Losing Faith

It's late when you finally see them wander in to the bullpen. They look tired, frustrated. You know that it's been a hard one for them. You can profile better than you know – you can see that they're all putting on brave faces, trying not to let it get to them.

On Emily's face, there's something else. Her eyes are unfocused; you think her mind is somewhere else. Still trapped in the throes of the case? That's part of it, you think, but you know there's something else.

'Welcome back, my little pocket profilers.' You try and elicit a smile from them; it's a partial success. Morgan returns that famous, shining grin of his, and JJ's lips rise a little in acknowledgement. You give them all a few moments to settle.

'Do we want to continue our girl's night out that was so rudely interrupted?' you ask JJ and Emily. You know two things – firstly, that JJ will say no. She doesn't know that you know that she has flight to New Orleans in five hours.

'I can't.' You smile inwardly; your powers of knowing haven't failed you today.

Secondly, you know that Emily will say yes. From the look on her face, you know she wants to be drinking, and she knows it's better to have company that to drink yourself to death alone.

'Sure,' she says. 'I'm game.'

Morgan looks hurt. 'Sorry, hot stuff,' you tell him. 'This is girl's night out. You coming Reid?' He splutters for a few seconds before realizing that you were joking. But it's okay.

This is something you need to do alone.

***

The moment she asks for a Long Island Iced Tea, you know that she took this one worse than everyone else. You wait for her to sit, take a sip, and then you pounce on her with the question.

'So what's up with you?'

She looks around for a bit before returning her gaze to yours. It's a smaller place than the one you went to last time. It's a place where you go to drink yourself into a coma, not to pick up one-night stands. There will be no real FBI agents in this bar.

She knows she can be straight with you. She doesn't have to prove herself to you. It seems as though they all show their softer sides when they're around you. You feel somewhat proud of that fact.

'Oh…you know. Bad case.' She doesn't elaborate straight away. First, she stirs her drink, then she fidgets with her napkin. 'Four dead victims, two dead unsubs. That's just while we were there. A girl – she would have been the fifth victim. Still was a victim in a way; she killed the two unsubs.'

You nod. You knew all this already, but you don't know why it's affecting her so much. She sees things just as bad, if not worse than this all the time. The depths of human depravity.

Before you know it, she's pouring out her soul. She's telling you how her mother had always told her to hide her emotions, to keep her true feelings hidden. How now, she lies awake at night wondering if she's still really human. If she's not actually identical the people she hunts every day.

You tell her the truth. You tell her that if she didn't feel, then it shouldn't matter whether or not she is human. That an automaton wouldn't care about their own lack of emotion. That the very fact she lies awake wondering, proves beyond shadow of a doubt, that she is human.

The answer seems to comfort her.

'Thank-you for this,' she tells you. You smile.

'That's what I'm here for.'

'That's not what I meant.' She puts a hand atop yours, smiling as if she knows what you really wanted to do tonight. And you know that she knows. 'I guess…not everyone in the world is so bad.' She places a chaste kiss on your hand, and you know that the night has only just begun.

Because you've given her her faith back.

A/N: This was a request from MiniShrink, who humbly requested a Prentiss/Garcia fic because she couldn't find any. It's not what I'd usually write, but I gave it my best shot anyway. Enjoy.