An Emery&Chris story
The morning after their first fight, Chris and Emery have a lot of things to talk about
Warnings: Language, Adult Situations, references to Spirituality, anxiety
Word count 3340
Please read Fire and Ice first…
“Shit,” Chris mumbles when he rolls onto his back and realizes Emery isn’t by his side. He hits the side of the bed where she should be laying with a closed fist, sighing deeply. He brings his fist back to his chest and lets it land with a thump. “Damn, I fucked up,” he admits out loud. He lays there with his thoughts, trying to wake up. Sitting up, he rubs at his face, roughly wiping the sleep from his eyes. The brawny actor swings his legs over the side of the bed and stands up slowly feeling a bit of last night’s booze hitting his head.
He grabs the jeans off the chair and tugs them on over his black Calvin Klein boxer briefs. Grabbing a t-shirt from the drawer, he smiles when he sees it’s from her younger brother’s high school football team. It’s nice that little parts of their separate lives are slowly bleeding into one another and their households are slowly becoming one. Two months ago on Emery’s first visit to his LA home, she wouldn’t have ventured out of his room early in the morning, but he’s happy now she feels more at home here. She still doesn’t like LA, but she doesn’t have to; he doesn’t plan to have her live here with him. LA will be for work and transitions only. That’s his thought anyway, if he could get her to talk about some of their future plans.
Chris is disappointed Emery isn’t in the sitting room where she often grades papers on her visits. A sickening dread fills his stomach. He could call out to her, but he knows she hates that. Instead of searching the whole house he decides coffee is needed first. He shuffles down the stairs and checks in different rooms as he makes his way to the back of the house. He rounds the corner into the bright open kitchen and finds her sitting at the table. He pauses for a moment to admire her beauty and smiles at the way she folds her feet up under her to sit when she reads. “Hey, short stuff, you’re up early,” he says cheerfully trying to start the morning off right.
“No,” she shakes her head, not looking up from her book. “If you’re still trying nicknames, don’t add that one to the list. Coffee is already in your travel cup. And it’s not that early.” Her tone still has a slight edge to it, but she takes a deep breath and tries to lighten herself. “Want the other half of my bagel?” She pushes the plate towards Chris, but he shakes his head. He reaches into the cabinet for a cereal bowl and turns behind him to the cabinet to pull out a box of Honey Bunches of Oats. “No almonds?” She asks, smiling.
He opens the fridge for the milk. “They were out,” he mumbles. “Thanks for fixing my coffee.”
Looking at her man, Emery’s smile deepens. “Damn, you are heaven,” she says quietly, admiring the trail that disappears down in the waistband of his jeans. He scratches his side, pulling her attention to the Bardsley tattoo. She gazes over his torso, her eye pulling to the vein in his left arm and traveling up to his beautiful face. When her eyes greet his, he winks at her, wiggling his eyebrow. She sticks out her tongue at him when he picks up the bowl of cereal to eat.
“Not gonna tell me to wear a shirt in the kitchen?” he teases, shoveling a big spoonful of cereal into his mouth.
“It’s your house. You can keep your gross man habits. Just don’t fix me any food,” she laughs, returning her attention back to her reading.
Leaning against the kitchen island, Chris crosses his feet at his ankles and puts his weight against the counter. He watches Emery deep in thought and wishes he really could read what goes on in the brilliant mind of hers. The sun shines in the room and highlights the tiny hairs on her arms and adds a glow to her halo of red hair. “Whatchya reading?” he asks, his mouth still full of food.
She blushes slightly and lifts up her dog-eared book, holding it so he can see it. “The Bible?” Chris pauses momentarily suddenly feeling like a heathen but he can’t bite back his first thought. “Gonna get me to confess all my sins this morning?”
Emery guffaws and her eyes glass over for a brief moment, as though she is picturing something in her mind. “Oh, honey, we don’t have time for all of that! Aren’t we meeting the Downeys for brunch before the press conference?”
He releases a gut busting laugh. “How many sins do you think I have?”
“Babe, you wanna touch this book and see if your hands burn?” she laughs taking a sip of her coffee. She looks down to her book and gently runs her hands over the thin pages. “I just felt like I needed a little focus…,” she says reflectively. “It is today we meet them, right?”
“Yeah, in like two hours. Nothing fancy. I think Scarlett and her husband are meeting us too,” he responds, rinsing out his bowl and placing it in the dishwasher. He makes a big production out of it so she can see he didn’t leave it in the sink this time.
Giggling, Emery claps her hands praising him like she would for her young nephew. “So… You and Scarlett?” she shyly asks.
Hearing the catch in her voice, Chris stops wiping down the counter and turns to look at her. “Ah. So this IS a confession of my sins,” he laughs, trying to keep things light. Emery meant what she said the night before. She hasn’t asked him about his past unless it truly pertains to her or their relationship. Being a fan, she knows the stories of his playboy ways, but some of that is just stories.
“So you admit you and Scarlett sinned?” Emery rubs her temples, not sure if she really wants an answer to this question.
Chris wipes his hands on a clean dishtowel. He pulls on his t-shirt, picking up the coffee mug and moving to sit next to her at the table. “Scarlett and I have been friends for a long time.” He pauses and Emery catches a sadness in his voice. “We were too different, but still too much alike… We just didn’t… work. We were never really a couple, and I’ll admit, it wasn’t from a lack of trying on both our parts at different times over the years.” Emery watches as different memories seem to pass through his mind while he fidgets with the mug in his hands. He raises his eyes to look at her and smiles. “I’m glad Scar and I can still be friends and that we have opportunities to work together. She’s an amazing person… She kinda ranks right up there with Tara for me.”
Emery shakes her head. “You know; your pedestal of perfect women is getting a bit crowded.”
Caressing her cheek, Chris laughs at her statement. “Sweetheart, it’s a two-tiered pedestal, and you’re the only one at the very top.”
Emery feels the warmth of his large hand on her face. An image flashes in her mind and she can’t suppress her giggle.
“What’s so funny?” Chris asks, confused.
Emery holds up her hand as the laughter runs its course, “Oh my god,” she breaths out trying to gain control. “Oh my god, I just had this little cartoon image of me standing up there and your mom trying to climb up and share the space with me.”
Chris looks hurt when she doubles over in laughter again. “That’s not fair! My mom loves you!”
“Chris! I know, but you realize it’s hard for her to come to terms that she’s not number one anymore.”
Chris thinks for a few moments and nods his agreement. Taking her tiny hand in his he runs his thumb over her engagement ring, twisting the band and replies, “I’m sure it’s tough for her, but you’re my number one girl… And Mom knows that; that’s just the way it is from now on.” He pauses and takes a deep breath. Time to tackle the elephant in the room. “We’ve got a bit of time left before we have to drive down into the valley. Do you want to talk about Mi-“ seeing the murderous look on her face, he slightly changes tactics. “-me at the dog park?”
Emery glares at him. She looks down at the cover of her Bible closing her eyes and saying a silent prayer. “I will never want to talk about… that. We will. Some day. But not today… I do think there’s a mistake we’ve made in our relationship though. And I’m to-“
“Mistake?” Chris pulls his hand away. “What do you mean a ‘mistake?’” Chris’s heart begins to race and his thoughts can’t be controlled. “Is that why you don’t wanna talk about getting married? You think we made a mistake? You don’t wanna get married?”
“Christopher! Stop! What are you talking about?! Of course I want to get married, you fool, I love you! Why would you even ask that?” Emery’s voice rises, not really sure what’s happening and struggling to keep both their anxiety levels in check. She reaches for his hand, pulling it back to her, caressing his palm gently.
Chris takes a few deep calming breaths in through his nose and with his other hand, he rubs at the back of his neck. His voice is strained and quiet and his fear is on display. “Why don’t you want to talk about anything wedding related? You don’t want to look at a calendar or talk about locations or see about dresses… Are you having second thoughts?” He hates feeling so vulnerable, but only Emery can make his world right again. He needs to know what she is thinking.
Emery copies his breathing and bites the inside of her cheek. She lifts his hand to her mouth and kisses his palm. “Oh, silly boy! Of course not! I thought it was obvious! Neither of us need the stress of planning a wedding on top of the Marvel press mania. You’re going to be halfway around the world for the next month, I have state tests… I just want to enjoy being engaged to the man I love! One step at a time.”
“Is that really all it is? Then what did you mean just now, that we made a mistake?” Chris can’t hide his insecurities, which may have been an even bigger elephant in the room he hadn’t noticed before.
“I promise, that’s all it is.” Emery stands from her chair and moves to sit in his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck and gently kissing his ripe red lips. “I love you till the end of the line. You can’t get rid of me. I was just thinking of you. Believe me, I have wedding thoughts! Got a whole secret board on Pinterest full of ideas! Ilaria is already looking for dresses styled like one I liked, and we can’t set a date yet because we don’t really have your filming schedule down for next fall. But there’s really no rush…”
“Ilaria’s already looking for a dress?” Chris smiles, wondering when this little power house went behind his back to contact his personal fashion goddess/miracle worker.
Emery bites her lip to hide a shy smile. “We may have talked about styles once or twice. I found a dress months ago I liked,” she teases.
“Months ago? I just asked you like three weeks ago.” Chris looks at her puzzled. Winking at him, Emery just shrugs her shoulders. “You found a dress already? When did you talk to Ilaria?”
Emery drapes one hand down Chris’s arm, feeling his bicep before placing it to rest on the crook of his elbow, playing with the sleeve of his t-shirt. “My aren’t you full of questions today! I had my suspicions the question would come eventually, so when I would see something I liked, I made a note of it. I found a dress I really loved and I talked to Ilaria last week with some ideas. She’s on it! She’s amazing!”
Chris smiles at the excitement on her face. “Do I get to see it?” he asks quietly, nuzzling his nose against her neck.
“NO! It’s bad luck!”
“Fine,” he chuckles knowing she’s going to be very picky about certain traditions, but create her own to fit her strong will. “So we can check the dress of the list of things to find. And you know money is no object. Do not even THINK about a budget. I am only doing this ONCE in my life and I want to give you everything you’ve ever dreamed of, do you hear me?”
“Yes, sir, Captain, sir,” she chuckles, giving him a salute. “No budget. Got it.”
“And why do you say there is no rush?”
“Ok. So close your eyes. Picture this.” With his eyes closed and his lashes dark against his pale cheeks, Emery gently kisses his eyelids. “Snow. Winter. Boston.” The spirited red head is so thrilled with this revelation she practically bounces in his lap.
“Do you have any idea what you’re saying?” He can’t believe what she’s saying. She wants to get married in Boston. “Baby, you’ve seen snow maybe four times in your life, my sweet little Georgia peach. Do you have any idea how cold that could be, or how it could make travel difficult for people?”
Emery makes a face. “Not ‘Georgia peach’ either. I don’t care. I’ll take those risks. Snow. Lots of it! White, white lights, beautiful… But NOT Christmas; just a winter wedding.”
“I thought weddings were usually in the woman’s hometown?” He’s already starting to picture it in his mind, thinking of the perfect place back in Boston.
“Fuck etiquette. I want snow. Snow means Boston. Boston means home. We’ll get married in your hometown, with all our friends and family and it will be perfect and amazing and-“
“-beautiful,” he interrupts, cutting her off with a kiss. He takes both hands and places them on the sides of her tiny face, his fingers running into her braid. His lips push against hers while his tongue teases her to let him in. She opens her mouth and makes space, tangling her tongue with his, tasting of coffee and sugar. He captures the tiny whine she makes and pulls back, gently tugging her lower lip between his teeth. “You are beautiful… It sounds beautiful. I can see it… Snow, Winter, Boston. If that’s what you want, it’s yours.”
He dips his forehead to press against hers. He takes another deep breath to tackle the last unknown of the morning. “What mistake?” he asks quietly. “You said you think we made a mistake?”
Emery tilts her head to kiss the tip of his nose. “Relax, Evans. Maybe mistake wasn’t the right word… Well? I don’t know… But it just became apparent to me last night that we’ve only been out in public a few times together…” She plays with the hair at the back of his neck, still wishing he had let her trim it before the press started. She misses the “Gifted” hair he had when they first met. “All our dates were with your family or mine, hanging out at my house or driving around Savannah late at night so no one would spot us together. We haven’t really been around other people, together. Our communication skills kinda suck. And if you ever try to physically intimidate me again, ever, I will make sure you regret it.” She tugs his hair and he winces.
“I believe you,” he relents through gritted teeth acting as if the pain is unbearable. “Well, if that’s our mistake, that’s on me. I just did it to protect you. Hollywood is no place for a woman like you. I don’t want your life to change just because mine is crazy.”
“And I appreciate that. And I don’t think it really has all that much. I mean, not every math teacher gets to rub elbows with Marvel elite or attend back stage parties at the MTV Movie Awards or get whisked away in a limo after the Oscars. But I think I’m doing all right, don’t you?”
“Everywhere we have been together, kitten, people fall in love with you,” Chris smiles, rubbing his thumb across her freckles. “You’re charming and funny and smart. Even with your own anxiety, I think your teacher training keeps you relaxed. And you manage to keep really calm. I gotta tell ya, sometimes, I find that damn infuriating.”
Emery tilts her head from side to side. “Kitten? I might be able to live with that one… Listen, we both can’t fly off the handle at the same time. You and your Italian, Boston boy attitude and my fiery red hair might clash from time to time. And our anxiety? We just have to make sure it’s only one meltdown at a time.” She holds his face in her hands and scratches at his beard. “Look at the time, don’t we need to get ready to go?”
Chris turns to check the clock on the stove. He shakes his head negatively. “It’s a jeans and t-shirt place. We’re both fine. There probably will be paparazzi. Won’t Parker get a kick out of seeing me in his school football shirt?”
Emery smiles when she thinks about how elated Parker would be if Chris, his hero, was photographed in public in his team shirt. “Honey, I’m in a Peggy Carter t-shirt. Isn’t that a little weird?” Emery asks, tugging on the hair tie and pulling the braid from her hair, letting it fall in loose red waves around her shoulders.
“Steve Rogers approves,” he chuckles. “We got time for one other thing I need to say.” He pauses and scratches his beard against his bottom lip. She can feel his heart rate starting to rise under her hands that she placed against his chest. He drops his eyes and she looks to his beautiful lashes, seeing a confessionary pose. “I need you to know a lot changed for me after that weekend I… I walked the dogs. That’s when I really decided to make some lasting changes in my life. A photo doesn’t tell a true story. Just what’s captured in that moment… You could have easily said ‘fuck it’ and let me drift out of your life.” Chris looks up at Emery and all the unsaid words are written in the tender look of love he gifts to her. His voice softens and chokes out his final confession for the morning, “I love you, Emery Thomas. You are my world. Thank you for taking a chance on me. I don’t want you to ever regret that, or think it’s a mistake.”
The press tour already has him tied in knots and it’s only been two days. She’s only with him till the end of the week, but she will do everything in her power to keep him calm and relaxed. She whispers quietly to him, “Christopher Robert Evans, I will never regret you. I promise, you are the best thing I ever found on the internet.”
Emery leans in close and gently brushes her lips slowly across his before moving in for a full, love affirming kiss. Her fingertips lightly grace the sides of his face infusing him with her strength and affection. Confidently she tells him, “I’m with you till the end of the line. You are my joy, my prince. I love you too.”
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