Author: flashpenguin PM
Set 4 years after "A Christmas Carol", the angels are on a mission to save Dave and Em. But with time running out and Fate determined to have its way, will the former lovers be able to make amends and finally have the happy ending that was denied them? Co-written with Mattdawg.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Family - D. Rossi & E. Prentiss - Chapters: 49 - Words: 70,697 - Reviews: 154 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 31 - Updated: 05-03-13 - Published: 07-18-12 - id: 8334753
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Hello, Em. Long time, no see," Dave greeted nonchalantly as though days had passed instead of years.
Em stood in shock as she tried to comprehend that it was Dave Rossi standing on the porch of the United States Embassy. It had to be a bad dream…what else could explain his presence?
"Aren't you going to let me in?" Dave asked.
Em's grip tightened on the doorframe to help steady her suddenly weak knees. "What are you doing here?"
"I've been ordered to provide security for you," he replied smoothly. Four years since he had last seen the woman whose heart he had broken and all he could do was stare. Was it possible that Emily Prentiss had grown more beautiful since that night she had turned around and left him in the church on Christmas Morning? Her black hair was rolled up, so he couldn't tell if she had grown it out or cut if off. But at least she had let her bangs grow out. Now there was nothing to take away from her huge brown eyes…the eyes that used to shine with love for him.
Dave shook his head to clear it. He had a job to do and he couldn't let the past get in the way of performing what he had been ordered to do. Too many lives depended on him to be on task.
"Here are my orders." Dave handed over the manila packet. "You'll find that it's all legitimate."
"I didn't ask for you."
Dave shrugged. "You may not have asked for me, but obviously someone thought that you needed to have me."
Em opened the envelope and pulled out the official letter. Quickly her eyes scanned the words more than once to make sure that there wasn't a mistake.
"No one told me."
"It is supposed to be a covert operation. Only the top brass at the FBI and CIA are privy to my presence here…oh, and the President, of course," Dave supplied. "You can call him - or Hotch - if you want."
"Hotch knows about this?" Em growled.
"He was there that morning when the CIA came to the Hoover Building and requested my cooperation. Strauss was all for me coming out here. Seems she still has some pull."
"You are supposed to be retiring in April!"
"Yeah, well, that has been put off until further notice because if this doesn't turn out the way the higher ups want it to, retirement might be replaced with a full colour guard funeral," Dave quipped.
"What do you know?" Em whispered.
Dave paused as he weighed his words. He had to get on her good side if he was going to be allowed in to her life. He couldn't mess this up.
"Only as much as you do. I know that there is noise of an uprising and the Muslim Brotherhood are refusing to come to the table," he supplied carefully. "I know that you are hitting dead ends every time you turn around…"
"And that is why you are here, now? You think I can't handle brokering peace to stop an uprising?" Em bit out.
"It has nothing to do with your capabilities, Em; if they rise up, it could be worse than Tehran in '79. And there is more to lose if that happens."
The same words she had told the Secretary of State not an hour earlier. Em blinked quickly as tears burned her eyes and tried to escape.
"Where are you staying?" she asked, trying to change the subject.
"Here." Plain, simple. To the point.
"You can't stay here!" There was fear in her tone.
Dave shrugged his shoulders. "I am an American on orders; I am allowed to stay at the embassy for as long as it takes to get things situated. And if that fire in the far corner of the town was any indication of things getting 'situated', I might be here for a while."
"You can't…" Desperation was in her plea. He couldn't stay; there had to be somewhere else, she thought frantically. Maybe he could stay…
"Ambassador, you have a guest," Julia announced cheerfully, interrupting Em's thoughts.
"He was just getting ready to leave," Em remarked casually with a lift of her chin.
"Actually, I am here until further notice. I'm Dave Rossi with the FBI," Dave introduced himself and extended his hand.
"Julia. I am the housekeeper. Are you hungry?" she asked politely. While she shook Dave's hand, she searched his face. There was something vaguely familiar about the stranger who had appeared on the embassy doorstep. She cast a quick glance at the Ambassador. And if body language was any indicator, this visitor was the last person she wanted to see.
"As a matter of fact, I am. The box lunch on the military transport wasn't much more than a snack," he replied with a charming smile.
"He can't…" Em protested. "He…"
"Yes, he can," Julia contradicted. "I made up the guest room just this morning. You can stay there." Julia guided Dave toward thru the foyer and to the kitchen. "Now sit while I get you something." She looked at Em who was standing in the doorway glaring. "You were going to take a bath and call your mother; I can take care of him." She wasn't one for prying, but with any luck she might get a couple of answers.
Realizing that she was outnumbered, Em sighed in defeat. "I should call my mother," she agreed. "Just make sure he doesn't make a lot of noise when he goes upstairs." Em gave Dave one last glare and left him and Julia alone.
"Hotch, why is Rossi here?" Em demanded in a low tone. She was trying hard to control her emotions and temper, but it was becoming increasingly difficult with each minute that passed.
"Well, hello, Emily," Hotch greeted pleasantly.
"Don't try to placate me, Hotch; I just got the call from the Secretary of State saying that someone was coming to help me, and the next thing I know, David Rossi is standing at my front door with orders to report to the embassy. What is going on?" she hissed.
"About as much as you do," Hotch replied evenly. "The CIA showed up the other day and requesting Dave to help them with a joint task force on terrorism tactics and hostage negotiation."
"His last book was what propelled this."
Em paused. "It was a great book," she admitted grudgingly. "Still…of all the people to send…I mean, don't they know we had a history?"
"With all the unrest in that area and the powder keg you're sitting on - I don't think that crossed their minds. And I'm pretty sure that you can put that behind you," Hotch remarked. "Didn't you tell me, before you left, that you were at peace with Dave and what transpired?"
"I was…I am," she corrected, "but that doesn't mean that he gets to waltz back into my life. Unless he knows about…" her voice trailed off.
"I didn't tell him, Em. You asked me not to, and I kept my promise. But he's going to find out that you have a child. Then what are you going to do? It's not as though you can hide her."
"What are the chances of things calming down and peace coming into fruition?" The question was definitely a double entendre.
Em shook her head. "Slight. There's no rioting at the moment, but there is…unrest. I have been ordered to stand down. And I cannot bring my mother in to get Claire," she said as tears clogged her throat.
"That is what Dave is there," Hotch reassured her. "To protect you if things get bad. He still loves you…even if you can never feel the same way toward him. Let him do his job."
"I can do that," she sighed.
"If things get really bad, you have someone to help get Claire out of Jordan."
"Call me tomorrow, okay?"
"I will. Give Jack a hug for me," Em said.
"Give Claire one for me," Hotch returned. "Bye."
Em disconnected the call and set the receiver down. She needed a vacation. Maybe after all was said and done, she could go back to Quantico and teach at the Academy. She just needed to make it to New Year's.
Shaking her head to clear it, she headed toward the Master bath. She still needed to call her mother, but it could wait until she had her bath first.