The 4x23 sneak peak did too much to my little paily heart and resulted in this…..
“Jesus Emily… Wait!” Paige shouts at the bathroom door.
She’d taken a breath to collect herself. More a sigh in frustration and sorrow really, but then her McCullers instinct kicked in. She wasn’t going to let Emily berate her and walk away without getting to at least try and explain. Yes she had ignored her phone for the past few days, hiding away from the truth and the wrath of Emily, but she’d felt worse and worse about it and now she wasn’t going to hide from what she’d done.
“Emily!” she shouts again as she exits the bathroom and see’s Emily swiftly turn the corner at the end of the hall. She chases after her, knocking fellow students out of her path and the next time she shouts, she see’s Emily halt just a little before continue to walk away. “Emily I swear, stop or I’ll just say it right here!”
And with that Emily stops. She stops and turns so abruptly that the look on her face startles Paige a little. The fury behind her eyes is unrecognisable, considering that for the first time, that look is aimed directly at Paige. Paige see’s Emily challenging her in her look alone, questioning whether she would actually out Alisons secret in the middle of the school corridor with more and more eyes focusing on them. Emilys’ eyes drop from Paiges and search a little before fixing on the classroom door next to her and turning directly for it.
Paige follows Emily into the classroom but sighs, rolling her eyes as she has the door slammed shut in front of her. She opens it herself and closes it behind her as she turns and finds Emily standing rock steady, arms folded across her chest, eyes looking as if they are trying to turn Paige to stone.
“Em… will you just”
“Don’t what?” Paige questions a little confused as she places her bag and folders down to the table beside her and takes a step towards Emily, she hasn’t even said anything yet.
“Don’t ‘Em’ me! Not after what you did!”
“What I did! You mean try and protect my girlfriend?!” and she see’s Emily falter, but only for a second.
“….No, I mean break your promise, break my trust. Go behind my back… put Alison in danger!”
“So that’s ultimately what this is about. It’s not at all about me doing something you asked me not too. It’s the fact that it involves Alison!?”
“Of course it involves Alison. You could’ve just got her killed!” Emily instinctively responds, knowing she’s ignoring the real question.
“Emily she’s been faking it for two years! I hardly think me telling the authorities is going to do anything other than show everyone what a liar she is!”
But Paige holds strong. Inside her stomach is churning and she can feel the burn behind her eyes already starting, but she knows she can’t apologise for saying that when it’s what she believes. She knows this is a dangerous situation, but that if A… or whoever is after Alison, already knows she’s alive. Then what else could she telling the police do, but out Alison as a liar and stop Emily getting hurt!?
And Emily can’t respond either. There’s no way she could even attempt to defend Alison on that. Of course she’s a liar. But as she lowers her gaze from Paiges, she finds herself talking without thought.
“We’re all liars…” she mutters.
Emily places her own bag roughly on the table behind her and leans back against it. She notices Paige take a couple of tentative steps towards her and can feel Paige looking at her but she doesn’t react until Paige is just a step away.
“Just stop…” Emily says just as quiet as her mumble, putting her hand out to stop Paige stepping any closer.
“Em, please…” Paige breathes out and this time Emily can’t ignore it.
The way Paige says her name filters its way through the anger she feels inside and her hand lowers without her say so. She doesn’t look up or move in any way, but Emily’s anger slowly turns from being aimed at Paige outing Ali, to annoyance at the fact she knows Paige only did it out of her innate desire to protect her. But she’s not quite ready to let that be ok, not just yet. And as Paige reaches for her, her anger takes hold once more. She nudges her off and makes quick to grab her bag, but as she moves past, Paige latches onto her wrist.
“Emily, it’s me here. Please!”
“Please what?! Let you off the hook. Ignore that I asked you not to say anything. That I trusted you!” she shouts slightly as she frees her arm from Paige and turns.
“You didn’t trust me though did you?!” and with that, Emilys next attempt to walk away stops and she turns just slightly back towards Paige. “You didn’t trust me enough to tell me as soon as you knew! The only reason I know is because there was no way for you to hide it! I caught you out and you were forced to admit it. And no matter how much you want to tell yourself you were right in not telling me, because of this…. You know deep down you didn’t want me to know because you knew I wouldn’t hide it. And that I was right to tell someone!”
“Right?!? How are you right in this!?”
“You’re telling me that if this was the other way around. If it was me trying to protect someone dangerous, that you wouldn’t have done the same?” Paige questions, not even bothering to answer Emily.
“So if say Shana, was on the run and I was trying to protect her. Putting myself in danger and possibly just facilitating whatever danger she had herself in… you wouldn’t tell someone!?”
Emily wants more than anything to shout back that that isn’t the point, that, no she wouldn’t. But she can’t lie like that. She knows not only that Paige using Shanas name deliberately but that either way she is right and she always knew that at some point, Paige would ask her that exact question, and she would never be able to answer. And she hates it.
“Did you even think it through? Or did you just go straight from mine to the police?! Did you just run with the fact I didn’t answer whether we are ‘ok’ and ignore what I’d ask you to keep to yourself?!”
“You really think I didn’t think this through?”
“Ergh Paige, fine!” Emily shouts, finally had enough with her questions just being answered with more problems and she turns for the door.
Just as her hand grasps the handle, she softly knocked forward. Paige is suddenly behind her and her breath hitches. Paiges hand comes to rest on top of hers on the handle with another over her shoulder, holding the door from opening. Before she can protest, she hears Paiges words right next to her ear.
“I would rather you hate me for betraying you then my keeping quiet result in you getting hurt.”
Emily tries to push back and move out of Paiges presence around her, but Paige steps forward and presses herself into Emilys back.
“I would risk losing you forever, in the way that we are now… I’d risk never seeing you look into my eyes the way you do so often, the way that makes me finally feel whole. I’d risk never hearing the warmth in your words or the softness of your touch, if it meant that you still walked these halls.”
Paiges grip on her hand softens and Emilys body relaxes a little into Paige. Hearing her words softly whispered into her ear with Paige all around her, she can’t stop her resolve from faltering. Especially when she starts to hear the crack in Paiges voice. Paiges hand lowers from above her shoulder on the door and repositions itself effortlessly on Emilys waist.
“I thought about it more than you could know. And half of me hates that I told them. But I’d rather you hate me and be alive, than me do what you say and you end up… you end up…”
“Paige…” Emily sighs, the crack in the own voice rivalling that in Paiges as she feels Paiges head lower onto her shoulder and the hold on her waist tighten as Paige shakes slightly behind her.
She pushes back again, but slower, without intent, and Paige lets her. Understanding as her hands drop and Emily turns around. Paiges head is held so low that Emily can’t see any of her face as she stands infront of her, shoulders slumped. And she knows immediately what she’ll see when she gently lifts her fingers to Paiges chin and raises her head.
But it hits her worse than she thought. Paige eyes are red and sore, filled with tears that are falling over the edge and she realises that this is how Paige has probably spent the last few days. Wracked with guilt and frustrating emotions. Emily keeps her fingers gently on Paiges jaw, holding her there as Paige finally meets her eyes, and Emilys other hand entwines in Paiges before she can stop it.
She wants to say it’s ok. She wants to say she understands… but she can’t. Paige is looking at her with such intensity, and yet she knows Paige is forcing herself to not look away, something she hasn’t had to do in over a year. Paige want’s to say she’s sorry, to say she wants to take it back but at the same time say that she’d do it again, because she was only trying to protect her… but she can’t, she can’t say a thing.
But what neither of them truly realise, is that their eyes are telling each other more than words ever could. And when Paige blinks, another tear falling soundlessly, Emilys thumb brushes it away without hesitation.
“I don’t hate you” She whispers as her own eyes begin to burn, and it’s with that, that Paiges gaze drops and Emilys heart aches, knowing that Paige doesn’t quite believe her.
Suddenly she’s moving, just inches but it’s inches that count as her fingers softly lifts Paiges chin once more, and this time meets the raise with her lips. She kisses Paige soundlessly, feeling her hold back a chocked sob against her lips as Paiges free hand moves to her waist. The kiss is steady as they hold still, neither daring to pull away, fearing the other won’t return. But as Emilys thumb brushes over Paiges cheek, feeling the trails of her tears, she pulls back just slightly to regain Paiges mouth with more intent. She melts into her somewhat unwillingly as Paige pulls her closer by the waist and holds on to her other hand tightly, gently sweeping her thumb over Emilys’ skin.
As they pull away, their foreheads rest together, both their breathing steadying from not only the kiss, but the emotions and confusion behind it.
“I don’t hate you ok..?”
And it takes more than a few seconds, combined with a squeeze on Emilys hand, for Paige to nod her head almost imperceptibly against Emilys.
“It’s just… I love you” Paige mumbles.
“I love you too… But” Emily pauses as she pulls back just enough to see Paige fully. Taking a deep breath to steady herself. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. And I don’t know if we’re ok…”
“…I know” Paige sighs, both their eyes now succumbing to the tears brimming inside, but their breathing steady enough to know that they both knew this was the case. “I don’t think we are okay” Paige forces herself to admit, if anything to at least let Emily know she’s not the only one doubting how this’ll affect them, that Emily isn’t alone in that aguish, even if it kills her to say. “But….”
“But it doesn’t stop me loving you” Emily interrupts, their gaze back together. “I hate that this is happening, that you and ‘us’ has had to deal with this. And I know that you don’t like how I want to handle Alison…”
“But it doesn’t stop me loving you”. Paige finishes herself and see’s the understanding in Emilys own eyes.
For the first time in their relationship, they both kind of hate that they love each other. It means they can’t walk away from each other, they can’t hate the other person for the idiotic decisions they are making.
They have to accept what it is, accept that things may change.
But right now, they do still have each other. And that’s something to believe in. That’s something to fight for.
The bell rings for the start of class and they jump apart slightly. Paige wipes her hands across her face, Emily doing the same as they collect themselves and their belongings before they look back to each other.
“Let’ go ok?” Emily hesitates at the door.
Paige looks down, nodding slightly with a deep breath and takes a step forward. As Emily slowly opens the door, she looks back to Paige and can’t help but reach out. She waits for Paige to take her had and knows that Paige understands this isn’t forgiveness, this is them needing each other to continue, needing the other person to take that next step. And with a small squeeze of her hand, Paige responds with a small smile,
I saw a lot of “no Ali don’t leave, you can’t do that to Emily again.” And “Emily needs you Ali, don’t leave.”
The people saying those things are completely missing the point..
The point here is that Ali was gonna leave. Not to protect her “friends” not to protect Emily. To protect herself. She wanted to leave the girls behind to deal with whatever A is gonna do to them next and go hide under another rock (or to be a better A). Cause we all know, just because Ali isn’t there doesn’t mean the girls are safe. If she really truely cared about them, if she really loved Emily I’m pretty sure her first thought wouldn’t have been to run away.
And we all saw Emily’s face when Ali was sleeping. She’s realizing that Ali only cares about herself. She’s realizing that Ali was gonna leave her behind again without a second thought.
I wasn’t gonna make this about ships but just to put it out there..we all know who would never do that, who is still helping even though she’s probably broken inside and wants to scream at Emily to open her damn eyes. Yea we know.