Wrote this a million years ago, when the chracters were still on the show. It's set in an alternate universe, where the whole Dead Ted storyline never happened: no Zander, no drugging, etc. Just suddenly heard Juan and Em in this song.

DISCLAIMER: Back in the day, people used to tell stories and legends amongst themselves for entertainment, for moral purposes, and to pass on histories and values. Thus we have Homer, the Brothers Grimm, Aesop. Fanfiction are the folk tales of the modern era: a way for writers to hone their skills, to entertain, to tell tales about the way they see the world through the eyes of characters that affect them. It is the sincerest form of flattery.

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"And I dreamed your dream for you and now your dream is real
How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals?

When you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
You promised me everything you promised me thick and thin
Now you just say 'oh Romeo yeah you know I used to have a scene with him.'"
-Dire Straits, "Romeo and Juliet"


Emily entered L&B's New York offices with the confidence that came from being the cousin of the owner and the fiancée of the company's main star. After a year and a half at Columbia University, Emily had developed into a self-possessed young woman with ambitions of law school. She looked around the lobby, puzzling a little at the lack of activity. Usually right before a big tour the offices were buzzing with last minute preparations. Brushing a strand of long hair behind her ear, she caught the attention of Juan's managerial assistant.

"Is Juan in?" she asked.

"No, Miss Quartermaine, he's left already."

"Oh, is did he go home early? I stopped by the apartment earlier, I guess I must have missed him." The look on the assistant's face stopped her. "What?"

"I'm sorry, Miss Quartermaine…I thought you knew. Mr. Santiago left on tour yesterday."

"On tour?" she repeated. The words didn't seem to make sense.

The assistant nodded, then remembered something. "He did leave a message for you, though." She searched through the papers on her clipboard and found a folded piece of paper with Emily's name on it.

Emily felt as though she had been punched in the gut. He left. Without even saying goodbye. He had promised that they would spend some time together before this new tour. He had promised. Emily absently thanked the assistant and turned away to open the note.

Em~

If you're getting this you've come to L&B. Something came up and I had to leave early.
We'll have some together time when I get back, I promise.

Love ya,
Juan

This was unreal. She closed her eyes and memories crashed through her mind. Her mind raced back through the years, all the little hurts and betrayals piling on top of each other in her memory. The rave when she was seventeen, the first time he had strayed. She had accepted him back after that, he had promised that it was only because he was angry and that he loved only her. But it had happened again. This time she didn't have the concrete evidence of her own sight but she knew, oh she knew. She told herself that he loved her, that he just needed time and her love to learn how to commit. Time, she had convinced herself, would fix what was wrong with them. And after all, wasn't it partly her fault? She kept backing out of giving herself to him completely; it's no wonder that he looked elsewhere for relief of his needs.

After he had proposed she had been on cloud nine. He was finally ready to settle down, she had thought. But he left on a six-month tour the next day, six months of groupies and women throwing themselves at him. She remembered calling him in tears over a story run in one of the tabloids about him and some teenage girl. He had denied that the stories were true and she had accepted his explanation. But in her heart she couldn't help doubting him. And so she still refused to give herself to him. It didn't feel right to give him that intimacy, when she couldn't trust him.

"Boys will be boys" became her mantra. He was just sowing his wild oats. She only had to deal with it until their marriage, and then he would make his vows to her and they would be happy. After they were married they could be happy with just each other. And now he was gone again. He had left her a note and was gone. She thought, I should be angry. I should be furious. But she wasn't. She looked at her hand, still holding the note. It was still and relaxed. The tension that had been in her shoulders as she had come into the building was gone. And she realized that she wasn't surprised that he had left without even a phone call. Irritated, yes. Insulted, yes. But not surprised. And without that shock of unexpectedness she found that she couldn't be angry.

She held herself still. She felt as though she was on the brink of something important, something that she mustn't miss. Her mind was clear of emotion as memories of Juan once again assaulted her. She watched them as if they were a story about another person-she didn't feel like they belonged to her. And she saw the most astounding things. She saw a girl in love with love. She saw a man who was still a boy. She saw denial and she saw lies. But what she didn't see-what she didn't see was Emily Bowen-Quartermaine, a strong young woman who had the world at her feet. She didn't see herself, the self that she wanted to be.

"Miss Quartermaine? Can I give Mr. Santiago a message for you?" The voice of Juan's assistant broke through her memories. She blinked twice and in that second realized what she had to do. She calmly pulled her engagement ring off her finger and handed it to the assistant.

"Tell him I said goodbye."

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Emily ran out of the building, awash with sadness and relief that her 'relationship' with Juan was now officially over. As she whirled out the revolving door she ran solidly into a warm body, knocking herself off-balance. Strong hands steadied her and kept her from falling over. "Thank you," she said as she looked up at her helper. She had every intention of continuing that thought with an apology for running into him in the first place, but when her eyes reached his face she was met with the most intense pair of brown eyes she had ever seen, and her thoughts seemed to fly from her head. "Uh…" was all she could manage. His mouth curled into a dimpled smile.

"You're welcome. It's not everyday that a beautiful woman falls into my arms." His voice was as rich and dark as his eyes. She realized abruptly that her mouth was hanging open, and shut it quickly. Recovering her equilibrium a little bit, she stepped back out of his arms.

"Sorry about that," she said, brushing a stray lock of hair out of her face. She searched her mind for something else to say to him, to neutralize the uncomfortable feelings his gaze was creating in the pit of her stomach. She finally settled for introducing herself; she stuck her hand out at him. "I'm Emily Quartermaine."

"Hello Emily Quartermaine," he said as he took her outstretched hand. As the bare skin of his hand came into contact with hers she was vaguely aware that this was not at all the right way to defuse the situation. The thought flew to the back of her mind, eclipsed by the feel of his hand holding hers in what was more a caress than a handshake, his brown eyes on hers, and his deep voice: "My name is Zander Smith."