A/N – This takes place AFTER "Hello". Thanks to Paley and my lack of self-control, I know most everything that happens in that episode (at least anything of importance, so that means Will & Emma goodness!!) . Please, continue reading at your own risk.
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And finally, thanks to Kat, Leanne, and Neens for listening to me talk about Will and Emma so much even if I'm convinced they now tune me out. Love you bbs!
Last chance! SPOILER ALERT FOR "HELLO"!!
Things pick up right about where Hello ends. Enjoy.
The Desire to Get Messy
An hour later, and she's watching him.
She knew she shouldn't do this to herself. Standing in the back of the auditorium, watching him give his all to the kids, she's sure she shouldn't have done this. He doesn't see her as the kids perform. She doesn't know if she could handle it if he saw her. With that thought, she takes another step back, darkness shielding her as she watches him. She only allows herself a few minutes of this torture before quietly sneaking out the exit without him noticing her.
This wasn't supposed to happen. Once they were together, they were supposed to stay together, damn it! Ken had dumped her! He had left his wife! There weren't supposed to be any messy residual emotions. It was just supposed to be them. Just Will. Just Emma. Just Will and Emma, free from any messy, complicated feelings.
She's able to make it to her car before she completely breaks down.
A day later, and she doesn't want to cry at the sight of him.
No, she saves that for the restless nights, alone in her spotless condo. She had never even gotten the chance to show him her place – her clean, immaculate, picture-perfect home. She thinks that maybe she isn't one of those people that are meant to share their lives with anyone. Maybe this was as good as it was going to get for her.
That thought allows her to cry herself to sleep the next night.
A week later, and it's a little easier to look him in the eyes.
As she passes him in the hall, she finds it within herself to look him in the eyes and give a cheery, not-so-fake-he-knows-how-much-he's-hurt-her smile. She's proud of herself for this moment; this small victory she knows is just the first of many steps to normalcy.
Once in the safe confines of her office, she wishes for the millionth time it wasn't surrounded by glass.
A month later, and she's exchanging pleasantries with him.
She lets everyone else race to the door after a faculty meeting. She has no intentions of being close to that many unclean bodies with her shower so far away. She gathers her things and begins to head for the doors when a stack of papers falls to the ground next to her. She reaches down to straighten up the mess.
As she begins to grab the papers, she accidentally touches the fingers of another. She looks up and is face to face with the one person she had obviously been avoiding for the past month.
She speaks first.
"Let me help you clean up these papers."
"No, it's alright, Emma, I've got it."
She places the neat pile of papers she had gathered down where she knelt and stood up, brushing her hands off on her bright yellow skirt. Will grabbed the papers and stood next to her.
"So, uh, how are you?"
It is this awkward, forced conversation she despises the most. Even before they were together, they had been friends. She was the one he could confide in. Now the simplest of exchanges were difficult.
"I've been good. Very busy with work and everything else, but good. How are you?"
"Same, same. Just, uh, getting the kids ready for regionals in a few weeks."
"Best of luck to you and the kids! You're a fantastic coach and I'm sure they're going to really well."
"Thanks Emma. That means a lot, really."
She forces a smile and he returns it.
And with that, she leaves the room, not knowing what to think of this most recent encounter.
She sits down in her normal spot in the corner in the faculty lounge. She pulls out her disinfectant wipe and wipes down the surface of the table. She then pulls out her neatly-packed tupperware containers of food and places them in front of her. As she reaches down to pull out her plastic gloves, she feels a cool liquid seep into her blouse. Trying her hardest not to panic, she hears a voice.
"ACK! Eleanor, but your brooch nearly blinded me from the moment I stepped into this room! Now I'll have to get a refill, and this coffee is ground by Malaysian children!"
Emma could hardly hear Sue's words over the blood thumping in her ears and the deep breaths she was forcing herself to take. Suddenly another figure stood over her.
"Just leave her alone Sue. Go get your illegally imported coffee."
"Well if it isn't the biggest slut on campus here to grace us with his presence!"
Will ignored Sue and spoke to Emma.
"Em, you alright?"
Emma was near hyperventilating at this point and was barely aware of Will speaking to her. She could feel the warm wetness of the coffee soaking into her blouse and touching her skin. She could smell the bitter flavor all around her, unable to escape from it. She could see the brown mess cover her, the table, and everything around her.
Continuing his actions, Will worked on cleaning up the mess around Emma, taking care to get every last drop he could without touching her. Finally, Emma's breathing began to slow as she gained control of herself and the situation.
"Will, please, just let it go. Let me go." She pleads tearfully, both knowing she's talking about more than the horrible, disgusting mess oozing through her clothes.
"Emma, just-just let me help you."
Brown eyes meet blue as she brings her head up to face him in a moment of calm after her panic attack. She nods and lets him help her remove the wet and slimy concoction from her skin. And even though she's covered in the oozy, smelly, repulsive mess, she finds a renewed peacefulness and sense of control with Will at her side.
A year later, and she's watching him.
She sits near the back, watching the kids twirl around and sing on stage. They're fantastic and really have a chance at taking regionals this year. As they belt out Bon Jovi's Livin' On A Prayer she knows they'll win this year. They know it. And their coach knows it.
She's so enamored by the kids' performance, and stands up clapping loudly as they finish their last notes. She walks up to the front of the auditorium and joins the club, still reeling in their awesome performance.
"You guys were great! Just great!" She tells both the kids and their coach.
"Hey Em, you coming with us to regionals? You always bring us luck!" She turns and faces a familiar face and smiles.
"Yeah, come on Mrs. S!" Mercedes' voice is joined by others echoing her sentiment.
"It's not Mrs. S for a few more months!" Rachel loudly corrects.
Emma smiles to herself and laughs, joining in on the pure happiness the club is reveling in. Will joins her encompasses his hand in hers, running his finger over the band with the small stone that symbolizes many more moments such as these.