A/N: So, I finally got around to writing this! I can promise that they'll be super sporadic, but that I do have a plan. I hope you love Em's flatmates as much as I do.
or five times emerson kent's flatmates made a general nuisance of themselves (probably on purpose) and the one time they didn't.
intempestive: untimely, happening at an inopportune moment.
Emerson Kent did love his flatmates (in a platonic sort of a way), he really did. He'd known Thomas since he was a scrawny eleven year old entering secondary school, with an oversized rucksack and a tie that nearly reached his knees. They'd been best friends ever since Mr Craig had sat them next to each other in double French, and they'd bonded over a hatred of conjugating verbs and a need to copy each other's homework. They were polar opposites in their attitudes – Emerson was quiet and reserved, while Thomas was brash and sarcastic, but somehow they just clicked.
Naturally when they left the Sixth Form, they shared a flat in London, partially bought with money from Thomas' fairly well off parents. Emerson pursued his dream of joining the police force, and Thomas worked for his English degree, claiming that one day he'd be a world renowned writer. It had been nice for six months, but the flat felt strangely empty. One advert on the University notice board later and they acquired Louis – a starving artist with a penchant for eyeliner and skinny jeans, and watching trashy TV on his laptop.
But living with the two of them could be...interesting, to say the least. Thomas was up all hours, writing article after article. They'd been woken up in the early hours of the morning more times than they could count by him making a racket with the coffee machine in the kitchen, and his writers-block induced mood swings often meant that the tiniest thing could set him off. Emerson hated it when that happened, and usually left Louis to calm him down. Louis was one of the most laid back people he knew, which meant that most of Thomas' cruel comments just bounced off him, but it wasn't always a good thing. He paid no heed to deadlines or work, and had a tendency to leave everything until the last minute – meaning they often walked into the living room to find an explosion of canvases and paints and glitter, with Louis at the centre of it all clutching an energy drink, fast asleep after working for 24 hours straight. Nobody dared to venture into his room. It might as well have been a death trap.
The flat was considerably bigger than most. They each had a small room, Louis having converted the little utility room into a bedroom when he'd moved in. The kitchen was big enough to cook in, although they didn't do a whole lot of that. Thomas was the only one of them that could cook decently. Nobody mentioned the time Emerson and Louis had tried to cook a birthday meal for him. Ever. They ate a lot of take out, especially when Thomas was working late. They often ended up sitting on the floor, the sofa inevitably covered with canvases or articles or case notes. The mess hadn't ever really bothered any of them before. It was just a constant in their lives that they had learnt to just accept.
That had all changed not long after Joseph Chandler joined the Whitechapel division. Louis and Thomas began to notice subtle changes in Emerson's attitude – the way he dressed, the way he acted and the sudden desire for things to be in order. Thomas began to find his articles tucked into folders, with post-it notes on them telling him to STOP LEAVING THESE ALL OVER THE TABLE! or asking DON'T THESE HAVE A HOME?. Louis nearly had a heart attack when he walked into his room and found his paints lined up in a colour spectrum on his desk and all of the canvases stacked in size order.
("Thomas, I can see the floor. This is just..wrong."
"I didn't know your carpet was green."
"Nor did I.")
Emerson's old comfy clothes soon gave way to sharp suits and shined shoes, and his entire attitude towards going to work completely changed. He started leaving the flat in the morning with a bizarre little smile on his face, much to the confusion of his flatmates.
("Look at him!"
"Louis, he's practically skipping out of the fucking door. And he alphabetised all of my old articles."
"Come to think of it, I found him lining up my paintbrushes into size order on the coffee table this morning. I don't even think he noticed he was doing it."
"Something's just...not right."
"You can say that again."
"Something's just not right."
"Oh ha-bloody-ha. Come on, help me clean these up before he gets home and gets his hands on them. I can't find anything in my room anymore."
"Wha-? Ugh, fine. I'm surprised you could find anything in there in the first place...")
This carried on for a few days before eventually; Thomas decided that enough was enough. Clearly something was going on with his best friend, and he'd be damned if he was going to keep it a secret from him any longer. He cornered him in the living room one evening after he returned late from the station. He knew he'd been working a stressful case – not that he knew the specifics – but this really couldn't wait any longer.
He got straight to the point. "Em, what the fuck is going on with you?"
Emerson looked up at him, eyes wide and a little confused. "...What?"
"You. This." Thomas said, waving a hand to encompass Emerson in his suit and the perfectly lined up paperwork and stationery on the coffee table.
Emerson looked away, fingers toying with the corner of a piece of paper, and shrugged one shoulder. "Dunno what you're talking about."
Thomas snorted, and dropped into the space next to him on the sofa. "Please. I know you better than anyone. I can tell when something's up. But c'mon. Even Louis knows something's off, and you know how oblivious he is."
Emerson snorted quietly, fingers still worrying the corner of the piece of paper in his hands.
Thomas shoved him with his shoulder. "Either you'll have to tell me, or I'll start guessing." A pause. "Are you trying to impress someone Em?" A wicked smile crept onto Thomas' face. "Have you got some secret girl we don't know about?"
"What? No! Not...not quite."
Thomas waved a dismissive hand. "A secret guy then."
Emerson looked startled. "Wha-...I-..."
Thomas just looked at him, unimpressed. "Do you really think I'm an idiot?"
Emerson huffed a small laugh, smiling a little. "Guess not."
Thomas chuckled, and then leant back into his seat. "So go on. Who is he?"
"The new DI."
Thomas whistled through his teeth. "Fucking the boss? Didn't think you had it in you Em."
"Oh shut up. We're not...he's not...we're just not, okay?"
"Whatever you say."
"I mean it!"
"And I believe you! Jeez, calm down."
"S'alright. But that doesn't explain the...the tidiness."
"Just a habit I picked up from him, that's all. I think he's got OCD. I just figured I might as well try to keep things nice for him, y'know? Suppose it just spilt over into the flat too."
"You think it's stupid, don't you?"
Emerson flung one of the cushions at his face. "Fuck off."
Thomas laughed, catching the pillow deftly and dropping it back onto the sofa. "I just meant that it's sweet you do that for him. What does he say about it?"
Emerson wilted a fraction. "I don't think he's even noticed."
"Aw. Well, I'm sure he will at some point."
"Don't worry about it. If he doesn't, then he's probably not even worth it."
"Listen to you, giving out relationship advice like some sort of expert. When's the last time you were in a relationship?"
"Er...dunno." Thomas shrugged, turning a little red. "That's not the point anyway. What is the point, is getting your hot DI to notice you."
"Ohhhh no. I'm not taking any more of your love advice. Remember what happened in year twelve? With Jessie Hawser?"
"I don't think she's quite forgiven you for that yet."
"No, nor do I."
Thomas laughed. "It was bloody funny though."
Emerson tried to keep a straight face, but ended up laughing as well. "I suppose it was."
Thomas clapped a hand onto his shoulder. "Come on then. Let's go dig Louis out of his pit of a bedroom, and go and get something to eat. I'm starving." He stood up, and moved over to Louis' door. "Louis! Come on, it's safe to come out. He's just lovesick is all."
Louis emerged from his room, paint spattered and smirking as he pulled on a hoodie. "Aw, has ickle Emmykins got a crush?"
Emerson got to his feet, straightening his jacket and trying not to smile. "You're both a bloody nuisance, you know that?"
Louis grinned. "But you love us for it. Right?"
"Something like that."
Thomas laughed, and pulled the door open. "Come on. We'll go and get something, and you can tell us all about him."
end chapter one.