The sounds of metal splintering, glass shattering, Emily screaming, were still ringing in her mind even as Will whispered comfort into her ear.
The sirens had come and gone long ago, as had the fire trucks with their hundred gallon hoses, dousing the flesh licking flames into nothingness.
The team had gathered with heads hung low, tears stinging eyes, fists clenched to white knuckled pain, each of them mourning in their own way. They stood in a huddle a few yards from the wreckage that still smoldered in some places, but JJ couldn't move.
She couldn't move from the cold, hard cement that she'd collapsed against after nearly an hour of struggling against Morgan's strong arms, against Will's desperate pleas, "No, Jay-Jay, she's gone."
Her throat was raw from screaming, her eyes stinging from staring wide eyed at hot red flame. Her hands were bleeding and blistered from where she'd fought so hard to pry Emily from the burning SUV.
It had taken Morgan, Will and Hotch to pull her back before the flames consumed her too.
"Jay-Jay, you need to go to the hospital." Will was cooing to her like she was an infant, his hands on her shoulders, trying to pull her from what felt like her own grave.
She did not respond, but merely continued to sit slumped against the pavement, her eyes on the clean white sheet laying not ten feet away. The sheet covering what was left of Emily Prentiss. Blood stained bones and burnt flesh and cold, dead eyes.
She'd seen them pry her from the twisted metal monster that had once been so safe. She'd watched, horrified, but with a sort of sick fascination as they laid Emily down on the ground, not even bothering to try and save her, before laying the sheet over her.
Why hadn't they taken her with them? Why leave her here, haunting JJ already?
And suddenly JJ was moving, pulling and fighting against Will, escaping his clammy hands and crawling on scraped knees toward the sheet. Before anyone could stop her she grabbed an edge of that mockingly pure sheet and yanked it off.
And there was Emily, with marred flesh and scarred limbs. Her skin was burnt and bloody, her clothing melted into her singed flesh. But her face, as though too beautiful for even fire to touch, was seemingly unharmed.
"Em..." JJ whispered, her eyes wide with terror and pain. "Emily, please." She could hear Will yelling for her, foot steps clamoring toward her, the worried sounds of the people who cared about her trying, yet again, to protect her.
"Help me!" Emily's eyes shot open, her head turning to face JJ like it had so many times in what seemed already like a past life. Before the blonde could scream, or cry, or breathe, there was a sharp jerk from behind her eyes and everything went black.
"Jayj, we're late!" A very much alive Emily Prentiss shot passed the hotel bed, tooth brush shoved into her mouth, still in only the black, cotton boxer briefs she used for sleeping and a hastily buttoned white blouse.
For the second time in what had to have been mere minutes, JJ felt her heart thud to a stop.
"Emily?" She whispered harshly.
"Yeah?" Prentiss' head popped out from the bathroom door, tooth paste dripping down her chin, one eye done up with mascara and eyeliner.
She looked frazzled and ridiculous and was, without question, the most beautiful thing JJ had ever seen.
What was even more confusing than the fact that Emily was supposed to be dead, and more terrifying that the idea that maybe she really was, was the fact that not only was Emily the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen, with half done make up and a minty chin, but she had been just as beautiful the morning before.
When she'd raced by in the same way.
Exactly the same way.
Had it all been a dream? Was this just some wacky case of deja vu caused by bad dreams and eating spicy foods before bed?
JJ almost had herself convinced, until Emily came out of the bathroom, phone pressed to her ear and sighed.
"There's been another shooting."
It wasn't like the morning before.
It was the morning before.
This seems like it should be a chapter fic, but it's really just a one-shot. haha. i just had to play with the idea once it came to me. it wouldn't let me alone. :) reviews always appreciated. thanks for reading!
I do not own Criminal Minds, or Tru Calling, upon which inspiration for this little piece was drawn.