AN: So I kinda love Nolan/Emily. Nemily? Emolan? Nomily? Still needs a ship name…obviously…But, the point is that I like the idea of them for no other reason than, well, that I do. Don't ask me to explain the inner workings of my mind. You won't like it.

Summary: Because time had proven, again and again, that the mastermind needs her saboteur, if nothing else.

Warnings: language

Disclaimer: I don't own "Revenge".


Nolan isn't really sure if this is what David Clarke meant when he made him promise to look out for Amanda. In fact, he's pretty damn sure it's not. But here he is, walking down her path to vengeance without really thinking any of this through. And Nolan Ross always thinks things through. One hardly rises to the top of billion-dollar company by rushing headfirst into one's passing whims.

He's hacking databases that are so restricted he's looking at jail time just because he knows they exist. He's altering encrypted data and a changing people's whole worlds with a click of his mouse and tap of his keyboard, and this is not what he signed up for when Dave handed him an envelope and extracted a promise.

But every time he thinks about backing out, every time he even considers that maybe, just maybe, Emily can do this without him, she's calling him or he's calling her and it's abundantly clear that, no, she really can't. And, regardless of what he tells her, he's not sticking around out of a sick fascination with watching these Hampton blowhards get what's coming to them or because of a promise he made a long time ago to a man who isn't around to see it through.

No. Nolan is here, risking everything he's ever worked for, because Emily needs him to be there. And, sometimes, when she's been forced to admit that she needs him there, she'll look at him in just the right way. And it's beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Untouchable, of course, because she's made herself hard and jaded and she's playing pretend with the pretty Grayson boy.

But it's that look that Nolan's living for. The one that says I need you here, and more importantly, I want you here. It's not much. Especially considering the fact that she often tells him that she does not, in fact, want him around. But it's enough for now.

Enough to convince him to play saboteur to her mastermind. Enough to have him already working on procuring Jack and Declan as easy, ignorant foot soldiers. Because she's the general and he's the loyal lieutenant, but neither of them are strong enough to win this silent, unseen war alone. Emily may think she is, may deny him and his efforts to help until she literally can't anymore, but she's not. She needs him. She needs him and more besides, and if she won't ask for it, well, Nolan will just drop it off giftwrapped on her front porch and she can thank him later, after he's proven once more that everything he does is for her benefit and that, yes, he really is always right.

And after the war is done and won, Nolan allows himself the luxury of the thought that maybe he can start living up to his promise in a new way. One that maybe has Emily looking at him like she needs and wants him around without having their lives and/or freedom on the line. One where he buys an island somewhere and they run away to it and never look back at this horrible ugliness that is necessary in unspeakable ways.

Or maybe one where Emily Thorn, Amanda Clark, whatever the hell she wants to be called when all is said and done and dead, looks at Nolan Ross, or whatever unassuming alias he may or may not need to obtain after all is said and done and dead, like she loves him.

That last one being the one that really driving him, because Nolan's not sure when or where or how, but he's pretty sure that at some point the beguiling young woman had captured his heart and refused to release it, and he suddenly, unexpectedly, fell in love with her.

And that is the real reason he thinks David would be disappointed in him. Because he's not really keeping his promise at all. He's keeping a new one. In his beachfront mansion, surrounded by all the things wealth could by and not a single living soul, Nolan Ross sits in silence and makes a promise to himself that he will always protect and love Emily Thorn. Even when she thinks she doesn't want him to.

Because time had proven, again and again, that the mastermind needs her saboteur, if nothing else.