Author's Note: So, new story. I've had this one buzzing around my head for ages and finally I wrote it. Even though I'm currently writing a story which needs about five chapters still writing before I post it, I just had to write this. It's only three chapters and they're all written so it shouldn't take long to get this one done. Please review and tell me what you think. Be warned: this is a bit AU. This is a prompt for the whole story.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of the characters.
Crash and Burn
Prompt Set #14
Title Challenge: Serious Control Issues
The Crack in the Wall
It was quiet on the jet. Most of the team was asleep. They were flying back from Las Vegas after a case. The killer had been caught, five families given closure and two lives saved. They'd done well, they'd only been away for four days. Nothing had gone wrong: it had been a cut and dry case.
Almost everyone had fallen asleep as soon as they'd got on the jet. They barely slept on cases and it was nearly one in the morning, after all.
Reid had fallen asleep reading. Rossi had dropped off after insisting he was only resting his eyes. Morgan had drifted off listening to his music; he still had his headphones on. JJ had fallen asleep in the process of choosing the team's next case. Hotch had gotten up at that point, removing the files from her lap and placing them on the table before throwing a blanket over her. And Garcia was presumably in bed back home.
But Hotch and Emily had remained awake despite the early hour. Hotch was going through case files, his face creased in concentration and Emily was simply staring out of the window, deep in thought. She was watching the storm cloud, her mind elsewhere really. It, the storm cloud, had been growing for the last half hour but, as beautiful as it was, Emily was hoping that they'd get past it before it got any bigger.
Out of the corner of his eye, Hotch had been watching Emily for the last few minutes, rather than looking through the files as he had pretended to be doing. She was tense, her body language practically shouting anxiety. Her forehead was pinched, her eyebrows scrunched up as she thought. She'd been twisting a pen in her fingers but after a while, she'd starting tapping it against the edge of the table, emitting a small clicking noise. Had she not been so agitated, Hotch would have been irritated.
"Prentiss?" he asked, abandoning all pretence of work.
"Huh?" Emily's head jerked up, her eyes focussing on Hotch's face. "Yeah?"
"Are you okay?"
Emily's eyebrows disappeared under her hair. Hotch sounded concerned. Not that he was incapable of concern for his team, but it did surprise them all when the man who was usually so tight with his emotions showed feeling towards them. It was the difference between knowing something academically and seeing it in real life.
Emily plastered a smile across her face, trying to mask her nervousness. Bloody profilers, she thought to herself, he'd pick up on it in an instant. "I'm fine. Really."
Hotch continued to regard her with an expression that clearly said I-don't-believe-you-but-I'm-not-sure-whether-to-let-it-go-or-not.
"I'm just a bit tired." Emily tried to get him to let it go.
"Why don't you get some sleep?" Hotch suggested.
"I... I'm just too wired." Emily told him. It was the truth. But then came the lie. "It's just the case. I can never sleep after a case." The lies were always followed by the truth. She was getting better at it. She spun up lies in truth, confused the two so people wouldn't question her. She'd been doing it for years; it was inevitable that she'd get good at it.
"I know what you mean."
‟I just-" Emily was cut off by the plane rolling to one side. She gasped as she was knocked against the table. The files flew off the table, fluttering through the air and landing scattered on the floor before being thrown in the air again.
Reid was tossed off the couch and he landed on the floor, suddenly jolted awake. ‟What the-" he was about to curse but was cut off when the plane swayed again.
Morgan fell to the ground beside Reid, his headphones missing.
The whole team held on through the turbulence, holding onto anything as tightly as they could, their eyes squeezed shut in terror.
Hotch managed to open his eyes for just a minute and saw that Emily had her eyes wide open. Tears were slipping from her lashes and she was practically chewing through her lip. In that split second, Hotch realised that she wasn't seeing what was actually happening, but rather something that had happened before.
His stomach churning, Hotch closed his eyes again but reached out and grabbed hold of Emily's arm, hoping that at least she knew that she wasn't alone. That the rest of the team were there for her.
And then the plane was level again, cruising through the air again like nothing had happened. Reid looked up from the floor, panting.
"Is it over?" he gasped.
"I'm going to go and talk to the pilot." Rossi told the room gravely and stood up, slightly unsteady after the awful turbulence.
Morgan climbed up from the floor and held out a hand to help Reid back onto his feet. JJ crouched down on the floor, picking up all the papers and organizing them into their respective files.
Hotch turned to look at Emily, releasing her arm from his iron grip. She wiped her face with her sleeve and shook her head, as if shaking away the fear. Looking up, she met Hotch's eyes and smiled weakly.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Yeah," Emily nodded hastily. "Yeah, I'm fine."
Emily turned away and looked out of the window. They'd passed the storm cloud and Emily would guess that that was the reason the plane had temporarily spun out of control. She took a deep breath, banishing the fear back down where it had languishing away for the last twenty-two years. She pushed it back behind the wall that kept it at bay, cementing over the crack that had been made by the turbulence. She had to keep it locked down, or she wouldn't be able to do this job, especially not with all the flying the team had to do.
Taking another deep breath, she felt almost calm again. She wiped her face again and licked her lips, trying to make herself look vaguely normal again. She didn't want the team to know about this; she didn't want them to feel sorry for her. So it was going to remain a secret. It was only dangerous to keep secrets in their job if it affected the case. And there was no way she was going to let it. Not a hope in hell.