Chapter 11: Epilogue

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After MJ eventually calmed down and tamed her rare burst of emotions, they sat down at the table hand-in-hand to talk. She had held all of those built up feelings in for so long, that it understandably took her a while to get them all out and recover from it. He just held her and helped her through it as best as he could, letting her take her time with it.

And then they talked.

"You know the day of the storm when we got in a fight, and I started drinking? And you found me, and we talked, and I told you all of that stupid personal stuff?" MJ asked, looking down at her hand in his. "I...lied about not remembering it. I remembered all of it, I was just humiliated and scared, and I didn't want things to be weird when we woke up. I was embarrassed, because I've never opened up that way before, and I did with you. And that really, really terrified me—no matter how careless I acted about it."

And then she had gone on to talk about how she had already been "sort of" attracted to him before the trip, which was why she tried to avoid seeing him without his shirt on, and why she also pretended none of the kissing or touching affected her—because it actually did. He was somehow shocked by that even after she told him her feelings. She then went on to admit that after kissing him, she did feel different, and she mistook her genuine feelings for physical attraction.

"I eventually realized I wanted you, but because I had never really cared for someone that way, I thought I only wanted you in the physical sense—not the romantic one. And every time we kissed, or touched, or pretended to be together, it all just got harder and harder. I thought having sex would cure it all like it always did, and I thought it would make all of those weird feelings go away. But it didn't work," she gulped, shaking her head. She didn't make eye contact throughout this entire confession, but he kept his eyes on her while hers were glued to the table. "After having sex with those random people and dulling the pain for a while, I would leave and never talk to them again, because it's all I ever wanted with them. But it was different with you. After we had sex, I wanted more. Not just more sex—although, you know, that too—just...more. More touching, and being close, and at first I stupidly thought that all of it meant we could have this friends with benefits thing and that would fix it, but somewhere deep down I knew it wouldn't. Because that, for once, wasn't the only thing I wanted from someone I just had sex with."

Peter squeezed her hand, and rubbed his thumb across her knuckle in encouragement. He's still in shock.

"And when you confessed how you felt that morning...I was so angry. I was angry because I didn't know how to react, and I didn't know what to feel, and I still hadn't fully realized exactly what was going on yet, and you saying that threw me off. And it bothered me because I...I was so mean to you, and you were still good to me despite that. Even when I didn't deserve it." she shook her head, laughing and gulping. "In the ocean the last night when you didn't want me, I was really hurt. I didn't think I would be, and it wasn't some ego thing, I just...I didn't know how to react, and I threw a fit like some annoying kid. But it wasn't because I didn't get sex from you— it was because I realized then that I wanted you to want me. And then after all of that, and after turning me down again, you confessed you were in love with me? I couldn't understand how you could possibly want me after the awful things I had done to you. It didn't make sense, and I was confused. I...still am."

"It's only because I knew all of the things you had said and done were ways you were coping, okay? I knew you didn't mean them. I knew you needed someone who wouldn't just give up because of something like that." Peter replied, and she turned to look at him finally.

She had kissed him then, and he felt her full, unwavering sincerity in it, which is something he never thought he would get from her. And then they went in his room, and pulled each other close, and they both finally got a good night's rest for the first time in weeks.

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