A/N: Another fabulous cover by rock-aya!

After a long day of travel, the excitement of Ryker's TED talk, and the shock of having strangers snap pictures of her, Emmie was ready for a day off

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After a long day of travel, the excitement of Ryker's TED talk, and the shock of having strangers snap pictures of her, Emmie was ready for a day off. But the breakfast crowd at Iola's awaited and so she dragged herself up, grateful at least that the days had begun to lengthen. The morning's walk to work was sunny, if still chilly. By the time she left work, she expected it to be pleasant. The weather raised her spirits, a welcome distraction from the dread that had plagued her on the trip back from Seattle yesterday evening.

She had been so foolish. As soon as those reporters showed up, she should have excused herself and rushed off. But it had all happened so fast. One minute it was just the three of them, the next, Ryker was beaming for the camera. She'd been in some of the shots, she was sure of it.

All the while she and Trisha were watching fish being tossed at the Market, she'd worried. While riding the Seattle Great Wheel up to its pinnacle, the breathtaking panorama of the Puget Sound laid out before them, with its jigsaw puzzle of forested lands nestled below the Olympic Mountains, she'd fretted. Once home, she spent the entire night trying to talk herself off a ledge. Just because the reporters took the images didn't mean they were going to use any of them, or at least not one with her in it. She wasn't the reason they were there, after all. And they'd ended up interviewing both Ryker and Trisha. Surely if they were going to print any picture, it would be of the siblings, not of some random pregnant woman no one had ever heard of.

Arriving at Iola's, Emmie jumped into her routine, grateful for the rush of people with their simple demands for coffee and eggs and waffles. Trisha, who'd had the same long exhausting day as she had, minus the photo scare, minded the restaurant floor with dark circles under her eyes. She made frequent trips to the coffee station. "Remind me never again to try to fit a trip to Seattle in in one day when I have to be at work the next. There is not enough coffee on the planet..."

Fresh steaming cup in hand, she wandered off to seat a new customer while Emmie bussed a table and took another order. When Trisha had an opportunity, she circled back to Emmie, who by then was making a new batch of coffee in a large urn. "I should have told you to take the morning off, Emmie. I know yesterday wasn't the easiest. You were pretty quiet on the way home."

Emmie nodded. "Yes, but there's no use in worrying about it. And I did enjoy seeing Seattle, and Ryker's talk of course. It was amazing, actually!"

"Yes it was, but... are you sure you're okay?"

"I don't even know what okay means anymore. But, yeah... I'm just exhausted."

"I can call Becca and see if she can cover the rest of your shift."

"No, don't bother. I'm fine. Really."

Sighing, Trisha took a rag and absentmindedly wiped off the surface surrounding the coffee urn. "Don't be a hero, Emmie. If you need to go home, just let me know, okay? I don't want you collapsing on the job. Our insurance rates will skyrocket."

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