Emily was used to waking up in foreign places. However, she wasn't used to waking up in foreign places with a hangover. A bad night with alcohol in college had kept her from any other crazy nights with other people. But, she assumed she'd made an exception the previous night because someone was more than tap dancing in her head. She didn't remember much of the night before, just bits and pieces for the moment, but she knew vodka was involved. The same way it had been all those years in college.
So it took her a few minutes to realize she wasn't wearing clothes. Then another few to realize her sheets didn't smell like her own. It took many more for her to remember that they were in Las Vegas, having stayed an extra night after solving their case and celebrating while Reid visited with his mother. And celebrate they had.
Emily remembered Chinese food. She remembered smiling, laughing and consuming the better part of a bottle of wine. Then Rossi had escorted JJ up to bed, sighting his own old age for the best reason not to continue the party. She and Derek, however, had been all too happy to take advantage of a night off in Vegas. What she hadn't been expecting was Hotch's agreement in the matter. She assumed she was intoxicated enough not to care as she and Derek danced in a nearby club. Then things started to get blurry. She couldn't even remember when she'd started drinking the vodka, just vaguely remembered dancing with a number of men as cold dark eyes watched her.
At least they were cold when they took in the men that approached her. The few times she'd allowed herself to meet that gaze while able to see straight, it had done the exact opposite. She'd burned, could feel the heat in the pit of her stomach. It was a glorious feeling to revel in. It was the first time she'd seen the stoic Aaron Hotchner break his stone-cold mask. And it had all but burned her on the dance floor.
She vaguely remembered challenging him somehow, vaguely remembered dry-humping him to some hip-hop song. The pleasantly sore feeling of her body told her the rest of the story. And she doubted it had only been once. She'd slept with her boss, the man she'd been fantasizing about for months, years even. He'd been an unattainable man when he'd come to work with her mother and was still spoken for when she'd started in the BAU. She'd backed off, not wanting and not willing to step between him and his wife. Even as a young woman, before her profiling skills had been honed to the brilliance they were now, she understood that he was a family man. And she valued honesty too much to be a dirty little secret.
But this was not how she'd wanted it to happen. On the contrary, she'd always imagined candles, roses, both of them taking their time to learn the other's most sensitive places. Now, she had very little recollection of the first time, let alone the subsequent times he must have taken her. She made a conscious effort to keep her breathing even, unsure of where he was, but feeling the heavy arm wrapped around her stomach. Moments passed before she realized that he was not breathing evenly at all. Which meant he was awake. And still beside her.
His fingers stroked her stomach gently, delicately and her body jerked out of surprise and physiological response. His chuckle was dark and smooth against the back of her head. She let out a sigh, realizing the futility of staying asleep now. It didn't seem like her supervisor was about to fall back to sleep any time soon. And she had no idea if she was in her room or his anyway. One hand coming to hold the sheet to her chest, she turned carefully, surprised that his hand stayed firmly on her stomach, rising and lowering with her breath.
"Good morning," he greeted quietly. "How's your head."
She sighed again, closing her eyes against emotion and pain. "There's a reason I don't drink vodka."
"Then you forgot it last night."
Was he teasing her? Aaron Hotchner? "Hotch..."
"It's not a mistake."
That caught her attention. "What?"
"Before you go as far as to say that this was a mistake, that last night was a result of severe intoxication, which, admittedly it was on your part, I was sober enough to tuck you into bed and leave."
Emily blinked. "I don't know what that means," she whispered in awe. Was he saying what she thought he was saying?
Hotch turned on his side, his eyes more expressive than Emily had ever seen them, He took one of her hands, surprising her again when he brought it up to his mouth, pressing a kiss to the back. This... This has been a long time coming, hasn't it?"
She felt her nerves calm when she noticed the undertone of confusion in his voice. Apparently he didn't exactly know what was going on here either. Then realized that she'd noticed them to begin with. When had she developed such an intimate knowledge of her unit chief's tone of voice? "Has it?"
He shuffled slightly closer, until his chest was pressed against her side. He settled their joined hands on her stomach, untangling his own to trace hers above the sheet. He smiled at the shiver it evoked in her. "I didn't want to admit it. I was married."
Emily's eyes widened. It went that far back? Far enough that he was still happily married to Haley?
"I ignored it, pushed it away."
She tried to disguise the deep breath she took. "What changed?"
"Milwaukee," he answered. "When I knew I was going to fly to Milwaukee and I wasn't going to do it without you, but I was willing to leave Haley behind. I was willing to disobey orders and my wife. And you never asked questions."
"It wasn't my place," she replied quietly.
"You've never asked questions. You've never pushed."
"But... you hated me."
His smile was small, almost self-deprecating. "I had to. Seeing you there in the BAU reminded me of who you were when I worked with your mother. A passionate young woman that asks for nothing but honesty from her friends and relationships. I couldn't give you honesty, so I pushed you away."
"Those are just words," she said. "Good words, but words nonetheless."
She was having a hard time thinking with him so close, smelling so good, knowing that they'd definitely slept together the night before and she couldn't remember a single moment. She assumed it was good, or she wouldn't be so pleasantly sore, but it bothered her that she had no recollection of it. In her dreams, she'd been able to remember every second of their first night together.
"What is it?"
It was her turn to shift, turning on her side, allowing him to keep hold of her hand and cradle it to his chest while the other still clutched the sheet. "Hotch... I... I'm not sure I know what to say."
He nodded with a sad smile, pulling himself out of bed and Emily was treated to a sight she knew would haunt her dreams from now on. He searched the ground for clothing, putting on his boxers and pants, following them with the t-shirt she realized he wore under his Oxford. "We're due to meet the team in twenty minutes," he told her quietly. "If you hadn't woken soon, I would have done it anyway. I'll see you down there."
The case came first. It always came first and Emily understood that. Professionally, they were as good as ever, easily finishing each other's thoughts – though that was something she hadn't really noticed was happening – and understanding what was going on with their usual efficiency. If Garcia noticed anything different as they stood in her office, she didn't say anything. She hadn't thought twice when he shot her a look at Garcia and Morgan's banter. Then JJ had gone into labour and again, anything had been pushed aside.
Now though, she sat curled upon the couch in her condo, looking out over one of the greatest views she'd ever seen. She'd always loved the Washington skyline. It had always been a comfort. And now, it allowed her time to think. It was the first break she'd gotten in days and the first time she allowed herself to even contemplate what had happened That Night.
Actually, it was like a bad formulaic chick flick. Girl falls for unavailable man, man becomes available, they spend a night in none other than Sin City itself, and go their separate ways. Now though, Emily realized, she had a choice. If she told Hotch she couldn't do it, she was sure he would respect her. And she honestly wasn't sure. Did she want him? That wasn't even a question, but there was so much standing in their way. She'd managed to push her feelings for the man down for this long, what difference did it make?
But there were so many other things to consider. He'd actually looked a little hurt when she hadn't been able to tell him she'd wanted him for as long as he'd wanted her. He had to know. He was the top in the field – Rossi aside – there was no way he could have missed the signs, even if they were subconscious on her part. It wasn't like she deliberately changed her tone of voice when she talked to him or actually made a conscious effort. But now that she looked at it, since New York she'd cared more and more about her appearance. She'd been much more careful with what she picked out to wear in the morning, took that little bit of extra time to ensure her makeup was perfect and her outfit emphasized the best she had to offer. It was an odd realization for her to come to.
She was attracted to him. She wasn't in enough denial to not admit that to herself. But that didn't make it any easier to analyze and understand. Because that was what Emily Prentiss did. She looked at all the facts before she made her decision and weighed them as she saw fit. Was whatever 'thing' existed between her and Hotch worth it in the long run? Would it leave her hanging out like a wet rag? She doubted it. She wasn't a profiler by luck and though he hid most of who he was, Emily had known from the start that he was all in, at all times. He never did anything half way, rarely gave up on the things he valued most.
He hadn't been able to fix things with Haley, and that was Haley's fault. Hotch was the BAU, as stupid as it sounded. His entire life centered around the work he did. The way he was with Jack was highly influenced by the job, by the Bureau. His passion showed in his work, in the meticulous nature of everything he did. His dedication, his intensity... they turned her on when he applied them to the job. She could only imagine what that night had been like in the non-descript Vegas hotel room when it he had been focused on her. Because she'd bet everything she owned and her trust fund that he'd been focused on nothing but her that night. And it still bothered her that she remembered none of it.
Well, that wasn't exactly true. She remembered exquisite pleasure, but she had no idea where it had come from. She had no concrete memory. Which brought her back to her moment now, sitting, looking out at the monuments. She wanted to know what it was like. She wanted first hand experience and real memories of what Aaron Hotchner was like in bed, but if she went to him, she was giving herself to him. She knew it, and she knew it was how he'd see it. If she went to him, it was accepting everything, every bump, every mountain, everything that would be potentially standing in the way of them.
So was she really ready to take it all on?
The simple answer was yes. So half an hour later, she was standing outside of Hotch's new apartment – he'd given the house to Haley, who had primary custody of Jack – her heart in her throat. She hadn't called before coming over, hoped to God he was alone because if he wasn't, all of her courage would be gone. And so would her heart. Because this wasn't only about sex, about remembering how brilliant he was in bed, if at all. It was about accepting everything that would come with it. It was about accepting that they were going to have to deal with fraternization between a subordinate and her boss. It was about dealing with the team and what their opinions would be. It was about dedicating herself to seeing if they could make this work for the long haul.
She hadn't even realized she knocked. "Hi."
It took him a moment and she didn't look away from his gaze. She watched them darken as he stepped aside, opening the door wide for her. "Come in."
I'm not exactly sure where this came from. What I do know is that it didn't turn out the way I thought it would. I did, however, need to write a little one shot because I've been so caught up with all of the other stories I've got going on.
Hope you enjoyed.