Chapter 36 – The Reunion

Brittany awoke early the next morning. The comforter was tangled around her and she rolled over slightly, crashing right into Niall. He just stirred and snuggled up closer to her, a smile playing on his lips as he slept.

She glanced around the room a little and sighed happily, closing her eyes. Of all the places that she thought she might be waking up next to Niall again, her bedroom in Nick’s house certainly wasn’t at the top of the list. But she was glad it had happened that way . She was comfortable there and it was better than being in a hotel where they would have to go through the awkwardness of leaving the room together. This way at least they had privacy.

She took a deep breath and tried to fall asleep again, but after a couple of minutes her efforts proved to be futile. She was far too restless after everything that had happened the night before. So, she kissed Niall on the cheek and gently snuck out of the bed to go sit in the kitchen.

Minutes later she was standing in front of the coffee maker as it dripped. The vanilla bean flavour had always been Nick’s favourite, and Brittany smiled softly as she let the familiar scent remind her of him.

She briefly wondered what he would have thought had he known she’d effectively gotten back together with Niall. Nick had always been protective of her and as such had never been Niall’s biggest fan to say the least. The way he had lost his mind after finding about about New York made her wonder if he’d be disappointed in her. She wasn’t sure because after that weekend he’d never brought it up again.

Choosing not to dwell on it, she poured herself a cup of coffee and left to go sit on the deck. She sipped it thoughtfully, watching the water lap up on the shore.

“Morning, sunshine,” Danielle said from behind her, peeking out the door.

“Morning,” Brittany smiled. “There’s coffee in the kitchen if you want some.”

Danielle nodded and returned a couple minutes later with a mug of her own. She sat down in the chair opposite Brittany and looked out on to the water. “Did you sleep well?”

Brittany smiled to herself. She hadn’t slept as well as she had the night before since Nick had passed away, and she was quite sure she knew why. “Yeah, I did,” she said happily. “Did you?”

Danielle nodded. “Yeah I did, except for the couple having sex in the room down the hall.”

“Oh really? I didn’t hear that.” Brittany said, not daring to make eye contact with her friend. It was hard for her to hide the smile on her face as she remembered the events of the night before – Niall kissing her again for the first time, his bright blue eyes watching her lovingly as they walked hand-in-hand back up to the house, the weight of his body on top of hers…

“Brittany,” Danielle said seriously. “What happened?”

“What?” Brittany asked with a slight laugh, turning to look at her. “You want me to give you the play-by-play?”

“Yes!” Danielle exclaimed, nodding as though it was obvious. “I mean, not the sex part, but the stuff leading up to it. How did you two go from dancing around each other awkwardly to dancing with each other…in bed… naked?” she laughed.

“Oh my God,” Brittany groaned, putting her head in her hands. “I can’t believe you just said that.”

“Why?” Danielle asked, still grinning as she watched her get even more embarrassed. “Is it awkward?”

“Yeah!” Brittany nodded, still keeping her head in her hands.

“Good, now you know how I feel. And since I had to hear that part, I deserve to hear the rest of the story, yeah?”

Brittany rolled her eyes, but she figured Danielle had a point. “Fine,” she said, sitting back up straight in her chair and glancing at her friend. “After you guys went to bed, I went out to the beach to sit there and look at the water and be sad about Nick,” she said, taking a deep breath. She felt sort of ashamed to be admitting such a thing, thinking it was even more ridiculous when she said it out loud.

But Danielle just looked at her sympathetically.

So Brittany shook her head a little and continued, trying to sort out her thoughts as she went. “Anyway, I guess he saw me, because he came out there and asked me if I was okay. And I was just so sad and I wasn’t okay, so I told him that I wasn’t. And we talked for a bit about a whole bunch of stuff. And Dani, I just…” Brittany trailed off, looking at her friend, and then looking out at the water.

Danielle didn’t say anything, she just took a sip of her coffee and waited for her to gather her thoughts.

“It’s just,” Brittany said, looking at Danielle again. “I told him I love him.”

Danielle’s eyes widened. She hadn’t expected Brittany to say that. “Really?”

“Yeah,” Brittany said, feeling a little more at ease talking about this as she went on. “He asked me if I had feelings for Nick, and I told him I didn’t because he was the one I was in love with. I just felt so much better when he was out there with me, and being with him just makes all that bad stuff seem not so bad, you know?”

“Yeah,” Danielle nodded knowingly. “I know.”

Brittany smiled softly, looking down into her coffee cup. “When he kissed me, I just never wanted to stop kissing him. I just felt so happy… and now I feel sort of guilty for feeling happy,” she said sheepishly.

“You look happy,” Danielle said seriously. “You look a lot better than you did yesterday. I know you’re still sad about Nick, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy about what happened with Niall. I think Nick would want you to be happy.”

Brittany just nodded, hoping that Danielle was right about that.

“Are you back together, then?” Danielle asked cautiously, looking at Brittany.

Brittany actually wasn’t sure. They hadn’t had that talk yet. She had assumed as much was going to happen, but at that moment she couldn’t say for sure one way or the other. “I don’t know,” she said finally.

“Well, did he say he loved you too?” Danielle asked.

“Yeah,” Brittany said, that smile returning to her face. “He did, right before we fell asleep.”

Their conversation was cut short as they heard the sliding doors open. They looked back, seeing Niall stepping out onto the deck to join them. “Morning girls,” he said sleepily.

Danielle looked over at Brittany and smiled. “I guess that’s my cue to go see if Liam’s awake,” she said, picking up her coffee and leaving Brittany and Niall alone.

Niall sat down in the chair Danielle had just left, and slid it closer to Brittany.

“Morning,” she said with a smile. “What’re you doing up so early?”

Niall brushed Brittany’s hair behind her ear and looked at her lovingly. “I couldn’t get back to sleep after you left,” he said softly.

Normally Brittany would have made some sort of sassy remark, but she refrained. For now, she just wanted to bask in the moment. “Sorry,” she said with a slight smile. “Other than that did you sleep well?”

He nodded. “I did. Did you?”

“It was the best sleep I’ve had in a while,” she admitted easily.

“Oh yeah?” he grinned cheekily. “Why’s that?”

“Because I was beside you,” she said quietly. “And I love you.”

“I love you too,” he said softly, leaning over and kissing her on the cheek.

The two of them sat there quietly for a moment. They knew they needed to have a conversation, but neither of them knew how to start it.

“Thanks for coming out the check on me last night,” she said quickly, thinking that was as good an opener as any. “You really helped.”

“You’re welcome,” he said. “And I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better.”

She sighed a little, still looking at him. She was sure she should have felt more nervous, but she didn’t. That was a big part of the reason she knew she was making the right decision. “Yesterday I told you that when we were younger I wasn’t ready for the type of relationship that you wanted. But… I think I am now.”

“Yeah?” he asked with a grin. “So if I asked you to move with me to London you wouldn’t get upset?” he joked.

She laughed a little bit, thinking about how ridiculous that all was. “Why?” she asked him with a smirk. “Are you asking me to move to London?”

“No,” he said seriously. “But it’s good to know that moving our relationship forward isn’t totally off the table.”

“It’s not,” she said softly, leaning in to kiss him. The kiss was short, soft and sweet, but it held everything it needed to. After being apart for so long, they were finally back together.

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