"There she is!" Emmett greeted Elle with a warm smile, leaning casually against her door. "Intern of the year."

"Oh, stop it, you," Elle said with a giggle. "We're not there yet."

"So what did Callahan want?" Emmett asked, moving aside so she could unlock the door.

"Oh, just to congratulate me on a job well done." Elle unlocked the door and opened it; Emmett followed her inside. "He thinks if I keep going, I could be one of the greatest lawyers of my generation!" Her eyes sparkled at the thought; Emmett's heart warmed at her enthusiasm.

"I wouldn't be surprised," he told her. "You really are something else."

"Thank you so much for all your help," Elle said seriously, looking up at Emmett with earnest blue eyes. "I never could have done any of this without you."

Emmett smirked. "I'm pretty sure your gaydar has nothing to do with me."

"Yes, but without you, I wouldn't have gotten that internship, I wouldn't have been in that courtroom today, and none of this ever would have happened," Elle said. "Seriously, I don't know how you did it."

"Oh, it was easy, really," Emmett said with a shrug. "All you needed was some motivation; after you found that, I was less tutoring you than sitting back and watching you go." Elle shook her head, looking down to hide her blush. "I mean it, Elle," he insisted, stepping a little closer. He gently reached out to lift her chin up and look her in the eyes. "You are every bit as brilliant as you are beautiful," he told her. "Any fool can see you're meant for great things. I just hope I can be there to see it."

Elle's eyes swam with tears as she stepped in to hug him. "No one's ever said that to me before."

"Well, they should've," Emmett said. "It's true."

"I just had no idea," Elle told him tremblingly. "I had no idea it was like this. I thought being smart meant being boring and ugly, and even though some of the Delta Nu's were majoring in things like biology or math, I never really let go of that idea. I thought, okay, that's great for them, but for me..." She bit her lip. "Why didn't I know?" she whispered.

Emmett frowned, not liking the tone of her voice. It sounded too much like she blamed herself for what was only the natural consequence of her upbringing. "Well, you know now," he said, hoping to distract her from that line of thought.

Elle brightened. "I sure do," she said, then pulled away. "Now come on; Brooke's not off the hook yet. We need to-"

"Sleep," Emmett said, following her over to her desk. He plucked the manila folder she'd just picked up out of her grasp and set it back down gently.

"I thought you hadn't slept since 1992," Elle teased.

"All the more reason to start now," said Emmett, prompting a giggle from Elle. "You've had a long day. You're no good to Brooke or anyone else if you're dead on your feet tomorrow. Get some rest."

Elle looked like she might protest, but was interrupted by a yawn. "Why do you always have to be right?" she complained.

Emmett smirked. "I don't have to be," he retorted. "With you, I just am."

Elle rolled her eyes at him. "Yeah, yeah. Get out of here so I can get some sleep." Smiling fondly, she herded Emmett towards the door.

"Hey," Emmett said, turning around just as they reached it. "You really were amazing in there today." He raised a hand and let his knuckles graze her cheek, then realized what he was doing and turned away, clearing his throat. As the door closed behind him, Elle stayed where she was, one hand pressed wonderingly against her cheek.