Disclaimer: Still do not own Pretty Little Liars
Author's Note: Another collaboration but this time a little more light hearted. This fic takes place after the series and uses all of 4A. Updates depend on reviews so please give some. This is not a Relationship fic between Aria and Mona currently- just a friendship that will come about over time.
Aria Montgomery stared at the door, still unsure whether to go through with it.
Truthfully, this was her last shot at looking at a place locally before having to move back home; something that Aria was absolutely against.
Ever since she had been kicked out of her dorm for not reporting her roommate's drug problem, Aria had been sleeping on Hanna's couch. While the two weeks of doing this was not completely horrible, it was starting to get crowded since Hanna was already sharing the apartment with Caleb.
After accidentally walking on the two having sex in the bathroom, Aria decided to that it was time to find a place to rent. Unfortunately, her meager job at the bookstore was not enough to rent an apartment on her own and none of her other friends had the room for her to move in. Spencer shared her loft with Toby and Emily still lived at home while she attended school.
She tried looking in the paper for rooms to rent but found that the rent was either too high or too far away from her work as well as school.
It was only a day ago when Hanna suddenly mentioned that Mona was renting out a room in her condo.
The blonde had been reluctant to mention this to Aria, given their long history. The three years since the end of high school and the incident at Radley still left scars on all of them; Aria especially given what happened with Ezra. Even though Mona had been revealed to be on their side, there was still a chill between her and the core four.
Only Hanna still communicated with her after everything that happened; much to Caleb's displeasure. While their friendship would never be at what it once was before Mona was revealed as A, they still did things together on occasion. It was only with the two of them since Mona and Caleb could never get along; the last time Hanna had Mona over for dinner, it ended in disaster with Mona throwing a piece of pie at Caleb after he got snarky with her.
Aria had weighed her options and found that Mona Vanderwaal was her last shot; she was not willing to go back home and be smothered by her parents.
Mona lived in a converted Victorian House near downtown. The residence had supposedly been abandoned until it was fixed up by a realtor. Word from Hanna was that Mona had actually bought the place when she moved out from her parent's house at the start of their feud. The Vanderwaal Civil War was the talk of Rosewood currently; replacing the drama of A and the final fate of Alison DiLaurentis.
It was starting to get dark thus Aria decided that it was now or never. Raising her fist, she gave the front door a loud knock. She knew Mona was home due to her car being in the driveway; Aria's car was parked on the street in front of the house. After a minute, the porch light came on and the front door opened up slightly.
Mona stared at Aria for a good minute before asking "Is there something you want?" The tone was not completely hostile but there was a hint of annoyance that Aria sensed.
Mona had not changed that much in appearance in the last three years. While she did not sport the flashy looks she once did in high school, Mona still seemed to still stand out in a crowd. Her hair had a silver streak in it, a memento left by A, and she still matched Aria in height. There was supposedly a nasty burn scar on her back in which only Hanna has seen.
"Hi; Hanna mentioned that you were renting out one of your rooms and I am interested," was all Aria could say while doing everything she could to keep her tone neutral. The young woman did not want to sound desperate; if Mona sensed it, there would be blood in the water.
"You are interested in being a roommate with me?" asked Mona incredulously. Aria at least had the satisfaction of catching Mona by surprise.
"Yes," answered the young woman. Mona seemed to think about it for a minute before opening the door wider to let Aria inside.
It was obvious that the inside was mostly restored to its original look by first glance. The wooden floors looked authentic to the time as well as the walls. The lights in the ceiling were modern and illuminated the room brightly. As the women made their way further inside, Aria was surprised on how plain everything looked; she expected flashy from Mona. The woman herself was dressed in black pajamas; matching Aria's Gothic black dress and boots.
"I am charging 350$ a month and that includes all utilities. Only my room has a bathroom with it so you will have to use the one in the hall. I don't mind you putting all of your stuff in there as long as you keep it neat," informed Mona as she showed Aria the bathroom. It was a modern one with a toilet, marble sink, and a medium sized tub with a shower overhead. It had wooden floors and not tiled.
Mona then opened the door to a mostly empty room; there was a double bed on the far wall that was stripped down. The room itself was quite large and could fit just about all of Aria's stuff from the small storage room that she was currently renting. The floors matched the rest of the house as well as the white walls. Next to the bed was a large window that had a screen and had a double lock to guard against intruders.
After looking at it for another minute, Mona continued the tour.
The living room was the biggest room in the house and was in full view of the kitchen. The fireplace looked original and a modern chandelier hung overhead. There was a brown sectional in the middle of the room that faced an entertainment center containing a fifty-two inch flat screen. There was also a DVD player with movies in the cabinet below the television with a stereo system as well. Between the sectional and entertainment stand was a rectangular wooden coffee table.
The kitchen sported the classic Victorian style but with modern appliances. There was a dishwasher next to the sink and a large black double refrigerator near the counter. Lining the walls were wooden cabinets with a glass cover showing the various items inside. There was a square glass table for dining with four black chairs.
"I don't mind sharing the food as long as you replace everything that runs out. If there are any foods you do not want to share, leave a note on them so I won't touch them; I will leave a note as well. I have cable and you can use what you want as long as you do not break anything. I also have Wi-Fi so let me know when you need the code. Any questions?" asked Mona, turning to face Aria.
"Am I allowed to have company?" Aria asked as she glanced around at the few paintings on the walls. She and her friends liked to have dinner every now and then as well as have some sort of girl's night out.
"You can have the rest of the girls over but I have to be informed in advance. That goes for any guys as well."
"That is no problem; I am not really dating anyone right now," stated Aria with a fake smile. Truthfully, she doubted that she would ever date again after what happened with Ezra. Mona raised an eyebrow at this revelation.
"When do you want to move in?" Mona asked as she went over to pour herself some coffee from the pot. She gestured if Aria wanted any and the Gothic girl shook her head.
"I was thinking tomorrow; Toby offered to help me move when I found a place. Is that okay?" Aria asked.
"That's fine; I'll even do you a favor and let you stay the rest of the month for free while you get situated. Are you still in school?"
Aria took a deep breath before answering "I'm on academic probation right now so I won't be back until the spring." There was no use in lying to Mona and she was happy with the free stay for the rest of the month. It allowed her to rebuild her finances.
"I see; well this should be interesting," commented Mona with a slight smile.
"Yeah it will won't it?" Aria responded, still unsure by her choice.
There was silence between the two for a good minute before Aria looked at the microwave clock to see what time it was. It was approaching nine and in truth, she really did not want to go back to Hanna's place. Taking another deep breath, she decided to make another plunge for the night.
"I know I said I'd move in tomorrow but could I stay in the room tonight?" asked Aria with more hope in her voice than she wanted.
"Sure; I got some spare blankets in the closet. I'll go grab them," said Mona as she put down her cup and headed into the hall. While she did that, Aria decided to head to the car to grab her bag.
After making sure the car was locked, she headed back inside with her shoulder bag where Mona was waiting. Grabbing the blanket and pillow, Aria made her way to her new room and closed the door behind her. She then placed the stuff on the bed and sat down, sighing hard in the process.
It was amazing that everything with Mona had gone so smoothly. She expected Mona to squeeze her for the rent or hold her situation over her head like she did in the old days. But the young woman had surprised Aria by being so pleasant and polite. Either Mona was as desperate as she was or had truly evolved.
Of course Aria considered that Mona was helping her because of her love for Hanna. Mona would always have a soft spot for the blond no matter what; taking Aria in would make Hanna happy.
There was a knock at the door and Aria rushed to answer it. Mona was standing on the other side.
"I am heading to bed; was there anything you needed? Are you hungry?" asked the new landlord and roommate.
"No I am fine thank you; I had dinner earlier and am still full," answered Aria with a smile. It was as genuine as she could make it since good impressions really counted right now.
"Okay; I have work in the morning so if you are not up before I go, I'll make sure to leave a key on the counter. Have a good night and pleasant dreams," Mona stated with a smile that reminded Aria from long ago. She nodded and closed the door, heading to bed.
Aria put her bag on the floor next to the bed and laid the blue comforter on the bed spread out. She then took off her shoes and socks, tossing them in the corner. Slipping her dress off and onto the floor, she took out a large shirt that went to her knees and put it on. She also undid her bra and let it fall onto the dress.
Slipping under the comforter and placing her head onto the pillow, Aria looked up at the ceiling and stared, wondering if she was forgetting anything. Realizing that she still needed to call Hanna, she rolled over and grabbed her cell out of the bag next to the bed. She dialed her friend's number and put the phone to her ear.
"Aria? Where are you?" asked Hanna with some worry in her voice.
"Mona agreed to let me move in so I am staying the night," answered Aria.
"That's great; and she is charging you reasonable rent?"
"Yeah actually she did; 350$ a month with utilities. You didn't tell Mona I was coming because this went a lot better than I thought"
"No, I swear; she has changed a good amount since the A thing," defended Hanna.
"Okay; I guess time will tell. I'll come by for my stuff tomorrow and Toby said he would help me with the move."
"That's good; I know Caleb offered but I doubt Mona would be happy having him at her place."
"I figured that which is why I am using Toby; she likes him for some reason. Well I am going to sleep so I will see you tomorrow."
"Have a good night then. Love ya."
Aria hung up and put her cell back in her bag before lying once again on her back. She always had a hard time falling asleep at night ever since what happened with Ezra. So she went through her routine she learned in therapy and did her best to de-stress. While she had some anxiety in living with Mona, the fact that she had her own room helped a lot.
Eventually she fell asleep.
Mona herself was currently reading in bed when she began to realize the implications of having Aria Montgomery under her roof. While any animosities between all of them had long vanished, they were still not under the best of terms. Only Hanna had anything to do with her after all these years.
Of course Hanna was all that mattered to Mona; the rest of them be damned.
Then again, Mona did feel sorry for Aria to some degree. That final night at Radley had broken her to some degree. Mona may not be A anymore or constantly watching the girls, but she still heard things around town. Though most of the current gossip was about her and her parents, it was well known that Aria's life was a mess.
Them living together was going to be interesting.
Tomorrow she had to work then head to her weekly therapy session with her parents. Mona hated these appointments since they never got anywhere. She was glad that she was over eighteen and that her trust had been released. It meant that her parents no longer had any control over her finances.
Her funds were not infinite though. One of the reasons why she worked while in school was to build up a nest egg just in case. It was also why she wanted a roommate; though it seemed that no one wanted to live with her. Mona's reputation would always haunt her in Rosewood.
So Aria had done her a favor in moving in; now Mona just had to play nice and keep the peace no matter what.