*an Emery & Chris drabble*
Emery pitches in to help her sister-in-law, Carly, when the kids are sick and Carly has plans. Her tutoring with his nephew goes slightly awry.
Warnings: None, Fluff
Word Count: 2141
His voice is quiet, and she strains to hear him. “When are you coming home, baby? I miss you.”
Emery smiles. “I’ve only been gone two days; I’ll be home Monday.”
“I know, but it feels like it’s been fooor-eveeer.” He whines and stretches the word out.
She wraps her arm around the sleeping little one in her lap. “Good grief, listen to you, moaning like I’ve been gone for months.” She smiles at the other two boys, stretched out on the floor, coloring and playing with race cars.
Chris drops his voice and it vibrates through the phone. “I need you here to make me moan.”
“Oh stop,” she giggles. “Stella’s asleep in my lap.”
“Is she feeling any better?” Her heart flutters at the tender sound of his voice, so full of concern for his niece.
She nods, even though he can’t see her. She gently strokes the little girl’s hair back, checking for signs of a fever. “I think the fever broke a few hours ago. She was running around here with the boys just a bit a go, before she had another coughing fit. They felt so bad for her, they let her watch Frozen without whining.”
“It’s nice to have family close, when you have an emergency,” he hints. “Have you heard from Carly?”
“She’s been checking in every few hours. She can’t be enjoying their romantic get away if she’s worried about a sick kid.” Emery shifts on the love seat, her arm starting to fall asleep under the weight of the sleeping child. “I’ve got it under control. We went to Ethan’s piano lesson this morning, and Miles and I have been studying for his math test. We’ve had a good visit.”
“You sound tired,” he sighs. “Three will do that, but-”
“Which is why, Evans, we’re only having two-”
“I’m not stopping till we have a little girl, with fiery red hair like her mother,” he states.
“You really want two of us in the house?” She smiles. She sighs happily. More of their discussions have turned to family lately, with the Marvel end in sight. She’ll be sad when it’s time to see him hang up the shield, but with his success on Broadway, she looks forward to different opportunities.
“No, I want three of you. Two little girls, just like their mama, and a little boy?” He adds with a question.
At that moment, Miles lifts his head and turns to her and smiles. His boyish grin is so much like his uncle’s, she can’t help but giggle. “Okay, maybe you can twist my arm for three, but no more than that,” she acquiesces.
“It’s not about twisting your arm, kitten, you like it when I twist your-”
“Chris! Shh!” She blushes, quietting him as Miles crawls into her lap.
He holds out his little hand. “Auntie Em, can I talk to Uncle Chris?”
She hands him the phone, holding him close to her side and listening to him chatter with his uncle. Maybe three isn’t a bad number…
Standing at the sink, the two women pass the plates off to one another as they wash and dry, leaving things on the counter for the men to put away later.
“Really, Em, you didn’t have to have dinner waiting for us,” Carly repeats, running the cloth around the glass rim to dry it.
Emery feels around in the soapy water. Finding the sink empty, she looks to the counter behind her. “It was no trouble. I miss getting to cook for people. We’ve mostly been eating take out,” she explains. “I think that’s it. Anything else to wash?”
Carly looks around as well, and shakes her head. “Except for the plate with the cheesecake Scott took to the living room, and he can wash that himself.”
Emery nods and releases the plug from the sink, shaking the soap suds from her hands before rinsing them clean. She grabs a dry towel and wipes her hands before beginning to put the plates away in the cabinet.
Carly finishes with the last coffee cup and throws her towel on the counter. “Stop. The boys said they’d do it; leave it.” She takes a step or two away and clicks the coffee pot on. “Another cup?”
Nodding, Emery continues to put away the plates, ignoring Carly’s glare. “I’m the oldest sister too. That look has no effect on me,” she announces.
With the Evans grin, Carly chuckles and reaches into the fridge for the creamer, setting out her coffee items on the counter. “Thanks again for coming down to watch the kids. I hope it didn’t change your plans.”
Emery waves it off. “Nothing more important than family. With Mom and Shanna both busy, I’m glad I could help out.”
“Not a lot of family close by if you’re in LA,” Carly suggests, taking the pot from it’s stand and pouring two cups.
“Gee, you’re not subtle or anything,” Emery giggles, reaching for her cup and adding a splash of the vanilla creamer. She grabs two sugar packets and walks to the table. Knowing how the family grapevine works, she decides not to mention Tara is on the search for the perfect family home for them nearby. After several long discussions, she’d made it clear she wanted them to have their own home in Boston, not one he’d previously shared with girlfriends. Chris had been open to her idea of finding something a little rough around the edges, so they could add their own touches to the home, and truly make it theirs.
Carrying over the plate of cookies, Carly sits in the chair across from her sister-in-law. “We’d love to have you both close. I know you like staying in Savannah, but home for him is here.”
“Carly,” Emery says sternly, “Home for us is wherever the other one is… It’s not a city or a dwelling. It’s here.” She rests her left hand over her heart, the kitchen lighting making her wedding ring gleam. “I know you want us here, but my family feels the same, Carly. Chris and I have to make decisions right for us.”
Carly passes her spoon to Emery, to stir the sugar into her cup. “I know, I didn’t mean… I was just making conversation,” she sheepishly says. “It’s fun you’ve been so close the last few months. It was nice to see you guys at Easter, and for us to have a good excuse to go to New York.”
Emery tilts her head. “It has been nice, and I look forward to coming back in a few weeks to do the training for your school district.”
“What’s his plan after the play ends? It’s been really strange to watch the promo tour stuff, and he’s not a part of it.”
Emery rests back in her seat. “Yea, I hate that too. It doesn’t seem right.” She shrugs. “After the play? I don’t think we have a lot of plans. I’ve only got three workshops scheduled for the summer. I’d like to spend time at the lake house with my family some, get to know Parker’s fiancee a bit better…”
The women chat well into the night, keeping clear of touchy subjects such as children and moving. Whenever Carly tries to push a topic Emery wants to avoid, she tactfully finds a way to shut her down. Eventually she realizes the time, and dismisses herself to bed, with the excuse of an early morning flight.
Carly wanders into the living room as Emery takes the stairs to the second level of the home. She drags her hands slowly over the photos that line the hall. At the top of the steps, she turns and looks down, smiling at the pile of shoes and backpacks by the front door. Scott steps into her line of sight, and waves goodbye, blowing her a kiss before quietly leaving the house. She turns and walks down the hallway, stopping to check in on the boys, fast asleep in their beds.
In Stella’s room, the little girl clutches a bear to her chest, her thumb in her mouth. Emery walks in quietly, the light from the closet adding a glow to the room. She pulls the little girls thumb out, tucking the little hand under the girl’s chin instead, pulling the blankets up higher to tuck her in. The tiny cherub sighs peacefully and Emery bends to kiss the top of her head.
Reaching the guest room, she yawns and pulls back the blankets before sitting down to take off her shoes. Pulling her phone from her pocket, she sends a quick message. “I miss you. I’m ready to come home. See you tomorrow.”
The red-head waits a few moments to see if a response will come. With no answer, she rises from the bed, and enters the bath to get ready for a fitful night’s sleep.
Wednesday afternoon, she waits on the small couch, still giggling from the text from Carly. She listens to the applause and waits for Chris to come back stage. An image of ‘Bill,’ his character in the play enters her mind. The crisp blue uniform… The silly moustache… She gets the giggles again and can’t wait to show him the picture. He was crabby before the show, but she knows this will put him in better spirits. That and the box of pizza from John’s, sitting on the coffee table.
“Hey, Emery,” Brian calls out as he walks past the room, not stopping to talk.
“I got pizza!” She yells back.
She smiles when his head pops back in the door. “You’re a saint, a goddess among mere mortals.” He looks down the hall, and nods his head before looking back to her. “You have to be for putting up with this guy.” Brian Tyree Henry claps his large hand on Chris’s shoulder. “You found a good one, man.”
Chris smiles, dropping the officer hat from his costume into the chair and running his hands through his hair. “I’m just lucky she puts up with me,” Chris agrees.
“And I bring pizza,” she smiles, opening the box to the two men.
“And she brings pizza,” Chris chuckles, leaning over the food to kiss his beautiful wife. He reaches down for a slice and takes a bite, chewing slowly. He sighs. “Pure heaven. If I could just have a beer, it would be damn near perfect.” He collapses on the couch next to her.
“No beer!” Someone calls out as they walk down the hall.
“Damn that promise I made,” he grumbles, taking another bite.
Bryan reaches for a slice and tilts it to Emery. “Thanks, Em, babe. But I really can’t stay. I’m meeting some friends for an actual dinner before we gotta be back for the night show.”
She nods, scratching her hands over Chris’s back absently as he scarfs down a second slice. “Brunch Friday?”
He nods and mumbles his agreement behind his hand, chewing his food before excusing himself.
“Kitten, I gotta get changed. People are out on the sidewalk and-”
“Chris, I know. I know the routine by now. It’s good. I just knew you’d be hungry,” She shrugs. “Before you go, I want you to see the picture Carly sent me. It’s from Miles’ geometry test he took yesterday.”
Chris cocks his eyebrow, his expression curious as Emery opens her phone and turns the image to him.
“It’s his test paper? I don’t get it?”
“Chris! Look at what he drew!” Emery laughs, pushing the phone closer to him.
Chris begins to laugh. “What the hell?” His laughter is infectious and Emery loses it again. The more he looks at the test page, the more he laughs, to the point of wheezing and clapping his hand over his left pec.
“Oh, shit! That’s the best thing I’ve ever seen. Text her back and tell her I have never been more proud of my nephew than I am right now! Please tell me he passed?” He laughs again and slaps his knee, rocking back to then wipe an actual tear from his eye.
She pushes on his back, shoving him off the couch. “Go, get changed. They’ll be here to take you out to sign any minute,” she giggles, glad she was able to cheer him up.
He rises, bending to kiss the top of her head. “You just made my day. That was better than the pizza, maybe even better than the sex this morning.”
“Watch it, Mister. Those are fighting words,” Emery laughs, slapping his ass as he walks away. She looks at her phone again and shakes her head in another fit of laughter. She’ll have to make sure to include drawing lessons in her geometry tutorials next time, to ensure her younger students can draw a proper cylinder.
**Thanks to my IRL for sharing this actual test paper with me this week! As soon as I saw it, I knew it was an ‘Emery story!’
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