Author: lilylynn PM
Knowing she had to disappear was hard. Watching them take her away was worse.Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama - A. Hotchner/Hotch & E. Prentiss - Words: 1,572 - Reviews: 4 - Published: 03-05-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7897330
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is a short, offhand piece, inspired by the beautiful, haunting song Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band. The song came out around the time of Emily's departure. So this was something that grew from the lyrics. But this involves her leaving, not her 'dying'. I hate both instances but it gets me writing.
I hope you enjoy, please let me know what you think! I own nothing of Criminal Minds or ZBB.
Well it's a winding road
When you're in the lost and found
You're a lover I'm a runner
And we go 'round 'n 'round
And I love you but I leave you
I don't want you but I need you
You know it's you that calls me back here baby
Knowing she had to disappear was hard. Watching them take her away was worse. Facing the truth and accepting what had to happen was never so difficult. He felt chained, unable to move, unable to help. There was nothing he could do. Powerless to everything going on around him, Hotch felt out of his body. He was helpless to her when he had vowed to protect her.
No one, not even JJ, knew he watched as the airplane that held Emily lift off into the deep nights' sky just weeks ago.
No matter what any of them could have done, she was bound to leave. It was in her nature to be in the back, despite her want of a connection. She compartmentalized everything in her mind and reorganized all self-control. To distance her feelings and emotions from others gave her obvious reasons to leave, thus made for an easier exit. Hating to admit it, he himself couldn't see her in any other way.
But this was by no means easy.
She knew leaving would be hard despite anything she tried to do to push them away. She was close to everyone. They were her friends, her family. This was the hardest decision she ever had to make, Hotch was sure of it.
Perhaps the cause behind all those characteristics had to do with her young life. Always traveling, never staying in one place. Emily tried so hard no matter where she was, just to fit in. As soon as she felt something, she had to go; vacating what she knew. The pattern would never change. His heart broke because she had finally found her home with them. Emily was one of them. Fighting for her job, her life, her family was what molded her and became her. All of that, everything was gone now. She had to give her life up. For what?
As the bitter cold wind rushed over his face, unsettling his clothes and seeping into his skin uninvited, Hotch sighs. His breath fogs up the glass and his throat constricts as his sight of the city is blurred. The moisture slowly slips away, disappearing much like Prentiss. His eyes scan out his hotel window at the city lights of Trenton; he felt a moment of déjà vu as a plane was heard taking off a few miles from where he was standing. Shaking his head, he closes the window he had opened earlier, as the cold dissolves inside his body. Every fiber, every inch of him felt the cold, like the icy feeling was becoming him, inside and out.
A heavy weight of guilt presses down upon him. The emotion was always the same.
A flashback of her face in a reflection reminded him of how much he wanted to see her again. Her presence was deeply missed among the team. She brought life and laughter to the otherwise pitiful days spent in front of the murder board. The infectious smile, the playful laugh, the understanding in her dark eyes; all was dancing around in his mind. Obviously he couldn't shut his mind like she could. Confusion and interest mingled at his thoughts. The dire urge to know where she was at, what she was doing at this very moment. The consistency of thoughts drilled at him.
Was she alright?
If only he had a way contacting her. He still had her on speed dial along with the rest of his team. The phone was in his hand, ready to push the button. But Hotch knew he couldn't call her, as much as he wanted to. Several times he had done this and each time he forced himself to control his actions.
Hotch experienced moments where he wanted to get on the jet and fly to where she was, just to see her. He'd do it in a heartbeat if it didn't ruin all of their safety and he supposed her trust.
She trusted them to move on and go about their days as if she wasn't here, as if she never was. What an impossible task.
There must be a way for her to come back to him, to her family. Maybe tomorrow, maybe a couple months, maybe a year…Hotch didn't know. Time would tell.
Walking away from the window, the cold following him much like her memory, Hotch sits at the edge of the hotel bed, rubbing his neck as he thinks about earlier that evening.
The team had made it back from the police station, deciding to turn in for the night. In need of food and refreshments, they dine at the neighboring burger joint. Their waitress makes her way over and like a wave washing over them, they are struck. Emma, the name she introduced herself as, was a spitting image of their beloved friend. The little smirk curving the full lips to the sparkle in her eyes had Hotch and his team second glancing. Their hearts were bleeding at the memory this woman brought upon them. Emily Prentiss was everywhere but in the flesh. And in the flesh was right where they wanted her.
Hotchs' coffee seemed lukewarm and the food no longer appetizing; the team left with heavy hearts and emotional looks.
Still, there was nothing they could do.
Who knew how far away she was. Across the world, hopefully safe from harm, Hotch wished for her to be happy.
Mulling over Emily's face and the voice he wants to hear again, Hotch felt lost. There had been feelings, sure, but he never faced them. Nothing would have worked. They were the same, but complete opposites. The time spent going in circles in his head about the way he feels towards her took over. He told himself he didn't want her, to make him move on. He had to get out of the loop. So she was pushed on to the side. Their job was their focus, the only answer. He couldn't be with anyone.
With her gone, Hotch could only think about how much he needed her now. What a torturous battle of will, body and mind.
The taste of the black coffee lingered in his mouth. He felt disgusted.
She loves but she can't hold on to that love. There is always something to pull her away. Whether it's an inner struggle or just the way of the world, Emily can't stay.
She was the one that always showed she cared. She brought him back from the brink, calling his name out in the silence. Always offering to help, Emily wanted to be his, anyone's lifesaver. He had accused her of overcompensating once, something he desires to take back even now.
Pain in his heart, throbbing in his head, Hotch wishes for a better outcome that he already knows will never happen. Why didn't he say the simplest words to her?
They were the most complicated ones.
With fate to blame, under no circumstances would there be a future for them. She leaves and he stays. He wants to speak and she stumbles over the words. She'll be who she always has been and he will never change.
Back in the hotel room, Hotch feels the cold even now. The weather was being cruel and Hotch wanted to believe that wherever Emily was, she wasn't suffering. He hoped she was warm and comfortable. Things aren't always warm and comfortable though and Hotch knew she was stuck. They were stuck. Stuck with choices made and dealing with the consequences was life.
His back slumps as he attempts to loosen his tie, arms weak. He closes his eyes and her ever faithful image is there. No matter where the job takes him, she is there. Haunting him. Reminding him every moment of how alone she is. How alone he is.
He's got to keep on for his team though. They had to come together and find strength in a common belief. In a dream. In something that mattered.
Her smile fades and then returns, bright against the black of her hair. If he tries, he can still smell her familiar pleasing scent. She was all around him.
Suddenly he determines they will see each other again. Emily will rejoin him and the team soon. The link will be reattached. What was broken will be repaired. The weather will give and the warmth will return. The family will be together again. They just have to wait for time. Time will tell. Time will heal.
He couldn't wait till then.