A/N: Well… I must say I'm a little disappointed in the lack of stories in this section! I absolutely LOVE Emma and Nate. They are too adorable! And since there aren't any Emma/Nate stories for me to read… guess I'll write my own! I just got through watching it actually, that's why I'm currently obsessed with this… and I caught something when Emma and Nate were in the Tux place when he asked to buy her a cup of coffee. What if she had said yes? What would have been said?
Disclaimer: I own nothing of this movie, except the turn of events where Emma goes for coffee instead.
The suit rental shop smells like over-priced fabric. He hates over-priced fabric.
He looks down at her one last time, and surprises himself by blurting out, "Hey- um… let me buy you a cup of coffee."
He hadn't meant to, but she looks like she could use some cheering up. After all, that's what your best friend's brother is for right?
At first he thinks she'll decline, and part of him is glad, but more of him is disappointed. He'd slipped up earlier, with the whole waiting around too long thing. It probably isn't a good idea to spend any more time with her. But a larger part of him is screaming that he wants to drink in every moment of her while she's still unmarried.
"You know what? I might just take you up on that," She says, smiling. It almost conceals the pain and fatigue in her eyes, but he knows her better than that.
It takes him a moment to realize that she's accepted. "Right. Just-uh-let me go-uh-change," he stutters, jerking his thumb toward the dressing room, half smiling. His smile widens slightly as he sees her own lips tug upwards in another smile. Two in one minute. Probably the most she's smiled all week, he thinks to himself as he retreats to the dressing room.
They sit in a secluded corner of the coffee shop, he sipping black coffee, she opting for a Chai Latte. While she stares at the Styrofoam cup she's turning between her fingers, Nate muses about how their choices of drink reflect their personalities, in a way.
The black coffee represents his simple, uncomplicated outlook on life. Although his feelings for Emma are anything but simple, just about everything else about his life is. He's uncomplicated by cream and sugar, preferring to just show the world what he is, instead of masking it.
She, on the other hand, is quiet and serene. The sweetness of the Chai Latte reflects her natural kindness, the shy exterior that gives way to the gentle-hearted yet fiery woman beneath. She spins between her fingers a calm drink that holds just enough spice to balance it all out perfectly.
"I can't understand how you drink that stuff," She wrinkles her nose as he takes a drink of his coffee.
He lowers the cup, smiling, "What? It's simple. I like it."
He laughs again, louder, "Coming from you."
"What's that supposed to mean?" She asks, feigning insult.
"You sitting there drinking Chung-ho whatever. General rule. If you can't pronounce it, don't drink it."
She shakes her head, looking down and laughing slightly. "Chai Latte."
"What? Couldn't hear you," he jokes, smile still in place. He's pretty sure he doesn't ever smile as much as he does when he's with her.
"Chai. Latte." She repeats, enunciating each word, still smiling.
"I'm sorry, what? Is that some kind of fungus or…"
She laughs, soft and musical, making him join in. He loves the sound of her laugh.
"Thanks," she says softly, after the laughter subsides.
"For this. Making me laugh. I needed it."
His lips lift in a small half-smile, "I know."
Her eyes have returned to her cup, studying where her thumbs are running lightly over the cardboard sleeve. The glint of the diamond ring on her finger catches his eye, reminding him that she's promised her life to another man. A man who can't possibly love her more than he does.
"How's Liv?" She asks, breaking the silence.
"She's good. Keeping it together."
He nods in agreement, "She misses you."
Something flashes in her eye, "I miss her, too."
"Why don't you… Why not give her a call? I'm sure she wants to talk to you."
She bites her lip, considering. She removes her right hand from the cup and rests it against the table while she takes a sip of the Latte.
"Em, you're best friends," He implores, reaching across the table involuntarily to lay his hand over hers. He expects her to pull away, and when she doesn't, he can almost convince himself that he's allowed to do this.
Finally she looks up, meeting his eyes, "Maybe I will."
They sit in silence, neither withdrawing their hand, and finally he plucks up the courage to ask what he's been wanting to since the day Fletcher did his taxes.
"Are you happy, Em?"
She looks confused, "Why wouldn't I be?"
"No reason, I just… Wanted to make sure," He can't say what he really wants to, so he settles for what would be acceptable instead.
"Nate," She looks genuinely touched, "It's just a stressful time. Me and Fletch… We're ok, really. We'll get through it. I'm happy."
"Positive. I couldn't be happier."
He doesn't tell her that he can see the lie in her eyes.
The rest of the time passes quickly, and before they know it, they've been sitting in the coffee shop for an hour and a half. He's pretty sure that this is the happiest she's been for a while, but he doesn't say anything. He likes to see her smiling and laughing.
Too soon, she checks her watch and realizes that she has to go. They rise and start the walk back to the real world. She reaches out for some unknown reason and grabs hold of his arm, not that he's complaining.
"Hey, isn't your office back there?" She asks after a few minutes of silent walking.
He shrugs, "Didn't you know? Fancy magazine writers like me only work half-days."
She laughs again, and he savours it.
After too short of a time interval, they reach her destination.
She turns to face him, removing her grip on his arm.
"Thanks for coffee," She tells him, although they both know that she isn't just thanking him for that, "We're going to have to go again sometime. My treat."
He grins, "Definitely."
"I'll-uh- see you, I guess?"
"I'll be around," He affirms, shoving his hands into his pockets and rocking back on his heels casually.
She starts to turn toward the building, then suddenly turns back to him. Before he can ask what she's going to do, her arms encircle his neck in a hug he wishes weren't so friendly. He hugs her back before she pulls back, leaving a quick peck on his cheek.
"Thanks again," She smiles, reaching out to squeeze his hand quickly before turning and proceeding into the building, turning back slightly at the top of the stairs to wave once more.
He raises his hand in farewell, putting all of his effort into smiling normally.
Once the door closes behind her, Nate turns and walks back the way they came, feeling the slight tingle of his cheek where her lips had been, and wishing once again that he hadn't just waited around.
A/N: So… if anybody looks in this section… what did you think??