Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters/Pairing: Emily Prentiss/Mick Rawson
Summary: She always went for the bad boys, and she always got her heart broken. Part of her wondered if this time was going to be any different.
Author's Note: Okay, this is going to be pretty long, so bear with me. I went into the spinoff episode with an open mind, but they botched it so horribly that even Emily!snark couldn't save it. They tried to push the Emily/Mick flirtation, which was really, really poor compared to the chemistry she had with Cooper, the CotW from Lo-Fi and Mayhem. He was great. I would have liked that ship. Anyway, I digress. Exit Wounds told us that they were pretty much considering the Mick/Emily as a recurring ship, which I know a lot of people didn't like. Sure, Em needs to get some, but does it really need to be from British dude (and I have to say that JJ kind of pissed me off in this scene, being all "well he's hot, and carries a gun, so he's pretty much your type" as though she thinks that Emily's shallow, and persists even after being given adequate reasons for Emily's refusal to take the Brit out. Anyway, I digress again). So I figured that if I tried to write this pairing, and on some levels succeeded in making it believable to myself, then I will be less horrified about it if they actually do bring it back later. I still don't know if I succeeded, because the characterization was uneven enough that I can't tell.
Emily's phone rang for the third time since they'd returned from Alaska. The first time, it had been her mother, and they'd shared a terse, kind of awkward conversation that wasn't helped by the fact that she was a little bit pissed, in both senses of the word. No sooner than she'd hung up that phone call, she saw the name "Mick Rawson" flashing across the screen, and had pressed the Ignore button almost immediately.
She wasn't in the mood for arrogant jackasses.
Part of her was a little angry at JJ, for implying that she should settle, as though Mick Rawson was the best she could do, which really, wasn't so far from the truth. Of course, she preferred, without a doubt, the thought of a tall, dark, handsome, intelligent, funny, charming guy, but apparently none of those kinds of guys were attracted to women like her.
And maybe she should settle; Emily stared around her empty apartment, looking at all those impersonal knick-knacks that didn't say a damn thing about who she really was. Most of them had been given to her by her parents, after their most recent trip to the Ukraine, or Kazakhstan or Romania. Some children had happy memories. Emily had things.
Maybe, on some levels it would be better to come home to an arrogant, oversexed, egotistical guy than to no-one at all. She felt almost pathetic for thinking like that, but she still answered the phone when he called the second time.
'Prentiss.' She bit the word out, still half-wondering if she was making a huge mistake.
'Hey, gorgeous.' He spoke with a laugh, and she almost felt like punching something, "sexy accent" be damned. Irish guys were cuter, anyway. 'I heard you just got back from a case – did you want to go out for dinner?'
'What are you, stalking me now?'
'You sound so horrified at the thought, but no. I happened to be calling your department on a technical matter, when a certain someone hinted that I should give you a call.'
Emily almost swore under her breath. There was interfering, and then there was interfering. Instead, she gave a short laugh.
'No dinner. Drinks.' That way, she could escape without looking like the bad guy. Had she really played this so often that she had escape plans for a date? That was really pathetic. Maybe she'd be better off with a cat anyway. Maybe she'd screw things up with the cat, too. That was just downright depressing.
'Not sure you can last a couple of hours in my company?' Emily was pretty sure she wasn't hallucinating, but there was the slightest amount of hurt in his voice.
'Maybe,' she shrugged, mostly to herself. 'Maybe I just really feel like drinking right now.'
'That bad, was it?'
'After a while, they all seem that bad,' she told him, and he laughed.
'I hear that.' Somehow, it was easy to forget that technically speaking, he was a profiler too. After all, part of her still saw him as a cocky, British sniper first, and as an FBI agent second. He didn't fit the profile.
But then, who did?
'No motorcycle,' she told him, when he said he'd come to pick her up.
'Am I that obvious?'
'Yes,' she said, but really, part of her was thinking "no." As hard as he might have tried to keep up the façade, there was evidently something underneath. She had to believe that. She had to believe that he wasn't just some other guy that only wanted to get into her pants. Rather, she had to believe that he didn't just want to get into her pants. She wasn't naïve enough to think that he wasn't going to try.
In any case, she needed the stress relief.
Searching through her closet, Emily picked out a pair of jeans. She didn't know where they'd be going, but she didn't want to encourage him by choosing an outfit that showed any amount of thigh. Or maybe it was so she could strap her gun to her hip and threaten to shoot him if he acted like too much of an ass. Yeah, right. She was a pretty good shot, but she wasn't SAS, wait in the bushes for three days for the target to show up good. And maybe that was another reason why she was so hesitant about this. In her mind, profiling was still about saving lives, not taking them.
The jeans were accompanied by heeled boots and a button-up shirt – not so different from what she usually wore at work. After some consideration, she didn't strap the gun to her waist, instead slipping it into her bag.
Ten minutes later, as she was applying her lipstick, he buzzed through. 'You going to let me up?'
'I guess I'll have to,' Emily laughed, pressing the button to let him into the building.
Mick looked a little less scruffy than he had when she'd first met him, a little less "I'm a bad boy, and I want everyone to know it." Tonight, he was a little smoother; black pants, sports coat, and a charcoal grey shirt. No leather, thankfully, and no sniper rifle. She was pretty sure she would have kicked him right out the door if he'd decided to bring it along to their first date, in spite of whatever crippling loneliness she felt. Still, she doubted that he left his ego at home.
'You shaved for me,' she said, voice tinged with mock sweetness. 'How romantic.'
'Combed my hair, too,' he grinned. She grabbed her jacket, and he escorted her down to his car.
'Pontiac GTO,' she said, staring at it. 'Why am I not surprised?'
'Because,' Mick said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. 'Because it is a very nice car.'
'Are you compensating for something?'
'Wouldn't you like to find out?' he winked, and she balked a little less than she had the first time he'd made a cheesy come-on, which seemed like progress.
They drove to a bar, and found a booth near the back. Mick grabbed beers for the both of them.
'American beer tastes like piss,' he muttered. 'Give me a nice pint of bitter any day.'
Emily grinned. 'I lived in Germany for a couple of years growing up. I get where you're coming from.'
They kept the conversation away from work – talking shop was a surefire way to blur the boundaries between personal and professional – and it wasn't quite as painful as Emily had imagined. It was never going to be perfect – he had absolutely no idea who Kurt Vonnegut was – but he didn't find her nerdiness a turnoff, which was more than she could say for the last five dates she'd been on.
All in all, not a horrible night.
Much better than she'd expected, but then, after so many years of failure, she half expected to get knocked unconscious trying to open the door.
It was almost eleven when he walked her back up to her apartment – while she didn't need the protection, she appreciated the gesture.
'I had a good time,' she told him, in complete honesty, as they stood by her front door.
Mick hesitated. It was the first time she'd actually seen him do so, and damned if it wasn't the most comforting things in the world. 'Me too.' There was no lie in his voice. He edged forward slightly, and she turned her head slightly so that their lips brushed together without any awkwardness. After the ice had broken, he kissed again, a little harder, but by no means rough.
'Can I see you again?'
Emily didn't need to think about it. 'I'd like that,' she said.