Disclaimer: Still don't own it.
Author's Note: This popped into my head after watching the end of episode 7 or series 4. This is basically Emily's thoughts during her final scene. I really like the way it turned out. Enjoy!
It isn't until they open the gateway to her own time that Emily finally finds her voice.
"I thought perhaps I'd tell you I would stay," she says, a bit unsure. "If you asked me too." Matt removes his earpiece and stares at her hard like he isn't completely sure what she's trying to say. So she goes on. "That I'd let this close. That would be the end of it." Matt's eyes soften and Emily's throat begins to tighten, but she makes herself keep going because if she doesn't say it now she knows she never will. "But you've got this immense thing you have to do." Her eyes begin to water, and it's all she can do to hold back the tears and keep going. "I don't belong here. And neither do you."
Matt's eyes widen just a fraction, all the confirmation Emily needs.
"You came through a gateway or your own, didn't you?" she says. It's more of a statement than a question, because she already knows the answer. Matt slowly nods his head. "From where? The future?"
"Everything there is either dead or dying," he says. He's trying to be matter-of-fact, to say it like he doesn't care, but Emily can sense the pain in his voice. "We exist underground 'cause the surface of the planet can't sustain life anymore. It's sterile. Because of something mankind did. We destroyed it."
Emily can feel her eyes go wide with shock, and suddenly she begins to understand what a part of her knew all along. She knows why he has to do this, knows why it's so bloody important for him to get this right. And she knows what she's going to have to do.
"A few of us have been sent back to different times to try and prevent it," Matt continues. "My father as well."
"And all of this has got to do with the anomalies?" Emily asks, putting together the pieces he has just given her. "Something interferes with them."
"Someone," Matt corrects. "Someone interferes with them. Unless I stop them, that's it. The end of all life on this planet. I will stop 'em." And she knows in her heart that he will simply because he is Matt, and when Matt says he will do something he does.
She knows what he's going to say next, but that doesn't make it break her heart any less.
"But you have to go. I can't let anything else matter anymore."
His eyes are hard, but she can still see how much it hurts him. But he's trying to be strong. So despite the tears filling her eyes Emily manages to smile at him. As much as it hurts, she has to be strong. Because if she breaks now, so will Matt. And then the whole world will pay. And she knows she can't live with that.
They wrap their arms around each other and exchange a kiss. It's all she can do to keep the tears from coming. Instead she holds tight to Matt, drinking in the feeling of his arms around her. She closes her eyes and a tear runs down her face. Then they let go and Matt steps back, his face down to hide the emotion she knows is warring in his face. Emily makes herself turn away before she can see, makes herself move towards the open gateway. When she reaches it she turns around and her eyes find Matt's.
That one moment feels like a lifetime. There are so many things she wants to tell him, so many things she still wants to do. She wants to give Abby that high-five and thank Jess for the plant in her room. She wants to tell Connor to get his head out of the lab and go after Abby before it's too late. She wants to set free the tears and beg Matt not to make her leave.
But she knows in her heart that she can't.
She should have known better. She should know by now that no place it permanent, that she'll always have to leave eventually. But somehow this time and place worked its way into her heart. Somehow she fell in love with these people, with Abby and Connor and Jess and all the others. And with Matt. Especially with Matt. Part of her always knew that she would have to leave someday. But she had dared to hope... Not that it matters now. The people of this time might have needed her to help them find Ethan, but they don't need her anymore. She's played her part. They have more to do here, and even if she did somehow find a way to stay she's only be in their way now. This is their time, not hers. And as much as she loves them, as much as she needs Matt, she knows that they need him more. He has a purpose here, a purpose she no longer has a part of. She has to go back.
The tears are welling in her eyes, but she forces herself to smile. As much as it kills them both, she needs Matt to believe that this is the right thing to do. Because in her heart she knows that it is. And so does he. He has a job to do. So as much as kills her inside, as badly as she wants to run back into his arms, she forces herself to take a step back. And then another. She has to do this. For Matt. Because the world needs him. Because if she breaks now so will he, and then the rest of the world will be doomed. And if the price for saving the world is to spend the rest of her life trying to live with something broken inside of her that nothing can ever fix, then that's the way it'll have to be. Because she knows she could never live with the knowledge that she doomed the rest of the world with one selfish moment. She's too noble for that. They both are.
Matt's eyes are on her the entire time, and she knows it's taking everything he has not to catch her hand and pull her back. But they both know he can't. So instead he stays where he is as she takes another step backward, both of them breaking inside.
The gateway finally blocks him from view and Emily forces herself to turn around before she changes her mind. A moment later she steps out into a garden. It takes her watery eyes a moment to clear and to confirm that she's back where history insists she belongs. But in her heart, she knows better.
It isn't until the gateway has snapped shut behind her and she realizes that she's staring up at her own house that Emily finally allows herself to break.
PLEASE review and let me know what you thought!