Chapter 9 : The Kiss
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Harry strummed lightly on his guitar before putting it back into its case. From the little room he was sitting in he could hear the small crowd that was cheering for a band that was playing as he packed his gear. He had just been on stage, performing his song, as well as a few covers. He hoped that by time he went on tour he would have some more songs so that he could branch out a little. Emily and Georgia had both promised to help him on the venture, but so far the only thing he had done was write rifts and parts of songs on his guitar, no words yet thought of.
The door opened, and Harry looked up from his seat on a worn couch. Emily entered, laughing at something a man behind her had said. Harry smiled at Rick, the man who owned the bar that they were currently playing at. In his hand was a check, and without a word he handed it to Harry.
“Good show tonight, I loved your Neil Young cover.” Rick said, and Harry graciously took the check.
“Thanks, it was great to play here.” Harry said, standing up to shake the man’s hand before he left.
“Come by any time – they loved you out there!” Rick said, and then back out of the room leaving the door open behind him. Turning to Emily, Harry gave a shrug, and Emily laughed.
“I can tell you just want to get home now, don’t you?” she asked, smirking slightly.
Harry nodded, agreeing. “Yeah, I’m beat. That was a wild show – even better then that last bar we played at.” Harry said, picking up his guitar case with one hand, and grabbing his amps.
“I know! The people here in Vaughn sure know how to party.” Emily laughed, reaching over the couch to grab her back pack, and her own guitar. Together the two exited into the narrow corridor behind the stage, and headed out into the parking lot where Emily’s beaten up Malibu was waiting.
“Is you key board already in the car?” Harry asked, as he waited for Emily to fish her keys out of her jean pocket.
“Yeah, I stashed it while you were playing you last song – which is sounding better and better every time you play.” Emily added with a smile.
“Thanks, I just wish I could have Georgia play with me every time.” Harry admitted, as the trunk popped open slightly. Nudging it lightly, Harry started to move things around so he could fit in the two amps, while Emily took his and her own guitar to the back seat, where she laid them flat.
“I cannot wait to go on a proper tour - when Adam and Alan can do all the heavy lifting.” Emily laughed, slamming the door shut just as Harry did the same with trunk.
“It’s not too bad,” Harry said dismissively, going around the side of the car, wiping his forehead free of the sweat that had gathered there. As they got into the car, Emily put the key into the ignition and turned the car in. Slamming his door shut, and rolling his window down manually he let Emily putter around her car before putting it into reverse.
“Shit Harry, you smell. Did you not bring a change of clothes like I told you?” Emily joked, waving her hand in front of her face, as she rolled down her own window.
Harry rolled his eyes, and leaned against the car door. “I should say the same to you.”
“Oh ha ha,” Emily countered, finally putting the car into reverse. She pulled out of the parking spot, and without hesitation sped out of the parking lot. It took only fifteen minutes more before they were on the 401 speeding towards home, in Toronto. The wind blew in Harry’s face, offering him some relief from the extreme heat he had been feeling before. The radio blared, and Emily occasionally changed the station.
For the past month Emily had made it her highest priority to book Harry shows, and get him making some money, and giving him some experience travelling from place to place as well as stage experience. So far it was all agreeing with Harry, and he liked the quite moments driving in the car at night.
Like all the other shows, as a ritual, Emily reached for her cigarettes in the glove compartment. In the beginning Harry had been shocked to see that Emily smoked, but she quickly explained she only did it occasionally and a lot during tours. “So what, are you getting warmed up early or something?” Harry had asked her comically.
“You could say that,” Emily had told him.
Lighting up a fresh cigarette, Emily took a deep drag, and blew the smoke out her open window. Same as all the times before she checked with Harry that it was okay that she was smoking and same as all the time before Harry assured her he didn’t really care. In fact, the cigarette smoke didn’t bother him anymore, and gave him some little comfort in that it was routine.
It wasn’t long before the blaring lights of Toronto met them, and they passed the CN Tower with little interest. Harry glanced every so often at the clock, rubbing his eyes tiredly, and shifting in his seat. He was eager to get home, and to get into his bed where he could almost die in slumber.
“You played great tonight Harry, really.” Emily said, looking at him momentarily, puffing out another breath of smoke. “Honestly, I think you were born for this stuff.”
Harry gave a small smile. “You’d be surprised to learn that this isn’t the only thing I’ve been told I was born for.” Harry told her, knowing all too well that Emily had no idea what he was talking about.
“Oh really, what else were you born for?” Emily asked, curious.
“To make coffee,” Harry joked, and Emily burst out laughing.
“You are such a knob.” Emily sniggered.
Harry’s brow rose. “I’m a what?”
Emily smiled. “Sorry, it’s something my sister has got me saying. She got it from her Newfie friend that she made at camp.”
Harry gave her a bewildered look. “Explain?” He had only heard a few stories from Emily about her younger sister who was only seventeen, and lived in Emily’s hometown of Hamilton.
Emily grinned. “Every summer my sister goes to camp and people from all over Canada go to it. She has this friend from Newfoundland – one of Canada’s provinces remember! – and she is always calling people knobs. I don’t really know where it comes from though.” Emily explained, ending in a laugh.
Harry shook his head. “You Canadians,” he murmured.
Putting her cigarette out, Emily put both her hands on the wheel and turned down Dublin St. and Harry was glad to be home; he was exhausted. As they pulled into the drive way behind Adam’s van, Harry unbuckled his seatbelt and waited for Emily to stop. Slowing down, Emily turned off the engine, and the two of them wound up their windows. Harry finished first, and went to open his door when his ear caught on the song that was playing on the radio.
“Emily, isn’t this your song?” Harry asked, recognizing the song immediately. Emily glanced up, freezing to listen as the words filtered through the stereo.
Two am and she calls me ‘cause I’m still awake…
‘Can you help me unravel my latest mistake?
I don’t love him, winter just wasn’t my season.’
“Oh my God, it is my song!” Emily shouted in surprise and happiness. Turning up the radio, both Harry and Emily leaned back in their chairs, and looked at each other in amazement.
“This is awesome Emily, really.” Harry told her as the song continued to play.
Emily flashed her aqua eyes at him, a smile filling her entire face. It made Harry laugh seeing how happy Emily looked; it was as if she had won the grand prize at an amusement park. Staring into her aqua eyes again, he found himself compelled to her. Without realizing it, he was leaning towards Emily, and she was leaning towards him, and then their lips met. For a few brief seconds, Harry was lost in another world when a voice from no where seemed to filter into his mind, it’s not me.
Harry pulled away before Emily could, and immediately reached up to his head, running his head through his tangled hair, breathing heavily as he tried to access what had just happened. How could he have let that happen? And where had that voice come from?
While thinking to himself, he hadn’t noticed that Emily too, was in distress at what had just happened herself. Her hands over her mouth, she quickly mumbled something to Harry, and unlocked her door, and stepped outside. The door slammed shut and she went to the back of the car to the truck. In the side view mirror Harry watched as Emily paced back and forth, her hands pushed tight against her face. Knowing he had to set things straight, Harry unlocked the car door and stepped out.
“Emily, I’m sorry, but I shouldn’t have let that happen.” Harry said approaching Emily.
She stopped pacing, and faced him, dropping her hands to her side. She shook her head vigorously. “No, no, it’s my fault, I shouldn’t have done that. Georgia, she told me about why you left England, and I… I’ve been so stupid. I shouldn’t have done that.” Emily repeated, not daring to look at Harry.
Unsure of what to do or to say to calm Emily down he watched her pace a few more times. He didn’t know how to respond to this piece of information, that Georgia had gone and told her about Ginny, about his lie. He didn’t know if it was a good thing or not, but right now he was pretty sure Emily was driving herself mad trying to sort everything out in her mind as she paced.
“Emily,” Harry said softly, trying to take hold of Emily’s shoulder. Without much force, Emily stopped moving, and finally faced Harry, looking him in the eye, but just barely. “Let’s just bring the things into the house, and… and maybe we can talk this through.”
Without an argument, Emily nodded a little dazed. Opening the trunk, Harry took the two amps, while Emily went to get the guitars and together they went up to the house. Harry could tell that Emily was embarrassed, and he feared that he really had ruined their friendship. Memories of Cho filtered into his mind, and how things had gotten so awkward between them all those years ago. That was the last thing he wanted for Emily and he.
They entered the house, which was dark, though Harry could hear music filtering downstairs from the bedrooms above. Everyone was home, Harry was sure of it, and in the kitchen he could hear Georgia doing the dishes, as no one else in the house would do it. Setting their things down in the hall way, Emily looked unsurely at Harry.
“I’m sorry that that happened Emily,” Harry finally said.
“Me too,” Emily agreed, looking away. “I just got caught up in the moment, and I guess I sort of ruined things, didn’t I?” she asked, looking back at Harry.
Harry shrugged. “Not if we can move past this.” He suggested.
Emily nodded. “I would like that.”
Harry smiled, and ran his hand through his hair. “I just wanted to make sure, though, Emily. Georgia told me you like me, liked me more then a friend, and I just want to make sure your okay with all of this. As you know, I had… well I had a pretty serious thing going on back in England, and I’m not really ready for anything like that right now.” Harry paused, to see if Emily was all right. She seemed okay, if not still embarrassed. “I just… I just want to say one thing though.”
“What?” Emily asked, her voice sounding a little shaky.
“I think what you and Ted have is really good, and if you two maybe just got over some unresolved things, you could really make it. Take it from someone who knows, you shouldn’t let someone who you love so much get away.” Harry told her, and watched Emily’s eyes widen.
Before Harry knew what was happening, before he saw Emily’s hand fly up, all he could do was back away, but still Emily’s hand collided with his cheek, and the bitter sting felt his entire body. Blinking, Harry raised his hand to his cheek, and stared at Emily incredulously. Her face was red with anger, and her aqua eyes burned into his own.
“Don’t you dare talk about Ted and I. You have no right to stand there and pretend to understand the relationship we have nor do you have any right to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. Ted and I are old news and… and…” Emily seemed to loose her train of thought in her anger. “I wish I had never kissed you,” she spat, and swung around without a word and ran up the stairs.
Not really sure what had just happened, Harry stood still, his hand still where Emily had slapped him. He had watched as her feet disappeared in the darkness as she went upstairs, and at last slouching in confusion and defeat, Harry turned to go into the kitchen to get something to drink. But to his shock, and horror there stood Ted, holding a dish cloth.
“Teddy…” Harry started to say, but Teddy simply threw him a dirty look and started up the stairs after Emily. Frozen, and completely at a loss of what to do Harry groaned loudly. As he did so the kitchen door swung open again and Georgia stepped out into the hall.
“What’s going on? Why is your face red? Why was Emily yelling?” Georgia’s questions shot out of her mouth, and Harry could hardly start to explain before she started ushering him into the kitchen and on to a chair at the kitchen table.
“You two kissed!” Georgia exclaimed when Harry finally managed to get through the whole story.
“It was sort of an accident.” Harry told her.
“I can’t believe this – and then Ted heard about it. Holy crap, Harry, you really have some nerve to talk about Ted around Emily like that.” Georgia said, shaking her head and sitting at the table.
“What do you mean I ‘have some nerve’ talking about Ted?” Harry asked, bewildered, and a little annoyed that Georgia was being so frank with him and not giving him reasons.
“Well, it’s just one thing you don’t do. Emily has always been really sensitive about Ted, and what she did to him. She really hurt him, and she feels really guilty about it. I mean, I can understand why she was upset, but I still can’t believe she actually slapped you.” Georgia frowned, appearing to think hard.
“I can’t believe she slapped me.” Harry replied, rubbing his cheek.
Georgia gave a small laughed, and leaned forward in her chair. “I’m just trying to think of a way to fix this. I mean, in a few days time Emily will get over it, probably apologize for acting so irrational, but I don’t think Teddy will be so easy to win over. Not unless Emily manages to pull some kind of miracle on him.”
“So there isn’t anything I can do?” Harry checked.
Georgia shook her head. “Not a thing. You just have to wait it out and see what happens. For all I know you’ll wake up tomorrow to find that the two are perfectly happy, and on good terms with. Pair a psycho’s, those two are.”
Harry gave a short laugh, and then finally rose out of his chair. “Well, I’m exhausted; I should go get some shut eye as I have to open tomorrow.”
Georgia nodded. “Good night,” she muttered as Harry turned and left. He mumbled his goodnight, and went through the swinging door and into the hall. Grabbing his guitar, Harry climbed the stairs slowly, Harry tried to sort everything out in his head, but it was so much to take.
As he reached his floor, he stopped hearing voices. Teddy and Emily were in the hall talking, or perhaps in Teddy’s room with door open. Why do they always have to be so careless? Harry thought begrudgingly, standing still on the steps.
“It meant nothing, Ted.” Emily was saying.
“Then why did you do it?” Teddy questioned.
“Because I was caught in the moment – my song was on the radio!” Emily told him, excitedly.
“Really, it was?” Teddy asked, seeming to forget his apprehensiveness.
“Yeah, Breathe was on.” Emily explained.
“That’s great Emily; really, I wish I was there with you.” Teddy admitted.
“I wish you were too.” Emily whispered.
“I still love you,” came Teddy’s minute reply.
“I know,” Emily said slowly, and Harry heard someone move across the floorboards. “I… still love you too.” Emily finally said.
“Then be mine,” Teddy almost pleaded.
“I…” Emily fell silent, and without needing to know what was going on Harry secretly was jumping for joy. With a quiet slam Teddy’s door shut, and Harry quickly ran to his room, glad to be ‘home free’.
Sitting on the edge of his bed, he laid his guitar case on the floor, and pulled off his boots, and trousers. Pulling his shirt off from over his head, he lay down on the bed. Staring at the ceiling his mind filled with thoughts of Ginny, and the voice he had heard when he kissed Emily. It was hers, Ginny’s voice filling his head. For some reason, in the pit of his stomach he felt that something had changed.
Pulling his guitar from its case, Harry lay back on his bed, and plucked a few of the strings, and fell into the same rifts he had already created. As if something had taken over him, Harry started writing a song. Mumbling it quietly as he played, Harry finally felt his full exhaustion and put his guitar away. Sliding the new lyrics into his bedside table, he took off his glasses, and got comfortable under his covers. Feeling accomplished, and happy that the next morning he would have his two friends back to normal, Harry fell asleep with ease.
A/N: This was by far one of my favourite chapters to write for this story so far. I must say, I love the drama. I hope you liked it, and the change of pace. A few readers predicted this, and I am sure they will be happy to see that their predictions came true. Thanks for reading, and please do review, as always!
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