A/N: Based on the events in 3x05. I haven't had the opportunity to watch the newer episodes yet, so I have no idea what goes on in them and whether it completely contradicts anything that happens in this thing. Will be a two-shot if I manage to stick by my plan. Thanks for reading!
Emily wasn't sure whether she actually had any interest in Katy Perry at all. Of course, she would rather have gone for tickets to a movie that she actually wanted to see, like The Amazing Spiderman or The Dark Knight Rises. She chuckled lightly at her selection of movies – her inner nerd was clearly showing.
Katy Perry, however, had been the only movie that was not already sold out on her free night. And when the sudden idea to spend some time on the weekend with Paige, like actual friends would do, had hit her, Emily was too set on going through with her idea to think of another day. Another day with better movie selection. She was still left wondering where that idea had come from all of a sudden.
Paige and she had officially agreed to be friends at the masquerade but since then, Emily had made little effort to actually foster that friendship – not that she had any idea why. And Paige, on the other hand, had been either too scared or too polite to force Emily into interaction with her. From the outside, it really must have looked like Emily was avoiding Paige. Which she wasn't – or at least, so she guessed.
When she had decided to turn their 'fresh start' into a beginning of a renewed friendship rather than a beginning of a renewed ignoring each other, going to see a movie had been the next best activity Emily could think of. Watching a movie together was a fairly neutral activity but doing so at one of their houses had seemed too personal, too intimate. Also, Emily was less than keen on running into Paige's father once again.
Last Thursday, Emily had managed to pluck up her courage and ask Paige to go see Katy Perry with her. While she was talking, she gradually grew more embarrassed of inviting Paige to that movie – she was not interest in it herself and Paige did not seem to be the type for Katy Perry at all. She quickly made up a rather lame excuse about Hannah actually having the idea to see it. Emily was not sure whether Paige had believed her on that one.
Nonetheless, Paige had accepted her invitation – albeit a bit reluctantly. Her reluctance was understandable, though, Emily thought. After all, their relationship had not been uncomplicated so far. They had made two unsuccessful attempts at dating, both of which had failed very quickly. Both of which also had been initiated by Paige, plus Paige had tried to kiss her once again not long before the masquerade. There was a good chance that Paige still harboured feelings for Emily. Feelings that went deeper than friendship.
Emily thought that Paige was doing a pretty good job at setting aside their ill-fated romances so far and genuinely trying to become friends. She had to admit to herself that she wasn't giving Paige an easy time for getting over her feelings – the situation with the tie up in her room had been rather heated for a friendship, thanks not in small part to Emily. If one didn't know better, one would think that Emily was teasing Paige with the dimmed lights, the changing in front of her …
In all honesty, though, Emily herself was not quite sure what she had intended for this situation to be. Somehow, she had wanted to make up for cancelling her plans with Paige. Somehow, she had wanted to invite Paige to her house to signalise that Paige was welcome at her house. Somehow, she had wanted to spend some time alone with Paige.
There was no way she could be looking for a new relationship right now – the pain from losing Maya was still settled deep within Emily's chest, only waiting for the next opportunity to bubble up again and fill her with sadness and rage and loneliness. What Paige had offered to her, though, was that she would be someone to talk to for Emily; and Emily was sure it would be beneficial to her to confide in someone who was not part of her usual girls, who was not so caught up in this whole 'A'-business. And thus Emily had, with hopes of gaining a dependable friend, invited Paige to the movies.
Until Jenna's party had come around and she had had to work all night long on the day she wanted to spend with Paige. To make matters worse, this demonic flask of hers had drugged Paige and caused her to fall and hit her head. The fact that 'A' had managed to hurt Paige indirectly via Emily infuriated Emily to no end. If there was anything she did not want Paige to get sucked into, it was the chaos caused by Ali's disappearance and death that had grown to become a frighteningly big part of her daily life.
Emily realised that she had been standing in front of her mirror and holding an inner monologue for at least 15 minutes, if not more. She blinked as she managed to pull her gaze away from her own eyes in the mirror, which seemed to give her a questioning look. 'Why so nervous?' she asked herself.
It was exactly one week after Jenna's party, the day they had rescheduled their Katy Perry tickets to. A glance onto her phone told Emily that it was shortly after 6pm. The movie didn't start until after 8pm but Jenna's party had added another activity to Paige and Emily's movie night – Paige needed to go to the hospital to get her stitches removed. And since Paige's parents did not trust Paige to drive right now – they were still very upset about Paige getting herself drugged – Emily had offered to drive her to the hospital and then to the movie theatre directly afterwards.
After giving herself a once-over in the mirror despite not sporting a very elaborate outfit – a plain grey hoodie over one of her go-to shirts with tight black pants – Emily stuffed her phone into her purse and headed downstairs. As she was about to exit the front door, she spotted her leather jacket in the hallway, the one that she had worn that night and that Hannah had just found in a church rummage sale. Its sight still made her nervous, it still made her search her memory desperately for any trace of recollection she had not yet pondered and explored. On the other hand, the black leather jacket would go very well with her current outfit and she had a feeling that Paige would like this jacket. Emily flung the jacket over her shoulder and went out to her car; and only as she had let herself drop into the driver's seat, she wondered whether Paige's approval of her outfit should bear any importance to her.
Shrugging the thought away, she put the keys into the ignition and drove to Paige's house without paying any more attention to the train of thought. Once she had made the turn into Paige's street, she slowed down to see if Paige was waiting for her outside of her house already. When she failed to spot anybody, Emily parked her car in front of the house and texted Paige that she was waiting outside. She had no desire to show up on the McCullers' front step and take their daughter with her on what her parents probably imagined to be an alcohol-and-drug-fuelled lesbian road trip.
A light tapping sound resonated within Emily's almost-empty, dark, silent car as she used her phone to drum the rhythm of an inaudible song on the steering wheel while she waited. Shortly, she contemplated sending another message to Paige but she didn't want to appear pushy or impatient. Ringing the doorbell was obviously out of the question. Emily kept tapping her phone on the steering wheel. She realised she was being fidgety, as one would be before taking an exam one didn't study for, or spent time alone with your crush or your ex for the first time. The last comparison was actually true, Emily noticed with a mixture of a frown and a smile.
Paige didn't very much feel like her ex, though. Both of their relationship attempts had been short-lived and the latter of them had been quite some time ago. And, she reminded herself, they had agreed on a fresh start. None of what happened between before now should really matter to them. They both had grown so much as persons and were very different from how they were when they first met. Hopefully, this would reduce the odds of Emily getting drowned tonight.
There was a sting in Emily's chest as she thought back to that unfortunate event. She had long since forgiven Paige for it but sometimes she couldn't help but wonder what Paige's true motives were. Obviously she had had more complex feelings about Emily than pure rivalry back then. Do they not say that loving somebody can make you prone to hurting them?
Emily's contemplations were suddenly interrupted when she heard somebody open the passenger door – for a moment, her heart stopped. She had been lost in thought again, staring off into the distance – she wouldn't have noticed if a random mugger had walked up to her car and was now about to rob her at gunpoint. All colour drained from her face, she gripped the steering wheel so hard her knuckles turned white and her stomach made the worst kind of flip flop – until she finally heard a familiar voice.
'Emily? Is everything okay?'
Paige was leaning forward and looking into Emily's car through the half-open door, apparently not daring to enter yet. Emily felt her sudden nausea vanish as quickly as it overcame her as she slowly turned her head to the right to see whether the intruder was actually Paige. She of course instantly recognised Paige's face but scanned all over the intruder's body twice, just to make sure it was the correct passenger. Was it a nod to their clip-on-tie-problem that Paige was wearing a tie? Regardless, it looked gorgeous together with the vest that Paige was wearing over a blouse.
'Hey Emily, are you alright?'
A blush brushed over Emily's face as she realised that she was staring at a cute lesbian in a tie while said lesbian still believed she just had a stroke. Emily smiled and finally met Paige's eyes.
'I'm okay, it's just that … I spaced out a bit and then you came in and I thought you were someone trying to mug me. You have no idea how glad I am to see you right now.'
Paige settled down into the passenger seat and closed the door behind her. With a laugh, she answered, 'Well, how do you know I'm not here to mug?'
Bubbling laughter escaped Emily's throat and she felt like an enormous weight was lifted off of her shoulders. She shot Paige a playfully scolding look and started the car again. The drive to the hospital was rather short and they were still joking around once they reached the hospital's parking lot. Inside the hospital, a doctor was already waiting for Paige and took her to a room where the stitches would be removed while Emily took seat in the waiting area once again.
The doctor had assured Emily that removing stitches would be done in a couple of minutes, that she could even come and watch them get removed. She politely refused, though – Emily preferred not being present in case the doctors would ask more questions about how Paige got drugged. They both knew that Emily's flask was the root of this problem – Emily knew it was drugged and Paige was probably suspecting so at this point. It was bound to come up when the doctors questioned Paige about what she drank that night and Emily didn't want the doctor to think that she intentionally drugged Paige. She also didn't want to tell him that she once got drugged by the same flask because that would surely mean having to admit to what happened that night – and she was determined to keep that from coming out.
The waiting area was pretty much the same it had been a week ago – a few old people that were worried about their weak hearts, mothers with feverish children, young people with injuries sustained while doing sports, and a lot of people who had had too much to drink. Now that she didn't even have company, Emily found the waiting area to be even less welcoming. She considered getting some coffee to pass the time but she really didn't feel like drinking any coffee right now, plus the hospital coffee tasted like strongly brewed sewer water. It couldn't be long until Paige came out but Emily still decided to take a short walk through the entrance area of the hospital of the area to entertain herself.
Past the row of coffee and snack machines was the shop of a hair dresser. Apart from over-priced hair dressing (even up in your hospital bed, if you couldn't walk down here) they also offered a wide range of wigs. Emily shuddered – were those intended for cancer patients? She quickly walked on and past a little cafeteria that was completely deserted at this time. The next thing she spotted was the flower shop. It sent a chill down her spine as she imagined Garrett picking out a flower bouquet for his mum right here. Her eyes slowly browsed the collection of flowers. Apart from potted plants and flower bouquets, the shop also offered single flowers. There were some yellow and orange ones that Emily found to be very simple- but also very cute-looking. She checked the price tag; it said their name was Gerbera and that they were 80 cents each. Maybe she should buy one and give it to Paige to apologise for that whole flask-business …
Then again, giving her a flower could send wrong messages to Paige and Emily did not want to lead her on. She couldn't stand people who kept acting like they wanted to start a relationship when in truth, they were not interested at all. Ali had frustrated her greatly that way and Emily did not want Paige to feel the same about her.
She turned her head as she faintly heard someone call 'Emily?' from the waiting area and realised that she was still on her little walk while Paige was probably all done and stitch-free already. Giving the Gerberas one last look, Emily hurried back to the waiting area and towards where the sound of her name was coming from. When Emily spotted Paige, a grin spread over Paige's face, she pointed to her forehead and announced that she was now officially badass because she had a facial scar. Emily raised an eyebrow at Paige and criticised that the scar was barely visible now that the stitches were gone.
'It may not be very visible anymore but you can still feel a bump on my forehead … right here', Paige pointed to an area close to her scalp. Emily took a step towards Paige and carefully lifted her fingers to feel the area herself. There was, indeed, a noticeable bump under her fingers – but Emily didn't pay much attention to it because she had just realised how close she was standing to Paige. Paige seemed to have frozen mid-movement, probably surprised by Emily's bold action. She looked into Emily's eyes, steadily and intensively, until Emily blushed and pulled away her fingers. As she took a step backwards, away from Paige, she wondered what exactly had motivated her to invade Paige's personal space.
The little coughing noise she made sounded very awkward and was probably an indication of the fact that there still might be more tension left between Paige and her than Emily was ready to admit to herself. When Paige was finally done staring at Paige with her big dark eyes, she tried to lighten the awkwardness of the situation by cracking some lame joke about going to see the Katy Perry movie now. This was the cue for Emily to stop blushing and remember why she had actually come here. They wanted to go see a movie, right. The two of them, in seats next to each other, in a dark movie theatre. All of a sudden, the idea seemed much less intelligent to Emily than it had seemed a week ago.
The two left the hospital and drove to the movie theatre in a silent mood, with only a bit of small talk peppered in between. When they reached the ticket counter, Paige got out her wallet. Emily shot her a confused look.
'I already got the tickets last week; we don't need to buy new ones.'
'I know – but I didn't give you the money for my ticket yet. How much were they?'
'It's alright, they weren't that expensive. It's my treat.'
Paige had already opened her mouth to object but Emily ended the discussion by taking Paige's wallet away from her and dropping it in Paige's purse. A movie ticket was a way better I'm-sorry-gift than a flower anyway. At least a less gift that sent less messages.
They still had a lot of time left before their movie started, so they started wandering aimlessly around the main floor of the movie theatre. There were movie posters everywhere, from famous movies that had been screened here, from movies that were currently being screened and from movies that had yet to hit the screen.
Paige pointed to the poster for The Avengers, 'That movie was so awesome. Best movie of the summer for me, hands down.'
'Do you say that because you actually mean it or because everyone loves it and you can't spend a minute on the Internet without stumbling over a thousand avengers pictures?' Emily teased.
'I say that because super hero movies are always the best. But I do have to admit that the movie experience was clearly enhanced by seeing some very well-made gifs that ship Captain America with Ironman.'
'You are such a nerd, McCullers, it's not even funny anymore. Thor and Loki were way hotter together, anyway.' Emily grinned at Paige and was pretty convinced that Paige would have preferred The Dark Knight Rises as well. Maybe she should try and thank Paige later for sitting through Katy Perry together with her. It probably was a good sign for their friendship that silently, neither of them wanted to watch the movie, yet each of them still came here for the other girl.
It was still about 15 minutes until the movie would start but they decided to already find their seats in the movie theatre and settle down. They actually had a position that wasn't half bad, in the third-last row of the theatre and fairly middle-ish. Emily thought this to be an indicator of the popularity of this movie. Just a minute after they sat down, Paige excused herself in order to go to the bathroom, citing a weak bladder. Emily nodded with a small smile but wondered why Paige was taking her purse with her. She didn't seem to be the type that would go to the bathroom to brush up on her make-up. Emily dismissed the thought with a shrug and quietly resumed sending funny texts to Hannah to cheer her up.
Emily had barely noticed that about ten minutes had already passed since Paige left when she looked up from her phone to notice Paige sitting down next to her. A bag of popcorn was held under her nose. Confused, Emily looked at Paige.
'I hope you like Popcorn, I wasn't sure whether you'd prefer nachos or ice cream but I thought simple popcorn was a safe bet. Also, here is your coke.'
Emily took the cup that Paige extended to her and stared at the items in her hands. 'Paige, you really didn't have to …'
'It's alright, they weren't that expensive. It's my treat', Paige cut her off and winked. Emily realised that Paige was quoting her from when they talked about the movie tickets. She laughed as set the cup down in her seat's cup holder.
'You are such a dork, you know that.' Paige laughed at Emily's half-hearted attempt to insult her. She playfully threw a piece of her own popcorn in her mouth and turned her head to watch the ads before the movie begin. Emily shook her head in fake disbelief and then turned to watch the commercials as well. So far, the night had only contained a tolerable number of awkward situations and Emily was quite pleased with how it was going. Maybe the idea had not been so bad after all.
A/N: One last note . I have not seen the Katy Perry movie nor do I have any sort of opinion on it. It was just my impression that both Emily and Paige seemed utterly unenthusiastic about seeing this movie.