A/N: This is pure Spoby fluff, and it is dedicated to my dear friend Irma (pll addiction). I hope you love it, okay? :D Everything will be fine.
Darling Don't Be Afraid
'We loved with a love that was more than love.' - Edgar Allan Poe.
Marriage. In her family it was a farce. Her parents had gotten married out of convenience – her father had always been in love with her dead friend's mother, she later found out – and her sister had gotten married for the second time only because she was pregnant with the person's child. Neither of the couples were particularly happy, and for as long as she could remember, she was sure she would just date around casually and stay committed only to one person – herself. But amidst all that, she met a man, a man so different from her, a man she thought had murdered her best friend and was torturing her, a man she abhorred more than life itself. And this man had changed the way she had approached life. He had given her a sense of security, a sense of belonging she had always secretly craved. They had fallen in love, and despite all the obstacles thrown their way, they had always found their way back to each other.
The morning after her college graduation ceremy – they had send the entire night making love – he had popped the question. It wasn't some extravagant declaration of love. After a slow round of love making they were playing scrabble in bed and when she wasn't looking around, he had placed a ring between the letters of the word he was forming and asked her. Overcome with emotions she couldn't handle, she cried tears of joy and said yes. And for the first time, she saw him cry tears of happiness too.
It had all happened so fast after that. Two months had passed since then, and she was getting married now. In half an hour. The beautiful white and golden strapless gown draped around her delicate frame beautifully. Hanna, who was now a beautician, had styled her brown locks in thick curls. She had to admit, she did look beautiful.
Everyone was waiting outside for her right now. Her parents, her friends and him. Toby. In just moments from now, the wedding music would start playing and she'd have to walk down the aisle with her father by her side. The wedding had been the talk of the town for weeks now. Even those who weren't invited were celebrating the unison of the two lovers who had fought tooth and nail to stay together. Spencer knew that what was happening was right. After everything that they had been through, marriage was only a natural course of action. But she was scared. Knowing her family history, she was afraid that somewhere down the line, the love between her and Toby would fizzle out and they would left with nothing.
She almost laughed, because the thought itself was so ridiculous. The love between her and Toby fizzle out? That was close to impossible. Scratch that. It was impossible. Spencer couldn't think of a day when she wouldn't be in love with Toby. He was the only person in all those she had met and loved that was so embedded into her soul and her very existence, that no matter what happened, there would be no way to remove him from her heart. And she knew he felt the same way too. There had been many times she questioned it, but ultimately she had realized that his loyalty had and would always lie with her.
The sound of the door unlocking snapped her out of her reverie. In the distance, she could hear the faint sound of the Bridal Chorus playing. Her best friend and maid of honour, Aria was poking her head through the door, her face lit up with excitement.
'They're ready for you Spence.'
Anxiety bobbed up and down in her uncontrollably. Smiling at her tiny friend, she slowly walked out of the door. The two friends walked in silence, as they made their way down to the aisle below. Spencer was amazed at how far they had all come after being tortured during high school. Aria, who had been devastated after finding out that it had been Ezra all along, had driven all her focus into photography, which had resulted in her getting an internship in Europe with a well known photographer. After three years of touring the entirety of Europe, she had moved back to Rosewood, saying there was no way she could completely escape her past demons. Jason and her had started to hang out, and now they were in a happy relationship. Hanna had gotten rejected to fashion school and had taken a few diploma courses in cosmetology and now ran one of the biggest salons in California. Caleb had returned from Ravenswood, and the two were living together now. Emily was now a national level swimmer, and was going to participate in her first Olympics in the coming fall. She and Paige had eventually found their way back together and lived together with their adopted daughter.
As for her, she had graduated from Rosewood High as valedictorian, and had pursued interior designing, much to her parents displeasure. She and Toby had maintained a long distance relationship for most of it, because he was constantly traveling and working, while she stayed on campus and studied hard. Ever since she had graduated she had been living with him in his loft, and now, they were getting married.
'I know you're scared,' Aria began. 'But you'll be fine, okay? You and Toby are nothing like your family. In fact, you guys are nothing like anyone I have ever seen. You share something that we all have only read about in books or watched in movies. All of us are in love, Spencer, but you and Toby? It's more than love.'
Spencer smiled, knowing that what Aria said was absolutely true. Even when they were just teenagers, she and Toby were in a relationship so mature, that even adults would be ashamed. They would never bail on their relationship or walk out when it got too hard. They would fight, they would cry, but they always got through everything.
'Here we are Spence.'
She looked up and saw a hall full of people waiting for her. Her father was standing next to them, and he extended his hand out for her to hold. For the first time in her life, he was looking at her with a mixture of pride and happiness. Emotions were running rampat inside her, and she was feeling overwhelmed by them. She looped her hand around him and started walking down the aisle. People all over were cheering and congratulating her, and it was doing nothing but add to her nervousness.
Finally, she looked up and saw him. Toby. He was standing down the aisle near the podium looking absolutely handsome in his black tuxedo. And just like that, her nervousness vanished. As she neared him, she saw him looking at her as if he had just seen her for the first time. His eyes were moist, and he was giving her a warm smile that lit up her whole world. Every ounce of fear, every doubt, every question just faded away. They would last. She knew it. She had known it since they were in high school. Nothing about their relationship was fickle or temporary. It was everlasting...permanent.
Her father let go off her when they reached the podium, and stood in the side. Moving forward, she stood opposite to Toby. His smile widened on seeing her, and she didn't remember him looking happier. She knew she was smiling too, because she couldn't remember when she felt happier. After everything that had happened, after all the times they went crazy trying to protect each other, after all the times they desperately crawled back to each other because life without the other was impossible, had come to this. Every single moment of pain and hardship had cumulated and boiled down to this one picture perfect moment. From this onwards, she would be his and he would be hers, forever, as it was meant to be.
After the proceedings, the priest asked them to exchange their vows.
'Toby...you and I, what we have, it is the most important thing in my life. You are the most important person in my life. Before you, I thought love was a myth people made up to stop feeling bad for themselves. But you...you changed everything. You changed my life. You sheltered my heart, my life and soul like it is the most precious thing in the world for you. You are my best friend, and the man I am in love with. If I know what love is, it is because of you. I love you so much, Toby. More than I thought I could. And all through my life, all through the chaos and lies, if there was one small minuscule thing that I knew to be true and real, it was our love for each other. It is our love for each other. And I know that come what may, you and I will always come out on the top. There is nothing on the earth that can tear us apart. Because to me, you are my forever. You are my always. So I, Spencer Jill Hastings takes your Tobias Allen Cavanaugh's hand in marriage for better and for worse, in sickness and in health from this day onwards, until we both shall live.'
Taking the ring from Aria, she slipped it onto Toby's finger. The touch of his skin against her still sent shivers down her spine. Even after all these years, nothing had changed.
'Now it is your turn,' the priest said, looking at Toby.
'Spence, we never had to express our love for each other, we always just knew it. But today, I want to tell you just how much you mean to me. Before you, my life was constantly in darkness, there was no hope. But then you came along and you changed everything. You are the first person I trusted in my life after my mother Spence, and still, you are the only person I trust. I love you so much...so much that my heart aches. You are my best friend and the love of my life Spencer. I promise you that I will love and cherish you from this day onwards until forever. With every breath I take, my love for you will only increase. I will shelter you from all harm, and give you a true home to come back to. I will love you forever. So on this day, I, Tobias Allen Cavanaugh takes your Spencer Jill Hastings' hand in marriage for better or for worse, in sickness and in health from this day onwards, until we both shall live.'
He slipped the ring onto her hand, and before the priest formally announced it, he leaned in and captured her lips in a kiss. Surprised as she was, it didn't take her long to respond back enthusiastically, pressing herself against him. Heat coursed through her, and she felt as though she was made of jelly. He traced the outline of her lips seeking permission, and she parted them, letting his tongue dart inside. Hers went to greet his, and she let out a soft moan. One hand of hers was around his neck, pulling him closers, when the other had fastened itself in his hair, feeling the softness beneath. His hands were around her waist, holding her close as if she was the most precious thing in the world. Atfer what seemed like an eternity, they parted, gasping for breath.
'I was not exacting that,' he said breathlessly, leaning in to rest his forehead against hers, smiling. She knew he wasn't just speaking about the kiss.
'Me neither,' she said laughing.