((((Author's Note))))) Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you know that this fanfiction was requested by Shrike176.He/she asked for a Fanfiction picturing Emily after she finishes getting her Revenge on the Graysons and what she has to deal with. Enjoy.))))
The sky looked like a bruise. At least that was how Nolan Ross looked at it. He kept his eyes to the sky, the clouds shifting like a storm was coming. He half expected a chasm to open up and tear him off the earth for helping out the little blonde vixen that really wasn't little at all. Emily Thorne was tall and lithe with strength in her bones. Underneath her strength there was certain vulnerability though, and behind the fire in her eyes was a wading pool of regret. There were no regrets behind her dark eyes today, only flames and smiles that were a long time coming.
She had told him she would meet him on the beach, and that she wanted to go home for good. He had no disagreements even though it wasn't the safest place in the world right now. With her cottage overlooking the Grayson Manor he assumed she wouldn't want to be there right now. Emily had made the point that this place was her home, no matter what house she saw in the distance, looming over like a shadow. She would look at the Grayson home and feel so many things but in her house would be what really mattered, family, or at least a sense of family.
Nolan had told her that they could go to Pennsylvania to stay with his Aunt Carole but she kindly declined that offer. She had been hiding all her life; it wasn't time to hide, not anymore.
He stood in a dark navy blazer, a honey colored polo underneath as he waited for her to arrive. He felt like the prince waiting for Cinderella only she wasn't coming in some sparkly pumpkin carriage, just a jaguar. If he had told Emily that, she would have just laughed. Emily would have said he was enough Cinderella for the both of them.
The sun began to set, falling low in the sky and he remembered the day before hearing that the moon was going to be big and full tonight. He would have welcomed it; it would give him something to fix his eyes upon instead of Emily Thorne. He was overjoyed, but more for her sake.
Emily Thorne sat in her car only she wasn't driving it. She had hired Nolan's body guard, Big Ed to be her chauffeur for the day. She was paying him well and tipping just the same. She didn't want to drive today, her head in the clouds, her heart not in the game. She thought she would feel relieved but she still had so many thoughts jumbled and bouncing around in her head. She watched the trees pass in the window, pine and oak. She could smell the lemon zest air freshener she had put in the car a day earlier, before all this had happened, before the Grayson family crumbled beneath her feet.
She thanked Ed for driving her back home and for taking her bag out of the trunk. Nolan walked over to them both; staying quiet and much to her surprise he hugged her, arms around her waist. Taking a breath, her body stilled against his and she relaxed. She was exhausted mentally and physically so she wasn't going to struggle against his touchy motion.
"Whatever happened to baby steps Nolan?" she asked him, her chin resting on his shoulder.
Nolan smirked, his lips curling up. "I think today you can afford to say "To hell with the rules."" he purred.
Emily shook her head. Sometimes he could be utterly ridiculous but that was what she loved about him. "Fine…you earned it champ."
Nolan laughed, his body erupting into laughter, making him double over. "You just called me champ."
Emily rolled her eyes as she rolled her bag away from the car so that Big Ed could drive away. "Don't make it into a big thing. Come on…"
Walking to the front porch with him she lifted her bag up the few steps and he helped her carry the rest, seeing she was worn thin. He watched her unlock the door but before she could go inside Nolan lifted her up as if he was cradling her. She didn't think he was strong enough to do so but it was a good surprise.
"Nolan, what the hell are you doing?" she asked as she clutched his shoulder, scared he was going to drop her. She didn't know his physical strength even though the two had been peas in a pod for five years, living between The Hamptons and New York City.
"Welcome home…." he stated simply as he spun her around slowly before setting her down on her own two feet.
"Thank you…but this has always been my home," she murmured.
He nodded, pacing against the wood floor "Not like this…not with everything you've done."
"It isn't over yet…" she reclaimed as she took out her infinity box, the main content in her suitcase. Placing the box down on the coffee table she removed the white sheet from the couch thus showing how they hadn't been here for quite some time. Sitting down she motioned for him to sit next to her. She let her fingers move over the double infinity engraving her father had carved in prison for her. Her eyes moved to reach Nolan's gaze.
"Do you two need a moment alone?" he teased to which he got an elbow in the stomach for saying.
He watched her remove her red sharpie marker, slowly unhinging the cap. He felt a little out of place, like he didn't belong there. Like this was some intimate ritual of hers. It was, but she was letting him in on it, she trusted him.
Laying the cap down on the table he kept his eyes fixated on it for a while as he watched her take a deep breath as if she were expelling everything from her body, breathing in and breathing out. She exhaled and he knew she was about to begin. She took a picture from the box, one of Victoria and Conrad Grayson looking happy and peaceful together. He wondered how long she had had that picture, just waiting to use it. Setting it down on the table she let the red strike the film, leaving two X's across their smiling faces.
Emily let her eyes follow the red lines on the thin paper trying not to let anything faze her, trying not to let the thought of Charlotte and her misery get in the way of her happiness. Leaning back into the couch, sinking back into the cushions she looked over at Nolan who had just turned 40, his birthday close to hers.
"Have you been doing this the whole time?" he asked as his body prepared itself in the very way Emily's rested.
"Doing what?" she asked, confused by his question but it was still early, and she was obviously tired after everything.
"This…this sharpie thing," he almost asked, his brow raised and his hand on his stomach making her wonder for a moment if he was hungry, or pregnant. The idea of being pregnant scared her, especially because Daniel had almost talked her into it on the fourth year of their marriage. A marriage she chose to have just for the sake of the mission. A wedding Nolan Ross did not approve of and did not attend.
"It gives me closure…" she murmured, keeping her eyes from him like she didn't want to be judged but she had nothing to worry about, he would never judge her.
"Understandable…" he purred, in his usual Nolan-esque voice that no one could seem to impersonate. There could only be one Nolan Ross.
"So, how do you feel?" he asked as he fought for control of his limbs, as if he was still learning where to place them. Even after all this time, part of him always felt entangled in something, a weight pressing down.
"How can you even ask me that?" she asked as she crossed her arms, a stable act of defiance.
Nolan sighed and leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees. "After everything, now's your chance to be blunt, you don't have to play coy anymore. Let your hair down Ems…"
"Easy for you to say…" she said as she stood up, putting things back in their box. "I still have Charlotte to think of, her pain."
Nolan curled his tongue against his teeth and cocked his head, about to disagree with her. "True enough babe but Charlotte's not a little girl anymore."
Emily moved her body, positioning herself toward him. "Age doesn't mean anything Nolan."
Nolan smiled softly, he was with her there. Although he was older than her he still felt that he was the same age, if not younger.
"Well you can take it easy…er, easier…" he said as he stood up, brushing his shoulders off.
"Can I?" she asked, the words flowing rather quickly from between her parted lips.
With Nolan sometimes it was easier to talk, she didn't have to mask her feelings and keep them inside, and she didn't have to think before she said anything. He knew her as Amanda Clarke, he knew her as Emily Thorne and he knew her as the mix in between. He was drawn to her from early on mainly because she was related to David Clarke, a man he valued, but also because he knew her story and he wanted to take care of her.
Over the years he had seen her grow, and when they paired up as partners in crime, there was no looking back. He had grown quite fond of her. To say it was love was an understatement. He had loved her from very early on. While he hadn't lusted after her publicly, he may have had a soft spot for her, a piece he tucked away even from himself. Things were complicated and he knew there would always be something in the way. A lot of things had gone wrong along the way just the same.
Her secret identity had recently come out and it had destroyed everything. The Graysons had finally learned that she was in fact Amanda Clarke and Emily would never forget the look on Victoria's face when she learned to truth. Victoria was bewildered but also not shocked as Charlotte, Conrad and Daniel were. So much shit had gone down in her family over the past couple of years that she wasn't surprised her daughter-in-law was the renowned Amanda Clarke. Daniel was also shocked and almost immediately called for a divorce, Emily didn't argue. He did warn her years before that he didn't like lies in a relationship. He was also a hypocrite.
The Grayson family was like a joint group of blood sucking parasites, everyone except for Charlotte. Sometimes the young girl would sink under and feel crushed beneath the weight of her family obligations but sometimes she could shine and even do favors for Emily without her even knowing it.
Nolan sauntered into the kitchen, removing his blazer and hanging it at the back of one of the stools. "So…how's Daniel taking everything?"
"As to be expected…we're separated and the divorce papers are being made up as we speak but, no shock there…" she murmured as she followed him into the kitchen. Standing by the stove she smiled at the thought that her infinity box was right on the table and she didn't have to worry about leaving her things out anymore. Her gun could be out in the open, her box, her files, because everything was out in the open. Almost everything was put to rest.
"Was it weird sleeping with the enemy?" Nolan asked as he poured himself a glass of iced tea, and some lemonade for Emily. "It's very movie trope cliché."
"Shut up Nolan…" she said as she moved near him just to smack his shoulder making him snicker. He loved it when he could strike a nerve. Emily and Nolan could always twist and bend each other's wills and hit a nerve with ease. They could make each other cry because they knew each other well enough and they could make each other burst out laughing just the same.
Things over the years had changed, she started out cold to him but like everyone Nolan Ross came into contact with, they warmed up to him sooner or later. While he was very well known to the world by name and face, he was able to keep his business life separate from his personal life, although Emily Thorne was a good mix of both business and pleasure.
"What do we do now Ems?" he asked her, the question being one that was lingering in the air for quite some time now.
She thought to herself, clutching the ice cold glass of lemonade and pressing it to her lips, to give herself more time to think. It was an excuse, a prop to give her more time. Why did she always have to have the answers? While he had helped her many a time over the years he still followed like her trained soldier, waiting for orders. She wished he would have the answers or plans or ideas but he waited on her because he thought that was what she wanted. If he could read her mind, things would be a whole lot easier for the both of them.
"We wait…" she said as she walked toward the porch, needing a second to breathe, air to fill her lungs.
He followed her, hips swaying as he moved like a tireless predator.
"We wait for what?" he asked, needing to know, needing to be informed. He couldn't read her mind after all, much to her dismay.
"For things to heal, for the salt in the wound to stop hurting," she said as she sat down on the porch swing, the one her father had made for her, and the same one that Jack had moved to the spot where her father had always meant it to be.
People took care of her in little ways, made her feel closer to what she wanted to be, what she wanted to have. Now with everything said and done, the Grayson family in imprisonment sans Charlotte and Daniel, she wondered what she was without all that, without the side of her that needed Revenge which was most of her. What was she underneath it all? Who was she when she was stripped bare for the world to see?