Sequel: Ink.

A Perfect Beginning

Darling, You Are the Only Exception

Tonight was going to be a big night.

It was the last night of December and the stroke of twelve was half an hour away. The year of 2013 was ending and to celebrate the occasion, Fueled By Ramen and Decaydence had decided to throw a formal party. As expected, many of the bands that were signed to these two record labels had attended and brought along their significant others or last minute dates or whoever their plus one was. The whole thing turned out to be a very lovely event with people dressed up in suits and cocktail dresses alike. Though they all weren’t the most sophisticated people in the world, that night they felt like they were and it was pretty fun.

Paramore was among the bands that were at the party. They were finally able to catch a break after touring for months. First they had been traveling through Asia, then Europe, even performing at the iTunes Festival in London. Once they were done with Europe, they flew back to the States and continued their Self-Titled Tour that lasted for two months, going to many places in the country and doing their first headlining show at Madison Square Garden. When that tour ended, they participated in Jingle Ball and had a guest appearance on NBC’s The Voice.

Of course, Jeremy was on his own break and had left to England at the beginning of December so he could be with his wife, Kathryn, for the arrival of their first baby. He was still away and as much as he wished he and Kat could’ve made it, they weren’t there for the night. It was only Hayley and Taylor while the happy couple were only there in spirit. Well, in place of Jeremy was Oli, who had come to spend time with Hayley for the holidays since they were both off tour for the time being.

After spending Christmas with his own family, Oli had surprised her for her birthday, which earned him a reward of his face getting covered in lipstick kisses and cupcake frosting. The moment he showed up, Hayley threw her arms around him and refused to let him go, whispering over and over again into his ear that she missed him so much. That was the first time they had seen each other in weeks and she claimed his arrival as the best birthday present she had ever received. He had enjoyed the last few days just relaxing with her and hanging out with her family, even helping out with an early birthday celebration for her younger sister, Erica.

When Hayley got the invite for this party, she and Taylor were very excited and looking forward to it. To them, it was like going to a reunion. They would be reuniting with other bands that they’ve known for years and befriended. Since all these bands had also been out and about doing shows and recording new albums, they didn’t pass the opportunity up. These gatherings were for them to have fun and be with their friends that they rarely got to see. Even Oli was looking forward to going. Being with Hayley for the past four years also meant that he had grown to form friendships with these people, too. She had also made friends with some of the bands he knew and it had recently hit him that they both knew quite a lot of people.

So here they were in a beautiful and modern venue in New York. Oli was standing near the dessert table with Taylor, frequently looking at his watch as if the time would go by faster if he did. He still had about thirty minutes to go until midnight, but these thirty minutes felt like an eternity. The reason why he was so concerned with the time wasn’t because he wanted the year to end. He had something far more important in mind and it was all for Hayley. He had made big plans for her and he wanted the night to be perfect.

When Oli had first thought of this plan, he told Taylor and Jeremy about it and asked for their help. Unfortunately, Jeremy obviously wasn’t present to help him out, so he looked to Taylor and the second best option next to Jeremy: Adam. Adam worked for FBR and was closely associated with Paramore. He was actually the one who organized this whole event in the first place and when Oli told him what his intentions were, Adam was glad to make it happen for that night. Taylor helped set things up and promised not to spill anything to Hayley, which was hard for him. Still, he pulled through and kept it a secret.

Taylor glanced at Oli and noticed how anxious he had gotten. “You okay there, buddy?”

“What? Oh, y-yeah, I’m f-fine,” Oli stammered. “Why?”

“Well, first of all,” Taylor raised an eyebrow. “Your tie’s kind of crooked, you probably should put your drink down because your hand’s shaking a lot, and you can barely talk right now. Also, are you sweating?”

“Shit, my tie’s crooked?” Oli looked down to see that Taylor was right. He set his drink aside and started loosening his tie, frantically trying to fix it. “Why didn’t anyone fucking tell me? I can’t do this with a crooked tie-”

That was when Taylor stopped him from doing anything else before he practically ripped it and put a hand on his shoulder. “Oli, just relax. I know you have this whole special thing for Hayles and I know you want to make it memorable and everything, but the only way for that to happen is if you stop freaking out.”

Oli took a deep breath, calmly straightened his tie and faced Taylor again. “Okay, I’m relaxed. Sorry, it’s just I really love her and this whole thing needs to be-”

“Perfect,“ Taylor said. “Yeah, I know. I’ve seen this sort of situation before and believe it or not, your whole freakout is tamed compared to what else I’ve seen. Trust me, you’ll be fine. She’ll love it.”

“Are you sure?”

Taylor scoffed. “Dude, seriously? I can’t even count on one hand how many times I’ve seen her so happy whenever you did something for her. She loves everything you do and what you’re gonna do tonight? I can already imagine the big smile on her face.”

Oli chuckled when he also pictured the look that Hayley would have on her face and had become less tense after Taylor’s reassurance. “Alright, I believe you. Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it,” Taylor smiled and then looked past Oli. He appeared to be staring at something because he suddenly looked focused and his eyes didn’t even blink. When Oli turned around, he found that Taylor was actually staring at someone.

This someone was a girl who was sitting by herself at a table, looking around at the various guests while holding a glass of champagne in her hand. She had long, wavy dark brown hair and olive skin, her eyes almond-shaped and her lips a deep shade of red. The girl then turned her head and caught them staring, making Taylor immediately avert his eyes.

“Do you know that girl?” Oli asked him.

“No, I don’t,” Taylor sighed. “Adam told me she’s recently started working for FBR and it looks like she’s alone. I’ve been thinking about going up to her to start a conversation, but I can’t seem to get myself to talk to her.”

“Just go up and talk to her,” Oli said. “Simple as that. You talk to girls all the time, so it shouldn’t be that hard.”

“I talk to Hayley all the time,” Taylor corrected him. “And she’s different. I’ve known her since forever and it’s been a while since I’ve really talked to a girl that isn’t her. I might end up seeming awkward or weird or something.”

Oli rolled his eyes. “You won’t. Come on, she’s alone and that’s your chance to go up to her. Just look at how Hayley and I met. She was all alone, but then I went up to her. See how easy it is?”

“Didn’t she want to be alone?” Taylor pointed out. “You know, I remember her telling me how at the time she felt like you were bothering her at first...”

“The point is,” Oli interrupted. “You never know what’s going to happen. That night I first talked to Hayley, I didn’t know what would happen after that and now look. We’ve been together for four years and it’s all because I decided to talk to her. If you go and talk to this girl, it could end up being a great night for the both of you and she might even be the one to kiss you at midnight.”

“And if she’s not?”

“That’s your problem. You’re assuming again. She’s alone and she looks like she’s bored, which is where you come in. Now stop talking to me and start talking to her.”

He took Taylor by the shoulders and lightly shoved him in the direction toward the girl. Taylor glared at him, but started heading to the table, albeit quite reluctantly.

Oli watched as Taylor sat down next to the girl and began making small talk. Seeing the girl’s lips slowly form into a smile indicated that his friend was doing just fine, giving Oli the chance to go find Hayley. Right away, he was able to spot her and she was currently talking to Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco and his wife, Sarah.

He thought that she looked absolutely breathtaking tonight. Her short hair was parted to one side and her baby bangs had returned, exposing her eyes that were adorned with gold eyeshadow. She had on bright red lipstick and wore a vintage lace a-line dress that fell just above her knees with an illusion neckline. The dress was white, which contrasted with her vivid orange hair and she had on peep toe heels that matched her lips. It still amazed Oli that she was with him.

He walked over to them and put an arm around Hayley before giving her a peck on the cheek. After exchanging smiles and saying “hi” to Brendon and Sarah, he joined in on listening to Brendon as he proceeded the conversation.

“When you get the chance, tell Jeremy that I said congrats!” Brendon grinned. “That’s so awesome that he’s a dad now.”

“He and Kathryn are going to be great parents,“ Sarah rejoiced. “Having a beautiful baby girl, what a great way to end the year.”

That morning, Jeremy and Kat had sent pictures of their newborn baby to Hayley, Oli, and Taylor. She was born on December 28th and the three of them reacted to this news as one would expect. They were extremely happy for the newest addition to the family and wished Jeremy was there so they could all give him a big hug. It was possibly the best thing they had heard all week and they couldn’t stop smiling now that the first “Parababy” was born.

“I can’t wait to meet her,” Hayley enthused. “I swear, my heart is gonna melt when I finally see her in person.”

“We’ve only seen pictures and we’re already in love with her,“ Oli laughed. “She’s going to be a very spoiled baby.”

“I can see how she’ll be spoiled,” Brendon nodded. “I mean, when it’s her naptime, her Auntie Hayley will be singing her a lullaby.”

They all laughed at his statement and the funny thing was that both Hayley and Oli could imagine it happening. Hayley remembered having a lighthearted conversation with Kat about that, telling her that if their baby ever needed someone to sing to her to make her feel better, Hayley was more than happy to provide that for her. Jeremy and Kat actually loved this idea and Oli couldn’t agree more. This baby was definitely going to be spoiled if she was going to have Hayley sing for her.

“Yep, she’s gonna be getting her own private concerts,“ Hayley joked. “Man, can you believe how fast this year has gone by? So much has happened!”

“I know, right? It’s crazy,” Oli said. “We all released new albums this year, you and Sarah got married, and now Jeremy’s a dad. I’d have to say this was a great year to all of us.”

“And now we got another great year ahead of us,” Sarah lifted her glass. “Here’s to 2014.”

They all lifted their glasses. “To 2014.”

After taking a sip of his drink, Oli looked down at his watch and when he saw that it was getting closer to midnight, he realized that the moment he had been waiting for had arrived. He took Hayley’s hand and looked at Brendon and Sarah.

“It was nice talking to you two,“ Oli smiled. “We’ll chat with you guys later. Right now, I have something to show Hayley.”

Hayley gave him a puzzled look. “Wait, what do you have to show me?”

The response she got was a smirk from him. “You’ll see.”

He waved goodbye to Brendon and Sarah, then led Hayley away from the party where they stepped into the elevator. Oli pressed the button that would bring them to the top floor and Hayley just stood there, wondering what he had in store for her.

“Where are we going?” she asked.

“A place where we can get a better view,” Oli replied, which still confused her.

The elevator doors opened and he brought her down the hall to a door. She was about to open the door, but he stopped her and took out what appeared to be a piece of fabric from his pocket. That’s when he wrapped the fabric over her eyes.

“You’re blindfolding me?” she said. “Seriously, what are you doing?”

“You’ll find out soon,“ he told her. “All we have to do is go up these few steps.”

She heard the sound of the door opening and felt him take one of her hands and put an arm around her. He guided her up the staircase and she made sure to move slowly so she wouldn’t miss a step. There were a few times where she nearly missed one, but he held her close and made sure she didn’t fall. He would never let her fall.

There was the sound of another door opening and she was met with a cool breeze. They were outside? Not only that she heard something else that apparently was the sound of a piano playing and the melody even sounded familiar.

“Okay,” Oli whispered after a few more steps. “Take off the blindfold.”

She brought her hands up and removed the piece of fabric, blinking a few times so she could see clearly again. The moment she realized where she was, she gasped at the sight in front of her.

They were on the top of the building and from the building was an amazing view of the city. Hayley always had a thing for beautiful views and she had made it clear to Oli that she always loved to enjoy the scenery around her, especially on the top of tall buildings where she could see everything.

And it wasn’t just the view that left her speechless. The area they were in was decorated with lights and candles while the floor was covered in rose petals. The music continued to play from the speakers that surrounded the roof and when she got a better listen, she finally found out why it had sounded so familiar to her. What was playing was a piano instrumental of “The Only Exception”, which brought her back to the memory of when she and Oli had shared their first kiss after she had sang that song to him.

Hayley looked at him, her mouth curling into a smile. “You...did all of this for me?”

“I got a little help,” Oli admitted and grinned at her. “But yes, this is all for you. With this year ending, I’ve been looking back at it and how you were the best thing from all of 2013. Actually, no, you were the best thing that ever happened to me and I’m glad I have you.”

“Oh, Oli,” Hayley put her arms around him and felt like she was about to cry. He didn’t even have to do this for all of her, yet he did. “If anything, I’m glad I have you. I can’t believe you did this. I couldn’t have asked for a better end to this year.”

“I know one thing that could make it better,” Oli said.

“What?” she tilted her head.

“Look up.”

She did exactly what he said and when she did, she was met with a mistletoe tied to a ribbon that was hanging on the lights that were strung across the roof. Seeing this, she faced him again and couldn’t help but smirk. “You would.“

“I told you I’d use it on you eventually,” he teased. “Tonight seemed like the right time.”

She brought her face closer to his. “It is.”

Just then, they could hear the many voices of the people that were all over the streets. Only a few seconds remained until midnight and everyone was counting down the seconds.


But Oli didn’t wait and pressed his lips against hers.


Hayley’s foot popped up and instinctively held the back of his neck so she could bring him closer.


Everyone in the streets below were cheering and the sky was soon filled with fireworks. It had officially become the new year and while everybody was going crazy, Hayley and Oli were holding each other, letting the kiss last longer than it had ever been. All the while, the music was still playing for them.

When she pulled away, she kept her face close. “Another year gone by and now another year to spend with you.”

“I don’t just want another year with you,” Oli began. He released his hold of her and took a step back, once again making her question what exactly was going on.

Then he got down on one knee and her heart stopped.

“Oli...“ she tried to say more, but her words struggled to come out when he reached into his pocket again and took out a small black box. He opened the box to reveal a ring.

“I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” he looked up at her. “I love you and I know we say this to each other all the time and this is cheesy, but you’re the only exception and I’ll always love you.“

All she could do was look down at him and smile. She didn’t care how cheesy it sounded because all that mattered was that it was real. Oli was right in front of her with a beautiful ring, looking her in the eyes and saying those wonderful words.

“Hayley...will you marry me?”

Tears of joy rose to her eyes and she was laughing and crying at the same time. The smile refused to leave her face and her mind was trying to process what she had just heard. Oli had brought her up to this roof, kissed her under the mistletoe and now he had done the biggest thing he had ever done for her. He had proposed and there was only one answer that Hayley could say to him.

“Yes!“ she shouted. “Yes, Oli, of course I’ll marry you!”

He stood up and she leaped into his arms, covering his face in lipstick kisses once again. The fireworks continued to illuminate the night sky as he put the ring on her finger and he wrapped his arms around her waist as they looked out at the city. 2014 had finally come and as they stood there on that roof, all they could think about was how they could already tell it was going to be an amazing year. That whole night had been perfect for them. He ended the old year with a kiss under the mistletoe and started the new year with a proposal.

“Here’s to the rest of our lives together.”

“And there’s nobody else I’d rather spend it with.”

It was a perfect ending and a perfect beginning.
♠ ♠ ♠
Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a lovely night. Now this one's for you! Seriously, thank you to all of the people who have been reading this series. It seriously means a lot to me.

This had been in my head for a while and it was perfect for the new year! Enjoy and tell me what you think. (: