Title: Break Free
Rating: PG-13
Criminal Minds
Genre: Romance/Angst
She doubted that anything beyond a professional relationship with David Rossi would work, which went to show that even profiling was wrong sometimes.
Author's Note: Okay, both of my cheerleaders/betas/cattle-wranglers are out of commission, so the muse was left unchecked to wallow in her own insanity, which is why this piece is a little disjointed. She's getting lonely.

Break Free

After meeting David Rossi, Emily Prentiss was pretty sure of exactly one thing:

They had absolutely nothing in common.

Maybe that was an exaggeration.

They had the job, of course, but that was somewhat questionable. He was the BAU's finest, the best of the best. Everybody knew his name. She'd spent ten years just trying to get people to take her seriously, and even then it had taken someone's underhanded politics to get her on the team, a fact she would never, ever be comfortable with.

It wasn't until after Indianapolis that he deigned to join the team in their occasional bar night.

Wasn't until Indianapolis that she saw the warmth beneath the gruff exterior.

But still. It would never happen.

They had absolutely nothing in common.

He liked Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin – the rat pack. Classic '50s stuff. Her tastes were more '70s – Journey, Van Halen, Queen, Led Zeppelin. He wasn't a judgmental guy, but she was fairly sure he'd run away in horror after seeing the contents of her iPod. Post-punk era glam rockdidn't exactly lend itself to respect from any of her peers, except maybe Garcia, who apparently liked to have Kevin role-play as Justin Hawkins.

Still. It didn't seem to be music on his mind when he asked her to dance. On her fourth glass of wine, then, the thought of refusal had disappeared along with her inhibitions. His arms felt warm. Safe.

Safe wasn't exactly a word she would have associated with David Rossi. For all the financial security, and the kick-ass profiling skills, he was still a guy that had slept his way through the FBI twenty years ago, and had been married three times.

That was before she'd told him, though. Before he'd stood there, unflinching, accepting. More accepting than anyone had ever been before, save Matthew, and even Matthew hadn't really been able to handle it in the end.

It didn't really matter, though.

They had absolutely nothing in common.

They danced again, next time out – much less clumsy, because she'd started to learn the way his body moved to the beat. Even if the dance did lead to a slightly inebriated kiss, and even if, three weeks later, they went a little beyond just a kiss, and she woke up in his bed with his sheets bunched up around her bare chest, after learning how his body moved to a very different beat.

Just sex, really. Sex between two co-workers who need to take the edge off. The fact that she found him inexplicably fascinating had absolutely nothing to do with it. She'd put on her clothes, and they would go their separate ways. Until Monday morning, at least.

He wasn't the kind of person who was looking for commitment, even if he did give a pretty fantastic orgasm.

On the way out, she caught sight of the classic literature on his bookshelf, part of her thinking that there was something that she could discuss with him over another bout of really good sex, but she was out the door before she could convince herself to stop.

So, something in common. But not much. She was pretty sure he wasn't one to watch Star Trek re-runs, or even any science-fiction at all.

There was Chemistry, though. Capital C Chemistry – much stronger than normal chemistry.

She'd taken Chemistry in high school, but hadn't been particularly good at it. This was probably due to the fact that she'd been a little misguided after Italy, and in countries where the legal drinking age was sixteen, and pot was pretty easy to come by, school had played second fiddle.

She'd straightened herself out before college came around, because she might have been a fuck-up, but she sure as hell wasn't stupid. Being stoned off her gourd wouldn't help her get into the FBI, no matter who her parents were. College science had been more about serotonin, and GABA, and, most importantly, the Chemistry between two people, which, quite frankly, was starting to overwhelm her hesitations.

Every excuse she'd ever made just kept tumbling down. Walls that refused to stay up. Compartments that refused to stay shut.

It felt good. It felt safe. It felt…


And maybe that was why she'd resisted for so long – because he might have been the one with three divorces, but she wasn't exactly very good at commitment herself, either. But after falling in love with David Rossi, Emily Prentiss was sure of exactly one thing.

She didn't want to screw this one up.