Just a little Criminal Minds one-shot that's been rattling around my head for a while now, ever since I re-watched 52-pickup and a few of the episodes after it. It's my first Criminal Minds fic, so be kind (although constructive criticism is of course always welcome).

Summary: Post-ep of sorts to Episode 4.13 (Bloodline). Emily realizes that she's really going to miss Agent Todd. No pairings.

Disclaimer: Obviously I own nothing. I'm just borrowing for a little while.

A Hesitant Farewell


"So you're heading back to counter-terrorism then?" Emily asked Jordan as they wandered back through the bullpen after their latest case (and her last with the team). It was really more a formality than anything else obviously, but the profiler felt like she needed to say something to acknowledge the other woman's departure.

Jordan shot her a quick smile, "Yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong, the BAU was definitely a great experience, but I'm definitely starting to miss counter-terrorism. It's somehow less… , well, quite frankly, less disturbing."

"Yeah," Emily said with a half-laugh. She loved her job, obviously, but it wasn't exactly easy.

Jordan glanced back at the other woman, suddenly realizing that she might have hit a nerve. "I wasn't trying to… I mean, I know how that probably sounded…"

Emily found a real smile to shoot the other woman then, "I know. Don't worry about it. Profiler remember?"

Jordan grinned back, "Of course. Now that I definitely won't miss."

"Garcia complains about it sometimes too," Emily told her easily. "It's why there's a rule about intra-team profiling."

"That nobody follows," Jordan muttered under her breath.

But her colleague caught it, "Of course not. But we do try not to do it out loud. Well, sometimes." Emily laughed when Jordan rolled her eyes, before continuing, "But even though none of us wants to be anywhere else, we all know that our jobs aren't for everyone. Lucky for us I guess. The competition to get into this place's tough enough as it is."

Their conversation flagged as both women tried to think of an appropriate thing to say.

"Well," Jordan said finally breaking the silence, "I guess I'll be seeing you around sometime."

"Yeah, of course." Emily agreed readily, though both of them knew theirs probably wasn't the kind of friendship that was going to last after they stopped seeing each other every day in the office. But that didn't mean they shouldn't try. "Give me a call when you're settled again, we'll do lunch or something," Emily told the other woman.

"With your schedule we might have to settle for coffee," Jordan replied. She turned to leave, and then paused before turning back. "And Emily, I just wanted to say thanks for, well, for..."

But Emily waved off the younger woman's thanks. "Don't even worry about it. I remember what it's like being the new member of this team remember? Besides, having a wing-woman when I confronted Viper was just fun."

Jordan laughed, "That's true. And we'll always have Facebook."

Emily joined in the laughter, "See you around Agent Todd."

"Agent Prentiss," Jordan told her with a nod before she left the bullpen. Emily watched her go with a smile, deciding that she would make an effort to keep in touch. The job made friendships difficult to maintain sometimes. At least Jordan'd have some idea of why.

Emily watched as Hotch met Agent Todd on her way out. The Supervisory Special Agent exchanged cordial pleasantries with his soon to be former subordinate. Emily assumed he was wishing her all the best with her new assignment. And while Emily was sure Hotch was being unfailingly polite and saying all that was expected, she could tell he was looking forward to having J.J. back. While Hotch certainly respected Agent Todd, even acknowledging her abilities in the end, the pair had never meshed well.

After wishing Agent Todd a good night Hotch walked into the bullpen where Emily was still standing, "Saying good-bye?" he asked her.

"Yeah," Emily agreed. "Well, maybe not good-bye. It's not like counter-terrorism's on the other side of the country or anything. I think it's a fair bet that Agent Todd and I will see each other again at some point."

The corners of Hotch's quirked up slightly, and he nodded, but didn't say anything.

"Have you spoken to J.J.?" Emily asked him.

"Yes. She'll be in first thing tomorrow," he told her.

"Good, it'll be nice to see her," Emily added.

"Yeah. I imagine it'll be a bit of an adjustment though, for everyone."

"Especially J.J.," Emily pointed out wryly.

"Still, you were probably the closest to Agent Todd," Hotch observed. "I'd imagine it'll be a bit of a change."

"It's not exactly like J.J. and I are complete strangers," Emily felt the need to point out.

Hotch nodded again. "Still, I appreciate you taking the time, checking in on her..."

"Talking you down from hyper-vigilant to merely wary?" Emily supplied.

Hotch shot her a look, before shaking his head slightly in amusement. "Goodnight Prentiss. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Night Hotch," Emily told him with a smile.

Her smile faded as she started sorting through the files on her desk. She had liked Jordan, had been glad to offer a bit of support, a few tips on how to deal with the BAU team. But she'd be lying if she said she'd been doing it just out of the good of her heart.

It'd been nice for a couple of weeks not to feel like the newbie.

The team was a family, a close family. And when you were new, well, it made the feeling of isolation even worse. The BAU members just knew so much about each other, something that was probably made worse by the very nature of their jobs. Profilers recognized things in other profilers, could predict what they'd do. And even though she'd been working with the team for almost two years now, there were still times when things cropped up that the rest of them knew about, and she was left in the dark. They always explained of course, but... but she still felt a bit like the newcomer. And it didn't matter that Rossi had technically arrived after she had. He'd been around to help found the BAU so he didn't count. Irrational as it was (and she knew it was irrational), she sometimes still felt out of the loop.

Emily remembered the awkwardness of her first few weeks, how desperate she'd been most of the time to just do something, anything right. If Jordan thought her initiation into the BAU had been tough, at least it'd been expected. Emily hated to think what Jordan would have done in her circumstances.

She'd been greeted by Gideon's seeming ambivalence and Hotch's open mistrust and even occasionally his open hostility, and then soon after, had to deal with poor Reid's issues... Morgan, Garcia and J.J. had been friendly, but none of them had gone out of their way to really help her out beyond giving her a few pointers about how things typically got done in the unit and maybe showing her where things were kept in the break room. It was the memory of those uncomfortable first few months more than Hotch's request to look out for Jordan that had led Emily to befriend the other agent.

And then Emily had discovered an added side benefit to her friendship with Jordan, she was the expert. When talking to the temporary media liaison, Emily had been the one who'd known all the secrets, who could give tips. She was the one who got to explain all of the little inside jokes as opposed to having them explained to her. She'd clearly been one of them, watching as Jordan struggled to find her place.

She, Emily Prentiss, had belonged.

And now with J.J. coming back, well, obviously she`d still belong. She wasn`t a total basket-case. She knew that she`d proved her worth time and time again since those awkward first few months. Knew that she was a valued member of the team, an acknowledged part. She knew that she deserved to be there. But it'd be back to low man on the totem pole, the one whose actions were still lightly scrutinized (even if, as it turned out, she managed to meet expectations). Emily couldn't help wondering if Hotch had even realized what he`d implied when he`d told her she always did well under scrutiny.

But Hotch trusted her now, Rossi valued her opinions and her abilities, she and Reid were closer than they'd ever been, Garcia and J.J. were two of the best friends a girl could ask for and she could always trust Morgan to have her back anywhere, anytime.

Yes, she was a member of the BAU.

And yes, she'd carved out a place for herself there.

And yes, she was one of them now.

But soon she wouldn't have an outsider's perspective as a daily reminder of that fact.

So, Agent Prentiss would always miss Agent Todd, but probably not for the reason everyone expected.