|Friday Night Fix It Night
Author: katecholamine PM
After 6 months in Paris, Emily returns to find that the one person she didn't want to leave no longer trusts her. Will Friday Night Fix-It Night repair Emily's relationship with Spencer? And is there any way to fix the love and longing she feels for him?Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Angst - E. Prentiss & S. Reid - Chapters: 23 - Words: 86,039 - Reviews: 151 - Favs: 40 - Follows: 58 - Updated: 04-16-13 - Published: 03-02-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7888658
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The moment Emily heard Mandy utter her name - her real name - she was gripped by fear. Just like "Leigh" would have been during those six months undercover.
Fortunately, it subsided shortly once she remembered that Mandy already knew her real name and her connection to the FBI - and once she realized that while Mandy had repeatedly refreshed her "memorial page" until it was abruptly removed from the government website, she probably hadn't seen the recent press release requesting the public's assistance in finding Agent Emily Prentiss so she could be brought in for questioning as a suspect in a drug trafficking case.
After all, Mandy's enthusiasm for drugs and art certainly did not extend to news journalism. Even the raucous cheers following the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death had only distracted her for about two minutes before she resumed playing an intensive game of Angry Birds.
With that in mind, Emily whispered harshly, in a voice tinged with paranoia, "Shush! Are there any Feds here? Any cops?"
"You tell me," Mandy retorted icily, straightening her shoulders and clenching her fists against her hipbones.
Emily surveyed the room and murmured in a low voice, "None that I see, but they'd know better than to send anyone I'd recognize if they were planning on busting me."
"Busting you?" Mandy repeated in disbelief. "Busting you for what?"
"Haven't you heard? The FBI is looking for me," Emily hissed, swiveling her body as though checking to make sure no one was in earshot.
"You are the fucking FBI," Mandy snapped violently, the rageful expression on her face prompting Emily to take several instinctive steps backward. This was a side of her friend she'd never, ever seen before and - judging by how quickly it was blinked away and replaced with an impressively-deceptive blank stare - it was one that Mandy must have become accustomed to suppressing for a long, long time.
"Oh, good. You already know." Emily feigned relief. "I really, really didn't want to be the one to have to tell you. So it's on the news here, too?"
"Some of it," Mandy replied evasively, pursing her lips.
"Well, before you believe what they're saying about me, here's the full story: I came here for six months because I was in hiding ... not from an abusive ex but from an unsub - that's FBI lingo for 'unknown subject' - who was trying to kill me. The government faked my death: they even held a funeral for me and gave me a memorial website. Only two members of my team knew I was still alive ... until they tracked the unsub down and killed him. After that, it was safe for me to return to the States and resume my position in the Behavioral Analysis Unit ..." Emily quickly realized that she'd lapsed into Agent Prentiss-speak and adjusted her tone accordingly. "... and it was so ... Ugh. You have no idea. All this really heavy serial killer shit, all day long. I mean, I wanted to fucking live again, and as hard as it was to leave my family the first time -"
"Your family?" Mandy laughed harshly.
"Yeah," Emily said, suddenly overcome by a deep, melancholy sadness as she remembered that last day, that last conversation with Reid, that last glance around the office where she'd grown to feel more at home than she ever did in her own apartment. "Listen, unlike you, I never had a real family. Unlike you, I never had a dad who loved me. So my team members kinda became my family. They would have died to protect me ... and that's why I pretended to die. I pretended to die to protect them."
"So after this stalker guy was killed, you went back to DC for a couple of months and just ... what? Left your job, left your family all over again so you could come back here to party?" Mandy questioned skeptically.
"It's not that simple," Emily insisted, mentally reviewing her 'story' one last time. "Around the same time I met you, I was at a discothèque and started talking to this guy from New York City. A few drinks and a blowjob later, he's spilling about how he sells to, like, all of the small-time dealers in this rich upstate area nearby and starts complaining about some catastrophic meth and heroin shortage destroying his business. I mean, these rich brats aren't about to slum it to New Jersey to buy drugs, you know?"
"Uh huh," Mandy agreed apprehensively.
"So I offered to help him out with the supplies if he'd help me out with the compensation 'cause there was no way I could keep paying for all the clothes and the shoes and the drugs on my shitty government allowance. Mandy, you really need to know why I never told you about this. I never told you because I don't mix business with pleasure and I ... I don't put the people I care about in danger."
Emily paused, allowing that last sentence to sink in. "When I first got here, I totally felt like my life was over and you became like ... like a foster parent or something. It didn't take long for me to realize that you were a better friend to me than anyone at the FBI had ever been because I could be real with you. So I made sure to protect you just like I protected them."
"Abandonment isn't exactly protection," Mandy added snidely, the comment momentarily inundating Emily with guilt ... not about what she'd done to Mandy, but about what she'd done to Spencer ...
No, Emily. No. Don't go there. Not here, not now. Leave Spencer out of this.
"I deserved that," Emily agreed ruefully, swallowing hard against the lump in her throat. "The reason I left DC is because my boss called us in for a briefing about a series of homicides in a suburb of Manhattan, a case we'd overtaken from the DEA and Homeland Security. When I heard that, I knew it must involve international drug trafficking and I decided it would be better to split than to risk the possibility that this case was somehow related to the ... the, uh, business I was doing here ... but now I'm wanted as a fucking accessory to murder 'cause apparently my overseas connection was supplying almost exclusively to this kid they suspect of killing a bunch of people in New York. And my fucking 'team' - my fucking family - went to the media like they really think I could be guilty of this!" Emily's tone had escalated into hysteria. "What the fuck kind of a family does that?"
Mandy froze. "Wh- what was the case about?"
"I don't know! I was so freaked out that I chartered a private jet back here instead of going into the office for the briefing! And now I don't know who to trust since my former team is treating me like some fugitive criminal ... and when I went to Picasso's to look for you, he shot me up with speedballs and I'm pretty sure I OD'ed in his apartment even though I woke up in the hallway of my hotel. And that's when I started wondering, Is he part of it? Is he working for the Feds? Was this a hit gone wrong? I mean, Jesus, if I hadn't started snorting some quality Oxy back in DC, I'd probably be dead right now!"
Mandy surveyed her intently, registering the panic and confusion and - for the first time ever - the mistrust in Emily's eyes.
"I didn't know anything about it," Mandy stated bluntly, but the lie was given away by one of her 'tells': her eyes shifted down toward the floor until her composure had been regained and then she looked up, almost challenging Emily with her gaze.
"I'd ... I'd really like to hear that from Picasso," Emily offered, hoping that her cover story had been believable enough for Mandy to convince him to come over and put an end to this charade. While Hotch had made it clear that the FBI's primary target was Mandy, he'd also sternly reminded her that they couldn't just permit a potential accessory to flee - and that they'd only storm the apartment if both targets were present or if Emily proved incapable of luring Picasso to the apartment.
Mandy narrowed her eyes. "How do I know you're not lying? How do I know you're not trying to set me up? How do I know you weren't so desperate to convince your fucked-up idea of a family that you really, really, really were the good little girl they always thought you were and that you'd just been coerced into doing a shitload of illegal drugs by a girl who no one, not one person, ever saw as good?"
"Mandy, what are you talking about?" Emily put a hand on her blonde friend's shoulder. "I think you're good. I think you're amazing! I don't know when this self-hatred shit started, but my god, you were so good to me ... Don't you remember how you took care of me when I freaked out or had a bad comedown? I didn't have a chance to tell you this before, but I thought - I think - you would've made a great doctor. And besides ..." Emily reached into her purse and pulled out the baggie containing the two tablets of Ecstasy. "... do you really think an active FBI agent would walk around with these?"
"Could be Tylenol, for all I know," Mandy remarked cynically. "Could be cyanide."
"Nope, pure Molly," Emily faked a brag. Sort of. "You want one?"
Mandy paused, considering her options. "No. I want you to dump everything out of your bag, crush one up, and sniff it. And then we'll talk about getting Picasso over here."
After the tablet of Ecstasy had been crushed and laid out in thick, brownish-pink lines next to her cell phone, wallet, and FBI ID - which Mandy had quickly snatched up to examine closely - Emily couldn't help but feel that familiar anticipatory thrill surge through her before she lowered her face to the powdered MDMA and sniffed it, quick and hard, tasting the chemical tinge in the back of her throat. "There," she announced. "Happy now?"
"We'll see in about fifteen minutes," Mandy responded skeptically, moving to the other side of the crowded room where Emily watched as she dialed a number and started talking on her cell phone, gesticulating wildly but managing to keep her voice out of earshot.
"I'm sorry, Spencer," Emily whispered into the bugged device on the table in front of her. "I'm so, so sorry."
In the white van parked across the street from the apartment complex, three heads spun around to gape at Reid.
Spencer's hazel eyes settled on Morgan's. His were the most unsettling. There was no teasing glint, no "is she sorry she's not in ecstasy with you, pretty boy?" smirk plastered on his face. There was just ... clouded confusion, followed by an apparent realization that caused his jaw to drop, dangling wordlessly as he furrowed his brow in concentration, his head cocked and his eyes trained on Spencer's mouth.
Under his scrutiny, Spencer became increasingly uncomfortable, wriggling in his seat as he tried to profile Morgan's profiling of him. Why the focus on his lips? Did they look too ... kissed? Now that he was officially a man, were his pheromones screaming to the rest of the world, "I'm not a virgin anymore"? Could Morgan smell Emily's scent on the fingers Reid refused to wash? Did he notice Spencer periodically waving them underneath his nostrils and inhaling hungrily?
"You used, didn't you?" Morgan finally spat out, vehemence creeping into his tone. "You fucking used with her."
"No! What? I -" Spencer sputtered, his eyes darting over to Rossi and Hotch, whose faces reflected the same suspicious accusation that Morgan had just uttered aloud.
"Listen, man ... How many times have we shared a hotel room over the years? If I so much as cough, you jump up like I just sucker-punched you in the gut. But Prentiss? She stays out partying all night and you remain in some kind of narcoleptic coma while she stumbles into your room, takes a shower, and gets dressed?" Morgan shook his head, his lips tightening into a thin line. "Nah, I don't think so."
"But I -" Spencer tried to interrupt.
"Look, I used to work narcotics, Reid. And I saw the way your mouth twitched when she apologized to you. Not to the rest of us. To you. So I'm thinking that you woke up when she came back into that hotel room and when you saw how high she was, you wanted it. You wanted it bad. Bad enough to make a stupid junkie promise that after you'd both finished off the rest of her stash, neither of you would ever touch another drug again. Bad enough to ..."
By now, Spencer was fuming, his eyes flaring as he thought, Derek, if I told you what I wanted so badly - what we both wanted so badly - it would blow your puny little mind. Instead, he just smirked, thinking of all the things his fellow agent didn't know about what really happened in that room and smugly declared, "This is exactly why you'll never be good at poker, Morgan ... because you look, but you don't see."
Caught off guard, Morgan stopped abruptly, trying to catch Rossi's glance, but his colleague, a seasoned poker player himself, seemed lost in his own world as he contemplated Reid's cryptic statement. "OK. Let's say you did sleep through all that noise," Morgan agreed gently, trying to lull him into complacency (as Spencer knew from watching him interrogate unsubs over the last seven years) before going in for the kill: "You're telling me you didn't notice she was high? You, with all your experience, didn't even fucking notice she was high?"
"Well, you didn't notice, either, Morgan!" The words flew out of Spencer's mouth before he could stop himself.
"Excuse me?" Morgan fired back, raising his eyebrows.
"With all your experience, you didn't notice Emily's constricted pupils, her detachment, her emotional lability, or the way she was both sweating and shivering on Sunday at the briefing?" Spencer continued, unable to stop himself. "Or were you too focused on trying to get a night with her alone? Did you miss the dazed look on her face because you were too busy looking at her -"
"Reid," Hotch warned.
Morgan held his hand up in protest. "No, Hotch. It's all good. I get it. I get it now. Pretty boy here's jealous."
"Jealous?" Spencer responded incredulously.
"Yeah, that's right. Jealous. You're jealous of the way I flirt with Prentiss. Jealous because you don't know how to flirt with her like ..."
"Right, Morgan," Spencer interrupted bitterly. "I've always dreamed of sexually harassing the women I work with."
"That's enough, Reid," Hotch warned again, but this time Spencer was on a roll.
"Morgan, I know things about Emily that you will never, ever, ever - not even in your wildest dreams - know about her. Like how her lips always taste like vanilla. Always. Even when she's not wearing lip gloss!" Practically giddy and entirely oblivious to the shocked expressions on the three agents' faces, Spencer couldn't stop the inappropriate confessions pouring out of him in a torrent of excitable, pressured speech. "Or how she acts like she always needs to be in control and yet she gets so, so excited by being teased to the point where she's desperate and begging for release. Or how she tries so hard to keep her eyes open the whole time, and how she looks almost like ... No, how she does look like an angel. How she looks like an absolute fucking angel when she comes ..."
"That's enough, Reid!" Hotch demanded forcefully, stunning him into silence.
Oh, my God. What did I just do? Spencer thought, horrified. And why did I do it? Was this really about Morgan? Was it about finally shutting him up once and for all by proving I'm not the geeky kid he thinks I am? Or was it jealousy? Admittedly, I didn't exactly love the fact that Emily introduced me as 'Derek' to the bouncer at that club but he's not a threat to our relationship, right? Or did I ... did I selfishly use the words she murmured to me when she thought I was asleep as a way to force one of us off the team so we could have the kind of life she claimed to want for us? The kind of life I already know I want for us?
Before he could stop to further contemplate any of the numerous questions swirling around in his brain, Spencer heard a voice over the loudspeaker. Spencer heard her voice over the loudspeaker.
"Well, if it isn't my very favorite artist in the flesh! C'mere, baby ... You want a line?"
Picasso's courteous "No, merci" was followed by the unmistakable sound of someone snorting drugs right next to the phone. The unmistakable sound of Emily snorting drugs right next to the phone, of her choosing to insufflate the second tablet of Ecstasy for no reason other than to get high. To get higher.
Hotch turned to Rossi and Morgan with a grave expression on his weathered face and ordered, "Let's go."
When Spencer moved to follow, Hotch nearly snarled, "Not you, Reid. You've done quite enough 'work' on this case already."
The plane ride back to Quantico was like some fucked-up version of a reality television show. Jersey Shore meets Intervention, only without the much-desired shore or the much-needed intervention.
After takeoff, Emily had sauntered down the aisle to the last seat, to Spencer's seat, and squarely planted her feet on the aisle beside him, hand on hip. Eventually, he looked up and met her eyes - or her pupils, rather, which were indistinguishable from her irises and twinkling with pharmaceutical euphoria.
"Is this seat taken?" she asked in a throaty whisper.
"Yeah. By me," Spencer snapped.
"Good," Emily responded with a dazzling smile, either ignoring or simply not registering his tone of voice before sliding down onto his lap and burying her face in his neck, kissing and licking and sucking on his pale skin. Because she was straddling him, she was spared from witnessing the discomfort and dismay written all over their colleagues' faces. Still, Spencer knew that her altered mental status would have prevented her from truly "seeing" what he saw when he glanced over her shoulder.
It struck him as ironic that Ecstasy was colloquially referred to as "the love drug" - because this disconnected, alien-eyed, jaw-clenching woman grinding herself into his lap didn't even begin to resemble the vulnerable, trusting partner he'd held in his arms only hours earlier. No, this person definitely wasn't Emily Prentiss. And this feeling definitely wasn't love.
But so much had happened between the time that the three agents had stormed the apartment to apprehend the suspects and the present moment ... and it wasn't only Emily's MDMA intoxication preventing Spencer from physically responding to her efforts to excite him. It was ... It was everything.
It was hearing the rat-a-tat-tat of gunshots that had rendered Spencer completely incapable of breathing, deprived his knuckles of oxygenated blood flow as his clenched fists whitened and grew numb against his knees. It was the relieved grin, the accelerated heartbeat, the shaking knees, the ebullience surging through his body when her voice boomed joyfully throughout the white van as she welcomed her team like she was greeting them at a dinner party. It was Hotch's stoic voice reporting that both Mandy and Picasso were among the casualties, with the other bullets avoiding all but two civilian spectators and hitting the agents' FBI Kevlar vests, briefly knocking the wind out of them but mercifully sparing their lives.
It was the hope and anxiety he felt while waiting on the tarmac for Emily's arrival. It was watching her gallop toward him like a rare Thoroughbred with her long black hair flying behind her as she sang loudly, "I wanna run to you ..." It was the way she grabbed his face in her hands and kissed him like Whitney Houston kissed Kevin Costner in that heart-wrenching scene from The Bodyguard. It was the way he kissed her back.
And now, with Emily running her hands over his chest and gyrating against his lap like a stripper, it was ...
It was over.