Original fic: The Roof
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Sometimes it takes a safe place to finally open up to your very best friend.
The sun was low in the sky—a ball of orange peeking out from behind the buildings in the distance—as Josh climbed onto the roof. He knew he wouldn’t be alone. A long time ago this place had become a neutral meeting ground. A place where they could come and all harsh words would be forgotten, lines of communication opened with unabashed honesty. And it all stayed right on the roof. It had worked for them for a long time.
The gravel crunched under his feet and he knew Emma could hear him coming a mile away. But she didn’t turn from her spot on the ledge of an old skylight. Her face was tilted up, soaking up the last rays of warmth and light the sun offered. The sight was familiar to Josh. He sat quietly next to her.
The last week had been weird. Too many things happened, too many words shouted in anger, too many wounds ripped open. For a moment, Josh worried he couldn’t put it right. That, maybe, the roof wouldn’t be enough this time. Emma stayed silent, eyes closed, muscles relaxed. She looked so damn beautiful like that. The wind ruffling her hair, the freckles almost glowing in the light, her lips slightly parted—she was perfect. In every way.
Josh swallowed hard before lifting a trembling hand to her face. He slowly moved a strand of hair from her cheek to behind her ear. Emma shivered at his touch. And all the raw emotion of the last week flooded into Josh and it took all his effort to remain in control. His hand trailed from her ear along her jaw line until it cupped her cheek. Emma grew increasingly still. Josh let his hand fall to the ledge between them, his forehead coming to rest on her temple.
“I love you, you know that, right?” he whispered. She shivered again. “I always have.” Josh felt his throat close up as the significance of those words hit him full on. “I should have told you that a long time ago and-”
Emma stopped him with a turn of her head, lips brushing his. “I knew. I’ve been waiting for you to catch up.”
For a moment Josh couldn’t move, couldn’t swallow, couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe—the words knocking the wind and his sense right out of him. Emma brushed her cheek against his.
Finally, he regained some semblance of control. “I’m sorry.”
He could feel her smiling against his cheek. “It’s the roof, Josh, no apologies.”
Josh forced the lump in his throat down again. “This time is different.”
“Because I don’t want to leave this on the roof.”
Emma’s lips pushed softly against his, lighting nerves all over his body—a tingling sensation that ran from his toes to the tip of his head. “Neither do I.” And then she kissed him for real. And it was every bit as good as the ones he’d imagined since… forever.