Welcome to procrastination at it's finest. I hate the UN right now and reforming it. Someone else write my paper, okay? I'll write these little itty bitty one shots instead since JJ and Reid aren't cooperating over in Growing Up BAU.
Loves to those who review!
Emily Prentiss had never been the belle of the ball.
She never got her man, she never was that ugly duckling turned swan, and she'd work very hard for every single thing she'd accomplished in her life. She'd had to fight tooth and nail to find who she was, to figure out that she didn't have to sit under her mother's political wing. She hated how often her name played a role in anything she did. If she'd had her way, she'd have changed it, simply so that she could go through her life like anyone else.
What was almost worse was that she really couldn't fully blame it on a terrible childhood. Sure, her and her mother had their differences and sure, Emily was a little more reckless than her mother appreciated, but it wasn't like Emily's childhood had been full of neglect or abuse. Her parents loved her, cherished her, regardless of the fact that she wasn't a son. Her father doted on her even and while some less knowledgeable people would probably look at the expensive gifts she got and say he was simply placating her for things he missed, Emily knew better. She'd grown up in that world, the world of politics, and there were some experiences with her parents that she loved and wouldn't have gotten if not for their political connections.
As a child, like every other girl, she dreamed of the perfect fairytale. She dreamed of finding a man that adored her, heart, soul, body and everything else that came with her. She wanted someone that loved her in spite of her nerdiness. She wanted someone to be able to look at her parents' jobs and identities and not be intimidated. And it had taken her many a mistake to realize she wanted someone who didn't care about name or politics or about what her name could do to their career.
When she'd met her frog prince, he'd almost literally started out as the former. Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner had worked for her mother, so it didn't come as a surprise to her that he looked at her appointment to his hand-picked team of BAU agents as a political one. She'd figured it would be slightly difficult to transition in, but she definitely hadn't expected the completely cold freezing out she got. She'd taken it in stride, slowly and steadily made friends in the team, and still, Hotch maintained his distance. At the time, Emily had thought nothing of it except that he still didn't believe she'd proven herself worthy of being in the unit, even if Derek and Dave told her she had and then some.
Then his divorce had come through and Emily's perspectives shifted. Regardless of how well she compartmentalized, regardless of how easy it seemed to be for her to hide any pain and agony, Emily had a big heart. She didn't like how much pain he was in while going through the proceedings. She hated that he was constantly grumpy, that he had to fight for Jack. She didn't understand why Haley would want to put him through all of that.
The change in her feelings towards her boss had crept up on her. She hadn't thought much about caring about him, she'd barely even considered anything but it being the sympathy from his divorce. Then they'd accepted a case in New York City and her suddenly ignored feelings came to a head. And it was all Kate Joyner's fault. It had taken a day or two, but Emily slowly realized she was jealous of all of the time he was spending with Agent Joyner. And she didn't like that feeling all that much. By that point, his less-than-indifference to her was something she'd gotten a little bit used to. She hadn't thought much of it except that he now accepted her as a contributing member of the unit, so the jealousy was something very much unwelcome.
So had the feeling of her heart in her throat when she'd realized that the SUV explosion she'd heard about was the SUV he and Kate had been in. She hadn't even realized how anxious she was until she saw him again, cut and bruised with probably permanent hearing problems in his right ear but otherwise okay. Then one of the most unexpected things had happened, something she wasn't prepared for in the slightest. He started to lean on her.
Emily had expected Hotch to lean on someone he'd known longer, someone like Dave or Derek, but he hadn't. He'd started to turn to her when things got difficult. It had started out as just work things, started out as frustration when he couldn't understand what was going on around him, when he didn't hear something because it was said in his bad ear. She'd accepted it, dealt with it, and buried her feelings for him again, trying to tell herself that it would never happen to her. History and past experience said it just wouldn't happen to her.
Slowly and steadily it had turned into more. It turned into conversations outside of the office, into coffee or drinks after work, with or without the rest of the team. Friends came first, confidantes next and then she, JJ and Garcia had managed to find a free day. Both girls had all but pounced on her, questioning her, questioning her feelings, asking why he touched her so frequently. They were things Emily hadn't realized, things that just sort of happened in and amongst their growing friendship.
But the girls had been adamant that there was more to it than that, that there was no way he simply looked at her as a friend or someone who helped him through a rough time. So Emily started to watch and started to notice the little nuances. Still, she knew it was too good to be true. It simply didn't happen to her.
Then, it had, and at one of her mother's galas no less. She'd asked him to go on a whim, looking for someone who could give her intelligent conversation without potentially embarrassing her. They'd gotten suitably inebriated and Emily had found herself waking up in his bed the next morning, her dress crumpled on the floor. She'd been surprised when he'd admitted that he'd wanted to do that for a long time.
Because it simply didn't happen to her.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for Mr and Mrs Hotchner's first dance."
Emily smiled as she looked up into Aaron's eyes, taking his proffered hand as she stood. She wasn't the fly on the wall or the ugly duckling in the room. For the first time, wrapped in her new husband's arms, it had happened to her, just as she'd least expected it. She felt like the belle of the ball and all of the fighting, the waiting and the pain seemed worth it.
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern Stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true,
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you