Title: Lose Yourself
Rating: R ANGST alert.
Pairing: NOTE: Emily/Calleigh Implied JJ/LaM and JJ/Emily angst
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. No infringement intended. No profit made.
SPOILERS: Criminal Minds end of season 3
Summary: What happens AFTER the credits rolled. Emily's POV.
A/N: So I felt the need to fix that episode, and my muse apparently just loves pairing Calleigh with everyone. Apologies but they, they set the damn episode in MIAMI, come on! Whats a girl supposed to do?
Apologies. I'm fairly certain this is complete crap. I blame my thesis.
"Well its about time."
"I thought we'd never get her to admit they're together."
"Yeah, what's it been now, a year?"
The words were meant to be teasing, light: a release after the tense case and emotional storm of profiling this unsub who was little more than a scared, abused child.
Morgan and Reid stayed, watching JJ with the New Orleans detective and sharing smirks and blackmail ideas.
Or perhaps, if the brunette was to be honest with herself, she would admit she didn't leave…she ran. With her hands shoved into her pockets to hide the fists they had balled themselves into and her shoulders hunched against the invisible blow the sight of JJ in William's arms had dealt her heart, Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss fled the scene.
Hotch had given the team the night off, something that normally would have been cause for celebration and a 'team night.' The Miami evening was hot and electric, but where usually the agents of the BAU would have gone out together, drank together, teased and let off steam together…tonight the bonds that held them close seemed to have shattered, scattered on the ocean breeze of this Southern city.
Morgan was gone practically before Hotch finished talking, a wicked gleam in his eye and his cell phone out to call the intense Miami detective they'd worked with.
Rossi claimed exhaustion and Reid seemed withdrawn, heading back to the hotel, ostensibly to relax. Hotch had never been one to go out and JJ…JJ was with LaMontagne.
For perhaps the first time since she had truly been accepted into the BAU's 'family' Emily was left standing on the outside…alone.
For a moment the brunette hesitated, teetering on the edge of a chasm of regret and loss.
JJ was gone, slipping out of her life if not entirely, than at least in the one way that mattered most. And the worst part was that Emily knew she could have prevented it. The woman who had managed to destroy any attempts by Emily to compartmentalize her, whose mere presence could flood the dark agent with a sense of warmth and whose smile could shine through the darkest of moments could have been hers…If she had been bolder, if she had been braver, if, if, if.
To Hell with 'ifs', the brunette swore silently. And with that, she cleaned up, changed, and headed out into the swirling, molten Miami night.
The hand that raised the shot of rum to her mouth seemed to belong to someone else, and despite the irresponsibly high number this particular drink represented, Emily couldn't seem to achieve what she truly desired – forgetfulness. Her mind refused to shut down, even as her body slowly succumbed to the alcohol. Not even the press and energy of the mass of club goers could distract her.
The brunette was about to give in and go back to the hotel…when a flash of blonde caught her eye.
For an instant, her heart leapt, knowing even as she felt that sharp flash of hope that it was futile and yet she was powerless to stop it. Emily stood frozen: torn between a desire to stride forward and make the woman – the stranger, she knew – reveal her identity and shatter the illusion, and the flimsy, painful hope that somehow, someway, that fall of gold hair belonged to the woman she so desperately wanted it to.
In the end, the choice wasn't given to her. The stranger turned, revealing elegant cheekbones, large, green eyes, and an athletic, curvaceous figure. The woman in Emily could distantly appreciate the poise with which the smaller blonde held herself, but it was the profiler's instincts that kept the brunette's attention riveted to the stranger.
In the midst of the sea of energy and lust that filled the darkened space, she was a small island of calm…and pain. Even separated by the slight space Emily could see the darkened circles under her eyes and could tell that the too-correct way the blonde held herself was in response to an inner wound, one that was both fresh and deep.
Sometimes it was a curse not to be able to stop profiling.
As Emily found herself drawn down the bar toward the strange woman, a small part of the agent understood that this was not one of those times.
The hotel was expensive, impersonal…and unimportant.
Her hair was lighter than JJ's, cornsilk to polished brass, but Emily thought the shining weight might be similar. She smelled different, like the sea breeze, where JJ always reminded her of a brisk winter wind coming off the mountains.
It was inevitable at first of course – the comparisons – but gradually, as the stranger explored Emily's body with her hands and mouth, the comparisons began to fade, become less important. The differences in height and body, sound and scent faded away…all but her eyes. It was the woman's eyes - polished jade and not summer sky blue – that screamed 'this is not JJ' when all other reminders had quieted. The color was almost accusing in its clarity and it was the only thing that made Emily hesitate…until she realized the stranger avoided her eyes as well and the agent knew that she was not the only one looking for something to ease an ache too deep to truly heal that night.
Her body burned with the need to feel and her mind burned with a need to forget however, and so Emily closed her eyes, shielding herself from the sight that would remind her of her failure, and gave herself over to the stranger's – to Calleigh's – touch.
Gradually, finally her thoughts became duller, less distinct. As her own fingers traced soft skin and tugged at cotton and leather and silk, Emily began to let go of the regret and the anger and lost herself in the primitive sensations of soft, heated skin, open, hungry mouths, and the slick heat of another woman's need.
Calleigh was gentle and fierce, strong and yielding and generous and her touch felt incredible, but though Emily lost track of the number of times they came together and even as she lay - barely awake and physically sated - she knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that neither she nor the blonde Miami Detective had found what they were searching for that night.
Rolling over, Emily met Calleigh's eyes – those green eyes that should have been the color of a clear fall sky - and felt the ache bloom again in her heart. She looked down, unable to hold the other woman's gaze and was about to roll away when the blonde reached out a hand, tracing one finger down Emily's arm. The agent was about to speak – to say what she had no idea – when she caught the flicker of pain that flashed across Calleigh's face where the southerner's gaze followed the path of her fingers.
For a moment neither moved and then Emily took Calleigh's hand in her own, kissing the knuckles gently. For some reason, it wasn't as difficult to meet her eyes now. It was as if the blonde's pain made her finally unique, severing the last of the comparisons in Emily's mind.
The Miami Detective gave a tiny, rueful smile, and then leaned in and kissed Emily sweetly.
For perhaps the first time that night, the dark agent was aware of the softness of Calleigh's lips and of the gentle heat of her mouth without thinking about JJ and how good it felt.
And when the blonde pulled back, Emily saw the same understanding reflected in the smaller woman's eyes; understanding, and the shared knowledge that there could be no starting over for them either. They had shared a moment – but like a spark flaring into the night as it escapes the fire – it had burned out and couldn't be rekindled.
The knowledge was oddly comforting. Emily felt empty. Not numb or in pain, but as if an ocean wave had crashed over her, erasing the footprints and debris in the sand of her soul. What her heart had been hoping to find in that bar had been a fantasy, and somehow, in the failure to find it, the dark agent had been given something else – something not wanted, but valuable nonetheless.
What Calleigh went back to when they slipped silently out into the dying night Emily never knew, but as the dark agent put her gun back on her hip and hailed a cab to return to her own hotel, it was with a sense of weary acceptance, and the taste of the ocean on her lips.
Watching the Miami nightlife pass her by through the air condition-chilled window of the cab, Emily Prentiss began the long, aching process of rebuilding the compartments from which she made sense of the world and which JJ had scattered and broken so thoroughly.
She had long ago accepted that the blonde agent fit into none of them, so starting tonight, Emily created a new place in her mind and heart that would always and only belong to Jennifer Jareau. It wasn't perfect, and it wouldn't stay sealed forever, but it was the only way the brunette knew how to survive. And ultimately, although her time with Calleigh had failed to truly heal the wound in her heart, the Miami Detective's touch had given Emily back at least that much – the knowledge that she would survive.