A/N: Oh my fucking god, it's over! It's really freaking over! *cries* I still have Sunny's and David's one-shot to write, as well as Oliver's, but no other character's from this will be in them, so... *sobs* This is such a bittersweet moment. I'm happy I finished it and all, though it's saddening that I'll never write for these characters again. :(
Well, this is where I thank you all for reading and reviewing. I honestly never thought WAC and this would become as popular as they did, so thank you for making it so. I hope that you'll all stick around for my upcoming one-shots and stories (more info on them will be on my profile within the next hour, or so). Lots of love to you all!
Piece of Cake
Epilogue – Mitchell and Taylor
It's been almost a year and a half since Taylor and I got back together. And for the most part, so far everything has been great. There's been some times when things have been a little shaky between us, but what relationship doesn't have those? Not my brother's and Jonas's, and definitely not Sunny's and David's. So, it's okay. I can deal with little bumps in the road, and Taylor can, too. We've done it before; we can keep doing it. Neither of us will let the other go without a fight, anyway. So, it's better than okay, actually.
Surprisingly, not much has changed. Well. I shouldn't really that, because things have changed, but certain things—general things—haven't. Like, Sunny and David are still somehow together, which amazes me since they argue as much as always. I don't really think that's ever going to change, though. Hailey's still crazy, but not as much as she used to be, which I can't say I'm not grateful for. Taylor's still absolutely wonderful and adorable as ever. And I'm still myself, even though I'm pretty sure I've matured some in the past year. We all have.
What isn't the same is that I no longer work at Maria's Bookstore. I just don't have time for a job anymore with all of the school work I have to do. This year I'm taking several college classes, and I need to keep my grades up since there's no way we'll be able to afford the college I want to go to without me getting at least a partial scholarship.
Oh. And Sunny and I are battling it out for valedictorian. The last I knew, we were tied, but it's not going to stay like that. It's to the point where if one of us slacks off even a little bit, the other could pass him. Both of us are working our asses off, trying to beat the other. The competition between us is actually pretty motivating; I wouldn't be trying this hard if it wasn't for Sunny, and same goes for him. I have no clue if I'm going to get it or if he is, since we're equally intelligent. And if he does—yeah, it'll be disappointing, but I'm not going to let it ruin our friendship. Same thing goes for him if I win.
Though, with how much time I've been spending on school work this year, did, at first, strain things between Taylor and me. With that much amount of homework and a job, I barely had any time for him. He tried to put up with it—and he managed for a while; longer than I actually thought possible—but there's a certain amount of attention he needs, and he wasn't getting it. Not from me. There was probably a two-week period where I neglected him completely, not because I wanted to, but because I really had no other alternative. There just wasn't enough hours in the day for me to do everything—the homework, the job, and Taylor. Yes, I was overwhelmed, but it took nearly losing Taylor to make me realize it. I knew I had to make a choice: I either dropped some classes, quit my job, or let Taylor go. And honestly, I didn't even have to think about it; it was obvious that I wasn't about to give up Taylor, and there was no way I was dropping any classes. So, I quit my job.
Maria understood, of course. And Taylor was still working for her, so she had enough help at the bookstore not to be hindered by me leaving.
This also brings me to another thing that's changed—Taylor's not in foster care anymore.
Ever since they met, Maria's been taken by Taylor. I can understand why, too, since he is very charming and polite, and most who meet him can't help but love him. It was no different for Maria, who spent a lot of time with Taylor after he started working there, and especially after I quit. Within the first two months, they'd developed a kind of aunt-nephew relationship with each other. So, I wasn't really all that surprised when Taylor told me Maria had decided to adopt him.
It was relief for both of us, really, to know for a fact that there was no chance of him leaving now. Neither of us had really been that worried about it since we'd gotten back together, but there still had been some fear; we would have been idiots to not have had any. And once that fear was gone, it made everything so much easier. Specifically, it made helping Taylor get over his lack of self-worth much easier, since he could no longer identify himself as a foster kid.
There are still some issues, though. Taylor still has some insecurities, but who doesn't? And I know he's probably always going to be his clingy self and have nightmares, since certain things just don't go away, even after years and years. I understand that, and I do my best to be there for him when he needs me. He says I've helped him a lot. Maybe I have, but I really wish I could do more for him. Especially when he has nightmares. There's only so much comfort I can give to him over the phone at one o'clock in the morning, since I obviously can't be with him every time he has them.
Besides that though, being with Taylor has overall been better than I expected it to be. We understand each other on a level I don't think anyone else can or ever will. He loves me deeply, and I love him just as much. Our relationship is more than I could have asked for, or expected two years ago when I was just this shy, awkward boy with barely any friends. It's even better than I thought it would be when got together.
But, I probably shouldn't be surprised. Things always seem to turn out wonderfully whenever Taylor's involved.
The moment the door's open, I jump on Taylor, wrapping my arms around his neck and pressing my lips to his. He laughs into the kiss as he encircles me with his arms to hold me back. I grin, and kiss him for a moment longer before I pull away.
"Happy birthday," I tell him, pecking him on his cheek. Luckily, in the past year and a half, I've grown several inches so I don't have to stand on my tiptoes to do that anymore. I'm still about two inches shorter than him, but that's really no big deal.
"Thanks, Mitchie," he says.
Taylor leans his head against mine and hugs me tighter. Sighing happily, I rest my head on his shoulder, content to let us stay like this for a long while. Or, I am until I catch sight of a clock inside the house. Mentally, I curse and pull away from him. The pout he gives me for doing that melt my hearts and I struggle to keep myself from hugging him again, despite the time. Instead, I smile at him.
"You ready?" I ask.
He blinks, and then nods. "Yeah. Just…hold on a minute…" Turning around, he leans back into the house and shouts, "Maria! I'm going to Mitchie's!"
"Okay!" she shouts back. Taylor turns back to me with a grin.
"Alright," he says. "We can go now."
Good, I think, discreetly checking my watch. But to Taylor, I just smile and hold out my hand for him. He takes it, closing the door behind him, and we start walking down the sidewalk towards my house.
It's beautiful out, which makes me extremely happy. Earlier this week, all it did was rain, and I was worried that it would today, too. Thankfully, though, it didn't. And for late April, it's surprisingly warm out. It's perfect for what I planned for today. I just hope Sunny, David, and Hailey aren't going to ruin it.
As if my thoughts were heard, my cell phone beeps. I stop walking, making Taylor stop too, and pull it out of my pocket. After flipping it open, I read the text from Sunny and do my best not to scowl.
Not ready. H is stupid. Need 15 more mins.
That would be okay if Taylor and I weren't literately a block away from my house. I quickly send Sunny a reply—Hurry your asses up!—then look back up at Taylor with a smile. He gives me a confused one back.
"Who was that from?" he asks.
"My brother," I lie, keeping my eyes on my cell phone as I shove it back into my pocket. I know I wouldn't be able to keep eye contact with him anyway. "Nothing exciting."
"Oh," Taylor says slowly. I glance up at him to see him looking at me with suspicion.
Oh, no. That won't do.
Raising an eyebrow, I give him a confused look. "What?" I ask, tilting my head to the side a bit. My hair falls into my eyes, and I smile at him a little, almost shyly. Taylor blinks a few times, the suspicion disappearing from him face completely, just like I knew it would. Distracting him isn't hard at all when I know how to work my charm in the right way.
"Um…I don't know," he says. Then he shakes his head and grins at me, holding out his hands. I take it, but when he tries to start walking again, I don't move. Taylor looks back at me with a confused expression. Thinking fast, I smile at him and take a step closer to him until I can wrap my arms around his neck and rest my forehead against his. He puts his arms around my waist, but there's still a confused look on his face. Before I do anything else, though, I take a quick glance at my watch.
Ten more minutes.
I suppose I can make-out with him here, in the middle of the sidewalk, for that long.
That'll be a good distraction, right?
Meeting Taylor's eyes again, I grin at him and then lean forward to kiss him. He smiles against my lips, pulling me closer to him, his eyes falling shut. I close mine then, and place a hand on his cheek. His skin is soft, warm, and just lovely under mine, and I sigh. Taylor uses that opportunity to capture my bottom lip between his, his tongue sliding along it between them. Leaning half my weight on him, I part my lips a little for him, and he slips his tongue into my mouth. I laugh into the kiss as our tongue wrestle and dance together. He chuckles, too, and he tangles one of his hands into my hair.
It's then, just as I start to really enjoy myself and no longer really care about anything else except kissing Taylor, when my cell phone beeps again. With an irritated huff, I pull away from him, giving him a quick peck as I pull my phone out of my pocket when I see the pout on his lips. Then I turn away from him to read Sunny's text.
Ready and waiting.
I smile, stuffing phone back into my pocket without sending a reply, and look back up at Taylor. He's once again watching me with suspicious eyes. My face flushes a bit before I can help it or look away. His eyes widen and then narrow.
"Mitchie," he begins, "what are you up to?"
"Nothing!" I tell him, and even I can hear how unconvincing I sound. Taylor smirks, raising his eyebrows at me.
"Really?" he asks dryly.
I bite my lip and avoid his gaze as I try to think of something to say. Nothing comes to me, though, so I just fidget in his arms. This is so not good. I don't know how to get him to my house without him making even more suspicious than he is right now.
"Mitchie?" Taylor puts two fingers under my chin and tilts my head up so I have no choice but to look at him. His pretty blue eyes are glinting with curiosity and amusement. "What's going on? I know something is."
I shake my head. "Nothing's going on."
"I don't believe you," he says, laughing a little. He pokes me in the side, tickling me. "So, c'mon. Tell me."
"No. I'm not gonna tell you," I say, pulling free of his arms and taking a couple steps away from him. He raises his eyebrows at me again, his smirk still on his lips. An idea strikes me, and I give him my own smirk back. "Not until you catch me, at least."
And with that said, I take off running down the sidewalk, towards my house.
Taylor calls after me, and I hear him start to run too, but I don't slow down. I don't stop until I reach my front porch, panting and with a painful stitch in my side. Fumbling to get the door open, I glance over my shoulder to see that Taylor's literately right behind me. Our eyes meet, and laughter escapes from my throat just as he catches me, wrapping his arms around my waist from behind. The door opens and we stumble in together, grinning and giggling.
"Okay," he pants once we have our balance back. "I caught you, now you have to tell me what's going on."
"Um…how 'bout no," I tell him, and then laugh at the indignant look he gives me. Shaking my head, I grab his hand. "C'mon." I start to tug him quickly through the house.
"No, no," he says, but he goes with me anyway. "That's not fair."
"Says who?" I ask.
"Says me!" Taylor exclaims.
I smirk at him from over my shoulder, but don't say anything else since we just reached the back door. He huffs as I open it and start to pull him out into the backyard, making sure to block his view until the very last second.
"Mitchie, c'mon!" he says, almost whining. "Just tell m—"
Taylor freezes in the middle of the doorway, staring at the balloons and the birthday cake on the picnic table with wide, shocked eyes. Sunny, David, Hailey, and I all start laughing a bit, and eventually a small smile finds its way onto Taylor's lips. Shaking his head and laughing a bit, he turns to me with raised eyebrows.
"Sneak!" he says, and I laugh.
"Just a little bit," I admit, nodding.
Taylor rolls his eyes, but he's still smiling. "And didn't I say something about not throwing me a party?" he asks. "Specifically a surprise one?"
"No. No, I don't think you did," I tell him, smirking as I wrap my arms around his waist and kiss his cheek. I then look at Sunny with a faux-curious expression. "Do you remember him saying anything like that?"
Grinning, Sunny shakes his head. "No. Do you, David?"
"Not a word," he replies with a smirk. "Hailey?"
"Nope!" she chimes cheerfully. Taylor just rolls his eyes at us again, though the smile on his face is growing bigger by the second.
"Right," he says. "Like I believe any of you."
"Well. It doesn't really matter since you're here, you were surprised, and there's a birthday cake with your name on it. Quite literately," Sunny says, motioning to the cake.
Taylor looks over at it again and reads the white and blue frosting—Happy 18th Birthday, Taylor!—then shakes his head before he looks back up at us. "Who made it?" he asks.
"I did!" Hailey exclaims, raising her hand and waving it around. Taylor scrunches up his nose and throws a distrustful glance back at the cake.
"Are you sure it's edible?"
"Taylor!" I scold, smacking him lightly on the butt.
"I was joking!" he laughs. He sends an apologetic smile to Hailey though, who's pouting at him. "Sorry, Hail. I didn't mean anything by it."
Hailey slowly smiles back at him. "That's okay," she says. Then she picks up a knife, cuts a piece quickly, and puts it on a paper plate. "Here. It's chocolate. Try it." She holds out the plate for him.
Grinning, Taylor pulls free of my arms. I watch Hailey as he goes over to her for it, with narrowed eyes, knowing she's up to something by the way she's smiling and the mischievous glint in her eye. Unfortunately, I don't figure out what it is until it's too late. Just as Taylor tries to take the plate from her, she pulls it away and then presses it into his face with an evil smirk. David and Sunny burst out laughing, holding onto each other to stay upright, while I stand there, agape, as the plate falls away from Taylor's face, leaving him with a mask of white and blue frosting and chocolate cake. After a moment, he slowly reaches up and attempts to wipe the frosting off of the lenses of his glasses, but all he manages to do is smear it. Hailey starts snickering, and I have to bite my lip to keep myself from smiling and giggling.
"How is it?" Hailey asks innocently. "Chocolaty enough for you?"
"I can't tell," he says, wiping some more off his face. "How about you try some"—he grabs a handful of cake—"and tell me." Taylor squishes it onto her face.
At that and Hailey's expression of pure disbelief, I can't hold it in any longer and I start laughing, too. Sunny and David are now both on the ground, laughing so hard they're clutching their stomachs. Taylor smirks—or, I think he smirks; it's hard to tell when his face is covered with frosting and cake—at her.
"How is it?" he mocks, copying her tone, too. "Chocolaty enough for you?"
"No," Hailey says, shaking her head. "It tastes more like…" She licks some frosting and cake from her lips. "Like Taylor's about to get his ass kicked."
Taylor laughs, ducking away from her as she tries to throw more cake at him. Instead of hitting him, though, it lands dangerously close to Sunny's hair. Sunny stops laughing then turns slowly to face Hailey with a glare that makes her freeze.
"That wasn't meant to hit you!" she tells him hastily with a guilty smile.
"But it almost did, didn't it?" Sunny asks, giving her a nasty smile back. "You almost got it in my hair!"
The rest of us watch with bated breath as Sunny stands up and walks over to her, swiping his fingers through the frosting to get a handful. He goes to shove it in her hair, but before he can, Hailey grabs his wrist and stops him. They struggle, and after a few seconds it's clear that neither of them is going to get the upper hand. When they realize this, they both turn to David.
"David! Help me!" they shout simultaneously.
David, looking like a deer caught in the headlights, shakes his head. "No way. I'm staying neutral."
Sunny and Hailey stare at him for a moment longer then turn to each other with a similar look in their eyes. Identical grins spread across their faces a second later, and they immediately let go of the other's wrists. I laugh as Sunny tackles David to the ground and pins him there as Hailey gets some cake to smear across his face. Taylor walks over to me, holding several napkins in his hand, never taking his eyes off the other three. After a bit, David manages to break free of Sunny and Hailey and goes to get them back. That's all it takes for Sunny and Hailey to forget their alliance with each other, and they start a three-way cake and frosting war with David. Rolling my eyes, I turn to Taylor just as he turns to me. When our eyes meet, we smile at each other.
"Here," I say, taking the napkins from him. I remove his glasses then start wiping the frosting and cake off his face. Taylor smiles and closes his eyes.
"Thank you, Mitchie," he says, and I grin.
After I'm done freeing his face and glasses of cake, we head over to the picnic table and sit down next to each other. Dropping the used napkins on the table, I sigh as I look at the destroyed cake and hear Hailey shriek from the other side of the yard, followed by the sound of David and Sunny's laughter. Taylor immediately wraps his arms around me, leaning his head against my temple.
"I know that look," he says. "And that sigh. What's wrong?"
"Nothing, really," I tell him, leaning into his side. "Just…wouldn't you rather have eaten the cake?"
He shrugs. "Doesn't really matter to me. I didn't even want a birthday party to begin with. But someone decided not to listen to me." He pokes me in the side a couple of times, nuzzling his face into my hair until I laugh. Once I do, he stops then kisses me on the cheek. "But thank you anyway."
"You're welcome," I say, turning to look at him.
Taylor smiles at me then kisses me on the lips. I kiss him back, sighing happily, and then rest my head on his shoulder, wrapping my arms around him. As he hugs me back, I watch Sunny and David wrestle on the ground for a moment before they start kissing. While they're distracted, Hailey uses the opportunity to sneak up on them with some more cake. Grinning at their annoyed and startled yells, I turn my head so I can hide my face in Taylor's neck and hold him tighter. He does the same to me, leaning his head lightly against mine.
I'll admit that getting with Taylor was rather difficult with him being in foster care, his insecurities, and with Oliver getting in the way. But once I was with him, it didn't even matter anymore how exasperating getting there had seemed. All that mattered was that we were finally together. Yes, there have been other things that have caused some problems, but they don't matter either since we got through them.
There's one thing, though, that has never been—and never will be—an issue, and that's me loving him. Because, really—it's Taylor. And being in love with Taylor is...
It's a piece of cake.