AR reminisce their time together. Lotsa fluff. <33
Life returned to normal after the reunion. Or, as normal as it could for the gang. Now, in addition to Armaan & Riddhima, it was somewhat common to find Rahul & Muskaan in a corner too. The gang teased the hell out of them, but everyone was really glad that finally, after all the hurdles, Rahul & Muskaan were in a happy space in their relationship. They had seen a lot of ups and downs, with mostly downs, so it was a nice change to see them so happy.
Armaan was actually really happy that his college friends had come to understand how much he'd changed since then and just how much he adored and loved Riddhima. The day after the sleepover, before they'd all left, Neha had apologized to Armaan again. She'd told him that she was working under the impression that he was still the same old Armaan Mallik and Riddhima was just a passing fancy. If she'd known he was so serious about her, she wouldn't have ever tried to break them up. Armaan had instantly forgiven her, because he knew that beneath everything, Neha was a good person. Yes, she was shallow when it came to love, but she was a great friend and she cared about the people in her life a lot. And really, how was she to know that Armaan had changed so much from the boy she knew in college? So, he had forgiven her.
Sonia, though. Well, she understood that Armaan loved Riddhima, but that didn't change the fact that she didn't like Riddhima. Armaan was sure it was due to the fact that Riddhima stood up to her when no one else ever had. Sonia wasn't used to being called out on her shit, so obviously, Riddhima saying the things she'd never dreamt of hearing would have been a shock to her and she would never like Riddhima for that. And, it was okay. At least she hadn't tried to flirt with Rahul again. It would have been difficult to do that because Rahul and Muskaan were really in a world of their own all night. They were being so sappy and cute, it made Armaan want to puke. When he told Nikki that, Nikki laughed out loud and told him that he and Riddhima made others feel that 95% of the time.
But, Armaan was really glad that they were together. Finally. They'd seen a lot of issues in their relationship and after all that, now, they had a good relationship. He couldn't be happier for his friends.
Agastya had been really shocked on hearing Armaan and Riddhima's story and it had impacted him hugely. He'd told Armaan about a girl he'd been seeing, who he had fallen for, but things hadn't worked the way he wished they had and he hadn't tried hard enough to fight for her. But, listening to Armaan's story had inspired him and he was going to try to make things right with her now. Armaan was absolutely over the moon because of that. He'd promised Agastya that he'd help in anyway he could.
Nisha had been her usual supportive self. She'd hugged both him and Riddhima and told them that she was really happy that Armaan had finally found someone who understood and loved him the way he deserved. Riddhima had then told him that Nisha was definitely her favourite ex of his.
But, of all of them, Rakesh was the happiest. He was nothing short of jubilant. For both him and Rahul. And, he'd said that time and again through the night. Before leaving, he'd hugged Armaan and Rahul hard and made them promise that he would be the wedding planner for both their weddings. And, he'd also said that he was hearing wedding bells not far in their future.
Which brought Armaan to his predicament. Ever since his friends had gotten wind of the fact that he was planning on proposing, all of them, and he did mean all of them, including Rakesh and Agastya, who he was in constant touch with nowadays, had started interrogating him for information about when it would happen. As if Cole calling him all the time wasn't enough, he now had to deal with all these clowns as well.
Armaan's parents, on discovering the news had promptly shared it with Shashank and Padma and so now, he was subjected to their questioning as well. It was really heartwarming and annoying at the same time, just how much all the people in his life were invested in his and Riddhima's relationship, especially their marriage.
He'd told them all, time and again, that he wasn't going to tell them anything because he absolutely did not trust anybody to not say something to Riddhima, but they didn't budge. As it was, Riddhima was getting really suspicious that something was afoot, because these days, all talks around Armaan would be of the proposal and everyone would stop the minute Riddhima entered the room. Naturally, it fed her suspicion that something was going on and she'd tried to get the news out of Armaan, but he was proud to say he hadn't said a word. Not even when Riddhima had tried to seduce it out of him with explosive kisses and nerve-wracking touches.
But, it was New Year's today. And they were having a party and everyone was excited. The party was being held at a banquet near Sanjeevani because Dr. Shashank had issued strict instructions that he didn't want any patients trying to sneak in like they always did.
The party was near Sanjeevani to facilitate the staff to come and go easily in cases of emergencies. The entire hospital was divided into 2 sects and each sect was on a 3 hour shift so that they got to enjoy the party despite having to work.
The gang had all pleaded for an earlier shift so that they could be present at the party at midnight, and Dr. Shashank, being the biased man he was, had agreed.
It was decided that NYE would be a couple affair and now that they were all genuinely paired off, everyone would arrive with their partners, instead of Riddhima, Rahul & Anjali (hayyyeee. Writing Rahul & Anjali together made me so happy! SRKajol forever!) arriving together, Armaan picking Atul up and Nikki & Abhi bringing Muskaan.
Obviously, the boys were all excited to share some alone time with their respective girls. Even Atul. Ever since their first successful date, Anjali and Atul had been spending a lot of time together. Anjali had been a lot more forthcoming of her feelings for Atul. She'd gone as far as saying that though she wasn't in love with Atul yet, she could see herself doing so and spending the rest of her life with him. This made Atul really happy and he'd become even more attentive towards Anjali. They spent a lot of time together these days, mostly in the cafeteria, talking to each other about anything and everything. This made Anjali see how much Atul actually understood her and her motivations and she was so grateful for the chance to get to know Atul better, too, because she began seeing him in a different light.
Atul wasn't just the kind, thoughtful, sweet friend she had. He was determined and smart and funny. He cared a lot about all the people in his life, especially their gang, who were his only family. He was also an excellent painter, something Anjali hadn't known before. As a present for Anjali on their first date, he'd gotten her a watercolour painting of the Asiatic Library that Anjali loved to frequent. At first, she'd thought he had bought it, but when he told her he'd painted it himself, she was blown away. It was immaculate, almost as good as a photograph. It now had a place of honour on her bedside table.
Things weren't just rosy for the newly ordained lovebirds of Sanjeevani. The re - established lovebirds, Rahul and Muskaan, were also absolutely ecstatic.
Since their talk on the night of the reunion, where they'd poured their feelings out, things had been absolutely spectacular. It was a much needed talk that had been long overdue between them and it had washed away all misunderstandings and issues between them. Rahul had finally admitted to being wrong, stating that the decision to break up shouldn't have been his alone, no matter what the circumstances. He'd apologized to her and promised he'd never do such a horrendous thing again. But, he'd also stated that should there come a time in their future when Muskaan thought she would be better off without him, she was free to leave him, no matter what. He knew he couldn't give her her own children and that was a hiccup they might have in their life if they decided to stay together. After Muskaan had shouted at him for saying that last part, she'd hugged him tight and apologized for not understanding his perspective. She'd admitted that had she been in his place, she might have done something similar. She apologized for not answering to any of his attempts at reaching out to her, too. She promised him that she really meant it when she said she was okay with adoption and that having kids was important, not how they came to be. She had told Rahul that she really wanted them to work out because she really loved him and this past year away from him had been horrendous for her. Rahul had kissed her for saying that, before he told her that he loved her too. And, they'd been together ever since.
They could be found romancing in various corners of the hospital, much like Armaan & Riddhima, frequently. Armaan had taken it upon himself to tease the duo mercilessly for that, stating that it was payback for when Rahul had done the same for him and Riddhima. This statement had been followed with whacks for both Armaan and Rahul by their respective partners.
Muskaan had even told her parents about it and though they hadn't been exactly happy about the whole situation, especially after the fake marriage between the couple, they'd agreed to give Rahul a chance because they knew how good of a man he was. They had always wanted Muskaan to marry him, which is why their alliance had been fixed a few years ago, before they'd come to Sanjeevani, Mumbai, but both Rahul and Muskaan had vehemently opposed the idea then, which was why it had never happened. Now though, they were together and ready to give it a shot and that made all the elders in their family really happy.
So, all in all, life was great for the gang.
And it was about to get even better, because they were all gearing up for the NYE party!
"Basket!" Armaan whined, sitting in the locker room. "Tum please thoda jaldi ready ho sakti ho?"
She was getting changed in the Changing Room. The others had already left for the party, but Armaan & Riddhima had stayed behind because of an emergency. One of Riddhima's patients' condition had deteriorated unexpectedly and she had been busy monitoring him. She'd told Armaan to go ahead and join the party without her, but he'd adamantly refused.
"Aa rahi hu, baba. 2 minute!" She called back. Armaan was already dressed and waiting for her to be done so they could leave.
"Basket, baaki sab chale gaye hain! Kitna late ho gaya hai, dekha tumne?" He asked. It was almost 10:30 now.
"I'm sorry, baby! Par tum mere liye ruke kyu? Maine kaha tha na, chale jao!" Riddhima answered.
"Achcha. Wahaan sab couples ke beech tumhaare bina kya karta? Aur Sanjeevani ki New Year party mein tumhaare bina? No ways!" Armaan called back, making Riddhima smile. He was such a sweetheart.
"Sorry, sorry, sorry," Riddhima answered, rushing out of the changing room, still putting an earring on. "Bas I'm ready. Chalo."
She had gone for a minimalistic look and she was absolutely gorgeous. Armaan stared at her, open mouthed, forgetting all about parties and being late. In that moment, all that mattered was that his girl was looking beautiful and that they were alone and he'd missed her the entire day.
He walked towards her and pulled her into his arms. "Basket! Tum bohot, bohot, bohot beautiful lag rahi ho," he told her, kissing her cheek.
Riddhima blushed. "Thank you," she told him. "Actually, late ho gaya haina, isliye maine yeh pehen liya. Zyada time nahi laga na ready hone mein, isliye."
Armaan shook his head. "You look absolutely gorgeous! I love this. I love you."
"I love you, too. And thank you," she replied, pushing herself on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek.
"Chalein?" She asked him and wasn't surprised when she was met with a shake of his head.
"Mujhe yahin rehna hai. Tumhaare saath. Ek kaam karte hai, yeh party wagerah bhool jao. Hum apna New Year yahin mana lete hai. Bas tum aur main," he told her softly.
"Aur Sanjeevani ke itne saare patients aur staff," Riddhima added, laughing.
Armaan made a face at her. "Main yahaan tumhaare saath akele time spend karne ki baat kar raha hu aur tum bas aur kabab mein haddiyaan laati jaa rahi ho. Tumhe na, aajkal meri koi fikar hi nahi rehti. Achche se time hi nahi deti ho mujhe," he whined.
Pulling away from her, he sat on the bench, miffed. Riddhima smiled at his cute antics. He really was a baby.
"Sorry, baby," Riddhima replied. "Lekin kya karu? Kaam hi itna hota hai! Ab, agar humein next week woh vacation leni hai, toh sab kaam toh karna padega na?" She explained, as if talking to a small kid.
The gang's vacation request had been approved and they were all going to Goa in the coming week, along with their interns and Dr. Shubhankar and Dr. Keerti. Suffice to say, they had a lot of work to finish if they wanted that vacation and everyone had been really busy with work, because files had already been piling due to the concert.
"I know," Armaan sighed. "Par kya karu? I miss you."
Riddhima smiled and sat on his lap, looping her arms around his neck and resting her head on his shoulder.
"Jaanti hu," she answered. "I miss you, too. Lekin ab hum kya karein? Kaam hi itna hota hai. Waise bhi, mujhe lagta hai ki tum hi kaam mein itne busy ho ke mere liye time nahi hai tumhaare paas."
"Achcha?" Armaan asked her.
"Aur nahi toh kya! Aajkal na tum khaane pe hote ho, na coffee pe. 2 din ho gaye, tumne mujhse milne ke liye koi shararat bhi nahi ki, na hi mujhe kheech ke fire escape leke gaye," she replied. In the flow of the conversation, she didn't realize what she was saying till she'd said it.
Armaan's face morphed into a smirk and Riddhima knew she was never going to live this down.
"Oh really?" Armaan asked smugly. "Mujhe toh laga tha ki tumhe yeh sab pasand nahi, Riddhima. Ab tum yeh saari cheezein miss kar rahi ho?"
"Armaan!" She scolded, smacking his chest. Then, she blushed and hid her face in his chest. Armaan smiled at that and kissed the top of her head.
"I love you," he told her.
Riddhima smiled. "I love you, too."
They stayed in the locker room for some more time, wrapped in each other's arms.
"Ab chalein?" Riddhima asked sometime later. "Waise hi bohot late ho gayi hai."
Armaan made a face. "Jaana zaroori hai kya?" He asked.
"Why?" Armaan cribbed.
"Baby," Riddhima explained patiently. "Sanjeevani ki party hai. Aur sirf isliye rakhi hai kyuki humne Papa se kaha tha ki ek party chahiye. Phir, humaare sab dost bhi hai wahaan. Jaana toh padega na."
"Mujhe nahi jaana," Armaan whined. "Mujhe tumhaare saath rehna hai."
"Wahaan bhi toh hum saath hi honge na, Armaan," Riddhima answered.
Armaan made a face at that but nodded.
"Toh theek hai. Chalo ab," Riddhima commanded.
"Kitna order jhaadti ho tum, Basket," Armaan joked.
"Ab tumse seedhe se kaho toh tum sunnte toh ho nahi. Kya karu main bhi?" Riddhima asked.
"Hawww," Armaan replied. "Main toh sirf wohi karta hu jo tum
"Achcha?" Riddhima questioned. Armaan nodded.
"Theek hai," Riddhima said. "Toh chalo ab, party mein."
Armaan snorted at that, but nodded. "Chalo," he agreed.
They drove to the venue, talking about random stuff on the way and just enjoying being together.
"Lo, aa gaye," Muskaan commented when they joined the rest of the gang who were sitting on a table in a far corner of the room.
"Hey guys!" Riddhima greeted them enthusiastically. "Kya chal raha hai?"
"Bas yahaan baithe bore ho rahe hain," Anjali complained.
"Kyu?" Armaan asked. "Party hai! Enjoy karo."
"Kya enjoy?" Nikki asked. "Kuch karne hi nahi hai. Bas sab dance kar rahe hai. Koi achcha gana bhi nahi chalaya DJ ne."
"Awww. Chal hum usse baat karte haina," Riddhima comforted Nikki, hugging her sideways.
"Woh sunn hi toh nahi raha," Atul answered. "Hum gaye the. Lekin usne humaari baat hi nahi suni."
"Have no fear when Armaan is here," Armaan joked. "Main karta hu usse baat."
"Haan, haan. Bada aaya," Rahul commented. "Itne time se ab toh fursat mili hai tujhe aane ki."
"Sorry, Rahul!" Riddhima replied before Armaan could say anything. "Hospital mein itna time lag jaayega yeh mujhe pata nahi tha."
"Theek hai, yaar. Tu busy thi. Yeh Romeo toh aa sakta tha. Titli banke tere peeche kyu bhavra raha tha?" Rahul asked rhetorically.
"Ab toh aa gaya hu na," Armaan cribbed. "Shaanti rakh. Karta hu main kuch."
Saying so, Armaan went to talk to the DJ. The gang watched as Armaan and the DJ seemed to be arguing. Finally, after a lot of argument, the DJ nodded and Armaan turned to the gang, giving them a thumbs up.
The music changed to the more happening numbers and the gang immediately joined the others on the dance floor, laughing merrily. They were definitely the life of the party and everyone seemed to gravitate to them, but they all seemed oblivious to it all as they danced their hearts out.
Finally, when it was nearing midnight, Armaan quickly pulled Riddhima away from the rest of the group with hoots and catcalls following their departure.
"Armaan! Kya kar rahe ho? Sab dekh rahe the humein! Aise kheechke kyu le aaye?" Riddhima asked once they were alone.
"12 bajne wale hai, Basket," Armaan answered.
"Jaanti hu. Lekin humein alag kyu le aaye?" Riddhima asked again.
"Baby, ab new year ki shuruat un sab kabab mein haddiyon ke saath thodi karunga. Woh toh bas tum aur main," he told her.
Riddhima blushed at his words.
"Oyye hoyye," Armaan muttered, smiling dreamily. "Yeh sharam toh ek din jaan hi le legi."
"Armaan!" Riddhima reprimanded, hugging him so that she could hide her face in his chest.
Armaan smiled and kissed the top of her head.
"Pata hai, Basket, despite all the troubles, this year has been the best of my life," he told her.
"Really?" Riddhima asked, surprised. Armaan nodded.
"Kyu?" Riddhima questioned curiously.
"Iss saal ne mujhe tumse waapas mila diya na, isliye. Main toh yeh sochkar baitha thi ki jo sab hua uske baad tum meri shakal bhi nahi dekhogi. Lekin tum toh... Tumne mujhe bina kisi shart waapas apna liya," he told her honestly.
Riddhima couldn't help the tears that leaked through her eyes at his declaration.
"Jaanti hu main tumhe, Armaan. Samajhti hu ki tumne sab kyu kiya. Itna pyaar karte ho mujhe jitna shayad kabhi kisine kisise nahi kiya hoga. Jitna tumhaare bina main tadpi usse kahi zyada tum tadpe hoge, pata hai mujhe. Kaise karti tumse nafrat jab aaj tak sirf pyaar hi kiya hai?" Riddhima asked him.
Armaan was crying too, listening to her. He pulled her closer her, into himself and kissed her hard and hungry, their tears meshing together.
"I love you," they murmured breathlessly in unison after pulling away.
The clock struck midnight then, and fireworks exploded in the sky.
"Happy New Year, Basket," Armaan wished her.
"Happy New Year, baby," Riddhima replied.
"I promise, this new year is going to be the best year of our life," Armaan promised, smiling.
"Everyday with you is the best day of my life, Armaan. Just being with you is enough," Riddhima insisted.
They shared another kiss under the sky, looking forward to their happily ever after.
So, mostly just a filler, but cute AR moments and some insight to life for RaMusk and AA which I loved! Hope y'all like this one!
The next few chapters are going to be really exciting, and I actually can't wait till they're up and you guys can read them! Itna sab hone wala hai! So, stay tuned!!
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