Chapter: 2 – Temporary Insanity
Rating: M (the story as a whole, not necessarily this chapter)
Type: Criminal Minds, Hotch/Prentiss.
Spoilers: Nothing specific at this point in time.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an over-active mind and a verging-on-pathetic love for the H/P ship lol.
Summary: Companion piece to Dressed to Impress. You probably don't need to read that one first to understand this one, but it would be better context. WIP. Partial AU.
Chapter 1 is HERE if you missed it.
Chapter 2 is this way:
A/N: I debated a lot about whether or not I was going to write this chapter. I couldn’t decide how I wanted to go about it. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to continue with this, so I decided I’d just start writing and see where it takes me. Hopefully it takes me somewhere good. As always, thanks to floatingamoeba for being my awesome beta/fic coach lol… and hopefully the end of this chap is okay, since I hadn’t written it yet when I talked to her. Wee bit nervous about that lol.
What just happened?
Did you kiss me?
‘Cause that’s a place we’ve never been until now
And I don’t know how it’s gonna be after this
Do we pretend these feelings don’t exist at all?
Or do we fall?
Emily sighed and looked at the clock, dismayed to see that only five minutes had passed since the last time she checked. She just wanted this day to end. She had been in a bad mood since she noticed the date on her phone, and it was only getting worse as the day wore on. Not that the likely prospect of sitting alone with her cat tonight made her feel any less pathetic, but at least at home she wouldn’t be surrounded by people who wouldn’t be alone tonight.
Yes, it was Valentine’s Day: every single woman’s favorite occasion. Of course, this year was even worse than most. This year there was actually someone she wanted to be with. But she couldn’t have him, and all the cards and flowers on desks throughout the building seemed to be rubbing that in her face. She had actually considered calling in sick so she wouldn’t have to see him today, but he most definitely would have put the pieces together.
So instead, Emily sat sulking at her desk, feeling sorry for herself. She wasn’t normally one to indulge in self-pity, but surely today was all about indulgence? There was chocolate, eating out at a fancy restaurant, expensive wine, and new lingerie, to name a few. She wasn’t indulging in any of those things, so she figured it was okay to indulge in not pretending that this stupid day didn’t bother her. Based on the way everyone was avoiding her, she assumed she was doing a good job of radiating her frustration.
He didn’t seem to notice though, which irritated her even more. She wasn’t sure exactly how she had wanted him to act towards her today, but this definitely wasn’t it. Business as usual, like it was any old day. It really wasn’t fair to hold that against him – deep down she knew that. It was a couples’ occasion, and they weren’t a couple. He had made that much clear, made sure that whatever was between them was over. They were nothing, she supposed.
That certainly didn’t stop her from wishing they were something.
You made a move and changed your mind
Too much to lose, we’ve crossed the line between friends
And something more
Was it all a big mistake?
And if it was it’s much too late to undo
And I don’t really want to
Hotch peered through the closed blinds to find Emily still seated at her desk, methodically working through a stack of reports and forms with a frown etched on her face. Hiding from his subordinate in his office – this was a new low. He hated seeing her unhappy, especially when he suspected it was his fault.
She had been giving him the cold shoulder since New Years and he wasn’t sure why. He knew he had screwed up when he had woken alone, the sheets cold where her body had been. But what exactly had he done to upset her? Did she feel like he had taken advantage of her? Was she worried about their working relationship? Was she afraid to be alone with him? Had he hurt her without knowing it? So many questions swirled in his mind, and no answers came forth. After a couple of weeks, he had asked her if everything was okay between them. She had smiled and assured him they were fine, but her behavior said otherwise. This, he was sure, was not his definition of ‘fine’.
All week Hotch had been debating with himself about whether or not he should get her something for Valentine’s Day. He was unsure if that would make things better or even worse. In the end, he had decided not to when he couldn’t find anything he deemed suitable. He wasn’t sure there even was a present for a coworker you’ve slept with twice, secretly want to be with, and don’t actually have a relationship with. It’s not like he could ask anyone for advice, he thought, because no one else knew.
Now he was starting to think he had made the wrong call.
She was clearly feeling down. Maybe it would have cheered her up? It was too late to change his mind now, but he could ask her out to dinner. Or would that seem too much like a date? He certainly wouldn’t mind if it was, but he didn’t want to make her uncomfortable.
Hotch cursed softly, muttering under his breath. He was sure this was more complicated than perhaps it needed to be. He sighed. No, asking Emily out probably wasn’t a wise move. He was tempted to throw logic and reason out the window, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Their situation was bad enough – he couldn’t risk making it worse.
Surely there must be a compromise; a small gesture that wasn’t too romantic but also not too impersonal. A little something to let her know that she does matter to him, even though he may not show it. As she rose and left her desk, heading in the direction of the ladies’ room, he quickly hatched a plan. He just hoped it wouldn’t backfire.
It’s temporary insanity
What’s going on with you and me?
Is it real or is it fantasy?
Forever, or just temporary?
When Emily returned to her desk, she immediately noticed the lights were now off in Hotch’s office and felt angry tears sting her eyes. Obviously he had been waiting for a chance to escape without having to speak to her. Was it so unbearable to simply wave and say goodnight to her? Did he really regret it that much? She was hurt, yes, but more than anything she was upset that she allowed herself to end up in this position. She needed to get a grip. All the stupid hoping for acknowledgement or affection had to end right now.
With a huff, she slammed the next case file down on her desk. Flipping it open, she found a folded piece of paper with her name hand written on it – in his handwriting. Her newfound resolve to let go of their situation was gone in an instant and she felt her heart begin to race as she unfolded the note.
I know things haven’t been right between us since the holidays and for that, I apologize. We both know that showing how I feel is not one of my strengths, so I hope you know that I do care about you and I’ll always be here for you. If there’s anything I can do to make us okay again, just tell me and I’ll do it. I don’t want what’s unspoken to come between us.
She couldn’t contain the smile that spread across her face. She was probably reading too much into it, he probably just wrote it as a friend, but for tonight, believing otherwise would be her new indulgence.
A/N: Yeah, so maybe this was a liiiiittle influenced by my bitterness about Valentines lol but whatevs. At least writing the end part cheered me up a bit (don’t think all the angst is over yet though). I'm sorry it's kinda short. The song is Temporary Insanity by Alexz Johnson if anyone was wondering.