Fire and Ice
an Emery & Chris story
Actor Chris Evans and fiancé Emery Thomas attend a private screening of Civil War for Marvel friends and family. The excitement of the night causes tensions to run high for the recently engaged pair.
Warnings: Language, Adult Situations
Word Count 2512
“He doesn’t look too happy,” Mark Ruffalo says to the charming young woman he’s had the pleasure of chatting with for the last fifteen minutes. He enjoyed meeting her at one of the Oscar after parties and has been challenged by her discussion during the gathering before a private screening of Civil War for Marvel stars and their families. The easy going gentleman can sense her anxiety and has done his part to help her relax during their talk.
Emery Thomas turns in the direction he’s indicated and she scowls. She tears up the napkin into little pieces that’s lying on the table in front of her. She makes a face, but doesn’t say anything.
“Need me to Hulk out and protect you?” Mark asks trying to keep the evening light.
Emery chuckles. “Nah, that’s really sweet, but I got this. Red Head Sass is my superpower.”
Actor Chris Evans approaches his fiancé at the table and the heat from his anger rolls off his body. “Hey, Mark, mind if I steal my girl for a few minutes?” His tone is icy cold contrasting the heated fire in his eyes.
Mark looks cautiously between the two and Emery calmly asks, “Can it wait? We’re having a rousing political discussion.” Having enjoyed their shared and opposing opinions, she offers a smile to Mark.
The furrow between Chris’s eyebrows deepens. “You hate talking politics.”
Emery flicks the napkin piece from her fingers and responds quietly but with a fire all her own. “Well, I’d rather discuss politics than stand around watching you have a pissing contest with Sebastian over nothing.”
“And that’s my cue to leave,” Mark says rising from the table. Emery waves good bye as he makes his hasty retreat.
“Chris, you didn’t have to be rude to Mark, I-“
“I wasn’t fuckin’ rude to him,” Chris interrupts Emery before she can finish. “I just asked to talk to you. Alone.”
“Maybe I don’t want to talk to you if you’re gonna be like this,” Emery says, looking up at Chris, growing angry at his behavior and attitude. He is holding the back of her chair and leaning over her and if he thinks his posture is going to intimidate her, he needs to think again.
“Like what, Em?” he quietly hisses.
“Jealous and angry over goddamn nothing,” Emery whispers back. She really doesn’t want the first impression she makes on his friends and co-workers to be one of a bitch, but she’s not going to let him walk all over her, especially when she did nothing wrong except talk to Sebastian Stan.
Chris’s jealous nature has flared once or twice before in the months they have been together, but no one seemed to stir up his insecurities the way Seb does.
“What were you two talking about?” Chris asks, his voice bitter.
She looks him in the eye and hears it in his voice. His thick Boston accent proves he’s had one too many beers and with the press junket today not enough to eat to balance it out. She looks down at her sequined heels, bright blue with Cap’s shield sparkling on them. “Apparently he has a thing for heels? We were talking about my shoes.”
Chris bitterly laughs. “You expect me to believe that?”
Emery rolls her eyes. “You’ve known the guy longer than I have, what do you think?”
Chris looks down at her favorite shoes. She doesn’t want to talk about wedding plans, doesn’t want to set a date or look at dresses, doesn’t want to do anything he thought she would want to do after getting engaged, but she’s already said she’s wearing those heels down the aisle. “But seriously, he was all wrapped around you?”
“Chris, he was being a tease. He knew you would be jealous, he even said so. I humored him for a few minutes and excused myself to talk to Hayley. That’s when you went over and started talking to him.”
Her calm is irritating him. She can almost sense he is going to say something to escalate an argument. It’s almost like he wants a fight. She sighs, looking at her watch. The movie will begin showing soon and in her mind there are only two ways to end this: ignore him until he cools off or fire back to show him his stupidity. She sighs knowing there really is only one solution.
Emery can feel the heat climbing up from the pit of her stomach and cut her eyes sharply to him. Her voice takes on an anger of its own. “Listen, asshole, if anyone should be pissed off here, it’s me. You wanna get mad at me for flirting with some guy before I met you? Fine. Two can play that game…”
Chris is slightly taken aback at her turn. “What are you talkin’ about?”
“You and I started talking on the website in early September. And the “Chris” I was talking to wanted to meet then, but our schedules never matched up. Later in the month, I had to go away for a weekend with friends, and I messaged “Chris” when I could. I met Sebastian for a five-minute photo op. He flirted and invited me for drinks, but I DIDN’T FUCKING GO. In fact, I went back to my room and messaged the guy on the dating site. Because I LIKED HIM. Not Sebastian. A guy from a five-minute photo op from a con, and you know how impersonal photo ops really are…” Emery stands and pulls her jacket off the back of her chair. She turns away from him, truly hating what she is about to say so much that she feels sick at her stomach. “But there was another weekend in September when the guy I was messaging had to be out of town ‘on business.’ And we messaged a lot over that weekend. And then I met you…” Emery’s stomach churns when she sees the realization of what she is about to say dawn in Chris’s eyes.
Dropping her voice rather than raising it conveys her true anger. “I met you in October and I knew that weekend we first really hit it off you also spent time with your ex-girlfriend walking dogs in a damn park… Because there are goddamn photos… Photos as a fan that even made me sick, because it seemed like such a set up.” Emery scoffs at her anger, a good rage starting to set in, especially if she keeps on this train of thought. By now, Chris has sunk down into the chair she vacated and she looks him right in the eye, pointing her finger at his chest, going so far as to poke him once or twice. Her anger is cold, her voice low and full of ice. “So don’t you fucking get jealous with me about who I talked to or what I fucking did in the weeks that we were still getting to know one another online. Because you were still making time with your goddamned ex-girlfriend.”
She walked to the bar doing her best not collapse into the puddle of tears stinging her eyes. She could feel his blue eyes boring into her back. She wasn’t really mad before but she is now. Fuck him for ruining this night for her. Like watching Civil War wasn’t stressful enough, from a fan point of view, but add in to the anxiety of finally meeting his closest friends, and she was already strung tight. The last thing she needed was a scene, but he managed to let his insecurities rage instead. Fuck. But she’d been having a wonderful time, seeing Jeremy and Hayley again, and meeting Anthony’s wife as well as the other stars of the film. Everyone had made her feel so welcomed and they were all so happy for Chris and wanted to meet her and hear their story.
Instead they’ll just remember we were fighting. Nice. She quietly asks the bartender for a shot of vodka and knocks it back. She keeps her stiff position when she sees out of the corner of her eye Scarlett Johansson approaching the bar.
“Hey, Emery? We haven’t had a chance to meet yet-“ Scarlett starts.
Emery snickers quietly and turns to the beautiful, intimidating woman. “Scarlett, I’m trying to make a good impression here. I don’t want you all to think I’m a bitch or that our relationship is rocky. Now may not really be the best time,” she admits quietly.
“It’s ok. I get it. That man is infuriating. More power to you if you want him forever!” Scarlett laughs and pats her arm. “But I’ll tell you; I’ve known him as both a boy and man. I’ve never seen him with anyone the way he is with you. Every time I’ve talked to him these last few months or been with him for work, I can see it in his eyes or hear it in his voice when he talks about you. He’s so calm and full of big plans, and the little things that normally bug him don’t seem to be an issue any more. I don’t know you but I think you are good for him. Don’t be too hard on him. He does stupid things, but it’s because he loves you.”
Emery nods her head, appreciating Scarlett stepping in to defend her old friend. “I know, you’re right, but that doesn’t make it easier,” she chuckles. “Sometimes, like tonight, he can be a real asshole.”
The women continue their small talk before an announcement is made that the movie will begin in 10 minutes and it is suggested everyone move to their seats in the private screening room. Emery looks for Chris but doesn’t see him anywhere in the room. Her heart sinks. Anthony Mackie comes to her side and offers his arm. She hooks her arm with his and they head towards the door. She sighs quietly and Anthony covers her hand with his. “Where is he?”
“Renner took him outside to get a smoke. Don’t worry, you didn’t run him off,” Anthony addresses her silent concern.
“I pulled out a big one,” she confides in her second favorite Marvel man. She likes the easy friendship they have had since getting to know one another in New Orleans after Christmas.
Anthony chuckles, “Well, from what I could see, he deserved it, and you held your own. I think he just needs someone to train him up right. Keep your strong back bone. You’re a good Southern woman; I know your type. He needs someone like you to keep him in line.” He bows to kiss her forehead as they walk to their seats and she waves to his wife.
“Does it bug her when you flirt?” Emery chuckles trying to return to the sense of ease she felt earlier in the evening, glad Anthony has that effect on her.
“Damn, honey, if I wasn’t flirting, I’d be dead. She’s good with it, ain’t that right, babe?” he addresses his beautiful partner, tugging her hair lovingly as he gets ready to take his seat. She nods her head yes, and Anthony finishes. “Besides, it’s all just part of the charm and fun, and she knows I’ll always come home to her. ‘Cause I’ll never find anyone better to take care of my sorry ass. I know it and she knows. Evans will figure that out too. You’re good for him.”
He plops in his seat, and Emery places her jacket over the back of the chair to get ready to settle in as well.
“Ah, Emery! Not down there! I thought you were coming up here to sit with me?” Robert Downey Jr. shouts out to her.
Emery smiles at his invitation, happy the teams have welcomed her into their group. “Sorry, man, as much as I admire Tony Stark, he only has twelve percent of my heart. I’m gonna sit here with Team Cap.”
“Only twelve percent, that’s not good,” the handsome older man chuckles, pelting her with popcorn.
“Well, yea, and Hawkeye and Falcon each have three percent, but the rest all belongs to Steve Rogers. Always has and always will…”
“Eighty percent? That’s all Steve gets?” Chris quietly answers behind her. She turns to him aware they are on display for the whole room waiting for the private screening.
“Not my fault all the Marvel men are so damn good looking,” she replies, her arm sweeping the room and everyone laughs at her action.
He looks around the room, and shrugs his agreement. “I guess I’m okay with that.”
“Can the record please state Bucky was not on her list?” Sebastian shouts out from the back row and the crowd laughs again.
Chris turns to flip off his friend and Emery giggles when she sees a bag of fries and a milkshake in Chris’s hand. “You think fries and a strawberry milkshake are gonna patch things up?” she asks, taking the offered cup and setting it in the cup holder of the theatre seat. She swiftly hands the bag of fries to Anthony as Chris takes her in his arms.
“I’m hoping it helps,” he begins and kisses her in front of all his friends and coworkers, trying to say what he won’t be able to say with words. “I’m sorry. I was an ass. I trust you. I trust you with all my heart. I’m sorry I made you feel anything less than special. Fuck, I am an ass… I need to take a page from your book, and not say every goddamn insecure thought I have. But why do I feel like I might hear about that day at the dog park again?”
“Oh, yea, that’s probably not going away. Ever. But only if I need big guns blazing. I try to keep that one locked away… Just saying it made me sick… Ya know, I don’t ask questions. I don’t need to know everything about who you were before we met. All I want to know is the YOU now and the person you are when we are together,” Emery reveals, cupping his cheek and caressing his beard.
“Down in front, let’s start this movie,” Renner shouts, throwing more popcorn at the couple, glad they seemed to patch things up.
They settle in to their seats and Emery takes her fries back from Anthony. “You know we aren’t done with this conversation, right?” she quietly warns Chris as the room fades to black and the screen lights up.
“After the movie, babe. Sit tight. It’s gonna be a long two and half hours.”
“I’m not gonna survive this, am I?” she asks as the familiar red Marvel logo appears on the screen, wrapping her arm through his, actually bouncing in her seat from excitement.
“No spoilers here, babe,” he replies, kissing her temple before the movie begins.
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