind that he had to tell her, he couldn't wait another minute. Unfortunately, it looked like he was going to have to, though. This was useless.

He decided to take one more pass by the most obvious places, and then just give up and go home. Hell, maybe she was even back there already; that would be just his luck. Here he was, out here wandering the streets of Boston, and she had probably been sitting at home the whole time.

Shaking his head, he walked back to the North End, checking Mike's on his way, before heading around to the wharf. Sighing, he was just about to give up when he spotted her, standing by the railing, looking out over the water. His heart skipped a beat.

The sun was just beginning its descent below the horizon, and the sun's rays glinted off her auburn hair, turning it a fiery red. He took a deep breath; it was now or never. "Ally."

She turned, startled. "Matt? She took a step towards him. "What are you doing here?"

He didn't answer at first; he couldn't. The words were there, but they seemed stuck in his throat. He couldn't remember ever feeling so terrified in his life. All the doubts and uncertainties sprang up in him again, and he was afraid he wouldn't be able to do it. What if she didn't feel the same way? What if he lost the second most important person in his life?

"Matt?" she asked again, and this time, there was something in her voice. Something...he wasn't sure what, but it broke his paralysis.

"Don't do it."

The confusion in her eyes deepened. "I don't understand. Don't do what?"

"Don't move in with him."

Comprehension dawned in her eyes. "But...you told me to."

"Since when do you listen to me?" He smiled nervously, unconsciously moving a step closer to her. "Seriously. Don't do it. Don't move in with him."

"Why?"

That one word seemed to break the dam inside of him, and the words just poured out. "Because I don't want to lose you. Because I don't want things to change. Because I can't imagine you not being there." He shrugged. "There are a million reasons why. But the truth is...I love you." He heard her sharp intake of breath, but he went on quickly. "For the past couple of years, we've both been searching for something. For that someone who makes us happy, who makes us whole. Someone we want to spend the rest of our lives with." He moved forward until he was standing right in front of her.

"But what I've realized is...I already have that. You're the one I want to see every morning, and you're the one I want to come home to at night. You're the one that I want to share my life with. All this time, it was in front of me, but I was too stupid to see it." He sighed. "I know I'm a shit for telling you now...now that you're with Adam, and you're happy. But I couldn't let you go without telling you." He reached out, brushing her cheek lightly with his fingers. "I love you, Ally."

She had been staring at him the whole time, but now she lowered her eyes, and he panicked. What had he done? "Ally?" His fingers softly caressed her face, and she looked up again to meet his eyes. "Say something?" he asked imploringly.

"You...you felt this way all along? That's why you've been so distant lately?" she asked, her voice trembling with emotion.

"Yeah. I'm sorry about that. I just...I didn't know how to tell you."

"I don't know, that sounded pretty good to me." She smiled, and he felt a huge weight lift from his shoulders, though he hardly dared to hope.

"Then...then you're going to tell him no, right?"

"I already did," she whispered softly, taking him completely by surprise.

"Wait...that's where you've been?" he asked incredulously.

"Yeah." She shrugged. "I've also come to realize some things recently." Matt's pulse raced as she closed the gap between them.

"Oh." He swallowed hard, trying to control his raging emotions. "And what would that be?"

"Being with Adam is not what makes me happy," she said, reaching up and locking her arms around his neck. "You do," she whispered, just before his mouth closed on hers.

The sweet kiss took his breath away; it felt like hours, but in reality, Matt knew it was only moments before they reluctantly parted. He felt as if he could go on kissing her forever, but then she smiled up at him for a moment before ducking her head and laying it on his chest. Pulling his arms around her, he just stood there, enjoying the feeling of holding her in his arms.

Reluctant to break the spell, but knowing that it couldn't last forever, he gently pulled away and looked down at her. "So, what now?"

Ally smiled mischievously. "Well, it's Saturday. Which means it's your turn to cook." Reaching out, she took his hand and started pulling him down the street. "So, what's it gonna be? Chinese or pizza?"

Matt tightened his fingers around hers and followed. "Chinese sounds good."

"There's also a hockey game on, but considering how cranky you get when the sucky Devils lose, maybe we should skip that."

"Oh, ha ha. Very funny." He stopped suddenly and pulled her to him, startling her with a kiss. This time, the kiss was more demanding, and they were both breathless when he finally pulled back. "I love you," he whispered, brushing a lock of hair back from her face.

"I love you too, Matt." Reaching out, he took her hand again before leading her down the street towards home.