This was supposed to be a little oneshot but promptly spawned into a longer fic so I've split it in two - next chap up in a few days. Not written for this fandom before so please tell me if I've got the characters right :o)
"Gillian, hey." Emily Lightman greeted as she opened the front door, meeting her father's business partner's sympathetic blue gaze with confusion.
"Hey, Emily, you doing okay?"
Still looking confused, the younger woman opened the door wider, letting the warm yellow light from the hallway spill out into the evening darkness. "Dad's not here-"
"He didn't tell you I was coming?" Gillian asked, mild amusement creeping into her voice as she realized she probably should have anticipated that from Cal.
"No, just said he wouldn't be long - and something about pizza if I'm good. I swear he thinks I'm still eight years old." Emily replied with a sarcastic roll of her eyes. She stepped back, gesturing to Gillian to come in.
Gillian shot her a sympathetic smile, raising a comforting hand to the teenagers shoulder. "He's just a little overprotective. He loves you."
"I know, Dad's just being Dad about the whole thing with Dan, you know?" Emily replied with a sigh, a little sadness creeping in to her expression.
Making their way into Cal's nicely-sized kitchen, Gillian set her bag down on the nearest chair, shedding her leather jacket and placing it around the same chair-back. Taking a moment to debate the best way to broach the topic of Emily's boyfriend, Gillian watched as Emily busied herself making coffee. "Was it your decision, if you don't mind me asking?"
Emily didn't answer right away, almost prompting Gillian to apologize for asking, assuming it wasn't something she wanted to share. Finally the teenager turned to her, flashes of anxiety and trepidation alternating over her features. "It was my decision - don't tell Dad that though."
Intrigued and a little worried at her words, Gillian asked in a soft voice: "You want your father to think Dan broke up with you?"
"I -" Emily started, then sighed again, scrubbing her hands over her face in frustration. "You promise not to tell Dad if I tell you what happened?"
"Emily, if you're in trouble-" Gillian cautioned, alarmed that the teenager might be hiding something she hadn't wanted her parents to know.
"No, no, nothing like that. Just promise, okay?"
Recognizing her need for a confidant, Gillian agreed reluctantly, hoping she wouldn't need to break the teenager's trust by telling her father when he returned.
"Dan, he was kind of... he suddenly decided that we should... because we've been together for a while and..." Emily explained vaguely, obviously unsure how to voice what she wanted to explain.
"He was trying to have sex with you?"
Emily nodded in response, relief becoming the dominant emotion on her pretty face due to - Gillian guessed - not having to find the awkward words after all. "Yeah"
Somewhat relieved, but still concerned she wasn't telling her the whole truth, Gillian moved towards the teenager to place a consoling hand on her shoulder. "But you're okay? He didn't try-"
"No, just trying to talk me into it, you know? I thought he wasn't like that, but then he started saying all this stuff about how all my friends are doing it and -"
Gillian pulled the younger woman into her arms, sensing the concealed distress without needing to see a tell in her expression. Murmuring comforting words to her, Gillian ran a hand over Emily's long curls, almost wishing Zoe wasn't away on business for her daughter's sake.
"I'm just not ready - I know I'm not. But I just..."
"I know, honey. You did the right thing. He doesn't deserve you, putting pressure on you like that. Remember that, okay?"
Emily nodded, making no move from the older woman's consoling embrace.
"How about we have some ice cream and you can tell me what a jerk this Dan is?" Gillian ventured with an encouraging smile, pleased when Emily shot her a watery smirk in return.
"Thanks, Gillian." Emily told her sincerely, swiping at a few stray tears marring her features.
"Anytime, sweetheart." Gillian smiled, following the younger woman's lead by taking over making the coffee, while Emily busied herself finding ice cream in her father's somewhat limited food supplies. The tension in the air had dissipated considerably; armed with their dishes and mugs the pair made their way through to the living room. Large grey leather sofas lined three walls, the fourth consisting of a large fireplace with a big flat-screen attached to the wall in the space above. Emily took a seat in the armchair next to the large window overlooking the street and driveway, leaving Gillian to curl into one side of the two seater opposite the fireplace. Taking the opportunity to study her partner's daughter as she enjoyed her raspberry-swirl ice cream, comparing her mannerisms to Cal with amusement.
"So, who's this friend of your Dad's he's had to go see all of a sudden?" Gillian asked, curiosity over Cal's mystery friend resurfacing now Emily's drama seemed to have been quelled somewhat.
When her partner had called earlier in the evening to ask a favor, she'd been surprised when he explained a friend of his had arrived unexpectedly from Europe. He hadn't wanted Emily to be alone after coming home in tears following her breakup with Dan that morning, and he figured a mix of Gillian's 'psychiatrist voodoo and girly crap' would help the situation. Ever the charmer, Gillian mused fondly.
Emily smiled in response, and Gillian was surprised to detect a little mischief there. "Yeah, old friend from England he said."
It was a lie. Why on Earth was she lying?
None of my business, Gillian decided, resolute in letting the lie slide. At least she knew this friend was male. She wasn't above admitting she'd be prying quite a bit more if Cal had mentioned meeting some mysterious old girlfriend from England.
Emily's smile had morphed into a full grin when she spoke again. "I know you know I'm lying."
Gillian laughed in surprise, setting her empty bowl down on the coffee table. "You're your father's daughter, Em."
"He told me not to tell you, that's why I can't say. But its nothing bad, honest."
Curiosity waged war against suspicion in Gillian's mind as she studied the mischievous grin Emily was currently sporting, trying to decide if it was worth interrogating the teenager for answers she was pretty sure she'd be able to extract from her father when he finally returned. Deciding it'd be better to keep Emily talking about her now-ex boyfriend seemed like the better option, just to double check there wasn't anything more than teenage drama to the story.
Less than half an hour later, their comfortable conversation was interrupted by the front door opening, announcing Cal's arrival.
"Is it safe to come in?" He voice called from the hallway.
Gillian shot Emily a smile at her partner's antics, who rolled her eyes dramatically. "So long as you have pizza, Dad!"
There was no answer, then a large pizza box slowly became visible in mid-air from around the door. Emily immediately jumped up from her seat, grabbing the box balanced on Cal's hand on her beeline to the kitchen. Cal finally entered the room, clad in a Rugby shirt and dark jeans and chuckling at is daughter as he took the space next to Gillian. He took a minute to study her, but making no effort to hide it.
"You alright, love?" He asked with concern, placing his hand on her ankle where she'd curled her long legs under her, stockinged feet bare of the heels she'd slipped off and set at the side of the couch a good ten minutes ago. Cal's living room was just too easy to get comfortable in.
Gillian nodded in response, enjoying his proximity due to the two-seater couch, taking the chance to study his unusually casual attire while she sipped the last of her now luke-warm coffee. "Did you manage to see your friend?"
Cal's smile became wider at her question, his long fingers creating a warm circle around her right ankle prompting Gillian to almost forget what she'd just asked.
"Who wants pizza?" Emily suddenly all but bounced back into the room, setting down the pizza box and two dinner plates atop of the coffee table. "I going to go upstairs, leave you two..."
"Em," Cal's warning tone was clear as he shot a glare at his daughter.
"Anyway," she started, pointedly returning her father's glare. "Thanks for tonight, Gillian." Then to both adults' surprise, she threw her arms around Gillian in a hug.
"That's okay, sweetie. Anytime." Anyone other than Cal wouldn't have noticed the stunned tone of her voice, her breath hitching slightly at the affection the younger woman expressed.
Emily shot her another grateful smile as she pulled away, then disappeared from the room once more, the sound of footsteps on the stairs confirming that the Lightman Group partners were indeed alone downstairs. Cal, whose left hand was still grasping her leg, had progressed to softly running his thumb over her ankle bone, looking to Gillian for an explanation of what he'd missed in his absence.