Spoilers - Small one for To Hell... And Back.

Rating - PG for one use of language

Summary - It wan't the ideal situation for a first kiss. [Rossi/Prentiss]

This Smoker's Corner Is A Gateway To Hell

Even before Rossi pulled the trigger, it had been a very difficult case.

Kids. The worst ones always involved kids – and the death toll was high this time. After Dave had fired his gun… well, another person was dead, even if it was the unsub.

It definitely didn't help that the killer was just fifteen either, or that they didn't save his last victim.

It was about two hours after the shooting when the team returned to the precinct to debrief, none of them liking the job at that moment, least of all Rossi. Instead of going to clear the board or talk to the officers, he turned and headed in the direction of the Emergency Exit, a place where Emily had been informed the police force of this small town went when they needed a fag.

Prentiss watched him go, waiting a few minutes before quietly following him out.

He was leaning against a wall, cigarette in hand and eyes glossed over. Emily could guess what he was thinking about – he'd be replaying the moment continuously, wondering what he could have done differently, thinking of the other ways it could have ended. She had been there before once and she didn't envy him, especially as the unsub (his victim?) had been so young.

He looked over to the sound of her approaching footsteps, his expression uninviting.

"Lovely day, isn't it?" he asked dryly. It was one in the morning and pitch black, and Emily found herself looking into the bleak darkness it to ignore his glare.

She heard him inhale and found herself asking for a cigarette. He gave her a look that clearly said, "Fuck off," but when she didn't drop her gaze, he handed her one.


He passed that too, not making eye contact, his arm thrown out in her general direction, his line of sight based straight in front of him.

She lit her cigarette. What had she been thinking? She wasn't good at this part. Hotch should be here but he was still in hospital; it could be Morgan or JJ – she wouldn't go as far to say Reid (he would agree) but anyone else.

Yet she was here. She had to say something.

"Look, Rossi, it…"

"Oh, skip the bullshit and just go back inside," he snapped, and she witnessed a side to David Rossi that she had never encountered before – he was raw and emotional and hurting – he didn't want her help, but she knew (he knew) that he needed it.

So she took a step forward, and gently placed a hand on his shoulder and said "Dave" softly, because, really, it was all she could think to say without sounding cliché or patronising.

His gaze swivelled to her and for a moment he showed all the emotion swirling inside him; it was plain on his face, like he was a book and all his feelings were there for her to read.

Then he closed down again.

He stamped out his fag beneath his heel and straightened up, pushing away from the wall.

"I'm sorry."

She had whispered it before she even thought about it, it was out before she could stop (could control) it, and she felt like an idiot.

But instead of the silence she had expected, or an evasive comment, he muttered, "It wasn't your fault he was so young."

And there it was, put out in the open – the real problem. Rossi didn't have a problem killing to defend his team, especially as he was the temporary leader, but to him the killer was a child – in his eyes he had sinned, no matter the schoolboy's crimes.

"He was a murderer," she said, voice still soft, knowing it wouldn't help.

"He was a kid. Someone's child."

He looked at her, expressions guarded, and she had no more words, nothing left to say. She thought he was going to leave, but instead he took a hesitant step closer to her, his eyes locked on hers.

Her mouth felt dry as his fingertips brushed her jaw and then cupped the side of her face.


She had tried to protest as he came closer, but his lips brushed against hers, and she couldn't really breathe, not properly.

It wasn't the ideal situation for a first kiss, and his mouth tasted of cigarettes; but his tongue was rough against hers and his hands were slowly getting lost in her hair, and she was quickly getting lost in him.

She may have imagined it, but she could have sworn, just for a second, that his cheek was wet against hers.

And just as quickly as it had begun, it stopped. He pulled away and walked past her back into the station, and she was left with a burnt out cigarette in her hand.