Longing for shadows

"That's it. I've had enough. Leave my house."

Emily put her hands firmly on her hips and glared at the person opposite her. She would've looked formidably angry with her mouth in a thin line and the hard set of her jaw. If it hadn't been for the tears leaking out of her eyes she would've looked every part the determined, furious woman she wanted to project. Because she was furious.

How dare she! How dare she come here and destroy what Emily had finally built for herself. All these months of hard labour and just when she felt like maybe she could make all of this work, like maybe her life wasn't completely over yet, this woman had the gall to appear on her doorstep and ask her to come back.

Leaving everything and everyone behind had nearly killed Emily, she'd been as good as dead when she'd moved here. She'd felt dead. The days had dragged on with seemingly no end and as weeks turned into months, Emily had slowly turned numb to the onslaught of feelings that only the thought of her name brought upon her.

And now here was this blonde woman that seemed to belong to another life, standing in front of her, pleading with her to come back. And Emily couldn't believe that she'd even ask. At one point the two of them had been friends and for nothing else but that fact, Emily felt she should've known better than to come and ask this of her.

"Out. I don't want to hear any more. You've made yourself clear and so have I. And now, get out. OUT!" She shouted and almost shoved the door into the surprised and slightly hurt blonde's face.

"Emily…" she heard once more, then the dark wooden door closed with a bang. Emily sighed. Shakily, she lifted her hand to wipe away the tears, before raking it through her hair in a quick and forceful gesture. What a mess…

JJ. Once again the name resonated in her head. But the precious cocoon of numbness she had wrapped it in had sustained more than just a few cuts und blows in the earlier conversation and through the cracks, the old feelings of pain and despair were seeping out and mingled with her other thoughts until everywhere she turned she was confronted with memories and images of JJ.

"Damn you, Garcia." Emily whispered as she let her head fall forward against the crème-coloured wall of her apartment. Why now? Why did she have to come by and tell her of all that? Why couldn't they all just leave her alone so she could continue living her life. Her empty, pointless life that she kept dragging herself through like one of the living dead.

But no, Garcia had to come. She had to come in, warp Emily in one of her patented, strong hugs, look at her with eyes full of sympathy and tell her that JJ needed her. Jj needed her. JJ of all people. JJ, who had left her the moment Captain Cajun had turned up. JJ, who had never looked at her twice again after that. JJ, who had broken her heart and walked away from her as if they had never been together, never been more than co-workers.

And now, JJ needed her.

Well, she didn't see why she should give a shit about that. And she told Garcia as much. And then, Garcia started crying. Her friend's tears cut through Emily's angry rant and while she handed Garcia a hanky, the tech analyst told her the whole sad story. How the birth hadn't gone as planned. How the baby had been stillborn and how JJ just wouldn't stop bleeding. How they'd finally managed to stop the bleeding and how just as everyone had dared to hope again, JJ had developed a fever that refused to drop, no matter what the doctors tried. How she had barely been conscious for the last few days. And how she kept asking for Emily every time she was.

Emily's heart clenched, twisted and broke. Under all the horror, shock and fear JJ's condition instilled in her there was another thought: It's just not fair. How can she be asking for me now? Doesn't she know what she did to me?

JJ leaving had shattered Emily. She had desperately clung to hope, right until the very end. She'd kept hoping and hoping that Will was only a temporary distraction. Right until they announced their marriage in the middle of a New York precinct.

And now here was JJ, asking for Emily. Or rather: Now here was Garcia, asking for Emily in JJ's name.

And Emily just couldn't.

She couldn't go there. She knew she couldn't face JJ again. Not if she wanted to make it out of that hospital room in one piece. Now, JJ was asking for her. Now that it was too late and Emily refused to walk down that road again. Garcia had seen right through her self-righteous anger that was as much genuine indignation as it was a defence. Garcia had seen past that, had pleaded with Emily not to do this to either of them. Had told her she knew Emily would never forgive herself for not going to see JJ if JJ didn't get better. And Emily knew she was right. She would never forgive herself for not being there when JJ needed her. But she just couldn't go back there. There was no way she could.

JJ had been her everything; now, JJ was gone and there was nothing left to Emily. So there was no point in going to see JJ. She had nothing to offer her anymore. JJ already had everything there was to her. There was no point going to see JJ, because the person standing at her bedside wouldn't be Emily Prentiss.

It would be someone that looked like Emily (maybe a little more ragged and with less of a glow around her).
It would be someone that talked like Emily (maybe a bit less enthusiastic about everything, a bit less intense in whatever it was she had to say).
It would even be someone that moved like Emily (maybe with a bit more of a slouch and a bit less bounce in her step).

But it wouldn't be Emily.

Emily knew, Garcia didn't understand. That for all her friendship and love, Garcia just couldn't understand this one, essential truth. That if JJ was asking for Emily Prentiss, then she wished both of them good luck in finding her, because she honestly had no idea how to get a hold on her.