Hey guys!

Thank you so much for all the love I've been receiving for this fic! This idea actually began as a way to write down some ideas I had while watching season 3, and I'm really grateful you guys have liked it so far!

So, the first date is finally here. I wrote this while listening to Harry Styles and Taylor Swift (I know in my heart Annie is a true swiftie and no one can tell me otherwise). I really hope you guys like this! I can promise you it's very sweet and cute.

In this chapter, I really wanted to explore Ty's character a little bit more. I understand that season 2 Ty wasn't probably as mature but I really impressed by the growth he showed in season 3 and I wanted to add some of that here because, first of all, I truly think Ty needed that growth if he was to be with Annie.

I'm going to talk about some ideas I have for the future of this fic below this story. For now, please read on and let me know what you think! Cheers for getting this far!

Chapter 3. "On A Wednesday."

As Ty climbed up the steps to the Sullivan's porch, he couldn't help but feel blessed by the day they had gotten.

It was a normal Wednesday' late morning right in the middle of summer. The sky was almost devoid of clouds and tinted with a deep hue of blue. The sun, almost at its highest, was bright and warm. There were more kids than usual playing on the streets but the noise they made was cheerful and fun, rather than downright annoying.

Ty took a deep breath as he stood before the door, his hands fidgeting with the sleeves of his shirt in order not to mess with his hair.

He still felt as if he was living in a dream, getting to be like this with Annie. He was certainly traveling through uncharted waters, and not only with her. Now that he'd time to think about everything, he'd realized there was much that mattered beyond baseball, beyond his life at school. And so, he had slowly begun making his feelings known and truly minding the way he communicated to Annie and to everyone else in his life.

As he knocked on the door, Ty couldn't help but think of his dad and what he would say if he saw this new side - softer, more genuine, happier - of him. With surprise, he realized he felt pity for his dad, a man that had never been taught nor had learned for himself that men were also allowed to feel and to express their feelings and that that led to better relationships.

It was fucking hard, that was something Ty had learned very fast.

But, as he glanced down at the sunflower he had been clutching in his hand, he couldn't help but smile. It was also very fucking worth it.

oOo

By the time he knocked on her door, Annie was sitting on her couch, trying and failing to be calm.

After a lot of deliberation and with Lily's essential assistance, she had chosen a light blue mini dress, her favorite pair of sneakers - white, with a blue stripe across its side -, and a pair of sunglasses were sitting on top of her head.

Her hair had been the easiest, weirdly enough. She had been blessed with a particularly good hair day that Wednesday and so, her raven locks fell down her back in even, luscious waves, only two braids crowning her head. Her nails were navy blue and her makeup was light, just a touch of concealer and mascara.

Lily had very smartly told her to avoid any sort of lipstick, as she had no idea where Ty was taking her, so if they kissed there was a chance she wouldn't be able to reapply the makeup.

Annie tried not to think about that. The butterflies in her stomach were already spinning like a whirlwind. She had enough feelings for the moment.

It took her a moment to get to the door once Ty knocked, her smile already bright and her cheeks slightly flushed.

And, as they looked at each other, everything else seemed to stand still.

"Hi." Ty finally spoke, his voice slightly breathless. He rubbed the back of his neck as a small smile stretched his lips. "You look beautiful, Annie."

Annie took a moment to savor those words and, really, revel in the start of this new chapter. It had taken her a long time to appreciate her own beauty for herself, and rather because of someone else's remarks, especially those of a boy.

Still, this wasn't just any boy. This was Ty. Her best friend.

And so, she allowed herself to appreciate it and him in return.

"You do too." Annie replied, feeling downright giddy when Tyler Townsend blushed. "Where are you taking me?"

"Ah, that's a surprise." Ty smirked before presenting her with a sunflower he'd been hiding behind his back. "I brought you this. Kyle said I should've bought chocolates but that kind of messed with our plan for today."

Annie brushed her hand with his as she took the flower. Now she was the one to blush, much to Ty's delight. "Well, you were right. Thank you, it's beautiful."

"You're welcome," Ty replied, his hands in his short's pockets as Annie locked the door behind her and put the key in her bag. "I'm gonna tell Kyle I was right later. He's going to be so pissed."

That comment alone was enough to bring back the easiness of their bond and the trust they'd built over the years. Of course, both of them were completely nervous but with that remark, they were reminded they were safe with each other and so, if they were to be vulnerable, they were with each other, so they were also free.

"I don't know how to feel about causing you boys to fight now that you are such good friends again," Annie laughed, her hand brushing his as they walked down the steps towards his car.

Ty jogged the few feet between them and the car, opening her door with a flourish. "I won so you should feel proud."

Annie stopped beside him, looking up right into his intense gaze as he took a step forward, towering over her. "This time."

Ty smirked, his gaze dropping to his lips before he locked eyes with her again. "Get in, Sullivan."

Annie laughed as she did, going straight for the speaker as she unlocked her phone. "Do you have any issue with me connecting my phone to your speaker?"

Ty sat behind the wheel, swiftly turning on the car and pulling away from the driveway. "Go ahead. What are you listening to this days?"

"Well, Taylor Swift, for the most part," Annie looked up momentarily from her phone to roll her eyes. "Don't worry though, I'm not putting her on. Already opening the playlist we started last summer."

"No, play Taylor." Ty shrugged when Annie looked up in shock. "I listen to her sometimes, kinda like it."

Annie stared at him for another moment before wordlessly pressing a few buttons on her phone, nodding when Look What You Made Me Do began blaring from the speakers. Then, she straightened, her body turned towards him. "You like Taylor Swift."

Ty nodded, glancing shortly at her with a lazy smile spread across his face as he turned his direction back towards the road. "Is that too much of a shock?"

Annie began shaking her head before thinking better about it and nodding. "Yes, it is. I tried for years to convince you to even give her a chance, a couple of months go by where we don't talk as much and now you like her music ?"

"Full disclosure?"

Annie rested her head against her seat, still looking at him. "Please."

"You know how my room is right next to Katie's?" Ty began, biting his lip slightly when Annie nodded. "A few weeks ago, you guys went for ice-cream and she came back telling mom all about how she loved Taylor Swift. Then, just before bedtime, she was listening to this song with Kyle, one of the slower ones she recently released. I guess I started listening to it too because I missed you and I wanted to feel closer to you."

Annie looked away for a moment, truly fearing she might burst into tears or jump him if she didn't control herself. Once the silence had managed to wash away some of the intensity, she looked back at Ty with a bashful smile. "I didn't know you had missed me so much."

Ty was completely serious as he looked back at her. "I didn't realize how much I would miss you until I did. But…yeah, I missed you. Very much."

Annie reached for his free hand, linking it with hers. "Thank you, Ty."

Ty raised his eyebrows, even as a smile brightened his expression. "You're welcome but what're you thanking me for?"

"For making such a huge effort with…all of this." Annie explained as she caressed his hand. She had the urge of covering her face with her hair as she felt herself blushing but she held on, smiling when Ty looked at her. "This is so weird, in the best way possible and I know it must be like that for you too. When we talked yesterday, you listened to what I had to say and to how I felt. I can see that you're really trying to show me that you listened. Not many people make that effort with me, Ty, and it makes me feel really appreciated. Thank you."

Ty took a deep breath, his hand clutching hers. "You deserve it."

Annie took a deep breath as well before reaching for the speaker. She laughed as Ty began bobbing his head to the rhythm of 22 . "And what you deserve, Ty, is to really feel the Swift Effect."

"Oh, you want me to sing along, Sullivan?"

"I'm feeling rather competitive, Townsend. I bet I know the lyrics more than you do."

Ty laughed. "I warn you, I'm on a winning strike."

"Just sing, Townsend."

Annie laughed as Ty began singing really off-key, his head bobbing wildly to the beat of the song. Her gaze drifted out of the window for a moment, marveling at the greenish landscape flying beside her, the sky radiant above her and the heat certainly present, but not overpowering with both windows completely down. Annie closed her eyes blissfully, feeling as the wind danced through the waves of her hair freely. She then looked to her other side at Ty, who was already looking at her.

As he winked and yelled the first verses of the chorus , Annie realized one of the first things she'd come to love about this new relationship between her and Ty were the road trips and the freedom it gave them to be carefree and fun.

So, in the spirit of being carefree and fun, she stopped thinking and began to sing along with him, both of them breathless as they tried to see who could sing more off-key.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it's better to live in the present for those kind of moments we want to hold closest to our hearts for eternity.

oOo

"I can't believe this was also your place."

Annie laughed as she reached for another brownie. "And I can't believe you had my mom prepare all of this food with such short notice."

They were by the north edge of Jeremy's garden, a place that was yet to be used in a productive manner and so, Annie and Ty pretty much had the space for themselves. Ty had brought a full, gigantic picnic basket filled with all the picnic essentials - chicken sandwiches, beef empanadas, Panzanella salad, lemon bars, brownies and chocolate chip cookies -, plus several choices for drinks, such as lemonade and sweet tea. He'd even brought the essentials for any picnic, such as napkins, a cooler, and even bug spray.

Ty had set a huge, cream blanket on the grass right under an oak tree, a clear pond a few feet to their left. The car was parked right beside them to their right, its doors open so they could hear the music blasting through the speakers.

"I actually went to Sullivan's as soon as it opened. Dana Sue was very suspicious but I told her we'd been talking on the phone a lot recently and that I was trying to be a better friend. That sold it for her." Ty was sitting on one end of the blanket, his elbows resting on the blanket behind him. He closed his eyes and stretched his neck slightly to the side, feeling as the wind cooled him off from the summer heat. "I think she was very eager at the idea of us being friends again."

Annie bit into her brownie thoughtfully, studying the sight of Ty in his peaceful zone before looking around, becoming acquainted with a place she had missed more than she'd thought. She was sitting cross legged by the other side of the blanket, the basket between them. Her sunflower laid beside it.

"Yeah, she's been worried. I'm pretty sure she's been dying to make me talk but it was so clear that I didn't want to and for once she respected my wish." Annie shrugged before smirking, grabbing the last sandwich before Ty could. At Ty's pout, Annie guffawed before splitting it in half and offering him one. "I was very surprised but thankful for that. Here you go, you baby."

"I managed to plan this whole thing in roughly three hours and you call me a baby!?" Ty scoffed playfully as he bit on his sandwich proudly. He glanced haughtily at the girl beside him before rolling his eyes playfully when Annie dissolved into laughter. "At least some things never change, Sullivan."

Annie was aghast. "And whatever do you mean with that, Tyler Townsend!?"

"The summer before your tenth grade?" Ty began, raising a hand when Annie straightened, her eyes wide with outrage. "You and Kyle spent the entire day running outside in the garden, pretending you were in some fantasy land, but when our parents came back home from Miss Frances' birthday party, you two said you'd been the ones to do the dishes when I actually did them all by myself!"

"Oh you poor baby!" Annie mockingly reached for his chin, sobering up as soon as her skin touched his. Feeling Ty just as trapped as she was in the moment, she took a deep breath before running her hand through his cheekbone just like she'd done the night before, marveling at how his skin seemed to be on fire under hers. "Whatever can I do to make it up to you?"

Ty grabbed her hand the next time it traveled up his cheek, kissing the pulse point in her wrist before he could think twice about it. He smirked as he caught her blush, lowering her hand but inching closer to her so they didn't have to let go. "Play twenty questions with me?"

Annie raised an eyebrow. "Like when we were kids?"

"When did you stop coming here?" Ty asked in return, sitting up when Annie sobered up.

"When my mom broke things off with Jeremy," she admitted. Noticing they had already eaten most of what they'd brought, Annie took it to herself to put everything back in the basket.

"Here, let me help." Ty sat as well, the basket open between them. He glanced at her before looking back at the basket. "Are you upset she is no longer with him?"

"Oh, no! I mean, I like Jeremy just fine but I want my dad and mom back together," Annie shrugged, fidgeting with a rogue strand of hair as Ty finished cleaning everything up. "It's just…ever since my dad came back, I've been having a hard time understanding what's going on between them. Like, the other day, we went to this fair and it was like everything was back to how it was when I was a kid. I just…I wished they were clear. If they want to get a divorce, okay, it's going to hurt but just tell me about it, you know?"

Ty nodded as he took the basket back towards the car, leaving only the brownies and the cooler with the drinks with them. Once he made it back, he sat just like before, but much closer to Annie. Ty grabbed her hands, playing with them as he spoke. "I started coming here when my mom and dad first told us they were getting a divorce. Soon after, my dad wanted us to meet this woman that'd come out of nowhere and was the mother of my half-sibling…I was so angry at how he'd dealt with everything, you know? So, I began training farther away from home. I told my mom I was with Gabe but I was actually running all the way up here to sit and just think about things."

"You must have been so angry at them," Annie softly replied, her heart melting as Ty started drawing random figures across the palm of his hands with his fingers. "I was very angry on your behalf and I didn't go through what you guys went through."

Ty was thoughtful for a long moment.

"It took me a long time to understand who actually deserved my anger." Ty admitted finally. "If my dad didn't love my mom anymore, if he wasn't happy, if he had fallen in love with Noreen, he could have broken things off with my mom. He could have shown the respect my mom and us deserve, and he could have told how he was feeling. My dad was always my hero, you know? He was always this strong, independent man that took care of us the way no one else could. Now, he and mom are divorced, he barely sees us, he and Noreen broke things off…if adults want to teach us how to deal with things, then they need to start doing better themselves, right?"

"They also teach us from their mistakes. Maybe I'm being harsh but after everything," Annie trailed off with hesitation, nodding slightly when Ty nodded encouragingly at her. "I guess that if they can't be our heroes, then they can be an example of what we don't want to be."

Ty took a deep breath, leaving his hands still as Annie began to play with them instead. "You're right. After seeing how Coach is with my mom and how much happier she is, I can see how I can be better you know? I want to be better, for Kyle and Katie, for my mom, for my friends…and for you."

Annie gulped as Ty grabbed a loose strand of hair and put it behind her ear, running his fingers down the side of her face. She lay on the blanket, smiling at the sky when he laid beside her, their arms touching, their hands interlocked.

"You are," she promised. "My turn to ask a question…how are you actually doing with the whole baseball thing?"

"It changes from day to day, I guess?" Ty sighed before turning his head to look at her. "I'm trying to do other things I like. The other day I started playing the guitar again."

"That's amazing!" Annie turned on her stomach, resting her head on her arms. "Can you play something for me?"

"I didn't bring my guitar."

"I didn't mean now, Townsend." Annie rolled her eyes playfully. "Seriously, though. I'm glad you're doing better."

"Don't be so sure. I could wake up with a sore arm tomorrow, be reminded of everything and cry the entire day."

"If that happens, promise you'll let me know? I can come over and distract you."

Ty wiggled his eyebrows. "And how would you distract me, Miss Sullivan?"

Annie laughed, pushing Ty away in a playful manner just as Falling by Harry Styles began blasting through the speaker. "Oh my god, I love that song!"

She ran towards the car to turn up the volume, missing Ty getting up and tidying up his shirt as he sang along.

And there's no one to blame but the drink in my wandering hands

Forget what I said

It's not what I meant

And I can't take it back, I can't unpack the baggage you left

Annie turned back towards him slowly, her stomach fluttering with a million butterflies as she extended her hand towards him. "Dance with me?"

Ty looked up at her hand, then at her face, before staring back at her hand. "Are you sure? I'm not much of a dancer."

"I'll teach you."

Nodding to himself, Ty grabbed her hand, pulling her closer. He placed both her hands around his neck, before wrapping his arms around her waist. "What should I do?"

"Don't look at the floor or at our feet," Annie put a finger below his chin, raising so he would look at her. "Look at me. Do you trust me?"

"Always."

Annie couldn't even smile, the closeness to him and the intimate moment being almost too much to her. Right then and there, in his arms, with no one to bother them, she felt so safe, so cherished. She really hoped more moments like this would come, for she didn't want to forget this feeling.

She felt infinite.

"Then follow me," Annie whispered, gulping as his forehead rested on hers. Slowly, she sunk one of her hands in his hair, chuckling when Ty closed his eyes with a sigh. She could feel his heart hammering against her chest, just like she was sure he could feel hers, and she never, never wanted this to end.

"My turn to ask a question?" Ty whispered after a few minutes.

Annie forced herself to open her eyes, wanting to see him like this as much as she could. "Shoot."

"Can I kiss you?"

Annie couldn't even voice an answer. The butterflies in her stomach must have traveled towards her throat because she couldn't talk, she could just revel in their current situation, in their closeness, in the fact that they had managed to deal with the issues between them and come up stronger. So, as her eyes filled with tears, she nodded.

"Hey," Ty muttered, kissing her cheek as the first tear rolled down. "I promised I wouldn't make you cry right before I kissed you."

"I'm very happy Ty, let me cry." Annie whispered with a breathless laugh. She stood on her tiptoes, leaning up towards Ty. "And, please, kiss me."

Not another word was said between them for a long time.

But that night, after Annie's shift at Sullivan's, Lily facetimed her and demanded to know everything about the date.

And when asked about the kiss, Annie could only say one thing:

It also felt like coming home for her.


So, what I was thinking of writing to complete this fic was the reaction of the people in Serenity. Other than that, I'm open to requests so if there's anything you'd like me to write about any of the characters in Serenity, please let me know!

Cheers for reading!