Author's Note: This is a follow-up companion to Invasion of the Pod People. Though this is a stand alone, you really should read that one first because this picks up shortly after that one ends. This day is part of the Girl'verse, again takes place between chapters 49 (Made in Taiwan . . . & Lancaster County) and 50 (The Path to Salvation). Or for canon purposes a missing scene between Angel Maker and Minimal Loss.

This is just an H/P friendship piece, so no googly eyes ;)

And as you'll recall Emily's digestive issues in the first story, I've now put her on a train so please head the implied warning in the prompt I used :)

Prompt Set #11

Show: The Outer Limits

Title Challenge: Behold! Eck!

Revenge of the Pod People

Hotch groaned to himself as he and Emily stepped into the carriage of the train bound for Washington.

It was packed.


His eyes flicked over to the ashen faced Emily . . . she'd thrown up again just before the train arrived . . . and then back to the rows of seats in front of them.

Well, there was no way that he was letting her sit with a stranger when she was sick. But that meant he was going to have to be 'that guy.' The annoying one that asked somebody to get up because he and his wife/girlfriend/significant other, wanted to sit together.

Not that Prentiss was his wife slash girlfriend slash significant other, but the principle here was the same.

Somebody was going to have to move his ass.

And knowing that Emily was ready to collapse, he turned to her with a sympathetic smile.

"Wait here a minute Prentiss, while I get us a seat."

In response she gave a slight nod, and a weak, "okay."

'Could that seat maybe be in an intensive care unit?' Emily added to herself.

Noticing the shade of grey she was once again turning, Hotch quickly moved her back against the wall before he put their bags by her feet. Then he squeezed her arm.

"I'll be right back," he said firmly.

Then he added in his head . . . now please just don't drop dead while I'm gone.

Then he reluctantly turned away from her so he could size up their seating options. And after eying the setup of the train car he realized that the bathroom (a necessity for Emily) and access to the café (he might need to get her a drink) were on the other end of the car.

Okay . . . he nodded to himself . . . so they should sit down there. And feeling the train begin to pull out of the station, he started down the aisle to go clear them a seat.

He scoped out the possibles as he went along, immediately dismissing the elderly couple, the mother with the small child and the guy with the crutches. That left six maybes. And yes, he could just pull his badge, but this wasn't official business. He was just worried about Emily. And he wasn't so self deluded as to pretend that his concern for her well being was anything but purely personal.

So he started nicely asking the people if they could move so he and his sick colleague could sit together.

But unfortunately that approach didn't work. The first two people rolled their eyes and the third, well, Hotch nearly broke off the finger on display and shoved it somewhere it would have been hard to retrieve without forceps and a mirror.

In fact he came so close to doing that exact thing . . . this guy had NO idea who he was dealing with or the kind of day he'd had . . . that he had to step down to the outer door to catch his temper before he had a repeat of what happened at the station.

AKA a complete and total meltdown.

After he counted to ten he looked up to see Emily watching him. He gave her a little smile, then realized she might be too far to see it, so he put his index finger up in the universal symbol of 'one second while I lower my blood pressure and refrain from draw and quartering this guy behind me.'

Though Emily wasn't his wife slash girlfriend slash significant other he was at this moment in time responsible for taking care of her like she was. And at present he was failing her miserably.

And that was a bit of a blow to his ego. But really it was his own fault for trying to be nice.

You should always go with what you know. And being nice and cajoling people into letting him do things just wasn't his style.

That was Emily's style.

But she wasn't up to flirting them into a seat so he defaulted back to what he knew.

Intense and scary. Really, why mess with the classics?

He walked up to the guy with the finger problem . . . not only did he deserve to have the fear of God put into him, but lucky break, he also had the best location . . . leaned down and hissed, "if you don't move now I will drag you out of that seat by your testicles and throw your ass off the train."

The guy looked at him for a second, and Hotch saw that he was about to tell him to fuck off. But then his eyes widened as it became apparent to him this was not the same man that had politely asked him to move a moment ago.

THIS man was indeed fully prepared to make a trophy of his balls before he shoved him from a moving vehicle.

"Um, rrrright," he stuttered as he started frantically packing his laptop and gathering his things.

Once Hotch was sure the jackass was moving, he hurried back down the aisle, catching sight of Emily just as she slid down the wall and put her head between her knees. As he approached he heard her moan, "oh Hotch, train moving is bad."

Why did they have to move? Couldn't they just stay still damn it?! Didn't they know there were people on their deathbeds here? There should be no movable deathbeds!

"I know Prentiss, I know," he said soothingly as he leaned down and rubbed her arm, "but I got us a seat down by the bathroom and I think if you can just get to sleep you'll feel better."

That was his hope anyway, because he really couldn't imagine subjecting her to this movable torture for another five hours.

They'd have to get off the train.

But really that was the option of last resort because this was the last train running today. The next one was at 7:30 tomorrow morning. Though as Emily looked up pitifully at him, losing another day's work had never seemed less important.

She put her hand out,letting him pull her to her feet. Her head rested on his chest for a minute and he knew what little energy she had was rapidly fading. So he wrapped his arm around her as he once again leaned down to grab all of their bags from her feet. It was a little bulky, but then he started them down the aisle.

Twice the train shook as they went along and he ended up just putting his arm around Emily's waist to keep her standing.

They arrived back at the two seats he'd picked out just as the jackass was vacating. But he was vacating a little too slowly so Hotch gave him a look to help that along.

It did.

After the guy had fled into the café car, Hotch helped Emily sit down before he stored their bags, keeping just their laptops with him.

Before he dropped into the seat next to her, Hotch looked down in sympathy at Emily. She was curled up in a ball against the window and it was obvious that she was trying not to cry.

The poor thing . . . he bit his lip . . . they probably should just get off the train. This day was already a wash, if they could catch the early train tomorrow morning they'd be home by early afternoon.

He took off his suit jacket, covering Emily up before he sat down and whispered, "Prentiss, we'll just get off at the next stop, get another hotel and catch the train in the morning, okay? You're obviously not well enough to be traveling."

Doing her best to keep her tears from spilling over, she was just overtired, miserable and not dealing with her stress well, Emily turned to him shaking her head slightly, "no, no it's okay. You're right, if I can just get to sleep it'll be okay."

Please God let me get to sleep!

He looked over warily, "well," he paused for a second, "how about we see how it goes? Just tell me if you want to get off, all right?"

After being an utter ass to her this morning the last thing he wanted to do was make her think that he'd be resentful of losing another day. Dave was handling things while they were away so the unit was in good hands.

Given how incredibly sweet he was being, Emily somehow managed a little smile for him as she said softly, "okay," then her stomach turned again and she grimaced, "I think I'm going to try to sleep now."

Hotch eyed her worriedly as she pulled his jacket up to her chin and closed her eyes.

That was not a normal skin tone for a live human.

Okay, well . . . he shook his head slightly as he picked up his laptop . . . he'd done as much as he could for her right now. So he opened his browser and attempted to go through his email.

Except . . . what the fuck!? No Internet connection?! How is that possible? He can buy a two dollar cup of coffee at Starbucks and get wifi! And yet they spent $148 A PIECE on these tickets and there's no frigging Internet access?!

He slammed his laptop shut in disgust, noticed that Emily stirred and then felt a stab of guilt. Which was accentuated when she opened one eye to look at him, "are you all right?"

Hotch wasn't usually much for being slammy.

"Yeah, sorry," he answered sheepishly, "I just, uh, there's no Internet so I uh . . ."

'So I was behaving like a petulant child,' he finished in his head.

She frowned slightly, "so you can't work?"

That sucked. What the hell was he going to do with himself for five hours? That's all Hotch did was work.

He scowled slightly, "no, I guess not."

They hadn't expected to be gone long so he hadn't brought much in the way of extra files with him. Really just two cases which he'd already reviewed on the train ride up when they were delayed outside Pittsburgh. Then he'd done prep on the custodial interview. And unfortunately he'd already typed up his follow-up report on the interview last night.

He didn't have any more paperwork to do so he'd planned on catching up on his Inbox.

Yes, he could check his email on his blackberry, but he wasn't about to spend the next five hours punching those little buttons talking to people.

He'd get carpal tunnel syndrome.

Sensing Emily's eyes on him, Hotch looked over to see her watching him closely and he realized that she was now busy worrying about him keeping busy when she was supposed to be resting.

Grrr . . . he groaned to himself . . . what am I going to do with you Prentiss?

"Okay," he pulled the jacket up around her shoulders again, "I don't want you worrying about me twiddling my thumbs. You need to sleep."

"But what are you going to do?" She asked in confusion.

Hotch didn't twiddle his thumbs. Hotch didn't sit around just not doing anything. Hotch probably popped out in the delivery room with a case file in his hands and asked the doctor where he could make a photocopy.

He stared at her for a second and then his eyebrow slowly rose, "well, maybe I'll take a nap."

Though she was not at all in a jovial mood, Emily snorted slightly.

"I'm sorry, did you say that you were going to take a NAP? You Aaron Hotchner are going to sleep, not only in the daylight hours, but in public?" Her hand slid out from under his jacket to feel his forehead, "are you ill too?"

With her hand still on his forehead, Hotch's eyebrows knitted together as he shot her a look, "very funny Prentiss," he watched as she pulled her hand back with a faint smirk . . . though the chalky color of her skin made it less bright than what he was used to from her . . . and he shook his head in exasperation, "you just close your eyes and let me worry about me."

Emily huffed slightly as her lids once again fell shut. And when she got a whiff of Hotch's aftershave on his jacket, she inhaled deeply.

She was hoping maybe the smell would settle her stomach.

Kind of stupid on it's face, yes, but he was possessive of super powers in other areas. And his presence calmed her when she was nervous, so maybe it would calm her when she was sick.

But unfortunately . . . it didn't work.

It wasn't nerves that were causing this stomach upset, and apparently even Hotch couldn't cure the flu . . . or food poisoning, she's wasn't sure which this was . . . by his simple presence alone.

All right . . . she pulled her legs up under his jacket . . . so let's try the sleeping thing. Because time healed all, yada yada yada. And that principle definitely applied to all (non terminal) illnesses. So she was sure that if she could just let enough time pass, she'd start to feel better.

Please God.

Hotch lightly tapped his fingers on the top of his laptop for a moment.

Emily was right, he didn't sleep in public. Yes, he had on occasion slept in the daytime, but he most definitely did not sleep in public. And even if he did he certainly wouldn't do it with her ill. What if she needed something? Or what if there was a problem on the train? Unlikely yes, but not completely improbable.

He needed to be alert.

Well, what the hell was everyone else doing right now? They couldn't all just be staring stupidly at the back of the seat in front of them.

Which is of course what he was doing.

He surreptitiously scoped out the people around them.

. . . reading a book

. . . typing something on her laptop

. . . listening to music

. . . reading a magazine

Well, that was all great for them, but he had no music and he had nothing to read. He used to carry a book when he traveled, but that was before he began working like seventy hours a week and started to view downtime reading as a frivolous activity.

Idiot. As though relaxing like a normal person would kill him.

Okay . . . he sighed . . . nothing to be done about that now. But he did make a mental note to pick up a book to leave in his bag for future 'emergencies.'

And Hotch was just about to slide his computer back in the case, when his eyes caught on another kid across the aisle looking at his laptop.

He was watching a movie. And the bag at his feet had other DVDs in it.


Hotch pulled out his wallet and counted the cash . . . time to do a little horse trading.


Hotch looked up from his movie "rental" (Serenity), twenty minutes later. He'd just heard the conductor announcing a call to get out tickets.

So he reached into the zippered compartment of his laptop case, and slipped out the two tickets he'd bought a few hours earlier with the government credit card.

And after a quick scan of them he noticed that a signature was required so he pulled out his pen. He signed his ticket, glanced over to see Emily sleeping soundly and signed the top of hers as well. Yes, he knew that was a federal offense.

Perhaps somebody would like to call an FBI agent to arrest him.

Just then the conductor approached and Hotch held up the two slips of smooth paper.

After he saw the signatures the man looked down at him and then his eyes shifted over to Emily, "I'm going to need to see photo identification from both of you."

Then to Hotch's horror the conductor started to reach past him to wake up Emily, "ma'am I need . . ."

Hotch's fingers closed down on the blue rayon in a vise grip.

"What you NEED to do is to keep your hands to yourself."

At the conductor's outraged, "sir, you remove your hand now or I'll have you . . ."

Again Hotch cut him off as he pulled out both his badge and his don't fuck with me voice, the harsh whisper version, "sir, I'm going to ask you nicely to keep your voice down. She's sick and if you wake her up I am going to be VERY unhappy. She is also a federal agent and you are welcome to call in my badge number to verify our identities but I'm telling you now, she," he jerked his head to the side, "will not be disturbed."

Hotch knew the guy was just doing his job but he was NOT going to wake Emily up just to look at her picture and "verify" that she wasn't a terrorist! As though photo identification was going to keep anybody safe.

The photo ID could be your video store card!

For a moment there was a staring contest, but it lasted about as long as any staring contest Hotch ever had.

Seventeen seconds.

That's the moment when the other person blinked and Hotch saw his eyes shift away as he tried to think of a way to save face.

But Hotch had been going out of his way, not only for Emily's sake, but also for the conductor's, to keep his voice down.

He saw no reason to embarrass the man in front of the whole car. He still had a job to do and Hotch wasn't looking to make it any harder. Well, beyond this sticking point.

Finally the man's eyes dropped back down to his badge again and a second later he gave a curt nod as he said quietly.

"Under the circumstances I suppose that should be sufficient."

Hotch tipped his head as he flipped the leather pouch shut, "thank you."

Then the conductor handed him back the two stubs and continued on to the next passenger.

Some part of Hotch felt like he should feel a little badly that he'd used his authority like that, but it wasn't an actual feeling. It was just an abstract concept.

If Emily hadn't been sick then he wouldn't have done it. But her health was more important than some ridiculous rule that wasn't keeping anyone safe.

Not one bag here had been checked for weapons or explosive devices. Nobody at Amtrak verified photo IDs with tickets before passengers boarded and you could easily just move around the train to avoid the conductors if you were trying to get away with something. Hell half the people on this train could be packing suitcase bombs and it wouldn't matter a whit whether or not the conductor checked their photo identification before they were all blown to kingdom come!

Realizing he had just verbatim yelled the same rant in his head that Emily had last week when she was in the break area talking to him about the state of passenger security in this country, Hotch realized that he was perhaps spending too much time with the woman at his side.

Then he glanced over to see her curled up under his jacket and his expression softened . . . okay maybe not.

Emily was good for him . . . good to him. He knew that.

Her cheerful demeanor, the way she embraced her emotions rather than suppressing them. The way she always told him the bitter truth, but coated it in as much sugar as she could . . . the back of his hand ghosted over her arm . . . the way she was always reaching for him, trying to make a connection . . . that was something that he hadn't realized that he needed until he'd started spending more time with her.

He was lucky to have her in his life. Lucky that she had consented to his efforts to build a true friendship with her and not just a working relationship. And as he thought back on what a jerk he'd been to her earlier he again felt a wave of shame.

Well, he'd made it right, and he knew that she wasn't angry with him any longer, but still, he decided that when they got home . . . and she was feeling better . . . he'd take her somewhere nice for lunch.

His lip quirked up . . . one thing he had learned over the years was that she liked to eat. And they'd been getting coffee often enough that the offer wouldn't be completely out of the blue.

Decision now made on a way to make things up to her, Hotch opened his laptop again and reimmersed himself in the adventures of the space cowboys.


Almost forty minutes later, Hotch felt Emily's head fall to his shoulder and he glanced over to see her snuggling into his side. He used the back of his hand to check her forehead.

A little clammy, but at least she wasn't hot.

As he pulled his hand back, Emily murmured something about pod people and his eyes crinkled slightly.

Given what came out of her mouth when she was awake, God knows what went on in her head when she was asleep.

For a few minutes he turned his attention back to the movie again but then he heard Emily moan, "Hotch," and he looked down to see her eyes snap open.

Already recognizing that tone from the train station, Hotch slammed his laptop shut, reaching for her as he said gently, "okay, come on."

With Emily's hand over her mouth, Hotch helped her out of the seat and over to one of the two open bathroom doors. Then he slid the panel shut behind her.

At the station he had just waited outside the ladies room until she was done. And he had every intention of doing the same here. But then the train went around a curve and he heard a horrified yelp of, "OH SHIT!" from Emily and he yanked the door open.

His eyes widened in horror . . . oh shit is right!

Apparently vomiting while in motion was just as bad an idea in practice as it sounded in principle.

She had gotten sick all over her shirt.

Emily looked down at her ruined clothes and then up at Hotch before she burst into tears.

"I threw up on myself!" She cried out in disbelief.

Then she whipped her head back to the toilet . . . and threw up again. The smell of both the chemical toilet and her own clothing was killing her.

'CRAP! CRAP! CRAP!' was what Hotch was yelling in his head. But fortunately emotional suppression worked well in situations like this because he sounded completely calm, though of course concerned, as he patted her back.

"It's okay Prentiss, it's okay. We'll get you cleaned up. I'll go get a clean shirt out of your bag."

As she continued to get sick he winced before he hurriedly stepped out and jogged over to yank down her ready bag from the overhead bin.

People were looking at him strangely . . . understandable given the mad dash from the seat and the horrified yelling . . . but he was ignoring them as he started digging around in Emily's duffel.

. . . bra, white

. . . purple striped pajamas

. . . bra, black

. . . deodorant

. . . underwear

Though he knew he wasn't doing anything wrong, it still felt kind of sleazy going through her personal things. Then his eyes and fingers simultaneously lighted upon a folded green t-shirt.


He grabbed it, zipping her bag back up and leaving it on the seat as he announced to the group staring at him, "if you touch anything on this seat I will arrest you," and then he ran back inside the bathroom.

There was hardly room for the two of them with the door shut, but Emily needed to change and he wasn't sure if she up to doing it by herself. So somehow he managed to squeeze inside, sliding the door closed again before he locked it.

God knows he didn't want anybody walking in on them right now.

When he turned back around he saw Emily was still crying as she tried to take her shirt off.

Now that Hotch was back, Emily's hands dropped to her sides as she bit her lip and whimpered.

That was code for "PLEASE HELP ME!" Though she really didn't want to come out and flat out ask him to help her take off her revolting shirt, because, MY GOD, was this a big favor!

Hotch's nose wrinkled in sympathy and disgust . . . the shirt was obviously sticking to her skin.

The crying was understandable.

"Here," he slung her clean shirt over his shoulder and reached for her, "let me do it."

Though undressing female agents wasn't specifically addressed in any HR policy coming to mind, he was pretty sure it as a giant, no, no. So much so that they hadn't even felt the need to write it down.

But clearly vomiting mishaps were an exception to the rule.

Still though, as much as possible he tried to turn his eyes away as he helped her with her sleeves, and then he had her lean over so he could pull the shirt off with as minimal contact to her face as possible.

Still sniffling . . . though it was tapering off . . . Emily shimmied her head out of her shirt and then looked over as Hotch jammed it down the trash bin and washed his hands. Then he wet and soaped up a handful of paper towels which he handed to her without looking.

Emily cleaned her face and then grimaced as she wiped off her chest.


Then she looked up at the mirror to make sure she was all clean. Just as she was about to ask Hotch for a dry towel he was he was blindly shoving one into her hand as he took the dirty ones from her and washed his hands again.

Her eyes crinkled slightly as she said hoarsely, "thanks," then two seconds later they shifted around so she could wash her hands and rinse out her mouth. Then he was holding her t-shirt out to her.

Once she was all covered again Emily cleared her throat, "I'm decent."

If this was anyone else she'd probably be really embarrassed right now. But, even though he was her boss, Hotch was Hotch. They'd been through worse than this.

Though little as disgusting.

When Hotch turned back, he looked her over worriedly, "are you okay?"

At that moment he suddenly had a ridiculous desire to brush her sweaty hair back off her face, but he made sure to keep his hands at his side.

She tipped her head as she said drolly, "well, I'm no longer doused in vomit, so yeah, the world is once again my oyster."

Then she winced as she imagined oysters sliding down her throat and her queasy stomach rolled once more.

Good one Em, make yourself throw up again!

Hotch's expression softened as he put his hand out, "come on Prentiss, let's go sit down and we'll get off at the next stop."

God knows they couldn't afford to have a repeat of what just happened. They didn't have enough clean clothes left in their bags!

Emily stared at him for a moment before she took his hand and sighed, "okay."

This was her last clean shirt.

As he led her out she said contritely, "I'm really sorry about this Hotch. I know you had stuff to do today. And now you're going to miss half of tomorrow too."

Hotch rolled his eyes as he looked down at her, "Prentiss, don't apologize for being sick," he shot her a mock scowl, "actually I ORDER you not to apologize for being sick. It's bad enough I was a complete jackass to you this morning," he moved her bag off the seat and back to the overhead bin, "I'm not going to be able to look in the mirror if you start apologizing to me now."

He'd almost rather that she was pissed at him again.


Emily slid back over to the window, looking over at him with a little smile as he sat down, "okay." She sighed as she tipped her head onto his shoulder, "I won't apologize for being sick. I will however apologize for you having to see me covered in regurgitated chili dogs."

That was a scene nobody should ever have to see.

"Okay," he tipped his head, "that apology I will accept."


His eyes shifted down to see her looking up at him. It only took a second before his mouth twitched slightly and she gave him a sleepy smile as she slipped her arm through his and sighed again.

Thank God the pod people had departed before that little scene. She'd probably still be in there right now having a complete panic attack as she tried to get her shirt off and clean up without throwing up on herself again.

Following the ritual established at the train station, Hotch slipped his Tic Tacs out of his pocket, shaking two into his hand for Emily. After she put them in her mouth he pulled out the schedule she had handed him earlier, "okay," he checked his watch, "we have about forty-five minutes until we get into the next station. We'll get a hotel, you can go to bed and I'll book us a reservation out tomorrow morning."

Emily closed her eyes and sighed, "sounds good."

A stationary bed sounded absolutely fabulous. She'd gotten sick two minutes ago and already the motion of the train was making her stomach feel junky again.

Hotch tucked the schedule back into his pants pocket. And he was about start packing up their stuff when he realized Emily was leaning against his side and he didn't want to jostle her.

So he settled back, eying his laptop jammed into the pocket in front of him. Then his eyes slid over to look at the woman at his side.

Well, there was no way she'd fallen asleep that quickly. So he reached out and snatched his computer back.

They still had forty minutes to kill.

Emily heard the distinctive music of Hotch's laptop powering up again and she opened her eyes. Then she smiled as she saw the images on the screen.

"Where did you get a movie?" She asked softly.

That definitely wasn't something he would have had in his bag. And though she wasn't personally acquainted with Hotch's taste in films, she was fairly sure the one he was watching . . . a favorite of hers . . . Joss Whedon was a god . . . wasn't something he'd necessarily have in his collection.

"Ah," he glanced over to her before his eyes snapped back to the screen, "I rented it off a kid. Gave him twenty bucks."

Emily's eyes widened in astonishment, "you paid twenty bucks to BORROW a movie?!"

Wow! His bartering skills were shit!

He sighed, "yeah, well, the kid apparently sensed some desperation on my part. And," he tipped his head, "I'll allow that with me being a complete stranger that he has no reason to believe that I will return the movie as promised. Therefore, the compensation I gave him would cover the cost of a new film if one were to become necessary for him to purchase."

Yeah, he got screwed.

Emily's mouth quivered, "you're talking out of your ass, sir."

It was hard to catch Hotch being human but it was always amusing when she did.

He hit pause before he shot her a scowl, "I thought you were resting your eyes."

God, she busting his chops less than five minutes from the incident in the bathroom. The woman's ability to bounce back was astounding.

She snorted as she patted his arm, "sorry. But hey," she gestured to the frozen screen, "at least you made a good choice here. Do you like it?"

His eyes shifted down to hers as he debated for a moment whether she was going to make fun of him. Then he figured screw it, she was already making fun of him. So a tiny grin spread across his face as he nodded enthusiastically, "I really AM enjoying it. Have you seen it?"

It was definitely not something he would ever have picked out on his own but it was the only movie the kid had that wasn't a comedy geared towards fifteen year old boys.

Emily laughed at his excitement . . . for Hotch that little smile was the equivalent of a 'regular' person jumping up and down in his seat . . . then she nodded, "yeah, I have seen it. It's good."

She looked down at the moment that was frozen on the screen and then checked the counter . . . he had just enough time to finish it if she left him alone.

So she patted his arm, "you go back to your movie, I'm going to see if I can get another little nap in," she rolled her eyes, "throwing up is exhausting."

Right now she felt like she could sleep for a week.

His lips pursed in sympathy, "right, you try resting again. I'll wake you up when we're ten minutes out."

Just before she closed her eyes he reached past her to grab his jacket where it had bunched against the seat. He covered her up again and then smiled as she settled into his side once more.

"You're nothing but a softie sir," she whispered.

"Yeah, well," he shot her a dimple, "don't tell anyone."

As her eyes fell shut once more she slipped her hand into his. His eyes crinkled in response as he squeezed her fingers. Then he turned back to his laptop and hit play once more on the crew of the Serenity.

A/N 2: Some part of me feels like writing another story and following them all the way home. Perhaps now that they're closer, they rent a car. But I'm resisting. Basically these Pod people stories come about when I have a pain in the ass commute (spent like 30 hrs on Amtrak Christmas week) so barring some other major thing happening, I think I'll walk away.

And as Serenity has been established (at a later date) as Hotch's favorite movie, this adds in the genesis of his discovery of that film :) I didn't really see it as one he'd pick up on his own. And he was married to Haley when it came out so I didn't see her picking it up. I did see Emily however, geek tendencies after all, perhaps being a Whedon fan so I figured she'd know it.

I have nothing else anywhere near ready to post so I guess maybe I'll see you again this weekend.