Disclaimer : Nope, nada, I still do not own the Zoey101 gang or the P.C.A. campus .
" Chase , where are we going ? '
It was a warm evening in May , a light breeze drifted in the air blowing Zoey Brooks' honey blonde hair around her face and there was the tangy scent of the ocean scenting the air from the beach just across the road from Pacific Coast Academy as she followed the lanky form of her sweet, though slightly clumsy boyfriend across the campus, pass the familiar fountain where they often met for coffee between classes, heading towards where exactly she wasn't sure . It was a week away from graduation day and Chase had insisted on dragging her away from their Saturday night movie night with their friends .
Quinn and Logan were still bickering over the distances of their college choices so Zoey was glad for a reason to get away from what was becoming a familiar argument between the couple .
' Come on, Zo, ' called Chase , turning to look at his girlfriend from over his shoulder ,' we're almost there ' He glanced briefly at the fountain , a memory of a awkwardness young boy making a clumsy attempt of professing his feelings to the girl of his dreams and a lost Techmate . Fate , God, or the Force had intervened that it wasn't the time for them not yet and he had come to accept that , just as he knew the setting now had to be just right for what he needed to do .
Zoey ran to catch up with his long legs and reached to pull on his arms . " Chase , are we going for a stroll on the beach ? Why are you being so mysterious ? '
It was a huge campus and as far as Zoey could tell, they had passed up all the spots that they liked hanging out at and they were getting closer to the dorms for the lower grades . Brenner and Rigby were literally just around the corner and pausing as a slow wave of nostalgia coursed through her as she remembered how excited she had been on her first day at the boarding school. Dad had been more nervous for her than for her little brother but she could only imagine the new possibilities of the boarding school .
A small smile curved around her lips as Zoey realized that Chase had stopped walking and stood rooted to his spot by the flagpole , hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans and his kind eyes filled with love as he gazed at her .
' This is it , ' managed Chase, pulling out his hands and wishing that they weren't clammy from his own nervousness ,' We're here now and I'm thinking that maybe I should have ridden my old bike ..um, here like once before '
Zoey's smile stayed in place as her eyes lingered from her boyfriends face upwards towards the very first dorm that had been hers so very long ago , the long ago sounds of her then roommates chatter , Nicole's endless babbling over boys, Dana's toughness, Quinn's loneliness , Logan's snark, Michael's emotions and always steady , always Chase . Things had changed over the years , they had all matured and changed into young adults but the friendships were stronger now than ever . Nicole and Dana were fond memories , friends via the random text , occasional email, and love had hit within their little group in such unexpected ways such as Quinn and Logan falling madly in love with each other , Michael falling headlong into crazy love with vivacious Lisa Perkins, and Lola taking the big plunge into actual love with a quite changed Vince Blake .
She had her fair share of romances herself but it wasn't until Chase had followed her for England did Zoey realize that she had been in love with her best friend all along .
Now they would be graduating soon with a long summer to spend together and the question of their own future looming heavy on her mind , she didn't want to think about it .
' Ah the flagpole ,' Zoey's eyes sparkled brightly ,' Dad parked right here and I watched you nearly break a leg or your whole body as you hit that thing .' She couldn't help laughing as she reached up to ruffle his dark fuzzy hair with affection ,' I thought you'd hurt yourself but you were fine . My first friend at PCA …but you know all of this , Chase .'
Chase held onto her hand to give him confidence .' You were pink that day and I was in love with you, Zo, before I even hit the ground .'
Zoey softened and pressed a kiss to his lips .' That is still romantic every time I hear you say it to me , Chase, but you know that I love you too .'
' I know ,' replied Chase , pressing forward and feeling his heart hammering a loud beat in his heart . He didn't know how Zoey couldn't hear it because it was going crazy ,' but I was talking to the guys and we kinda decided you and I sort of started us here even though , you know, it took you and me years to get to where we are now. '
Zoey chuckled at his logic .' Michael and Logan helped you decide this , Chase '
Chase nodded .' Vince took our word for it '
' If you say so, Chase , ' replied Zoey, unsure of where his babbling was going ,' but I don't think I was anywhere ready for romance in the eighth grade though I will admit now by freshman year I was slightly mad about you and Lola .'
A wide grin split across his face .' You wait until now to tell me this ? You weren't supposed to be wanting me to date Lola , it would have been nice of you to be jealous that our friend who is super hot wanted to date me .'
Zoey rolled her eyes upwards at him and tried to walk away .' I was jealous, Fuzzy Head . Come on, Chase , why don't we walk down to the beach while we are this close …I don't want impressionable little eighth graders watching us make out '
Chase froze in his place and tugged her hand back, turning her back around to face him .
Enough with the mindless talking and the words , it was now or never .
' Zoey, wait , I'm not done ,' replied Chase in a stronger voice . He knew he should have rehearsed what he was going to say with Michael and Logan but he had known that she would distract him as always ,' we've known each other for a long time now , you're my best friend and I've been in love with you even longer than that it seems .'
' Chase , your starting to sound as sappy as Michael and Logan ' teased Zoey as the air around them seemed to thicken with emotions . His touch was light on hers yet she felt compelled to grip his hands even tighter , a surge of anticipation lingering around them .
Chase wasn't the best at words , bungled them more often than not , his good natured soul getting him in more messes trying to help than not , and yet she knew without a single doubt he loved her uniquivicly .
Chase stepped closer to her , his heart written plaintively and full of love for her evident in the tender way he looked in her eyes . His own doubts evaporated as he blurted out the first thing that came into his mind .
' Would you rather be locked in an elevator with a hungry tiger or marry me ? '
There he'd said it , what was in his heart , and Zoey just stared , stunned at him .
' W..what did you say ? '
Chase pulled her into his arms and searched her face for the answer he longed for .
' I know you would take your chances with a hungry tiger , I know this about you,' went on Chase , carefully ,' but I'm in love with you . I love you and I want us to be together for a really long time so marry me, Zo '
Across the campus , the roar of the waves was like an echo in her ears as Zoey turned over the question he asked her in her mind , it drowned out everything else in her world but herself and Chase . Graduation, summer, college , there was so much too think about and they were only eighteen . It was completely crazy and they hadn't talked about it .
Her heart beat really fast and it felt as if she couldn't breathe all of the sudden and Oh God, Chase stared so expectantly at her and oh, she loved him so much .
' Yes ! Yes, I'll marry you, Chase ! '
Chase's whole face lit up like a hundred watt Christmas tree as he lifted her up in a crazy dance and spun her around , a excited parody of the dance he had learned for her for the dance contest , and then lifted her back up to meet her gaze .
' Really ? You mean it , I mean, you will marry me ? I don't know if I could still live if you thought it over later and changed your mind, Zoey ,' admitted Chase , who had considered that as a possibility seeing as stupid Logan had pointed it out to him already ,' I'd probably forget college , crawl in a hole and become a hobo .'
Zoey lowered her lips to his in a long , lingering kiss that left him feeling her love and reassurance .
' Yes, I'll marry you ,' Zoey hugged him tight , overjoyed by the love surrounding them ,' and I don't want my future husband turning into some hobo either, you hear .'
' I love you, Zoey Brooks '
' I love you right back, Chase Matthews '
He let her go long enough to reach into his pockets , fumbled slightly and pulled out a ring tied on a string and sent her a sheepish smile as he untied the string and slipped the ring on her finger . It was a simple gold band with a round diamond winking on it .
' See, I should have probably asked you with the ring first but I got so nervous that I forgot that I had it in my pocket '
' It's perfect, Chase ," muttered Zoey , her voice a whisper as she became choked up with her own feelings for the man who had always had her heart even when she hadn't understood it herself ,' and so are you. I cant wait to become Mrs. Zoey Matthews '
' Me either ' Chase wrapped her in his arms as they sealed their love and the proposal years in the making in the sumptuous kiss as the sun set around them ,' Chase and Zoey forever and ever . '