|The Time it Took Getting There
Author: iaimforthestars PM
Sometimes you meet someone and it feels like your whole life has been building up to that one moment. Everything makes sense, the timing feels perfect and it's just rather simple... And sometimes... It's not like that at all. When Naomi meets Emily, sadly, it's just one of those complicated times. AURated: Fiction T - English - Naomi C. & Emily F. - Chapters: 13 - Words: 101,773 - Reviews: 217 - Favs: 81 - Follows: 83 - Updated: 02-08-13 - Published: 11-29-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8748231
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Hey there people. This is my first attempt at a story. I'm not sure what it's worth at all. Before we begin, I want to say that this is not your typical "girl meets girl and fall desperately in love" type of story. It'll be quite more complicated then that so if you expect it to be that... well you probably shouldn't be reading this, but then again, I don't want to tell you what to do.
I'm not sure exactly how long I intend to make this story. In my mind it's a short of like... 15 chapters tops, but you never know where it'll actually end.
Well that's about it. Enjoy. Hopefully!
PART I: MEETING YOU
Chapter 1: Smile to me
The first time she meets Emily Fitch, it's probably one of the most unplanned moment of her life. It happens, of all places, in a library. It's the closest library to Naomi's apartment building and she has easily been there fifty times before since she started Uni a few months ago. She reckons she might know the librarian better than her own flatmate actually with all the hours she's spent browsing the endless rows of books.
It's not that Naomi is socially challenged and is afraid to make friends or anything, but she just loves books, finds them awfully comforting. And it's not even necessarily the stories that she likes, although that often helps, it's the volumes themselves. She loves to feel the different covers, from the brand new shinny colourful ones to the older tougher monotone ones. She also loves the types of paper and ink that are used to print books. She has long ago figured that they all have different smells and, sometimes, she just likes to pick them up to see which combination she'll get; reliably ancient musky, eagerly fresh or something else entirely.
Maybe she is a bit socially challenged if this is how Naomi likes to spend her free time, but it's not like she cares that much about what other people think. She's always had a special relationship with books and she likes it that way. She doesn't even try to tone it down, doesn't even try to come less often to the library. In fact, she sometimes makes detours just so she can fit the place into her day. It's gotten to that point.
Really, the librarian calls her by her name, started calling her by her name a while ago actually, and she knows all the regulars. There's Maggie that comes pretty much every Thursday to peruse the Woman Studies section, there's Jacob who always comes randomly, but can always be found with World War II books on his table, there's Bailey who is 12 years old and comes every Wednesday to read comics- and even if it's comics, Naomi thinks it's kind of awesome that she's spending so much time at the library at her age- and there's Mendel who's there every single day at noon to read 5 different Newspapers- which is totally okay because he's studying journalism and he's very dedicated.
And apart from the regulars, Naomi thinks she's seen the entire library population at least twice even if she doesn't know their names or anything. So when Emily comes up to her between The Second Sex and She Came to Stay, she's not just surprised because the other girl is talking to her, but she's surprised because she has never seen her there before. And, really, with her bright raspberry red hair, Naomi would have definitely noticed her if she had.
It's not just the hair mind, Emily is quite noticeable in general. She's got thin features, but her cheeks are round and her lips are full. She's got a small button nose and a set of gorgeous brown eyes that just seem to shine with mirth. And as if her face isn't enough to make her noticeable, Naomi thinks that her sense of dress completely does it. It's not that it's ugly or anything, but it's pretty colourful and hard to miss. Not that she's got any way of knowing if this is always how the other girl dresses, but today, Emily is wearing purple skinny jeans with a loose white V-neck top and a grey jumper attached to a blood red leather jacket. She's also got a grey scarf; probably because it's quite cold outside. Naomi is a bit overwhelmed by the whole ensemble. The fact that Emily is standing right next to her isn't helping either and before she knows it, Emily is talking to her.
"Hi" Emily says as if it's nothing at all, as if they are old friends.
And Naomi can't quite find it in herself to simply reply or at least smile, so she just stands there and frowns a little at the petite girl in front of her. She knows she's probably being rude and she wishes she could think of something, anything to say, but nothing comes to her. She really doesn't want to see the redhead's smile falter from her face because she's being too daft to just utter the word "Hi" though. It comes as a ridiculous relief then when Emily doesn't lose her smile at all when she's confronted with Naomi's sudden muteness, but instead just carries on.
"If you're trying to figure out if you know me, you can stop right now" Emily says and now that she's spoken for a longer period of time, Naomi notices that her voice is pleasantly deep and soothing. "We don't know each other, I just thought you looked nice… and I figured I'd just come over and say hi" the petite announces with ease. "I'm Emily"
Emily is all smiles, not even shy by what she's just said and Naomi automatically admires her for it. She knows she'd never have the guts to do what she just did. She remains silent a few seconds and then, a smile cracks her lips and she starts chuckling, because as blunt as the other girl's introduction was, it really was all kinds of adorable. She knows Emily is quite pleased with herself when she chuckles along and beams at her.
They laugh together for a minute at best and Naomi pushes one of her blonde locks behind her ear before looking up at Emily. She studies the other girl's face for barely a few seconds before finally finding words.
"Is that how you approach every girl you meet?" She asks her in a teasing tone.
When she hears her words, Emily blushes a bit, scrunches her nose and shakes her head. She's still smiling though so Naomi knows she got the playful vibe in her words.
"No. Just the pretty ones" Emily concludes shyly.
The blonde feels her smile widen because it's kind of amazing how Emily can say something like that to her and then be so shy about it. Her cheeks are still a bit red and Naomi can see the relief in the redhead's eyes when she laughs. She's not sure why she's laughing and not telling Emily to piss off, because that's definitely what she feels like she would have done to anyone else telling her that. The petite girl is really adorable though and Naomi can't really find it in her to be so rude. Besides, she doesn't want her to go away even if she doesn't really know why. Maybe it's something in Emily's brown eyes that's immediately putting Naomi at ease.
"I'm Naomi" the blonde says before her brain can even register that she's going to introduce herself.
Emily smiles even more broadly then.
"I'm very pleased to meet you Naomi" she says and the blonde sort of has to contain herself not to demand that Emily repeats her name endlessly.
"Likewise" she replies instead.
They stand next to each other for a few awkward seconds then. Naomi's not sure what to say and, besides, she's not the one who approached the redhead. It doesn't take too long though before Emily smiles up at her again and takes a big breath before talking.
"Listen, I know this will probably sound weird, but well… Maybe we could go for coffee?" she says quickly, her cheeks blushing even worse. "I mean you're probably busy because you're in a library and looking for books, but if you're not we could go… Or if you are maybe we could go some other time" she continues even quicker.
Naomi sort of stifles a laugh then, but not so well since Emily obviously sees it and then they're back to giggling together.
"I'm so sorry, I'm rambling… I've never been quite as… forward before" the redhead admits.
The blonde gives her an indulgent smile because she doesn't mind the rambling at all. Well, that's not quite accurate, most of the time she does mind rambling, but apparently today she tolerates everything. Or maybe it's just Emily she tolerates.
"It's alright, I don't mind" she reassures the redhead.
"Good… well then… do you… want to go? I promise I'm not a nutter" Emily says while flashing a very fake but quite funny grin that totally makes her look like a bit of a nutter.
"Yeah okay" Naomi still replies automatically.
"Great!" Emily exclaims and she looks really fucking happy.
It's when they step out into the cold air of February that Naomi realizes for the first time that she's going to get coffee with this girl, Emily, that she's only just met. Then it occurs to her that that's pretty much what dates are supposed to be like. And it's after she understands that simple fact that Naomi sort of freaks out. Her cheeks lose all their colours and she feels a shiver run down her spine. She feels slightly sick and ridiculously guilty.
The reason why she's suddenly feeling so ill has nothing to do with Emily though and everything to do with her. She feels awfully guilty because she had to step outside to remember that's she's actually taken. Well, that's only if you can call what she has with Michaela a relationship and sadly, she's never quite sure that she can. Still, in her heart, Naomi feels very much taken and now that she's walking alongside this brand new girl who's by all means gorgeous, she feels like she shouldn't.
Because it's one thing to joke around with her friends that she's pretty much single since Michaela never seems to know what she wants and what to call their relationship, but it's a whole other to casually go for coffee with beautiful button nosed redheads. Also, the blonde feels bad because she's probably led Emily on by accepting her offer in the first place and now she'll have to admit that she's with someone. She feels like an extraordinary twat, not that that's anything new though.
Of course, the longer they walk and the more Naomi tells herself that maybe she's read this all wrong. Maybe it's not a date at all and maybe Emily's not even interested in her that way, for fuck's sake she doesn't even know if Emily is gay! But as she's trying to find a loophole, Naomi realizes that her excuses feel feeble, even to her. The other girl did randomly approach her and told her she was pretty and Naomi doesn't know a lot of straight girls that go about that way to meet new friends.
They still make their way to the coffee place though. Naomi just follows Emily and can't quite bring the subject up. She doesn't exactly know how, but also, she's enjoying her time with the petite girl. They haven't even talked properly, but just by the casual chat they have as they walk to the place, Naomi can easily say that she likes the other girl's company. She's smart and funny and, well, not hard to look at if it must be said.
Once they've arrived, it takes little time before they both have their coffees and are sat at a table in one corner. Emily takes off her jacket and her scarf and it's rather cute the way her nose just seems to be bright red because of the cold. They sip at their drinks, not really saying anything important. Emily's making most of the conversation while Naomi sits there awkwardly. It's not that the blonde regrets going per se, she just really wishes she had told the redhead about being taken before they left. Now she feels like she's wasting the other girl's time. Naomi feels even worst when she spaces out while trying to figure how to bring Michaela into the conversation. She's working her brain tirelessly to try and find the perfect way and she's just about to abandon when Emily ends up making it all so much easier for her.
"So…" she starts uncertainly. "Are you seeing anyone?"
"Yes!" Naomi nearly shouts and then, of course, she's blushing profusely. "Sorry I didn't mean to be so enthusiastic about that…. I just mean… I am and I feel like I should have said earlier… I'm sorry"
Emily gives her a bit of a disappointed smile, but it's a smile nonetheless.
"It's okay. I figured you might have someone" Emily reassures and even if Naomi isn't sure the redhead is being completely honest, it does reassures her. "Besides, I did say you looked like a nice person first, so well, I'd still like to be friends, if I'm not annoying you already that is"
Naomi nods vigorously to that because, she really does want to get to know Emily better, wants to be able to call her a friend. She's not sure why she cares, doesn't usually care about people she's just met, but that doesn't stop her from caring this time around. Then she realizes that she's just nodded after Emily asked her if she thought she was annoying and she goes pale.
"I mean I'd like to be friends!" She says quickly. "I didn't mean I thought you were annoying"
Emily giggles though and that shows her she didn't actually have to clarify that, the redhead isn't daft. Still, at least now there's no chance of a misunderstanding.
Really, it starts from there, from that little moment where both girls know that they're on the same wavelength. The conversation just flows after that and it's filled with laughter. It's been a very long time since Naomi's hung out with a girl she's had so much fun with. She doesn't have a lot of girl friends to be honest and every time she hangs out with Michaela things are a bit complicated. Everything is always a bit complicated with Michaela.
A few hours later, they have to part. Naomi has a class to attend and so does Emily, but they still take the time to switch numbers. In their time together, she's learned a fair few things about Emily, one of which is that Emily is a bit older than she is and in her last year of nursing. The redhead wants to work with kids as much as possible because she just loves children. Naomi nearly dislodged her eyes by rolling them when Emily told her. But now that she thinks about how the petite's eyes lit up when she explained how much she cared and how much she dreamed of being a nurse, Naomi thinks that anyone would be fucking lucky to have Emily by their hospital bed, kid or adult.
It's one thing she noticed right away about the other girl, this ridiculously generous soul she seems to have. The blonde has to admit it's bloody refreshing to see someone with so much compassion, so much love to give. Emily isn't guarded, not like Naomi is. Oh no, the blonde has known her for 3 hours tops and she can already tell that when Emily presents herself, she's showing you the real deal. There's barely any carefulness too in the way she just willingly strips herself bare for Naomi to see. It's fucking impressive and fucking special. At least, it is to the blonde.
When Naomi walks home that night after a semi interesting class of "Political Economy and Public Policy", she thinks about Emily. She's a bit surprised when her stream of thoughts automatically brings her to a small feeling of disappointment about the fact that she's already dating Michaela. She shakes the feeling off though because she's wanted Micah way too long to suddenly want someone else.
And that's very true though, she realizes instantly. She has been wanting Micah for so long that now that she has her- sort of- she can't just let her go. So maybe their relationship isn't exactly ideal… Okay, perhaps it's shit most of the time, but it's at least something. At least Naomi isn't longing after the girl anymore, she's got her even if it's just a bit. The more she walks and the more the blonde remembers herself. She's worked so hard for this, tried so hard to get Michaela to trust her. And it's not just the hard work, it's the achievement. She got the bloody girl in the end!
And what a girl she is! She's so fucking gorgeous with her deep blue eyes that have absolutely nothing to do with her own pale ones and her wavy auburn hair. She's also all curves, Micah is. From the shape of her hips to the delicious curves of her chest, Naomi's always been a bit speechless whenever she sees the other girl. Of course, Micah has issues, who doesn't? Naomi doesn't judge her. Who is she to judge anyone really?
By the time the blonde stops walking in front of her apartment building, she realizes that she doesn't want to be there at all. So she spins on her heels and walks to another flat where she knows she'll feel much better. And she's totally right. The second she opens the door to one of the most ridiculous dodge she's ever seen, there's already a smile on her lips. She can hear the telly in the background playing some football game she really doesn't give a toss about and 2 minutes later she hears a gruff voice calling over.
"OI! Who's penetrating the man cave?"
She outrights laugh and then replies.
"A man cave? Please! You lads are just boys!"
It doesn't even take half a second for cheers to erupt in the living room and she knows she's been recognized.
"D'Art!" the same voice from earlier yells. "Grab yourself a bottle and come sit your fine arse out here"
So she does just that. Naomi walks to the fridge and shoves it open, only to wrinkle her nose at the smell she finds in there. There really isn't much apart from the bottles of beer, but whatever actually is in there is definitely rotten. It's nothing that new though so she just grabs the closest beer, uncaps it, throws the cap in the sink and walks to the living room area. Surely enough, there she finds two of her favourite people on earth.
"Alright?" Freddie asks, a spliff lazily dangling from his lips.
"D'Arty!" Cook yells again before patting the spot beside him on the couch.
She sits on the spot and leans her feet on the already dirty coffee table before taking a long sip of her beer.
"Where's Jay?" She asks taking the time to look around herself quickly.
"Still at school. Something about a project… or something… whatever" Freds replies casually without taking his eyes off the match.
Cook doesn't say anything at all. He's a bit too enthralled with the game for that. When the referee calls a red card about 30 seconds later, he stands right up and starts shouting loudly at the telly.
"Red card!? Are you fockin' kidding me?! He didn't even fockin' touch him?! That's bollocks, you fockin' arse!"
Freddie looks equally outraged and swears and nods along with Cook, but he remains seated. Naomi just laughs and takes another sip of her beer. She's been here five minutes and she's feeling more relaxed already. She always does when she's with the boys.
"Fockin' game is rigged" Cook complains under his breath before sitting back down and grabbing a beer from the coffee table.
He finishes it with one gulp, puts it on the floor next to the other dozen bottles already there and grabs a full one within the mist. There really is only Cook to drink his beer at room temperature just because he's too much of a lazy arse to get up throughout the night for refills.
"Anyway, how's you D'Art?" he asks, turning to look at her with a big grin.
It's their thing, D'Art, hers and Cook's and Fred's and JJ's. It's Cook who came up with it though, years ago. It was a few months after they started hanging out, back then, they were all still in high school. Naomi had just moved from another part of the city and joined their school. At assembly, she'd had a run in with Cook when he had made a pass at her. To the boy's credit, he'd laugh real loud when she'd shoved his advances right back in his face with a few witty remarks. The boys had already been mates since way before, but they'd all taken a liking to her somehow and she had just gone along with it.
Naomi hadn't expected it, hadn't expected to fit in with a trio of scruffy boys, but she had. It's not that she was a very manly girl either because, for the most part, she wasn't. But there was something in the simplicity of those three she had immediately loved. She was just glad really that they hadn't seemed to mind that she was a girl and that she was breaking their all-men gang.
One evening, they had been hanging out in Freddie's shed, smoking spliffs and just generally laughing at everything. JJ had had to piss and Freds had shoved him the piss bottle. Naomi had crinkled her nose in disgust because that freaking bottle just had to break every sanitary rule in existence.
"Urgh, that bottle should not be allowed to exist" She'd said which only made the three boys laugh.
"Oh come on sugar tits. If you're going to hang out with us lads, you're gonna have to get used to it" Cook had replied.
"I don't think that's possible" She'd shot back disdainfully.
"Aww look at Naoms being all prissy" Fred had teasingly cooed.
"I'm not! It's just disgusting is what it is!" She'd snapped.
"Well excuse us princess" Cook had continued.
Naomi had glared, but she'd also felt her stomach drop. Since she'd started hanging out with the trio, it was the first time any of them had teased her about being a girl and the blonde had to admit she didn't like it one bit. As if sensing her discomfort, Cook had readily latched onto it.
"Oi Blondie Bird, it's a compliment that you're different" he had said.
Naomi had turned to eye him curiously and had expected both Freddie and JJ- who had since then come back from his piss- to look curiously at Cook as well, but they were just smiling lazily.
"I don't see how me being a princess is a compliment" She had complained.
"Nah mate, we're just joking, aren't we? It's affectionate, innit? You're different… you're like…" he had started and then stopped for a second to think.
Naomi had nearly laughed sarcastically when she'd seen his forehead scrunch in concentration. But then he'd shot his head right back up and looked at her gleefully.
"I know! You're our fockin' D'Artagnan!" he'd said triumphantly.
"What?" She'd asked with a chuckle.
"Our D'Artagnan! We're the musketeers aren't we?" He'd explained.
"Right so I'm like that fockin' Aramis bloke 'cause I'm the ladies' favourite man, yeah? And Fredster is Athos 'cause he's the boring one-"
"Oi!" Freddie had yelled, but Cook had just continued.
"We'd have to get JJ's food on for him to properly fit Porthos, but still, he's like the nice likeable one"
She'd stared at her friend for a few seconds after that while the other two just nodded vigorously.
"And then there's you Naoms. Newest addition. So you're D'Artagnan and since you're like well clever, it really fockin' fits, doesn't it?" Cook had concluded proudly.
And really, the blonde had been freaking touched by the boy's confession. So freaking touched that she'd been afraid she'd cry for a second. Of course, she held the tears in. She really didn't need to show them just how much of a girl she could be for fuck's sake, but still, she thought she was really blessed to have met the little misfit group.
"Ain't no musketeers complete without their D'Art" Cook had chipped and coming form him, it almost sounded wise.
The blonde had tried to grapple onto a proper reply to that afterwards and it really had been a mind fuck. She just didn't want to be emotional. So she had smirked at Cook and chuckled.
"Jesus Cook. I didn't know you had actually read the fucking book" she'd teased.
"No I'm serious. You can read? Why didn't you tell me sooner?" She'd pushed.
And just like that, the emotional moment had gone and passed, but since that day, the boys had nicknamed her "D'Art" and it warmed her heart a little every time they did.
She smiles at Cook who's just looking at her expectantly. She's fairly sure he has no clue how much she loves that he still calls her that, but she does.
"Good, nothing much to tell" she finally replies.
"Yet you're in the man cave" Freddie says smartly.
"Shove off Stoner" she teases as Cook chuckles.
But she knows Freddie has a point. The boys know her schedule by now, actually it's taped to their fridge, and all of them know she's got class in the morning. Yet, here she is, hanging out with them. Boys are boys and often, they don't really notice when she's having a bad day, but they're not totally insensitive or stupid. She just shrugs her shoulders and brings a nail to her mouth. She's decided to just say nothing when her cellphone goes off. She fishes it out of her pocket and sees that she's got a new text message.
Library girl- Emily
Hey, I know you said you were with
someone, but I just wanted to say
that I think you're really gorgeous.
I had a great time today, hope we
can do that again sometime.
Naomi smiles despite herself, because she didn't expect Emily to text her and she definitely didn't expect her to write something like that. In a way, this kind of straight forward message doesn't fit the petite redhead she met today, but at the same time, it does fit the girl who had the balls to ask her out in the library.
"Anything interesting?" Cook asks, of course he's seen her smile.
"Hum" Naomi mumbles vaguely.
"Who's texting ya?" he pushes.
Naomi knows it's her business, knows Cook is being nosy, but she gives it to him, tells him who it is just because it's kind of been on her mind all evening.
"Just this girl I went for coffee with earlier" she mutters.
"Yeah?" Cook says, a huge smile already crawling on his lips. "Fit?"
She rolls her eyes because it's totally typical of Cook to ask that first. Then she shrugs.
"Where d'you meet her?" Freddie asks, lighting a fag.
"Ha! Why am I not surprised?" Cook laughs.
She just rolls her eyes again.
"So? Was that like a date?" Freds asks as if Cook hadn't said anything at all.
"Course not!" Naomi defends instantly. "I'm with Michaela aren't I?"
"Are you?" Freddie says and it's not even meant to be mean.
"Yeah…" Naomi drawls out, feeling a bit sheepish that her best friends can't even tell anymore.
"That girl is a waste of your time" Cook spats and the blonde finds herself frowning automatically.
She really doesn't want to get into this argument with the boy. She already knows he doesn't like Michaela and she doesn't exactly want to be reminded.
"Mate don't start…" Freddie pleads and Cook just cocks him an eyebrow.
"Fuck off Freds! You know as much as I do that Michaela's a-"
"Cook!" Naomi cuts him off.
Her heart is beating painfully in her chest and her stomach is in knots. She hates that her closest friends and her girlfriend don't get along and it just makes it so much worse when Cook bad mouths the other girl.
"Whatever mate, you know how I feel about her" he says. "And you know I'm fockin' right so…"
"Can we not do this?" she sighs and the boy shrugs.
Freddie's drinking his beer in silence and it's clear by the apologetic look in his eyes that he wishes Cook hadn't said anything. Naomi's glad he tried to stop the other boy, but she also knows that Cook is right, Freddie doesn't like Micah either.
And really, Michaela is a handful, but she's not a horrible person. Not like the boys seem to think she is. She's just been hurt a lot in the past and that makes her careful, less trusting and Naomi totally understands and respects that. And yeah, if she's completely honest, it hurts sometimes when Micah just shuts her out or makes a big scene of something Naomi did or said, but she can deal with it. It's worth it and it's definitely not a waste of her time.
"I… I love her okay? Why can't you just accept that?" She ends up whispering.
She knows she just said she didn't want to go into it, but it pains her, really does, that she feels like she should choose between her friendship with the boys and her love for the other girl. Cook turns to look at her and she can see in his eyes that he's sorry.
"I accept it D'Art you know that… I just wish you fockin' didn't, you get me?"
She nods because, yes, she does get him. If the blonde can handle whatever Michaela throws her way it's her business, if she wants to stay with her even when she's being hurt, it's still her business, but that doesn't stop her friends from worrying. And it really doesn't help Micah's case that every single time they've hung out with the lads she's ended up yelling at Naomi for ignoring her- even if the blonde was nearly freaking glued to her- and locking herself in a bathroom stall with Naomi left to plead with her to come out.
They've been silent for a bit when Cook lifts his arm and Naomi cuddles up to him. They have tiffs now and again, but it's never serious. She doesn't mind him being so harsh because she knows it's his way of looking out for her and she appreciates that he tries to.
"So what's her name then?" Freddie says to break the silence.
"The girl you had coffee with"
"Emily" she whispers.
"Nice. Has a good ring to it" Cook comments and they all end up chuckling
It's obvious that the only reason why Cook approves of Emily is because she's not Michaela. But at least they're laughing about it now and the tension is gone. They switch the channel sometime after when the boys' footy team loses the match painfully and start watching re-runs of Red Dwarf. Naomi's on her third beer when JJ comes in and sits with them. They just continue to watch telly until Naomi falls asleep on Cook's shoulder. Not before she has time to send a quick reply to Emily though and not before she has time to notice that Michaela just didn't text her at all.
So this is the first chapter. Like I said, I'm not sure it's any good. Feedback would be appreciated :) Let me know if you want me to continue or not, alright?