A/N: I wrote this to try and break the block I seem to be having with Excitement Adrenaline and Tequila. So sorry if this story doesn't make much sense :P
The next time after finding Cibola that Emily saw Patrick, was at the church on Ben's wedding day. She sat next to him, carefully avoiding his eyes. Thankfully, by the time Emily had made it to her seat, there wasn't enough time for them to strike up an awkward conversation. The music soon began, and all heads turned to the back of the room, where Abigail appeared in a beautiful gown and veil, Riley on her arm in replacement of her dead father. Emily watched, dutifully, as Riley gave Abigail away to Ben, but not before a kiss on the cheek, and a fond smile from Abby. Emily tried to pay attention, but her senses were on overdrive, with Patrick sitting so close to her.
They hadn't spoken since Cibola, partly because Emily was too stubborn to call – Patrick should be the one to call her, not the other way around – and partly because she was afraid that nothing would change; that she would be stuck in perpetual agony of being with him, but never being able to get along. She was so sick of fighting; fighting with him, fighting with herself over being with him. And now to add to everything, her son clearly didn't need her anymore, she was all alone, and on holidays she would have to see Patrick, for the sake of Ben's children. She would be so close to him, but unable to touch him; like standing just outside of paradise, but unable to step in. Emily blamed herself, because it was her fault really. She was the one to leave him. She had made her excuses, but suddenly she found herself missing him. She was so sick of being strong; she just wanted someone to hold her. Unfortunately, that person was now her ex-husband.
She drove herself to the reception, wiping away a tear before she entered the hall. She realized that she was put at the same table as Patrick, probably for more reasons than because they're both Ben's parents. She sat quietly, only speaking when she was spoken to, until Ben offered her his hand. During the mother-son and father-daughter (or in this case Riley-Abigail) dance, Emily felt a little at peace, being held by her loving son. She leaned her head against his arm, closing her eyes as he led her along the floor.
Emily managed to get halfway through the reception before she spoke to him. Patrick, sitting on her right in a round table, gently touched her wrist, startling her at first. She dragged her eyes up to meet his, but instead of seeing his gentle smile, his eyes were cold. He was clearly mad with her, and a knife went through her heart at the thought. She realized that this is what he must have felt when she was mad at him during their marriage.
"We have to dance." He stated, standing from his chair. He offered her his hand, but it was without care.
Emily swallowed, she didn't want to see him mad at her, and she didn't want to feel this angst within her heart anymore. But what could she say? She looked around, and saw all eyes were on them. Ben opened his mouth; Emily knew he was going to tell her that they didn't have to dance if they didn't want to. But, she thought as she placed her hand in Patrick's, this was Ben's wedding day, and he deserved to have a wedding where his parents weren't at each other's throats. This was about Ben, not her.
Classical music gently began to play, as Emily and Patrick – the only two on the floor, in front of everyone's watching eyes – began to move. Emily kept her posture stiff, as did Patrick. She may not feel strong, but it was in her nature to at least act like she was. Their arms were hardened in their shape, as they perfectly began to dance an emotionless waltz. Emily let her eyes wander, until she finally felt like she had no choice but to look into his eyes again. As she did, she saw a flicker of something beneath the cold. The flicker was of love; it was the same look he always gave her during their marriage – the same look he had given her when they kissed in Cibola. But despite that, she was still looking into his eyes that were now cold with hurt and anger. She knew it had to be because of her – because she left him, and then kissed him. Because she hadn't spoken to him since they finished excavating the majority of Cibola.
Emily swallowed the lump in her throat, but it wasn't enough. She broke, stopping their dance in the middle of the floor and leaned forward to try and hide the tears that were now streaming down her face. Her hand flew to her mouth to stop the sobs that threatened to escape. She felt so tired, so weak; she could feel her knees shaking, and she could even feel herself start to fall, before strong arms wrapped around her before she could hit the floor. She buried her face in Patrick's neck, trying to shut herself out and lose herself in him. She was so caught up in her emotions; she didn't notice the music stop playing, or the loud gasp from the guests. She could only vaguely hear Ben cry out for her.
She knew she was walking. She could still feel Patrick's arms around her, but she knew that he had shifted her – her face was buried in his shoulder now. Doors slammed, and soon she was sitting on something. When she didn't have any more tears to let out, she slowly lifted her head, and saw that she was sitting on a bench, right outside of the reception hall. She looked up, and met Patrick's eyes, no longer cold, but worry-filled. She swallowed, and pulled herself out of his arms, her back straightening. She left him; she couldn't let him make her feel okay anymore. She was alone, so she had to handle this on her own.
"Em, talk to me."
Emily glanced over at him from her shoes, but slumped over when she looked back at them. "About what?" she asked softly. He didn't say anything, but when she looked back at him, she realized she couldn't talk herself out of this one. She let out a soft sob, leaning her elbows on her knees to look at the floor. "I'm sorry." She finally said.
Patrick slid closer to her, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. "I'm sorry too. About not calling you. I was waiting for you to call me – you always made the first move before. I didn't know if you wanted to just ignore what happened between us in Cibola, or if you wanted to make something of it. When I realized that you weren't going to call I... well, I got angry."
Emily looked up at him, with a weak smile. "I felt the same way... but then, I...." She sat up, her hands wringing in her lap. "I realized that I didn't really have the right to be angry with you, since I was the one who left you. I was the one who chose to be on my own rather than with you – that was one of the biggest mistakes of my life – and I realized how much I must have hurt you, to leave you and then all of a sudden kiss you on a treasure hunt. I'm so sorry."
He pulled her into his arms, running a hand down her curls. "I'll always love you Em," he whispered.
Emily pulled back. "I can't be without you anymore. For the past 32 years I thought I just didn't want to be alone. But it's you. I don't want to be without you."
A smile passed over Patrick's lips, before he bent his head to kiss her softly.
The door to the reception hall burst open, with Ben appearing in the hallway outside and Abby close behind him. "I don't care what you want leave them-" Abby stopped talking, as her eyes landed on her in laws. A smile came over her face, when they tore apart from each other, both of them with content smiles on their faces.
"Um..." Ben tried to say something, but nothing came out. He decided to gape at his parents openly instead.
Abby slowly turned her smile into a grin. She let go of Ben's tux that she was pulling him back by, and offered Patrick her arm. "Patrick, would you like to dance?"
Patrick patted Emily's back – Emily could feel his warmth as he met her eyes, and took Abby's arm, and led her into the hall. The door shut softly behind them, leaving Ben and Emily alone. She wrapped her arms around herself, more for comfort than warmth, and Ben was suddenly at her side.
"Are you okay Mom?"
Emily looked up at her son with a soft smile. "Of course, sweetheart." She replied.
Ben paused, before wrapping his arm around his mother, and hugging her closely. Emily let him lead her back into the hall, feeling a calming content over her life. She sat down beside Ben at the table they were at, and watched as the couples on the floor danced. One particular couple caught her eye. As she watched Patrick dance with Abby, she wondered, with a smile on her lips, how she ever got so lucky.