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It's the last weekend, their last chance to get it all out in the open before all hell breaks lose; before she runs off to New Orleans; before Emily takes the Foreign Service exam.
Neither of them seems to be able to say anything but normal things: "how are you," "how's the baby," "how's your mother."
They avoid the big questions: "why are we letting this happen," don't you love me," how come I'm not enough."
Emily has never been really sentimental, not ever. JJ has no excuse.
Everyone knows, that if some is going to break down and beg the other to stay, to think about what they're throwing away and all of the good that could come out of staying together and really giving them a chance, it's going to be JJ.
Emily doesn't break like that. A part of JJ hopes she never will.
But the season of summer is fading from bright yellow to dark gray so rapidly that all JJ can do is hang on and hope she comes out the other side with minimal damage.
She's not including her heart though. That certain appendage is already wrapped tightly and packed away deep in Emily's suitcase, the same one sitting by JJ's front door. Emily is going to get on a plane with JJ's heart in her bag and effectively steal the only reason JJ has to live.
It might just be the liquor talking, but JJ can't keep her mouth shut and she knows she's losing control. Pretty soon, she'll be on her knees, hands grasping Emily's knees, begging the brunette not to go away, begging Emily to stop her from following Will to a place she never really ever dreamed about living.
The liquor is making her bolder, giving her the courage to do things she would have never done, ever. Her hands trace the outline of Emily's jawbone, drawing tiny patterns against silky pale skin. Her mouth drags across skin, biting down gently on a perfect collarbone. JJ and liquor and Emily make for an interesting mix.
She doesn't want to have to say goodbye.
Emily has her heart after all. It would only make logical sense for her to remain in the brunette's presence around the clock, just to make sure her heart isn't mishandled or mistreated. It's only logical that she cut all ties with the father of her child. It's only logical to be waking up in Emily's arms for the rest of her life.
"It's the alcohol," Emily whispers in her ear. "It's only the alcohol."
Emily has her heart, and for the first time since JJ gave it to her, it seems as if Emily wants to give it back.
JJ turns in solid arms, hoping that her tears of frustration aren't as visible as she knows they are. She's furious and aware that she's as easy to read as a book.
Emily is everything she has ever wanted, everything she has ever needed, and it doesn't seem fair that they aren't even fighting for their right to be together. They're giving up because it seems like the right thing to do, because it's what everyone expects them to do. JJ should be with Will, because he's her unborn baby's father. Emily should be nowhere near the two of them. It's what people expect.
JJ decides she's tired of giving people what they expect. She's tired of being the perfect player on everyone's chessboard. So, she does the only thing she can think of.
She kisses Emily, hard and long and meaningful. Emily kisses her back, her kisses making promises both of them know she's going to break. But in this moment, with JJ's heart in the balance, and a last chance opportunity, it seems like such a waste to let this moment go by unnoticed.
Later, wrapped up in sheets, breathing heavy, body boneless, JJ looks around and smiles.
This is exactly how it was supposed to end. They might not get a life together, because each of them have expectations to live up to that don't include the other, but they'll always have this night.
Some people have Reno, or old dirt roads in their hometowns, where everything came together one night and seemed prefect for just a few hours.
They'll always have this night, this one weekend.
JJ pulls Emily impossibly closer; pretending for tonight that this is who she'll fall asleep next to for the rest of her life.
It's not so bad, she muses, burying her face in Emily's hair, matching the brunette's steady breathing.
Tomorrow is going to be here too soon and then, the heaviness of life will crash down upon them in waves, making it impossible to be around each other. JJ's heart is still in Emily's suitcase, right by the door, and JJ is still leaving in the morning.
None of these things will change.
Emily has stolen JJ's heart and by the looks of it, she needs it just as badly as JJ does. By the looks of it, JJ decides she's wrong: Emily doesn't plan on giving it back anytime soon.
Hopefully, none of that will ever change.
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