After the Wedding


"Bring her home safe, Tom, right home."

"Will do," Tom tells Molly, giving her a bright smile.

He looks down at you with that same smile, and it's as if a glowing warmth spreads through you. You feel dizzy. It must be all that champagne you had. You smile once more at Molly before Tom leads you away.

He takes your arm and shows you through the door. You smile slightly, feeling so happy for Molly and Louis. They so deserved such a wonderful wedding and you're so happy that it was perfect. You know that Molly had always dreamed of a wedding like this, and of marrying her perfect man like Louis, and you just can't help but feel so...happy.

"Oops, sorry!" you say, accidentally stepping on Tom's foot.

He smiles at you again and you can see amusement in his eyes. Blue, blue eyes. "It's alright," he says.

"You know, I don't normally drink this much," you tell him as you walk, standing up straighter.

"Whatever you say, Emma," he says, smirking.

"I don't!" you say.

"Sure, sure," he says.

"It's true!" you say. "Only on special occasions! And I didn't drink too much, anyway."

The cool night air is crisp and clear as he leads you to the sidewalk, arm still in yours. You suddenly lose your footing as you step over the curb, falling forward. He stretches his other arm out and catches you, gripping you around the waist. You freeze for a moment, locked in his grasp, before you look up at him.

He looks back at you. "I promise I won't tell the others," he says in a low voice.

"Oh, shut up," you say, standing up and sweeping back your lose curls. He laughs, taking your arm again.

"It's these damn heels," you say, glaring down at your white shoes.

"If you'd rather make excuses…"

You ignore him, reaching down to take them off. You feel immediate relief as your bare feet hit the cool pavement.

"That's so much better," you say as you straighten up again, shoes in hand.

"My dance moves tonight wear you out?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.

"They wore me out as much as you like to think they did, Tom," you say.

"Hmmm," he trails off, glancing at you.

"Oh, stop it," you say, smacking him in the chest with your heels. He makes an exclamation of exaggerated pain.

"Blimey, Em," he says, rubbing his chest. "I didn't realize you were an abusive drunk."

"I'm not," you say. "And I'm not drunk."

"Those five empty glasses and that last dance beg to differ," he says.

You don't respond. You do still feel rather dizzy.


You open the passenger door for Emma and help her inside your car before you bound to the driver's side in three broad strides.

"Better leave your seatbelt off," you say as Emma moves to secure herself.

She halts, the buckle pulled halfway. "Why?"

"Because if we crash, I'd rather they think it's the drunk's fault," you say.

"Oh, shut it," she says, fastening herself with a firm click.

You grin, sliding the keys into the ignition and pulling away from the curve. You drive in silence for several moments, the street lights passing in shadows, until you can't take it any longer. "Some wedding, huh?" you say.

"Oh, yes," Emma nods, a smile coming onto her face. "It was more than anything Molly ever dreamed of, I can tell you that. She used to talk all the time about her future wedding when we were younger. It's hard to believe it's actually happened," she says, slightly wistful.

"I can't say Lou and I ever discussed the details of our future nuptials, but I think it's safe to say you say it went pretty well for him," you say.

"Louis was so sweet," Emma says. "He absolutely made this day for Molly, he really did."

"I would hope so," you say," seeing as he is the guy she married and all." You glance at her with a quick grin.

"Oh, be quiet," she says. "You know what I mean. His vows were so perfect. Molly couldn't have found a better guy."

"Of course not," you say. "Who's better than Lou? I mean, I'd melt too if he gazed at me with those deep green eyes of his and pronounced me 'a woman so exceptional no author could ever have the originality to write me in even the greatest novel.'"

"Shush," Emma says. "When you say it it sounds stupid. You could never pull off half the sweetness Louis has."

You shift your hands on the stirring wheel. "And what about that guy of yours, that– Julia or whatever his name is. Is he half as sweet as the beloved Louis?"

"Julian," Emma says, sitting up a bit straighter. "And yes, he is very sweet. In fact," she smiles slightly, "just the other day he came over, completely unexpected with a bouquet of flowers for me. For no reason at all."

"I'd like to see what he'd give you if he had a reason," you mutter, coming up to a red light.

Emma sighs, and you can feel her looking at you. You stare up at the light, the red burning into your retinas, unchanging.

"Well," she finally says, looking away. "I think one could say that Louis hasn't met someone like you in a book, either."

"Or you," you say. "Someone in your drunken state has yet to be written."

"Be quiet," she says again, softly, shaking her head but smiling slightly. The light turns green and you go.


"Bloody hell, Em, and you say you're not drunk?"

"I'm not," you say, gripping his arm. "It's these blasted shoes." You look down at your heels, fastened back on your feet.

"Then just taken them off again," he says. "We've crossed the street already; I think it's safe to go up a few flights barefoot."

You look up from your feet to him. "I guess you're right!" you laugh, and slip your shoes off.

In some back corner of your brain you know that you are perfectly capable of walking the three flights of stairs to your flat on your own, but Tom is beside you and holding your arm and you're finding it extremely hard to access that place in your mind right now. You slip three times more, even with your shoes off. You finally reach the door to your flat, searching your tiny purse for your keys.

"It's going to be lonely here without Molly," you say, sliding the key into the doorknob. "Don't tell her this, I mean, I'm so happy for her and Louis, but I'm a bit sad she's moved out."

"I know what you mean," Tom says, one hand in his pocket, the other holding your shoes. "You know, Lou was living with me, too."

"Right, see," you say, looking back at him as you open the door. "You and me, Tom, we really get each other sometimes, you know?"

He laughs, holding your shoes out for you to take. "You know, in the car, I really didn't think you were so drunk, but it seems the alcohol's been taking its time on you."

"I'm not drunk," you say for what feels like the millionth time today. You turn the light on and stop half way down the hall when you realize he's not following. "Come in for a minute," you say.

"Oh, no, I should really get going," he shakes his head, still holding out your shoes.

"No, come in," you say. "You brought me all the way here, rest for a minute."

"I'm not tired," he says.

"Oh, just come in," you say, grabbing the wrist holding out your shoes.

"Well, alright, I'd love to come in," he says as you pull him into the hall.

"Here, let me get you something to drink," you say, walking down the hall and flicking on the lights in the kitchen.

"Em, I'm not sure more drinks are the best idea for you right now," he says as he leans against the doorframe with a slight smile.

"I meant water, you prat," you say, filling two glasses with tap water. You hand him one.

"Good, keeps you hydrated," he says as you practically gulp yours down, not having realized how thirsty you were.

"Stop poking fun at me," you say, setting your empty glass down. "I'm just trying to thank you for bringing me home."

He shrugs. "It was no problem. I wanted to." He looks at you. "And I didn't want Lou and Molly to have to babysit you on their wedding night."

"Be quiet," you tell him.

"I mean, I'm sure the last thing they need in their bed tonight is you between them, drunk as a-" You punch him in the shoulder. "God, Em, and you said you weren't an abusive drunk?" he says as he rubs his wounded shoulder.

"I'm not drunk, you git," you say, crossing your arms.

"Abusive when you're sober, even better," he grins.

You look at him for a moment. He grins again, setting his still full glass of water down. "Ah, well, getting beaten by you is fun and all, but it's getting late, so I think I really should go."

"No, wait," you say, stepping towards him. He looks at you. "I mean, I just wanted to say thank you again. So thank you."

"You're welcome, again," he smiles at you. Those dazzling white teeth you used to hear Molly go on about for hours, before Louis came along.

"Yeah, uh, yeah, thanks," you say again as a silence settles between the two of you.

He shoves his hands into his pockets. "Well, I really better be going, then," he says. "Save a dance for me at the next wedding?"

"Of course," you say.

He smiles at you once more before starting toward the door. You follow after him.

"It was a fun time with you," you tell him as you walk.

He looks back at you over his shoulder. "You too," he says.

He opens the door and he turns to you once more, the threshold between the two of you.

"Thanks again for bringing me home," you say when you can think of nothing else.

"You're welcome," he says. "For the tenth time."

"Shut up," you say as he grins at you.

"And have you noticed," he goes on, "how useless it is to tell me to shut up?"

"Would you like me to hit you again?" you say, raising an eyebrow.

"Woah there, woman," Tom says, backing up a step. "You're more aggressive than Lou. He usually just rolls his eyes and goes back to reading his five hundred page novel."

"That's because Louis wouldn't hurt a fly," you say.

"Couldn't hurt a fly," Tom says. "Unless it was harming his dear Molly, of course."

"Are you actually making fun of them?" you say. "And on their wedding day?"

"Of course not!" he shakes his head. "You know how happy I am for them. Besides, it's not as if they're here, anyway."

You shake your own head, smiling. "It's jealousy, isn't it, Tom?"

He looks at you. "What?"

"You're jealous of Molly," you say, smirking up at him. "For stealing your beloved Louis."

He lowers his eyes. "Damn it, Em, you always figure me out."

"It's okay, Tom," you say, patting him on the shoulder. "Maybe they'll name their first child after you to make up for it."

He looks up again, his eyes bright. "Tom Jr.," he says. "I like it."

"And if it's a girl?"

"Tomasita Jr.," he says.

"She's Spanish?" you say.

"Lou always had a bit of flavor, don't you think?" he says.

You take your hand from his shoulder and look away, laughing. You glance back up to see that he's smiling at you. You quiet down and he shoves his hands in his pockets again.

"It was a nice night with you, Em," he says.

"You too, Tom," you say. "I had a lot of fun."

"So did I," he says. "You're a fun person."

You smile slightly. "And you're a good dancer."

"Why thank you," he says. "I have to be, if I want to be me."

You look at him. "What does that mean?"

He takes a step closer and leans toward you slightly, his voice lowering. "You know – gotta impress the ladies."

"Oh, shush," you say, putting your hands on his chest and shoving him away.

He laughs. "Alright, alright," he says, taking your hands and grasping it in his own. "I'm afraid you've discovered my secret, Em. It's all for you."

You don't say anything, glancing down at your hands. You look up at him and he gazes back at you, his eyes so clear and blue. You feel a rush go through you, a spark like fire. His blue eyes flicker down to your lips.

You know what's coming, and you don't try to stop it.


"Oh, shush," she says, pushing you away. You laugh, taking her hands from your chest and holding them tightly between your own.

"Alright, alright," you say, noting their softness. "I'm afraid you've discovered my secret, Em." You look into her dark brown eyes. "It's all for you."

You gaze down at her as she looks away, her eyes glancing over your hands. Your heart beats steadily in your chest. She looks up at you again, those dark, dark eyes.

But fuck, you say to yourself, she has a boyfriend.

Her face reddens slightly, a sweet rose color blooming over her cheeks as she looks at you. You bite your tongue, trying to ignore the feeling of her hands in yours. You've never wanted her – or anyone – so badly.

For months now, maybe even years. Since Molly started dating Louis and brought her into your life. You've been with dozens of girls and none of them have been able to get under your skin like her, smile like her, love like her- the lovely, lovely Emma.

Your gaze lowers to her lips, but only for half a second. All traces of lipstick are gone, and they're such a soft pink you know it was a grave mistake risking the glance. Her dark curly hair is loose from the elegant bun it held earlier, and it's funny how that seems so long ago now when it was only just this morning. Her hands are so soft in yours and you can only imagine how sweet those pink lips would taste against your own. Imagine, imagine-

And you lean forward, unable to imagine any longer.


He leans down and his lips catch yours, softly, slowly, sweetly, with a gentleness you never would have thought Tom Gold to have. The kiss lasts minutes, hours, days, until he slowly pulls away, lingering, his warm breath mingling with yours.

You don't try to move away, your heart pounding in your chest as your brain takes a back seat, his hands grasping yours against his chest, pressed up against your own, his face still touching yours-

And you want more of it- need more of it. You need to feel the spark again- feel him – Tom – Tom – who you try to push away but just can't and makes you feel things you shouldn't when you have a boyfriend who loves you so much- but you can't stop after so little, such a mocking tease of things that have crossed your mind more times than you can count. So you stop lingering and hold his hands tighter and push your lips against his, the urge unbearable.

He responds just as, if not more, eagerly as you, letting go of your hands and putting one on the side of your face and pressing the other to the small of your back, pulling you closer. You take your own hands and place them on either side of his head, your hands running through his blonde hair, wanting – needing – to feel every part of him.

You don't know how long you kiss him, and he kisses you, and his lips are so warm, and his face is smoother than you would have expected, and he feels so good, the spark that's fire, you can't get enough-

He pulls you even closer, his lips never leaving yours. God, he's a great kisser, your mind slowly processes into a thought. Even better than Ju-

A feeling like lead falls into your stomach, and you stop as Tom continues to kiss you. Several moments pass before he realizes that you're not responding, and he pulls away, breathing heavily, his face slightly flushed as he meets your gaze.

You look away, your lips tingling, his hands still on your back and the side of your face, fingertips tangled in your messy black hair. You can feel his warm hand through the thin fabric of your dress, and you try to hold back a shiver.

"Cold?" he finally says, feeling your slight shudder. He makes to move toward the door. "I can shut-"

"No, no," you say breathlessly, shaking your head. "Tom," you say.

"Yeah?" he says, pushing a curly lock of your hair away your eyes.

"You…." you trail off as he touches the side of your face with his warm hand again.

"Hmm?" he says, looking down at you with a tenderness you've never seen before, not from Julian, not from anyone.

You bite the inside of your cheek, fighting the feeling. You look away from him. "You should go."

"What?" he says, his hand freezing on your face.

"It's late," you say, still not meeting his eyes.

"But- wait, Emma-"

"I'm sorry," you shake your head. "I just- this isn't…"

"But, Em," he starts, lowering his face to yours again. "Emma…" He kisses the side of your mouth. You turn away slightly.

"This isn't- I have…I've had too much to drink, Tom," you say.

His pulls away and his eyes meet yours. You see the way they harden just so slightly. "You said you weren't drunk."

You don't say anything, unable to hold his gaze. "You really should go," you say.

"You can't just- just do this and expect me to –"

"You started it," you look back up at him.

"What are we, eight year olds?" he says. "Emma, come on."

"Tom, please," you say.

"Please what?" he says. He looks down at you again, bringing his hand back up to your face, gently running his thumb over your cheek. "Emma, you don't even know- you don't…." His blue eyes stare at you. "You don't even know how beautiful you look in this dress." He touches your side lightly, his hand on the light pink fabric.

You lower your eyes again. "Tom."

"Really, Em, all night, all day long, I just – you're so beautiful, Em," he says.


"But not only today, really, everyday, so long, I've- I've had these feelings, Em, for you, for a while, I just- I thought maybe-"

"Tom!" you say, looking up at him. He freezes. You gently reach up and take his hand from your face, pushing it away.

"Emma, please-" he says, shaking his head.

"Tom, I can't," you tell him. "You…know I have a boyfriend."

"Well – get a new one, then," he says.

"No," you say, scowling. "I love Julian."

He blinks, and for a split second it looks as if you've slapped him in the face- but as soon as it comes it's gone.

"Well," he starts gruffly, looking away from you. "That kiss sure told me."

You feel your face flush. "I- I- just go, Tom."

"Right then," he says, walking into the hall. "Have a nice life, Emma."

He turns around and disappears down the hall, and you listen as his footsteps fade away in the stairwell. You stand, frozen, a part of you on the verge of going after him, of calling him back, of telling him everything you don't even know yourself.

Instead you close the door and go to the kitchen and dump his glass of water down the sink and slam it down on the counter so hard it shatters.

You've never even told Julian that you love him.


You pound down the three flights of stairs and bang through the door, hardly taking notice of anything around you as you find your car. Damn her, you think. Damn her to hell.

You've been waiting months- no, fucking years, ever since Molly and Lou started dating, and this is what you get. Damn waiting. Damn her.

You reach your car and yank the door open before pulling it shut with a slam. You shove the keys in the ignition and start the engine. You pull away from the curb and speed down the street, barely paying any attention to the cars around you. You could care less about safety right now.

It seems like only a matter of seconds before you're pulling up to the curb of your own flat building, hardly knowing how you got here. You're not even drunk. And neither was she.

The engine goes quiet as you pull the keys out, and suddenly you find yourself sitting in total silence. And when you go up to your flat it will be empty. You clench your jaw as you grip the stirring wheel, your knuckles going white.

Damn her, you think vehemently. Damn that Emma.

Your hands slack on the wheel as you close your eyes and lower your forehead to rest on the cool rubber.

Damn that lovely Emma.

A/N: Wrote this as a sort of missing moment from another story of mine about the bride and groom, Molly and Louis. Tom and Emma are sort of their...angstier counterparts ;)