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The Remains of the Date

Girlfriends - "The Remains of the Date"

Glaring at the empty chair directly across the table from her, Emily Prentiss shook her head, her long raven black hair sliding across her shoulders.

And to think, she'd actually shaved her legs for this.

Just wait until she informed Jennifer Jareau that the 'British dude with the sexy accent' she'd steadfastly insisted was a great catch was a big, wankin' dud!

Forcing a brave smile at the server approaching her table, Emily's eyes widened when she noticed the black leather folder held in her hands. You've got to be kidding me, Emily growled silently. Not only was her absentee date a bad conversationalist and a raving egotist, evidently, he was also a cheapskate, she told herself grimly, taking the leather bound check from the polite waitress' hand. "Thanks," Emily said, slipping her credit card between the folds and handing it back to the girl.

"No dessert tonight?" the younger lady asked politely, her head tilted to the side as she surveyed the mostly empty plate in front of Emily. "The chef tonight has made a delightful crème brulée, or so I'm told."

"You know what?" Emily snorted, throwing caution to the wind. "What the hell. Please," she nodded at the server, "add it to the bill."

"Of course, ma'am," the young woman said, bobbing her head obediently. "I'll have someone over to clear the table for you momentarily."

"No rush," Emily muttered, her eyes landing morosely on the half-eaten plate of food on the other side of the small table. "He won't be back."

"Your date?" the girl asked, frowning in confusion at the vacated chair.

"If you wanna call him that," Emily said, her tone clearly disgusted at the recent turn of events.

Smiling, the girl winked at Emily. "I'm sorry. But, between you and me, I think you can do much better," she continued, recalling how the smarmy man that had previously sat with the nice, well-mannered lady had undressed her with his eyes throughout the entire evening.

"Thank you," Emily said with a grateful smile as she glanced up at the waitress, deciding then and there to add a hefty tip to the evening's bill. "I appreciate that."

"I'll get that dessert right out to you," the server smiled before heading toward the kitchen, a bounce in her step.

Following the young woman with her eyes, Emily sighed. Oh, to be that young again when the world was her oyster and the men were plentiful and charming. Now, everywhere she looked, either the men were either taken, gay or damaged in some way. Or, she thought grimly, no sane woman wanted them for obvious reasons. Case in point: the moron that had unexpectedly remembered a so-called pressing important meeting.

Shaking her head, Emily reminded herself that at least she hadn't been forced to endure the other man's revolting presence through an entire evening...a FREE entire evening where she had nowhere to be and no danger of being called back into work for a case.

And that was definitely a rare treat and commodity...the concept of free time.

Startling slightly in her chair as she heard a slightly uncertain familiar voice say from behind her, "Prentiss?", Emily turned to glance over her shoulder. Blushing furiously as she felt Aaron Hotchner's curious gaze narrow on her, she silently groaned. Great, as if her evening hadn't devolved enough, now, she was going to have to make uncomfortable small talk with a man whom she spent more time thinking about than would be deemed appropriate by any therapist.

"Hotch?" Emily said faintly, clearing her throat. "What are you doing here?" she asked, looking up at him with wide eyes.

"Meeting with Bravo Team's Unit Chief to hand off some cases. We just finished up," Hotch explained, eyebrows furrowing as he noted the empty chair across from her. "Are you here alone?" he asked quizzically.

"Am now," Emily nodded, adding a silent "thank you" to whatever deity was listening for that simple fact.

"Pardon me?" Hotch asked, cocking his head as his eyes fell on the half-eaten plate opposite her.

"Blind date gone horribly bad," Emily shrugged, deciding that sometimes the less words used, the better. "Remind me to personally thank JJ for her stellar taste in men on Monday," she added with a tiny grin.

Wincing, Hotch dropped his hands in his pockets. "That awful?" he queried, his lips quirking to the side.

"Worse," Emily confirmed with a delicate shudder. "He even stuck me with the check," she laughed aloud, her cheeks heating slightly at her minor confession.

"Ouch," Hotch grimaced, wondering what man in his right mind left a woman like her sitting alone in a crowded restaurant. Dressed in her form fitting black dress, her long hair falling in curls around her shoulders, she looked mouthwateringly gorgeous...a virtual feast for any red-blooded man's eyes. Quickly reminding himself that those weren't exactly Bureau sanctioned thoughts he was having about his attractive subordinate, Hotch opened his mouth to excuse himself just as he was bumped from behind.

"Excuse me, sir," Emily's server mumbled, skirting around him as she slid Emily's dessert on the table in front of her.

"No problem," Hotch said, holding up a negligent hand and waving off the encounter.

Nodding with a polite smile, the waitress smiled at Emily. "I like option two MUCH better," she murmured to her customer. "Much more promising in my opinion."

"Oh, n-," Emily opened her mouth to dispel the assumption that Hotch might be a viable date replacement.

Looking at Hotch with an approving smile, the server interrupted Emily's attempt at denial. "Can I bring you another spoon?" she said, gesturing at the delicious looking dessert on the table.

Peering over Emily's shoulder at the exquisite looking display before them, he tried to remind himself that it was the dessert he commented on rather than the creamy cleavage displayed by Emily's dress. "That looks amazing."

"Trust me, from what I've heard," the server grinned, her eyes twinkling as she noted that it wasn't the delicacy on the plate the darkly handsome man's eyes were focused on, "It is."

Glancing over her shoulder, Emily's heartbeat quickened as she realized Hotch's eyes had darkened and his intense gaze wasn't focused on her dessert plate. "Join me?" she invited, striving to keep her voice neutral.

Rapidly pulling his interested gaze back to her face, Hotch asked, "Are you sure? I don't want to intrude."

"Please," Emily smiled, "Intrude away. There's something decidedly sad about a woman over thirty eating alone on the busiest date night of the weak," she confided with a self-deprecating laugh.

"I'll just get that spoon," the server smiled, pleased with herself. And as she hurried back toward the kitchen, she glanced over her shoulder, satisfied to find the attractive man pulling out the chair that had been previously abandoned.

It looked like her new favorite customer's remains of the date would make for an attractive doggy bag, she thought happily.

And it did.


Author's Note: Many thanks to Kavi Leighanna and Sienna27 for their amazing TV Prompt Challenge Forum. It's an incredible place to find inspiration!