This is for holdmyheart on twitter (bevfank on LJ) because she wanted something about Cal just getting up and dancing with Gillian, just for the hell of it. Back in the days when things were simpler.
Emily liked the feel of her Dad's new office. It wasn't anything like their kitchen, where the smell of brewing coffee wafted through the house along with the scent of Gillian's vanilla cupcakes. But it had it's charm in being wonderfully new and bright, with corners aplenty for her to explore. She liked that there were doors and passageways that lead throughout each other. That she could wander from the hallway, through the lab, to Gillian's office, to her Dad's library and back to her Dad and always find something new.
She liked that Gillian had her own space now, because it was bright and open and pretty, just like Gillian. She had flowers on her desk and photos of her and Mr Foster on the shelf behind her. She liked that she had a corner with a television and couches where she could sit and draw while Gillian worked at her desk when her Dad was out on a case.
But what she liked most, was that even though they had so much more space and there were people mulling about all the time with their files and their questions for her Dad and Gillian, nothing much had changed. Her Dad's office didn't have much in it, but she liked the feel of his library. It was warm and cozy and there was just enough space for her Dad to sit in one chair with his typewriter perched on a rolling desk, Gillian to stretch her legs out on the chaise lounge with her high-heels laying at an awkward angle beside the chair leg and for her, with an array of different coloured paints scattered across the board he'd made special for her; to sit and listen to Thelonius Monk and drift off into their own little worlds.
She didn't like to admit it often; especially not to her Mom. But her favourite time of day was when she'd go to her Dad's office after school, Gillian would give her a cupcake or a cookie from her stash in her office and together they'd make themselves comfortable in her Dad's library.
Gillian would have a pile of paperwork or her laptop and Emily would always smile when she pulled out a CD of Thelonius or Sinatra and just hit play. She liked spending time with Gillian, mostly because when the three of them were together, her Dad smiled more often than he didn't.
The office didn't smell much different than when they used to spend days working out of the kitchen. It still smelled like brewing coffee and Gillian always had some kind of sweet stashed somewhere; it's smell drifting up and up until her Dad would declare with a laugh, that Gillian was incorrigible.
Sitting there with her paints, Emily would create all kinds of works of art. She painted sunsets and beaches and it made her happy when she'd paint a forest and have Gillian declare that she loved the mystery of it. She'd listen to the tapping of her Dad's typewriter and she'd smile, loving the sound of it mixed with the dulcet tunes of the piano coming from the small cd-player that rested on the table beside his chair. Or when he'd stop and he'd ask Gillian a question that she could see he knew the answer to, just so that he could say that Gillian helped him with his book.
Emily had known, that he'd wanted to dedicate the book to Gillian but she didn't really understand why he never did. Gillian was happy and bright and she made them both laugh when she'd show up with slushies all around knowing that her Dad didn't even like them. And it always made her grin like an idiot when Gillian would declare, more for us! and empty the contents of his into their half empty cups; mixing orange with raspberry for a remarkably tasty slushie. And she knew that Gillian was smart; probably even smarter than her Dad even though that was kind of hard for her to believe. And she knew that Gillian never forgot that her Dad didn't drink slushie.
A part of her knew that he knew that too.
She liked to watch them, sometimes more than she liked to watch her Mom and Dad, because Gillian was so very different to her Mom. Her Mom liked her space and silence and she'd never liked Sinatra. Emily did; and her Dad called her an old-soul and she rememebered the first time he'd called her that; she'd heard Gillian's gentle laugh from the lounge behind her and she'd turned to see her nodding in agreement.
She'd never seen anything romantic between her Dad and Gillian; though that was likely because she was little more than eleven years old when he'd started collecting mementos in his library at the office. And a little more than twelve when she noticed all the weird little things Gillian kept in her bookshelves.
And then her parents split and Emily had gone over and over in her head, wondering if it had anything to do with her. Wondering if she'd done or said anything, that would have made her Mom want to leave. And she felt so bad that she'd get to her Dad's work and he'd be wearing the same shirt he was wearing the day before and Gillian would look worried and tired and she'd sit and do her paperwork in her office and the sound of pianos weren't heard for months.
She couldn't even go to the office as often, because half her week was spent with her Dad at home and half her week was spent in the apartment her Mom rented in Georgetown.
It was only when things started to go back to normal; though normal it would never be again; that she noticed how different things were. Or maybe it was because she was nearly thirteen and had a far broader view of the world.
Her Dad had an almost vast selection of clean shirts that he changed every day. He showered, he shaved and all the scotch in their house was either thrown out or moved to the locked cupboard in his office desk. He stopped wearing his wedding ring and though he didn't delete her Mom's number from his cell, he assured her that that was only for her sake. And that was okay.
It took a lot of coaxing, but eventually she managed to reignite their afternoon ritual of Thelonius in the library with the candlestick; of which she liked to call it. It made Gillian chuckle, but with an amused frown her Dad would say that their lives weren't a murder-mystery game, but her's would be if she didn't finish her Calculus homework and she'd just giggle and go back to her sums.
She still watched them, seeing more than she saw before, due to her ascent in years and knowledge. And she started to see that little something else, under the surface. Gillian hardly ever showed a glimpse of it but Emily caught it all the same when she'd cast her eyes to the floor and twist her wedding ring with her fingers. Mostly that happened when her Dad did or said something that caught her off-guard or offered her the praise she so often declared that she didn't deserve.
But her absolutle favourite moments - and she hated to admit it because she hated to say she liked any part of Gillian being upset - was when Gillian would come in and she'd forget the music. She'd just sit down with her laptop and her eyes would be red and Emily and her Dad would both look at each other and know. She liked those moments, because her Dad would do the honours and he'd always turn the CD to Gillian's favourite song and he'd stand there, right in front of her; between the lounge and Emily's notebooks scattered on the floor and he'd hold his hand out.
Gillian's hesitance always gave Emily a moment to collect up her papers and push them to the side, because the library was small and cramped but it was theirs and she didn't mind so much, when her spot was invaded by Gillian's stocking'd feet padding along the plaid carpet alongside her Dad's worn leather boots to the dip and rise of the piano.
It made her laugh, the way her Dad would call her Ginger and Gillian's smile would slowly come back to life. It wasn't until she was fifteen and Calculus was getting so much harder; that she started to realise just exactly what it was she was seeing.
What it was she'd always seen, but never noticed.
Because Gillian's hand would be grasped in the sure hold of her Dad's and Emily would smile at the faint tan-lines of their discarded wedding rings as their fingers wove together.
They'd dance and she'd smile and she realised that her favourite sound in the world was Thelonius mixed with the sound of their laughter.