Title: Breaking Surface

Prompt: Drowning; Prentiss

Submitted by: lakela (livejournal)

Sometimes, she felt as if she were drowning.

Sometimes, she was lost. The waves crashed over her head and she couldn't push herself back to the surface. While the waves crashed violently over her head, underneath it all it was strangely peaceful. It wasn't violent underneath the surface. If she tried to break through it the waves would become violent again but when she stayed underneath, at least for awhile, everything was peaceful: but then her lungs started to burn and she had to break through the violence into the land of the breathing and living.

It didn't stop, it never did. She'd known that when she'd taken the job but she'd wanted this. She'd stepped on feet to get where she was and Emily Prentiss did not back down. Perhaps that was what she'd learned from her mother, a trait that she'd inherited.

Her job wasn't an easy one. It was the kind of job that followed you home and kept you awake at night, because if you were to close your eyes, you saw things that you never wanted to see. It pushed against your very soul and challenged everything that you thought you knew about humanity. It asked you to challenge hope and faith and the very nature of humans.

It was frightening at the very least.

And it never stopped.

No matter how many killers, murderers, kidnappers, and 'bad guys' that she and her team caught, there would always be another. And no matter how many victims they saved from the previous man or woman's clutches, the next case would start with another victim. It always did, and it always would. Sometimes, it was impossible to break the surface. The facts and the statistics and the horror of it all crashed violently around her if she stayed there and thought about it … but it could be different. If she stayed underneath, if she did the job and continued on and on without thinking about it, things would be peaceful, for awhile.

And then something would remind her and she would need to break surface again, struggling and gasping for air.

Those were the times that she grasped for her rocks, held firmly in the river that surged around her. The rocks were her team. Each of them stuck in that same river as she was, but each of them able to break surface, if just for a moment – for one another.

Because each of them knew. Each member on the team knew exactly what it was like to be drowning in that river and come up gasping for breath, unsure of exactly where they were or why it hurt so much to be there.

So she held on. It wasn't easy, but she did.

Sometimes, Emily Prentiss felt like she was drowning. And every once in awhile, she'd break the surface.

And breath.