"Hey, Miller," she says with a shy smile on her face.
"Hey," he says slowly, slightly taken aback at finding her in the elevator
The doors start to close and he sticks his hand out to stop them. He slips into the elevator and stands next to her, slightly embarrassed now, because she knows and that was not how he planned to tell her.
As the doors close, he almost misses what she says, because she's looking straight ahead, with just a hint of a smile on her face.
"I love you, too."
He almost smiles with relief but remembers something. "You're moving out."
It's not a question.
She doesn't deny it but doesn't answer immediately either. "I was."
He sighs and turns to look at her in earnest, but she continues to stare straight ahead.
"Was?" he asks. "You're not anymore?"
She shoots him a glance before looking at her feet nervously. "You've given me a reason to stay."
He's happy with what she said, but he doesn't miss the implication of what she'd said.
"Jess, were you… were you moving out because of me?"
The subtle slump in her shoulder tells him all he needs to know.
"Jess… why?" he asks, but he already has an inkling.
"It was…... hard," is all she says, but he knows what she means. It makes his heart hurt and he knows he has a lot to make up for.
He turns to her, desperate to make her understand, to try to explain to everything. "Look, Jess, I-I need you to know…. If I'd known… If I'd just known. I've loved you from the moment I saw you and-"
He doesn't complete his sentence his because Jess has closed the distance between them and has her arms wrap around his neck. She's raised herself on her toes, pushing him a little so he's leaning backwards. His hands are grasping her by the shoulders and having her back in his arms feels so good that he doesn't let go, and neither does she when the elevator door pings open. Mindless of that, they kiss each other with while trying to pour every emotion they have missed out on expressing every day of the last three years.
When the door closes again, Nick is backed up against the elevator wall, holding onto Jess for dear life as he kisses her. She can feel the tears swell up behind her closed eyes and kisses him harder at that, feeling light, the burden of the last year finally lifting off of her. She feels like a part of herself, lost all this time, has come back to her.
It's an incredible feeling.
They lay in Nick's bed, quiet because the moment felt surreal. And also because they had just been reminded in the most vivid manner how good they were at sex. Nick's fingers are combing through her hair, and Jess's cheek rests against his shoulder, hands idly drumming on his bare chest.
"Winston's going to be so mad," she says at last, as she remembers that she's stranded him and Aly in traffic.
"He'll get over it. Whatever it is that you did…" he laughs, his hand reaching to hold hers, stilling hers on his chest.
She chuckles lightly and stares at their intertwined hands. He is tracing circles with his thumb on her hand and she can't believe how much had changed. She hadn't really imagined this happening; yes, she had hoped and wished, but never had she imagined this to come true. Her heart feels a lot lighter now and she feels happy; she hasn't felt it in a long time.
Nick himself finds it difficult to believe that they were where they were right now. All of last year starts to feel unreal, almost like a dream he was glad he'd woken up from because reality finally seemed worth living in.
There are so many things he wishes he could change now because, in hindsight, they seem like a waste of time.
Reagan felt like a waste of time.
Quite possibly, the only good thing that has come out of it was going to New Orleans. His time there had helped him put Pepperwood down on paper. Truth be told, that wouldn't have happened if Jess hadn't encouraged him to go. He frowns slightly at the memory of that, and as the slightly hazy memory became clearer, almost everything falls into place.
"You're the only one who doesn't see how incredible you are!"
"You think I haven't noticed, but I have!"
"It's not fair!"
He remembers all the times he's sought her out and starts to realize that anyone else in her place, as an ex-girlfriend, would've been dismissive of him. But she came through. She always did, because that's just what Jess did. Her sudden departure to Portland also made sense now. A sickening feeling envelopes him as he realizes that he's been oblivious and insensitive towards her. He's been terrible to her for a man who was in love with her, let alone just being a good friend.
"I'm sorry, Jess," says Nick, his voice low.
"For what?" she asks, surprised and curious as she looked up at him.
"I hurt you a lot, didn't I?" he asks quietly.
"Nick…" she starts, intending to tell him that he hadn't done it on purpose, and that he had no idea, but he beats her to it.
"I didn't do it on purpose obviously, and you being you wouldn't really blame me because I didn't know, but I should've. I should've known, I should've been able to see it."
She slips out of his embrace, and raising herself on her elbow, she looks at him intently. "Nick, it doesn't matter. We're here now. It's alright…"
"I asked you to help me with… her," he says, looking at her sadly.
She sighs and places one hand on his face, running a thumb over the scruff he likes to keep nowadays. "I was fine, Nick," she lies, because once Nick starts to beat himself up about something, he wouldn't stop until he has convinced himself otherwise; an impossible feat. "It made you happy."
He knows she's lying for his benefit, and feels worse, because despite everything she's still trying to protect him. He brings their intertwined hands to his lips and kisses her knuckles. "I'm happier now than I've ever been," he admits.
"Me too," she smiles, and leans forward to kiss his lips. "See? That's all that matters right now."
"I guess," he murmurs. "But we've lost so much time, already."
He turns to face her, and stares at her face as she looks at him amused. "Nick, we have the rest of our lives with us," she laughs.
"Yeah. I guess we do," he says, slightly in awe at the idea that Jess did envision spending the rest of her life with him. And he could picture it too, quite easily. The two of them having a family, probably a mini-Jess running around the house, and growing old together.
He has the strangest picture form in his mind; a picture of him holding up a little girl with glasses, as she tried to place a silver angel on top a Christmas tree and Jess is holding a small sleeping boy, head nestled in the crook of her neck, and is whisper-yelling at him to set their daughter on the floor that instant.
And suddenly, he wants that picture more than anything in the world. He wants it to be a real moment, and he wants to live it. His gaze falls on their still intertwined hands, and then he looks at her. Her blue eyes are shining at him, and she's got the slightest smile on her face as she looks at him, but he can see her thoughts are elsewhere. He knows he could wake up to this every morning. He wants to.
"Hey, Jess?" he says slowly.
"Let's get married," he says.
She almost laughs, but when she sees the look on his face, she knows he means it. She can do nothing but gape at him for a few moments, because in all honesty, from the moment they'd kissed in the elevator, she'd not allowed herself to think so far into the future. That was exactly what had ended them the last time. All she had cared about at that moment was that he was kissing her, and that it was all real.
The disbelief was probably evident on her face because he reaches out to tuck a stray strand of hair behind her ear and cups her face gently. "I mean it, Jess. Let's get married right away."
"Right away?" she whispers, blinking in confusion, not sure if she was understanding what he was saying correctly.
"Yeah," he says. "I mean, we've waited long enough. I don't know about you, but this is it for me."
"For me too," she says immediately, and adds softly, "Nick, you don't have to-"
"I want to," he replies, replies leaning forward to kiss her lips. His hand slips around her waist and pulls her closer as he deepens the kiss. He draws back to smile at her, and seeing her blushing, he cannot help but plant another gentle kiss on her lips.
"Me too," she whispers.
"Is that a yes?" he asks, locking her in his arms as he turns to lie on his back, so that she is now on top of him, her hair falling on either sides of his face.
She smiles and kisses him, a short, chaste kiss. "Yes."
"I've loved you from the moment I saw you. Letting you go was the biggest mistake I've ever made, and I didn't realize that I wasn't happy. Without you, I can't be. And standing here, with you, I know what it feels like now and I'll never let you go. I love you so much and I can't wait to wake up next to you for the rest of my life," he said, and reaches out to wipe her tears off her face. "You make me a better person."
"Nick Miller," she sniffles. "You're the most incredible man I've ever met. I was an idiot to think that being without you might make me happier. I'd dreamed you'd be my husband, and it was my own doing that took that dream away. And after that, it felt like I was in a dreamless sleep and I hated it. I'm so happy that the dream I'd thought dead, isn't. I love you. So much."
They left the city hall as husband and wife, and everything felt right again.
After getting married at City Hall, they head to the jewellery store, hand in hand, slightly nervous, but the waves of happiness were radiating from both of them.
Her ring was very inconspicuous, a delicate vintage silver with a sapphire set in it; she'd thought it was too expensive, but Nick had bought it anyway, explaining that his new wife was the only person he'd rather spend his money on. She'd bought him a simple gold band, which he was more than happy to wear. Flaunt, in fact.
That evening, they celebrate Cece's pregnancy. Toasts are raised, and fond memories exchanged. They decide to let everyone know later because today is Cece's day. They are both content with the happy smiles and congratulations they'd gotten when they'd announced that they were back together.
But they'd forgotten that Cece has a sharp eye, pregnant or not.
So when Jess finishes her toast and sits down, Cece stares at her pointedly. When Jess is unsure what she's driving at, Cece holds her own hand up and points to the ring finger of her left hand. Eyes widening, Jess blushes and though it's too late, she lifts her hand off the table and hides it underneath, feeling silly for having forgotten.
Cece looks at Nick, eyes wide and starts to gape.
"What?" he asks, suddenly conscious.
"You married my bestfriend! Without me!" she says, eyes tearing up, but Jess knows she's happy for her.
Nick doesn't know what to say, but Schmidt laughs. "Oh, come on, Cece. Those two just got together after six years of idiocy. Marriage? Please, that'll take them, what, another decade, am I right?" he jokes, but stops short when Nick looks away sheepishly and Jess gives him a guilty smile.
The smile drops from his face, and he starts to turn red. "Correct me, if I'm wrong," he starts, unblinkingly, and very slowly. "You two are married!?"
"Is that what you were doing while I was driving back home with Jess's stuff?" asks Winston suspiciously.
Aly simply rolls her eyes. "Oh, come on, just look at both their faces! Of course they got married."
Both Jess and Nick look at each other with small smiles, and holding each other's hand, they put them up on the table, Nick's band gleaming for everyone to see and Cece has already snatched Jess's hand to examine the ring.
She's crying openly now, and tries to be mad at Nick because she didn't get to see her bestfriend get married. But she also knows how happy her bestfriend is, and that she deserves all the happiness after all the heartache she's suffered.
"You deserve this happiness," Winston cries, as Aly comforts him after offering Nick and Jess her congratulations.
"I agree with Winston, but this is one shenanigan of yours that I'll never forgive. Ever. You understand me?" says Schmidt, sniffling slightly.
Nick can't help but laugh. "Schmidt, we didn't even plan it and-"
"Of course you didn't, you heathens!" he scowls annoyingly. "You wouldn't be Nick-and-Jess if you planned things like normal people now, would you?" he finishes dismissively.
Nick shrugs, shooting Jess a smile, because they both know Schmidt was right.
"At least you're in a blazer and not in one of your hideous hoodies," he mutters, as he tries to catch a glimpse of Jess's ring over his wife's shoulder, he maintains a disinterestedly annoyed expression on his face, but he's secretly very happy.
As their friends fawn over them, their free hands find each other under the table. He squeezes her hand gently, and she leans over to plant a kiss on his cheek.
"I love you," she says.
"I love you, too," he replies, eyes not leaving hers.
A/N: Pure fluff, oops. Sorry about that. I know there could've been more stuff, but I wanted to keep this simple.
Sequels *already posted:
New Year's Eve - 4D Friendship Fics [ Paste this - /s/12780731/1/New-Year-s-Eve next to the FF URL in the bar ]
New Years' Day - Pure Ness [ Paste this - /s/12782937/1/New-Year-s-Day next to the FF URL in the bar ]
If season 7 makes me sad/disappoints me, I will turn this into a prologue and make it a multi-chapter Season 7 AU fic, lol.
Leave reviews, please? They make me happy. :)