Author's Note: We've got several notes for you today, guys, so hang with us for a second.
First of all, we'd like to talk to you about our next challenge! Wanna fun way to celebrate Halloween this year? Join us for our Round 5 Challenge – The Candy Land Adventure on Chit Chat on Author's Corner. Our challenges are open to any author, regardless of experience…and we have a spot ready for you. All you have to do is suggest a CM pairing and the name of a popular candy. We'll take all the suggestions, present them to the Great Pumpkin, then assign you a pairing & candy type at the first of October. You'll have a month to write your story, and it can be whatever you choose…drabble or epic, romance or friendship. And it does not have to be about Halloween or candy! For more information and to sign up, visit our forum, Chit Chat on Author's Corner, and click on Round 5 challenge!
Second of all, we have exciting news, my friends! Nominating ballots for "The Profiler's Choice Awards" are ready and waiting for you at the "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" forum. So please, everyone, come on over and name some of your favorite fics and authors. Lets honor our favorite stories and authors on the CM site! We want to hear from you. Rules and guidelines are also available at the forum and as always, tonnie2001969 and I would be delighted to answer any questions that you may have. Now, let's get nominating! Our first ballots are beginning to trickle in and we love hearing from each of you!
For anyone willing to help us advertise the awards, we've created a short author's note template available on both my profile page (ilovetvalot) and my co-author's (tonnie2001969). We'd love to have everybody's help making this venture a huge and fun success. Please feel free to copy and paste it into your own author's notes and/or profiles! With your help, I believe this can become an annual event that we ALL look forward to seeing. I hope that you're all as eager as I am to see this incredible project lift off. And a very BIG thanks to all the authors helping us advertise these awards! We truly appreciate any assistance you can provide.
Additionally, we have a wonderful new interview for you at the forum as well. Come, as we get to know the talented cm4ever this week.
Also, we wanted to take a second to thank everyone that continues to read, review, favorite and alert our stories. Writing is a pleasure, but you guys, you make it worthwhile!
And please, fellow authors and readers, don't forget to get out there and nominate your favorite authors and stories. We're excited to hear from you!
The Perfect Last Resort
Prompt: Men of a Certain Age - "What are you gonna do with the rest of your life?"
Another long grueling case filled with endless man hours hunting a maniacal killer…just another day at the proverbial office for their intrepid band of FBI agents.
Oh, Emily knew it was par for their team's course. But as she slipped into her regular seat aboard the BAU's small jet, she couldn't help feeling wearier than usual.
It was never going to end...this constant search for justice amidst the wild frontier that had become their stomping grounds. Normally, she would have given herself a pep talk, citing the various ways each one of them was making a positive difference. But tonight, she was just too damned tired to make the effort.
Tonight, her job sucked.
Cracking one eyelid as she heard someone shift into the seat across from her, Emily smiled faintly as Derek Morgan's haggard face came into view. "Hey, you look as bad as I feel," she commented blandly, raising one well-defined brow.
"I love you, too, Prentiss," Morgan snorted, shifting his go bag into the empty seat beside him. "Damn, this one was tough, wasn't it?"
"I was just sitting here thinking the same thing," Emily drawled, turning her head to peer out the small window to her left at the darkened night as the plane's engines roared to life, signaling their imminent departure. And not a moment too soon, as far as she was concerned. She wanted nothing more than to return to the relative comfort that her adopted hometown could offer her…and to put their latest calamity far behind her.
Dropping his head back against his seat as the plane ascended, Derek waited until some of the noise ebbed before speaking again. "You okay, Em?" he asked, his dark face concerned as his eyes sketched her pale features and the slightly pinched set of her face.
Shrugging slightly as she settled deeper into the leather seat, Emily sighed. "Do you ever wonder why we do this, Derek?"
"Only every time we have a case like this one," Derek chuckled derisively. "I mean, I love it and most days I know that we're out here making a difference, but..."
"Some days you wonder what are you gonna do with the rest of your life?" Emily supplied for him, her gaze meeting his in silent understanding.
"Exactly," Derek murmured, nodding slightly.
"You know, there was a time when I thought this was my dream job. And, I put my entire life on hold to pursue it, you know? Relationships...family...I told myself that all of it could wait until I was established. Now, I look around and I'm established, all right. But, who the hell would be willing to take on somebody that carries around the baggage that we do? What are you gonna do with the rest of your life? Especially at this age. It won't be too many years before we're not able to kick down the doors anymore. And then what?"
"I know what you mean," Derek acknowledged, rubbing his hand across his jaw as he stared at the low paneled ceiling for a moment. "I look around the Federal Building at all those new recruits coming out of the Academy and wonder how much longer it'll be before I'm obsolete. I'm thirty-nine, Em, and they look at me like I'm a fucking dinosaur."
"Try being thirty-eight and a woman to boot," Emily snorted, crossing her legs as she reached for a blue blanket on the seat beside her. "And single. It isn't exactly a party over here," she laughed.
"Preach it, girl," Derek grinned with a wink. "At least your mother doesn't make weekly noise about getting on in years and how nice it would be to see a little Derek before she passed into the great hereafter."
Her laugher didn't reach her eyes this time as Emily replied, voice tight, "The only use my mother would see for a grandchild would be the photo op."
"Yeah, I can't exactly see Ambassador Prentiss knitting baby booties or piecing a baby quilt," Derek mused, letting his eyes linger on the brunette for a moment.
"Not in this lifetime," Emily grunted, shaking her head, her long black strands flicking to the side. "But, I think those dreams might be beyond me anyway," she said sadly, her eyes traveling to the window again.
"Maybe not," Morgan drawled, settling back in his seat as he stretched out his long legs and crossed them at the ankles. "At least not if you're willing to work a deal with me," he winked.
"A deal?" Emily queried curiously, cocking one dark eyebrow as she turned back to face her confusing colleague. "What kind of deal?" she asked suspiciously, noting the calculating gleam in Derek's eye as he assessed her.
"Well...more like a pact," Derek clarified, his straight white teeth gleaming as he smiled ever so sweetly at her. "What say that if in five years, we're both still sitting in this position..."
"What position?" Emily asked with twinkling eyes, dropping her chin a notch.
"You know, alone...unsettled...childless. Anyhow, what do you say that we give it a go together? We already know we like each other. And, let's face it, neither one of us is getting any younger."
"Gee, thanks, Morgan," Emily huffed indignantly, rolling her eyes. "You really know the way to a girl's heart."
"Ah, hell, Em...you know I ain't much on the pretty talk," Morgan said sheepishly, his grin turning into the aw-shucks smile he was famous for.
"Unless it leads to getting in a girl's pants," Emily added pointedly. "Let me guess, your fall back plan with Garcia's gone by the wayside?"
"That dickhead boyfriend of hers is proposing this weekend," Derek said good-naturedly. "He's stealing Baby Girl right out from under me."
"Really?" Emily asked, her eyes lighting up happily. No one deserved to be happy more than Garcia.
"Yeah," Morgan nodded. "Kev came by my place before we left and stated his intentions."
"Did you become PG's father when I wasn't looking?" Emily giggled cheerfully. "Were you telling me the truth about your age, Derek?"
"Bite me, Pretty Girl," Derek huffed, flicking her wrist with his thumb. "He just knows how close Mama and I are," he shrugged.
"That's sweet," Emily sighed dreamily. "You gonna give her away, too?"
"Probably," Derek admitted ruefully. "So, about my suggestion...you in?"
"Depends," Emily said pertly, straightening her shoulders as she turned her glare full force in his direction. "What's in it for me?" she asked, her eyes dancing as she watched Derek Morgan flush.
"What?" Derek said, rising from his seat in one lithe motion to pose for her. "All this," he said, sweeping an arm up and down his body, "isn't enough?"
Leaning forward to pat his still rock hard belly, Emily mock frowned. "Been drinking a little too much from the long neck bottle lately, Derek?" she asked mischievously.
"What?" Derek yelped, jumping back as though he'd been scorched as he ripped up his shirt to examine his six pack with a practiced eye.
"Just kidding," Emily said with a smirk. Her friend was nothing if not a little vain about his body. And she was not above using that for her own amusement whenever the opportunity presented itself.
"Very funny," Derek grumbled, resuming his seat as he ignored the curious glances his other teammates were throwing in his direction.
"And to answer your earlier question, I think you'd make the perfect last resort," Emily winked.
"Not exactly like I would have phrased it, but, thanks," Morgan chuckled. "I think you're aces in my book, too, Prentiss," he said, lightly nudging her foot with his.
Settling into their respective seats, both agents easily fell asleep, content with their fallback plan. With friends like each other, their futures were sure to be filled with more laughter than pain.