|Bound Not By Blood
Author: LizzayMartini PM
Alison DiLaurentis, Emily Fields, Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin and Aria Montgomery are born within minutes of one another. Growing up, they've always been as close as any five people can be. When tragedy strikes for one of them, it takes it's toll on the other four. One of them, more so than the others. Based on The Pact by Jodi Picoult.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Drama - Emily F. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,644 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 06-14-12 - Published: 06-09-12 - id: 8201303
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"It's not what I'm used to, just wanna try you on…" Ali sang as she twirled around in her bedroom, the new song by Katy Perry blaring on the stereo. The five girls were all dancing and laughing as Alison jumped onto her bed, dancing suggestively while serenading her friends. "I'm curious for you, caught my attention…"
Aria, Spencer and Hanna joined in at the chorus, jumping on the bed with Ali. Emily laughed, knowing she would bring more attention to herself if she didn't, but stayed anchored to the window seat as her friends belted out.
"I kissed a girl and I liked it! The taste of her cherry chapstick. I kissed a girl just to try it, I hope my boyfriend don't mind it!"
Emily's head was swimming with images of Ali and her, alone, dancing a provocatively as Ali was now. Kissing, touching, whispering things that none of the others needed to know. Emily pictured all of things she wanted so desperately to with her and couldn't, when Ali pulled her from her reverie.
"Em, come on!" Ali reached a hand out. "Dance with us!"
"I don't like dancing, you know that." Emily argued weakly. They all knew that if Ali asked, Emily would do anything. No questions asked.
"You're no fun, Emily Lynn." Alison stuck her tongue out at her, making Emily's cheeks flush. She wondered what it would be like to kiss Ali for real. The image made her mouth go dry and her throat tighten. Emily thought all of her friends were pretty, sure, but she only wanted to kiss Ali. Hanna, Spencer and Aria were really much too much like sisters. And that was probably exactly how Ali saw her. "Even Hanna's dancing."
Hanna slowed at that, carefully getting down from the bed and joining Emily on the window seat. "Ali's just teasing." Emily said in what she hoped was a comforting tone.
"Okay, Killer." Hanna rolled her eyes. They'd given Emily the nickname years ago when Spencer compared her protectiveness over Ali to that of a pitbull trained to fight. It was ironic, Emily thought, that now her protectiveness was of a completely different nature.
"Don't be such a sourpuss, Hanna Banana." Ali said mockingly. "You know I love you."
"Not like you love Emily." Hanna mumbled and Emily whipped her head so quickly that her ponytail swished against her face. "Emily never wants to join in and you're not mean to her. You guys are each others' favorites!"
"You're all my favorite!" Alison declared, laughing as she continued dancing on her bed, bumping hips with Spencer and Aria in time to the music. "Sisters! Cradle to grave!"
"Cradle to grave!" Spencer and Aria chanted, giggling.
"Cradle to grave." Emily and Hanna said quietly in unison. Hanna, being the one Ali tormented the most, was annoyed that they'd been bonded together in this way without their consent. Of course, no matter how annoyed, it went without saying that Hanna would drop anything if any of the girls needed her.
Emily, on the other hand, was beginning to resent the phrase they had been using most of their lives. Cradle to grave. They were brought into this world closer than would be considered healthy by most people, and now here was Emily - the odd one out. Every single memory that she had included at least one of the other four girls. They'd been raised as sisters. She would always see Hanna, Spencer, and Aria that way, but would they feel the same if they knew that she liked girls? And would Ali ever see her as something more?
She knew everything about these girls. She knew their favorite colors, their favorite songs. She knew why they smiled and what made them laugh. She knew when to force them to talk and when to leave them be. She knew more about her friends than their own parents knew, and yet she had no idea what they would say if they knew. It could be frustrating at times, to have no mystery. But in this case, Emily was dying for a clue.
Eventually, Emily caved and went homecoming shopping with the girls. They'd sat at the house crying for a good hour before Emily finally came out of the bathroom and announced that she would go shopping with them. Spencer asked over and over if she was sure, and reminded her that if she didn't want to go to homecoming they wouldn't be angry. Aria insisted that they should just go before Emily changed her mind, that shopping would help cheer all of them up. Hanna looked Emily up and down, knowing that this was not what she wanted. She wasn't sure what Emily did want, but she knew that going to homecoming was not it.
While in the dressing room, Emily examined her body more closely. The scars from previous cuts were almost white, healing nicely. The ones she had just made still had caked up blood along the welts. Carefully she scraped the red flakes from her skin before closing a hand over the wound. She hadn't meant for this to go so far. The first time she did it, she just needed to feel something. The more she did it, though, the easier it became to act like nothing was wrong. Her friends saw through the act, she knew, but was thankful more than anything that they weren't saying anything.
Four hours and four dresses later, the girls were in the largest shoe boutique Rosewood had to offer. Hanna was looking for gold shoes to accent the belt she had gotten to go with her teal dress. Spencer was wearing silver and was searching for nude pumps to go with her clutch. Aria was wearing a black, bedazzled number and insisted that combat-style ankle boots were the solution. Emily's dress was a simple, cobalt blue - it matched the school colors. She wanted silver shoes, as all of her accessories were in some shade of silver or grey. Alison would have made a joke about Emily's Shark Spirit, if she had been there. Ben would probably like that she was showing school pride.
Pam picked them up from the boutique nearly an hour after she and the girls had arrived there. The girls stuffed their purchases in the back of the SUV before piling into the back seat while Emily took residence in the passenger seat. The girls in the back chattered on excitedly about their purchases and discussed how they would do their hair and whose house they should all get ready at. Emily sat silently with her head leaning against the window. A light drizzle began to fall, and Emily smiled inwardly at the timing. She hadn't felt more like rain in her life.
As always, Hanna was the last to be dropped off before the Fields headed home. Hanna called over her shoulder for Emily to call her later, to which Emily merely nodded sullenly. Pam, who had long since given up trying to get her daughter to talk about the Alison thing, reached a hand over and rubbed Emily's shoulder comfortingly. I love you, is what she was trying her best to say.
It was Sunday morning before Emily's father, Wayne, knocked on her bedroom door. She'd locked herself away for the weekend. She answered the phone when Ben called, and forwarded everyone else. It was easy to pretend she was fine with Ben, he didn't know her the way the other three did. At least if she simply didn't answer her phone they couldn't hear how miserable she was. And as long as she allowed Ben to think she was having feminine problems and didn't feel much like going out, he would be none the wiser.
"Em, honey?" Wayne said hesitantly. He poked his head in her door cautiously, and upon seeing her curled up on her bed he let himself in. "Emily."
"Yeah, Dad?" Emily replied in a monotone voice. It wasn't as if she weren't happy to see him, he'd been gone for eleven months before finally coming home in September. But he hadn't been there when she needed him. Not when Alison died, and not before.
"Are you ok, Em?" Wayne reached over and brushed the hair off of her face. "You're not yourself, Emily, and I'm worried."
"Dad, my best friend just died." Emily said flatly. "What do you expect me to be like?"
Wayne was at a loss for words. They hadn't spoken about it at all since he'd returned. He'd asked once how the other girls were handling it and Emily had said that they were doing better than she was and then locked herself in her room. He was used to his house being filled to the brim with other girls he considered his own. Now, his house was as empty as if they had an only child. Emily went to school, swim practice, and spent most week days with Ben after school.
"You went out with the girls, today." He finally said. "That's great. I know they've been missing having you around."
"I know, Dad."
"You don't need to cut yourself off from them, you know." He said. "They loved Ali, too. And they love you more than anything. You girls need each other, now more than ever."
Emily just tucked her knees to her chest and stared out her window. She found herself in this exact position very often these days.
"So, tell me about this Ben of yours." Wayne tried to change the subject as he began to see exactly what Pam had warned him about. Emily was slipping away.
"Ben's great." Emily said shortly, finally pulling herself into a sitting position. "Ben's a great guy."
"That's good." Wayne said, smiling that his daughter was giving him more than single word responses. "When are you gonna bring him around so I can get a good look in his eye?"
"Dad." Emily said, agitated. "You don't need to meet him. It's not that serious, or anything."
"Well it must be something special," Wayne said. "if he's taking you away from your friends."
Emily bit her lip. She knew that her parents would notice that she wasn't with the girls every single day like they'd been since birth. Her mom had asked once if she'd like to invite them over for a sleepover and Emily rolled her eyes. "We just need space."
"So you guys are breaking up?" Wayne's use of the phrase caught Emily completely off guard and she wasn't sure how to respond. She found herself wondering, though, if it were really that obvious. If she had "I'm gay" stamped in English across her forehead or something. "After all these years, you're just going to let yourself walk away from them?"
"They don't understand, Daddy." Emily finally said, her eyes spilling over with fresh tears. She couldn't control herself. Before she knew it, she was flinging her arms around his neck and holding as tight as she could, as if he could save her if she just squeezed a little harder. "Nobody understands."
"I think," Wayne said as he stroked his daughter's hair and held her to him. "that it's time you started talking to somebody."