Author's Note: I just recently re-found the file for this story, with most of what needed to be written actually already written from when the first half of this was published so long ago, and so I wrote what little needed to be added (mostly at the end). Better late than never.
The next morning, she woke up with a knot in her back, and a chill along the bottom of her legs. The feel of the blankets was unfamiliar - comforting, but unfamiliar - and she couldn't place where she was at first.
She slowly opened her eyes, only to find herself curled up on Will's couch. It was his flannel blankets that covered her, his couch that had served as a mattress, his roof that protected her from the snow. She found herself smiling. Gathering up a blanket to cover her, she walked over to the window to look outside. Everything was covered in white, from the lamppost to the cars parked along the side of the road; she knew that if she could see it, her car would look just like these.
"They've canceled school for today already," someone said from behind her, his voice soothingly familiar in the morning light, "and the roads are terrible."
"Your clothes are dry, by the way; I put them in the dryer before I went to bed."
She let out a gasp, and then grinned at his thoughtfulness. "You've done so much for me already. Let me make breakfast. Do you have any oatmeal?"
"In the cupboard, yeah."
It was almost a scene out of any one of a thousand of her fantasies. Wearing Will's clothing, cooking breakfast for him after spending the night, no place to go as long as the snow continued to fall - the radio meteorologist was now saying it would be at least a foot, if not more - it was very nearly perfect.
She ladled the oatmeal into two matching bowls, spooned little lumps of cinnamon on top, and waited patiently for the toaster to pop out the slices of toast that would accompany their meal; two mugs of hot cocoa sat on the counter, topped with marshmallows.
"Do you have any jelly?" she called out.
"Behind the orange juice."
Their conversations over breakfast covered almost any topic they could think of - current events, the weather, whether or not Sue was raging about a missed day of terror, even a little about the upcoming assembly and the possible set lists they could use - but pointedly avoided any discussion of Carl, Terri or themselves. With a final scrape against his bowl, Will set the spoon down. "That was excellent, Emma."
"It was my mother's recipe."
"Then compliments to Mrs. Pillsbury."
"I'll have to pass along your compliment next time I talk to her. She takes pride in her breakfast recipes being more than up to par."
They fell into silence for a minute or two before Will cleared his throat and Emma began picking up the breakfast dishes to load them into the dishwasher. "Want to work on the set list more?" Will asked.
"Let me change out of this," Emma said, gesturing to the t-shirt, "but then, yes."
"But if I give them control over the set list again - and I didn't even want to do Britney, if you remember, I had that lesson plan about Christopher Cross written up and everything - then we'll be doing the New Directions tribute to Ke$ha or Christina Aguilera or whoever, and Figgins will revoke our ability to perform at school-related events again."
"Shouldn't they be able to choose their own songs, though, to be able to connect to the music?"
"The classic songs were written for the teenagers of the time! Teenagers can connect to these songs! You don't stop being able to connect to the meaning of The Beatles just because they're old enough to be your grandparents."
"Just because I owned a Debbie Gibson cassette or two when I was younger and would sing 'Only in My Dreams' into the broom handle while doing chores doesn't mean that Quinn or Rachel would be able to do the same - or even want to, really."
"I wasn't expecting Quinn or Rachel to sweep the choir room."
"That's not what I was saying and you know it."
"Yeah." He paused. "You're right, but I love the classics and I feel like I need them to remember that music didn't start with the nineties. We didn't just wake up one day and have the Spice Girls, we had to have Blondie and the Supremes first."
"They know that it didn't, Will." She smiled at him. "But I think that you need to realize that your approach to music and theirs are two fundamentally different things. And neither is a bad thing, just - let them find their own Debbie Gibson."
"Maybe you're right." His face became somewhat downcast. "Maybe the generation gap is just too much."
"Maybe you should ask the kids for music they'd like to hear and do. I'm sure they can give you good recommendations on where to start." She smiled brightly at him.
"What about you?"
"Me? Unless you want recommendations on which classical pieces are overplayed, or which jazz musicians are underappreciated by the general American public, you're going to get better suggestions from them. If Christopher Cross is too old for them, I think Gregorian chants are right out."
"You're right." He brushed aside the papers and smiled at Emma. "So, how did you sleep last night?"
"Your couch is more comfortable than it looks," she said, massaging her back surreptitiously with one hand, "and it was kinda nice to wake up and see you first thing in the morning."
"Yeah, it really was," he said. "I could get used to it. Very easily."
"I could too, maybe, yeah," she said. "Yeah." His face came closer to hers, and he gently kissed her, brushing her hair back over one ear; his smile was infectious, and she couldn't help but smile back when she saw him smiling as they broke apart from the kiss. "Yeah, definitely." She wanted to do it again; she wanted to feel him kissing her, as the snowflakes continued to fall all around them. She wanted to feel warm and secure in his arms, in his embrace. "Somehow, I thought this would remain only in my dreams."
"Mine too," he said, almost as if he was remembering some distant dream, "mine too."
As they sat by the window and watched the snow fall in clumps and flakes, mugs of hot cocoa clasped in their hands, they curled up into each other and smiled. It had taken one night for the frozen tundra to thaw, and now they could have many more days like this - as many as they wanted.