Disclaimer: See chapters 1 – 13.
Author's Note: Right, this time this really is the last chapter. This has been fun to write but now I'm ready to have a bit of a break. I want to thank each and every one of you that has taken time to read this; you've made me very happy. Also a huge thank you to jennifer52002, withoutatatcegirl, Nat365, Sarge1, SAJC, tearbos, Lady of Scarlet, bumblebee917, JustKitty, Ihearttv, grahamag, EmyPink, didi2909, smokeylove, CMJJ7 and Kale-ness who took the time to review the last chapter.
I hope you all stay safe and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Two weeks had passed and JJ was preparing herself for her first day back at work, and she knew that in the next room Emily was doing the same. After they had been released from hospital, somehow they had come to the decision that JJ was to stay in Emily's apartment for a couple of weeks so neither of them had to be alone. Of course, these words weren't actually spoken but they both knew that was the reason JJ was currently staying in Emily's guest room.
All of the team had been to visit to see how they were doing many times. JJ was touched to know how much they all cared, but in the first week after getting out of hospital, when she had been around them she felt very self conscious and uncomfortable. Especially when someone would try to bring up what had happened. However it was part of JJ's job to dodge questions and lead the conversation where she wanted it to go, so she had managed to avoid talking about it with anyone. JJ had been surprised to notice that Emily seemed equally good and dodging questions too, but then her mother and father were both politicians, she had probably picked it up from them.
Even though JJ had readily agreed to stay with Emily for a couple of weeks, at first it had been a bit awkward. Neither of them really knew what to say to each other. But on the second night JJ was there, she had woke up in the small hours of the morning, drenched in cold sweat and shaking because of a particularly bad nightmare. To calm herself down she had gone downstairs to make herself a hot drink, only to find Emily already sat there nursing a cup of hot chocolate and staring miserably out the window. They had sat together in a companionable silence, both knowing that the other was feeling the same as themselves. JJ found it comforting to know that she was not alone.
Now JJ was stood in front of a mirror examining her face. Almost all the bruising and cuts had vanished much to her relief. She straightened up and tried to put her professional expression on, but somehow no matter how hard she tried she could still see self doubt in her eyes. Oh well, she'd just have to work on building up her defences again in the madhouse.
There was a knock on the door.
"Come in, Emily," JJ said, turning away from her reflection.
Emily popped her head around the door, "Are you ready to go?"
"Yes," JJ nodded, not entirely telling the truth.
Hotch paced his office. He was usually not one for pacing, but now he felt it was necessary. His two agents were coming back to work today and he was worried about them. It's not that he didn't think they could cope, he knew they could. He just thought that they should maybe have taken some more time off to work through things. They both flat out refused to talk to Hotch about what had happened which wasn't good. At least they had each other though. When JJ had decided to stay with Prentiss for a while he would have been lying if he'd have said that he wasn't relieved. He didn't like the thought of either of them being alone. Especially in that first week when the two thugs that had been working for Davenport where on the run.
Prentiss had passed out by the time the ambulance had arrived at the house, but JJ told them about the two men called Lester and Bill who had been hired by Davenport. She had given them every detail she could remember before being carted off to a hospital. Somehow the two men had given them the slip for an entire week before getting caught. Hotch was amazed as to how, after he had spoken to them he had realised that they were actually quite stupid.
A knock of his door startled Hotch from his musings.
"Come in," he said.
Morgan opened the door, "Just thought I'd let you know that JJ and Emily are here."
"Thanks," Hotch said with a nod.
Spencer greeted the two women with what he hoped was a warm smile.
"Good morning," he said, as they walked to Prentiss' desk.
"Morning, Spence," said JJ with a small smile.
"Are you serious?" Prentiss suddenly said.
Confused, Spencer moved his head to see that she was looking at the small mountain of paperwork on her desk.
"I come back to work after being kidnapped and people think it's okay to keep giving me work to do when I'm not even here?" she continued, shaking her head in disbelief.
JJ let out a small laugh, "Ha, if it makes you feel any better I'm going to have even more to do than you have."
Looking momentarily thoughtful, Prentiss replied, "You know, it kind of does."
"Oh thank you. That's nice," JJ said sarcastically.
Spencer couldn't help but smile at the two. They seemed to be dealing with things a lot better than he had, or still was in fact. It was at that point that he resolved to try and give up his dilaudid, even if it meant seeking out help from someone.
Morgan walked down the stairs to greet JJ and Prentiss with Hotch in tow. The first thing that struck him was that the two women seemed to be laughing and joking with Reid. He had to stop himself from shaking his head in amazement. Obviously there were still some issues that they'd all have to work through, but Hotch had been right. JJ and Prentiss were strong, and if anyone could recover from that kind of attack it was them.
"Hey," Morgan said as approached.
"Hey, Morgan," Prentiss replied, "I wonder if you can tell me why someone has deemed it necessary to give me six million sheets of paperwork to do while I have been off on sick leave?"
Ah, so that's what they had been talking about, "I'm afraid I don't know anything about it," Morgan replied, then he pointed to Reid behind the boys back and mouthed 'it was him' at her.
"Reid? Is this your doing?" Prentiss said, raising an eyebrow.
"What?" Reid spluttered, "No! Morgan! Stop lying to them! It's got nothing to do with me!"
"All right then," Emily said, throwing her arms up in resignation, "Fine. But I will have my revenge on you Doctor Spencer Reid. You too Derek Morgan, don't think I'm letting you off the hook."
Emily smiled as the two men had the good grace to look a little worried by this statement. Then she noticed Hotch behind them, she could feel his gaze upon her and quickly looked away. Even though they weren't supposed to, Emily could tell he was profiling her. Probably deciding that she was trying to use humour as a defence mechanism and undoubtedly noting that she couldn't quite look anyone in the eye for more than a second before looking away. Not that any of this was true of course. Emily was fine. Or at least, she would be in time.
Author's Note: Endings are hard to write.
I'm going on holiday for three weeks in a few days to America. Florida to be specific. So this means that it is highly unlikely that I'll be posting anything for a while. When I do get back to sunny England however I have a couple of stories in mind that I might give a go. I hope to see you there if I do!
Once again, I can't thank you enough.