A/N: This is a one shot based on Spoby following their airport reunion in 501. The title is from the song 'Holding a Heart' by Girl Named Toby. This has some fluff, some flirty Spoby and some emotional Spoby. I hope you guys love it!
This one is dedicated to my beautiful friend Suzana aka my-spoby on here and romitrilove on tumblr! Happy Belated Birthday, love! :D
Holding a Heart
"You put your arms around me and I am home."
The excitement in her heart was palpable, as Spencer pulled into the parking lot, her eyes lit with happiness. Three weeks was a bit too much to spend away from him. Grabbing her handbag and the very special placard, she stepped onto the Arrivals section of the airport, waiting with nervous trepidation. Would London have changed him? Spencer knew that vacations tended to help people make life changing decisions, and while she wanted him to feel refreshed and rejuvenated, she hoped it didn't make him want to walk away from her. Swallowing all those feelings, she reminded herself: Toby loved her unconditionally. He had proved that on more than one occasion, and there was very little chance that he would suddenly decide to let her go, London or not. It was all going to be okay.
The Arrivals notice board let her know that the passengers of his flight had just headed to the baggage claim, and she leaned against a pole, checking through her phone. After the incidents that had passed recently, she was a little glad to see no new messages from her anonymous stalker. Maybe the person had gotten tired of her, after all.
Spencer smiled to herself, feeling genuinely happy for the first time in a long while. Chaos and trouble defined her life, and with all that had been going on, she had hardly felt any time to focus on letting in any positive feelings. "Not today," she murmured to herself. "Today is going to be a good day."
She looked up, and as if on reflex, saw a crowd of people walking towards where she stood. Straightening up, she craned her neck, looking for the face that made her the happiest. A warm gush passed through her as she caught sight of him, and she felt herself jumping up and down in excitement. Even though it had been more than a year since they got together, he still made her go weak in the knees when he walked into a room. She held up the placard, and began waving it around excitedly. He still hadn't seen her yet, and when he finally caught her eyes, his tired, droopy face lit up with a wide smile. She felt her lips go even more wide, her chest filling with overwhelming emotion. He increased his pace, nearly jogging towards her, and she pushed past the crowd, making her way towards him.
He caught her as soon as she leapt into his arms, lifting her off the ground. Her hands went around his body, and she clutched onto him, burying her head in his shoulder. "Spencer," he whispered as he held her closer.
"Don't let me go," she said into his neck, inhaling him in. It had been so long, and there had been a constant ache in her heart due to just how much she missed him. Kissing the nape of his neck, she said, "I had almost forgotten your smell."
He laughed into her shoulder, remembering when he had said those words to her. "You have no idea how much I missed you."
"Oh I think I can guess," Spencer chuckled, placing another kiss on his neck. He slowly pulled her apart, and brought her lips down onto his. It was like they were kissing for the first time. Fire spread through Spencer's skin, and she deepened the kiss with a sense of urgency. It didn't matter that they were in public. She wanted as much of him as she could get. He responded with equal vigour, firming his grip on her and pulling her legs around his waist. He backed her against what she thought was the pole, but that didn't matter. The placard slipped from her hand, and they finally pulled apart, desperate for some air. He rested his forehead against hers, smiling.
"You made me a placard," he said with a grin. "You're insane, you know that right?"
"I just missed my boyfriend so much," she said, closing her eyes.
He laughed, placing a small peck on her lips. "Let's get out of here."
"Sure," she said, breaking away from his strong hold. "How was London, by the way? Did you get me anything?"
"You have been waiting to ask me that, have you?" Toby asked.
"Of course I have," Spencer said, rolling her eyes. "What did you think, anyway? You can go off to London without me and not even get me any gifts?"
"Well, then it's your lucky day," Toby said grinning. "I did get you something."
"A few somethings, I hope," Spencer said, pouting.
Toby pinched her nose, and kissed her temple. "Of course. Now let's get going."
A warm laugh erupted from her throat, her eyes transfixed on the television screen. "I always liked Monica and Chandler better." She lay her head on his chest, their naked bodies pressed together under a thick duvet. His hand was around her waist, holding her close.
"Me too," Toby said, kissing the side of her head. "We should do this more often."
"What? Naked cuddling?" There was a suggestive tone in her voice.
"No. Spend more time doing normal things. Though I wouldn't say no to the naked cuddling part."
Spencer laughed, placing a kiss on his bare chest. "I like it when we're like this. It feels nice."
She closed her eyes, taking it all in. There was a warm, strange kind of happiness in her heart, something she didn't feel very often. Being so close to Toby, doing things that other teenagers did...it was such a wonderful feeling. She had always thought that they had to grow up too fast, ignoring the kind of luxuries other people their age got to indulge in. Most of their time was spent sleuthing or trying to find answers. While that was necessary, she loved just being with him, watching a FRIENDS rerun, laughing as if all was right in the world. It was such a serene, blissful feeling. She loved it. She loved him.
"Toby," she whispered, a new thought forming in her head.
"Do you ever think about it?" She asked, sitting up. "What would have happened if we had met somewhere else, in more...normal circumstances? Do you think we would have been the same? You and I?"
"Spencer, are you asking me whether I wonder if adversity was the thing that brought us together?" He asked, looking at her.
She nodded in response.
"I do think about it."
"And, while I do agree that misery loves company, that is not the reason we fell in love, at least certainly not why I fell in love with you. Spencer...you are an intelligent, beautiful, strong, caring, kind and loyal person. I would have fallen in love with you if we had met in college, or wherever. In whatever life, time or era. Because I fell in love with the amazing woman you are, and not the fact that we were both miserable when we met. Okay?"
"I love you so much," Spencer said. "Sometimes I believe that all of this is worth it, because it bought me to you. But sometimes I do fear that...that if things became better in our lives, or worse, that all of this would end. You have no idea how much that scares me."
"Hey Spence...I am so in love with you, and nothing can change that," Toby said, pressing his lips to the top of her head. "And after all of this is over...I will love you even then."
"No...please...don't say things you might regret," Spencer said, though his words meant more to her than she could express. Tears glistened her eyes.
"What's wrong?" Toby straightened up and looked at her, concern in his eyes. "Please, talk to me Spence."
"Nothing...everything is fine."
"Spencer." His tone was stern.
"I...I don't want to ruin the stillness of this moment, Toby."
"None of this matters if you aren't feeling okay, Spencer."
"I feel happy, I really do...it's just...I might not be the person you think I am."
"What does that mean?"
"I think I might have hurt someone...perhaps even killed them."
"What?" Shock was written all over his face. "Spencer...what is going on?"
"Remember how I told you about taking the pills in my sophmore year?" He nodded. "I had been on them the night that Ali disappeared. I am not saying 'died' because...because Alison is alive."
Toby stared at her in shock, unable to say anything. Knowing that she had come too far to stop, Spencer continued. "I know we promised no secrets, but I couldn't tell you about this, not when her life was in so much of danger. But I can't keep it from you...not any more."
"When did you find out?"
She spilled her guts to him, explaining everything that happened since then. She omitted the parts about her hallucinations, and just spoke about her findings regarding Ezra, taking the pills and her hunt for Ali. Throughout her narration Toby stayed silent, listening to her patiently. A part of her worried he hated her for keeping this from him, considering how things between them ran sour when they lied to each other. She hoped that he would understand, for nothing would break her heart than having to part from him again. She didn't think she would survive it another time.
"That man...your English teacher and Aria's boyfriend...he had been spying on you the whole time," Toby said, clenching his teeth in anger. "He attacked you in Ravenswood and threatened you. If I ever get my hands on him, he will regret stepping foot into this town..."
"That is not the point of the whole thing," Spencer said touching his face softly. Her heart was beating wildly, anxiety eating her out. "Are you angry with me for not telling you about Ali? I know you two didn't have the most colourful past."
His expression softened. "No. No, of course not. I am not angry with you. With everything that's been going on, with how I betrayed your trust, I am not surprised you didn't tell me before. But Spencer, please be safe. I do not trust that girl. I'm just trying to understand how she managed to survive all on her own...and also trying to figure out ways to punch Fitz(creepy) in the face."
Spencer managed to laugh. "It wasn't because I didn't trust you. I do trust you. I just didn't want to risk Ali's life by telling anyone. But I think you deserve to know, and I had to be the one to tell you. And about her...I honestly do not know if she has changed, or is playing with her. But I feel responsible for bringing her back, you know?"
"Thank you for telling me," Toby said bringing her hand to his lips. "You don't have to feel responsible for that. And if Alison is alive, who is in her grave?"
Spencer grimaced, her expression darkening. "I have no idea. But whoever it is...I think I was the one who hurt her. I was still on the pills that night, Toby. The alcohol didn't have an effect on me. I keep seeing these hallucinations of me running behind her and hitting her with a shovel. I also just found out my father had hired an investigator to spy on me, not Melissa. That was why I was so upset when you had come home that day."
Toby knew which day she was talking about. "Spence...there's got to be an explanation. Just because you are hallucinating those things doesn't mean that..."
"I can't think of any other explanation, Toby," Spencer said swallowing her tears. "I am so afraid of someone just coming up to me and telling me that I had killed an innocent person. That I killed someone. It makes sense. I had fought with Ali that night...even told her she was dead to me. What if I did kill that girl thinking it was her?"
"Spencer, look at me," Toby said, tilting her face upwards. She refused to meet his eyes. "Please." Reluctantly, she looked up, tears cascading down her cheeks. "You are not a killer, okay? You might have fought with Ali that night, yelled at her, and called her all sorts of things, but you didn't kill her– or the person in her grave. That is not who you are."
She shook her head. "Toby..."
"No, listen to me. I know who you are, Spence. You didn't kill that girl. I don't believe you are capable of something like that, I am sure you didn't do it."
"Thank you for believing in me. It means more to me than you know."
"I know, Spence. But you've got to trust me. You didn't do it. We'll find out who did, and it won't be you."
"What if it is me? What if at the end we find out that I did it? What about then?"
"I will protect you. We'll run away together, away from all of this chaos, to our own little heaven. I will love you even then. Nothing you do, have done or will do will change that. I love you, Spencer Hastings...in a forever kind of way."
A small smile played on her lips. "I love you too, Toby Cavanaugh. What did I do to deserve you?"
"You gave me your heart," Toby said, pulling her closer. "Now come here."
Without a moment's hesitation, she curled into his chest, a strange sort of calm settling over her. Even though everything seemed murky and uncertain, Spencer felt like she could face it with Toby by her side.
"You didn't do it," he whispered. "There is nothing I have been more certain of."
"Thank you," she said.
Her hands went around him, and she sighed in content. In the hustle and bustle of life, there were such few moments when she got to enjoy a moment as it was happening, to truly feel it and live it. There had been a few of them in her life, and this was definitely one of them. Everything about it – the calmness, the solace, the beauty of it, she inhaled it all and let it overwhelm her. It was all consuming, truly living, being conscious of doing so. She could feel the steady beating of his heart, and Spencer decided that it was the most beautiful, most melodious music she had ever heard. If she could listen to it all of her life, she would be good.
"Don't you want to see your presents?" Toby asked.
A childlike joy filled her. "Is that even a question? What did you get me?"
He untangled himself from her, covering her eyes with one hand.
"What are you doing?"
"It is a surprise. Keep your eyes closed as I go and get your gift."
"You know I don't have a very good record with surprises," Spencer said watching his retreating figure. Grinning to herself, she leaned back and admired his bare back and licked her lips. "Plus, the view is too good to miss."
"Spencer, close your eyes," he said with a laugh.
Even though she would have loved to admire him for longer, she closed her eyes obediently, anticipating filling her. What would he have gotten her?
He was at her side soon, pushing the blanket away. "Open your eyes."
He was holding an open velvet box. A beautiful silver ring sat in the middle of it, and Spencer's eyes widened in surprise. "Toby...I..."
"Relax, it's not a wedding ring," Toby said, laughing at her surprised expression. "It is a promise ring that I found when I went shopping for you. It is to tell you that I will love you, today, tomorrow and forever, come what may."
Tears welled up her eyes, as he put in on her ring finger, and she examined it, joy filling up her heart. "It's beautiful, Toby. Thank you."
"I also bought you this," Toby said, pulling out a long white t-shirt from a plastic bag. It had the English flag on it.
"This is a dude's shirt," Spencer said examining it.
"I know," Toby said with a smirk. "This is so you won't keep stealing my shirts all the time."
"Keep dreaming buddy," Spencer said, patting his shoulder playfully. "This doesn't smell like you. Besides, I am never going to stop taking them."
"With your current track record, I am going to have to go shirtless pretty soon."
"Well I am not one to complain," Spencer said, running her hands over his bare torso. "The lesser the better, Cavanaugh. Haven't you learnt?"
"Oh, I think I might agree," Toby said, observing her naked body.
"Just kiss me already," Spencer said, her cheeks flushing. "Now."
Ever the obliging boyfriend, Toby wasted no time in leaning on top of her, pressing his lips against hers. Every inch of Spencer's body was on fire, and she gasped at how wonderful it all felt. Their lips moved together in a passionate frenzy, and pleasure shot through Spencer. "I love you," she said, pulling away. "So much."
"I love you too," he said breathlessly.
Then his lips descended down on hers again, and everything felt great. With him by her side, she would be okay, she realized. Everything was going to be okay.
Reviewwww, please. :D Too cheesy? Too fluffy? This story was my way of fulfilling this loooooong Spoby drought ahead of us. Ugh. Thanks for reading anyway.