Title: The Guide to Better Living
Criminal Minds
Their actions tell them what no words can express. Follow-up to Living on a Prayer.
Author's Notes: Excuse the poor smut. It's a writing style I haven't polished well enough yet. Betaed by Windy City Dreamer.

The Guide to Better Living

'This is completely unsanitary,' she mutters, as he pushes her back against the kitchen bench, hands going straight to the top button of her shirt. He quietens her with a kiss, the sheer enthusiasm of it seemingly pulling air straight from her lungs. His invitation had been for dinner, but that notion seems long forgotten. Her shirt is already off, looking out of place on the floor of his otherwise spotless kitchen. It feels like forever since they've done this. Longer than two weeks, certainly. She had missed the way his hands seemed to know every curve of her body, the way he seemed to know just the right places to touch.

'Dave…' she moans, as he pulls his lips away. This is the only context in which she'll ever call him Dave. During office hours (which can, admittedly, be all hours) he's Rossi. There's that compartmentalization kicking in again. Professional locked away in one box, personal in another.

She highly doubts that anyone at the Behavioral Analysis Unit wants to know what he can do with those fingers of his. Her nipples are erect beneath his touch, a consequence of both the cold air, and the way those fingers trail across her breasts. One hand snakes around her back, searching for the clasp of her bra, the other brushes through her hair.

It's a dance they haven't quite perfected. They've been doing this for nearly four months, and yet they still haven't even begun to explore all the options. She know him, knows the way he acts, the way he thinks, but she doesn't know any of the details that a relationship is usually built on. She doesn't know anything about his family, about his past beyond the details that are practically required learning for FBI training. She doesn't know what his favorite book is, doesn't know how he likes his steaks, and yet she knows without a doubt that she is absolutely smitten with him.

She's not about to reveal the true depths of her desire – that hadn't gone down so well last time. In any case, every time she gets the urge, she thinks back to all those other times that keeping herself locked away has worked better than letting it all out. It's not just about work. It's about almost losing herself in Italy, it's about trying to put herself back together, it's about trying to be accepted without looking too desperate.

She's not sure that either of them is concerned with desperation now, distracted as they are by physical pursuits.

He pushes her higher on the kitchen counter, his hands busy at her belt buckle. Without shoes, she's at least half a head shorter than him, which means it might take a little bit of experimenting to get right. They've never done this standing up before. There's a quick flurry of movement from Rossi, and suddenly she's clad only in her panties. The fact that she can feel his legs against hers tells her that he had removed his own pants as well, but not before having taken the condom out of his pocket. She pauses slightly, staring down at the bright foil packet. If she hadn't been expecting this herself, she might have called him on his presumptuousness. Right now, she's just glad that's he's prepared.

But he's not ready yet.

He slips his hand inside her panties, and she pulls him tighter as his fingers touch her clit. He's a man that knows what he likes, and he's not too shy to take it. For something like this, Emily is quite happy to let him. He's barely getting started. The sound she makes is a little louder than intended as his fingers push inside slowly. Restrain thrown to the wind for both of them.

If the female orgasm is a myth, then no-one has ever told David Rossi. She shudders as her body goes limp against his touch. 'Oh my God,' she mutters, letting her head fall against his shoulder. He's smiling.

She whimpers slightly as he withdraws the fingers, straightening slightly when she feels him slipping her panties down her legs. 'Give me a second, Dave.'

'Take as long as you need.' He presses up against her, and she can feel him, erection straining against his boxers, rock hard. 'But not too long.'

A wave of impatience washes through Emily at his touch, and she suddenly wants him inside of her, now.

'Oh, God, just fuck me,' she whispers, 'Please.'

His body shakes slightly with laughter. 'You don't have to ask,' he tells her, shedding his boxers, and reaching for the condom packet. 'I am a perfectly willing participant in this.'

She gives a slight chuckle, which turns into a yelp when he pushes inside of her.

It feels like forever.

Her hand struggles to find an anchor, eventually settling on curling around Rossi's back. It reduces their maneuverability slightly, but it also means that they're not going to collapse into a painful heap on the kitchen floor.

He takes it slow.

It isn't about release, or anger, or just sex for the sake of sex. It has a purpose. Actions telling them what no words can express.

Emily feels like she's falling when Rossi finally climaxes, but she's sure that it must be an illusion, because they're clutching at each other so tightly that she's sure they'll both be covered in bruises come morning.

'That was…' He can't even finish the sentence, which says a whole lot more than any word he might have used. He slips out of her gently without letting go.

It's at that point Emily realizes that she's completely naked in David Rossi's kitchen, and not only is she not quite sure why, she doesn't really seem as embarrassed as she thinks she should be. He's not gawking, or avoiding eye contact, or doing any of those things that have been a deal breaker in the past.

'Did you want to go upstairs?' he asks her eventually, his lips right beside her ear. The invitation had been for dinner, but she doesn't think that either of them are up for eating straight away. In any case, it's barely six. There's a chance they can probably fit another round in before their stomachs start growling.

'Yeah,' she says, following him down the hallway, leaving the scattered clothes in their wake.


For a while they just lay in his bed, saying nothing at all. It's not an uncomfortable silence. Emily breaks it finally, and he can see the hesitation in her eyes.

'This kind of thing is new for me,' she admits, for the first time since they've started doing this.

'What kind of thing?' he asks, as his fingers trail across her abdomen. She shudders at his touch, but it's not a shudder of revulsion.

'This kind of relationship. I had a fearful-avoidant attachment style. My relationships are usually categorized by jealousy, emotional distance and little physical pleasure.'

That amuses him. 'That doesn't really fit with the way you were screaming earlier.' His hand moves lower, and she swats it away with a short laugh.

'This is different,' she states. 'I think…because we knew each other before we really knew each other.' There's a short pause, before she adds. 'You know if Reid were here, he would have said something about the link between insecure attachment and dissatisfaction in the work place.'

'Do you really want the kid to be here?' he asks, which only serves to make her laugh again. He likes it when she laughs. She doesn't do it nearly enough. There's something so fragile underneath that pillar of strength.

'I don't usually talk about stuff like this.' She adjusts her position so that she's lying facing him, skin touching skin. 'Maybe that's why all my past relationships have been train wrecks.'

'They do say that intimacy is the cornerstone of a successful relationship,' he says. 'It's not all passion and commitment.'

'So this is a relationship?' she asks, as if his denial is what she's been feeling all along.

He tilts her head back slightly, looking deep into her eyes. He can see that fear of emotional closeness that she's exhibited almost every day since he's known her. He knows that is why she reacted so negatively when he didn't respond to her confession. She had just been waiting for confirmation of her suspicions. That this had been nothing more than another clusterfuck of a relationship. He's determined to prove her wrong in the best way possible.

'I was never in this for just the sex,' he says. Before adding, as an afterthought. 'Though I did enjoy that too. I'm in it for you, Emily.' She gives an awkward smile, as if someone wanting her for her was a completely foreign concept. With her childhood, he reflects, it probably has some basis of truth.

'You're not going anywhere?' she asks, looking at him with an expression that is a mixture of apprehension and hope.

He leans towards her, their lips catching in a kiss. 'I'm not going anywhere,' he confirms.