|World Spins Madly On
Author: redsneakers PM
stubbornness is never good... I'm suck at summary, can't you tell *wink*Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - E. Prentiss & Jennifer J./JJ - Chapters: 12 - Words: 26,388 - Reviews: 91 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 57 - Updated: 06-04-10 - Published: 09-17-09 - id: 5384020
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I know it's been so long since the last time I updated and most of you might have forgotten that this story even existed. I didn't mean to abandon this story; I just couldn't find the right words to write. Well, I finally managed to find some words.
This work is beta-ed by the amazing Auraya-of-the-White. And if you still find misspelled words or weird grammar, that means I missed to edit it; the blame is on me :)
I don't know if anyone will still read this – I sure hope so. And I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: see chapter 1.
"Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt-
Location: Prentiss manor, outside D.C.
Time: Three days after resignation.
Emily was replenishing her glass of liquor, when the phone rang. She frowned. She hadn't gotten many phone calls during her stay in her mother's house. "Pre-... -hello?" Emily answered her phone. It wasn't easy to get rid of her habit of saying 'Prentiss' when answering the phone. "What do you want?" she asked tiredly, when she recognized the caller's voice.
The brunette was about to hit the 'end call' button when the caller said something that caught her attention. "You are not serious," she said, her voice faltering. "Please say you're not serious!" Emily's lips quivered and she felt her knees weaken. The woman tumbled to the closest armchair, sweat forming on her forehead. "What was she fucking thinking?" she whispered, more to herself than to her caller. She didn't bother saying goodbye before ending the call.
She sat motionless for some time. The more she thought about the information she just got, the angrier she became. She reached for the drink in front of her and emptied the glass in one big gulp. The feel of the liquor burning down her throat made her feel worse. She stood up with force, only to feel a shot of pain cross her ribs. "Damn!" she muttered.
As she was about to leave the room, the door opened. Elizabeth Prentiss stood on the doorway, looking disapprovingly at Emily. "You've been drinking," she said accusingly.
Emily snorted. "Yeah, a cow could see it too," she replied sarcastically, "Good to know your eyes are better than your judgements." She walked past her mother and flinched when the Ambassador grabbed her arm to stop her. The younger woman took a couple of steps back with a panic look, her hand impulsively reaching for her waist, where her gun was usually secured. "Back off!" she barked angrily; her breathing hitched.
Ambassador Prentiss lifted her hands in front of her and took a step backward. A worried look flashed on her eyes for a moment before they turned back into their usual mask of confidence. The family doctor had told her that Emily might react differently to touch and that the Ambassador must be very careful not to invade her daughter's personal space. Elizabeth had laughed it off, saying that her daughter was too strong to be affected by a mere abduction. She wasn't so sure anymore.
"Emily," she started. She could see that Emily wasn't in her right mind. "Emily!" the Ambassador said again in a firmer tone.
The sharp tone in Elizabeth Prentiss' voice pierced through Emily clouded mind. Her mother's voice had always been able to magic slap her into reality ever since Emily was a kid. The slender woman blinked hard. "Just... leave me alone, will you?" she asked weakly.
Elizabeth Prentiss shook her head. She didn't know what to do with her daughter. She saw how unhappy Emily had been since she returned home. She didn't understand; all she wanted was for Emily to have the best things in life. The Ambassador glanced at the half empty bottle on the coffee table and sighed. She was sure that Emily's flashbacks were caused by the liquor.
"You have to stop drinking if you want to get better, Emily," Elizabeth said in a disapproving tone.
"Or what?" Emily snapped angrily. She was embarrassed for losing control in front of her mother – the one person she didn't want to show weakness to. "You're going to shove me under the carpet like you did your husband?"
Elizabeth Prentiss eyes widened in anger. Emily had pushed the right buttons. "Emily Prentiss! Don't you dare bring your father into this!" she growled.
"Why? It's true! He drank too much so you got rid of him! I might have been a child then, Mother, but I wasn't blind!" Emily said, feeling pain inside her, as an old emotional wound ripped open. "Has it never crossed your oh-so-brilliant mind the reason for why he drank all the time? He was a drunk because he couldn't stand living with you! Don't you realize that you're a pain to live with?" Emily was panting as she ended her outburst. She looked straight into Elizabeth Prentiss, daring the older woman to do something due to her rudeness. To her surprise, the Ambassador said nothing. She only looked back into Emily's eyes for a second before turning her back and left the living room without saying another word.
Never in her life had Emily ever felt more apologetic towards her mother. She didn't mean to hurt her mother no matter how impossible Elizabeth Prentiss could be sometimes. Emily was angry, but that didn't give her the right to be rude. And she knew that her broken family wasn't all Elizabeth Prentiss' fault. Her father had had his share of blame, too.
The brunette sighed. She took the bottle of liquor and put it back on its place. "No more drinks for you, Emily Prentiss," she whispered to herself. The woman sat in the armchair and closed her eyes. Her mind was hazy and she was at loss. She thought that resignation had been the best thing to do – she had to do it to save JJ from humiliation; now she wasn't so sure anymore. Emily wanted to see JJ. Badly. She wanted to say how sorry she was for leaving her without saying goodbye. She wanted to tell JJ that her resignation had nothing to do with the blonde – that it was her own choice. But she knew that JJ would look right through her and spot the lies.
"Oh, Jennifer, what am I to do with you?" she said. Emily sat motionlessly for a couple of hours. She opened her eyes when she heard a faint knock on the closed door. She frowned. Nobody in their right mind dared to disturb Emily when she hid herself in a room. The maids in the house knew well enough to stay out of sight when they saw Emily walk in their direction – the Ambassador had informed them that Emily wasn't well and should not be disturbed.
"Come in," she invited reluctantly. The door opened and their butler, James, entered.
"I'm sorry to disturb you, Miss Prentiss. There's a Mr. David Rossi here to see you," James informed her with an apologetic look. "I have told him that you're not to be disturbed, but he insisted. He said it was important."
Emily nodded. "It's okay, James. Let him in."
A minute later, David Rossi entered the room with James, who then left them and closed the door behind him.
"Hey," Emily began – not knowing what to say. "You didn't have to come, really."
Rossi smiled. He took a seat before Emily and looked at the younger woman with a sympathetic expression. "I wanted to. How are you holding up?"
Emily shrugged. "I'm good," she replied. She saw Rossi smirk and added, "Well, really... What do you expect? My mother controls who I am allowed to see and what I am allowed to do. I have no job; I don't go out; I am basically on house arrest. You know that – you call me every day like a damn good ol' father."
"And you also know that I didn't ask you about it," said the senior agent. "What are you going to do about the thing I told you about?"
"I don't know. What do you think I should do?" Emily asked back tiredly. "JJ is relentless. She won't stop until she gets answers. But what answers can I provide her if I don't even know what her questions are? Can you do something about it?" Emily stood up and started pacing around the room. "Can you tell Hotch not to let her see that...that woman?" she couldn't bring herself to say the name of her kidnapper.
"Emily, you know I can't. Only you can tell JJ not to see her," the older man said. "Now why don't you come with me and tell her yourself that you don't want her to see Mendell?"
"I can't! I prom... I.. I just can't!" Emily gritted her teeth as she almost let slip the truth behind her resignation to Rossi.
Rossi eyed Emily carefully. He wasn't stupid. Everyone on the team had suspected that Emily's resignation had something to do with the Ambassador's demand of public apology from JJ. What Emily didn't say had confirmed their suspicions.
"Why did you do it, Emily?" Rossi asked after a few moments of silence. "Why did you quit?"
"Because I will do anything to protect JJ," was the answer.
"And what about you?" he asked again. He sighed when Emily looked at him confused. "Who will protect you?"
The brunette blushed; she replied in a dark tone, "I don't need protection."
Rossi nodded. "If you're so persistent that you don't need protection, why do you think that JJ needs it? She is a big girl. And even if she does need it, what makes you think that you are the one who can protect her?"
"Because!" Emily's voice raised a pitch. She felt as if Rossi had slapped her across the face. She frowned. "Just... why are you here, Dave?" Emily asked irritably. "Did Hotch send you? Did JJ ask you to?"
The older agent stood up and walked a few steps until he was close to the woman. "I'm here because I care, Emily. And I don't want you to regret your decision when it's too late. Screw whatever promises you made. You did what you could to keep it. No one can make things right for you; you're the only one who can," he said patiently. He turned away and moved towards the door. Rossi reached the handle of the door and he was about to open it, when he remembered something. "You know, the only reason why JJ agreed to meet Sara Mendell was because she wanted you to come back. She knows that begging can't bring you back. She loves you, Emily."
Again, Emily was left alone with her thoughts. JJ was her best friend. Emily loved JJ too. Emily loved the blonde so much that sometimes – like this time – she wondered if their friendship had meant something else. She shoved the thought away. No way, she said to herself.
Location: FBI: BAU
"JJ, a word, please?" Hotch called out from his office when he saw JJ come in. The blonde walked briskly to Hotch's office. The unit chief burrowed his brow when he saw the dark circles under JJ's eyes. The young woman looked tired. He waited until JJ had sat down comfortably before asking, "Are you sure about this, JJ?"
JJ didn't pretend that she had no idea what Hotch was enquiring about, and she didn't pretend that she was perfectly sure about doing it. "No, Hotch, I'm not sure," she replied softly. "I'm scared," the woman admitted.
"Then you don't have to do it," Hotch said. "Mendell will still be sent to state prison anyway."
The press liaison shook her head. "No, Hotch, you don't understand," she said. "I'm not doing this because I want to. I'm doing it because I have to. I... I have to bring Emily back. I want – need – to talk to her."
Hotch sank back into his seat. He had suspected that JJ's motive was more personal than professional, but he hadn't suspected that her goal was to draw Emily out of her hiding place. He was speechless. He stared at JJ for some time and the woman stared back. "Why?" he finally asked.
"She is my friend," JJ answered without thinking.
"Reid is your friend, too," Hotch said and regretted it immediately when he saw JJ's eyes brightened with anger. "I didn't mean for it to come out like that," he corrected himself.
"I was worried about Reid," JJ said in a colder tone, ignoring Hotch's partial apology. "I was worried about Garcia when she was shot, too. This is different, Hotch. Reid and Garcia might have shut us all out, but at least they were here when they struggled – we could see them, we could save them. Where is Emily now? Is she here? God knows where the Ambassador took her!"
"I can take you to her, if that's what you want," Rossi's voice made the two younger agents turned around in surprise. "Sorry I barged in, didn't know you were busy," he apologised.
JJ practically jumped from her seat, nearly knocking it down. "What do you mean you can take me to her? You know where she is?"
Rossi shrugged. "Yeah, I call her every day and she told me where she is," he said. The senior agent felt a little guilty for not telling the team that he was still in contact with Emily but he assumed that Emily would tell them herself when she was ready.
"You knew and you didn't tell me!" JJ accused him bitterly. She couldn't believe that Rossi could do that to her. "Who else knew?" she turned to Hotch with an accusing look, but the unit chief wore the same shocked expression that she did.
"Nobody else, I guess," said Rossi apologetically. "Look, JJ, if you want to talk to her, I can take you there. You'll only hurt her if you talk to Mendell – it won't do anyone any good."
Location: Prentiss manor
Dinner was filled with silence. Only Emily and Elizabeth sat at the dining table and no one said a word. Ambassador Prentiss watched her daughter carefully, as subtlety as possible, but not saying anything.
Emily knew she was being watched – being inspected, but she pretended that she didn't notice. She was sure that her mother expected an apology for what she had said that afternoon, but she didn't feel like apologising now. She thought it would be better if her mother gave her the silence treatment – the Ambassador wouldn't bother scrutinising Emily if the older woman refused to talk, and that would suit Emily well.
Emily didn't even raise her head when the Ambassador finally folded her napkin and stood up. The older woman looked at her daughter. She was about to say something when their butler entered the dining room with an uneasy expression.
"What is it, James?" asked the Ambassador.
"There's a Mr. David Rossi for Miss Prentiss, Ambassador," James informed, glancing back and forth between the two Prentiss women.
Emily raised her eyebrows. Two visits in a day – Rossi must be crazy, she thought. Ambassador Prentiss glared at her daughter. "How did Agent Rossi know you stay here?" she asked. "You promised."
"I told him," Emily replied matter of factly. "I promised to quit the BAU and stay with you. I promised not to say a word about the stupid resignation. I didn't promise not to talk with any of my friends." She glanced at James, somehow thankful that he didn't mention that Rossi was here earlier that morning. "Please escort Mr. Rossi to the study, James. Thank you." Emily smiled. She stood up and walked past her mother with a smug expression.
"Emily," the Ambassador stopped her. "We will talk."
"Oh, bring it on, Mother. I don't care anymore," Emily said. She shook her head and chuckled, leaving her mother behind. She didn't know that the Ambassador was actually relieved to see that her daughter had seemed to resort back to her old self. Elizabeth Prentiss just hoped that this wasn't just another Emily's defence mechanism.
"What now, Rossi?" Emily asked as she entered the study. She wasn't paying attention to the other figure standing in the shadows until the figure moved to the light.
"Emily," JJ whispered, fearing that she would scare Emily. The blonde wasn't sure how Emily would react and she had prepared herself for the worse. The older woman glared angrily at Rossi and JJ added, "Please don't blame him. I insisted he take me here."
Emily ignored JJ deliberately. She kept glaring at Rossi for a few seconds longer before finally saying icily, "I am so disappointed, David Rossi."
Rossi shrugged. "I am not sorry, Emily," he said. "You two need to talk. I'll be waiting outside." The senior agent walked to the door. "Oh, and Emily, drop the tone; you sound like your mother," he said before leaving the two women.
JJ was shifting uncomfortably. "Emily," she called out.
"Sit down, Jennifer," Emily nodded to the sofa behind JJ. The brunette walked to the liquor cabinet and opened a bottle of whisky. "Want some?" she offered. JJ shook her head. Emily shrugged. "Suit yourself."
The younger woman watched as Emily filled up a glass. "I don't think you should be drinking, Em," JJ said before she could hold her tongue.
The tall woman sat on the sofa opposite JJ, eyeing the press liaison as she emptied the glass, challenging JJ to stop her. "What do you want, JJ?"
"Why are you avoiding me, Emily?" JJ began. "Why did you quit? Why didn't you tell me where you went? I was worried."
"No reason at all. I'm not avoiding you; I just want to be alone for a while. It's nothing to do with you," Emily lied. She knew JJ didn't buy it but she didn't care.
"Mendell wanted to talk with me," JJ said – noticing a small change in Emily's expression when she mentioned her name. "And I'm going to see her."
"Why?" Emily asked. She felt tired all the sudden. "Can't you just let it go?"
"Emily," JJ leaned forward. "Emily, please don't shut me out like this. Why don't you talk to me? You know I care about you and I'm worried."
"As far as I'm concerned, JJ, we are talking now," replied Emily sarcastically. "And I'm okay. Look at me! I'm fine! I am safe! You don't have to worry about me – my mother's bodyguards won't let anything happen to me. Just... let it go, will you?"
"I can't!" JJ raised her voice. "I can't let it go. I want to know! And you are not fine, Emily Prentiss! You are far from being fine!"
"What do you want to know so badly that you have to talk to that awful woman?" Emily shouted. She cringed and suddenly put her hand over her cracked rib. The pain reminded her that she wasn't well.
JJ knew Emily was in pain, but she also knew that Emily wouldn't let JJ help her. JJ knew Emily demanded an answer from her. "I want to know what you're not telling me," she answered truthfully. "And you can't stop me, Emily." The young agent stood up and picked up her things, getting ready to leave.
Emily sighed, feeling defeated. She watched JJ as the younger woman walked to the door.
JJ was about to leave the room when she felt Emily grab her arm and hug her from behind. She gasped in surprise and a teardrop escaped from the side of her eye. The blonde tried to turn around, but Emily's grip was too tight and she couldn't move. She could smell Emily's scent and she could feel Emily's warm breath blowing on her shoulder.
"Lo siento, mi amor," Emily whispered before letting go, pushing JJ softly towards the door, not wanting the younger woman to see her. "Goodbye, Jennifer," she added as the door closed.
Emily had sat motionless for about an hour when Elizabeth Prentiss entered the study. The young woman stood up to leave the room.
"Not now, Mother. I'm not in the mood," she said.
Ambassador Prentiss eyed her daughter closely. She swept her gaze over the room and noticed the empty glass – no bottle – and secretly smiled. At least Emily was sober. "I saw Agent Jareau on her way out," Elizabeth said lightly. If she was displeased with JJ's unannounced visit to her house, she didn't show it. "Funny how James didn't mention her at all. And I didn't see Agent Rossi," she added.
Emily shrugged, "So?"
"I'm just mentioning it, Emily," the older woman replied. She watched Emily walk to the door without saying another word. "Emily," she called. Her daughter turned around. "Your father and I... we tried," Elizabeth said hesitantly.
"I'm tired, Mother," Emily said weakly. She didn't want her mother to ask her about JJ's visit, but she didn't want to talk about her parents, either. "I don't want to know... not anymore." She left the Ambassador alone – somehow feeling a tad guilty about it.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
A/N: Well, what do you think? I can be cruel and say that it is a complete work. Meaning: no happy ending. And yes, for the time being, I'm sorry to say that I'm going to be cruel. I don't know when I will be able to update again or if I'm ever going to update this again so for now, it is a complete work. If one day I happen to find the words to make it a happy ending, I promise I will.
Thank you all for reading. It's been an amazing ride with you.