Author's Note: Not related to any of my other stories. This takes place canon mid-season 4.


Prompt Set #2

Show: Oz

Title Challenge: Next Stop, Valhalla


No Time Like the Present


Emily screamed. The impact of the bullet spinning her backwards, smashing her into Hotch. Both of them tumbled to the ground, their bodies hitting the solid concrete with a thud. Fortunately Hotch took the brunt of the impact of their fall. The wind was knocked out of him, but even gasping for his own breath, his only thought was checking on Emily. Praying to God that she wasn't hurt badly. Not even allowing himself to consider the possibility that she was dead.

Sliding out from underneath her body, he placed her gently on the floor, and then threw himself on top of her as the impact of another bullet slammed into the concrete pillar behind them. Showering their clothes and hair with dust and pebbles.

Jesus Christ! That one almost took his head off. But he couldn't worry about that now. Eyes wide in terror he dropped his weapon on the ground and frantically began running his hands over her body, pleading with her in a harsh whisper.

"Tell me where you're hit!"

Blinking, Emily tried to focus on Hotch and his question. It seemed like an important question but she was a little fuzzy. Why was she fuzzy?


That was it. That was why she was fuzzy. And that's what he was asking about. She was about to answer him when she suddenly hissed as Hotch's fingers made rough contact with the entry wound.

Wincing in sympathy he yanked his hand back as he whispered, "I'm so sorry sweetheart," then he squeezed her hand, "but I have to check it okay?"

She nodded, starting to feel slightly more clear headed now that the shock of being shot and thrown from vertical to horizontal was starting to wear off. Then a burst of adrenaline hit her system.


Then she got distracted from her indignation about the whole thing when a more important question jockeyed for her attention. Since when did Hotch call her sweetheart? Hotch didn't even call her Emily. But he clearly had just called her sweetheart.


Did that mean what she thought it meant? She hoped so. Because she had been 'Prentiss' for twenty seven months, three weeks and four days. But hey, who's counting? Well, okay, she had been since she'd realized she developed feelings for her boss three months, two weeks and four days ago.

It was a Tuesday.

And all he'd done that day was hold open the door for her and then give her a little smile when she said thanks. That was it. That was her great revelatory moment that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. Not exactly a story for the grandkids. Not that she even had any prospects to have kids with the man, let alone grandkids. They were still just as professional as they'd always been. Okay, they sat a little closer together, and their arms brushed more often than not, but that was about all the action she'd gotten.

Her eyes began to sting, and given their odds right now, sweetheart or not, that was probably all the action she was ever going to get. God damn it. Why couldn't they ever catch a break?

She bit her lip as Hotch peeled her shirt up to look at the wound on her side. He had a great poker face. And she was positive he would have pulled it out right now if it was bad, but fortunately she could read him like a book, and what she saw in his eyes was genuine relief.

Looking up, Hotch nodded and gave her a little smile as he said quietly, "just a flesh wound, through and through on your side. It's not bad," he patted her hand, "not bad at all."

He took off his jacket and started to tear it into strips, cursing as yet another bullet whizzed past his head and he threw himself on top of Emily yet again.


He needed to get her out of here. Well, he needed to get both of them out of there, but really, she was his primary concern at the moment because she was hurt, and they were almost out of ammo, and what was the last one? Oh yeah, he'd realized about a month ago that he'd fallen in love with her and couldn't imagine his life without her.

There was that.

Not that he'd shared that development with her. And they were probably less than ten minutes from being executed by a group of gangbangers that they'd had the very, very unfortunate luck to stumble across when they came to check out an old dump site. They didn't have their vests, or any extra clips, and their God damn phones weren't working because they were in the middle of a concrete box. All he was hoping for was to last long enough for the others to realize that they had been out of radio contact for too long and somebody would come looking for them.

But . . . pulling his body back he looked down at her . . . that was kind of a long shot. And the more time passed, the longer it was getting longer. He took a ragged breath. Things weren't looking good for them getting out of this alive.

His eyes started to burn, he might have to watch her die. Or just as bad, he might die knowing he was leaving her alone with a warehouse full of gang members. God knows what they'd do to her. He unconsciously rubbed her leg. Oh God, he couldn't think about that. Those were the kind of thoughts that would send him skidding right over the edge of sanity. And right now all that mattered was getting her fixed up. And then he'd try to come up with a new plan. He tugged her slightly off the ground so she could prop herself up on her hands, then he started to wrap the makeshift bandages around her abdomen. Things were going well enough until she gasped in pain as he yanked the ends tightly so he could tie them off.

He bit his lip as he apologized again for hurting her.

"I'm sorry sweetheart but it has to be tight to stop the bleeding."

As he was making the knot he realized that was the second time he'd called her sweetheart in the past two minutes. His eyes wide, he looked down at her.

Oh shit.

Reaching over, Emily grasped his hand before giving him a brilliant smile that made his chest hurt. A tear ran down her face as she whispered, "I thought it was just me."

His features softened, and he was about to respond when he suddenly heard footsteps getting closer. He froze, realizing then that they hadn't fired back a shot in over a minute. They probably assumed they were out of ammo. He'd needed a new plan and he could use this to their advantage. Catching Emily's eye, he put his finger to his lips and she nodded as she reached over to pick up her weapon. It had fallen out of her hand when she was hit.

Hotch grabbed his own pistol from the ground. Then he leaned up and planted a quick kiss on her lips, because bad timing or not, he'd be damned if he was about to get shot in the head before he did that.

She smiled as he pulled back and he flashed her a dimple in return. Then he turned to peer between the empty oil drums they were hiding behind. He licked his lips, she tasted like strawberries. He liked strawberries. Clearly this was a match made in heaven. Now he just had to make sure they actually got together before they hit the afterlife. Even though he'd heard fine things about Valhalla, he was hoping not to get his ticket punched for a few years yet. He felt her move up beside him, getting her shot lined up in the next open gap. He sent a prayer to the man upstairs before he snapped his eyes over to hers and started counting down silently.

Emily followed along with Hotch's countdown, waiting for the moment.

One . . . two . . . and then she was screaming as Hotch's blood splashed onto her face and her hands.



A/N 2: How's that for evil? Now the question you have to ask yourself is, how much of this story comes from the fluffy bunny part of my brain that writes coffee convos and nighttime snuggling, and how much comes from the dark and twisty side that churns out brain tumors and plane crashes?

This was originally supposed to be a one shot. But I got to the cliff hangery point and then figured what the hell, I'll actually post a CLIFFY! I don't think I've done that before. This won't go beyond two chapters. However it turns out :)

Total aside. Valhalla. Best . . . afterlife . . . ever. Food, fighting, burly men, alcohol. What more could a girl want for eternity?