Type: Criminal Minds, Hotch/Prentiss.
Spoilers: Up to 6X18 Lauren
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an over-active mind and a verging-on-pathetic obsession with the H/P ship lol.
Summary: Emily returns but it would seem that time doesn’t heal all wounds.
A/N: I debated a lot over whether or not I should write this myself. I’m still not confident writing this fandom and sexual content is not exactly my specialty since I admittedly have zero personal experience to draw from lol. That being said, Emily returning scenarios resulting in H/P seem to be the most prevalent thing in my mind these days lol and I’m uncharacteristically enjoying the angst/hurt/comfort angle… and I had a 7 ½ hour car ride with nothing to do, so I decided to give it a go and hope it’s not an epic fail. I’m also worried it’s gonna be a little OOC but I guess that’s the liberty of fanfic? Speaking of which, I suppose it’s kind of similar to my other fic, just focusing on a different angle, but whatever lol.
Emily secretly watched the flurry of activity around her with carefully veiled disappointment, not wanting to appear too desperate or incite guilt. Her friends – well, they were her friends, but perhaps now ‘colleagues’ was a better term – cleared their desks and gathered their belongings. She’d overheard plans of going out for celebratory drinks when Morgan had handed off his paperwork to Hotch and asked him to join them. He declined, of course, but at least he was invited. It was beginning to feel like high school all over again and as before, she wasn’t one of the cool kids.
A gentle hand on her shoulder startled her out of her thoughts, but she controlled the urge to shy away or flinch. She had gotten much better about that in the six months since her return. She didn’t need to look up to know who it was; this exchange happened every time. Initially it had been Rossi, but JJ took over once the others had resumed inviting her.
“It’s okay, JJ.”
“You should come.”
“I wasn’t invited for a reason. It’s fine, really. Just go, have fun.” She looked up and forced a smile that both knew wasn’t genuine.
“You’ll let me know if you change your mind?”
“Yes, now get going. You don’t want to keep everyone waiting.”
Reluctantly her friend – it still seemed appropriate to consider JJ a friend – nodded, gave her a sad smile, and left to join the group. She knew JJ felt bad leaving her behind, but it was her or the rest of the team and she would rather take herself out of the equation than see JJ have to choose. If the others had forgiven JJ for the role she had to play, then Emily didn’t want to stand in the way of that reunion.
The room became uncomfortably quiet once she was alone. Quiet wasn’t good: quiet let your inner thoughts take centre stage and reverberate in the emptiness. She threw herself into paperwork, hoping it would be a sufficient distraction. And it was for a while, but eventually the words started to run together on the page. She wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of going home to an empty apartment, save for the cat who would be asleep on the couch. She was going to end up an old cat lady, she could see it now.
With a sigh she grabbed her stack of completed reports and trudged up the stairs to Hotch’s office, knocking and waiting for his assent before she opened the door.
“Prentiss.” He sounded surprised, though if he was it didn’t register on his face.
“Sir. Just wanted to drop these off before I head out,” she said, setting the files on his desk.
“I thought you would have left with everyone else.”
She scoffed. “Come on Hotch, we both knew that wasn’t going to happen.”
“I guess I was hoping this time would be different.”
“I think it’s time we both gave up on that.”
It pained him to see the defeated look she wore. “Don’t say that. They’ll come around, they just need more time.”
“You’ve been saying that for months and no one is ‘coming around’, Hotch.” She bit down on her lip, fighting to keep her emotions in check before she spoke again. “Anyways, I only wanted to give you those reports and say goodnight, so goodnight.”
She practically bolted for the door but his voice stopped her in her tracks.
He so rarely used her first name, it always threw her off… not to mention the butterflies she felt each time it fell from his lips. Slowly, cautiously, she turned to face him.
“Jessica said she’d keep Jack for the night, so why don’t you and I grab a drink?”
“Really?” She silently cursed herself for not dousing the excitement in her voice.
“If you want to.”
With a shy smile she nodded, and for the first time it struck him how much he had missed seeing her smile.
By the time they got to the bar, she was in much better spirits. Conversation in the car had been light and surprisingly easy. For once the weight on her shoulders had lifted. She smiled. She laughed. That ten minutes alone with him was the most ‘at home’ she could remember feeling in the past six months. She had almost forgotten about everyone else.
Until they stepped inside. They had taken only 6 steps beyond the door when the crowd parted slightly and she spotted the rest of the BAU in a booth near the back. That sight used to make her smile. Now it just reminded her of how much she had lost. They looked so happy together... without her. They didn’t seem to feel her absence at all. Worst of all, she knew that if they saw her there it would all abruptly come to an awkward halt, and that killed her.
She slammed on the brakes so suddenly that Hotch nearly ran into her. He followed her gaze and instantly his heart went out to her. He knew how much she missed the closeness she once had with them and he knew they missed it too, whether or not it showed. He reached out to touch her arm but she was already backing away towards the door.
“Do you want to go somewhere else?” he asked gently.
She shook her head. “I think I’m just going to head home.”
He moved to follow her but she stopped him. “You stay Hotch, I’m sure they’ll be glad to see you. I’ll just get a cab home.”
“I didn’t come here to be with them, Emily. I came to be with you.”
She couldn’t help but melt a little at his words. How did he always know the perfect thing to say? “And I appreciate that, really I do. I just don’t think I’m going to be very good company.”
“Then at least let me drive you home.”
“Are you sure? You can stay if you want to; don’t let me stand in the way.”
“You’re never in the way.” He held out a hand to her, “let’s go.”
For a moment she simply stared at the proffered hand. It was a very uncharacteristic gesture for him, she wasn’t sure what to make of it. But she accepted, albeit somewhat hesitantly, and let him lead her back outside.
The car was silent this time, save for the sound of rain falling on the windshield. She sat with her head against the window, staring blankly through the glass as buildings and traffic flashed by. He looked over at her periodically but she never moved, not even to wipe at the glimmering tear trails on her skin. Not even when he pulled up in front of her building.
Several minutes passed where neither moved nor spoke. He wished she would look at him; her eyes always told him what she was thinking.
“Emily?” he said gently.
“Oh.” She remained still.
“You don’t want to go in.”
“Not really, no.”
“What if I went with you?”
Suddenly her whole demeanour changed. “I don’t need you to take pity on me, Hotch. I know you and JJ mean well, but you have nothing to feel guilty about. You two still have a place here, I don’t. I get it. I know I did this to myself.”
Without concern for the downpour, she flung the car door open and climbed out, slamming it hard before storming towards the building. He watched her go, stunned. What the hell just happened?
Grabbing his umbrella, he hurried to the lobby but she was already gone. He used the short elevator ride to her floor to gather his thoughts. Why hadn’t he checked on her sooner? It was obvious to him that she had been struggling to reintegrate herself – not that the team was making it any easier for her – but he had failed to recognize how deeply that affected her.
He strode down the hall to her door and knocked firmly.
The door swung open almost immediately. She had obviously anticipated that he would follow her.
“We need to talk.”
She crossed her arms stubbornly. “There’s nothing to say.”
Without waiting for an invitation, he brushed past her into the apartment. He set the umbrella down on the doormat, stepped out of his wet shoes, hung his suit jacket up, and calmly took a seat on her couch, all while she stood gaping at him.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Getting this out in the open. Come sit down.”
“No. Getting what out in the open?”
“What’s got you so upset.”
“Gee, I don’t know Hotch, maybe that I’m sick of being alone all the time? That I miss having friends? That I hate this stupid apartment because it’s not the home I had? That I’m pissed off with myself for screwing everything up? How many reasons do you want? I’ve got lots more.”
“You already told me the bottom line, so we might as well discuss it.”
She eyed him suspiciously. “When did I tell you?”
“Talk to me about what you said when you were getting out of the car.”
“I don’t even know what I said,” she lied, struggling to control her voice.
“Yes you do,” he continued calmly. “You said that JJ and I still had a place here and that you didn’t. What makes you say that?”
Her restraint snapped before his eyes, tears breaking free and running down her face while she shouted at him. “What makes me say that? Are you serious? A blind man could see it, Hotch! They hate me. And you know what? I don’t blame them. I hate me for what I put them through. Maybe I don’t deserve forgiveness. Maybe it was selfish of me to come back: I let my own desire to have them back overshadow how much it would hurt them to find out. I knowingly hurt everyone I care about. Who needs a friend like that? Maybe everyone would have been better off thinking I was dead. I should never have come back here.”
“Don’t say that!” She was taken aback by the fiery look in his dark eyes. “How can you possibly think we would be better off without you?”
“You saw them tonight! They moved on. I shouldn’t have waltzed back in here and turned everything upside down. I don’t fit anymore.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that I’m reconsidering my decision to come back to the BAU. I knew it would be hard at first, but I thought ultimately it would make me happy and instead I actually feel worse. I was happier thinking about having you all back than I am seeing everyone almost every day and still feeling like we’re a million miles apart.”
“You can’t leave us again, Emily. Tell me what I can do. Tell me what you need to make this work, and I’ll do whatever I can.”
Her whole body trembled with emotion as she finally blurted out what she had been thinking all night. “All I want is to feel like someone actually wants me here!”
He was off the couch and across the room so quickly that she barely had time to register what was happening before his lips were on hers. After a split second of shock she instinctually responded, her arms quickly going around his neck as their tongues met. One of his hands moved to tangle in her damp hair, tilting her head slightly, while the other slid down to her hip and pulled her flush against him.
“I want you here,” he murmured against her mouth, “I need you here.”
His tie was gone in record time and buttons, both hers and his, were sent flying in the desperation to feel one another. They stumbled down the hallway to her room, leaving a trail of clothing along the way. By the time they reached her bed he was already down to his boxers and she was left in nothing but a simple black lacy bra and matching panties.
Pushing him to sit on the bed, she straddled him and fused her lips to his, grinding against him lasciviously. He moaned into her mouth and wasted no time popping the clasp on her bra. Hastily he shoved the fabric aside, taking her luscious breasts into his hands. She whimpered as he swept his thumbs across the hardened nubs and cried out when he took one into his hot mouth, mercilessly teasing her with his tongue and teeth. Switching sides he lavished attention on her other nipple while one hand slowly traveled down over her abdomen and slid between her thighs.
The sounds she made while he stroked her were enough to have him painfully hard in no time. He knew he wouldn’t last long once he was inside her so he deftly worked her up to the edge, letting the heel of his hand brush against her clit while his fingers moved inside her.
“Please Hotch,” she gasped, “I need you.”
Their frenzy calmed as he gently laid her down on the bed, taking a moment to tuck a stray lock of hair behind her ear. She smiled up at him, that beautiful smile he loved, and he could have sworn his heart skipped a beat. He pressed a tender kiss to her soft lips before positioning himself at her entrance.
Slowly he slid into her heat, pausing to let her adjust once he was full sheathed. She wrapped her legs around him and rolled her hips against his to let him know she was ready. He tried to restrain himself, to keep the pace slow and deliberate, but she met him thrust for thrust and soon they were both spiralling out of control. White hot pleasure raced through her body and she screamed his name as she came, raking her nails down his back. He groaned and held her body tight against his while he followed her over the edge.
He kept her close and lightly ran his fingers through her hair until their breathing slowed. She was still and quiet for so long that he thought she might have fallen asleep, but then a small voice broke the silence.
“Will you stay with me?”
He kissed the top of her head. “Always.”
A/N: This was unbelievably hard for me to write lol. Seriously. Writing this stuff makes me so nervous. I really hope it doesn’t sound stupid. Yeah, I’m panicking a little about posting this, can you tell? Please be gentle lol. As a side note, thank you to floatingamoeba for talking me through my struggles with writing this (btw I'm sorry I didn't wait for you to read over it but I didn't want you to have to worry about it), phoebe9509 for being my beta, and x_nothing_here for coming up with the title :D.