Disclaimer: I don't own Revenge, though if I did, it would be almost exactly the same as it is now.
Warnings: Polyamory with slash. Hey, Nolan's a three. I figure Jack's at least a two. Spoilers for 1.21 and 1.22.
Emily has secrets.
The first secret is of course that she is not Emily but that's not such a big deal, when it comes down to it; she is who she is, it's a name. It's not her name but she remembers to answer when she is called.
The big secret? Kept from everyone, everyone who may suspect:
Emily is not a sociopath.
It's the dog that does it. Sammy. He shouldn't have lived so long, should have been long dead before Emily came back. He shouldn't have lived so long. Maybe Emily could have ended him sooner with a shot to the neck. Injected, a lot can kill; an air bubble, too much water. Salt. But the dog lived a long life, too long.
It's Jack crying over the dog that does it.
It's Emily's tears over Jack crying over the dog that does it.
When their lips meet that is the end of the plan, when their lips brush together, move together, Emily almost stops existing. Amanda slips through the cracks, sighs a little-girl sigh in the room where her father could still come back inside, any moment.
It's the kiss that does it.
If this was television or a film the kiss would end with passionate declarations and torn garments, they would have made love on the floor there, forgetting there was even a dog: but it is real life, or what passes for real life in Montauk, and there is a dog. Emily-Amanda and Jack sob into each other and Emily (who has spent time practicing pretty tears, in case they are needed) gives way to Amanda who is an ugly, ugly crier, and there is (oh god there really is) snot on the shoulder of Jack's shirt.
It's the snot that does it, because Jack sees something in Emily-Amanda's face then. His eyes narrow in concern because the dog, the stupid fucking dog that should have had the decency to die years ago, or never, or at least not in Emily's house, is already dead, but the girl in his arms is falling to pieces.
There's a kiss first and the snot second and Jack's arms third and oh please, let the arms go on forever. Please. Emily slumps into them and they are so strong, steel bands around her. They will hold her together and they must hold her together because she can't do it, any more.
It's Jack's voice that does it. Jack's voice is like Irish coffee. Maybe Amanda knew it as a little girl, too. With a grazed knee or hurt feelings she rushed to Jack's side, only.
"Don't call me that."
Emily-Amanda is aware that her head weighs more than a head should. And that it is resting against Jack's chest. A bowling ball there. It could crush his bones, stop his heart maybe. Which explains nothing of why Jack's hand is tangled in Emily-Amanda's hair, why it clutches her head to his chest even harder.
"Amanda," Jack whispers. Not even the coffee, just the whiskey and the cream.
"I'm not Amanda either." The sobs go on forever.
It's the way Jack understands when Emily-Amanda says she is neither Emily nor Amanda that does it: The way he unravels the definitions and sees both the little girl who cried into his shirt when she barked a shin or cut her toe on a sharp rock, who was Amanda, and the woman who came to destroy Montauk, who was Emily. The fact he sees the third; a girl-woman, is she? Emily-Amanda, neither and both; he sees her and he holds her and understands. And when Emily desperately needs Jack to let her go so she can run away he doesn't, he rubs kisses into her hair instead and swears he'll never let her go.
Emily misses the dog already.
Like he can hear her thoughts Jack reaches out, again, tugs at the thick fur around Sammy's neck. That fur always made Sammy's mouth flop open, when you tugged it like that; the part of every dog that remembers being a wolf and running, that is the part that makes Sammy's mouth drop open.
There is a terrible keening sound and it comes from Emily's throat.
"I need Nolan," she says. Jack pulls his cell from his pocket and taps out a quick text. He doesn't debate or ask why or need reasons for the deceit, he just taps out a text to Nolan, just like that.
Emily-Amanda is almost asleep on Jack's chest, and her head is heavier than ever, her eyelids following close behind, when the door opens and Nolan crosses the room.
"Sammy," he breathes.
Emily feels Jack's breath hitch in his chest. She should look up, offer comfort. Greet Nolan.
Nolan kneels at Jack's side. "I'm sorry."
"He was old."
"I'm sorry anyway."
Emily doesn't even see the kiss but she knows it is not the first of its kind. Brief it may be but the lips of Nolan and Jack meet like they are lips accustomed to meeting. Not a moment of shock or relief, just a sweet familiarity.
It's the kiss between Nolan and Jack that does it.
Emily-Amanda lifts her head to meet Nolan's eyes. They are soft and concerned. Perhaps he is feeling a little sheepish; had played matchmaker with Amanda and Jack; surprise! I like to kiss him too. It doesn't matter. Nolan's kiss has actually calmed Jack's racing heart a touch and she wants that for him.
Nolan sinks to the ground and plays with Sammy's fur for a long moment, before snuggling into Jack's side. He smoothes his fingers through Emily's hair. Amanda's hair.
Amanda sighs. "I don't want to do it any more."
Nolan kisses Emily, then, with his hand pressed firmly to her cheek. Emily kisses back. It is strange, all this kissing, when it's not supposed to lead to anything, when it is not a rung on a ladder to destroying people's lives. Just kisses. Healing kisses.
"If I dig another grave it will be my own."
It's true. And worse: the grave that is Emily's, she's so tired now that she is craving it.
Nolan kisses her again, a little deeper, and it is a surprise; Nolan doesn't kiss the way Emily thought he would (if she's thought about it at all; yes, she supposes she has.)
Jack's arm is firmer around Emily's shoulders, then. Not possessive. Not possessive? No, affirming.
"You need a new name."
"I don't want a name. I know who I am. You know who I am. Isn't that enough?"
Emily's lips barely move when she speaks. "I could be Sammy. Sammy would let me have his name." Emily-Amanda feels her hand snake further across Jack's body and her hand closes over his wrist. "Sammy is a girl's name, too. A girl named Sammy broke her thumb punching me in the face once." She breathes. "It was a long time ago."
Nolan doesn't comment.
Nolan finds a blanket, a nice one, and drapes it over Sammy. Then another one, warmer, he drapes over Jack and Emily-Amanda (who has no name). Emily feels…
Sort of safe and warm and sleepy, so she sleeps.
It is the way she wakes that does it, on her own bed, nestled between Nolan and Jack.
When Emily wakes, she is cautious always to tell herself things that will remind her about where she is, who she is: I am Emily Thorne. The man in the bed beside me is Daniel Grayson and I love him, and I'm going to marry him, and I can't wait. She has to do this every morning so she won't cry.
It's waking and not wanting to cry that does it.
It's the smell of Nolan's hair products and Jack's skin that make Emily-Amanda wake feeling safe, if nameless. She opens her eyes and Jack's are already on them. Behind her Nolan is fitted to her body, his hand at her waist. Stroking, lightly, like a cat, when he realizes she is awake.
Nolan kisses behind Emily's ear. Like there is a sign there, kiss here to make me moan.
Moan she does, but only for a moment. Jack leans to kiss her mouth. Gentle.
"We can't stay here, Amanda."
She recoils, but only slightly, because she doesn't want the hand on her chin to go away. She pulls Jack closer, even as she feels Nolan press into her from behind. Beneath his clothes, Nolan's cock stirs, and Emily presses back.
"Don't call me Amanda."
Jack's mouth moves determinedly against Emily's. A swipe of his tongue and she admits him wholly, lets Jack explore every part of her mouth. There are hands on her breasts. She's not sure who the hands belong to. The lips at Emily's neck belong to Nolan. Perhaps the hands are his too.
Nolan speaks, then. "You're more Amanda than Emily."
"Amanda doesn't exist any more."
Nolan lifts Emily's sweater over her head, and she lets him, and it's the most natural thing in the world. Nolan's arms are stronger than Emily would have thought. Somehow, miraculously, he is shirtless then too, and the feeling of bare skin against bare skin is perfect; it is warm in here and snowing and cold out there.
"You too," Amanda-Emily tells Jack. He hesitates, looking at the door. The shirt goes off anyway.
It is Jack's smile when there are three bare chests and backs pressed together in a too-small bed that does it.
"There is the small matter of your fiancé," he tells Emily's neck, as he runs his lips over it. "Something of a miracle he didn't come in last night."
"More's the pity," Nolan answers, and Emily can hear him flick his eyebrows north, hear his lips curl into that smile. Nolan begins to work his knee between Emily's legs and she grinds against it. Feels a wet heat build. "Could have saved some time."
Emily reaches to palm through the front of Jack's pants, and his reaction is instant, already so hard and aching he grinds against Amanda-Emily, nameless girl, girl who is all formless need and tiny squeaking moans. She is eased onto her back, gently, and Nolan kisses her mouth then, while Jack removes the pants Emily-Amanda slept in.
Emily presses further into the kiss as Jack mouths at her panties, breathes through them.
It's the way Jack peels Emily's panties away that does it. They way he unerringly finds the hot, needy centre of the universe with one finger, and so quickly, so that Emily almost bites through Nolan's lip. The way Jack's fingers find a rhythm that must resonate with Emily's heartbeat or something, it is so perfect. Jack's tongue finds Emily's nipple and then Jack and Nolan are kissing, half huddled over Emily, running fingers over her body.
Jack stands for a horrible moment for take his pants off, and he's so very missed, for that moment, but then he's back, a fine specimen, muscular and heavily tanned, huge cock straining and hard, touching his stomach almost. Eyes black with lust.
Jack eases into Emily like he has done it ten million times before, determined. He doesn't check, doesn't ask, is this okay, does this feel right, because he knows. Nothing has ever felt more right. They ease into the most wonderful rhythm.
"I feel drunk," Emily says, and Jack smiles against her lips.
It's the expression on Jack's face when Nolan takes him from behind that does it. Nolan's eyes on Emily, Jack's eyes fluttering shut. Nothing has ever felt so right before. They are good together, though there is something that tells her they've been dear friends and the best of bedfellows but now, with her, they'll really be lovers, too.
A stool with two legs will fall over, no matter how nicely balanced. Three is always better.
"Nolan," Amanda-Emily whispers, and she has nothing to follow that up with. It's a sound, that's all.
He smiles, and doesn't speak, because she hasn't chosen a name yet.
Jack groans. Balanced carefully so the weight of himself and Nolan both won't crush the air and the life out of Emily, though they hold her down, keep her attached to the world. Dreamily, she wonders what would happen if Daniel did walk in to see his fiancée fucking two men on her bed. She decides quickly she doesn't much care. Jack has her full and filled and he is big, and strong, and his hips rolls just exactly the ways hips are supposed to roll.
Emily arcs up into him, and he fucks her harder still, lips swollen and obscene.
It's the sight of Nolan's lips on Jack's neck that does it, Nolan's lips, Jack's neck. A soft brush that makes Jack stretch his neck, make it more of a meal for Nolan. Emily-Amanda feels tears fall from her eyes, wishes she had arms long enough to wrap around them both. The expression on Jack's face when he comes, like he regrets it, like he wants it to go on all morning and all afternoon and half the night, too, that's what does it too.
Emily follows, all affected muscles and nerves leaping about, fluttering like someone opened a jar of butterflies; the first non self-induced orgasm she's had in years. Jack holds her face, still moving in her, to the rhythm of Nolan's thrusts. Kisses away the tears that fall from her eyes. He doesn't ask if Emily-Amanda is okay because he knows, knows, she's never been so okay. This is the first time Amanda-Emily has been okay since her father was torn out of her life.
"Fuck, Nolan," Jack says, as Nolan's expression changes.
Emily smiles. Nolan is the ultimate hedonist. Beautiful. That rare thing, all boy and all man in one. Stronger than he thinks he can be sometimes, but he breaks, too. Needs to be held together.
Jack has had to be too much to too many people, and for far too long. Needs to be looked after, cherished. Needs breakfast cooked for him, kisses pressed to his face.
Emily-Amanda needs a name and a new purpose or she is going to die, die, be found out and killed and some part of her will show up a fishing net, if she's lucky; all of her will vanish forever, if she's not.
It is the realization that the best solution to all their problems is to hold tight and keep clinging that does it. Go somewhere far away and never think about the Graysons and their ugly web again. Never think about revenge, or think to seduce justice.
Justice is a fickle bitch, and she will not be seduced.
They lie together with Emily cradled in the middle until her tears have stopped, until her heart rate has returned to normal. Nolan smoothes Emily's hair over the skin on her back and places kiss after kiss on her shoulder. Jack holds Emily's face to his chest and does not tell her to stop crying.
It is the long shower that does it. Each ensures the other two are quite clean, and then all over again. Emily is grateful for the over-sized stall, and grateful two strong men can hold her up when her knees go weak.
On the couch, with cups of coffee, rugged up and enjoying the blazing fire, Emily lies back against Nolan and puts her feet on Jack's lap, and she tells the story. Nolan helps. When she tells the hardest parts – Charlotte is her sister, the Graysons killed her father – Nolan grips Emily's arm tighter, or furnishes a detail she cannot bear to speak aloud.
Jack shuffles closer, and grips Emily's hand tight, though it is Amanda, the little girl hiding in there somewhere, that he aches for.
"Where's Sammy?" Emily wants to know.
"We buried him while you slept." Jack's eyes go very bright and wet as he says it.
Emily nods. She said her goodbyes to Sammy when he could still hear them. It's a body they buried, not a friend. The friend will follow at Emily's heels forever.
Jack runs a gentle, knowing hand over Emily's leg. "We leave," he says. "We go. Do we all agree?"
Emily tenses. "Declan…"
Jack shakes his head. "It's up to him. He can board at that school if he wants to stay. He can come with us, if he doesn't."
He doesn't bother to ask if Emily or Nolan will pay: they will.
"We go, then," Emily-Amanda agrees.
It's the phone call that does it.
"What's that buzzing?"
Nolan makes an irritated noise. "When my phone is off there's an emergency override. So if a call is prioritized, you use a code, and it rings anyway."
Jack frowns. "Never heard of anything like that."
"That's because this is the prototype. I've decided I hate it." Nolan's voice is molasses and his smile sounds as bright as it must be.
Nolan passes Emily into Jack's waiting arms, and answers the phone. He paces, quietly, while Jack takes a long moment to kiss Emily's mouth, to speak with his tongue and no words, until she is relaxed and supple under his hands.
Nolan mutters, and returns to the couch, and thanks the caller, disingenuous, Emily thinks. "Where's the remote?"
Emily points and Nolan turns on the television.
It is the news report that does it.
Another exploded plane, and more deaths, and Emily doesn't remember standing up, but she stands up, rage building in her muscles, hate in her heart.
She walks away, out to the cold porch. Slams the door behind her.
Jack and Nolan follow, long moments later.
"I have to finish." She nods, because she knows they won't. Tears build in her eyes. "I have to."
She is shepherded back inside because she is not dressed for the cold.
Nolan looks like he might cry again. "You can't, Em. You'll end up dead or worse."
"Not finishing is the only thing that's worse."
Jack says nothing, only looks like his heart might break.
"You have to go," Emily says. "You have to go now. If anyone sees you here it's all over." She is Emily now, only Emily Thorne. Her fiancé is Daniel Grayson. His mother is dead and he needs her. "Please, you have to go."
They go. There are further protests and they try to put their arms around Emily but they cannot, because she has a fiancé, and that fiancé will be looking for her soon.
After they go, Emily slumps bonelessly to the floor and doesn't cry because it's against the rules. And she wishes she asked where Sammy was buried, because she wants to slump on his grave, instead, and let the snow build up over her body. She wants to dig him up and press her forehead to Sammy's forehead.
So yes, in the end, it is the dog who does it, who brings them all together at last; and the plane, exploding and breaking up in mid air that drives them all apart again.