So, I wrote this fic in a story exchange (Spring Secret Santa?) for one of my close friends, Applauze! Josh, I hope you enjoy this a lot c: As for everyone else reading it, I hope you enjoy it too! Now, let's begin!
"The jury has ruled this case in favor of the plaintiff. Court dismissed." The judge spoke at long last, his words slapping Emma Rodgers in the face. Another case lost, she thought. Her client, a buff man who seemed so tough, so untouchable, put his face in his hands. Emma walked over towards him and put her hand on his back.
"Look, I'm sorry about how this case turned out, but there's really nothing I can do-" The client cut her off by pushing her hand off. He turned for a brief moment, and Emma saw his expression, sadness and rage combined. He glared at her, and she decided that she didn't want to deal with his rage. She walked out of the court at a slow pace into the waiting room, where her boyfriend sat, reading a book. He looked up and the two locked eyes.
"Emma! Hey, how'd the case go- oh." He took the time to actually look at her face and saw her expression. Not really the expression Noah wanted to deal with at the moment.
"Yeah," Emma nodded. Noah stood up, and the two walked outside without a word. Noah tried to slip his hand around her shoulders and she pushed it away. They reached Noah's car and hopped in.
"So, where do you want to go?" Noah asked. Usually, whenever Emma lost a case, they'd go out for ice cream to her favorite place and go to the park, or maybe out to see a movie. Emma hesitated, as if she was thinking.
"Home." Emma answered, her tone firm and stiff. Noah knew not to question her when she got like that. Don't question Emma's authority unless you want to end up on the side of the road, no matter if it's your car or her's. Noah reached for the radio, possibly to turn on the classical music station, Emma's favorite. His hand was slapped away quickly. The drive continued in silence, until they reached Emma's apartment building. Emma got out without a word and shut the door.
"Have a great night, babe," Noah yelled after her, rolling down the window. Emma didn't acknowledge his goodbye at all. He frowned and turned his car around, wondering what had happened during that case that had made her so mad.
Just get up one more flight of stairs without breaking down, one more, just one more, Emma thought, climbing the staircase to her apartment. She had managed to hold in her emotions for almost her entire life, why couldn't she hold it together for just these few moments? Holding a hand up to her face to wipe away a few tears that had escaped, she reached her floor.. She ran down the hallway, just barely holding all of her papers and such from the case together. Why did I pick the apartment at the very end of the hallway again? Just a few steps later, she stood in front of her own apartment. Reaching into her pocket to grab the key, she froze. Why was the pocket that she usually kept her key in empty? THis wasn't good. SHe dropped her papers on the floor, all of those important papers that she promised herself she wouldn't drop, and continued her search for her key. Where is it where is it where isitwhereisitWHEREISIT.
Not in her coat, not in her purse, not in her jacket pockets. Where could it be? One option came to mind. SHe pulled out her phone and began to type out a text to Noah. Of course, she couldn't make it sound too desperate, but she also had to get her point across, all while sounding calm and collected, which she was not. Noah, are my apartment keys in your car? If not, could you bring the spare? That sounded good, at least to her. What is Noah thought she sounded too desperate? SHe ignored the thoughts and pressed send. Her only problem is that Noah didn't look at his phone often enough. Noah, pick up your goddamn phone, or else I'll kill you. Emma figured she might have to get comfortable, sitting out here for a while. It was 6:00, Noah could be eating dinner, still driving, doing God knows what. SHe wasn't really counting on her neighbors to "save" her either, they were really busy people. What did she even need saving from? The apartment hallway monster that eats lawyers in their 20s who mistakenly fall asleep in the hallway? She laughed out loud, a clear, loud note filling the silent hallway. She pulled her coat over her, the warm inside acting for a blanket for her freezing body. SHe hadn't even noticed she was shivering. She fell asleep in the hallway, staying like that for a few more hours until Noah walked into the hallway, carrying a few stuffed-full plastic bags along with the spare key.
"Emma, what are you doing out in the hallway like this?"
Not an ideal situation to wake up to, Emma thought. First of all, she was on the dirty hallway floor, so her judgement must have been out of the freaking window when she sat down. Well, what other options could she have had? She could've knocked on one of her neighbor's doors. Why didn't she think of that? Argh, she could be so stupid sometimes. Second of all, Noah was standing over her, looking really concerned.
"Emma? Why were you asleep out here? I thought you had a strict policy about where you feel asleep and all that," Noah asked, her face showing a genuine emotion for once.
"I still do. I guess when you're in a situation like this, your judgement goes out of the window," Emma replied.
"Anyway, I have a spare key and some of your favorite snacks here. Do you want to just keep standing here like fools outside of your apartment?"
"Obviously," Emma laughed. Noah handed her the key, and she dramatically unlocked the door. The two walked inside, and Emma was glad to see that it had remained as neat as ever. Well, of course it would be. Who else would've been in here, an angry pack of bees? A professional maid? Taylor Swift? Emma dismissed the silly thoughts. Of course nobody was in here. Noah saw her zoning out, and waved a hand in front of her face.
"Earth to Emma, Earth to Emma. Are you still with us, or has the Apollo 24 exploded?" Noah asked, which caused Emma to laugh.
"No, sorry, it blew up months ago, haven't you been watching the news?" She replied, making her laugh even harder. Even Noah was trying to hold in a laugh.
"So, we've got some spicy Doritos, peanut butter M&Ms, Dots, and a bottle of lemonade. I'd say that this is a feast fit for a king. How about you be the queen and join me at the high table?" Noah put on a fake British accent.
"Of course, your Highness," Emma answered, pulling out a chair. She took a seat and popped open the bag of M&Ms.
The two stuffed their mouths full of sweets until there were no more, exchanging witty remarks and making each other laugh. After throwing the garbage away, Noah turned towards Emma.
"Alright, let's talk. What got you so sad after that last case?"
Emma sighed. "Well, I've just been pretty upset with myself after my last few cases. Whichever side I've been the lawyer on, the plaintiff or defendant, I just keep on losing. Case after case has gone by, and it's really been affecting my willingness to keep on being a lawyer, you know? I just kind of want to give up on that dream and be done. Maybe I'm not cut out to be a lawyer after all,"
Noah put a hand on her back. "Oh come on, don't say that. From the cases i've seen you do, you've put so much work and time and effort into them and it's a bit disappointing seeing how little faith you have in yourself. You've got to believe in yourself, no matter how cheesy it sounds. I believe. Kitty believes. Your parents believe. All of our friends from the Ridonculous Race believe. All that's needed is for you to believe. I know I'm probably the least sentimental person out there, but I love you. I believe in you. You're an excellent lawyer, a great girlfriend, and an even better friend. So yeah. Just try to have a little faith at times, okay Emma?"
Emma blushed. "Yeah, fine, I guess. Believing in yourself is good, and we should, all do that. Lesson learned. Thanks, Noah,"
"So, enough of the gloomy dreary stuff. Do you want to watch a movie or something?"
"Noah, it's almost 11 pm," Noah glanced at her.
"Please? I heard Titanic's on tonight," Titanic was one of the couple's favorite movies to reenact.
"Alright, fine," Emma sighed. The twosome sat down on the couch and turned on the movie, Emma leaning in close to Noah. Finally, she could relax and forget about her lawyering problems.