Hey guys. This is my first time to post a fic to . This is based off a prompt from tumblr: "Could you write paily, emily is attacked by A , much like 2x14. Paige follows her for whatever reason, before the girls arrive and saves her. Paige gets injured. and all that." So here goes. I might make this a rewrite of Season 2 with Paige being around more. Let me know if that's something you would read.
Disclaimer: I do not own PLL.
Thinking and running were two things Paige McCullers was doing a lot these days. On most of these runs, her thoughts usually turned to one Emily Fields. The other girl's perfect hair, that smile that made her stomach do cartwheels, and that beautiful skin that called out to be touched, to have every inch kissed. Then she would thing about how she had ruined everything and lost Emily.
Frustrated, Paige picked up the pace, her ponytail, bobbing up and down. She was coming up on the picnic area that marked her halfway point of her run. The same picnic area she had avoided when planning her date with Emily. She had been so worried that a family of four would have had the same idea to spend the afternoon, that her father would her about her spending time with "that girl", that she had chosen a remote spot more likely to be frequented by squirrels and serial killers getting rid of evidence. God, she had been so stupid.
Paige used this fuel to sprint the rest of the way to the picnic area. She slowed down when she saw that she wasn't the only person using the park. Watching the group of girls in orange jumpsuits, she paused to catch her breath, only to lose it again when she spotted Emily Fields among them.
She had heard that Emily and her friends were doing a month of community service. She had tried to avoid the rumors that followed Alison DiLaurentis's former friends around, but even in death Alison was still what everyone was talking about. The rumors ranged from the uncreative and mundane, "They were totally, like doing drugs," to the truly bizarre. "I heard that they were doing this ritual to bring Alison back to life, like in Harry Potter." That last one had made Paige glare at a group of freshmen.
The truth about what really happened was available to anyone that bothered to read the newspaper, which would explained the rumors floating around Rosewood High made by students that got their news from Twitter and bathroom stalls. Emily and the other girls had been charged with evidence tampering, and sentenced to a month of community service. Paige figured it could have been worse if not for the fact that Spencer Hastings had lawyers for parents.
Emily shouting brought Paige out of her thoughts. "I'll talk to whoever I want to!" Emily and Spencer were having a heated debate. Whatever Emily had said next, must have angered Spencer, because soon they were at each other's throats. Paige took a step forward, angry with the thin brunette for laying a finger on Emily, but surprisingly, the other girl was holding her own. Paige was impressed by this fact, that the swimmer's killer instinct translated out of the pool, until she realized that the girl was using her fists to solve her problems, instead of her usual frown and quiet disappointment.
Soon, the guards were pulling the fighting girls apart. Aria, ever the peace keeper, had also stepped in front of Spencer, who was foaming at the mouth to break free from the hold of the guard.
"Careful, Spence!" Emily sneered. "Mommy isn't here to get you out of this mess."
This just made Spencer snarl and struggle harder. Aria continued to try and calm her down.
"That's it." The guard gripping Emily's bicep jerked her away from the other girls. "I'm separating you girls. You three, to the other side of the park! Come with me."
Hanna and Aria followed Spencer, seemingly having chosen to side with their leader, leaving Emily alone. Paige had always been jealous of Emily's strong friendship with the other three girls, those same three girls that had cut her out of the group.
This was the last thing that Emily needed right now. Her mom had gone to Texas to be with Emily's father, leaving her to stay with the Marins, so she could keep working on getting a swimming scholarship. This in itself lead to Emily being hospitalized for getting a stress ulcer, which meant she had to take time off from swimming to recover.
Swimming was the one thing Emily had for herself. And without her friends, it was like she had nothing. Paige resolved to be there for Emily in any capacity, even if only as a friend.
The next day Paige didn't get a chance to catch Emily before classes started, and they didn't have a class together until the next day. She was making her way to AP Chemistry, thinking about what to do. Maybe she should just call and hope it wouldn't be ignored. She had her phone up to her ear when she saw Emily taking to Coach Slocomb excitedly, waving a piece of paper in the air. But soon the girl's brows burrowed and her face fell. Coach Slocomb walked away equally disappointed.
"Hey Emily, are you okay?" Paige knew that there was no way Emily could answer that question with a positive response, but she didn't know what else to say.
"Hey. I can't talk right now." Emily was still watching Coach Slocomb's retreating back. "I really have to get to English."
"I can walk you." Paige blurted out, a bit too eagerly. She mentally slapped herself at how that sounded. But she wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to talk.
"Paige!" Emily's tone was enough to get Paige to take a step back. "I'm sorry, but I can't be late again. I'll see you around."
When Paige made it to the girls' locker room where Susan Masters was recapping the latest throw down between Emily and Spencer Hastings. It was weird. Emily getting into fights was talked about more than her coming out. Which was good thing when she came out to the team herself. It did get a day's worth of jokes about there being something in the pool water.
"Yeah! Hastings bumped right into Emily, so she dropped all her books. So then Emily knocked her books to ground. They were about to totally fight or make out, but Mrs. Montgomery stepped in. But we know our girl Em would have totally taken her."
"Alright guys! We all know that Emily kicks ass. But we need to get into the pool and train for this swim meet tomorrow! Let's get to it." Paige pumped her fist, while all the girls cheered on their way out to the pool. Susan gave her a small salute as she passed.
As soon as she was alone, Paige made plans to enlist someone to help her with Emily. And she knew just the person.
It was only a matter of getting Toby Cavanaugh's number from her lab partner. Even though Jenna Marshall creeped her out, she had to talk to Toby. He was friends with Emily and dating Spencer. He must have some idea at what was happening.
That was how she ended up sitting in his truck. In the dark. She had to remind herself that Emily trusted Toby, so there was nothing to worry about.
"Look Paige, I'm glad you're concerned about Emily, but you guys aren't really friends. Spencer told me you once tried to drown her." Toby looked at her, no trace of judgment on his face, but his voice contained a hint of a warning.
"Spencer knows about that?" Paige winced. "How am I still alive?" She tried to joke, but all Toby did was nod. "Right. About Emily. All this fighting with Spencer and the other girls. Something's up. It's the last thing she needs right now."
"You really care about her." Toby said.
"She makes it hard not to." Paige confessed. "We dated. But I choose to keep being afraid, instead of happiness. Even though things ended between us, I still want to take care of her."
"I'm the same way with Spencer." Toby looked in the review mirror at something covered in a drop cloth. Paige had wondered what that was but was too afraid to ask least a dumb comment tumble out of her mouth. The pained expression on his face made her think she was wrong about Spencer and Toby still being together. "I'll talk to Emily tomorrow. Let me take you home."
Paige looked up into the stands at everyone that come to watch the swim meet. Emily was there, and so were Spencer and Hanna. She spotted Toby, who just shook his head. No answers.
She couldn't dwell on that right now. She was the anchor for this heat, and she had to prepare herself. Emily once told her to swim for herself. That's what she was going to do. She exhaled slowly and concentrated on the water, on her lane. It was just her, everything else feel away. A deep breath and she was in. Committed.
After the swim meet, Paige skipped the shower and just threw on her warm up suit, hoping to catch Emily before she left. Instead she found a group of students gathered around some sort of commotion. She knew exactly who was behind it, as she pushed herself as close as she could.
Emily was faced off against Spencer, who looked for all the world like the next Alison DiLaurentis. Aria had shown up, and was standing with Hanna as back up. They were arguing about a box. Paige narrowed her eyes at this, curious about the box, but more curious about why the girls were having this very public fight.
Before Paige could get the chance to talk to her, Emily was gone. Absolutely frustrated, she vowed to go over to the Marin's house and camp out until Emily talked to her.
She was questioning the success of this plan as she followed Emily to a greenhouse. The words, "The. Actual. Fuck." ran through her mind, as got out from behind the wheels of her mother's car. She couldn't find the door to the greenhouse, beginning to panic about what was happening to Emily inside. She was considering breaking through the glass, when she found the entrance.
Once she actually made it inside the greenhouse, she saw a dark, hooded figure choking Emily. Adrenaline rushed through her as she charged forward and pulled the Hoodie off of the other girl.
Emily was coughing out her name, which made her whirl around. The Hoodie swung at her face. Clutching at her face, Paige kicked The Hoodie into a table.
"Emily!" Spencer and Aria had just run into the greenhouse. This was just enough distraction for The Hoodie to grab a flowerpot and throw it at the ceiling. The shower of glass allowed The Hoodie to escape.
When the shower of glass stopped, Spencer ran after the Hoodie. Aria gave her and Emily a glance before following the taller brunette out.
"Are you okay?" They said at the same time. Paige would have smiled at this if it weren't for the fact that they had just been through a freak show turn of events.
"Paige," Emily's voice was a little raw from being nearly strangled. "You're bleeding."
Taking off the scarf that had almost done her in, Emily held it against her cheek to staunch the bleeding. They looked into each other's eyes. "I'm so sorry."
"What are you apologizing for?" Paige brought her hand up to cover Emily's.
"You got hurt because of me." There was that furrow of disappointment, this time directly inwardly.
"I'll live." Paige shrugged. She knew that if Emily ever needed her, if ever she was in danger, she would come running no matter the danger to herself. And maybe that's what scared Emily.
"You shouldn't have come." Emily frowned. You wouldn't have been hurt because of me.
"Don't blame yourself, Em." Paige wanted nothing more than to stay forever like this, not knowing the next time the two of them would be this close together. But the reality was that they had just been attacked by someone in a black hoodie, and two of Emily's friends had just ran after their attacker. "We should find the others." She put her hand under Emily's, and the taller girl reluctantly let Paige take care of her wound.
When they got outside, Spencer emerged out of the woods, completely livid, followed by Aria and Hanna. "We have nothing! We're no closer to knowing who A is than before!"
"Spencer calm down." Aria tried soothingly, but the other girl wasn't having any of it. She reeled on Paige, noticing her for the first time.
"And what's she doing here! Maybe she's why the plan went to hell!" Spencer seethed.
"There was a plan?" Paige huffed. "What was it? Almost get Emily killed? Well, ten points to Slytherin, Hastings."
"Fuck you, McCullers!" Spencer got into her face, seemingly unaware of her wound.
"Spencer!" Emily put her hand on the other girl's chest, and slightly shoved her. "If Paige wasn't here, then maybe you guys would be buried another friend."
"Emily, we're sorry we were late. My parents wouldn't let me out of the house. They found out about…" Aria glanced over at Paige. "Ezra."
"Toby showed up at my house for some reason, demanding answer and he wouldn't leave until I promised her answers. " Spencer crossed her arms, glaring at Paige and blaming her for Toby's persistent presence at her house. Paige guessed it was partly her fault.
They all looked at Hanna, waiting for her excuse.
"What? If I wasn't late I wouldn't have got to pay that bitch back for hitting me with a car!" Hanna said a little too gleefully.
"Guys, I get it. But you should be apologizing to Paige. Or thanking her." Emily gave her a shy smile. "I know I am."
"Paige, about how I acted earlier. I'm just frustrated that this didn't go as planned." Spencer wasn't even looking at her as she spoke.
"Okay." Paige drawled slowly. "Coming from you, I think that's as close to an apology as I'm going to get."
Hanna and Aria gave her bright smiles. She had saved Emily and they were forever grateful.
"Hey." Aria was pointing at something illuminated in the headlights of Hanna's car. "Is that?"
"A's cell phone!" Spencer grinned, as Aria picked it up. "It must have fallen out of A's pocket when they got hit by Hanna's car."
"So tonight wasn't a total bust, right?" Emily looked at the phone.
"You're welcome." Hanna grinned in a self-congratulatory manner.
Then the phone began to ring.
"Answer it!" Aria shrieked as she tried to pass the phone off to Spencer, who held her hands up. "I'm not answering it!" More rings passed as the phone changed hands among the girls like it was a live grenade.
"Seriously?" Paige took the phone from Emily with her free hand and answered it. "Hello? Hello! They hung up!"
"What would A even say?" Hanna huffed. "Maybe A has one of those voice change autotune things."
"Right. Thanks for the fun evening. But I have glass in my hair, and I'm bleeding so I'm going to go to the hospital." Paige tossed the phone to Spencer.
"You're just going to leave. No questions asked?" Spencer looked at her in disbelief.
"Like you're ever going to be 100% with me!" Paige made her way towards her mother's car.
"Paige. Let me take you." Emily rushed forward.
"It's fine, I'm sure. I bet it's not even bleeding as much now." Paige took the scarf off her cheek, causing Aria to gasp and Hanna to go "Ew."
"Please, Paige." Emily pleaded. When she looked at her like that, Paige couldn't say no.
"Alright." Paige gave in.
"I'll see you guys at Spencer's?" Emily looked back at her friends.
Aria nodded, and Spencer looked relieved to be rid of Paige, ready to share her plans on how to deal with the cell phone with the others. Hanna waved Emily and Paige goodbye, giving Emily a huge grin.
"How did you get out here? Better question to ask would be how did you get out here?" Emily had her hands in her pocket as they walked towards the cars.
"Well I told my mom I was meeting a girl so she let me borrow her car, even though I told her it wasn't a date." Paige said. "Uh, I came out to my parents." It was such a weird time to tell Emily this.
"You did? That's great! Congratulations." Emily beamed at her. "Let's take your car. We can come back for my car tomorrow."
Paige didn't want to look too excited at have a reason to see Emily tomorrow, as she handed over her keys. "Yeah. You kinda helped with that."
"Then I'm glad." Emily unlocked the car, and got in behind the wheel, while Paige got in on the passenger's side.
Once they were inside the car, Paige wanted to put Emily at ease, but she didn't exactly know where to start. "Emily, about tonight. You don't have to explain everything. I mean, who I am to ask anything of you. When, when I haven't talked to you in weeks. I am curious, and I can wait until you're ready to trust me, but I might not be able to wait long." Paige warned. She knew herself. If she didn't get answers, she'd go looking for them on her own.
"I do trust you. But if you get involved… Things like what happened tonight will keep happening. Or worse. I don't want you to get hurt."
"I don't want you getting hurt either. Whatever this is, it's dangerous. Hanna got hit by car!" Paige took a deep breath to calm herself. "I just want…" She couldn't bring herself to finish her sentence. I just want to protect you. "Let's just go to the hospital."